Teaser Tuesday

Kate and Anthony's wedding was EPIC!! The girls began their day being pampered at the Omni at Independence Mall with their hair done by Dottie and makeup by Cheekadee. Kate was more than excited to put her gown on and get across the street to meet her soon-to-be husband at their first look at the park! John Shetron was able to capture some gorgeous photos before the gang hopped on a trolley by Philly Trolley Works and prepared for their Greek Orthodox ceremony at Annunciation Church in Elkins Park. After the ceremony, we trekked back into the city for an incredible reception by Cescaphe at The Curtis Center. The florals by Petals Lane were gorgeous- Kate SCREAMED when she walked into the space- it was the best reaction I've ever experienced. Their wedding cake was custom designed to match the bridal gown, but the real star of the night was Anthony's Groom's Cake, created by Truly Custom Cakery! It featured all of the groom's favorite things- Chewbacca in a Flyers jersey, waving a Greek flag, with a VW hubcap and an iphone, all on top of a giant cheeseburger! And inside, the chocolate cake was filled buttercream, Kit-Kats and Butterfingers-YUM! Their band, EastSide Mix was really great- the guests danced their hearts out and all of it was captured on film by Lou from Tweed Weddings! This wedding was an awesome one that we were honored to be a part of!!
Our second wedding on Saturday was Amanda and Carl's at Winterthur! The forecast for their outdoor ceremony was looking gloomy and filled with rain, but we lucked out and were able to have their beautiful and traditional Zoroastrian ceremony outdoors. Amanda looked stunning in her white lace sari and she had her bridesmaids match her by wearing all white as well. Guests enjoyed a delicious cocktail hour that was held by the reflecting pool before heading down to the Visitor's Center for dinner and dancing. The room looked amazing- it was up lit in pink by Synergetic Sound and Lighting. Flowers by Yukie did a great job with the centerpieces which were glowing with lots of candlelight. Synergetic Sounds did a great job getting the guests on the dance floor and Jennifer Childress Photography was on hand to capture all of the fun! Thank you for sending these incredible images, Jenn, we can't wait to see the rest!!

Ceremony Readings

We are all familiar with the wedding ceremony reading "Love is patient, love is kind..." (1 Corinthians 13:4) but there are many other readings available to choose for your wedding. Here are some ideas when choosing your ceremony readings.
Religious Readings- If you are getting married in a religious venue, there are plenty of passages and verses to select from the Bible, Torah, etc. Be sure to check with your officiant and make sure they approve your ceremony readings. 

Traditional Readings- Traditional and classic readings are timeless passages and capture the love of the day. 

Literature- Think about great literature for your wedding ceremony readings. Think old and new. Anything from Shakespeare to Twilight can work in a ceremony. Don't forget to consider looking for a poem, quote or essay. 

Songs- Take a few lines from one of your favorite songs or use a line from your wedding song. This is a great way to personalize your ceremony. 

Personalize- Ask your reader to select a reading for you and your future husband and read it during the ceremony. You can also have someone special write a few words and read them. These special words from the heart will be words that you remember forever. 

How to Choose a Venue

Choosing a venue is one of the first big decisions you have to make when planning your wedding. There are a lot of options, and it can be overwhelming, so the best thing to do is take a step back and figure out what you need from a wedding venue.

The number of guests you plan to invite will impact the type of venue you can choose. Every place has an occupancy limit, but if you have your heart set on a place, you may still be able to have your reception there if you're willing to stray from the standard reception. If you do a cocktail reception instead of a full, seated meal, then you can fit more people since you don't need tables and chairs for everyone. If you don't have a dancing crowd, you can also fit more guests, as a dance floor takes up a decent amount of space.

You also have to consider the time of year you're looking at. There are a number of beautiful venues with gorgeous grounds, gazebos and patios that can be tented, but they may not be the best choice for a winter wedding or it may be too hot in the middle of summer.

Next, you'll want to think about the type of reception you're planning and the type of look and feel you're going for. Does it lend itself more to a hotel ballroom, a country club, a trendy restaurant, and outdoor tent, etc.?

Once you figure out the time of year you want, the approximate amount of guests you'll be inviting and the type of venue that fits you, your fiance and your reception the best, start researching local venues and exploring websites. If you're unsure of a place, look them up online and read past brides reviews, you can even ask them for references and testimonials.

Once you've found some that interest you, give them a call or email them and ask about their packages and pricing- be sure to include the time of year or date you're considering when asking for information, this way you can be sure they have availability, and it may also impact what they offer. If the packages they offer don't fit into your budget, you can ask if they can work with you- or if there are any dates they discount or special offers they're running- they may be able to.

Take your time when going through all of the information they provide and be sure you're comparing apples to apples when comparing multiple venues. Is it a sit down dinner or a buffet, are their cocktail hour offerings similar, how many hours is the reception, is the tax and service charge included or is it extra? These are all important things to consider because they will impact the cost.

Good luck with your search and if you're having a lot of difficulty, give us a call!


