Friday, March 28, 2008

Thank you Miss Peacock for Speaking Up.

I found the following comment from Miss Peacock over at Wedding Bee this morning.

”Since the VW salon would not allow me to take pictures, I asked these very unhappy 14 year old girls to model the dresses for me. They all showed up without washing their hair or putting on make-up, but since I was on a time crunch, I let it slide. They were also so hungry that I was worried they would eat me.”

Boy did she nail it! I have to tell you that seeing these models in person is sometimes pretty startling. While Miss. P’s comment is directed at the runway models for Vera Wang; the ones that have always disturbed me the most are the ones that Monique Lhullier uses. One season I sat in her runway show thinking that if these young ladies are that damn miserable why didn’t they just quit. Are they some kind of indentured servants? What are the designers trying to achieve with this undernourished junkie look?

In defense of Miss Wang, the models I see at her salon runway show don’t have that heroin junkie look. They also however, don’t have boobs either. I have sat at table in her showroom with both buyers and other members of the press and the comment always goes something like this:

“Pretty but can that gown even be cut to accommodate real breasts?”

It is a sad commentary that so many of the couture gowns are designed for the models rather than real American women.

At the same time that these designers are cutting for an almost boyish figure the popularity of breast augmentation surgery is on the rise. The result of these two distinctly opposite trends is that more and more brides that wear something like a size 2 in street clothes are having to order their gown in a size 12 or 14 to accommodate their bust. There is no way under the sun that these gowns can then be altered that much with out losing precious details.

I have said it before and I will keep saying until the WIC gets it. Stop designing for your models and take a look at the real women all around you. Climb down out of your atelier and go for a walk. One more thing, while you’re out there…eat a freaking sandwich, you could use it!!!!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oooooooooooo! Candy

Are you having a candy buffet at your wedding reception? I think they are a lovely idea and I just ran across Candy Warehouse. What is cool about this site is that you can shop by color. Pink and orange wedding? No problem.

The secret to having a gorgeous candy buffet is for it to look abundant, like Willy Wonka set it up himself. Uh, ya…that can get pricey. Here’s a few tricks that might help.

Take a cue from the pros that do gift baskets, use fill on the large containers. Those pretty tall glass cylinders hold a heck of a lot of jelly beans but not if you take a smaller, shorter glass cylinder and place it inside, upside down first. Then you only need candy to fill around and above it. Unless you have 300 people at your wedding they would never have reached the bottom anyway.

If you are using baskets fill the bottom 1/2 with leftover Easter grass then put a piece of cardboard that you have cut to fit and wrapped to match on top before you add the candy. Remember, you are going for the look of abundance, not the real thing.

Group your containers close together and use lifts under them to add height at various levels. You can either wrap sturdy boxes in pretty fabric to match or drape all your lifts in tablecloths like caterers do. That helps with the look too. (Next time you are at a catered buffet sneak a look under the linen. You are likely to find such unlovely things as dish racks and milk crates)

Add some large things like Lollis and ribbon candy to expand the look. You won’t by any means need one of these for every guest, think of them as accents.

Use your guest containers as a part of the display.

If you happen to order any PixiStix or Sour Patch Kids you can always send me your leftovers. Teehee

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Design Center

Check this out.

That is the Monumental Affairs Design Center.

“Located at Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, this newly designed boutique offers a unique location for anyone -- from the newest bride-to-be, to the most seasoned Washington DC event planner -- to make the necessary selections of china, linen, floral arrangements, invitations, entertainment and more for their catered affair, in one convenient location. The rich décor of the room showcases the most current linen styles and china patterns, in a colorful and inviting setting”.

Well, it about time! Why should you have to run all over town to put together the pieces of your wedding? A meeting at the linen vendor, followed by one at the rental firm, followed by one at the florist … but wait, will the flowers work with the linen? Back to the linen rental. Oh hell…I give up!

I have seen a couple of enterprises like this start up in the last few years. There is a lovely one in Marquette, MI of all places called the Wedding Emporium.

What a concept, event and wedding planning in one relaxed comfortable place. Shouldn’t it have always been this way? I mean, aren’t you busy enough without spending hours every week traipsing from appointment to appointment?

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wedding Bouquets

Is it just me or is anybody else getting bored with the hand tied bouquet trend?

When they first came on the scene they were a refreshing change from the more contrived bouquets of the 80’s. It seems that in recent years everyone has forgotten there are other styles of bouquets.

Depending on your unique body type and the cut of your gown there may be better options. So here is a brief overview of some of the different bouquet styles.

Presentation: Think beauty queen. Designed to be held in the crook of the arm they have longer stems and often a more relaxed feel. These can have the look and feel of having just left the garden or the sleek simplicity of a few simple calla lilies.

Cascades: Long and tear drop shaped they can help elongate your overall look. Either loose and flowing or tight and symmetrical depending on the style of you wedding.

Posy: These can actually encompass any round bouquet done in a holder. What makes them different from a hand tied is that the stems are cut and stuck in a holder with floral foam. Not only are you losing the weight and girth of the stems but your blooms will stay fresh longer thanks to the water filled foam.

Pomander: A round ball of flowers suspended on a handle or ribbon. Carried in front it provides a spot of color them slip it over your wrist when you need both hands. A fresh and clever alternative to the same old thing.

Now there is a bride with a handle on things!

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Monday, March 17, 2008


It’s getting to be that time of year where everyone starts longing for the great outdoors. Along with that come dreams of an outdoor wedding. Now you know as well as I do that you are going to be told over and over “Better have a Plan B” since we all no what a fickle hostess Mom Nature can be.

Well why not just start with Plan B? I have found that many of the most beautiful events I have seen are in tents. Why, you ask?

