Saturday, December 27, 2008

"adults only" etiquette

The subject of how to address an "adults only" shower or wedding has come up time and time again. Tradition (and proper addressing etiquette) dictates that only those whose names appear on the envelope are invited. Do NOT have "adults only" printed on ANY invitation, whether it is for the bridal shower or wedding! There are much more eloquent ways of handling this sometimes delicate situation.

Some of my customers that are planning a black tie affair or a rather large wedding celebration are quite insistent on verbalizing their wishes on the RECEPTION CARD, which is included with the formal wedding invitation. I recommend to print "Adult Reception" on the reception card (NOT THE INVITATION), and then proceed to give all the details such as the place, address and time.

Although this is acceptable, I prefer to bypass it completely and to address the invitation envelope only to the intended invitee(s). The inner envelope of a formal wedding invitation is where you directly spell out that specific information. For instance, if you are inviting Mr. and Mrs. John Jones, Jr., that information will be written on the outer envelope. Jessica and John will be addressed on the inner envelope. This should make it very clear that two year old Johnny will be needing a sitter for the evening.

However, please be prepared to explain your wishes to parents who inquire. You can explain to them that although you and your fiance have many special little ones in your extended family, you have decided to have an "adults only" reception. Most of your friends and family will understand this and will hopefully look forward to an adult evening. Be firm. If you allow one you may offend others. For those that do not accept your wishes, they can choose to politely decline.

Additionally, keep in mind that if you have MANY family members or friends with children that live out-of-state or country, you may have to make special accommodations if you want all adults. Some parents will not feel comfortable leaving their little darlings behind and may have no other alternative. One idea is to hire a competent caretaker to watch them at a nearby relative's home. Another option is to have the babysitter at the reception facility in another small room. Although this last idea may work in some smaller and more casual settings, it is more of a hassle and financial burden in my opinion. Most of the larger banquet facilities in the south jersey region do not make provisions for this type of situation. It may take extra planning on your part to make everyone happy and comfortable.

Remember, this is your wedding. Good luck with your planning!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Creative Shower Themes

THEMED invitations can be the start of a very fun, exciting and memorable occasion. The invitation you select will set the tone of the party you are planning and allow your guests to prepare accordingly for your event. Once, you have established a theme, you can then begin to gather information and ideas regarding the location, decorations, favors, flowers, music, linens, menu and drink selection etc.

How elaborate and detailed you decide to be, will depend completely upon your budget. Be creative and have fun! And if you're not, well then, find an event planner, creative friend or peruse bridal magazines, books and popular websites to stimulate your imagination.

DESTINATION OR BEACH themed Weddings and showers are increasingly popular and can range from informal and elegant to quite elaborate and romantic at exotic locals. The first invitation is an example of a CARRIBEAN BASH. The whimsical nature of the palm trees reaching out for each other, the gentle and calming waves in the background and the scattered shells in the sand, speaks of a get together that is going to be casually elegant with lots of fun glassware, frozen drinks, cool music and cute little paper umbrellas to set the mood!!

Many showers today are including men along with the ladies. They are popularly called JACK and JILL showers or COUPLES showers. And some have parties geared especially for the Groom.

I really like the example (above left), HAPPY HOUR and HANDYMAN SHOWER. With the assortment of tools and tape measure ribbon there should be no question what type of gift the guests should bring.

The KITCHEN or AROUND THE HOUSE SHOWER (above right) is a perfect theme for couples who love to cook and would like to hone their culinary skills. The apron, paired with all the kitchen utensils, gadgets galore and especially the festive red checkered ribbon says fun and easy going.

LINGERIE showers are quite girly and are a perfect choice for the Bride-to-be that is already established and has acquired much of the necessary household items. They are also fun for smaller showers between very close friends and relatives. It all depends on the age and personality of the guests invited but you can really have a blast planning the music and drink menu for this party. It's a GIRL'S NIGHT OUT!

