Thursday, February 28, 2008

And The Oscar Goes To

While the Oscars left me feeling a bit uninspired this year, the real showcase for me were the after parties. Though Vanity Fair cancelled their coveted invitation-only soiree, the Governor's Ball and Elton John's charity event did not disappoint.
The color scheme mirrored the primary colors of the night: gold for the Oscar statues and red, obviously for the "red carpet".
I love the floating glass globes.
The lamps work beautifully as the table's centerpieces.
The vibrant rose arrangements echo the "roundness" of the globes.
The scroll design of the table runner and the golden candle holders stand out against a backdrop of red.
I adore the mirrored tabletops, very elegant and clean.
**Photos courtesy of Nadine Froger Photography**

I am so loving the colors used at this party. Very festive, very fun which is great for a charity event. Happy colors equal happy people parting with the contents of their wallets! Take notice of the tv display ensuring every guest has no trouble seeing all of the on-stage action.
Elegant gold boxes containing Chopard writing pens made excellent favors for each guest.
Can't say enough about the sunburst colors.
Dazzling diamonds on display.
Guests were luck enough to be treated to a performance by the fabulous Mary J. Blige and Sir Elton, himself. Great times!
**Photos courtesy of Stephanie Keenan and Michael Caulfield for WireImage**

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dazzling Duos

J. Crew has done it again with this season's looks for your bridesmaids. Not only are the dresses incredible but the company has stepped up its accessories game as well. I paired up a few favs. What I love most is the use of color; bright, rich colors, ethnic stones. None of that matchy-matchy stuff here, but everything flows beautifully. I beg of you, please don't force your friends to dye their shoes to match the dresses. As always, use these ideas as a springboard for your own creativity. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Words To Live By

I was reading one of my new favorite blogs, La Dolce Vita, written by Paloma when I came across these quotes. Paloma features a great quote each week and these really struck a

All three quotes are very similar in theme to a few of the books I've read over the last few months.

The story of one woman's journey to recover after a horrendous divorce. Though I've never been married, I can certainly relate to the need to nurture your inner voice and embrace your spirituality. Plus I hear Julia Roberts is set to star in the movie version.

Kimora is glamour personified, but trust me when I say there is more to this lady than bling and stilettos.

The ultimate ode to the power of intention.

Monday, February 25, 2008

It All Started With China

Every year around this time, I start planning my special "Girlfriends Only" party. I have a very diverse group of friends, all of whom lead busy lives, so when we have the opportunity to get together, I think it should be an event. Last year, it was "Cocktails and Catching Up", signature drinks and mini champagne bottles as favors included, of course. This year I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to go, that was until I saw the china.

Can we just reflect for a moment on the beauty that is this Versace Butterfly Garden china? Very charming, whimsical, very "ladies who lunch". Perfect for a Sunday afternoon brunch. See where I'm going?

This floral basket by Fringe will do nicely for the arrangements I'll put together. I'm brainstorming something with long stems, very slender blooms to balance the ultra feminine pattern of the vase.

My teacakes will look even more delicious on this lovely serving tray, also by Fringe. I found the most wonderful mini bundt pans at Walmart last night. I haven't decided on which recipe I'll pull out of my files, but something light and airy will do nicely. Maybe angel cake drizzled with strawberries ( my favorite fruit).

I think my friends will love these French Lilac candles by Pacifica.

Or maybe Illume's Pomegranate candle.
Now I'm feeling totally inspired, hope you are too! Happy Monday!!

**Photos courtesy of Bloomingdales, which is having an awesome home sale.

Friday, February 22, 2008

If I Could Turn Back Time

Is it just me or is Cher's bedroom the cat's meow? I am so loving the design, both subtle and sexy. It could totally work (scaled down of course) as inspiration for the lounge area of your reception. Think ottomans, circular sectionals and lots of pillows just off the dance floor, all in the glow of candlelight.
Picture courtesy of Architectural Digest
If you have a garden as lovingly tended as this one is, I beg you to put it to good use. A formal engagement cocktail party with just your closest friends and family in attendance as well as a string quartet softly playing in the background, in a word: wonderful.
Picture courtesy of Architectural Digest, Cilla Massei Tuscany
This beautiful perfume bottle by Viktor & Rolf immediately brings to mind...champagne!! It's sophisticated, warm, sensual and very inviting...the perfect vibe for a cocktail party or an evening designed for two.

I have been thinking of new colors for logo the I'm having designed. I've been searching high and low for the perfect shade of raspberry and Jennifer over at MadeByGirl came to my rescue. Isn't it simply scrumptious?!

Oh, the latest issue of Virginia Bride Magazine is on stands now. Look for yours truly on page 52.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spring Is In The Air

Well, not really as it's about 35 degrees today, but I digress. I was visiting my parents the other day (which is one of the reasons I hadn't posted this week, sorry guys), and as the sun set she remarked how much longer the days seem. To be honest, I hadn't noticed it or maybe I did but didn't give it much thought. My mother loves tending to her little flower garden, so I know she's itching to get back out there and see what the change in season will bring. I, on the other hand, immediately started thinking about a Spring wedding. If the choices were totally mine, what colors would I use and how to incorporate the various elements into one cohesive vision/theme. After a little brainstorming on my handy dandy notepad (yes I use old-fashioned paper and pencil to come up with ideas, my high school English teacher left a big impression), here's what I came up with.

