Spring fashion colors help determine Spring bridal looks


What can the fashionable set and of course brides planning their wedding expect for next year?  Placid Blue, like a picture-perfect, tranquil and reassuring sky, induces a sense of peaceful calmness, while Violet Tulip, a romantic, vintage purple, evokes wistful nostalgia. Similar to the verdant shade of springtime foliage, Hemlock, a summery, ornamental green, provides a decorative touch that’s very different from the greens of recent seasons. Pair any of these versatile pastels with a bolder hue for an au courant look.

Sand, a lightly toasted and amiable neutral, conjures images of the beach and the carefree days of summer. Paloma serves as a quintessential neutral, interesting enough to be worn alone or combined with any color for new poise.

Cayenne, a high-pitched red, adds a dash of spicy heat to neutrals, and heightens the excitement when mixed with Freesia, a blazing yellow that is sure to illuminate wardrobes this season. A tropical, floral-inspired shade, Freesia’s warmth and energy help set the stage for Celosia Orange, an optimistic, spontaneous hue. Pair Celosia Orange with Violet Tulip for a captivating vision, much like the setting summer sun.

The palette is brought full circle with Radiant Orchid, a bold counterpart to Violet Tulip, and Dazzling Blue,a scintillating, polar opposite to Placid Blue. Surprisingly, these strong, vibrant colors also pair well across the palette: They are perfect companions to pastels, and add confidence and vivacity when mixed with other bold colors.

Thanks to the Pantone Color Institure for this report and if you’re in the planning stage, here are some colors to help you and inspire you.



Wedding season ideas

According to the wedding industry, engagement season is “over” and wedding planning is in full swing.  If you are one of the new and happily engaged, I’m sure your knee-deep in websites, wedding ‘reality’ t.v. shows’ and perhaps, a few magazines. So let me help make this easier for you by sharing these companies that want to help making your planning easier. Congratulations and let the planning begin.

Box of Beans – Each box is filled with dozens and in some case dozens-of-dozens individual tubes of either jellybeans or chocolate candies all in cool patterns.  You can spell out your name, propose or customize something special. Because they are all individually packaged they are easy to take away (they fit in your purse or pocket) and they add just a bit of sweetness at the end of your wedding festivities. http://boxofbeans.com/

Just think of Cocograph as the Instrgram of chocolate.  These chocolate bars printed with edible Polaroid-style photographs completely custom, printed with any photograph, logo, or image of your choosing.  This Northern California, family operated company is one that gives back to the global community by being licensed by Fair Trade, with coco beans that are Rainforest Alliance Certifies Gluten Free. Any Jpegs, scans, smartphone, Instagram, or Hipstamatic photo’s are perfect for these square chocolate bars. http://cocoagraph.com/

SnapCuts is a place to create, communicate, and share your thoughts with video. Combine video clips, add text, and share your custom message via email, facebook, twitter and mobile text.  It’s so simple. Finds the clips (photos from anywhere) you like, snap them together, create a text clip (will you marry me for example) and then feel free to share it with your love, family and friends. This cool app is free and user-friendly. http://snapcuts.com/home.php

Keep your furry friend safe and looking stylish with DogIds. Made in the USA, this collar is made from braided, rolled polypropylene, which is vibrant, soft and strong. Available in 10 colors, the hardware can be personalized with two lines of engraving. Choose your size and font style. http://www.dogids.com/abc

Take your time, do it your way and have fun.

Top ten Honeymoon and Wedding tips 2012

You’re at that time when you’re trying to figure out a few things, among them, how to save money but have the ‘wedding of your dreams’. Perhaps you were never the “princess bride” and you just wanted to jet off and get married. Destination weddings require a lot of planning and being prepared for your wedding should be smooth sailing.

Here are 10 tips that will help you navigate your way.

Book early to ensure your favorite choice of wedding date and location.

Check out various Honeymoon offers on hotel sites. You could receive a room upgrade, an offer of a candlelit dinner, spa treatments, or bottles of champagne.

