Friday, April 29, 2011

History in the Making: The Royal Wedding

The day has come! Prince William and, now, Princess Kate are man and wife and their wedding day could not have been more perfect! From the start of the ceremony affairs and processional of honorable guests, the anticipation for the arrival of the bride grew with intensity. All were anxious to see the mysterious gown and catch a glimpse of history truly in the making.

There were many aspects of today's royal wedding that stood out for many of us, whether it be Princess Kate's unforgettable ride to Westminster Abbey with her father, or her 4 minute walk down the Abbey's aisle. The whole day just seemed magical and truly was the epitome of elegance. Her dress, designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen was tasteful yet flattering. Her poise and subtleness is that of a future Queen. Her small bouquet, although understated but manageable, was meaningful containing Lily of the Valley, Stephanotis blossoms and a sprig of Myrtle for good luck (a royal tradition). And her tiara, an 18th birthday present of Queen Elizabeth's, was classic and regal.
 Details from the Day:
    1. Rumor has it that Princess Kate wore flats for her 4 minute walk down the aisle. While most brides do this for the reception, Princess Kate made a wise decision for a very long and memorable walk.
    2. "You may not kiss the Bride"? Yes, Prince William and Princess Kate did not share a first kiss as man and wife within the walls of Westminster Abbey as the church is hallowed ground and a kiss is serious business for royalty. A kiss must be done tastefully and at the most appropriate times.
    3. William did not watch his Bride come down the aisle like most grooms do. This tradition fits rather appropriately for the couple as they represent an even and fair marriage. We know Princess Kate did not vow to "obey" William, like Diana, and a good majority of their relationship ideologies were apparent throughout the ceremony. William would not see his Bride until she was at his side, very representative of their outlook on marriage.
     4. Diana was remembered and very much apart of the day's events whether it was through the engagement ring, special hymns performed during the ceremony, it was even noted that just before Princess Kate entered Westminster Abbey a burst of sunlight broke through the overcast skies, as if to signify Diana's presence.

There is no doubt that today's event will forever be remembered in history. And many that watched this wedding, young and old, will reminisce for years to come.

Of all of today's memorable events, we want to hear your favorite! Likes, dislike, tell us about it! Be detailed as your comments will help create an inspiration board reflecting the royal wedding that future brides might use to create their dream day! = )

              The Emily Weddings Team

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Curing the Royal Wedding Jitters

With only ONE day until the Royal wedding, you would expect Will and Kate to be scurrying around with a frantic look, but London reporters have discovered just the opposite. William has been spotted playing a casual game of football, while Kate was seen unloading a cardboard box from Tesco.

If the bride and groom of the royal wedding can be relaxed the week of their big day, so can you! Here are eight easy ways to combat stress and wedding insanity from The Knot.

1. Declare a wedding-free weekend.

For a full 48-hour period, pretend you're the two people you were before you got engaged (and, in the meantime, remind yourselves of why you wanted to get married to each other in the first place). No wedding planning or fighting allowed! No talk of hors d'oeuvres, seating charts, or first dance songs. Hang out, laugh, have fun, and flirt with each other for a change.

2. Have a night out with the girls (or boys).

With all the "togetherness" of being a future bride and groom, remind yourselves you're individuals too. Book a night out with your respective same-sex posse (again, no wedding talk). Hit the town like a swinging single and stay out past midnight. Take advantage of the fact that your future spouse isn't around to do something with your friends he or she doesn't like to do -- we're talking chick flick, batting cages, steak dinner, manicures. Then entertain each other the next day with tales of your exploits.

3. Go on a fancy date.

Chances are, for the past few months you've been scrimping and saving every extra nickel to supplement The Budget. If you've done well, reward yourselves for your miserly skills by spending a little of that cold hard cash. Book a table at the fanciest restaurant in town and go for the full monty: fine wine, appetizer, entree, dessert, and after-dinner drinks. Afterward, stop in a local jazz club and catch a torch singer belting out inspiring tunes de l'amour.

4. Take a drive.

Reserve a weekend afternoon and head for the open road. Check out that little place a couple of towns over that you always mean to visit. Test each other's map-reading skills. Play road games like, Who Can Spot the Most Out-of-State License Plates? Sing along to cheesy songs on the radio. Buy a souvenir at a highway truck stop. Stumble upon a romantic restaurant for lunch or dinner before heading home.

