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You were happily dating and then your sweetie popped the question – bliss! Now you are engaged and almost immediately it seems you are way behind in planning the wedding. Even if you thought you knew exactly what you wanted already, planning the guest list or the budget can put you in panic mode. These sensitive issues are much harder to navigate than cake tastings. Relax – Something Fabulous has got you covered. With over 20 years of experience in supporting engaged couples and their families, owners Jennifer and Kimberly are sharing their top 5 Things to do Before you Pick a Date. Getting everyone on board with the basics at the start will assure you smooth sailing on your wedding day!
1. The Engaged Couple – it starts with you. Discuss your vision and expectations for your wedding day together. Write down what is most important to each of you.
2. The Bride & Groom’s Families – make a special date with each the bride and groom’s families to discuss the wedding. If you are not able to do this in person, schedule a conference call or Skype session. Share what’s important to you as a couple and listen to what’s important to your families.
3. All Together Now – Get the bride and groom’s family together to discuss the wedding. Perhaps they have met before, or this may be the first introduction. Ideally you would get everyone together in person – it’s worth it even if you have to travel. Have fun with it and go out for a special meal, cook a big feast or order in pizza. If that’s not possible, arrange a Skype or conference call. Share your vision and expectations, and listen to stories of your family’s experiences and traditions.
4. Guest List & Budget – now is the time to discuss the guest list and budget. Whether you’re dreaming of a backyard wedding or elegant soiree, the guest list determines what you will spend. While you have everyone together it’s best to have a frank discussion about how many guests you want to have, and how the expenses will be covered. Remember to smile and breathe! The sooner you address these important issues the less likely there will be misunderstandings and hurt feelings (drama) later.
5. Feeling overwhelmed – If you are already envisioning tears and fights you may need an expert to help facilitate your planning. A third party can help you communicate in a calm, objective manner and this is where a planner is instrumental. If a professional planner is not in your budget, look to a close relative or family friend who has been through this already for advice.
What did you do before you picked a date? We would love to hear from you!
This post was conceived while I stared in disbelief at fresh snow out of my office window while trying to prop my feet up on the radiator in an effort to defrost them. It’s mid-March, and I’m tired of being cold. I know all of those exciting Spring things are coming like Easter, Passover, weddings and a glass of wine on the porch, but I need something now if I’m going to make it. Tempted as I am to pack up and move to Florida this month, here are a few sanity savers that will see you through to warmer days.
1. Treat your feet – your winter socks may be looking pretty grubby by now, or perhaps your sock drawer is full of mismatched singles like mine. Instead of drooling over flip flops, go out and buy some super warm woolies for your feet. Chances are you’ll find some on sale and when next winter rolls around you’ll be super happy to see them again.
2. Spice it Up – sick of the chicken soup and lentil stew? Find a new recipe for something that you’ve never made before and get busy in the kitchen. If you like spicy food make it hot to get your circulation going and heat things up! Check out tastespotting for recipe inspiration!
3. Green Goddess – spend some time with plants to counteract the snowy cold outside. Treat yourself to freshly cut flowers, a new houseplant, or just browse at your local nursery or florist.
4. Get moving – long walks after dinner in the late evening sun aren’t an option right now, so try a new class to get moving. Yoga, dance, kickboxing, a new workout DVD or even just turning the music up in your living room and getting your groove on will help you to feel rejuvenated.
5. Spring Cleaning – if the idea of spending any more time at home has you half-mad from cabin fever, start your spring cleaning early. Move furniture, organize cupboards, clean out the attic – it will make the inside of your home fresher and more appealing, plus it’s a great time to work on all of those indoor projects that you won’t feel like doing when the sun is shining and you’re happily digging in the garden!
What’s your favorite end of winter survival tip? We’d love to hear from you!
We love stripes, and it’s so easy to incorporate them into your celebrations style. Subtle, muted tones work great with traditional themes. Brights and neon colors are eye-popping and fun for adventurous types. For a big stripey statement include them in your overall design – invitations, linens, drapes, cakes and dresses or use them to create surprising details in a bow-tie, socks, favors and shoes. I think my favorite thing about stripes is how they can inject some playfulness into menswear which can be so serious – like the photograph of socks below! However you decide to get your stripe on, they are sure to add variety and fun to your special event. Here are some of our favorite striped details:
What’s your favorite striped detail? We’d love to hear from you!
Photo from epistolary.net
The love of your life has proposed and your head is spinning. A huge life change is coming your way! Between telling friends, nights out to celebrate and all the planning you haven’t had a moment to yourself. Many brides-to-be will let stress take all the fun out of their engagement, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s our Top 5 Favorite things to do as a Newly Engaged Bride that are sure to leave you feeling pampered and refreshed!
