Thursday, 21 May 2009

How to choose songs for your wedding? Look to Hollywood…

When planning my own wedding, I discovered that the best way for me to decide on key songs for my ceremony and reception was to look to my favorite films - films that had the essence that I wanted to portray. What songs create the mood you want everyone to feel? What scenes from movies are in your head because the music left you speechless? What songs have meaning for you?

For my wedding, I wanted the ceremony to be ethereal while the reception was enchanting, chic and fun. I used the music to make the event flow from one stage to the next. So in order to create this imagery, my ceremony music included Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The recessional was to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in order to spread the joy of our nuptials amongst the crowd. A swing band created the mood for the reception with a few songs from my favorite film (When Harry Met Sally) including “It Had To Be You” – which was 1 of our two wedding songs. The second song was “Your Song” by Al Jarreau (also sang in Moulin Rouge).

Using music to create the mood of your wedding day is the perfect way to illicit emotion and usher guests from one part of your wedding to the next. The music is the beautiful satin bow that ties every element up for your wedding to create the perfect day. Think of which movies inspire you and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. When you were younger, which movies made you dream of your wedding day? Was it Father of the Bride or My Best Friend’s Wedding or an old classic like It Had to Be You (the original Runaway Bride with Ginger Rogers)? Chances are that your favorite romantic film might be the key to selecting your wedding music – so go ahead and watch some movies – let the films guide you towards your selection.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Fabulously fun maps and gorgeous calligraphy: LAURA HOOPER CALLIGRAPHY

So you are planning a destination wedding or a wedding where you have tons of out-of-town guests or maybe you and your groom have decided to return to your hometown to celebrate your nuptials? For all of these reasons you should include a map of the location, whether as your Save the Date, within your invitation, on your wedding website or in a welcome basket when guests arrive. So why not make it fun?

Laura Hooper of Laura Hooper Calligraphy has found a way to make maps fun, creative and distinctly original. She illustrates colorful maps of your location (see photos above) that tell a story. If the location is of your hometown you can pinpoint important spots that tell the story of your childhood or if you grew up together, then the birth and lineage of your relationship with your groom. If you are getting married in an exotic destination and everyone is turning your wedding into a vacation, the map could point out where your vows and the reception will take place as well as the top tourist attractions in the area. The map could also be used as a guide for any activities you have planned for your destination wedding.

In addition, Laura creates tote bags with the maps printed on them – what a great welcome gift for guests! A map is often necessary but who says that it can’t be a fabulous tool to get guests excited for your wedding and make it even more memorable?

As you can tell by her company name, Laura Hooper’s talents focus not only on map design but first and foremost, Laura is a calligrapher. Her calligraphy is absolutely stunning. Whether you are looking for someone to address all of your envelopes or you want that special touch where each invitation is individually written out in calligraphy – she can do it all.

If you are looking to have a monogram created to ensure your unique signature on all of your stationery for your wedding and years after, Laura can create a personalised monogram just for the two of you.

Take a look at some examples of her work above. Laura is truly an artist.

While Laura is based in California, she works with brides and grooms from all over so if you like what you see, definitely check out her website.

For more information on Laura Hooper calligraphy and maps, go to:

Great idea! - WEDDING TREASURE CHEST (aka: Time Capsule)

Laura also has her own blog where she shares ideas and photos of prior weddings she has worked on. One of her contact’s ideas, which I cannot help but share with all of you because it is so amazing, is to have a treasure chest at your wedding which serves as a type of time capsule. Rather than describe it myself, see Laura’s description below. I just love this idea!

“One of my contacts at Elizabeth Anne Designs recently renewed her wedding vows and had the sweetest idea to celebrate with her husband and their friends and family - a time capsule guest book. Each guest was given a folder in which they had materials to write down their 2009 resolutions, favorite memories of the couple, predictions for the next 10 years and their favorite things today. They had also been instructed to bring a non-perishable item that represented them now. Their folders and items all went into an adorable antique chest. The happy couple completed the time capsule by putting in one of their own programs, that day’s newspaper, and other various keepsakes from the event. Maybe they will have another vow renewal down the line and dig into the time capsule.”

To view Laura’s blog entry go to:

If you and your hubby-to-be decide to develop a Wedding Treasure Chest then this will be the perfect excuse to get your family and friends together for an anniversary trip or party to open up the box, whether you want to celebrate after 1 year, 5 years or 10 years of marriage. You can open up the treasure chest / time capsule and share all of your memories of your wedding day and all of their special memories held within the box once again. What a wonderful way to celebrate your love and happiness…

To read Laura’s blog go to:

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The Wedding Salon: Upcoming events in New York, Miami and West Hollywood

The Wedding Salon, the world’s first luxury wedding showcase, has a list of great events coming up in New York, Florida and California including their bridal bootcamp where you can meet tons of different vendors to provide you with inspiration for your big day.
See the link below for a list of upcoming events in your area:

The Wedding Salon also supports the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, a foundation aimed at granting wishes for metastatic breast cancer patients while continuing to support, educate and increase resource awareness.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

A wedding fit for Scarlett O’Hara: MONMOUTH PLANTATION

I have been looking for ages for the perfect location for a wedding on a southern plantation and I have just found it – Monmouth Plantation leaves me speechless. It is a property that will take your breath away from the spectacular architecture to the rolling gardens and archways draped with Spanish moss – absolutely magnificent.

