Friday, May 29, 2009

Grooms - Wash your mouth out with Beer Soap

Photo from The Beer Soap Company

Guys, when you were a kid, did you ever have your mouth washed out with soap? I think that the guys at "The Beer Soap Company" may have had this in mind when they created this really great soap. NO don't do it - don't wash your mouth out, but use this good smelling, great lathering soap to make you squeaky clean and add shine to your hair. Who are these guys?

The Beer Soap Company is a small business founded by Zaidat Bombata and Jamin Poczontek. After checking out the market for months and not finding any substantial product lines that were geared toward a man’s needs in the shower, The Beer Soap Company was born. The soaps are made to multitask, with the ability to be used for shaving, as a shampoo, or as a body bar. All for only $5 for a 4.5 oz bar! No synthetic surfactants here! The soap is made the good old-fashioned way using a blend of oils and butters, water, and sodium hydroxide. After the soap making process is complete (12-24 hours) all the sodium hydroxide has been extinguished and what is left is a gentle long lasting bar of soap. Soap batches are air dried for 6 weeks, wrapped in the signature coffee filter look, and labeled.

I am a 'wine' kind of girl so I can appreciate variety. Actually, I never knew there were so many different kinds of beer. In keeping with that, the Beer Soap comes in these product types:


Right now, my personal favorites are Jamaican Hops Beer Soap - Made with Red Stripe Beer and the Touch O Patchouli Beer Soap - Made with Sapporo Beer. But they all smell so good!! The guys are working on creating additional scents and personally, I can’t wait until they so a summer seasonal (hint, hint).

If you ever wanted to have a beer in your bath…well…ok, so not quite, but it’s pretty close. Keep your beer frosty and your soap frothy (ok, I know way too corny).

For more information contact the Beer Soap Company at

If you have any questions about products or advice, please feel free to email me at

Until the next time...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gansevoort South for a wedding that's hot in South Beach

Gansevoort South hotel
Photo Gansevoort South hotel

Recently I had the opportunity to spend a weekend in gorgeous Miami, Florida. In checking out all that has changed down there in the past few years, I wandered into Gansevoort South. With its 110-ft rooftop pool, soaring art deco lobby complete with a 50-ft shark tank, an array of shops, restaurants, and massive David Barton Gym, I had to check out what all the buzz was about. What I found was really three hotels in one: Gansevoort South is a boutique South Beach hotel with a great location and great design; it is also a luxury hotel with guestrooms, pools, and the beach club of a much larger resort; and it’s an event hotel with an array of venues to accommodate weddings, meetings, and parties of all sorts poolside, beachfront, rooftop, or in one of its many indoor spaces.

Want to escape NY for the weekend; not only is South Beach an easy 2 1⁄2 hour direct flight away, but this hotel is a great option. This luxurious property now stands on previous site of the famed Roney Plaza and brings the pulse of New York to the heart of South Beach. I wanted to share some information to you my NY couples that are thinking of having a Florida destination wedding, especially Miami.

Christian Sarquis, Gansevoort South’s Associate Director of Catering, recently spent a few moments with me and we discussed this amazingly space.

Can you tell me about the hotel?

The 334-room Gansevoort South hotel is located on the up-and-coming north end of Collins Avenue (between 23rd and 24th Streets), widely considered to be the next epicenter of South Beach.

The building, originally constructed in the 1960’s in the classic Art Deco style of South Beach, was entirely redesigned around a tri-level private beach club that will anchor the development and serve as its centerpiece and central gathering spot. The Nikki Beach inspired décor will be clean and crisp, utilizing a color palette of rich chocolate brown, deep royal blue and pure white. In the evenings, flames from strategically placed fire features will reflect off of the pool.

The signature feature of Gansevoort South is its rooftop pool and bar, which is a tropical haven dotted with coco palm trees and whimsical cabanas. An urban retreat, the 19,000-square-foot space offers uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean and downtown Miami.