Not all destinations are alike. Check out the weather – even if it’s a year in advance, so you can have a better idea of what the weather will be like on your wedding day. You don’t want to go somewhere during hurricane season do you?

With some destination hotels, depending on the number of rooms you book, you can have a free wedding or honeymoon. Be sure to check out the hotel property and inquire about their offers.

Make sure you have a wedding planner with you. Either one you bring with you who, and this is important, has worked a wedding in the country you’re getting married in or the hotel property has one on staff that will be there to assist you. You don’t want to do last minute chasing of vendors the morning of your wedding trust me.

Take a look to see the exact location where you will get married. Are you getting excited at seeing where in a few short hours (or days) where you’ll become husband and wife?

Hang your dress up immediately to help the creases to fall out.

Go easy on the sunbathing. Nothing like a sun-fried bride or groom. No matter what, this kind of “red” is not what you’re going for. Red Lips yes…unable to kiss not so much!

Are you heading to an exclusive destination? This will make a difference in your travel plans? It’s true; some destinations can only be reached on certain days due to airline schedules, so be aware that you may need to be flexible with your dates. Also remember there are terms and conditions that you need to adhere to (be in a country 24 hrs to 4 days BEFORE your wedding).

Check your passport is valid and if you need to, apply for a renewal and/or any visas as soon as you pick your destination. Passports should usually be valid for at least six months after you leave your destination but make sure to check this requirement.

Finally, you’re almost there. Relax and have fun. Enjoy your day, weekend or week with your family and friends as they celebrate you.

Baptist Church rejects African-American Wedding in Mississippi

Wedding preparation is stressful, I think we can all agree with that. For a Jackson, Miss., couple just days before their special day, planning went from stressful to racially painful in moments when the church pastor told them, that some members of their First Baptist Church (in Crystal Springs) objected to them getting married in their predominantly white church.

Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson said it “was devastating to move their wedding to another church only days before the July 21 wedding”. Invitations and the printed program had the date and the church’s name on them. Church insiders say five or six members went to the Rev. Stan Weatherford after seeing the couple’s wedding rehearsal two days before their Saturday wedding. Their reaction has been said to stun Rev. Weatherford.

“I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn’t want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te’Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day,” Weatherford told WLBT-TV in Jackson.  Obviously this Rev., wasn’t willing to ‘weather the storm’.

Charles Wilson said it was a huge disappointment that he and his wife couldn’t get married at the church they attended because of the color of their skin and feel like it was “blatant racial discrimination”.

Most churches require that to be married in their church, you must be parishioners. While Charles Wilson was a recent member, his (now) wife has attended for over a year, her father also attended and her uncle was a custodian there.  Seems like you may be good enough to clean up the church, but your family can’t be married there.

The 150-year-old church hasn’t had any black couples married there in modern times.  Rev. Weatherford married the couple at a nearby church, meaning he was run out of his own church…that is truly disgraceful.

Wilson said he understands Weatherford was caught in a difficult position and he still likes the pastor, but he also thinks the pastor should have stood up to the members who didn’t want the couple to marry in the church.

“If you’re for Christ, you can’t straddle the fence,” Wilson said of Weatherford. “He knew it was wrong.”

To be fair not every member of the congregation agreed but it doesn’t seem as if they disagreed enough to stand up to the small group of people who put pressure on the pastor.  Seems that for some Mississippi Baptists, who “Welcome you to their church”…even if you are ‘prejudice’. Sadly, this is one of the things wedding planners couldn’t have possibly planned for. Even sadder, who would think this is something you have to ask about.

When in doubt questions to ask your wedding vendors

When you’re meeting with vendors, everyone will promise you the moon and the stars.  Some can deliver.  My friends in the industry take pride in NOT making promises they know are impossible.  This is one of the main reasons that you should hire a wedding planner – someone to help you navigate these waters.  If however you can’t afford it, decide if a friend or family member is going to do it for you, keep this list handy.