Located in Natchez, Mississippi, just a few hours north of New Orleans, Louisiana, Monmouth Plantation is a National Historic Landmark. It is a small luxury inn featuring 30 gorgeous guest rooms and suites. Originally built by John Hankinson in 1818, Monmouth Plantation was purchased by General John A. Quitman, a hero of the Mexican War in 1826 and remained in his family for nearly a century.

Monmouth Plantation’s beauty and elegance have earned it numerous accolades within the hotel industry as well as within the architectural field including:
- A Four Diamond rating from AAA
- Listed within Condé Nast’s 2006 Gold List
- Listed within Travel + Leisure’s 2006 Top 500 Hotels of the World
- Glamour magazine and USA Today both called it one of the 10 most romantic places in America
- Zagat has named it “One of the Top 50 U.S. Inns & B&Bs”
- American Historic Inns says it is “One of the Top Ten Most Romantic Inns of the Year”
- The hotel is featured in 1000 Places To See Before You Die

If you are looking for a uniquely romantic location for your upcoming nuptials and southern opulence and beauty sound like your style, then you just have to check out Monmouth Plantation. This is a destination where dreams come true and fairytales come alive.

For more information on Monmouth Plantation please go to:

To see the Monmouth Plantation blog go to:

Click on the link below to check out the reviews of Monmouth Plantation on Trip Advisor:

For more photos of Monmouth Plantation go to:

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

For the sexy bride: Agent Provocateur bridal & bridal showers

In the search for beautiful, innocent yet sultry lingerie whether for your wedding night or your honeymoon, most girls wish that their favorite lingerie company had a line of bridal lingerie. For those favoring alluring, adorable and spicy looks you can now turn to Agent Provocateur, which has just created a bridal line of lingerie. From pretty and dainty bras with bows to oh-so-perfect bustiers, the line is perfect for a bride-to-be who is a bit of a vixen or just wants to be on her honeymoon...

To view the bridal line, go to:

The great news doesn’t stop there - You can now organise bridal showers at Agent Provocateur! You, your family and your best friends can now all celebrate your upcoming vows by closing down your local Agent Provocateur shop and shopping til you drop! Why have friends bring gifts to the party when they can be there to help you pick out your trousseau? Shopping, champagne and your closest friends - now doesn't that sound like a fabulous way to celebrate?

Agent Provocateur bridal showers include the following treats:

• Exclusive use of the store between 6-8pm for you and your party
• Complimentary glass of champagne and canapés
• A special gift with purchase for all the guests
• A decadently naughty goody bag for the bride
Participating Stores:

Friday, 8 May 2009

For the love of cupcakes: VIOLET CAKES by Claire Ptak

Are you looking for a sweet gift to give your guests at the end of your wedding? You know it will be late and they will have danced their stilettos off – so why not give them a sweet reminder of all the fun they had by sending them on their way with a beautiful cupcake or two? Wrap them up in pretty boxes and voila!- a delicious reminder for their trip home or the next morning of what a lovely day they had watching you and your beloved tie the knot.

If you, like me, are always in search of the perfect cupcake – one that has a light, moist and tasty cake topped with creamy icing that is not too sweet but full of yumminess and flavour - then definitely head to Broadway Market in east London where you can meet with Claire Ptak and try her fabulous cupcakes. Every Saturday, Claire sells her cupcakes at the market - you will spot the stand immediately when you enter the market so long as you look out for the "Violet" sign representing her Violet Cakes company. Not only does Claire offer cupcakes but she also sells mini cupcakes so you can give your guests a few different flavors to try. Mouthwatering flavors like Salted caramel, Coconut milk, Candied violet, Rhubarb & strawberry jam, Alphonso mango, Lime cream, Lemon cream, Vanilla bean and Valrhona chocolate cover the Violet cupcake table. Claire can even create a tower of cupcakes if you are thinking of forgoing the traditional cake for fun, individual cupcakes. A native Californian, Claire Ptak comes to London from the famous restaurant – Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA – where she spent 3 years as a pastry chef. London is oh so lucky to have her now!

For more information on Violet Cakes by Claire Ptak, please go to:

To learn more about Claire, check out her profile in The Independent:

For information on how to get to Broadway Market, go to:

Additionally, Claire began writing a cookery column in The Guardian newspaper in the UK in November 2007. Take a look at her recipes within each article for ways to create mouthwatering desserts:
To learn about Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, go to:

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Hippy Chic: How to go green on your big day

So you want to have a fabulous wedding but you want to be kind to the earth as well. Not to worry – there are lots of different ways big and small that you can be environmentally friendly and savvy…just find the right ways for you. Here are some ideas to inspire:

10 Steps to a Green Wedding by the Sierra Club
Go to the Sierra Club’s website and find out what they say are the 10 steps to creating a green wedding from your choice of invitation paper to the location – you can help nature every step of the way.