As you can see, the hotel has a wide variety of weddings venues from the beach club to the oceanfront pool plaza to the rooftop pool to a selection of smaller indoor spaces, their Sony Cierge Penthouse suite, and a large contemporary ballroom and more.

Photo Gansevoort South hotel
Photo Gansevoort South hotel

Why a bride would want to have her wedding here?

Although Gansevoort South is a boutique Miami hotel, it has the weddings venues and offerings of a much larger property. At Gansevoort South, the hotel only hosts one wedding a day to ensure its event staff is focused on one, and only one, event.

Can you tell me about the food that is offered?

The hotel’s food & beverage partner, The ONE Group, who provides pool and room service for the hotel also offers full hors d’oeurves and dinner menus specifically geared to wedding receptions for the bride and groom to select from. The executive pastry chef will also craft a one-of-a-kind wedding cake for the happy couple.

The hotel’s restaurant is a new venture by Philippe Chow, longtime chef at the legendary Mr. Chow in New York, and the perfect location for a rehearsal dinner. The glossy black, white and red supper club churns out haute Chinese specialties such as fresh pulled noodles and spinach-infused green prawns.
What about seasons, what are your busiest times of year that you're seeing brides?

The hotel accommodates weddings all year round, with the bulk of them occurring between October and May.

Photo Gansevoort South hotel
Photo Gansevoort South hotel

What are the best/signature experiences can a wedding party expect - or most importantly, if a couple is looking for a venue, why would they choose Gansevoort South vs. another hotel/venue?

Many South Beach hotels offer event spaces, great food, oversized accommodations, and an attentive staff. However, Gansevoort South is the only one to offer all of these things under one roof. The hotel’s variety of wedding venues and selection of dining offerings alone is unparalleled by other South Beach hotels, not to mention its prime location and luxurious guestrooms, the largest of any in South Beach. Our hotel really can offer everything you need to celebrate your big day, and then relax and be pampered after the festivities are through.

If you’re set on being married by the beach, at a location that is fun, active, and beautiful, then Miami is the city for you and Gansevoort South will handle all of your weddings needs, big or small.

For more info: Gansevoort South
2377 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Renée Rouleau – a skincare line that actually works

Stress – we all know preparing for a wedding is stressful and can cause your skin to go from flawless to full of zits in no time. If you are like a great portion of women (and yes men) who suffer from cystic acne (you know, those really hard pimples) you are always looking for a product that will treat it immediately. My latest ‘discovery’, an 'Anti-Cyst Treatment' by Renée Rouleau. This is an aqueous solution, with a pH that conforms to the physiological integrity of the skin. In other words, it makes it go 'by-bye!'.

The ‘Anti-Cyst Treatment’ uses a non-drying anti-bacterial agents that are delivered deep into skin where the cystic infection is present. What’s more it works – I tried it myself. Celebrities like Lisa Rinna , Eva Amurri, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Cheryl Ladd and Sean Avery are all believers in her products too.

Renee has also created a cocktail of advanced age-defying ingredients to provide immediate and long-term results for skin smoothness, skin brightening, firmness and younger-looking skin with continued use. You know it’s never too early to preventative measures. Her Intensive Firming Serum with Pomegranate and Peptides is lightweight and does change the texture of your skin after just a few days usage.

The only thing that I don’t like about Renée, her office is in Dallas and not New York, but her products are just a click away. Believe me when I say, using these products by Renée Rouleau, will have people stopping you in the street asking what you use on your skin.

For more information about Renée’s products and skin care tips, go to her website:

Green Stationery....

Elegant Collection
photo from: Green Stationery

This past week there were several interesting vendors that attended the National Stationery Show. I'm going to introduce you to the ones that I think have some pretty cool ideas for your wedding and today Green Stationery (no really, that's the name of the company), is one of them. Of course with a name like that it shouldn't be hard to figure out that they are envirionmentally friendly.

Why would a bride/couple want to use you/your product?

There are several reasons a bride would want to use our product, first is to reflect their beautiful style sense and to make a statement about their commitment to saving our earth as "Good planets are hard to find".