Bridal Beauty: Skincare Prep

Besides all the day-of preparation for hair and makeup, you skin care regiment should start a couple of months before the big day. 

First, determine which skin type you have so you know the best products to use.
Knowing Your Skin Type
1. Oily: Your skin looks shiny but by lunch time, has mild to moderate breakouts and makeup seems to slide right off your face. 
          Use: Serums and gel treatments. They are typically oil free. Apply under moisturizers and makeup. 

2. Combination: Your skin can be oily in the t-zone, might also be dry everywhere else. You have sporadic breakouts, usually triggered by stress or hormones. 
          Use: Oil free moisturizers and a light cleanser. 

3. Normal: Normal skin types will usually have a fresh and clean feeling to their skin throughout the day. Breakouts are very minimal and are usually caused by hormones. 

4. Dry: This skin type suffers flakiness and tightness, hardly ever have any breakouts. 
          Use: Milky cleansers and heavy moisturizers. 

5. Sensitive: Sensitive skin types usually have redness. Skin can be itchy and sting with certain products. 
          Use: Gentle skincare lines with natural ingredients. Avoid dyes and perfumes. 

Daily Regimen
Brides need a good daily routine to get their skin in bridal beauty shape. 
1. Cleanse- Find a cleanser for your skin type and was with warm water, morning and night. 

2. Moisturize- Use a moisturizer daily, you can also use a night cream if you have dry skin. 
My favorite is Arbonne Moisturizing Night Creme. 

3. Protect- SPF- To simplify this step, you can find a moisturizer with SPF in it, however be careful, some SPF moisturizers can cause breakouts. Be mindful if your skin is prone to this. 

4. Hydrate- Hydrate with products, and hydrate by drinking plenty of water. Water hydrates your whole body and that includes your skin! It may help to keep a water bottle by your desk at work as a reminder. 

Brighten your skin tone with weekly exfoliation. This will help rid your face of dull skin cells and keep your skin soft and fresh. 

First, wash your face with your cleanser, then use your exfoliator of choice. You can use facial scrubs, a facial brush, or a wash cloth. 

Facials will help clear your complexion. For the budget conscious bride, you can even Do It Yourself. Facials can be done once a month, and should start about 6 months prior to the wedding. Facials bring a dull complexion to life, clear up blackheads and rid your face of dead skin cells. 

However, no facials within 10 days of your wedding. (In case of redness, breakouts, or bad reactions). 

Don't forget about your lips for that big kiss at the end of the ceremony. You should exfoliate your lips at least once a week. Wet a toothbrush with warm water and brush your lips gently back and forth. Make sure you protect your lips with sunscreen, too. Avoid long lasting lipsticks as they tend to dry your lips out. 

To sum up, know your skin type, and start your skincare regimen early to ensure your skin gets the special treatment it deserves. 


Rehearsal Dinner Outfit Ideas

As the old age saying goes, "practice makes perfect". Though usually it refers to practicing for a sporting game, the same theory rings true for wedding rehearsals. And since you want to be the most beautiful girl in the room on your wedding day, why not practice the night before? The first step, pick your outfit. 

Be A Bride:
Ann Taylor Lace V-Back Sheath Dress- $138
Casual Cool:
Banana Republic Chambray Shirt Dress- $120
Cute & Sassy:
Gap Bird Print Tiered Dress- $59.95
Do the Polka Dot:
White House Black Market Dot Chiffon Dress- $170
Make it Vintage:
Anthropologie Colorblocked Shirtdress- $128
Keep it Classic:
JCrew Jules Dress- $188
Make It Red Hot:
Express Hi-Lo Hem Knit Maxi Dress- $59.90

Featured Bride Friday

Names of Bride & Groom: Kate and Anthony

Wedding Date: August 25th, 2012

Ceremony Location: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Elkins Park, PA

Reception Location: The Atrium at the Curtis Center, Philadelphia, PA

How did you and your fiance meet?: One day in May of 2008 we met at Rittenhouse Square Park while hanging out with friends. We kept glancing over at each other but didn't say a word. A few nights later Anthony had a party at this house and made sure I was there. We didn't leave each others side for the entire night- three days later we had our first date and the rest is history!

Tell us about the proposal: A few weeks after we graduated from college we went to the Dominican Republic with Anthony's family to celebrate. Two days before we were set to leave, Anthony told me that we had a dinner set up for us and to be ready at 6pm. Anthony and I then walked down the beach to find a gorgeous table set up for two. The table and surrounding beach were covered in rose petals. After a dinner with all my favorite foods Anthony proposed to me on bended knee as the sun set in the background with the most gorgeous ring. It was the best night of our lives.

What is the overall theme of the wedding?: We are going for a classic and glamorous feel. Blush pinks and apple green will be our colors.

What has been your favorite part of planning?: Can I say everything? From the venue searching to the dress hunting, the flower design meetings, it's all be incredible. It's been such an incredible joy to be able to plan so closely with my Mom and sister. Every major planning meeting they were there for, despite the long travel and it's been nothing short of wonderful.