5. Mastermind a movie marathon.

There's nothing like a good movie to transport you from reality to fantasy. Take the phone off the hook, rent a whole slew of films, and spend an evening in, snacking on popcorn and Sno-Caps. The trick here is to stay away from wedding-theme fare -- sorry, this includes Father of the Bride -- while keeping the romance theme going with a steamy story like The Lover. Or opt for the comic relief of a Jim Carrey or Eddie Murphy flick -- laughter, after all, is still the best stress reliever.

6. Get in some game play.

Sometimes a little healthy competition serves to make you closer, right? Challenge your mate to a night of games: Pictionary, Scrabble, backgammon, even good old cards. If you own a Sony PlayStation 2, take the high-tech road to fun. Rather venture out? Head for the nearest bowling alley -- or look into go-carts, ice-skating, and tennis tournaments for other fun and sporty activities to enjoy a deux.

7. Revert to childhood.

There's nothing like a good amusement park to get you feeling like a kid again. Wake up extra early to avoid long lines, then get your fill of roller coasters, log flumes, and Ferris wheels. Challenge your future mate to a bumper car race. Fill up on cotton candy, funnel cake, and waffle cones. Take an old-fashioned photo. Then spend an hour or so trying to win a supersize stuffed animal to take home as a memento of the day.

8. Engage in an eat-a-thon.

If you both love to cook, compose a special theme menu for a romantic at-home date. Go shopping together and pick the freshest produce around (maybe there's a farmer's market near you) -- and remember to include some aphrodisiac ingredients! Nab a bouquet and some candles to pretty up your table while you're at it. Once at home, take time to really enjoy the meal prep process. Line up all your ingredients on the countertop and open a bottle of wine. And take lots of liberties when it comes to recipes -- nothing's better than creating signature dishes together.

Read more:
Stress: 8 Easy Ways to Prevent Wedding Insanity -

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fashion Fit for Royalty

One of the biggest stories circling the royal nuptials is the mystery behind Kate Middleton's dress. Her designer as well as the dress itself has been kept a secret throughout the entire planning process and many of us are anxiously waiting to see what it will look like! Editor in Chief Julie Raimondi offered her expectations for the mystery gown this morning on "The Early Show". This morning's show featured a mini fashion show of designer gowns modeled after what many think will mirror Kate's gown. Designers are already putting together new designs and trends into their 2012 lines to market to the many upcoming brides looking for a gown truly fit for royalty. 

"Kate's dress will be an important dress and one that will be talked about forever, but her wedding is already changing the bridal market," says Raimondi. So what styles are catching this newly found royal fever?

[CBS News]

TREND #1: CINDERELLA BALLGOWN (aka -- the formal ball gown)
This classic grand tulle ball gown, which we saw all over the runway and is clearly a result of royal fever. This one is by Alfred Angelo and features a crystal beaded top with layers and layers of tulle at the bottom. The top features enough embellishments to match the grandness of the bottom.
Probably the most exciting, and fun, trend we're seeing is the explosion of the wedding fascinator. When the focus is on a signature accessory, it's important to keep the gown simple and sleek. A simple mermaid gown paired with sleek lines and a modern edge showcases the playfulness of a hat. We predict hats won't solely be worn by the wedding guests, but by brides, as an interesting and intricate alternative to veils.

TREND # 3: EMBELLISHMENTS (formal gowns with intricate adornments)
A royal wedding inspires a return to the formal. This is a gown by Lazaro, and represents the trend of over-the-top embellishments. In recent years, wedding gowns have really paired down, so this is something very different -- it's all about beading and lace and sparkle, along with a formal silhouette, so the effect is very "more-is-more," and it's something we saw a whole lot of in the 2012 collections.
When Princess Diana came out in the voluminous princess ball gown with puffy sleeves and layers of tulle, it became the new "standard." The David and Elizabeth Emmanuel gown was made of 275 yards of pearl-studded silk taffeta, tulle, and netting. It was a lot -- even for the '80s! Thankfully, today's princess ball gowns are toned down, but will always epitomize royal weddings, since gowns must be big and grand to suit a cathedral setting. 

