Friday, June 27, 2008

The Heart and Soul of Bridal

The preview of the 2BeBride line was held in at the historic Union Station Hotel right here is sunny NashVegas in conjunction with 2Be University. This is an annual gathering of all the salons that carry the line to connect and learn. In addition to a first look at the upcoming styles the salons are gathered to give input into any changes or additions that they feel their brides are seeking. I don’t know of any other line that is designed with this much input from the trenches. In a lot of ways, the gowns that ultimately make the cut and get into the line are a direct reflection of what you, the brides, are telling your bridal consultants that you want. How cool is that?

Another facet of this conference is education. Every year there are seminars and round tables on how to better serve you. Owners from around the country discus their triumphs and concerns in creating happy brides. High on the agenda this year was customer service. So much so that an expert was brought in to remind everyone that the whole reason brides shop at a salon is FOR the service.

Face it, you can buy a gown anywhere from the internet to that big box retailer; the reason you choose a full service bridal salon is because they make you feel special. They treat you like a queen and enhance this whole part of your planning experience. Really, isn’t finding your gown a huge and memorable part of your wedding planning? Or let me say, shouldn't it be? If you don’t remember that moment when you saw your reflection in that perfect gown in that giant mirror for the first time you are missing something special.

If your salon doesn’t make you feel special, go find a 2Be salon.

Of course it wasn’t all work. You can not get a group of women together with this much in common with out having a little fun. That's Terri's assistant Kelly pouring the brew. Damn, I want an assistant.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

2Be Bridal Spring 2009 Collection

I was invited this week to view the Spring 2009 collection from 2Be Bridal and all I can say is WOW! This is a line that has absolutely transformed since Terri Hilferty took over as the designer a little less than 3 years ago. Full of beautiful fabrics like silk satin and point de spree, gorgeous beading and amazing pleats, the line is one of the most diverse you will find.

2Be is a private line available in less than a hundred salons in the US and poised to launch in the UK with this collection. One of the things about a private line is that Terri is able to stay in close communication with her stockists and get feed back on what today’s brides are looking for but not finding.

I asked Hilferty what inspired her and she said versatility and romance. When she says versatility what she is talking about is that she finds out what today’s brides are asking her salons for and uses that as her jumping off point. So truly, Terri Hilferty has designed the 2Be line for the modern American woman. Terri believes that every bride can be cover girl beautiful in the right gown.

With today’s woman in mind, the collection is in the moderate price range and all of the gowns are available in sizes from 2 to 22, with a large part of the collection available in woman’s sizes up to 28W.

I’ll have more on the collection in the days to come, including the Nathan Taylor line of Social Occasion and Bridesmaids dresses.

Oh and yes I know my pictures leave a lot to be desired, I'll have the studio shots for you later this month. The fashion shoot was only last week.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bridal Registry

Are you having a hard time figuring out the whole bridal registry thing? Take heart, you are not alone. If you are one of the couples that can’t see the point or sees it as a greedy plea for presents, let me give you another perspective.

I had my sister on the phone yesterday and she was complaining about wedding season and asked “Christine, what is with these brides not registering?”

So here is the angle from your guests’ perspective. They want you to register, it makes their life easier. Face it; they don’t know what you need. This is especially true when you start thinking about friends of your parents, or people like your BFF’s mom. They want to do something nice for you, they really do.

Here is what my sis had to say on it ”Chris, I would have bought this girl a full set of All Clad but the only place she registered was at Target.”

My message to you is just suck it up and register at a few different places. Don’t do it for you, do it for the people you love.


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Monday, June 23, 2008

DIY Cake Stands

A pet peeve of mine is seeing a beautiful wedding cake sitting on an ugly cake base. Oh come on, you’ve seen it: a board covered in aluminum foil that some poor florist has had to try to hide with greenery. Yuck Oh!

Well not any more! Martha has come to the rescue with a fast easy solution that you can do yourself and just take to your cake designer to use on your cake. You can find all the details here. I do have one caveat: add an additional foot in the canter of the stand. Wedding cakes are very heavy and if that board bows at all it can destroy your cake. Been there done that---been scrambling to find something to support the center of a sterling silver cake stand. Thank God for chefs that love me!