1. Manicure - Treat yourself to a fabulous manicure, after all you’ll be spending a lot of time admiring your engagement ring!
2. Magazine Run – head to your favorite local book shop and stock up on wedding magazines and books. Peruse the eye-candy over a latte and bookmark all of your favorite looks.
3. New Knickers – sexy undies and lingerie are guaranteed to give your smile a little extra glimmer!
4. Chick-flick-marathon – girlfriend bonding time is more important than ever now. Invite the girls over and cozy up with popcorn, candy and a stack of your favorite chick flicks. We like Say Anything, Clueless, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sense and Sensibility, Pretty Woman, and Muriel’s Wedding.
5. Name Game – Remember in 9th grade when you wrote your name with the last name of your crush over and over again in your notebook? Channel those dreamy days and buy or embroider something with your new initial.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate being a newly engaged bride? We’d love to hear from you!
The Midori Ribbon website is one of our favorite places to go for inspiration. The possibilities are endless with their gorgeous ribbon and unique gift wrap. I’ve been checking out the new DIY’s they have for spring – here’s an adorable favor flower that would be perfect for an upcoming spring shindig. I am so in love with the cherry gift wrap. Enjoy!
When Adam and I got married, we knew we wanted jewelery that would reflect our values to symbolize our union. As people who are concerned about the environment, we did some research on the impact of mining precious metals and stones. What we learned made us eager to find alternatives, and our research led us to Green Karat. Their collection of eco-friendly fine jewelry includes wedding bands, engagement rings and gifts inspired by nature. All of their rings are handmade in the US and Canada and each piece is custom created. We really liked the amount of information available which allowed us investigate further, look beyond marketing labels and make an informed purchase.
We decided to go with recycled titanium for our wedding bands with created sapphire stones in my ring (Adam was afraid of knocking stones out of his while at work). This particular design is called Constellation and features divots in a stellar configuration that are tinted with a blue dye which matches the blue stones in my ring. The updated version of this design does not feature the tinting.
Six years later we are still loving our rings and enjoy telling others about the unique materials and craftsmanship that went into making these works of art. Here are a few of my other favorites from Green Karat’s website:
Gatsby Redux “Antique” Bridal Set
Sigurd’s Contrast – Work Hardened Metal
Quark – subatomic art
Forn Sed – Celtic Wedding Band
Quetico – rugged beauty
Do you have a favorite green jeweler? We’d love to hear from you!
With spring peeping around the corner I am practically faint with gardening fever. I just want to see green everywhere and spend hours plotting my vegetable garden, dreaming of houseplants and researching herbs. As a metaphor for love and life plants can’t be beat. They are beautiful, sustainable, ecologically friendly and fun! It’s easier than ever to incorporate seeds and plants into your wedding, baby shower, bridal shower, graduation or sweet 16 party. Include growing instructions so that green thumbs and total beginners alike will experience success. Here are our top 5 ways to get your party favors growing!
1. Seed mixes – packets or tins of seeds and even seed bombs (a compressed soil and seed mixture that makes it easy bring flowers to unexpected spaces) offer lots of variety and packaging options. Try vegetable seeds, wildflower mixes or a signature favorite flower. Choose seeds that you love and are meaningful to you . You can order these favors already customized or go DIY.
2. Seeded papers – Biodegradable papers with seeds embedded in them that can be planted by your guests offer tons of creative options and convenience. The papers can incorporated into invitations, menu cards, tags, favors – even confetti!
3. Bulbs - from bulbs sprout colorful, fragrant perennials that are usually planted in the fall, although you can find bulbs appropriate for every season. Use Gladiolas, Begonias and Peacock Orchids for spring; Anemones, Crocuses, Dutch iris, Freesia, Hyacinth or Paperwhites for Summer; Amaryllis, Freesia and Paperwhites for fall and winter.
4. Tree seedlings – Planting a tree to commemorate your wedding will create something beautiful and lasting for generations to enjoy. There are many species available such as Colorado Blue Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Norway Spruce, Meyer Spruce, Afghan Pine (fast growing for very dry, warm climates) & Loblolly Pine (fast growing for wet, warm climates). Some smaller species can be planted indoors in large containers.
5. Terrarium – Perhaps you are a city dweller or just adore tiny things. It’s hard not to love terrariums! These miniature ecosystems are super easy to care for and can live anywhere. Air plants and succulents are big right now.
What’s your favorite way to get planting? We’d love to hear from you!
