Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kate and Michael 11-14-2009

Well, I must say, we have had a run of EXTRAORDINARY GOWNS this year! Katie's was no exception! SO elegant! It was made from a heavy duchess satin, in a lovely shade of ivory, almost antique ivory, but not yellowish, it was rich and deep ivory, if you're with me on this. Her bouquet of ivory roses matched it perfectly! When they arrived she was still wearing her veil, in a matching shade of illusion. Wow! It was a stunning combination! When they arrived she replaced her beautiful veil with a fresh orchid.

Their wedding was at "that other chapel "(the big one in town, haha!) Here are some photos of their reception:

This was the little ring bearer busting a move during the introductions. He was SO cute!
As you can see, they are one very happy couple! Congratulations you two!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bella Photography's Video--We'll try again!

Well for some reason (probably something I am doing, no doubt!) I can't get this video to embed. So I will connect a link to the website for Bella Photography. Go there and take a peek at the video of pictures from Jillian and Marc's wedding. Awesome!

Annual Conference 2009--Indianapolis

Wow, for once, I didn't have to fly to get to the Annual Conference of the Association of Bridal Consultants! I have attended past conferences in Orlando, New Orleans, San Antonio, San Diego, and a couple of other locations and it's always been a major trip. This was terrific to drive to Indy for the conference. The Indiana team did a fabulous job with it too!
Megan and I attended a number of educational sessions on a wide variety of topics. We were both very impressed with a session on"Branding" presented by Mark Kingsdorf from Phillidelphia. His company, "Queen of Hearts" does some amazing events in Philly, and Marc has taken the task of branding his company to a whole new level! Amazing!
We both really enjoyed the three keynote speakers--Frank Andonoplas from Chicago presented a very entertaining talk on how he went from being a banker to a wedding consultant, complete with slides of many of the weddings that inspired him to go in that direction, as well as slides of some of his work. Peggy Post presented a talk on wedding etiquette and how it has changed over the years, the things that confuse brides, and such. By the way, the website for the Emily Post Institute is a great place to find answers to just about any etiquette question you can think up!
The final keynote speaker was the Queen of Cakes, Sylvia Weinstock, live and in the flesh! What a spunky little thing she was! (I have a picture somewhere in my Blackberry of me with Sylvia, however I can't seem to bring it up in the Blackberry. If I find it, I will post it later.) For any of you gals who would like to order an authentic Sylvia Weinstock cake, I would be happy to obtain that for you. Her cakes START at $17 per serving. That doesn't include shipping and handling. Eek! She actually ships cakes all over the world. Each one has a little white chocolate disk on the base with her logo--the big black round glasses that she wears. Too cute. Her cakes have been an inspiration to bakers all over for many years. The gum paste flowers that her company creates are absolutely amazing. It was really a thrill to see her in person!

The breakfasts and luncheons that were presented were each an inspiration onto themselves. Different themes, decorations, and favors, menu cards, the whole nine yards. We had a great time checking out all the centerpieces and specialty linens.

Oh, I almost forgot! We attended a 2 hour session on Sunday presented by "Sandals"! What a beautiful group of properties they have in the Caribbean!! Megan and I are both ready to pack and go visit! We have the brochures and literature in the shop, and will be setting up an area shortly that will have all the Sandals information for our couples as well as phone numbers to call for the best deals. The all inclusive concept is such a great way to go. Sandals prefers to call it the "luxury included vacation". No muss no fuss, everything is already paid for, and you just go and have a fabulous time. (Kind of like Aberdeen Manor :) They also offer a line of properties under the "Beaches" name that are family friendly resorts. Those are some pretty amazing places as well! Stop in and see us, we'll tell you all about it!

It was a terrific experience, and we are both looking forward to the 2010 conference in Phoenix, Arizona!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jillian and Marc 11-7-09

Sometimes there are weekends where everything just goes SO smoothly that we wait for the other shoe to drop! Everybody is on their game, the servers, bartenders and kitchen staff are on top of every detail, and all I really have to do check to make sure everything is moving along, and punch the towels down in the bathroom wastebaskets every couple of hours. Some weekends are just so easy that I wonder why we ever worry. This has been one of those weekends. I love these weekends. I love it when we have couples that really appreciate how hard we work to make their day special and awesome, and as perfect as it possibly can be. I love it when they understand that we really, really care about them and their day. That this isn't just a job for us; it's something we eat, drink and breathe. That if something went wrong we would be just as upset as if it was our own daughter or son. I love these weekends. They validate us, they make us feel like what we do really matters, and we are able to move on with enthusiasm and purpose. This has been one of those weekends. We had two awesome couples and two awesome receptions. It was a wonderful weekend.

