Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How to avoid a "MOB" scene

Of course by MOB, I mean Mother-of-the Bride. This next post is going to be discussing the Moms' Dress code. This advice is given by N.Y.C. Bridal Atelier owner Mark Ingram as written in InStyle Weddings. I have seen too many times where the Bride is unhappy with the style or color of the dress that her soon to be Mother-in-law chooses for the upcoming Wedding. I am sure that in the very distant future, I too will obtain the title Mother-of-the Groom. I will be certain to archive this post and abide by this information happily:-)

The Bride should take the initiative and tell them what she is wearing.
Both mothers should be taking cues from the Bride. "Let them know the shape, fabric and level of ornamentation of your dress so they can look for outfits that are keeping with the tone," says Ingram. I personally, have many Brides that take both moms on their search for the perfect gown. If this is the case, then this first step will be relatively easy. Although BEWARE of allowing too many people tag along because an abundance of opinions can become frustrating and often confusing.

Send YOUR mom shopping first.
Traditionally, the Mother-of-the Bride buys her dress and then describes it to the Mother-of-the-Groom," says Ingram. "Communication is key." Make sure you are very descriptive about your Mother's dress, send your fiance's Mother a photo or tell her the color, style and designer. You need to do this so she can choose her dress appropriately and not look as though she belongs at a different event. Also, and most importantly, so she is careful not to outshine your Mom!!

Give them guidelines.
As a Bride you can call the shots but make sure you call them tactfully:-) It is well within your rights to steer both Moms toward certain colors or away from them if you want. The strength of your influence will be completely dependant upon their personalities. In a perfect world, the Moms' should follow these rules:

  • Keep the choice of dress in the color family. Selecting varying shades of your Wedding palette will make things look very cohesive without being to matchy-matchy.
  • Nothing overly sexy. Even if Mom has a premier membership at the local gym, ask her to keep the hemline at the knee or below and the neckline on the conservative side. I know a few "older" women who still think they are in their 20's and dress like their teenage daughter and friends. Make sure they dress age appropriate!
  • Their drama level should be below yours. If your dress has sleeves, theirs shouldn't be strapless; if you're wearing a sheath they shouldn't be in ball gowns. I think this guideline is important and not quite as obvious as the previous two suggestions.
  • No white. Period. According to Mark Ingram, "you would be surprised at how many moms and Mothers-in-law convince themselves that a "cream" dress is appropriate.

There are several dress boutiques that are local (and one not so local) to A Beautiful Touch that I would highly recommend and have included links to their websites. I have heard many positive reviews and have had plenty of happy customers that have patronized these fine stores.

http://marlenesdressshop.com/ - Collingswood, NJ

http://jansboutiqueonline.com/ - Cherry Hill, NJ

http://fashionsbypenina.com/ - Marlton, NJ

http://sterlingsofnewhope.com - New Hope, PA

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Have a seat please!

During the past few days, I have found some really great articles and pretty cool websites that I think may be of value to you. Since I have many upcoming Weddings in the next three months, I know there will be many Brides planning the seating arrangements for their Wedding guests.

This can get a bit tricky especially if you have a large guest list or unfortunately have feuding family members or divorced parents that are not on good speaking terms:-( I found this website through Brides Magazine and thought it was a little bit like playing musical chairs! I logged onto this site to experiment with a trial run and found it relatively simple and straight forward to understand. You can add tables of various styles and sizes and move them anywhere on the screen. You can also drag and drop guest names as easy as can be and save several versions to see which one works best. Additionally, you can import a guest list from an Excel or Word file. This site can be used for planning the seating arrangement for any party or celebration!

There is a $20 fee for this service and it is good for 6 months. There is a money back guarantee within 7 days if you are not satisfied. I think it is well worth the cost for the convenience. Good luck!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Beauty" tip of the week

A few times a month, I will be posting a "tip of the week" about make-up and skin care specifically geared for the Bride-to-be. These beauty tips will be given by Nicole Wood, of The Beauty Lounge in Westmont, NJ (just two blocks from my Boutique). She has over 17 years in the industry as a make-up artist/model and skincare specialist working with major magazines, companies and celebrities. Nicole offers services "on location" or at her spa.

