Monday, January 31, 2011

Retying The Knot .....From Special Event

Many young girls dream of fairy tale weddings complete with big gowns, a bevy of bridesmaids and bouquets tossed over the shoulder. But what happens when a bride's attitude is “Been there, done that”? For the growing population of adults who have divorced and then found love again, “They don't want that 20-something wedding,” says Kendall Brown, owner and president of Media, Pa.-based Eclatante Event Design. In fact, while Brown feels the traditional wedding has its place, she has found a niche producing “subsequent” or “last weddings,” as she calls them. The market remains, perhaps strangely, untapped; Brown notes that many couples wonder if subsequent weddings are appropriate to celebrate. Yet, her research reveals more than 50 percent of the U.S. population is on its “second or third or fourth marriage,” she says. And a growing group of these brides and grooms want to celebrate, albeit in a completely different manner from their first wedding. But as Brown puts it, “Why wouldn't you want to celebrate your last wedding?” Read on to discover how these wedding experts help couples do just that.

Planners agree — second-time brides typically are easier to work with than first-timers. As wedding coordinator and co-owner of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based An Elegant Affair Heidi Caldwell says, “Second-time brides are more organized and prepared, so there is less guesswork.” Wedding and event planner Nancy Swiezy of A Newport Affaire in New York adds that these brides, often busy professionals, don't have time “to waste on fantasy.”

Yet what these brides lack in time, they make up in resources. “They certainly seem to assert their own priorities the second time around,” says Yifat Oren, president of Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Yifat Oren & Associates, “mostly because they are usually older and, second, because they usually pay for it themselves.” She notes, too, these brides seem to enjoy the process of planning their weddings more as well.
Brown offers one more reason for the ease of working with these brides: “Their mothers aren't involved.”

Second weddings tend to be smaller, the experts say. “Fewer guests, less pomp and more relaxation,” as Caldwell puts it. But that doesn't necessarily make the budget any smaller. Tara Guerard — owner and lead designer of Soiree by Tara Guerard in Charleston, S.C. — puts it bluntly, “They're spending the money!” One wedding she produced — the second for the groom, the first for the bride — had a guest count of only 80. But Guerard notes, “They spent, budget-wise, the same as my bigger weddings. And with age comes wisdom. “Money seems to be used more wisely,” Caldwell notes. This can be seen in the choice of venue: “They aren't hotel brides,” as Brown puts it. And a striking venue requires less decor, “which is less money than if you have to create a unique feel in an empty hotel ballroom,” Caldwell explains. Another difference she has noticed in second-time brides: They're more likely to forgo expensive flowers in favor of atmospheric candles.

Heeding tradition is of little concern to the encore bride. Instead, Brown notes, subsequent wedding couples focus on “the traditions that {they} have built throughout their lives, individually and together.”
To that end, “Out is the mandatory sister-in-law bridesmaid,” Caldwell says, “out is the $5,000 gown they'll never see again, out is the 100 extra guests who are friends of their families.” And mature brides show no interest in removing and tossing the garter. As Brown puts it, “Nobody is taking any clothes off.” She adds, “Half don't even carry flowers,” much less toss the bouquet. Instead, the bride may hold a meaningful heirloom.
Another tradition these brides and grooms show little interest in is the cake-cutting ceremony. Instead of doing the “typical big cake-cutting” at one wedding, Guerard and her team had “individual cakes for each person at a seated dinner because it felt a little bit different,” she explains. The favors, too, were nontraditional: a green box hung on the back of a chair with the guest's name written on an attached tag — the box served as a leftover cake to-go box, favor and dinner place card.
Traditions that seem sweet for a 20-something bride are less suited to a mature bride. The first dance between the bride and her father is often not considered an option. And as one woman put it when speaking to Brown, “If you have to be given away at 50, that's a problem.”

