April, 2009

Apr 09

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Here are a few tips to consider when shopping for your dress:

• Make an appointment – if you don’t have one, it is likely that you won’t get the attention you need
• Bring a friend or your mom – it’s always nice to have honest opinions, but too many can be overwhelming so choose wisely
• Get ready – do your hair and make-up, you’ll just feel pretty and have a better time
• Eat
– have a light snack before you shop so you are happy and satisfied
• Be open to suggestions – somtimes a bride will choose a style of gown she swore she would never wear
• Give yourself plenty of time – be sure not to make back-to-back appointments so you have ample time

Dress faves of Better Together?

  • Watters Brides (picture of the Morelia style above) – Watters also just came out with a W2 Bridal collection complete with designs under $1,000.
  • Priscilla of Boston (see left, style 4307 in ivory embroidered lace) – Timeless lace and elegance reminiscent of Grace Kelley

  • Melissa Sweet – With an eye for cutting-edge design, she pulls off the sweet and romantic with ease. Antigua Style below.

  • J. Crew Brides – My favorite “luxe looking” affordable option. This dress is under $300.

Happy Sassy Shopping!!!

Apr 09

Ruminations on Rooms

Today I visited a fantastic venue in Aurora, NY on Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. The venue is aptly named the Aurora Inn. It’s a classic country inn right on the lake in wine country. I love everything about this venue, but the rooms are really special. They are elegantly and lavishly decorated, but have a cozy feeling to them as well. All have marble bathrooms and comfortable lounge chairs; most have balconies with porch swings or chairs looking on to the lake; some even have fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs.

The Aurora Inn’s fabulous rooms got me thinking about the importance of a great room. I planned a honeymoon recently for a couple who wanted to do Italy on a budget, but still wanted cozy and comfortable accommodations. Obviously I couldn’t go to Italy (I wish!) and check-out all the 3-star hotels first hand, so I had to rely on many many hours of research to find the perfect rooms. Thankfully, I love that sort of thing! Final product: 6 days at the Hotel Margherita in Praiano on the Amalfi Coast. This hotel comes highly reviewed and is known for its fantastic customer service. It’s a one-woman show, which I must admit I have a soft-spot for since I am also a one-woman show! But the daily Italian breakfast room service delivered straight to your personal veranda with a view of the Mediterranean Coast for under 100 euros a night pretty much sealed the deal!

Tip: Trip Advisor is a phenomenal resourse. They offer tons of first-hand reviews, pictures, and hotel ratings that are highly reputable.

Apr 09

Accessorizing Your Special Event!

I was ogling over this bag this morning (which actually costs an affordable $59 courtesy of J.Crew Spring sale), when I thought to share an ingenious website with you all.


Basically, you can rent, rather than buy designer jewelry and bags.

Take this Badgley MischkaStanwyck‘ Clutch, which retails for more than $700. For $46 you can rent it for a week.

If you really want to splurge guilt free, try this ‘Glisten’ evening clutch designed by Leiber . You’ll already feel like a princess on your wedding day, so you don’t need a $3,000 couture bag, but for $123 a week, it’s like eating chocolate cake and ice cream for only 100 calories. With renting couture bags, you can have your cake and eat it too! You can also rent designer jewelry, sunglasses, and watches from this site. Happy renting!

Apr 09

Honeymoon Reads!

Sure you’ve read those “what to take on your honeymoon” checklists in the bridal magazines, but what to take for your honeymoon beach/trip reads? With today’s burgeoning checked baggage fees, you really need to narrow down your reading materials. So what to bring?

Most importantly, bring the best travel book you read in your trip research.

Beach/relaxation reads?

  • Real Simple magazine… in the hopes that you’ll keep things simple and relax even after the honeymoon.

  • I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris -> a total sassy girl pick; you’ll laugh outloud… repeatedly.

  • Anything by Emily Griffin; some examples include Something Borrowed, and Baby Proof.
  • Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner; the author is so down to earth and creates truly lovable, real characters.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; you really care about the characters.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy are the smartest, sexiest, sassiest, and most romantic lovers of all time… next to you and your husband of course.

[By the way, I like Keira Knightley and all, but this English actress is much more how I pictured Elizabeth from the book. And Colin Firth? Enough said.]

Stay away from total page turners, e.g. anything from the Twilight series. You’ll be totally disinterested in doing anything besides finding out whether or not Edward turns Bella into a vampire!

Apr 09

Signature Cocktail, Please!

One idea that has become very popular at weddings and special events of all kinds is a signature cocktail. It’s a great way of adding a personal detail in an unlikely place like the bar. It is also an unexpected place to find color, providing an additional decor element to your overal color scheme.

Love champagne and the color peach? How about a bellini?

Or maybe you’re planning a wedding by the sea with a blue color scheme. A blue martini would be perfect. If pink is one of your colors, you’ll be faced with a touch decision; there are so many pink cocktails that an entire book is devoted to them. Some of my favorites include a vodka/pink lemonade cocktail and a Pink Sunrise cocktail courtesy of Rachel Ray (a delicious combo of Campari liqueur, red grapefruit juice, and champagne).

Green event? Try a mojito:

Sangria is a crowd pleaser for red palettes.

A signature drink is not a must-have, but it certainly adds some sassiness to the cocktail hour! For more ideas on fun drinks, check out The Food Network’s website.

Apr 09

The Inside Scoop on Honeymoon Registries

One of my clients is thinking about setting up a honeymoon registry in addition to the standard department store registry options. I got busy researching the ins and outs of such a set-up and gathered a lot of important information.

The main thing to remember when establishing a honeymoon registry is to read the fine print and do your research before choosing a company. Nearly all major honeymoon registry companies charge some sort of fee, ranging from a flat fee of $150 to 8-10% of every contribution gift.

Honeymoon registry specialists, such as The Big Day, HoneyLuna, Distinctive Honeymoons, Traveler’s Joy and The Honeymoon now compete with programs from lodging chains, like the Marriott, Starwood and Sandals. The one advantage with the former group is that couples can choose specific aspects of their trip, like snorkeling, massages, a private beach, for gift-givers to choose from. The downside to these options is that oftentimes the fine print does not offer refunds to the couple if they decide to sleep through the snorkeling trip. The lodging chains tend to me more flexible with the credit, but gift-givers are usually limited to contributing to meals, tours, and accommodations.

Another big difference between a traditional registry and a honeymoon registry is that ultimately it is the couple’s responsibility to foot the bill. In short, the couple pays for their trip in advance and hopes that guests chip in with gifts along the way. Still, when it comes to splurges like massages, the couple does not usually have to pay in advance; they can see if people purchase some big trip splurges for them before committing to pricier vacation experiences. The honeymoon agency usually mails the couple a check of gifts received before the wedding. Chain companies typically issue a gift card or company credit.

Also, remember to watch expiration dates. Starwood’s Honey Money expires after only two years, while the Marriott’s never expires.

Etiquette-wise, it is perfectly fine to register for a honeymoon. Just make sure you have your family and friends spread the word for you. The major downside are the service fees, of course. The best site I found in my opinion is called Honeymoon Wishes, a company based out of CA: http://ytb.honeymoonwishes.com/ What’s nice with this program is that it is totally free to set-up and the couple can choose to have the 7% automatically deducted from a $50 gift, rather than having the gift-giver automatically have to add-on 7% to their intended gift.

Planning a honeymoon takes time and a lot of research. Better Together Events can help! For an affordable fee, we can do all the leg-work for you, so you can just sit back and dream about your ultimate honeymoon experience, whatever it might be. For me, famous New Orleans beignets, hot strong coffee, and my new husband was my idea of a perfect morning!