You have just got to love the people at MS Weddings; they come up with the best ideas

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Wonderful, Whimsical Invitations

I don’t often talk about one of my clients on the Dish but Tear Drop Designs has me so tickled pink I just have to share!

The wonderful Holly Hatam has created the most unique line of stationery products I have run across in a long time. An artist in the true sense of the word, Holly creates for her couples wonderfully whimsical caricatures for their stationery. Adorable little couples that her clients become so taken with that they want to keep them for ever.

In talking with Holly I encouraged her to let them do just that. Today she has launched a whole new idea called LifeCycles. Holly will take your characters and create invitations and announcements for all the moments of your life.

“At TearDrop we realize that your wedding is just one experience in your cycle of life. That is why we have carried our character designs from our invitations to our baby announcements. Now you can carry your illustration of you and your spouse into the next cycle of your life! We will customize the characters to follow your unique personality and physical changes throughout the years. We make customized changes like adding glasses, making your hair shorter or longer, even adding a cat or a dog. We want our designs to totally reflect you and follow you throughout your life.”

Way to go Holly! I think you have a winner.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Angel Sanchez

One of the things I love about where my career is right now is the opportunity to meet some very wonderful people in a more intimate setting. Such was the case Monday at the bloggers luncheon hosted by to celebrate the launch of their blog Wedded Bits.

Michelle Preli, Editor-in-Chief, invited Angel Sanchez to join us. Unlike meeting him at market or hearing him speak from the Runway, in a setting like this his true passion shines. Angel began designing bridal strictly as couture, one on one with each of his bride. He would most often attend the wedding. Hearing him tell about how he would watch the groom’s face as his bride walked down the aisle was amazing. Here is a designer that is in love with each of his brides and wants to make their day the one they have dreamed of.

He is passionate about fabric, hating satin; loving instead silk gabardine for its softer more subtle shine. Rather that lace, he prefers embroidered organza, calling it his favorite fabric. A true romantic, he favors veils over tiaras; saying “A veil adds the aura of bridal to a look.”

Some other things that have Angel excited are the upcoming move to his new 7200 square foot studio and show room as well as the launch of his new line Angel by Angel Sanchez for October 2009.

Enjoy the slide show of the Angel Sanchez collection for Spring 2009

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I wanted my next post to be about the blogger lunch at
as I sit in the airport in New York waiting for my flight this story made me write.
Vieva Isazard is dying of cancer. She and her daughter, Catherine Mazko were flying Jet Blue connecting in New York and arrived a moment or two late, Jet Blue wouldn't let then board their flight even though the plane was still at the gate. Vieva counts her life in days at this point, Jet Blue took away prescious hours that meant the world to her and her family.
Think before you book

DIGG this
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Coming Events and Tweets

Your Wedding Diva is on the road again. This time I’m off to New York for a bloggers luncheon at Conde Nast. The luncheon is to highlight the launch of Wedded Bits, the official blog on Internet buddy, Laura Goldberg sent the invite along with Michelle Preli,’s Editor-in-chief. I am jazzed to see what other wedding bloggers will be there. You know we are all honored by the invite.

Tweet, tweet…I finally gave in and started Twittering. Follow my travels and travails at ChrisBoulton. I’ll try to remember to tweet from the road.

One of the things I hope to use Twitter for is to get all of you, my faithful readers to hold me accountable. Due to many requests and much needling I have started putting together Wedding Dish: The Inside Scoop to Planning Your Wedding. I am shooting for at least 1000 words a day. I’ll post my daily count and trust my readers to keep at me if I slack. I want the first draft FINISHED by mid July. I’m counting on you!


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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Truth behind Floral Décor: Arches

I had the privilege of assisting on a truly beautiful wedding this past weekend. You would have loved it: outdoors at a wonderful botanical garden on the grounds of the Cheek mansion. The florals were bright, happy, perfect for a summer day and quite extensive. There in lies the bugaboo.

Saturday in lovely NashVegas was 92 degrees and possessed of all the humidity for which the south is famous. Now the wedding didn’t start until 7:00 and by that time the temperature had improved a bit and the breezes had picked up, but at 3:30 it was a bear.

