135 posts categorized "Local Shops"


If I had to do it all over again.....

There isn’t much I would change about my wedding day.  After almost ten years of marriage I’m sure there are certain things I would do differently because things change over a decade.  Styles evolve, new trends emerge and tastes can change.  But for the most part everything was really nice.  But if I truly had it to do all over again, I probably would have taken the money and ran!  My parents graciously paid for my wedding, but offered to let me use that money elsewhere if we just wanted to have a small destination wedding instead.  Knowing what I know now (and being in the wedding industry has probably jaded me) and being more practical I probably would have jumped on the opportunity.  Not that weddings shouldn’t be celebrated and enjoyed, but the amount of money wasted on frivolous things could really be much better spent! 

But as long as little girls dream of their fairytale weddings and the industry continues to grow, flourish and dominate the media, money will be spent on lavish events.  Hopefully, the next generation of brides will learn to be smart with their spending and won’t go in to debt to pull off a dream wedding.  Maybe the eco-friendly wedding trend will take off and brides will pay more attention to the environmental consequences of their choices. And maybe, just maybe, brides will begin to cherish the reason behind the big party and work harder on their actual marriage than they
do on planning their wedding.  Wishful thinking?


Don't over-accessorize your wedding look

It’s all about the dress, right?  So why do so many brides want to take attention away from themselves and their beautiful gowns by wearing too much, too big and too gaudy jewelry and accessories?  There’s no doubt about it; there is such a thing as too much bling!  Sure, it’s all about your individual style and personality, but try not to go overboard with your jewels.  A simple, unadorned gown may look fantastic with a fancy beaded belt and matching necklace, but don’t feel the need to wear it all.  A tiara, earrings, necklace, bracelet and belt may be overdoing it.  Choose the pieces that complement your gown, not compete with it.

If you’ve chosen a highly ornate gown with a lot of beading, embroidery or lace, you may want to skip a lot of accessories all together.  Maybe a nice chandelier earring if your hair is pulled back.  But a bare neck may be in order so as not to overshadow the details of the gown.  You want to shine on your wedding day, but you don’t want to blind your guests!  Remember the adage; sometimes less is more.


What to do when the party (wedding) is over!

Congratulations!  You’re married!  Hopefully it was as magical as you always dreamed and your months of planning came off without a hitch.  While you bask in the glow of married life and slowly return to normalcy, there are a few things you should ensure happen to “close out” your wedding.

First, make sure all your vendors have been paid.  You probably took care of all the deposits and final payments before the wedding, but if you owe any outstanding balances, be sure they are paid promptly. Next, return any items that you may have borrowed.  Maybe your best friend loaned you her veil for the ceremony or your aunt let you wear her heirloom pearls.  Make sure you give them back promptly so they don’t have to track you down. 

Don’t forget to send thank you notes promptly.  Be sure to keep a list of who gave what as you open the gifts so you can easily jot off notes to all those  who attended the wedding.  Also, get your gown cleaned as soon as possible.  Stains that are not set in are much easier to remove, so the sooner you take it to your drycleaner, the better!

Finally, if you are changing your name, make sure to contact all the necessary agencies to do so.  You can easily find a list online.  Start with DMV, but don’t forget all your other accounts.  You’ve been practicing your married signature for months…now’s the time to make it official!


In case of emergency...

Weddings have lots of components.  There are florists, caterers, musicians, cake bakers, venue coordinators, and so on.  With so many parts coming together to make one function happen, there’s bound to be a glitch or two. Not to mention family and wedding party members who don’t
always follow your plans or show up on time.  You cannot control everything and the sooner you accept that all your hard work may not come together flawlessly, the better off you will be.  Always be prepared with back-up plans or be ready to adapt when things don’t go your way.  Limo drivers get stuck in traffic, bridesmaids go in to early labor, flower girls refuse to walk down the aisle, and cakes get delivered to the wrong location.  S*** happens!

Your best preparation can often be just being prepared for things to go wrong.  If they don’t, great!  But having the right attitude and realizing it is not the end of the world if the florist gives you white roses instead of red could save your sanity.  Remember; it could always be worse.  Just think of all
the poor brides who had weddings literally washed away during Hurricane Sandy last week. 