What has been your fiance's favorite part of the planning?: Planning the food of course!

What are you looking forward to most on the wedding day?: Where to begin! I can't wait to see Anthony for the first time. We decided to not only see each other before the ceremony but also drive to the church together with all our friends and family. I know that will be an incredible time! Once we get to the church I can't wait to walk down the aisle with my father. We have always been so close so I know that will be a special time for us.

What is your fiance most looking forward to on the wedding day?: Seeing me for the first time in my dress and spending time with family and friends.

Which vendor has been your favorite to work with?: Erin has been incredible throughout the entire planning process! It was great to work with her to find the perfect venue and plan a vision. Seeing the flowers Brittany at Petals Lane put together brought tears to my eyes. My mom and I were shocked at what she came up with. I know Erin and Brittany are working hard to come up with a gorgeous day and we can't wait to see it! Another one of our favorite vendors has been John Shetron. He has been a joy to work with thus far. He has such an incredible eye and is a true artist. We loved every second of our engagement shoot and can't wait for him to document our special day as well as many other special life events!

What is your biggest worry about the wedding day?: That it will be hot. We know there is nothing we can do about that so believe us we aren't that worried!

What makes your wedding unique from all the others?: Anthony and I aren't trying to do anything crazy or different. We are having a day that is all about us, our love and family!

Give three words to describe what you imagine you'll feel like the day AFTER the wedding: Best day ever.

Where will you be spending your honeymoon?: Anthony planned an incredible honeymoon for the both of us. We will be spending two weeks traveling throughout Athens and the Islands. We are beyond excited for it!

Anything else you'd like to share?: Let's party!!!

Local Spots for After Parties

Your wedding day should be the best day of your life, from the time you get ready to the end of the reception. Yet, the best days in life always seem to fly by...so why not prolong the fun! Reception after parties are just what you need to keep your guests dancing, drinking, and having the best time. Here are a few hot spots in the Philadelphia and Northern Delaware area:

The Rittenhouse Hotel located in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, houses the beautiful Boathouse Row room. Perfect for your reception after party and complete with a full bar and 950 square feet of space! Your guests can enjoy lounging in the plush leather chairs and relaxing at the bar. The ambiance, reminiscent of a boathouse is perfect for the spring or summer wedding!
The Boathouse Row room offers more intimacy, but you may be looking for a club feel. That's where G Lounge comes in. Offering custom menus, specialty drink menus, and valet parking, G is your perfect place to party. Open Thursday through Saturday and you can keep your wedding night going until 2am!
Maybe you want to keep those feet moving! Fado Irish Pub is the perfect laid-back environment to let loose after the excitement of your big day. Located a few blocks from City Hall, in the heart of Philadelphia, Fado Irish Pub is the ideal spot to keep the night going, open til 2am all week long! Whether you want to book your own private event, or join the Irish Pub's excitement, Fado is sure to keep the pints flowing!
If your wedding is being held in Delaware, the Maraschino Room above The Washington Street Ale House in downtown Delaware, offers privacy for your wedding guests and an open bar selection ranging from beer and wine to top shelf selections. Accommodating a wide range of guests between 20 and 200, the intimacy of the Maraschino Room is sure to win you over. 
Maybe you're looking for more of a bar scene. Catherine Rooney's is located in Trolley Square in Downtown Wilmington or Downtown Newark. It's a classic Irish Bar with a fun, upbeat atmosphere. Catherine Rooney's is a Delaware Today Best of Delaware Winner, and a Reader's Choice Winner. Enjoy the porch if the weather is nice. Open until 1am to continue your wedding night!
Whether your style is in a private banquet room, a classy lounge, or a good old Irish pub, there's something for every bride and groom out there. Customize your after party drinks or just enjoy some drafts on tap. Your reception after party is available for your own customization and imagination! Don't be afraid to show up in your wedding attire!


Roberta and Allen's Wedding

Roberta and Allen were married on a beautiful April afternoon in the gallery of Winterthur Museum and Garden. Their wedding was recently featured on Freshly Squeezed Weddings, so head on over to read that feature as well! Their emotional ceremony was filled with different elements- they decided to do a wine box ceremony and added the culturally significant jumping of the broom! Roberta had her girls wearing floor length gray dresses to match their fresh color scheme of gray and purple. Brittany from Petals Lane, who created all of the florals, even found a purple orchid that looked like it had a gray tint to it! Guests enjoyed cocktail hour and then headed to the visitor's center for the reception. Synergetic Sound and Lighting up lit the space in a warm amber color and they projected the couple's new monogram onto the dance floor. They also adding draping to the space and were on hand to get the guests up on their feet and dancing! To follow their color scheme, we created their pocketfold invitations, table tent table numbers, ceremony programs, chair signs, seating chart and other various reception signage. Guests were able to enjoy a candy buffet that was made up of the newlyweds favorite candies- it was a huge hit! Tami Melissa Photography did a fantastic job capturing this so in love couple and all of their great details! Thank you for sending us the images, Tami and Ryan! 

Congratulations Roberta and Allen!