The arch you see above had to be done completely on site. It began with a ladder, a green garland and 5 buckets of flowers. Two of us spent 2 hours in the afternoon sun climbing and cutting and placing and misting to achieve the results you see. I am not telling you this to complain, I am telling you this so that you are aware of what goes on behind the scenes of your big day. When we stood back and looked at our work we were as in love with it as I hope you are. It was most definitely worth the effort; but wow, was it ever hot!

The floral décor was by Branching Out Event Florists. The wedding was held at Cheekwood. If you would like to see larger images of the images above, visit my Flickr Photostream.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Treats for Your House Party

Come on. You all know how much I like swag. Nothing beats a fun creative swag bag as a way to remember an event, double score when the bag is a cool as the swag in it.

At last weeks conference in Celebration, Fl, Rebecca pulled in a favor from a friend from the neighborhood to put together the fabulous swag bags for the guests. WOW. Cindy Folak has created Tulla Belles as a one stop destination for posh presents and trendy swag.

Tulla Belles has some of the most beautiful bags from the b.happybags line. On top of that they will source your swag and fill your bags for you. One less thing you have to think about amid your busy pre-wedding schedule.

The bags we received were the Victoria Bag shown above with the addition of cute little monogrammed luggage tags. Lovely.

As you start to think about how to tell the girls in your house party how truly wonderful they are, pay a visit to Tulla Belles for some equally wonderful swag bags to put it all in. While you are there, check out the too cool hostess aprons Cindy has. Ooooo, I covet them.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Flower Friday: Preston Bailey and Marcy Blum

I had the chance recently to be part of an Inside the Designers Studio with none other than Preston Bailey and Marcy Blum. Instead of doing their standard conference presentation, Rebecca Grinnals had set up a more intimate discussion with Bailey and his oft times partner Marcy Blum.

What a treat. Together they shared with the elite group of wedding professionals gathered their take on weddings today and a bit of the philosophy that has led them to be trendsetters.

The one thing that really sets them apart is that each event they do is an individual. So many décor designers today seem to rehash the same successful event over and over. Not these two. When asked if he ever reused design elements, Bailey said there may be a tiny bit of a recurring theme over the course of a season, but only because it is a trend. At the end of each season he guts his storage and starts over anew.

What you should take away from this is a way to think as you begin to choose your wedding planning and décor professionals. If you go through their portfolio and there are only 2 or 3 designs that keep getting repeated over and over in various colors, they aren’t really designers, just technicians. Your wedding should be unique to you, your location and the level of formality. If you are interviewing someone and they just keep showing you pictures of past work and never pull out a sketch book, move on.

Be sure to pick up Preston’s new book, Inspirations. It is jam packed with yummy event photos and, hallelujah, no two look alike.

While you’re at it, be sure to check out Marcy Blum’s entertaining column on The Huffington Post. By entertaining I mean both that it is about entertaining and that in itself is wildly entertaining. Ms. Blum is a character of the first order and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute she spoke. To hear her and Preston Bailey bounce thoughts and ideas back and forth off each other tells me that anything they design and plan together is going to be amazing.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Get Married

I just got back from a fabulous conference in Florida with some of the top trend setters in the industry. Over the next few days I want to go indepth on some of the people and products I ran across. So let’s get started.

I rode in from the airport with the darling Stacie Francombe, CEO of Get Married. Stacie and I have met on other occasions but this trip gave us a chance to really connect. If you aren’t familiar with you should be. What a great site.

Get Married is supported on the air waves with a daily TV show on Lifetime at 7:30 AM, EDT. TIVO it or better yet just watch it on line. I could spent hours watching the archived goodie on GM.

My favorite things on the site are the video quick tips. I could literally spend hours. The videos are beautifully done and not just fluff. The information is cutting edge and detailed. Click on the Planning tab and select Expert Advice from the drop down. Get comfortable, you will want to stay for a while. The Quick Tips are as billed, quick; there are just so many great ones that you will keep on watching. Yes, sadly I have found one more habit to consume my time. At least this is a good one.

Tomorrow for Flower Friday I’ll share what the amazing Preston Bailey had to say.

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