Nicole's tip for great brows and skin...

Six months prior to your wedding, you should start with grooming and shaping your brow. The reason for this is, if you want a specific shape for your brow, they grow very slow and it will give you ample time to achieve that perfect brow. You should start looking at pictures in magazines that you like. I can help and guide you with this.

Also, start with a simple skin care regime such as a hydrating face wash, toner and moisturizer. I additionally suggest, starting with glycolic products to get that perfect glow and skin tone.
I would also highly recommend hydrating and balancing facials during this time as well and once a week before your wedding and any waxing 4 days before as well. I can help you achieve your perfect brows, skin, make-up and hair.

Put your best face forward...


Saturday, March 14, 2009

And the winners are...

It was nice meeting all the wonderful ladies at our most recent Bridal Show at the Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill, NJ on Wednesday, March 11. We hope you enjoyed the fashion show and seeing all the beautiful gowns and fine lingerie/chic honeymoon apparel on the runway. Thank you for visiting our table!!!

And the winners are...

(MOB) Judith McGettigan - Cherry Hill, NJ
(MOG) Sandra Johnson - Mt. Laurel, NJ

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hey "Baby"!

One of the most rewarding parts of my business is when I see a former Bride walk through our door toting her newborn in a car seat!!!! We cultivate such nice relationships with our customers which makes it easy for them to return. So the decision to carry Christening apparel and specialty clothing was an easy one for us. Brides and babies just go so naturally together!

Our selection is distinctive, selective and moderately priced. We also provide accessories such as the blanket, bib, socks and booties. Of course, the choices for girls ALWAYS seems to be larger but little boys need to look special too! This cute little boy:-) is wearing a 100% silk romper with baby blue accents and hand stitched details by Baby Beau & Belle (photo courtesy of Silver Image Photography). In fact, I am headed into NYC tomorrow on a buying spree for our little darlings. We will have new shipments arriving in just about three weeks.

This photo reveals an interior shot of the "little girly" section of our Boutique (pictured above left). In addition to Christening gowns, we also carry handmade photo albums (pictured above right), hand painted ornaments and luxury knit chenille blankets that can be personalized especially for baby. Selection changes according to season...

Infant jewelry is also another specialty item that we carry for baby's Christening. Fresh water pearl bracelets with sterling silver details are very popular with mothers and Godmothers. One of my favorites (pictured left) is a keepsake baby locket. This treasured gift will be worn on baby's Christening day and if she is a girl, can be used as her "something old" on her Wedding day.

Another beautiful idea that I suggested to a good customer (and former Bride) is to have her daughter's monogram and Christening date embroidered on our handmade lace hankies (just like the ones that we sell to our Brides). This too, is such a sentimental "something old" gift for her little one to carry as a future Bride. Hard to think about, but that day will ultimately arrive and what a precious gift to have.

If your child is having a moderate to large size Christening celebration, you will need to think about how to hold his card gifts. My son had over 100 guests at his party and I wanted to make sure I kept all his gifts organized and together. Therefore, I made this treasure box (includes a lock and key) and personalized it with a cute picture of him and a little pair of boy booties. It worked out beautifully and enabled me to enjoy myself and not worry about things as much.

And after your child's Christening day comes to a happy ending, why not preserve those beautiful memories for a lifetime. Displaying special mementos in a large shadowbox, such as their invitation, framed photo and outfit will turn a few very special items into a keepsake heirloom forever.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"PERSONALIZE" your Wedding

Personalizing your Wedding is as easy as "ABC". There are many creative, elegant and fun ways to do this. I would like to spotlight a few different ideas that I hope will give you inspiration.