It all started with an article I was reading in AD about Oscar de la Renta's new resort, Tortuga Bay in the Dominican Republic. It's one of the most sought-after resorts this season, not to mention it's color is the season's hottest shade, yellow. How could I resist? Casual chic was the guiding principal, from Melissa Sweet's gown which is perfect for a beach wedding to the wicker fans which are sure to keep you cool in the island sun to lemon drop martinis, so refreshing. The sweet perfection of Laduree macarons are great for guest take-aways. Can't make it to Punta Cana for your wedding? Don't fret, these ideas will translate well to a lovely garden party and save Tortuga Bay for the honeymoon. Be sure to tell Oscar I said hello!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Most Of All I Wish You Love

That's a line in a song from a movie that I can't quite recall right now, but I know as soon as I post this, it will come to me. However if one of you can place the lyrics, please leave a comment and let us know!

In honor of Valentine's day I was going to post some fabulous floral arrangement, but I saw this illustration that Google is using and it's perfect. It is what I wish for all of us on this Valentine's Day, a long life filled with love and happiness. Make it a memorable one!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Intimate Connection

I met a lovely couple a few weeks ago who contacted me about their fall wedding. The groom-to-be is Vietnamese and the bride-to-be is American, both hailing from Texas. When I asked them to describe their dream wedding, certain words came up over and over again: intimacy, architecture, casual chic and an outdoor ceremony. They wanted something very intimate (less than 80 people) and the weekend was to really be about their love story and truly connecting with their guests. None of the hurried frenzy that can oftentimes accompany a wedding of 200+ guests, in fact they're getting married on a Friday so they can spend the rest of the weekend with their friends and family. They have great personalities, a love of bossa nova, are true foodies and wanted to incorporate the groom's heritage as well. After some thought, I came up with this vision board. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Preserving The Pretty

Being that Valentine's Day is upon us, I thought I would share some of my favorite beauty finds to get you prepared for the biggest date night of the year. One of the things I like most about going out on a date, is the getting ready. Selecting the perfect bath products, lipstick and perfume (to say nothing of the shoes)all serve to get me in the correct headspace for spending time with that special someone.

Laura Mercier makes the most divine bath products. This chocolate truffle honey bath and body cream are the perfect choice for V-day. I am so in love with that little dipper!

Bath truffles have always been a favorite of mine. Earthworks' African Jasmine are sure to delight the senses. Made with cocoa and shea butters your skin will be silky to the touch.

No one knows fragrance like Jo Malone knows fragrance! Her Red Roses bath oil is pure relaxation in a bottle. It's a heavenly blend of 7 different roses, feminine and lovely without being overpowering.

Starting to notice a trend? I am such a bath person!! If only the water could stay hot for hours.

Keisha Whitaker, the ultra-chic wife of Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and creator of the fabulous Kissable Couture lip gloss line, has come out with a limited edition range of shades designed especially for Valentine's Day. Be sure to get yours while you can!

Now, that you've taken a moment to soak in the tub and are perfectly scented with a very pretty pout, a sexy manicure is a must. Don't you just love a precise red nail. So very glamourous!!

If you're planning on staying in (lucky girl), the heavenly scent of Diptyque candles will certainly set the mood. Tuberose is my absolute top pick.

Now all you need is a chilled bottle of bubbly and you've set the stage for the beginning of a perfect evening. No thanks necessary, it was my pleasure!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I've Got A Love Jones

Love Jones is one of my all-time favorite movies, so when I received a dvd from photographer Faith Jones, whose company shares the same name, I was instantly intrigued. I love Faith's creative perspective and thought she'd be perfect for my gold list. Be sure visit her site to see more of Faith's work.
I love the juxposition of color and b&w.
Please tell our readers a bit of your background and how you started as a photographer.
I fell in love with art at an early age and constantly photographed friends and family. Being a part of the yearbook staff in high school fueled my love for taking pictures and my first class in college sealed the deal!

What should couples look for in a wedding photographer?
First and foremost, a great portfolio! Also, look for a photographer that you connect with. When you are comfortable with your photographer your photographs are more natural and he/she is able to capture you at your best!
Such a fun and unexpected shot!!
What is the style difference between traditional photography and photojournalism?
Traditional photography consists of more posed photographs that capture the people and events that take place. Photojournalistic photos tend to tell more of a story and focus on the detail and emotion of the day or moment. The photographer is able to use more artistic expression while the client receives images that will bring back the emotion of the day for years to come.
So romantic!
How can couples maximize their outdoor photos?
Many couples make the mistake of wearing loud patterns and colors during photo shoots. Whether outdoors, or indoors, neutral colors and little to no pattern help bring the focus to you, rather than your clothes. Choose a place that reflects you and your significant other, this will help you to relax as well as bring back memories and emotions that can be captured in your shoot.
Isn't she adorable?!
What are some of your tips to help couples capture the emotion of their wedding day?
It is important to relax and just enjoy your day. Forget about the camera (and even the guests sometime) and take time to reflect on the journey you are embarking upon. Have fun with your photographer and try things that are out of the box (jumping, running, etc.). Be open to the photographer’s suggestions and you’ll find yourself with unique and creative images to frame or display in an album.
I love the action shots! Looks like everyone is having a blast.
How soon should couples being looking for your services? What questions should they ask?
Couples should usually try to book their photographer 6-8 months in advance. On a day as important as your wedding you don’t want to have to settle for a photographer you aren’t 110% satisfied with and you DEFINITELY do not want to be without a photographer at all!
Important questions to ask your photographer are:
1. What package options do you have that will work within my budget? Can we work to create something that will work for us?
2. What additional options are offered (i.e. albums, thank you cards, dvds, etc.)
3. When will we receive the photographs and how long do you keep them for ordering?
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