Friday, February 27, 2009

"Real" advice from "Real" Brides

When you are planning one of the most important and memorable days of your life, it is always a good idea to get solid advice from experienced Wedding planners, professionals in the industry and "Real" Brides who have first-hand knowledge of "The Big Day".

My advice would be to listen to all of the positive experiences as well as some of the "not so positive" and weigh all the information very carefully. Do your homework and research areas that are not at all familiar to you, such as "is a destination Wedding less expensive than having a small but intimate reception locally" or "are the special flowers you want "in season" for your December Wedding"?

With that being said, take a look at this video that Alliance Video Productions, in Tabernacle, NJ put together. Tom interviewed "Real" Brides and Grooms and let them speak candidly about their Wedding planning experiences. I love the mannequin idea and ESPECIALLY the handcrafted quilt that was personalized by the Wedding guests. How creative!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Something blue" tradition

Did you ever wonder where the Bridal tradition
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a lucky sixpence for her shoe
came from?

Well, lots of people do. This cute poem is an old tradition dating back to the Victorian Age. Many of the Wedding traditions we embrace today, including the popularity of the Bridal trousseau, emerged in this very romantic Era. Each item mentioned in this poem is meant to be a good luck token for the Bride. And who doesn't want a little luck? If she carries them on her Wedding day then her marriage will be happy. The vast majority of my customers definitely follow this tradition and have quite a few options when selecting the "something blue" portion of this poem. I will explain what each line represents and then give a few good ideas for getting the "lucky" items you need. (Antique Victorian Bride photo courtesy of:

First let's start with the "Something old". These words symbolize CONTINUITY with the Bride's family and past. Some beautiful ideas for this include a cherished piece of jewelry from Grandma, a bonnet from the Bride's Christening day, a keepsake hankie from Mom's Wedding day or an antique piece of lace stitched into the hem of her gown.

"Something new" represents OPTIMISM and HOPE for the Bride's future and what lies ahead for her. Now speaking from a woman's point of view, aren't we always optimistic when buying something new? That is certainly true and can be easily achieved through the new purchase of a Wedding gown, a gorgeous pair of sparkly earrings and bracelet (pictured left, courtesy of A Beautiful Touch), fabulous high heels (courtesy of something old, something new blog) or something very sweet and sentimental. The list goes on and on...

The "something borrowed" portion of this poem is supposed to be obtained through a happily married relative or friend, whose good fortune in marriage hopefully will carry over to the Bride. Many of "my" Brides find this to be the most challenging aspect of this traditional poem, I think because of style differences or preferences. They often borrow a pretty purse, a small piece of antique jewelry or a sentimental item such as a small family heirloom that has emotional value to the Bride.

Now, as for the "something blue" item of this poem, the color blue has been connected to Weddings far before the Victorian Age. In ancient Rome, Brides wore blue to represent LOVE, FIDELITY and MODESTY. This calming hue has also been chosen by early Christians to dress the Virgin Mary. Therefore, PURITY, is also associated with this color. And this last fact, which I find very interesting, is that before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for Wedding gowns. Think about this proverb, "Marry in blue, lover be true".

The modern Bride can be extremely creative with finding her "something blue". There are plenty of contemporary and trendy, as well as traditional items to choose from. We carry many personalized options, such as silk and cotton panties (pictured above and sold in our Boutique), embroidered lace hankies and

monogrammed "dress tags" that are stitched in blue thread and secured to the hem of the Bride's gown. Also, if you want to show your individuality, choose the blue crystal "i do" shoe appliques (pictured above and sold in our Boutique), or a blue stoned bracelet (pictured above left and sold in our Boutique), toe ring or ankle bracelet. Or possibly a blue Swarovski crystal pin that you can fasten to your dress or bouquet (we carry all of these items in our boutique). Additionally, you can select a beautiful lace garter and coordinating hankie that is embellished with a petite blue ribbon. The only thing that limits you is your imagination!!

And finally, a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe represents WEALTH and FINANCIAL SECURITY. A sixpence was a coin that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1697. Back in Scottish custom, a groom put a silver coin under his foot for good luck. It should be in the LEFT shoe for the best possible luck! Today, a copper penny is sometimes substituted, although we do sell the sixpence.

So there you have it! The tradition of the cute little poem that we have all grown up to know and love but wondered what does it mean? Now you know, so you can start collecting your good luck tokens!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"International" Flower Style

With a hint of Spring in the air and the hopeful anticipation of April "showers" on the way, (Bridal that is), I thought I would give you a little inspiration for planning your beautiful Bridal bouquet.