Custom monograms turn beautiful products into timeless and treasured keepsakes. We embroider on items such as the Wedding guest book, penholder, ring bearer pillow, etc.(http://www.abeautifultouch.com/wedding.nxg)

A monogram consists of three letters. The first small initial is the FIRST initial of the woman's name. The large middle initial is the LAST name initial of the man's name and the final small initial is the FIRST initial of the man's name. Got it:-)!

Crystal studded caketoppers (or cake jewelry) with script initials are a very contemporary and popular way to add a bit more decadence to your Wedding cake. After your ceremony, they can be added to a shadowbox along with your dried bouquet and invitation (I do know of a great local company that provides this service). (http://www.abeautifultouch.com/wedding.nxg)

I absolutely love this next idea... Personalized wreaths that are embellished with lush fresh flowers. You can also use silk rose petals if you want to embark on a DIY project. If you are getting ready for your Wedding at your Mom's house, hang them on the front door to let everyone know it's your special Day. Or they can be attached to a large beautiful tree in the yard or garden. Also, one initial can be used for the Bride's shower. Get creative! Print the Bride's name, or maybe, "Helen's Bridal Shower" on pretty stationary that coordinates with the color of the flowers and pin it in the center of the H. Silk rose petals may be a bit easier and more cost efficient to use at a Bridal Shower. (http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/monogram-details-floral-wreath)

Another fabulous idea that I have seen some of my Brides do is to illuminate the dance floor with their monogram. Not only is this a very personalized idea it is one of those moments where your guests will say "wow"! Of course if you have been reading my blog you will know that is what we call the "wow factor":-) Your guests will remember special details that instantly delight and surprise them.

A beautifully presented dessert tray of monogrammed luxurious treats will speak for themselves! Rich chocolates, decadent truffles and hand-piped cookies that are artfully designed, make an indulgent favor for your guests. Small details have big impact ( http://www.beau-coup.com/monogrammed-petit-fours.htm)

Don't forget that photographs are a great way to add a very personal touch to your Wedding celebration. These "imperial" style glass coasters are a thoughtful and practical gift for your guests. (http://abeautifultouch.0.kateaspenshops.com/product/imperial-exquisite-glass-photo-coasters.html)

Even after your unforgettable Day is over, you can still wow your guests with these customized picture stamps from zazzle.com. How delighted will your friends and relatives be when they open their mailboxes and see the happy couples smiling faces!! A perfect ending to a picture perfect Day.

I hope these ideas were helpful in getting you started on the path to personalization. But please keep in mind, restraint is the very essence of elegance. If you are planning a regal Wedding or swanky soiree, you do not want it to look like a letter bomb went off! So pick and choose the items that really suit your style and the ambiance of your Wedding.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"STAMP" of approval

If you are looking for a creative way to customize your Save the Date cards, your Bridal shower or Wedding Invitations try sites like zazzle.com or stamps.com. These companies allow you to create (or select from their vast design catalog) U.S. Post Office - approved custom postage. It is a perfect way to show off your wedding motif or engagement photo. I especially love them for the Thank you cards AFTER the Big day!! (Btw, the price of stamps is being raised to .44 cents on May 11, 2009)!

Here are a couple of tips to remember when mailing your Wedding invitations...

1. Weigh them FIRST before mailing! Assemble one COMPLETE invitation and take it to the Post Office to get weighed BEFORE you purchase any postage.

2. SQUARE invitations cost more!
Regardless of weight, square invitations will require additional postage. Nothing is worse than having your beautiful invitation returned all marked up because of inadequate postage!

3. A .42 cent stamp might NOT be enough. If you have direction cards, hotel recommendations, etc. you may have to add additional postage. More stationary means more weight. Custom stamps are great for this because your outer envelope will only have 1 stamp.

4. Don't forget to add postage to your RESPONSE CARD. This helps your guests to get their response out to you in a timelier fashion. I included a photo of a custom stamp with the letters RSVP. Perfect!

5. Mail invitations 4 - 6 weeks prior to your Wedding. You want to give your guests enough time to respond and MORE importantly you need to finalize your headcount AND seating arrangements...