Simple. You can control almost every aspect of the décor from shape to wall color to lighting. Are you dreaming of a wedding bathed in cool blues and shimmering whites but every banquet hall or ballroom is a mélange of gold and burgundy? No problem. Longing for an upscale lounge but the only offerings are a rustic lodge or a church hall? Build it and they will come.

The point is that you can create your dream event venue just about anywhere if you start with the bare bones of a tent.

Now, you will notice that nowhere in this post did I say that this was a low cost option, because it isn’t. Depending on where you set up your tent you will probably have to bring in everything, including even a second tent for your caterer in some instances. If however you were planning an al Fresco event you would have had to do most of that any way.

Enjoy these tasty examples. I embedded links in most of the images so you can go do a bit of exploring on you own. Have fun.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

The Ultimate Place for Inspiration

I wasn’t sure if everyone had caught this.

Last month Martha Stewart posted photos of the MS prop library on her blog. You know how much I love to dig around in the back rooms of the décor rental vendors I know. I just can’t imagine the untold inspiration one could find knocking around in a place like this for a few hours (Days? Weeks?).

Huge thanks to Jordan at Oh Happy Day for pointing this out. Not really a wedding blog, Oh Happy Day is still packed with wonderful style inspiration. Now that’s something you can certainly use for the wedding and beyond.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Branches and Centerpieces

I get a ton of inquires about DIY centerpieces. Some of the easiest and my favorites are the ones made of bare branches. The possibilities are seemingly endless. They run the gambit from simple branches from flowering trees like cherry or crab apple to elaborate confections dripping with orchids, crystals and candles.

Here are a few to get your creative synapses firing.

The first group I took at The Special Event in Atlanta. Granted these are a little over the top.

The Wedding Luncheon, 2. IMG_0156, 3. The Wedding Luncheon, 4. IMG_0157

These are from Lifia & Alex’s bio on the Knot.

This really simple one came from the Japanese Wedding Favors website.

This one is from Floral Rush in Los Angeles

To get you started on your own creations here are some helpful links.

Nettle Hollow has some how to’s along with being a source for all things twig.

Ethereal Décor has a few how to’s and is a source for the crystals.

The blog Twigs and String has some helpful how I did mine type notes.

Now that you are inspired…send in your designs to share with the class.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Goodies from Around the Blogosphere

I have been completely swamped for the last week and just today have gotten a chance to catch up on my blog reading. As usual I found some wonderful things to show you. So let’s get to it.

First up flowers:

Kristin Newman Designs Not a blog but still a worthy stop as you surf for ideas for your wedding décor. Kirstin is an event coordinator in Charleston, South Carolina. Her website has enough photos to keep you delighted and inspired for hours.

Michelle Rago Ltd Michelle is an event designer and florist on West 28th, in New York. I was lucky enough to find her blog thanks to a couple of the blogs in my reader (see the list at the right). Sorry that I don’t remember which one, like I said last week was crazy. If whoever originally posted about Michelle would leave their link in the comments I would be grateful. Thanks to Michelle for all the inspiration. That is her creation an the left. Very cool.

Oh Happy Day! Wants you to bring the love back for carnations.

On to DIY

Abby Larson’s blog, Style Me Pretty always comes up with marvelous ideas for DIY. You may remember a while back she held a contest to submit your DIY. You can see the entries here. This week she is showcasing some DIY design idea from Matthew Mead. Here, here and here.


Oh Happy Blog some great ideas for a chic modern wedding inspired by all things Ikea.

Finally, Liene is running a quick two question survey on her blog, Blue Orchid Designs. Take a moment and show a fellow blogger the love. Besides, I am dying to see the results

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tigerlilly Speaks!

Friend of the Dish, Mandy Greenan, has started a blog. You may recall, Mandy is the designer behind Tigerlilly. She is renowned for her bridal jewelry and accessories. Her real masterpieces are the convertible tiaras she creates; tiara one day and choker the next.

Tigerlilly has graced the runways at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week as well as the pages of Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and the Knot Magazine just to name a few. They have even dressed me on a more than a few occasions.

Mandy’s blog is brand new and is already full of interesting ideas for wedding hair. She also has some insider tips on how to keep these beautiful hair toys in place as you dance the night away.

Pop on over and tell Mandy I said “Hi.”

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Terri Hilferty and 2 Be Brides

What a weekend! Dear, dear friend of the Dish Terri Hilferty was in town this weekend and what fun we had. Terri is the designer behind the 2Be Brides line and was in town to showcase her designs at a Trunk Show at Arzelle’s.

On Friday night after a long afternoon of finding just the right gown for the brides at Arzelle’s, Courtney Hammon and I showed off Nashville to Terri and her hubs David. Terri is such a big fan of Nashville that she is having the national meeting of her 2Be Salons here this summer.

Saturday I headed down to see the samples for the Fall 2008 collection myself. Oh my! Such pretty lace and stunning embroidery. One gown in particular just blew me away, in oyster and ivory with triple bands of ribbon and the most beautiful beaded sheer fabric layered over the top. It won my heart; not that I will need a wedding gown in the foreseeable future but still it was so yummy. Even Arzelle’s owner Bonnie Boone tried to get me to try it on. Another favorite is the all lace gown that Terri is helping a bride with in the collage below. I wish you could see the back, the dress itself is cut a bit low in back but the lace goes to the neck making a very pretty look.

For those that don’t know, 2Be is a private line that is only sold through a select group of some of the best salons in the country. Terri gets together with her salons twice a year to find out exactly what their brides are looking for and designs accordingly. So you see, this line really is designed with the bride in mind. To take a look at the full collection or find the salon nearest you check out the 2Be website. While your there sign up for their newsletter; you may just find the writing familiar. Wink.

edited to add: For my UK readers I believe the line is called Serafina over there. It is handled through Mon Cheri.
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