This is a huge departure from what wedding gowns have looked like for the past 10 years, and it's all about the sleeve. Getting married in Westminster Abbey, Kate's gown will likely have sleeves, and that has inspired sleeved gowns to pop up in almost every line. The body of the gown is simple and flattering, and all the styling is around the arms and neck, making this a very formal look, and surprisingly sexy.
This is also reminiscent of another royal wedding when, in 1956, Grace Kelly went from Hollywood star to real-life princess in a fairy-tale gown by MGM costume designer Helen Rose. The dress was made from 125-year-old Valenciennes rose point lace, 25 yards of silk taffeta, and 98 yards of tulle, and the veil was covered with lace appliquïe lovebirds and thousands of pearls. It was very ornate, without being too much.  

TREND #5 - GRAND TRAINS (aka "the return of the train!")
 Douglas Hannant designed a gown that features a 12-foot tulle train. Princess Diana's train was 25 feet, so you can imagine what a spectacle that was. We don't expect Kate to go that distance, but she will have a grand train which, like the ball gown, is almost crucial to fill up the space of Westminster Abbey. This kind of statement gown would do just that. Although it's much too daring on top for a royal wedding, it epitomizes the grand, fabulous, over-the-top and super-sexy gowns from the 2012 lines that scream princess fantasy!

Is your dress featured in this list of "Royal Fever" styles? Tell us about it! And if you've already married, share your photos! After wouldn't want to ruin the surprise! = )

          The Emily Weddings Team

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bride-to-Be Slim Down

As we count down the days to the Royal Wedding, Kate Middleton has taken on the nickname "Skinny Kate." It is perfectly normal for brides-to-be to slim down before the big day whether it's from dieting or just from nerves.

But when your wedding is a few months away, how can a bride start to shape up? The Knot gives brides these five weight loss tips:

Photo by Marie Claire

1. Drink Water. Skip the diet soda and start getting your fill on water. Besides being good for you, water helps your body get rid of toxins, and constant sipping can help keep you from over-snacking. So grab a bottle you can tote around with you and figure out how many refills you'll need to get your daily fill. Eight glasses a day is a good round number, but the amount of water your body requires is really based on your weight. How much do you need? Divide your weight in half. The resulting number equals the ounces of water you should be drinking every day.

2. Slim Down Servings

Gargantuan servings are one of the main calorie culprits of weight gain. Start with small portions and take more only if you're still hungry. Experts even suggest that it's better to eat four or five small meals with moderate portions throughout the day than to have two or three large meals.

Fill Up On Fruits and Veggies

If you fill up on fruit and vegetables every day, you'll have less room for more fattening treats. To keep your snacks interesting, find a good produce store where you can pick and choose from more than just carrots and celery sticks. Stash some exotic fruit in your bag for when you're running errands or at work. While you're at it, buy a good knife to make prep work on fruits and veggies painless and quick.

Cut Back on Booze

A celebratory drink can cost you 150 calories or more. And that's if you only have one! Even if you're in the habit of having just a few drinks a week, cutting back on alcohol can save you hundreds of calories in the end. Save the cocktails for the special occasions coming up and sip water instead.


Yes, this is an obvious one. But seriously -- do something (anything!) to get moving. Twenty minutes of exercise a day will do wonders to boost your energy and kick-start the calorie burning process. Walk to the grocery store, take the stairs at work, or at least do a few laps of window shopping in your local mall. If you're serious about shedding inches, aim to do 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) three or four days a week. Get a six-month workout regimen here.

Read more: Wedding Workout Exercise - Wedding Beauty Tips - 5 Ways to Lose Weight Before the Wedding -

Monday, April 25, 2011

David Tutera's Royal Wedding Insight

With the royal wedding just days away, many anxiously wait to see just how elaborate and elegant the details will be. Like we mentioned in our previous post, A Royal Wedding on a Budget, many brides will look to the royal wedding for inspiration and ideas for their own wedding decor. Who doesn't love the lavish embellishments, gold accents, and opulent designs of a truly over-the-top and extravagant wedding? Deciding to incorporate these regal details and ideas into your own wedding can easily be done with many DIY (do it yourself) projects that are sure to save you some money in the long run. Many brides and grooms have stuck mainly to DIY projects to make their weddings unique and memorable! Check out DIY Bride for Real DIY weddings and tools and techniques!

David Tutera, a truly unforgettable name in the wedding industry, is very fond of DIY projects and making the most elaborate and seemingly unattainable detail, a simplistic reality for any bride. The featured video below is an interview with David Tutera as he discusses his thoughts on the upcoming royal wedding, the details, and a few creative ways brides can recreate a royal feel.