This is why I love these custom stamps. It is so nice for your guests to open their mailboxes and be greeted by the New Mr. and Mrs!

Gotta love a person with a sense of humor! Lol!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Pearly" Girls

When we see a woman wearing pearls, we quite naturally think of the words elegant, classy and refined to describe her. Jacqueline Bouvier wore a strand of pearls when she wed John F. Kennedy, as did Queen Elizabeth II on her Wedding day back in 1947. Since ancient times, the pearl has been the symbol of unblemished perfection. It is the oldest known gem and for centuries it was considered the most valuable.

The Greeks believed that if a women wore pearls on her Wedding day, it would promote marital harmony and take away a new Bride's tears. They associated the pearl with love and marriage and unrivaled beauty. In ancient Rome, this organic gem was considered to be the ultimate symbol of wealth and status. There are however, some traditions that think just the opposite and say they will bring the Bride tears and unhappiness:-( Hmmm.

In other cultures, the tradition of passing a strand along family lines for good luck reached it's height during the Victorian Era. It is not practiced currently, but instead it is more customary to see a Father of-the-Bride or Groom present the Bride-to-be with this iridescent beauty.

Today, pearls have come to represent an elegant, chic and glamorous fashion statement. They are a necessary staple in every well-dressed woman's jewelry box (photos courtesy of pearloasis.com). So how lucky am I that my birthday is in June and the pearl is my birthstone!

The Bride's accessories are no different. Since I am quite partial to the pearl ("Bridal Pearls of Wisdom:-) I love to see "my" Brides incorporate pearls into their Wedding day jewelry ensemble. The addition of crystals adds a contemporary twist to this most refined look. Whether it is a pretty pair of earrings, a uniquely styled brooch for their hair or show-stopping multi-strand bracelet, the look is always beautiful . To me and many others, the pearl is the quintessential symbol of grace and elegance. So, whether you choose to adorn yourself or not with this treasured gem, any pearl accessory will certainly make a distinctive statement on your Wedding day.

We carry a blissful assortment of pearl earrings, necklace sets, bracelets and hair accessories in our Boutique.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Placecard holders with "Style"

If you are planning your Wedding or Bridal shower around a particular theme or having it at quite a distinctive location, you may want to consider purchasing unique placecard holders to add to the atmosphere you are trying to create. These small and unexpected touches have BIG impact and will help to unify your theme. They are relatively inexpensive and can also serve as a favor for your guests.

For the Wine Lovers...This placecard holder is perfect for a celebration that has a vineyard setting or possibly a couple that is throwing a wine soiree. I love the authentic appeal of the cork and the embossed architectural detail with the French words "Maison du vin". The grapes on the vine placecard complement this little gift beautifully (placecard included - lowest price is approx. .98 ea).

"Green" thumb? A very popular trend, is to incorporate more natural, organic or eco-friendly products into the grand scheme of the Wedding plan. If you are planning an "outdoorsy" or garden themed affair, these well manicured topiary placecard holders are very earth inspired (lowest price is approx. $1.40 each).

Seashells down at the seashore...These placecard holders are made from real shells and are are so perfect for seaside themed Weddings or events. A great idea is to place these holders in an elegant bed of sand, which will add greatly to the "wow factor" of your celebration . They are a excellent choice for a couple trying to go a bit more au natural (lowest price is approx. $1.10 each)

Recipe for Love? If you're planning a kitchen shower for the Bride or she is marrying a chef :-) these rolling pin placecard holders are the perfect ingredient for a well planned occasion. Bridal showers that are hosted in a family members or friends home have a more intimate and sometimes more relaxed feeling. This gift is practical for holding recipe cards AFTER the party and the placecard is fun and adorable. This choice ranks high for cute appeal! (placecard included - lowest price is approx. $1.50 each).

All of these favors can be found on our website and purchased online! Here is the link:http://abeautifultouch.0.kateaspenshops.com/