If you are eco/environmentally friendly, why? Green Stationery's product is eco friendly because it is made with the finest quality 100% post-consumer recycled paper, FSC Certified (conforms to responsible forest management standards), is green-e certified (made with renewable energy such as wind and hydo-electric power) and is produced chlorine and acid free, printed with soy inks with low VOC.

What I mean is what about you/the company decided to focus your attention and show your commitment to the environment?

I was inspired by a paper presentation where I learned the average american adult uses 745 lbs of paper a year and if it was ALL post consumer recycled we could save:
2578 lbs of wood - A total of 9 treesthat supply enough oxygen for 5 people annually
3259 gal of water - Enough water to take 190 8 min showers
6min BTUs energy - Enough energy to power an average american household for 25 days
785 lbs emissions - Carbon sequestered by 9 tree seedlings grown for 10 years
419 lbs solid waste - A total of 14 32 gal garbage cans of waste
So, you can see it is MORE than just about wasting trees!

This information was obtained from the Neenah Paper Eco Calculator found at

What would be a price range for direct purchase or do the couples have to go through retailers?

Couples would have to go through retailers and print shops to obtain this product, however the prices are quite reasonable. A 10 pack of imprintable invitations would retail around $14.99 and purchased bulk through a printer would be even less per card. We are looking into selling products direct on line to customers, but this is not currently available.

If you are interested in getting more information about this company and their product, please contact:
Marianne Cook
Green Stationery Inc.
6816 Stonewood Court
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
o: (952) 937-1842

Monday, May 25, 2009

Backyard weddings take timing, planning and bug spray

Naturally beautiful backyard

Who says that weddings have to be in a church, or a reception in a fancy hall? In this economy unique and less expensive weddings are taking place in backyards across the country - maybe even this Memorial Day weekend. I know, not everyone has a Hampton spread, or even a house in N.J .where you can pitch a tent, but for those of you that do, this is for you.

• First of all take a look at your yard and figure out how much space you have and what kind of tent you need. OH…keep in mind, if you do decide to have an outdoor wedding in a tent, you may not want to have a ball gown. Yes I know, we keep going back to the dress but ,you can’t have a big-ol’ hoop skirt walking down a small isle. You’ll take out all your guests sitting on the end of the row.

• Once you have picked out your tent design, decide what you are going to have in it – this mean you may need to have a landscaper fill-in uneven ground, possibly plant new flowers. Where is your isle, minister or Huppah going to be? Where will your bridal party stand or sit?

• Plan which parts of the tent will be for dancing and which part for the ceremony. If you don’t have an extra-wide space, then see if your caterer will breakdown the ceremony chairs and move in tables for dinner and space for dancing.

• Where are you going to have food, bar, DJ/Band cake?

• Make sure that the week before your wedding the landscaper does a through clean up.

• The day or two before, anything that isn’t wedding related move it into the garage.

• The day of – well I hope the sun is shining and have someone in your bridal party – a groomsman perhaps – put out the sign that says 'Starr and Joe’s' wedding to direct your guests.

• The bottom line is you won’t have any control over the weather, just do your best to prepare in case it should rain. Insects – plan for some bug repellant to keep them at bay.

• When you’re speaking with the caterer or rental-company, make sure you check these requests off your list:

• Tables, chairs, plates, flatware, glasses, table linens, a dance floor, containers to keep food hot and bugs out, speakers, out-door lights, portable restrooms, extra ice, plates and will they do a final clean-up at the end of the night so you don’t have to.

Decorate your tent in your colors and designs. You can make it as beautiful, if not more so than any hotel or other venue. So take a breath, relax and enjoy. It's your day.

Until next time, I wish you a very happy, safe and bug-free Memorial Day. OH, if you see a service man/woman walking around this weekend (or anytime) tell them "Thank You" for doing what they do.