I already told you about last night with Jodi and Chris. Tonight we had another wonderful wedding, for Jillian and Marc. What a nice couple. Jillian had so much energy around the look of the room: the centerpieces, the favors; and she was thrilled when she walked in.

Their favors were caramel apples, made, I think, by a family member (maybe the groom's mom? I don't recall for sure). Their centerpieces were lots of different designs. Half were different types of glass containers filled with Granny Smith apples. The other half were done by their florist and were also in various containers and different types of flowers. Very interesting!

Jillian looked spectacular, and the gentlemen looked equally fab in beige suit/tuxes that were super with their chocolate, grass green, and beige/ivory color scheme. I just love the beige suits. They look so comfortable and classy. The ladies wore knee length chocolate brown dresses--so cute.
I had only seen Jillian with glasses and her hair down to her shoulders (and very cute by the way, her glasses are darling), so when she came in with her hair in a beautiful up do, no glasses, and stunning makeup, WOW! She looked terrific! Her gown was very fitted with a sparkling band of crystals or rhinestones at the waist (I'm not sure which they were, and I didn't think it would be appropo to get down and stare at her waistline!) I wish I could figure out how to get that sparkle in pictures! What a stunning gown!
It was a wonderful evening. Nice couple, lovely families (the bride's grandparents won the anniversary dance--56 years!) everyone, including our staff and the two of us, enjoyed it immensely!

Their photographers, Jodi and Rick Bella from Bella Photography (NOT Bella Pictures folks, that's a different company, national and very big) sent me a video montage from Jillian and Marc's evening with us. I have been trying to embed it here for you to see! Consequently, the delay in posting the above. I still haven't figured it out, however, if I do, I will just post it seperately, as it was VERY cool! I think it may be in the wrong file format for Blogger. Hmm.
Congratulations you two! It was a beautiful evening!

Megan and I are off to Indy for the Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Conference tomorrow. I'm excited to introduce Megan to all of my friends in the Association. I'm sure we
will come back with lots of exciting new ideas and products.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jodi and Chris 11-6-09

I just love winter weddings! I love when it's dark outside and the candles and fireplace are lit. I love the luminaries across the parking lot to the chapel, and I love sparklers. Our anniversary is in December, so I practiced what I preach! Winter weddings are cozy, warm, and have an intimate sense of closeness. It's kind of like the difference between Christmas Eve day and the actual evening of Christmas Eve--the magic comes out only after it's dark!
Last night was our first wedding and reception since the time change last week. It was wonderful to have that magic again! Having Jodi and Chris made it even more special! What a wonderful pair these two are! Jodi's smile could light up a room, and it was evident that it lit up Chris's life!
I knew from the first time I talked with them that they would have a really great party!
Their colors were chocolate, red and ivory (ok blog readers, who can tell me how many chocolate weddings we have had this fall? I think chocolate is the new black!) I LOVE red in our ballroom though, and it is so pretty with chocolate brown (who would've thought it!)
House of Fabian created two beautiful arrangements for the chapel that were in giant white pumpkins--so pretty. Their bouquets were stunning as well. Kind of a mixture of flowers in the dark fall hues with bright red accents, Jodi's had lots of ivory touches worked into the other colors.
Their placecard table was darling--little mini white pumpkins that were cut at an angle to hold the placecards. Too cute.
Following the ceremony, the couple went back and released guests themselves, and the attendants passed out sparklers to the guests. It was a little windy for the luminaries, but they managed to stay upright for the most part.
When Jodi and Chris had finished greeting all their guests they rang the bell and walked out through a pathway of sparklers over to their reception. (They had done their photos before the wedding, so they were free to go enjoy their cocktail hour after the wedding.)

The guests raved about their dinner! Crab stuffed mushrooms, antipasti trays, and artichoke crostini along with the wine upgrade at the bar (wine lists on the bar! at a wedding! can you imagine?!? The guests LOVE it!) What a great combination. Chicken piccata with sour cream and chive mashed potato and chef's medley (zucchini, yellow squash, green beans and red pepper strips) made a beautiful plate. Their yummy wedding cake topped it off.

