Ellie Saab 2012 Bridal Collection

Just took a peek at the most recent showcase of wedding gowns from Ellie Saab’s 2012 Bridal Collection and after much thought, my favorites  are  the Euterge, Aglaya and Belisama Gowns.  What are yours?

Belisama Gown

Aglaya Gown

Euterpe Gown

Caelum Gown

Nerta Gown

Satis Gown

Neftis Gown

Aricia Gown

Ardelia Gown

Laertes Gown


Tying the Perfect Tie – Windsor Knot

So, interesting fact I learned over the weekend…not all men know how to tie a tie.  Go figure! I’ll refrain from my personal tirade of why I think this is but I couldn’t help but see it as the perfect opportunity to share Tim Ferriss’ step-by-step visual guide on tying the perfect Windsor knot.  Of all of the various tie styles, the Windsor knot (also known as the full Windsor or double Windsor) is my favorite – possibly because I spent so much of my childhood watching my father tie it perfectly around the neck of a crisp white shirt.  Or maybe because Tim Ferriss is just too darn cute.  Regardless, it’s simple, clean and timeless – not to mention an absolute must in your [man’s] formal wedding details.  So gentlemen, if you are unfamiliar with this particular knot style, consider this your lucky day.  And ladies, if you suspect, even for a second, that your beau hasn’t a clue  press play on the video below and enjoy the eye candy.  Oh, and then pass along to your hubby-to-be and his groomsmen.  *wink*

A Guide to Your Wedding Stationery

The world of wedding stationery can be a confusing one, so here’s a breakdown of the most common components of your wedding stationery, including an overview of their purpose, importance, and timing.

Wedding Announcement/Save the Dates

Some couples choose to send Save the Dates as a pre announcement and invitation to the actual wedding.  It’s only been in recent years that they’ve become a standard item on the stationery list but I really only recommend them as a Must-Have if you’re having a destination wedding.  Otherwise, only include them if your budget allows.

The Invitation Suite

For most couples, Invitations are just the tip of the iceberg on the stationery wish list – after all, guests must know who is getting married and where and what time to arrive to the celebration.  You should plan to order invitations approximately 3 months ahead of time  (cushion in an additional  3 – 4 weeks if you plan to hire a graphic designer to design a customized monogram or design) and distribute to guests 8 weeks before your wedding.  Oh and just in case I have to state the obvious, these are a definite Stationery Need To Have.

  • Note: Send invitations approximately 12 weeks before your wedding day if you are inviting guests to a destination location or out-of-town guests

Just as important as your wedding invitation is the RSVP/Reply Card.  It accompanies the Invitation but serves the purpose of allowing guests to tell you whether they intend to attend your wedding.  They also include meal choices and a date for return which brings me to another point.  Always, self-address the envelope they will be returned with and ALWAYS include a stamp.  You will want to give yourself enough time to gather your final headcount for your venue and caterer, so a general rule of thumb is to make the RSVP date approximately 3 weeks before the wedding.

If you’re reception will be taking place at a location different from the ceremony, you may want to consider including a Reception Card.  It only serves the purpose of telling guests when and where the reception will occur and is only a requirement if you are having a black tie event.  These tend to get bundled with wedding invitations, though we will say they aren’t strictly necessary.

Just as optional as the reception card is the Wedding Map which gives exact directions from your ceremony to the reception venue but with all of the recent technologies in GPS, it’s safe to say most of your guests will know how to get there.

Your Wedding Ceremony and Reception

The easiest way for your guests to follow along with the wedding itinerary is to include a Wedding Program.  The key details on your wedding program should include:

  • Your full names
  • Wedding date
  • City, state, & location of the ceremony
  • The order of the wedding ceremony including musical selections and the first and last name of the composers and performers
  • The readings, the source or author, and the first and last name of the person who will be reading it
  • First and last name of all members of the Wedding party and their relation to you
  • The first and last name of the wedding Officiant’s
  • Thank you note to your parents & guests (optional)
  • A brief explanation of traditions, rituals, & ethic customs for both religious & secular ceremonies (optional)

You may also wish to honor those who have passed or could not join you by including a memorial.  Wedding programs should be ordered as soon as you know all of the information you want included

Pew cards, although not commonly used, are appropriate for super-formal weddings (e.g., with celebrities and dignitaries) and are used to indicate to special guests that they have signed seating.  They are usually enclosed with the invites or mailed once their reservation has been received to ensure the appropriate number of seats. Guests would hand these cards to the usher before they are seated so the usher will be sure to seat the guest in the proper spot

Once the ceremony and cocktail hour has concluded, guests will need to know where they are seated for the reception.  This is the job of your Escort & Place Cards. In an earlier post called:  Placed Cards vs. Escorts Cards we covered the major differences between the two pieces (escort cards allow guests to quickly find their tables and place cards tell guests which chair to sit in once at the table) but depending on your table layout and seating arrangements, these cards may not always be necessary.  If you do, however, include them in your wedding stationery, you will most likely want to have them printed with your invitations.

Next up are the Menu Cards.  I file these under the Nice To Have list because you can typically eliminate the need by including your menu choices on the RSVP card.  However, if dinner is being served buffet-style it may be a good idea to include one table Menu and labels next to each food item at the buffet.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll want to be sure to send a Thank You Card to each guest who participated in your wedding day.  Handwritten cards are ideal and in my opinion, are the only true way to express sincere gratitude and thanks.  Wedding gifts that arrive before your wedding date should be acknowledged immediately while thank you’s for any gifts received during or after the wedding should be sent within two weeks after returning from the honeymoon.

