Life is a special occasion

L | D Finds: Groom Socks

I am on a roll with Etsy today. I started out surfing Laura Hooper's shop when I stumbled upon Erin Borges's shop. There are a bunch of cute items. It was her In Case you Get Cold Feet socks for the groom that jumped out at me. I think these might be a must for your future husband! She will even custom coordinate your sock and thread color to match your wedding colors. They are a little pricey at $30 but absolutely adorable none-the-less.

L | D Finds: Laura Hooper Calligraphy

I have been s-l-a-c-k-i-n-g lately. Business has really picked up, and events that I've been working are upon me. In addition, I am working on creating my professional website, designing wedding maps, monograms and invitations, and meeting with new clients. It's been fantastic but leaving me pressed for time. However, in the spirit of design, I posted some wedding maps by Laura Hooper who is extremely talented. Her calligraphy and stationary design are out of this world! Check out her Etsy shop and I will work on resuming a normal posting schedule!

Romantic Menus for Wedding Receptions

Food can set a mood. Fried chicken says one thing, caviar, another. But what does a salad with flower petals, a tower of strawberries or a heart-accented ice cream sandwich say? Pure, unabashed romance.

If roses capture a girl's heart, then why use them only as decor? Rose petals look just as lovely sprinkled in salads and are quite tasty paired with arugula and goat cheese. Chef/partner Gayle Pirie of San Francisco's Foreign Cinema developed this salad with lovers in mind, she says, and notes the goat cheese is “a tangy counter-point to the mild spice of arugula and nutty, ephemeral rose petals.”

For an adorable dessert, New York-based Elegant Affairs adorns ice cream sandwiches of almond-raspberry ice cream and fudgy cookies with tiny sugared hearts, then serves them as after-cake sweets at weddings.

Other romantic options? Aphrodisiacs, which Correale insists, “are not just oysters.” She cites almonds, avocados, truffles, honey, pineapple, licorice, ginger and figs as excellent options for an aphrodisiac-themed wedding menu. And for added touches of elegance, place decanters of wine on the table, or have servers offer choices of water table-side instead of setting pre-iced glasses of water.

As for what's up and coming, Correale says to look for salad dressings of vegetable purees to take the place of acidic dressings. And toss out the rolls and butter and serve whole-wheat flatbreads or crostini with spreads and pat├ęs, she notes.

Few things say romance like towers of strawberries. Alexandra Payard, founder of Tastings in New York, offers these as well as towers of meringues as dreamy centerpieces. The meringue tower, which serves as decor only, is presented alongside edible vacherin-style meringues filled with different curds, from caramel to lemon.

Yet another way to celebrate a matrimonial pairing is to offer food in pairs, Payard notes. The Tastings team has served tasting plates of bite-size savories for two, a main course duo, as well as two desserts, one representing the bride's taste and the other the groom's. And if you need a little help setting a romantic scene, Payard says, you can always play Cole Porter songs.


Elegant Affairs - (516) 676-8500

Foreign Cinema - (415) 648-7600

Tastings - (212) 744-4422

For the complete article by Christine Landry click here
Photo courtesy of Frankie Frankeny

Carolina Herrera Bridal Trunk Show

Attention all south Floridians!!! Carolina Herrera invites you to her new Bal Harbour boutique for an exclusive preview of the Fall 2009 bridal collection, March 26-28, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Carolina Herrera Bridal is synonymous with classic, elegant, chic designs that are feminine, sophisticated, and often whimsical, for brides who understand and appreciate the timeless beauty of the dress they select for their wedding day. Visit here for more information. To schedule an appointment, call (305) 867-7590 or email

Carolina Herrera is located at 9700 Collins Avenue, #102 in Bal Harbour, FL 33154.

L | D Finds: Paloma's Nest

Like I said before, Etsy is my own, little twenty-four hour pass to feeling like I'm back home in the city again! This evening I found Paloma's Nest, the maker of the ring bearer dish, featured in Brides Magazine! What an adorable and original spin on the classic ring bearer pillow...a ring bearer bowl!!!