The Emily Weddings Team

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Something Blue Shoe

We have all heard the wedding custom of something old, something new, but brides are turning up the dial on
their something blue. The blue bridal shoe is popping up everywhere as a new twist on an old tradition.

Photo by The Knot

For those who aren't sold on a blue shoe, we love these blue-bottomed shoes from Pour la Victoire. This style, the Jamison sells for just $100 on Zappos!
Photo by Zappos

If heels aren't your thing, then slip on these blue sandals by Jack Rogers. Simple and comfortable, these leather Palm Beach Navajos are a classic that will work for the ceremony and long throughout the night. Switch up the colors and put them on your bridesmaids. They will be sure to thank you the morning after when they are blister free!

Photo by Jack Rogers

What is your something blue? We would love for you to share! Have a wonderful weekend!
The Emily Weddings Team

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Royal Wedding on a Budget
Now, here's something we all can relate to...saving money! Who doesn't want to these days?  And what better time than your wedding! In light of the upcoming royal nuptials, many brides might be inspired by the wedding's elegant and timeless feel. They will not, however, be more inclined to spend an upwards of $48 million dollars on their wedding! So how does a bride on a budget achieve the same elegant aspects of her wedding without breaking the bank?
While your wedding is a rather costly expense, it doesn't have to burn a hole in your pocket or your parents. These ideas will cut costs in the most simplistic ways without compromising the overall effect of your wedding (and that's the important part!)
1. Extend your engagement. A longer planning period means a better chance of getting the best vendors in your price range. Plus, you can typically lock in rates that might increase by the time your wedding date arrives. Extending your engagement allows the bride and groom to allocate expenses effectively overtime and find exactly what their looking for.
2. Imbibe wisely. Many sites offer consumption bars (you pay for the liquor your guests drink) or open bars (a flat fee per guest). If your invitees are light drinkers, a consumption bar will save you cash. On another note: Make sure you trust the establishment tallying drinks. When considering which packaged bar will work best for your wedding, simply think your guests. The last thing you want is a surprise balance at the end of the night for an unexpected amount of drink consumption.
3. Avoid a Saturday night soiree. Wedding pros charge their highest fees for parties that are held on this evening. If you're willing to move your event to a Friday or Sunday night, you'll probably get lower rates-and even better ones for a weeknight wedding. The same goes to your individual vendors.
4. Marry in the off-season. Prime party times are from May to October in most parts of the country. If you instead plan your nuptials for January, for instance, you'll have a better chance of finding vendors who will drop their rates. Vendors are always looking for jobs throughout the year, and while wedding season is the most prosperous for them, they still do business in the off-season. Not to mention, it may be easier to find a particular vendor for your wedding date.
5. Steer clear of holidays. A Valentine's Day wedding will mean higher costs for flowers-and for nuptials on New Year's Eve, your site may charge you overtime rates for staffing. If you are planning a destination wedding, consider travel costs during the holiday season as well as hotel room rates, as all will be affected.
6. Shop strategically. When searching for a gown within your budget, avoid luxe materials and embellishments. Instead, go for textured fabrics like silk organza, crinkled silk and silk faille, which look and feel more expensive than they are. Word to the wise, only ask to see gowns in your budget and don't deviate. There are many beautiful dresses by very talented designers but falling in love with the gown and not the price is such a disappointment.
7. Inquire about freebies. Yes, it's okay to ask! Some sites include a cake, flowers or a honeymoon suite in wedding packages. They, of course, won't mention it if you don't ask, but there are freebies out there! Do your research before inquiring at a particular venue.
8. Pick a multipurpose venue. If you use one site for the ceremony and reception, you'll save on site fees and won't have to pay for transportation to both spots. While this isn't always possible for couples, it is a big money saver on site related costs. Some venues will even waive the site fee if you plan on hosting your reception there as well. They can also discount reception costs or include freebies for the bride and groom.

These are just a few way to cut costs on your wedding budget without sacrificing the overall look and feel of your wedding. And the money that you do save can contribute to a honeymoon that's truly fit for royalty!

**Read 30 other tips for saving money on your wedding here!

How do you plan on saving money on your wedding? We want to hear about it!


          The Emily Weddings Team

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creative Cake Toppers

The origin of wedding cake toppers can date back to the late 1800's, but the figurines have come a long way from the miniature version of a bride and groom.

From unusual to custom and personalized, cake toppers can stir up a lot of attention from your wedding guests.