Another smart option: find your calmest, smartest and most organized friend and put them in charge of any last minute calamities.  Having a trusted source to make problems go away and keep them from you on your wedding day can be the best wedding gift of all.


Kindle 3.0 (Kindle Fire HD) ((New Kindles just in time for Christmas!))



Kindle 3.0

Actually, it's official name is Kindle Fire HD. But it's hard not to think that this shiny new device introduced by Amazon recently is more of an upgrade from the Kindle Fire than a unique, original piece of technology, isn't it? After all, it looks alot like the last Kindle Fire, plays movies, books, and completes the task of being an ereader (that was it's original "purpose", remember?) like the last Kindle Fire, and gives you access to tons of Amazon's content you can play on it - just like the last Fire. But the more we look at it, the more we think the new Kindle Fire HD is a true original, and is about to shake up the world of tablets in a big way.

We figure when Jeff Bezos writes a letter, we should read it. And we did. You can read it yourself at Amazon, of course. In it, he introduces us to the new Kindle Fire HD in all of it's glory, and the man who built the world's best place to shop online gives us all of the reasons we should Pre-order one now. What we found most interesting though is that he also says the new device "isn't just the best tablet for the price, it's the best tablet." When the original Fire was released, the company was clear to point out that it was not meant to compete with the iPad. Clearly, the man in charge thinks this one can, and if the sale of the original Fire is any indication, it will.

We will leave the side by side comparisons to those more technologically savvy, but we can't help but think that the new Kindle Fire HD, which tops out at a relatively low $599 for the 64GB version (compared to $829 for the most expensive iPad with similar specs) is about to give Apple's much heralded device a serious run for it's money. Amazon's now well established history as not only a retailer, but as an innovator in the world of ereaders, combined with the "world's best customer service", can only help their cause.

The new Fire comes in 3 different editions. The 8.9", 4G Fire HD is available in 32GB ($499) and64 GB ($599) renditions. Also 8.9", the Wi-Fi Fire HD comes in 16GB ($299) and 32GB ($369) versions, as does the 7" Fire HD ($199 for 16GB and $249 for 32GB). Leaving no stone unturned, Amazon has also released it's new Kindle Paperwhite Readers, starting at just $119. The specs of that new device are impressive to be sure, and include a new lighting display that looks very interesting. But we just couldn't take our eye off the new Fire HD, to be honest. We are betting that you, and anyone else who likes the idea of holding a small media powerhouse in your hands, can't either.



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Choosing the right music can set the tone for your wedding

When I heard Justin Timberlake serenaded his bride Jessica Biel at their recent Italian wedding, I could almost picture the crowd weeping.  That is a moment his bride will always remember.  Now we can’t all be pop superstars, but you can choose music and performers that will set the perfect
tone to fit your personality.  For some that’s doing a classic wedding march down the aisle, a waltz for your first dance and sof jazz throughout the reception.  For others it’s an upbeat quirky tune to enter, a choreographed Lady Gaga routine for the first dance, and the “wobble” for all of your guests to get down to.

Whether you enjoy a good chicken dance, electric slide or the twist, choosing the music to set the mood for your event is key.  Be it a live band, DJ or pre-planned IPod tunes, you can really control the tone of the party with the right music.  So choose what makes you happy, but also keep your guests in mind.  If 50% of the attendees are older relatives, you may want to throw in some classic tunes in addition to the top 40 hits for your friends.  Maybe start out more mellow and then crank it up as the night progresses and the older crowd departs.  Great Aunt Ethel may not appreciate a good Jay-Z beat as much as you think! 


Can you sit in your wedding dress?

For some brides, comfort is key when it comes to their wedding gown and how it fits.  For others, beauty is pain!  But there can be a balance when it comes to selecting a wedding dress that looks great and doesn’t suck the life out of you or bust a seam when you sit down.  Choosing the right silhouette is important.  A tight-fitting mermaid gown may look fantastic as you stand still, but you may look silly waddling like a penguin down the aisle because the dress is too fitted through the hips and thighs.  You also may not be able to “get down and boogie” in a mermaid gown.  And even
taking a seat to enjoy your meal could be uncomfortable.  So think about what activities are important to you and be sure to choose a style that allows for the appropriate movement.