This little white ceramic ring bowl is hand crafted and stamped with the words to have and to hold. Awwww, so sweet. It gets even better, because near the top of the rim are two little holes to lace the cotton cord through and hold your rings for your wedding ceremony. This cord can be easily switched out by you for a ribbon that matches your wedding style...or to a blue cord for your something blue. But that's not all, the tiny bowl can also be hung by the cord on a wall in a special spot: next to your wedding photo, in a shadow box frame, or on your holiday tree. The cost: $26!!! What a find.

Amy Atlas: Lavender Winter Wonderland

Amy Atlas is one very talented woman! She is responsible for all sorts of fabulous dessert tables. Though her blog is not updated very often, when it is, it's with something outstanding. Take for example the inspiration board above, which was a dessert buffet she put together that included a crystal wedding cake adorned with sugar snowflakes, opalescent barber poles, billowy marshmallows, and fondant snowflake petit fors. The table looked like a lavender winter wonderland! Not too shabby, right.

Photo Courtesy of Karen Mordechai

2009 Design Trends

If you are interested in incorporating the latest trends from the hospitality industry into your next meeting or special event, head to Miami for the annual Hospitality Design Boutique Expo & Conference. Everyone from architects and hoteliers to interior and furniture designer attend the annual event, presented by Hospitality Design magazine, which showcases the industries newest design trends. What is hot for 2009? According to BizBash, the three emerging trends that stood out at this year's expo are the return of texture, geometric chandelier designs, and a new color combination. 

Texture was visible throughout the convention center both in textiles-including upholstery, linens, flooring, and wall coverings-and furniture design. The emphasis on bold solid colors of past seasons has taken a backseat to fabrics with depth. The new products from designers such as Bliss Studio, David Francis Furniture, Ronald Redding Designs, and the Andrew Morgan Collection are patterned. Fabrics are showcasing multiple colors and incorporating two textures of a single color in one design, while chair backs and tabletops are now receiving more intricate looks.

And when it comes to color, chocolate brown-accented by turquoise, lime green, and orange-has been in the spotlight for many months in home decor and event design. However, exhibitors at the HD Boutique showcased the new color combination for 2009: yellow and black. Though it may evoke the image of bumblebees, furniture designers are welcoming the new palette and incorporating it into their products as accent colors and through bold, statement-making pieces.

Photos Courtesy of Wish Special Events / Simply Stated / The Perfect Palette

Real Events: Indian Inspired Affair

Style Me Pretty is an amazing web site dripping with inspiration. All you have to do is merely click on the page and you are inspired. I found this real wedding by Custom Event Group. It's a stunning Indian inspired affair. The colors are so incredibly vibrant, the attire so unbelievably gorgeous, the details so perfectly lovely. Prepare yourself to crave the layers upon layers of gorgeous color for your own wedding…

Photos courtesy of Sylvia's Photography

Take A Tax Deduction Off Of Your Wedding Expenses

You probably thought the last thing to add to your wedding to do list was to sit down and visit with your tax expert. This is one meeting you might not want to skip. Speaking with a tax expert before planning your wedding can save you some money and benefit some great charities all at the same time.  Here are eight money saving tips to try to incorporate into your event.

1. If you have your reception at a museum or public owned historic landmark or house, it is often a tax deduction for the free you pay to the historic society that owns the reception facility. Investigate this in advance when picking a reception locale. Many museums and are owned by non-profit organizations, so the rental fees will benefit the upkeep of the museum and are often considered a donation and therefore are usually a tax deduction . Speak to your accountant and see what venues count as a tax deduction.

2. According to Martha Stewart website that has 50 ways to save money at your wedding, after the event, if you donate your flowers to a hospital or nursing home is a tax deduction.

3. After the wedding, donate your wedding dress to a charity that resells wedding dresses and proceeds of the gowns go to charity, and its' retail value will be a tax deduction.  One organization is Bridal Garden that accepts dresses for donation to benefit disadvantaged children via the Sheltering Arms Children's' Service. 

4. Bridesmaids dresses, purses and shoes can be donated to the proms for unprivileged groups. One example is the Fairy Godmothers' charity in Flagstaff, Arizona. They take gowns, shoes, purses and jewelry from around the country. Check your local phone book to find a charity near you.