These gorgeous bouquets are styled with French flair. Some are free-flowing with a Jardin (garden) style, others are a bit more sophisticated. My favorite is the vibrant Parisian-chic bouquet wrapped with pale blue ribbon (below left). I provided the link below for more inspiration. While you're there, check out their advice on style and look at lots of pretty pictures!

Now let's take a trip on over to Italy. The annual Philadelphia Flower Show is coming to town March 1 - 8. The theme this year is Bella Italia! Definitely a great way to get inspiration for your Wedding and a perfect way to welcome Spring. There are hundreds of free how-to demonstrations and lectures, wine and food tastings, lots of shopping and plenty of beautiful plants and flowers to marvel at!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

In the mood for love!

Happy Valentine's Day! If you need a little help planning a memorable evening, you'll definitely need to use this "50 hot Valentine's Day dates" ultimate resource guide to stimulate your imagination. It is quite creative, very enticing and extremely entertaining to say the least. Some suggestions may not necessarily be your style, but you will certainly enjoy the reading and probably giggle a little. I have a few tips of my own before you begin:-)...

TIP #1: If you feel the need to "vamp it up" for Valentine's Day (or any other day for that matter:-), skip their recommendation of going to Victoria's Secret for some lingerie. We carry flirty babydolls by Betsey Johnson that will catch more than an eyeful:-)

TIP #2: If you are a mature adult and are not interested in getting arrested for indecent exposure, bypass her idea of skinny dipping in the moonlight, unless it is in your own backyard! Lol!!!!! The key word is REMOTE location here ladies:-)

TIP #3: Have fun planning whatever you do! This way, even if your plan doesn't go exactly as you wished, you have a good excuse to perfect it another holiday (or next week if you like!!).

TIP #4:
Make a special cocktail or signature drink especially for this fun-filled evening. Check out the "Flirtini"... the ingredients are listed on this website and it sounds yummy...

TIP #5: Love is what makes the world go 'round. If you're newly engaged or just "crazy in love", browse this website for advice on love and relationships, you'll be hooked:-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time to get "cozy"

I can tell a busy Bridal season is quickly approaching because of the number of calls I receive about "cozy" gifts. Inquiring customers want something a little different than the "same old" things off the registry. Don't get me wrong, we need our pots and pans, fine china and food processors but taking a more personalized and love driven approach always gets more ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd.

Relatives and friends love to shower the happy couple with special gifts that are personalized with their new Mr. and Mrs. title. The most popular sets are comfy terrycloth wraps and luxury knit chenille robes with coordinating soaps, hand towels, pillowcases and linens (all of these items are available in our boutique). Adding essential oils, beautifully scented lotions, fragrant candles and other personal care items that the Newlyweds love, will make your gift truly unforgettable. Also, if this is a group gift and the budget allows, gift certificates from their favorite spa for a massage, facial or manicure would fit in nicely.

You can turn this romantic and novel idea into a much more elegant gift by selecting a unique container to hold them. Oversized baskets embellished with sumptuous materials or a stacked and graduated assortment of fabric covered boxes, will make quite an impressive statement. This fine presentation, is tremendously increasing the "wow factor" of your fabulous gift! If you really want to go over-the-top, try adding a bottle of champagne and flutes that are custom engraved with the couples name and Wedding date.

Helpful tip: Adding decadent treats or fruits, such as chocolate covered strawberries, is a great idea. But...NOT if the other other items are heavily scented!!! You do not want the smell of the lotions, candles, etc., being transferred into the fruit. Choose one or the other.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Catherine Tanzi and Eric Kennedy - October Wedding

Over the years, I have received so many beautiful photographs and thank you letters from "my" Brides. I am excited that now I have the opportunity to share some of their gorgeous photos and ideas from their unforgettable Wedding day. I am sure they will be inspiring to the future Brides-to-be!

Catherine Tanzi and Eric Kennedy were married on October 12, 2008 (what a perfect Italian and Irish combination)! Since their Wedding was in autumn, they selected a rich and vibrant color palette, that consisted of browns, oranges, and berries. These colors are consistently carried throughout their Wedding and are prevalent in the choice of Bridesmaid dresses, floral bouquets, the decorations on their Wedding cake and favors.

The month of October is a stunning and picturesque time of year, which is so accurately reflected with all of these fine details. I love the chocolate brown dresses that are so strongly contrasted with the eye-catching orange bouquets. The Wedding cake, well, just "takes the cake" and the wine favors are a very sweet ending to a picture-perfect day!