Throwing a fabulous party does take a lot of planning and can, depending on the number of guests invited, cost a nice chunk of change. Discussing budgets and delegating responsibilities early on with the bridesmaids will hopefully eliminate unwanted problems with money. Get everyone involved so they can do their fair share of work. For instance, if one friend has a "green" thumb let her handle the floral decorations, if another is crafty let her pull together the favors. If someone is an incredible baker let her whip up some decadent desserts, you get the idea;-) Just have fun and make the planning a memorable event too!!!

A Beautiful Touch carries a complete collection of THEMED invitations that are available to view in our showroom.

Don't forget the FAVORS!! Order online from

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bridal Trousseau: Romantic or Trendy?

Romantic or trendy? That is the question. For some, the word peignoir set conjures up images of a hideous, out-dated, lace up to your neck number that will mortify the blushing Bride-to-be at her shower. She will stow it away in the attic where it is never to be seen again. Not true. Pretty underthings don't necessarily have to be uncomfortable, unsightly and "old fashioned".

So what's a Bride to do? Actually the Mother-of-the-Bride, which is our typical shopper, will be the judge of that. The traditional "romantic" peignoir set, which is a favorite of many, is usually a long beautiful gown accompanied by a relatively sheer matching robe (lingerie by Jonquil, picture, left). It is a very special gift presented by mom to her soon to be wed daughter at the bridal shower. A beautiful wedding garter, luxurious silk panties or satin covered low-heeled slippers may also be included in this traditional ensemble.

The tradition of the Bridal TROUSSEAU (French word: pronounced "true so") dates back to the Middle Ages. The trousseau originally included the Bridal gown, lingerie, clothing and other linens a Bride prepared for her marriage. These items symbolized a new beginning. The French word PEIGNOIR (pronoun "pen war") is more commonly used today to describe the Bride's wedding night lingerie.

Very often as well, we have the Mother-of-the-Groom that wishes to purchase something special for her future daughter in law. In my experience, it is probably more appropriate to select a cute bridal Pj or pretty camisole and panty set (camisole set by Arianne, picture, left). In most cases, it is best to leave the more elaborate and formal peignoir set to the bride's mother (unless the bridal shower is hosted by the Mother-of-the-Groom for HER family or the Bride's mother is deceased).

We carry styles that are elegant and feminine with exquisite lace and hand-sewn pearl details as well as the much more simple pieces that are preferred by girls who are not the "frilly" type (sweet and simple peignoir set by Oscar de la Renta, picture, left). Some mothers come in and say, "my daughter wants to wear her woolly socks!" Even for the girls who are not comfortable with the lacy or "frou-frou" lingerie, we carry a comfy and cute cotton nightshirt with the word bride embroidered on the front. We need to talk about those woolly socks though! Shorter versions of the more formal peignoir sets are the matching chemise or babydoll sets which styles range from gracefully refined, to pieces that are girly and a bit more flirtatious (flirty babydoll by Betsey Johnson, picture, above).

We are a perfect fit for a customer looking for an alternative to the Fredericks of Hollywood look. Most moms are not going down that road! If the bride wants something a little spicier she probably will go to buy it herself:-) OR, her more adventurous girlfriends will find the most outrageous pieces and present it to her at her shower or bachelorette party!!

For the girls who tend to be a bit more trendy,we offer matching camisole sets and Pjs with the word "Bride", "Mrs." or "Just Married" emblazoned with Swarovski crystals. Our tanks are one of the best selling items in our boutique. They are hip, chic and alot of fun!!! Personalized "I love" panties with her Wedding date are intimate choices for blushing Bride-to-be (pictured below) We didn't forget the Groom, we have matching boxers for him as well. These contemporary pieces are very hot sellers and are nice for the Honeymoon. They are a great gift for the Bride's sister, bridesmaids or extended family to give at the shower.

So, whatever the style of the Bride-to-be, make sure her bridal lingerie fits her personality and makes her feel beautiful on a very special night. Can you think of a better time to splurge on feminine beauty and luxury than for your Wedding and Honeymoon?