We love these love birds from Vintage Green Limited for a shabby chic look. These handmade toppers can be custom made in colors and patterns that work with your wedding decor.

For a more rustic look we found these "Luck in Love" cake toppers from Bragging Bags. These toppers are unique and will add a personal touch to your big day.

Or for a whimsical approach, we love these bobblehead toppers! Magnolia Tree can custom make these to resemble you and your beau!

Are you using a creative cake topper for your wedding? We would love to hear about it! We are always looking for fresh and unique ideas that make a wedding personalized!


The Emily Weddings Team

Monday, April 18, 2011

Creative and Memorable Guest Books

En Pointe Photography
The guest book at a wedding is probably up there on the list of important "must haves". What else do you take home with you? Sure there will be memories and hopefully fantastic photos for you to look at years down the road, but what about your guests? Did they have fun? Did Aunt Gina get a chance to congratulate you both amidst the hectic schedule of the night? Having an accessible guest book gives everyone in attendance the opportunity to wish you the best and congratulate the happily married couple! (It also serves as a good record of who actually attended your wedding <---as usually people build their official address book from this list, did you know that?)

While working a wedding this past weekend, I couldn't help but notice the bride and groom's guest book. This particular couple took their engagement photos and had them compiled into a "coffee table" like book. Inside this book contained their absolutely adorable engagement photos along with a generous margin along the sides for their guests to write on. I loved it! Forget the classic guest book, with boring lines and that way overdone feather pen. Get creative and sentimental with your guest book!   

Here are a few other ideas for a guest book (if you’re not fond of the "book" idea)

Celebration Plates

1. A Ceramic Platter-guests will sign this decorative platter with a special pen. The platter can later be mounted on your wall or displayed in your china cabinet for years to come!
Daisy Days

2. Matted Photograph of the Couple- This photo is surrounded by a sturdy mat, giving your guests ample room to sign around.

3. (Our favorite!!)  A Wedding Tree- Guests can leave their thumbprint on your wedding tree and sign their names next to it! What a creative and artsy way for your guests to leave a little "imprint" on your special day! = )

**What kind of guest book will you be using at your wedding? Tell us about it!
                         The Emily Weddings Team

The Return of the Bow Tie

The bow tie, a must-have of every Southern man's wardrobe, has certainly made a comeback within the past few years. A symbol of classic sophistication, the bow tie is making its appearance known with companies such as Southern Proper and Vineyard Vines.

Whether you are sticking with the standard black, or mixing it up with vibrant colors and patterns, your groomsmen are sure to look sharp in this charming fashion accessory.

Friday, April 15, 2011

iPod Your Wedding?

Thinking of ditching your DJ ideas to save some money? Considering your iPod instead? Let's discuss the costs and the benefits of using an iPod as your "DJ" and actually using a professional DJ.

Okay, so using your iPod might save you some dollars on your reception costs, but it may just cost you more than you think. Numerous scenarios can happen when opting to use an iPod at your wedding.

 #1- You've made this "great playlist" of songs but apparently it's not what your guests want to hear! The one is dancing! What a disaster!

 #2-You've got your computer (iTunes) hooked up and ready to go...but it dies halfway through the wedding! What's your back up? Do you even have one?

#3- You want someone to help organize when the first dances are (mother with groom, father with bride etc.), so you ask a friend?
Deciding to use your own computer/iPod for your wedding looks great in a budget, but it will cost you something more than money could be worth sometimes....the overall effect of your wedding and how happy your guests will be. 

~On the brighter side! DJ's can be a world of a difference! And here's why! = )

 #1- DJ's have an almost infinite source of music for every occasion and for every mood. They're good at switching up the playlist to match the guests' mood and get them on their feet!

 #2- A good DJ is a GREAT MC! And this is probably a key component in any smooth running wedding. The DJ can instruct the flow of the event through music and also through his/her ability to coordinate important moments like the father/daughter dance or a special toast!

 #3- Another important detail...DJ's (good DJ's anyway) should also provide a backup if for some reason their equipment malfunctions during your wedding. You always have to think about the "what ifs", and more often than not, there will be some electrical malfunction or technical difficulties. Having a back up and being overly prepared is what the event professionals are for.

 DJ's are fun! They help make your wedding a seamless, flawless event that's memorable for everyone! They engage your guests in the nights events and make for a truly unforgettable wedding.

 **Tell me what you think? Are you planning to ditch the DJ at your wedding and iPod it? 

                   The Emily Weddings Team