Friday, May 22, 2009

BonBonBar treats for chocolate and scotch lovers alike

BonBon Scotch Bar - YUMMMMM
For my grooms, this is a special treat just for you.
People who know me know that I don’t eat lots of chocolate (I know it makes me rare and a cheap date for valentines day), however with this company, I will make an exception. The BonBonBar is a Los Angeles based company who uses fresh ingredients that are organic and local whenever possible. They strive to be an eco-friendly business and believe that chocolate should only mingle with equally spectacular ingredients, such as butter, cream, California nuts, oranges, single malt Scotch, vanilla beans, and sea salt. What I tasted was wonderful and dare I say, among the best I’ve ever had.

Recently, Nina Wanat a former New Yorker, founder and chief chocolatier, wanted to share this with you about her product.

We are very excited to be apart of anything chocolate and if a couple wants to give chocolate as a gift, I think we have some great options. We have candy bars, lollipops, caramels, hot mix, S'More kits and expanding all the time. If a couple wanted to personalize the package label, we have a great graphic designer on staff who can help with that. The only thing that the couple has to worry about is which product to choose.

What are the heavy times of year that people will likely order from you or is it all year?
The December holidays are the busiest, and early year holidays like Valentine's Day, Easter, etc. I love weddings and will work with couples to determine a timeline so we have enough time to create their choices with the freshest ingredients available.

What are the best/signature pieces can a couple think about ordering if they wanted to for their wedding party/guests?
The Scotch Bar, and Passion Fruit Marshmallows -- they're unique and surprisingly delicious for a lot of people.

Yes you read right – scotch bar. Single Malt Scotch (Talisker 1992 Distillers Edition Single Malt) Ganache & Chewy Caramel finished with Maldon Sea Salt. Enrobed in Dark Chocolate. This candy bar is bold enough for Scotch lovers and smooth enough for all chocolate lovers. The combination of Scotch, chocolate, caramel, and salt is both unique and delicious. I think this is a great and unique that the grooms will enjoy a lot!

With no minimum order required this company could provide enough for your engagement party, shower, bachelor party or entire wedding reception. You couples are really lucky because Nina is willing to offer a discount for large orders.

I love finding new vendors that I think you will like. BonBonBar is definitely one where flavors are key, and it’s ok to lick the chocolate from your fingers.

For more information or to place your order, go to their website:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unique wedding ideas from food to fashion
Divvies gift pack

Are you one of those people who is allergic to peanuts or other foods? Are you following a strict vegan diet? Do you know people in your family or people who will be attending your wedding that are? Well, Divvies is a company that can provide you with a great food alternative. I’m not saying that they can do your wedding cake, but they do have cupcakes, popcorn, candy and other really great treats that are made from a unique dairy-free and egg-free recipes. Take a look and try some new goodies.
Divvies -

How many of you would like to invite the President of the United States to your wedding? Well, I’m sure he’s a bit busy, but you can have the Obamas send you a congratulatory note. Look at it this way, you won’t have to feed the throngs of Secret Service agents or compete with Michelle’s killer arms. Send your invite to:
The Honorable Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama
The White house Greetings Office,
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - Room 39
Washington, DC 20500 or fax 202.395.1232

model alanna kivalya

Have you picked your readings yet? Don’t know where to start – I do. They list some of the more popular readings, scriptures, poetry etc. None of those work for you, then try

The warm weather has finally arrived... and with the sunshine, the return of the Bryant Park Yoga Program! Every week, lululemon is offering two complimentary open-level yoga classes in the heart of Manhattan, Bryant Park: Tuesdays: 10-11AM (meet on the paved patio at the northeast corner of the park) Thursdays: 6-7PM (meet on the southwest corner of the lawn). The season begins on Tuesday, May 5th and runs through Thursday, August 27th. If you have your own yoga mat, please bring it along! Questions? Email: In case of rain call: 212-768-4242 and for more info check out: See you soon.

If you are planning an outdoor wedding you don’t want your potty to be the lasting impression your guests have, Kohler’s has portable rest rooms that you can rent and you know what…your guests won’t ever know they are ‘in nature’.