5. Instead of favors, a donation can be made in the guests name to a favorite charity. Many charities and organizations also make items that make great favors and wedding gifts that subsidizes the charity. 

6. Shop with vendors that donate to charities, such as The Greater Good, or the catalog or museum gift shops.

7. Look into the I do foundation for setting up a memorial fund or donations to your favorite charities when people buy your wedding gifts from your Home Depot, Amazon, Target, Mikasa, Gaiam, JCPenney and others. Plus you give 10% when you buy wedding invitations and wedding favors.

8. You will likely want to keep certain items from your wedding day ensemble, if they are not particularly sentimental such as your money bag or shoes or wedding slip, perhaps you can find a consignment shop that donates proceeds to charity such as Good Will or Salvation Army. They will help a good cause and another bride to be will be happy to have found a bargain.

Article Courtesy of Associated Content by Nom
Photo Courtesy of Grove Pashley Corbis

TOTW: Cake Cutting Fee

I knew I was over zealous when I announced a Tip Of The Day! Instead, I'm going to shoot for a Tip Of The Week, and this week's tip is on cake cutting.  If you did not know that venues can and usually tack on a cake cutting fee when clients bring in an outside baker, then check the fine print of your agreement.  A venue might even charge a fee when clients are using their in-house baker.  The usual fee ranges from $1.50 to $3.00, times 100, equals no thank you. 

What to do? Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. There is the "we'll walk out right now" route, which must be said with conviction; there is the "fine, we'll serve cupcakes" route, which you can't regret deciding when you don't have a three tiered wedding cake to cut; there is the "let's have Aunt Sarah cut the cake" route, which you have to make sure Aunt Sarah can handle, especially after a few hours of open bar; or, there is the "we'll serve individual cakes on each table" route, which is just so cool! 

There are options here, a lot of different options to get out of paying a ridiculous cake cutting fee. Because I can think of a million better uses of a few hundred dollars. For some more thoughts on negotiating cake cutting fees, check out this article from Project Wedding.

If you're thinking of having Aunt Sarah cut your cake, it might be a good idea to research how to cut a wedding cake. It is not impossible, but there are a few things to understand before tackling the project. Here is one of many articles.

Signature Drink Club: Blueberry Mojito

A fun blog to read is Wedding Cabaret. There is always something different posted, and today it is a recipe for a Blueberry Mojito.  I've never tasted a blueberry mojito. But after reading about it and imagining the fresh, sweet blueberries mixed with clean-zing of fresh mint, I think it is a drink I might like to try once.  Who knows, it has the makings to be the most refreshing, delicious cocktail!  Perfect for the Signature Drink Club as it's a combination I have not come across...yet.

Blueberry Mojito

- 1 1/2 oz light rum
- 1/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 8 mint leaves
- 8 fresh blueberries
- 1 tsp sugar
- Club soda
Garnish: lime slice and mint sprig

Muddle mint leaves with sugar in a mixing glass. Add light rum, lime juice to shake with ice. Pour into a tall glass. Drop blueberries and club soda. Garnish with lime slice and mint sprig.

Photo Courtesy of Cocktail Times

Ron Ben-Israel

If you don't know who Ron Ben-Israel is then stop reading this right now, and look him up! He is only the master of wedding cakes! A wedding cake artist. Seriously, I would have loved, loved, loved to have a Ron Ben-Israel wedding cake at my own wedding. All of his cakes are custom designed out of your dreams! It has been said that brides say to sample a Ron Ben-Israel cake is to experience the difference between mere cake and pure ambrosia. And really, how often does that happen?

Want a Ron Ben-Israel wedding cake? Though he will try to work within your budget, most clients choose wedding cakes that range from $12 - $15 per person and book their cake 6 to 12 months in advance!