Children, too, often play a larger role in second weddings. The most common way to include younger children from a previous marriage is as flower girls or ring bearers; older children are typically the best man or the maid of honor, with no other attendants. “I've seen sons give away their mothers,” Oren says, and Brown recalls seeing one groom “given away” by his two daughters. She adds, “I have a couple who is planning to make promises to the children as part of the vows.”
Caldwell has also seen “children say vows of their own or have a special piece of jewelry — bracelet, ring, necklace — to exchange at the time the bride and groom do.” One potential problem An Elegant Affair was able to head off involved a former husband in attendance with his and his former wife's daughter, who served as the flower girl at the wedding. The new husband was “somewhat unnerved,” Caldwell says, at seeing the former husband during picture-taking of the bridal party. Yet this was easily remedied. “We arranged for someone else to look after the daughter and gave the father an errand to run to have him out of the way while the couple were having their shots done,” she says.

Everyone learns from mistakes, brides included. “A lot of brides want to fix what they felt wasn't right in their first ceremony,” Caldwell notes. Often they want “a better photographer, better venue and definitely a coordinator to make sure everything runs smoothly,” she adds. Guerard cites an example of a beautiful venue that couldn't have been used for a larger wedding but was perfect for an intimate party of 80: the back garden of the Gibbs Art Museum in Charleston.
Often, too, encore brides and grooms skip the traditional church ceremony and reception and instead marry and enjoy their honeymoon, throwing a big party after they return. Swiezy notes a sophisticated bash that took place in a New York loft for a second marriage; the hip venue needed only candles and dance music to create a party atmosphere. Because the honeymoon took place in Italy, the couple opted for antipasto platters at the party to keep with the Italian theme.

While all brides like to add personal touches to their weddings, second-time brides take this practice to the hilt. One couple Brown is working with vacations at wineries around the world and wants to infuse their wedding with their shared passion for wine. Their wedding will include long wood tables, Italian ceramics and “bottles of wine from everywhere. The food is going to be served family-style, and there is no head table — people just sit down.” She jokes, “I tried to talk them into stomping grapes for fun, but that was apparently a little over the top.”
One wedding An Elegant Affair produced was the opposite of the bride's first wedding: “The bride {previously} had the traditional large church wedding, complete with the cathedral-length train and 300-plus guests — all conducted by her mother-in-law,” Caldwell says. This time, the bride and groom — both outdoorsy types — opted for a destination beach wedding in Hawaii. “The entire event was flanked by flaming torches, incense, and with the waves not more than 15 feet away,” Caldwell says. “They were married at sunset and said their vows under a full moon.” Afterwards, islanders treated the party to a surprise private fire-dancing performance.
Some couples opt for personalized versions of pre-wedding celebrations. Brown notes, “I have a couple where the bride and groom are not into the whole bridal shower, bachelor party, etc., thing. So instead, they're all learning Israeli folk dances, which will be performed by the guests at the wedding. So fun.”


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Live Silhouettes At Your Wedding

Silhouettist Carol Lebeaux has a well established reputation throughout New England.

For many years she has been cutting portrait silhouettes at Fairs and fund-raising events working directly from the sitting models.

For your convenience, she offers the opportunity of using your snapshots via computer or postal mail.

A profile photos can provide all that is needed to create these hand-cut heirloom portraits.

They make great Black and White Cookies and Art for a Save the Date!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Send a Nautical Save the Date, Invite, or a Maritime Thank You!

For the nautical sport enthusiast ... or those who just like a bit of nautical flair ... what could be more fun than a monogram done in nautical flags?! These Nautical Monogram Calling Card allows up to 4 initials on the front in the order you would like them to appear; all flags are the same size, so First, Middle, Last is the suggested order.

NOTE: Sold in sets of 25
Finished: 3.5" w x 2" h flat card
Paper: Heavy, smooth finish
By Cindy Galka of

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 10 2011 Wedding Ideas for a Newport Bride

1. Sophisticated Elegance Returns
It's back to basics with elegant, sophisticated style in 2011. Wedding decor will be simple and understated, with modern design elements trumping DIY touches. Scripted calligraphy, custom monograms, and classic wedding cakes embody this trend. Brides will wear pearls, and grooms will ditch the Converse in favor of more tasteful wedding day kicks.