Cat had the Wedding of a lifetime and was kind enough to come back and share her entire album! It was beautiful!! I was fortunate enough to meet Cat and her parents, early on in her Wedding planning phase (I provided the hand-calligraphy on her Wedding invitations). She also provided a small list of vendors that she used and would very happily refer...

Bridal Gown and Bridesmaid dresses - Irma's Bridal, Cherry Hill, NJ
Flowers - David Roche, Paulsboro, NJ
Photography - Capone Photography, Stratford, NJ

Special thanks to Capone Photography for providing the beautiful photographs. I included a link to their website below for further information.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bring on the BLING for Mom

My Wedding boutique, A Beautiful Touch, is participating in a Bridal Show this Sunday, February 8, at 12 noon, at The Merion in Cinnaminson, NJ. In addition to the beautiful gifts we give away to one lucky Bride at the Show, we have a little something special for the MOB and MOG! These crystal pins can embellish a tote bag, lapel or whatever you like. They each retail for $29.95.

And the winners are...
Nancy Martin, Haddon Heights, NJ (MOB) and
Catherine Ferrara, Turnersville, NJ (MOG)


The "Wow Factor"!

Creating unexpected touches that instantly surprise and delight your guests is what we call the "wow factor". They can be as small as adding a unique DIY (do-it-yourself) detail to your placecards, or something more substantial, such as the show-stopping floral design that embellishes the aisle seat in this featured photograph. The oversized philodendron leaf is what makes this touch so dramatic and sensational. I love it!

I enjoy when I see my Brides come up with creative and personalized projects that will enhance their Wedding and make it a truly one-of-a-kind celebration. I hope to see and share some of their inspirational ideas!

(Photo courtesy: Ana Ortiz & Noah Lebenzon's destination Wedding in Rincon, Puerto Rico)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just Engaged!!

Congratulations! If you are recently engaged, your head is probably whirling with a million different ideas. BUT, before you even consider going out dress shopping, there are few things that you should do before that. InStyle magazine has a list of 6, very to the point, tips that you will need to think about.

I included a link below so you can get started...ALSO, while your there, check out the Beauty section and start experimenting with your Hollywood Hair Makeover! Make sure you upload YOUR photo it is more authentic that way!!,,20245251,00.html?cid=winter-engaged

Love the antique ring!!! (Photo courtesy of

NOTE: We are participating in a Bridal Show, on Sunday, February 8 at 12 noon...

The Merion
Rt. 130
Cinnaminson, NJ

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Picture Perfect!

This article in Modern Bride was really insightful. Mastering these easy techniques and tips, such as posturing, lipstick application etc., will help you take more flattering pictures anytime!!!

Romantic Travel for Honeymooners

While browsing on the internet, and casually glancing out the window at the falling snow, I started thinking about the many romantic Honeymoon destinations that "my" Brides have recommended to me and other future Brides.

If you are newly engaged and want to plan an unforgettable Honeymoon but don't know where to start, I came across a GREAT website that was incredibly informative, comprehensive and enjoyable. It contains information on such topics as a Honeymoon Bridal registry, best places for romance, advice on packing, money saving tips and how to avoid a hurricane on your Honeymoon! I included the link so you can begin exploring and start planning the most romantic Honeymoon ever!! Photo courtesy of

Monday, February 2, 2009

Greetings from Disney!

Since I just returned from my Disney family vacation, I thought it would be so apropos to write about what many consider a "magical" Wedding and Honeymoon destination. This was my fourth trip in 20 years, and every time seems to bring special memories. My thoughts go back now to a former Bride, Diane Coleman (and yes, I still remember her full name:-), who was married there 8 years ago. She choose to wed on Valentine's Day, on the beach and at sundown. Her pictures were romantic, yet casually elegant, with the serene water in the background and the setting sun in the distance.

Getting married in front of Cinderella's castle would definitely be a little too much for me, but Disney has a Pavilion for more traditional couples, like Diane, who would like to tie the knot without Mickey and his crew. It actually looked quite enchanting from a distance (I could only see it from the monorail as I traveled to and from our villa). The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, which is the neighboring property, is a beautiful facility. I was fortunate enough to visit when it first opened.

I included a link so you could view photos of the properties, interior, props, etc. From what I hear, it can be quite expensive to get married at Disney. If you are looking to save money, it might be best to have a small reception locally and then venture off to Orlando for your Honeymoon! Make sure you visit in the off season so you can focus on your special memories and not the crowds and long lines:-)!