Your hair is your crowning glory, and with so many options in terms of color, style, and cut choosing how to wear it for your big day or even everyday can be daunting. That’s where a true professional becomes indispensable, and we are thrilled to have tips and advice from one of our favorite hairstylists for this week’s Creative Crush: Kristina Marra, co-founder of Figo Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. Kristina is a master hairstylist and designer whose lifelong passion is hair design. As a young child, she dreamed of a fantasyland where she would cut and style the hair of angles. Kristina considers herself an artist and Figo Salon as her patron. She sees her work as wearable art; necessary, useful and beautiful. Her hair designs are of the highest aesthetic order, at once elegant, sophisticated and glamorous. Her design vision is fueled by a burning passion for all forms of creativity; music, fashion, make-up, dance and architecture.
As a self-professed “fashionista” with a special fondness for all things creative, Kristina possesses an uncompromising eye for innovative design. With over 15 years of experience in hair styling and design, Kristina has traveled the world training with and learning from top fashion and hair designers. Her hair designs have been featured in national and international fashion magazines and she is the hairstylist of choice for many top fashion photographers.
-We know that you design hair for glamorous models for numerous designers at New York’s fashion week – what trends will we see for hair in 2013?
What’s so great about the upcoming fall/winter collections is that the focus really is the clothing. The creative challenge is to design hair that is effortless and will connect with the designs. The dominant looks feature very soft, undone, easy hair, low pony tails, more of a slept in chignon and really soft waves.
-What do you suggest for brides who are not sure how they want to wear their hair for their wedding day?
For women who don’t have a vision for their hair I always suggest to stay classic and stay you! Try not to create a character that you think you have to be. That’s too exhausting. Your wedding day should be about you and how you feel. Simple and classic is always on trend.
-When you’re feeling blah about your hair, what the best way to get a fresh new look without going to extremes?
When someone tells me they feel blah, they hate their hair and want a change I NEVER suggest anything extreme! Usually it’s life circumstances that take a toll on the way they look and feel. I suggest doing revitalizing treatments to bring life back into the hair to make it shiny and give it bounce. Then I would probably take about ½ more than usual off of the length and perhaps give someone bangs if they don’t have them, or soften the bangs if they do have them so that they look better as they grow out. Most of the time people don’t want extreme, they want results.
-What is your go-to hair product?
Having curly hair myself I always love anything that will give me shiny and luscious curls. My absolute fave is Kerastase Elixir Ultime Serum. It smoothes, conditions and makes my hair super shiny. What’s even more fabulous is they now have shampoo and conditioner to go with it – to die for! I think you can tell I love soft, shiny and healthy hair. Your crown should always sparkle and shine!
-What’s the best advice you’ve been given that you still follow when styling for a bride?
The best advice I got was to stay true to who I am as a stylist. I thought that was great because everyone has a style about him or her that they are confident about. You have to know that in order to make a bride feel comfortable with you because most of the time it is their first time seeing you. Know who you are and what you can deliver and everyone is at ease. That is essential for a great day!
Kristina’s February Inspiration
If you enjoy a fun night out at your local microbrewery or taking a romantic trip to a vineyard for a weekend of wine tasting now there’s another option: microdistilleries. Thanks to recent changes in legislation microdistilleries are popping up all over and brewing whiskey, bourbon, brandy, vodka and even moonshine directly from local farms. The resulting spirits and liquors have unique flavors and characteristics.
I recently took a trip to Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery in Valatie, NY where they make Core Vodka, which is brewed from apples instead of potatoes. Harvest Spirits has a tasting room open to the public right on the apple farm.
Harvest Spirits also makes Peach Applejack, Rare Pear Brandy, Hudson Valley Grappa, Hudson Valley Pear Brandy and Black Raspberry Core Vodka. My summer favorite is the Black Raspberry Core Vodka – it’s great on its own or mixed with seltzer and some fresh mint or basil. During the winter snuggling up with my husband, Rare Pear Brandy and listening to jazz can’t be beat.
I am a huge fan of their sample sized bottles – adorable and affordable, these would make fantastic favors for a bridal shower, bachelorette party or included in a hospitality basket for your out of town guests!
Happy tasting everyone! Do you have a favorite local microdistillery? We’d love to hear from you!
Your best man or maid of honor may know you like no one else, but when it comes to making a wedding into the party of a lifetime, your DJ is the real best man (or woman!). We are delighted to bring you this week’s creative crush Jimmy Connolly (DJ JVC/DJ James Vincent) who is not your average DJ / Event Host. Jimmy has been playing records for crowds for over 25 years. He has held residencies at the hottest nightspots in NYC, opened up for headline acts like DJ AM, Paul Oakenfold, Questlove, Run DMC and has been on tour with major recording artists DIDO & John Legend. A true turntablist, James has amassed a record collection made up of over 30,000 pieces of vinyl spanning all genres.
