Sunday, May 31, 2009

Find: Chic and oh-so-fun wedding garters

Attention brides-to-be: you must visit Julianne Smith's website to order your wedding garter. Julianne's style is incredibly unique; she brings a new light to the tradition and adorns garters with all sorts of fabulous accoutrements like feathers and personalized ribbons!

I chatted with Julianne about her speciality:

What colors or patterns do you see most with brides today?

When it comes to garter colors, brides are all over the map! The garter is hidden, so it is a chance for brides to get sassy and mix it up. Some go with the traditional whites and something blues, and then some get wild with polka dots and animal prints. For those that match their garter to their wedding colors, I'm seeing a lot of navy with magenta, and silver with yellow - two really amazing, unexpected combos.

Can brides customize their garters to coordinate with their theme (or their fiance's favorite sports team?)?

Absolutely! I love creating new and different styles for brides. After all, I started this company because I couldn't find the garter I wanted for a friend, so I would never tell someone no - I'll try anything!What is the most outrageous garter you've designed?I did one recently with a peacock feather that was really fun: View Here

How long before her wedding should a bride order?

It usually takes me about two to three weeks to make and send a garter off to a bride. But, if someone needs it faster, I will work with them to make sure the bride gets her garter in time for the big day. Timing also depends in how much custom work is needed. I make all the garters individually for each bride, even the ones in my collection.

What does the tradition of the garter mean?

It is tough to get a straight answers on this one. But, I do know that wearing and tossing the wedding garter is one of the oldest wedding traditions, besides saying the vows, of course! In the olden days, apparently, weddings were a little kinky and wedding guests would accompany the married couple to their bedroom. Guests would help to undress the bride, as a way to celebrate. The garter, at that time, was used to hold up a woman's stockings, so as the bride was being undressed the garter would get tossed along with all of her other clothes. It was considered good fortune to whoever caught the garter. As a way to class-up weddings, the garter tradition has evolved into making it a little easier for a lucky guest to catch the garter. Today, I think garters are a way for brides to personalize their wedding attire and to have something with them that expresses who they are as and individual and as a couple - whether they do the garter toss or not!
Thank you, Julianne!
Photos by Sevan Photography and by Julianne Smith

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Relax!! Pre-Wedding Pampering Tips

Okay, you brides-to-be; your pre-wedding pampering plan should be well-thought out in order to alleviate a bad hair cut, coloring, or sore muscles from a massage.
Be sure to test out your wedding day hair cut and color (and style) about 6 weeks prior to your wedding. Bring in your veil or accessories when you get snipped, and also plan a pre-wedding hair styling. Plan on your final coloring about 4-5 days before. For wedding day makeup, go with whatever brand you typically use - I love all Aveda products - you want to make sure your skin doesn't have an adverse reaction. Take photos of your hair style and arrange for a trial run with your makeup artist; take notes and pictures!

Here are some other pampering tips to have you glowing, relaxed, sparkling, and looking simply marvelous for the big day!

Relax and enjoy a massage with your fiancé - Vida Wellness Spa at the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown Seattle offers fabulous treatments. I recently tried the Ayurvedic massage and was relaxed for days!

Any waxing or facial treatments should also be done at least 3 days before to avoid any rash or redness. The night before the wedding, your face will thank you for a total Aveda treatment - unwind with the Caribbean Therapy soy candle, moisturize with the Intensive Hydrating Masque, and finish off with a sublte and smooth All-Sensitive Moisturizer.

Most importantly, be sure to eat the day before your wedding, and on the big day! Drink lots of water and remember to enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A perfect summer cocktail: the St-Germain

As most of you know, I love all things French, so I was so excited to try the "St-Germain" cocktail.
From the elegant Belle Époque bottle to the first scent released when you open it, you are in for a treat! St-Germain is crafted from elderflowers grown in the Alps and hand-picked each year. Pretty impressive, huh? It gets better........the thousands of pounds of flowers are collected by ONE Frenchman! Whatever he captures in a 2-3 week period for the year will determine the amount of liquor St. Germain produces. So if you find a bottle, you know you are special and have a limited edition, complete with a number!

The taste is quite subtle, yet sweet. A perfect pairing with champagne, cava, or prosecco.
The best concoction in my book consists of:
50 ml St-Germain
1.5 shots sparkling wine
top with sparkling water or soda
Stir in a tall glass with ice

Garnish with a lemon twist or a flower and enjoy! Oh, how I want to be back in Nice enjoying one at the Hotel Negresco!! Tres magnifique!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Destination Event: San Diego

Destination events are always an awesome way to have a true wedding experience; what better way to tie the knot, celebrate for days, and get to visit with your family and friends for more than an evening?! We absolutely love planning destination events in foreign locales, but today's bride and groom need to consider the cost of travel for their guests to an Italian seaside villa, a French Riviera hotel, or a Mexican resort.
Why not find a happy medium in a tropical climate that has nearly year-round great weather: San Diego?

With tickets found at under $250 from virtually any US location, San Diego offers killer beaches, fabulous and cutting edge restaurants, fantastic shopping, and excellent lounging. You'll find a plethora of amazing hotels (the Hotel Del Coronado, la Valencia, the Estancia La Jolla, and so many more) that cater to the destination couple - from poolside or beach side ceremonies to brunches, late-night dancing, and gourmet food, you'll be certain to show your guests the time of their lives without leaving the country.
Contact us to chat about your destination wedding or event in San Diego!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Expert Advice: Janel Conlan - Focus Photography

Click on photo for a larger view

Janel Conlan from Focus Photography lends some expert advice to brides and grooms to-be when preparing for their engagement session. Engagement (or "e") session should be fun and goofy - check out some key tips she recommends.
Thanks, Janel!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wine Tasting

I recently went to a fantastic wine tasting at Dream City Catering with an unusual twist (literally) - twist-off tops! No wine corks here; I also learned that more and more wineries are turning to twist-offs as it reduces spoiled wines from bad corks!
Here are a few wines I really enjoyed:

Juno - an earthy red (Cab/Shiraz/Merlot) from South Africa and the label is beautiful! About $9/bottle. This wine has a rich flavor but mellows and is quite light.

Happy Camper Chardonnay (California) - a fun and light summertime wine - very buttery and a bit tangy; perfect for a warm summer night or garden party - About $10/bottle

Klostor Pinot Grigio (Germany) - a buttery and smooth wine; great with a light seafood meal; very fruity - About $10 a bottle