ABC News: First Comes Marriage, Then Comes Love

I was very intrigued the other evening when I sat down to watch an ABC news 20/20 special: the science of seduction. The basis of this story is how an Indian man moved to the United States to attend graduate school and then decided to stay for work. After years of dating, he could not find a women he wanted for a life partner. So he turned to his family back in India for help...

...they answered an ad for "Groom wanted for a beautiful young girl". The couple met and in 10 days they decided to seal the deal, had a lavish and traditional Hindu wedding and the rest is history. Wow. I am always very fascinated by the traditions of other cultures and how they compare to the American way of life.
These pictures show the engagement and marriage of a beautiful young Indian couple.

Apparently, the success rate for "arranged" marriages is very high probably due to the attitude "I am in this forever" and "love will come later". This last statement reminds me of a time when I was much Grandmother asked me, "well Cherie, why don't you want to become serious with boyfriend A " , and I responded "he is a very sweet person Gram, but I don't like him in that way", her answer to that was "well you will GROW to love him". Hmmm, maybe there was some merit in her very wise words:-)

In fact, my neighbor, Arun, is Indian and his parents arranged his marriage 28 years ago. We have very enlightening conversations about this traditional idea, which is why I choose to comment on it. So what do you think? What is the secret to a successful and lasting marriage? Chemistry, values, similar educational backgrounds, science? It sure would be fascinating to finally pinpoint the answer to this age old subject.

Take a look at this 20/20 documentary and gather your own opinions. Also, as a sidenote, take a close look at all the rich, beautiful jewel tones that are present in Hindu weddings and the elaborate embellishment on the Brides body before her Wedding.

Click on link below...
ABC News: First Comes Marriage, Then Comes Love

Posted using ShareThis


Would you EVER, E V E R even think about "trashing" your dress after your wedding? That's exactly what some Brides are doing! They are scheduling photo shoots on the beach, or other "not so pristine" locations as a way to add more creative and unconventional pictures to their traditional Wedding album.

(Photo, left: Courtesy of Kamilla Harris)

Well, OK, maybe not trashing them. Actually, the term "trash the dress" is just a buzzword that was intended to ignite interest in this national Bridal phenomenon that made it's mark in Atlantic City in the summer of 2007. The name apparently doesn't accurately reflect what necessarily happens.

To some Brides, the very thought of even the slightest little speck of dirt soiling her beloved dress, sends chills racing up and down her spine! Depending upon the ideas of the Bride and her photographer, her dress is not trashed or destroyed. It certainly will become wet, sandy or muddied on the bottom, obviously. A Bride should definitely consider the cost, fabric and sentimental value of her dress before booking a session like this.

(Photos: Courtesy of Ryan Estes)

I think that this is a very intriguing idea for an open-minded Bride to capture creative, fun, spontaneous and possibly even edgy photographs. It is a great way to get more mileage out of a dress that may otherwise stayed sealed in a box for a very long time. You can always have it cleaned and preserved AFTER your day on the Beach!! And since we are so close to the Jersey Shore, why not? A very cool idea!

I am providing two links to photographers who are experienced in TTD sessions...

Graphic Thinking - Customized Invitations and Thank you Cards

If you are thinking about a truly customized photo invitation or a beautiful and original thank you card to send after your Big Day, I love the work of artist and designer Linda, at Her invitations and designs are completely UNIQUE. I love that you can work one-on-one with the designer, have unlimited revisions and she will professionally retouch your photos. Additionally, her prices are very competitive! I especially love them for second marriages, thank yous, Holiday gretting cards and birth announcements.

I have personally ordered from Linda for my son's first and second birthday bashes and have been so happy with the end results!! She will work with you to create a one-of-a kind invitation for your very special day. I provided a link so you can browse her gallery and see what I mean. I also included a few samples for you to view....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Destination Love!

Just one look at these images makes me want to pack my bags and jet off to a warm, tropical island! (Click on image to enlarge). Many couples are planning DESTINATION and BEACH Weddings as a unconventional alternative to the more traditional setting.

I found these new COFFEE FAVORS which I absolutely love because of the romantic and authentic appeal of the photos. Inexpensive and easy to pack, these favors will be a welcoming surprise for your friends and family as they arrive in their hotel rooms!!! For those who are staying local, these beachy gifts will be a tasty treat at any shower or Wedding. Bon Voyage!

Available in Coffee (1.95 ea.), Cappuccino, Cocoa and Cocktail Mixes ($1.75 ea.).
PERSONALIZATION is included in the price of the favors.