1 – How many other weddings are taking place on the same day?

This is an important day and why should you share it with other brides.  Have you ever seen two brides play nice if they have to share the spotlight or the bathroom?  You don’t want your guests going to another party (read: party crasher) and not attending yours.  IF there has to be two weddings, ask about sound proofing to avoid clash of the musical titans.

2 – Are there any ‘overtime’ charges?

This can run from a few hundred dollars to thousands.  Find out and be clear about the time your reception begins and ends. You don’t want the party to get good only to find ‘the parties over’.

3 – Parking near or far?

Is there parking on site? This is something you should consider especially for elderly guests. Is there a parking lot near by, is there a parking attendant and if yes, how much extra will this cost?

4 – Bringing it out side?

If you are having your wedding at a vineyard, park or outdoor space, are there sound/noise ordinance?  It may be possible that the space has to have the ‘fun’ turned off by 11:00pm.  Make sure you know this in advance so you can plan for your wedding a bit earlier or for an after-wedding, after-party.

5 – What other options are there for: the bar, caterer, florists?

Some venues restrict or won’t allow vendors that they have not used before.  If you decide to bring in our own liquor, there may be a corkage fee and/or per person fee.  This can cause the cost of your reception to go through the roof.

6 – Black-out prevention.

I know a very competent wedding planner who warned the vendors the brides choose to spread the voltage around because the bride didn’t invest in a generator.  They had out-door heaters, warming trays, DJ etc…and there simply wasn’t enough power.  What happened??  BLACKOUT!

It is an extra cost but a few dollars of prevention was worth eight-pounds of spoiled food and no music.  (What happened in the end…the wedding planner – super prepared – brought a generator just in case, saved the day.  Another reason to invest in a planner!)

Finally, make sure there are elevators or ramps for the elderly or handicapped; enough bathrooms for all (it should equal one stall per 35 guests) and if you decide to make any changes, have them in writing.  You get what you do and don’t pay for.  Remember that.

Top 20 Most Expensive Places to Get Married

Let’s get something straight right off the bat….You are NOT Kim Kardashian, Kate Cruise, or any other celebrity that is your favorite (or favorite for the moment) that has gotten married. Weddings – and darn-it…I’m going to say it; something that you may not want to hear or rather, what no wedding planner will dare say….

“This is a BIG PARTY for your family and friends.  Yes, they are celebrating your marriage BUT YOU are (or your parents…but I hope if you’re old enough to get married, you are at least paying a part if not all) paying for their fun. You are NOT going to get enough ‘envelopes’ to make up for what you paid out…you’re not!” 

That is reality and just as that is reality, I take issue with some of these numbers as “average” costs of weddings.

Fact:  A wedding in a major city will cost money. Yes a major city will cost more than a small town, but it’s a major city with more options available.  It’s expensive to have a venue, bridal shop etc so you are most times paying for this and not necessarily their talent.

Fact: You can have a wedding that is beautiful in NYC for $30,ooo.00.  Yes that means your dress, venue, photographer, flowers, wedding planner & suit for your groom.

Fact: Not all ‘weddings’ you see on blogs or magazines are real…they are staged by a ‘stylist’ whose job is to convince you that you ‘MUST HAVE XYZ’ or your wedding won’t be beautiful.  Don’t’ believe it.  Again, you are not a reality ‘star’ and my friends that are celebrities, don’t have million dollar weddings…and they can.  Don’t forget why you are getting married in the first place.

Fact: Weddings are a $74 billion wedding industry and that means that a lot of publications (not this one because I don’t have advertisers….yet…and when I’m ‘gifted an item, it in no way changes my honest opinion and I post a disclaimer) will only share with you their advertisers and say that they are the best thing since the invention of lace.  Not always true.  There are more and in some instances better vendors beyond what you see in a magazine…you just have to look.