If you like the look of a mermaid, but still want the flexibility to dance and sit, look for a fit and flare gown that shapes through the hips, but flares a little higher and doesn’t constrict the legs so much.  Or consider a sheath gown that is cut straight, but doesn’t hug the curves quite so much.  If you really love that fitted mermaid, consider a second reception dress that is short and fun or has a little more flow if you want to float around the dance floor with ease.  Yes, you want to look your best on your wedding day, but you also want to enjoy the day and not be numb from pain!


Finding a "simple" wedding dress can be a challenge

I’m constantly approached by brides wondering where to find a “simple” wedding gown.  Whether it is due to budget concerns or just the formality or location of the affair, some brides don’t want to be blinged-out from head to toe.  Others don’t want layers of crinoline, excessive fabric or trains.  And some just don’t want a formal dress at all.  They are looking for a short cocktail dress or even a long dress that has the simplicity of an evening gown.  And finding it can be a challenge…especially in white or ivory.  Sometimes they will get lucky and find one in the department or specialty stores, but the best idea for brides looking for simplicity is to find a store that carries bridesmaid gowns and order a great style in your favorite wedding dress color.

Some bridesmaid manufacturers now even cater to the “informal” bride offering destination lines and little white dresses.  Jordan, the bridesmaid line I carry at Blush, has a line called Jordan Moments that features a Little White Dress line which is much less expensive than the traditional bridal collections.  They also offer most of their bridesmaid and mother of the bride gowns in shades of white, diamond white and ivory.  Of course, you’ll still need some time to order the gown and have alterations performed, but it’s a great option for brides looking for an easier style of dress for their laid-back nuptials.


Save money...buy a sample!

With the cost of wedding gowns now averaging close to $1000 with designer gowns reaching as high as the price of a new car, today’s bride on a budget is always searching for ways to find a great dress at a great price. One way she can do that is to buy a sample gown off-the-rack. What is a sample gown? Exactly what it sounds like. Every season, bridal shops have minimum sample orders they need to fill. These are the gowns they purchase from manufacturers to display in the showroom to brides-to-be. They are tried on, but if the bride wants the gown, she will order it in her size and color preference. Once a sample gown has been discontinued, the salon no longer has use for it so they will either sell it off-the-rack, consign it to a bridal consignment shop, or donate it to a charity organization.

The best way to find a sample is to call the salons and ask them if they have sample sales and if so, when they will be held. If you have a bridal consignment shop in your area, you can visit them for rotating inventory. At Blush I have several stores that consign their samples to me throughout the year. You can often find a sample at 30-50% off its original retail price. Just make sure it is in good condition. They sometimes have loose beads or make-up stains, all which can be easily repaired. For a good discount a few imperfections can be overlooked!


Enjoy your wedding reception, but don't forget to greet your guests

The age-old tradition of formal receiving lines after wedding ceremonies seems to have lost its appeal these days.  Brides and grooms are anxious to start their photo session and get to their reception to get the party started and the tradition of greeting the guests as they exit the church is not as common.  Some dislike the formality and others just don’t want to impede the schedule and take the extra time.  If you decide to forgo the receiving line, be sure you greet your guests in some way at the reception.  They have, after all, given up a precious Saturday and purchased a lovely gift to celebrate your special day.  The easiest and most common way is to wait for the guests to be seated and then go with your groom to each table to say a brief “hello” and “thank you for coming.” Most will understand that you won’t have time for more than a few pleasantries, but they will appreciate the gesture of acknowledgement.

A good way to alleviate the time constraints of greeting all your guests is to have a follow-up brunch the day after the wedding.  It doesn’t need to be fancy and you don’t need to invite the entire guest list, but it is a good time to catch up with relatives you don’t see often and out-of-town guests that traveled a long distance to see you.  A more casual and relaxed atmosphere will allow you the time to catch up without worrying about when you have to cut the cake or throw the bouquet.

However you choose to acknowledge your guests, don’t underestimate the importance of a thank you note!  Not a text, facebook message or email.  A true “I took the time to hand write my gratitude for your gift and attendance at my wedding” thank you note.  It may be the 21st century, but there are some wedding traditions that never go out of style.

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