2. Outdoor Venues- Where It’s At
Couples tying the knot in 2011 will gravitate toward outdoor ceremony and reception venues. The raw, minimal backdrop of an outdoor setting leaves room for personalization and customization, a major perk for creative, hands-on nearlyweds. Lakeside venues, vineyard locations and spaces situated alongside sprawling mountains will dominate, and they’ll be spruced up with personalized touches that represent the bride and groom. You'll find some serious outdoor weddings inspiration in our real weddings blog category!

3. Grey is the New Black, Crazy for Navy
Gloomy no more, grey is the neutral IT color for 2011 weddings. Organic and natural, shades of charcoal, dove, stone, oyster and shell will be incorporated liberally into wedding color palettes and paired with vibrant hues to make the colors pop! And while grey remains the talk of the town for 2011, navy blue (and other deep blues) are definitely on-trend for the coming year. Wonder if Prince Will's royal wedding has anything to do with the crazy for navy trend... what do you think??

4. Mad for Metallics & Bold Color Palettes
Whether it’s two bright hues with a metallic accent, or several metallic shades used together, brights and metallics will be popular choices for wedding color palettes in 2011. Gilded gold, shimmery silver, and sparkling champagne will used alone or with accents of yellow, purple or teal. And since metallics make such a bold statement on their own, couples will scale back over-the-top decor in favor of a more restrained style aesthetic.

5. Big Ball Gowns are Back
Dramatic ball gown wedding dresses floated down 2011 bridal catwalks in droves. Wedding dress designers draped, ruched, and layered clouds of tulle, power netting, and chiffon to fashion wedding dresses with limitless volume. The outcome? Fairytale-inspired bridal style and whimsical wedding dresses for 2011 I Dos.

6. Grooms Take a Walk on the Stylish Side
Grooms are taking a stand in the name of fashion. Their tux choices will no longer be dictated by some “rent 5, get 1 free” deal. Instead, they’ll chose formal looks that represent their unique style. Bow ties will replace classic long neck ties, and embroidered dress shirts, engraved cufflinks, stylish lapel pins and the color of the season- grey- will grace the white aisles.

7. Wedding Invitations Go Green
The green weddings movement continues full speed ahead in 2011. From totally paperless wedding invitations and save-the-dates, to stationery printed on 100% recycled paper, invitations have truly gone green. Couples can find all they need with sites like WeddingPreParty (enabling online RSVP and party planning) and (offering coordinating stationery and wedding websites).

8. Luxurious Textures-- from the Dress to the Tablescape
Luxe textured fabrics will bring a sumptuous, opulent vibe to 2011 weddings. Wedding dresses will feature 3D applique, layered light fabrics (tulle, lace, chiffon), romantic ruffles, oversized florals, and illusion fabric with eye-catching beading. Textured linens will be layered to dress up reception tables, chair covers may be embroidered or beaded, and branchy centerpieces and floral arrangements will captivate wedding guests.

9. Ethnic Influences, Cultural Wedding Details
At long last, brides and grooms are embracing and showcasing their unique cultural traditions and ethnicity. Whether it’s a religious wedding ceremony ritual, traditional wedding day garb, cultural cuisine infused throughout the reception dinner, or wedding decor with bold, ethnic prints, you can’t help but embrace the unique cultures and ethnicities of couples in 2011.

10. Revved-Up Wedding Receptions
Who wants the best day of their lives to end? Not couples and guests in 2011, that’s for sure! Couples will plan a post-reception after party lasting into the wee hours of the night with drinks, entertainment, dancing, and snacks so that wedding guests can party all night long!

From One Wed

A Fun Fact about Ralph Lauren !

In 1970, Ralph Lauren was contracted to provide clothing styles for the movie The Great Gatsby. Filmed at Rosecliff of course!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Top Ten Resolutions List

1. Stop Smoking
2. Get into a Habit of being Fit
3. Lose Weight - the Battle of the Bulge
4. Enjoy Life More.
5. Quit Drinking
6. Organise Yourself - this is one of the keys to reaching your goals
7. Learn Something New
8. Get out of Debt
9. Spend More Time With Family
10. Help People.