Fact: September, October and November are the new May, June, August.  If you want a beautiful wedding without spending the farm, pick another time (especially if a major city) or have a destination wedding.

Fact: NYC brides have the highest wedding budget ($65,824) and Virginia brides have the lowest ($14,203).

Fact:  Brides in Manhattan spend the most on their dresses ($2,403), while North and South Dakotan brides spend the least ($745).

Fact: Wedding Size: Iowa brides host the most guests, averaging 215 per wedding, while Hawaii and Nevada have the smallest weddings, with 77 and 63 guest, respectively.

Based on average wedding spend in 2011, these are the areas around the US where couples spend the most on their wedding. These stats are provided from the Knot|Wedding Channel.

  1. NYC (Manhattan): $65,824
  2. Chicago, IL: $53,069
  3. NY Metro (Long Island, Hudson Valley and NYC Outer Boroughs): $50,087, $46,560, $40,356
  4. Northern/Central NJ and Southern NJ: $46,600, $38,103
  5. Rhode Island: $41,307
  6. Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA, and Los Angeles, CA: $37,823, $37,690
  7. Philadelphia, PA: $37,014
  8. Boston, MA: $35,560
  9. Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas): $34,465
  10. Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland: $34,203
  11. Connecticut: $33,789
  12. Baltimore, MD: $32,702
  13. Northern, CA, San Diego, CA, and Orange County/Inland Empire, CA: $32,261, $30,482, $29,826
  14. Hawaii: $31,461
  15. Pittsburgh, PA: $29,703
  16. Louisiana: $28,790 *New to Top 20 List in 2011
  17. Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, and Austin/San Antonio, TX: $28,717, $27,459, $27,735
  18. California/Nevada (Sacramento, Tahoe and Reno): $28,028
  19. Lehigh Valley/Poconos, PA: $27,339 *New to Top 20 List in 2011
  20. Detroit, MI: $27,017 *New to Top 20 List in 2011

OK, I’m not saying that a lot of these stats are far from off, I’m just one writer who is really tired of couples – no, let’s keep it real, brides thinking that if they don’t keep up with the Kardashians that they are a failure as a bride.  You Are NOT!  You will be beautiful, your wedding will be amazing and you know what….if  you sadly have to divorce…while you’ll miss your ex, the thought of how much money you ‘wasted’ will haunt you more.  So keep in mind why you are getting married and believe me….you’re guests will remember how much fun they had and how much in love you are…not how much money you spent.


2011 Wedding Cost Update 3.4% decrease from 2010

We all know that the economy has changed the way couples look at their wedding and where they choose to spend their hard earned money.  It’s not about keeping up with the Duke and Duchess or even the Kardashians. It’s more about, how can I get the most for the money I’m willing to spend?  In 2011 the average cost spent on a wedding was $25,631, a 3.4% decrease from the 2010 total of $26,542. While that may not seem like a lot, the cost of wedding had steadily increased over the last decade and this tightening of the belt was felt across the industry.

The areas that saw the biggest decrease were rehearsal dinner, engagement announcements, gifts for your bridal party and even wedding bands.  However getting a wedding planner, an engagement photo session, the wedding dress (or the number of change dresses you had) and your wedding location saw a large increase in spending.

So what does this tell you? All of the things that you see in wedding magazines and blogs, all the stylized photo shoots cost BIG BUCKS and aren’t necessary. Now everyone will have their wedding on TV or can afford to invite 500 or your closest friends to eat drink and watch you get married. More couples are cutting back and I anticipate this trend will continue for the near future.

This isn’t to suggest that you can’t have a beautiful wedding if you choose to limit the extras. It simply means have a wedding that will be meaningful to you and your future spouse.  There’s nothing stopping you from making due with what you have other than you.  Remember in the end, it’s your wedding and just because someone else had a marching band doesn’t mean you have to have an orchestra…unless your wallet is that big.   If however it is, please invite me, I give good gifts.

All stats were obtained by the Wedding Report and you can see the entire breakdown in their article.