What a fun evening. Their guests danced till the end, and partied the night away. It was a wedding where we enjoyed watching everyone have such a good time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Early Christmas at Affairs!

Wow! It has been so much fun to see the big brown truck pull up at the shop the last couple weeks! We know every time he delivers that we will have more fun things to go through! It has been like Christmas! And the best part is that there is more to come. Actually, maybe it's more like Hanukah, since we get presents every day. Haha.

We now have a BEAUTIFUL selection of English netting "Fascinators" These are HUGE on the right and left coasts! As with most trends, they are working their way to the Midwest, so you can be the first bride on your block to be on the cutting edge! SOOOOOOO cute! The Fascinator is worn to the front, over the face: so retro, so very Vogue! We have them with or without little feather enhancements, bling bling enhancements, plain, and even one that is on a little horsehair hat. Audrey Hepburn would be DROOLING!

Many of you know the soft spot I have for handbags. Oh my! Did we find some beauties, and very reasonably priced too! Our bags are great for folks that are going to formal occasions as well as for the moms at weddings. Keep us in mind if you attend the Popcorn Ball!

This one, below, is my particular fave. I LOVE the clasp! It just doesn't sparkle and shine in the picture like it does in person. It's just the right amount of bling for the handbag. If you want this one you better hurry, because it may be going home with ME any day now! :) My inner raccoon is SCREAMING for it!

These beaded bags in the back row are awesome as well. Sooooooo cute! They have little tuck away shoulder chains, and the designs on them are strikingly pretty. By the way, most all of our bags are convertible to shoulder bags.

We also have a truckload of really awesome bags coming in ivory and white, perfect for the elegant bride to tuck a hankie and lipstick, cell phone and maybe a couple other items into. So pretty. I'll post them when they come.
And while I'm thinking about it, did you know that our gown preservation includes up to three accessories free with the preservation of your gown (that would be the one that is FREE if you purchase your invitations and tuxes at Affairs, a $189 value!) That means you can include your veil, handbag, shoes, whatever you need to have cleaned and preserved, at no additional charge.

And check out some of the awesome new jewelry sets that have arrived!

Chandelier earrings continue to be HOT for the bride, and even the bridesmaids with certain gowns. We have received some really beautiful sets, and they are SO reasonable!

This one, below, is my particular favorite. Every time I walk past the case it's in, it catches my eye! SOOOOO pretty! Bling but elegant. It would be perfect with a little black dress, as well as with just about any wedding gown. (And it would be awesome with that handbag I love up above! Hmmmmmmm! Down Rocky, down boy!)

We've also received a number of really beautiful hair pieces, combs, tiaras, and some absolutely awesome headbands. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to photograph the headbands, so that will be a later post, but check out this comb:

You just can't imagine from the picture how sparkly and beautiful this piece is. You just have to see it in person!
Brooches? Did someone ask for brooches? Well, this is the place ladies! We have two shelves full of them. The hardest part will be deciding which one, because one is prettier than the next!

By the way, did you notice the snowflake there in the front? Perfect for the winter bride who is using snowflakes as a theme for the wedding! I can't tell you how many times we have searched for snowflakes in the past, and here it is.
Below are two more of our new brooches, nestled in among the boards with "bustle pins" These are sets of 6 matching pins for pinning up the bustle on a gown, however some of our clever gals have used these on their bridesmaids' gowns, to give them a little glitz and glam. They are the perfect touch at the bodice, on the shoulder, or even at the center back, depending on the style of the gown. They are just the right size for a bridesmaid when used individually.

We also have some awesome new veils, which I will also post later, when I figure out how to photograph them! We have some really short ones, lace edged, long, waterfall, you name it. (And keep in mind that our veils are priced well below any bridal shop in the area!)

So that's some of the exciting new things we have to show you when you stop in at Affairs! Keep in mind that you are always welcome to bring your wedding gown, bridesmaid gown, or mom's gown to the shop. You can try the gown on and see what works with it. Much easier than trying to put it all together in your head. We also can loan pieces out, for you to take to your fitting and try with your gown if it is in for alterations. We do whatever we can to make it as convenient as possible for you.
Our open hours are Thursday 12 to 8, and Friday or Saturday 12 to 5. Feel free to stop by during these hours, or call us for an appointment other days or evenings. Sometimes it's nice to have the place to yourself if you are going to try your gown on and play dress up with us. :) Just let us know what works for you and we'll set something up.
Oh! The UPS truck is coming! Gotta run!!!!!