Your wedding stationery is the perfect way to tie details together.  From the save the date to the escort cards, invitations to thank you notes, customized stationery carries the theme throughout the day.  There are, of course, other pieces you may want or need to include in your own wedding stationery suite, but this is a basic list of items to help you begin the fun & exciting process of your wedding invitations!

Designer Spotlight: Stella de Libero

While doing some research for an upcoming blog I came across a line of haute couture wedding dresses by Japanese designer, Stella de Libero.  Now, this collection is not for the traditional or timid bride but if the vision you have in mind for your wedding dress includes dramatic flair, then you are going to LOVE the following photo montage.  Envision western charm meets renaissance romanticism meets overstated layers of soft romantic folds enhanced with generous applications of ruffles, flowers, beads, pleats, and dramatic color.   Gorgeous! And I don’t know if I love the collection of white dresses or color infused dresses more but while I figure it out, enjoy the gallery of beautiful gowns below!



{photo credits: weddinginsparasi.com}

Hostess Hints: Fleur-de-lis Table Linen Fold

The Fleur-de-lis linen napkin fold is an elegant and easy napkin folding technique that works well with formal and casual table setting.  It’s simple to do.  Don’t believe us?  Check out the step-by-step instructions found on makemytable.com.

Fleur Step 1

Begin by folding the edges of the linen napkin diagonally, so that the result is a triangle.

Fleur Step 2

Fold the right edge to the top.

Fleur Step 3

Same with the left edge, resulting in a square.

Fleur Step 4

Now fold about two thirds of the lower edge upwards.

Fleur Step 5

Fold the top edge back.

Fleur Step 6

Turn the napkin over and insert the edge into the other end.

Fleur Step 7

Open the table linen napkin forming an “O” at the bottom and stand it up. Pull each edge of the table napkin to form the petals on both sides.

Voilà! You have just folded your Fleur-de-lis fine table linen napkin!

Trend Alert: Trashing the Dress

Photo Credit: John Michael Cooper

I love all concepts of over-the-top creativity and artistic expression that fuel fresh new trends, including one that is gaining in popularity – trashing the dress. The concept emerged in 2008 and is looked upon as a form of rebellion against traditional wedding rules, especially those centered on gown preservation.  Essentially, brides are putting their wedding dresses back on for a high-fashion style of wedding photography featuring the dirtied, torn, burned, soggy remains of a once-pristine white dress and according to a recent article posted in the  Philadelphia Inquirer entitled Cherish the dress? Not them, trashing the dress is a trend that is currently practiced by 11% of all couples following their I do’s.   Pure fashion mutilation?  Maybe.  Admittedly, the thought of destroying a wedding dress in the name of art almost seems blasphemous but the article suggests that a post-wedding trash the dress photo shoot is “…an opportunity to preserve the dress as artwork to be hung on the wall as opposed to preserved in a box…” while “…  amplifying the gown’s in-the-moment beauty.”  After seeing some of the pictures, I may have to argue that they are right!

What do you think of Trash the Dress Photo Shoots?  Will you be doing one after your wedding?

Sarah Seven’s Spring 2011 Bridal Collection

Romantic. Simple. Feminine.  Those are the three words I would choose to describe the Spring 2011 Line of wedding dresses from Portland, Oregon designer, Sarah Seven.  Her website describes her bridal collection as “a rare glimpse into the perfected and intricate arrangement of blossoming ruffles, delicate fabrics, and flowing layers” – the perfect dress for any bride looking to capture raw romance on her wedding day.  Each dress is made to order and is oh so affordable, with the most expensive breaking the bank at $3200.  But don’t take my word for it…see for yourself…

{Photo Credits: sarahseven.com}

Sarah Seven is currently stocked at the following bridal shops:

FLAGSHIP STORE: Sarah Seven, 1402 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205

CALIFORNIA: Bella Bridesmaid, 2250 Union St. Suite 1B, San Francisco, CA 94123. www.bellabridesmaid.com & Little White Dress, 1800 21st St., Bakersfield, CA 93301. www.littlewhitedressbridal.com

NEW YORK: Lovely Bride, 313 W 4th St, New York City, NY. www.lovelybride.com

TORONTO CANADA: White Toronto, 19 Hazelton Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 2E1. www.whitetoronto.com

Do You Hear “Wedding Belles”?

Kate Spade has recently debuted their entry into the multi-billion dollar wedding industry with the debut of their newest line, Wedding Belles. It’s a small line – only 8 in total – of little white (and off-white) dresses that they’ve designed with every shower and soiree in mind.  Wedding Belles has left no detail forgotten and also includes a stylish treasure chest of jeweled accessories including, hair barrettes, clutches, and shoes. Have a look at the complete Wedding Belle Collection by Kate Spade.


Dylan Dress, $425

Elenore Dress, $475

Briella Dress, $425

Kaye Dress, $425

They also carry a small line of colorful and feminine Bridesmaid dresses…

Jillian Dress, $355

Elaine Dress, $425

Anette Dress, $445

I’m definitely loving these dresses for the summer and if you’re a destination bride, there’s more than one LWD that would not only fold into a suitcase but also look perfect for barefoot vows on the beach.