Current Music: FrankMusik

One of my favorite blogs, along with millions of other people, is Perez Hilton, I check his web site throughout the day. Most of his posts are gossip related but sometimes he posts his favorites artists, and today he posted about an artist named Frank Musik who I love. It's dance music, which I am normally not a huge fan of but it is certainly not the case with Frank! His is soulful dance music. Better Off As 2, Vacant Heart and Time Will Tell are great songs. Upbeat and fresh; perfect for a playlist for a hip cocktail party. Here is a link to his myspace page and a link to his website. Go have a listen! 

Photo Courtesy of FrankMusik

TOTW: Florist Contract

New post idea, I am going to try to do a tip of the day.  Notice the emphasis on the word tip.  Today's tip focuses on flowers.  If you are hiring a florist for an event, it goes without saying, you must have a contract. Beyond that, make sure the contract spells our exactly what services you are getting, AND the penalty if any part of the contract is broken.

Is the vendor responsible for delivery? Put it in the contract. Is the vendor responsible for delivery on a certain day? Put it in the contract. Is the vendor responsible for a delivery on a certain day at a certain time? Put it in the contract. Picking up on the pattern here? Put everything in the contract; be as specific as possible. Don't worry about being annoying, or feeling silly taking all these precautions. It's your event, it's your money. You should be getting exactly what you want.

But what about the intangible? How do you put an idea into a contract? Pictures, measurements, dimensions, colors, sketches, number of flowers to be used, types of flowers to be used, color of flowers, ribbons, vases, etc... A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not include it in your contract. It is very hard to misinterpret a picture! 

Finally, save your correspondences between you and the florist. ALL OF THEM!

If you take the time and put in the effort, you will get the results you want. It is work, but it is worth it in the end when your event is exactly how you envisioned it. And in the off chance a mistake is made, you will have a solid foundation to back up your case and get your money back. 

Photo Courtesy of Bridal Buds

Save-The-Date Postcards

These charming save-the-dates prove good news can come in small packages, too. Purchase mini cards and envelopes (Motel Deluxe made these 2-by-3-inch sets). Run envelopes through a machine that adds adhesive backing (Martha Stewart used one from Xyron), and affix to postcards (either store-bought or cut from card stock). Handwrite or stamp your wedding information on the cards; tuck them in the envelopes, and seal. Add standard first-class postage, and you're set to announce you've set the date. How adorable! Word to the wise, make sure your envelope is properly adhered to the card stock. You don't want it falling off in the mail! 

For more fabulous save-the-dates ideas, check out the domestic goddess Martha Stewart's website.

Adorn Brides

Champagne taste and beer bottle pockets? Adorn Brides can help, at least for the evening. Shop, rent, wear and return. It's that simple to have beautiful jewelry to wear on your wedding day, or any special event. I like the Beckford Necklace, a beautiful sapphire and diamond necklace in white gold.  Simply lovely.  Easy to wear, yet so hard to return!

L | D Finds : Ella Scott Jewels

Twitter just becomes more and more awesome by the day! It is a portal to all the talented people out there. Today, Twitter helped me to cross paths with Ella Scott Jewels, who messaged me about her Etsy shop. Because I love finding new things, of course I checked out her jewelry. Well, I am glad I's fabulous and affordable! There were beautiful bracelets, necklaces, earrings, bouquet crystals, jeweled hair pins. Everything. 

As I was checking out her store, my mind was racing with uses for all of her pieces. Give me one of each please. I guess I should have prefaced this by confessing that I don't really need an excuse to shop. It's true, I am a shopaholic. If I like, than I will probably buy it. This urge has slowed down since the birth of my daughter but if you need justification to spend your money, Ella Scott Jewels are perfect gifts for bridesmaids, a "just because" gift for a friend / wife / mother / daughter / yourself, birthday gift, mother's day, to adorn your bouquets, and on and on and on! 

I'm born and raised in New York City but I currently live in Jupiter, which is a small town on the east coast of Florida. For me, it's been an adjustment moving to Florida. Don't get me wrong, I'm not out in the boondocks but I certainly don't have the world at my fingertips anymore. With that being said, Etsy is like the next best thing to living in the city. Instead of walking around the village, now I search stores on Etsy. Nowhere is like NY, but it's like the next best thing. I encourage everyone to visit Etsy, you will be glad you did!