Green wedding gowns (in white of course!)

If you are more of the hippy type or just want to ditch the satin for a dress more eco-friendly that is amazingly designed and innovative, check out Alabama Chanin’s latest line of wedding gowns. The label’s designer/owner Natalie Chanin is known for her folk-inspired, detail-rich collections and now she adds wedding couture to her lifestyle brand. The 50-piece collection consists of v-neck gowns, relaxed, tunic inspired dresses, as well as skirts and tanks. Depending on your style, some of the pieces would even be perfectly suited to a rehearsal dinner or a day after brunch or BBQ.

Each gown is hand-sewn by artisans living in her local community of Florence, Alabama while the actual stitching techniques used to create the gowns originated in the US Depression-era South. To keep the dresses as eco-friendly as possible, the materials used are a combination of certified organic cotton and recycled materials, which help reduce the “footprint” of the dresses. Each piece of the collection is made in-house and manufacturing is only begun when an order is confirmed, which helps to minimize waste. Any leftover pieces are then used to create pillows, trims and bedding.

For more information on Alabama Chanin’s wedding couture go to:

How about an eco-friendly honeymoon?

Check out destinations in ecotourism like
to find eco-friendly hotels and tours around the world.

Invitations that even Mother Nature could love

Earthly Affair: Earth friendly invitations

Invite Site – eco invitations

Handmade paper invitations

Environmentally Friendly Registering

Why not top up your china and flatware registry by providing guests with an additional option of giving to one of your favorite eco-charities? Whether you want to give some love to the cuddly creatures, rainforests or marine life, take a look at the Wedding Channel link below to find the charity that is right for you:

Eco-chic Wedding Blogs

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

DRAMA = Bridesmaid dresses: How to make (and keep) all of your girlfriends happy

So you are engaged (Congratulations!!!) and you have already chosen your bridesmaids and maid-of-honor – Good job! But now, before you have even selected your color scheme and your venues you are starting to hear some feedback from your friends:
“I don’t like lavender”
“I hate my cankles so I want to wear a long gown”
“I want a cocktail dress that I can wear again”

You love your friends and family but are beginning to wonder why you needed bridesmaids to begin with and whose wedding is it anyway? Don’t worry – there are ways to remedy this dilemma.

First of all – remember what great friends you have and that they are just afraid of having to wear (and pay for) a monster of a dress or gown that might not be their color, fit their figure or just not look good on them.

Second – tell them not to worry…you love them and want them to look their beautiful. If you are afraid of them stealing your thunder – don’t be! You are the bride so you will, of course, look absolutely gorgeous and outshine everyone since it is your day. So why not be there for your girlfriends and help them to look their best as well?

How can you do this you ask?
My suggestion would be to select a range of gowns or dresses where you can pick the material and the color while the girls choose the dress or gown that they love most. I am a huge fan of offering bridesmaids a range of different styles to suit their body type but also selecting styles that don’t look so bridesmaidey so that your friends can wear the dress again and again with nobody knowing that it was part of a wedding party.

With regards to the color, if you have a color that you love go ahead and run it by your friends, maybe they will love it, maybe they won’t, but it might also help you to think of other color choices that you had not thought of. For example, my friend couldn’t bear to buy a 6th lavender bridesmaid dress and I had my heart set on lavender. With her protests, we ended up brainstorming and discovering that a dark plum color would look gorgeous, be flattering on all the girls, fit the overall wedding look and it turned out to be absolutely perfect! By going with this approach, your wedding party will look both uber-stylish and happy.

Here are some great places to find beautiful dresses and gowns that would make any bridesmaid smile:

Vera Wang
Vera Wang has gorgeous bridesmaid dresses and gowns that come in different fabrics and colors. You can easily select a few different cuts within the same color and fabric and offer your friends these different dresses to choose from. Any girl would love a Vera, so why not help them build their collection with a fabulous dress or gown? Check out the store locator on the Vera Wang website to find the store nearest you.

The Butter Dress by Nadia
A friend of mine just introduced me to this wonderful creation. This is a dress you can wear countless ways and comes in tons of different shades so you pick your color and then your bridesmaid decides how she wants to wear the dress. How could you go wrong?

You can buy the Butter dress online at the Butter by Nadia website:

Alternatively, you can buy the Butter dress at Calypso in New York:

Or to find the dress at a discount, check out the Calypso outlet:
407 Broome Street NY, NY 10013
(212) 941-9700
Mon-Sat 11-7, Sun 12-7

Jenny Yoo
With tons of styles and colors to choose from, some more fashion forward and some more traditional, you will be able to decide on the color that you love while giving your friends a ton of options for dresses and gowns that will thrill them and look fantastic in your wedding pics.