His talents have taken him from L.A to Paris, playing for various fashion labels as well as leading magazines. In addition, he has produced remixes for TV shows such Entourage (HBO), So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) and CSI: Miami (CBS) to name a few. He also is a gold-certified producer for his remix of Bush’s “Mouth” for Interscope Records and his turntable skills are featured on the song “Let The Drummer Kick” by Citizen Cope.
His nightclub and corporate career has allowed him to transition into weddings and special events with ease. Jimmy’s special blend of creative mixing, charisma, and experience has made him a favorite among brides and corporate clients. Deciding on whether or not to have a band or a DJ and choosing a playlist is a challenging decision for a couple and we are thrilled that Jimmy is going to share some of his expertise with us on how to get the dance floor rocking!
(On right) Todd Shapera Photography
-When advising customers for an event, for what settings and styles would you recommend a band vs. a DJ, or a mix of both?
It’s different for every couple and it depends on what you as a couple want. What Mom and Dad would like or want may be a factor–especially if they’re writing out the check. And it depends on knowing the tastes of your guests. You probably already know the answer but it’s a good idea to take a close look at the guest list and think about what would be the most fun for everyone.
If you are inviting mainly older guests then a band may be the right decision. If your crowd is 75% 40 and under then a DJ is probably a good way to go. If it’s an even split of old & young and you’re set on making sure there is something for everyone — perhaps a band for the early part of the night AND a DJ to rock it out at the end.
-Most wedding guests span a few generations from toddlers to grandparents and everything in between, what are your guidelines for including music that everyone can dance to and enjoy?
Most weddings are made up of a large cross section of people from different facets of your life. Family can mean parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins twice removed. Friends can be from work, college, high school, summer camp, your next door neighbor or even your drinking buddy from the local watering hole.
With such a diverse group an eclectic music mix is a must. As a DJ who has always loved all kinds of music weddings are events where I can often spread my wings and fly. I always strive to keep the music fun for everyone attending. I want the older folks to want to get up & dance past the cake and younger people to be singing the choruses of the classics I play. I make this happen with lots of party experience, music knowledge and meeting personally with clients.
Getting to know a couples’ musical taste enables me to create a great custom playlist that is personal and really special. Once a client hires me I send them a playlist guideline I’ve written to help bring out their inner-DJ. I ask them what they like to hear–at home, in the car, out at the club, hanging out with friends–and I also want to find out what they think their guests will enjoy. Another important discussion is the DO NOT play list. Sometimes this is MORE important than the DO play list. Because after all nobody wants to be at their wedding and hear a song they can’t stand!
-Do you have any special protocol for your celebrity clients?
It may sound cliche but EVERY wedding couple is a celebrity to me. It’s their night, their party, their moment. It’s gotta be all about the bride & groom regardless if it’s Kanye & Kim or John & Jane.
I have been privileged enough to play some actual celebrity weddings. Some special protocol: If the client is a popular musician I make sure to ask if they’d like some of their own music played during the party. Some artists don’t want their own songs played because they feel it might put too much focus on their celebrity status and detract from their new spouse.
Chances are there will be other celebrities attending so It’s important to be respectful and contain any ‘star struck’ behavior. It kinda goes without saying but definitely no gawking or staring or inappropriate picture taking–by me or any partners or assistants I may be working with.
What are some of your go-to songs to get the dance floor going?
Michael Jackson–any of his hits. esp “Billie Jean”, “Wanna Be Starting Something”, “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, “Way You Make Me Feel”, “PYT”,”I Want You Back”
The Contours–”Do You Love Me”–The popularity of the film Dirty Dancing has helped keep this classic a constant floor filler.
Rihanna-”We Found Love”
Whitney Houston–”Wanna Dance With Somebody”
Sugar Hill Gang-”Apache”(intro)–”Tonto! Jump On It!” It’s a line dance that even the hippest hipster cannot resist.
Earth Wind & Fire-”September”
Jay-Z/Alicia Keys-Empire State Of Mind
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a DJ that you still follow today?
Anybody can get on the decks and throw on some songs they like. It takes a DJ to create a vibe, get people up and moving and keep them there. Pay attention to the crowd and what they want & what they need–without them you wouldn’t even be there.
DJ JVC’s February Inspiration:
1–I’m always a fan of all of these guys separately–great to see a performance like this on the Grammys!
2–Metropolis Nights magazine–great publication full of all things hot & happening with New Jersey nightlife–I also just became a contributor!
3–Love this song! Awesome to hear a voice typically associated with rock on dance music. So soulful, powerful and cool at the same time.
4–Really goofy & silly but I love the track, it reminds me of when hip hop was more fun.
5–like Joan Jett, The Spice Girls and Cataracs all rolled into one song. I love it.