Did you see Angels and Deamons this weekend? If you did, then you saw several illuminati styled ambigrams that are really beautiful. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well let me explain. An Ambigrams is a word or group of words that you can read both forward AND upside-down. Just like the tattoo to the left, no matter how you look at it, it still spells "Faith". Cool huh?

I know, why am I telling you about this and what does it have to do with your wedding? Well to start, these are pretty cool. How great would it be to have both you and your partner’s name, as one, on your invitation or on a napkin? After speaking with Mark Pamer, the artist and creative director behind wow tattoos, he can create a custom ambigram in 7-10 days. If you want to create ‘temporary tattoo stickers’, a great ice-breaker and 'id' for destination weddings or engagement parties he can help with that too. I know that the little kids that are a part of the ceremony would love it. If you want to make it permanent, then Mark can send you the custom design and you can take it to your local tattoo artist for replication on the body part of your choice. Check out Mark's site -

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ramscale rocks views for your wedding event

Photo with thanks from Ramscale

Glorious sunsets, breathtaking views of Manhattan, and oh…the terrace dancing under the stars, are what many wedding dreams are made of. If you want sunlight to bathe you in aglow, and then the twinkling light of the city sparkle as you dance for the first time as husband and wife, Ramscale is the location for you.

A 3500 sq. ft. loft very clean loft space has a very open and artistic feel, with separate dressing areas gives you the freedom to calm nerves just before your ceremony, as well as a place for you to have your those very first intimate moments alone, before you shake your groove thing.

Rochelle “Rocky” Scott invited me to an event here and from the moment I stepped off the elevator, I was amazed how beautifully decorated and just how much fun it was. A beautiful night in NY, the terrace was open and the views were breathtaking.

Photo with thanks from Ramscale

Rocky wanted to share this info with you:

We have a lot of weddings, movie shoots and events like that all year. Our brides – rather, the busy bridal season for us is April through October.

The best part about renting our space: It's a blank palate so you can design it to your own personal taste, meaning no other wedding would have the same look. You can pick the art that goes up on the walls and no other venue does this that I'm aware of. If the couple chooses to ‘register’ with us, their guests then have the opportunity to purchase a piece of art that they know the couple will love.

The views are spectacular especially from the terrace at sunset. We have views of the north, east, south and west. We also have an incredibly friendly staff and work with some of the most creative, flexible caterers/vendors in the city. Lastly, we are very affordable.

Photo with thanks from Ramscale

If you ever wanted to have a small gathering for an intimate 75 to 100, consider Ramscale. Specializing in intimate and stress free events, why not share this night and views with only your closest family and friends.

For more info:

Rochelle "Rocky" Scott
RAMSCALE Productions, Inc.
55 Bethune Street, PH floor 13
New York, NY 10014
t: 212.206.6580
f: 212.206.6683
c: 917.856.8250

Monday, May 18, 2009

Liquid lipstick is luscious from Cosmoholic Cosmetics

Cosmoholic Cosmetics
Jody Cohen Founder of Cosmoholic Cosmetics

In the next few weeks there will be a few great, no amazing, articles from some celebrity make-up artists I know. I know you want to have that ‘star look’ on your wedding day and I want that for you too. And while we are all sick of talking about this – recession is a reality, but your flawless look is one area you don’t want to skimp on. The good thing is Jody Cohen, the creator of Cosmoholic Cosmetics, has created a lipstick and gloss in one, which has instant impact and will truly last photo after photo.

Cosmoholic Cosmetics, a favorite of Gossip Girl, Blake Lively, delivers the color impact you have come to expect from lipstick, and the shine from a gloss all in one. Its new formula is paraben free, and contains Vitamin C, E and antioxidants, so your lips will be healthy and beautiful. Let’s be honest, you want kissable lips especially on this day, and you don’t want to have to re-apply your lipstick – you want one that’s going to last.

Jody was so great to share some tips on how you can achieve a fresh and glowing complexion making you ready for your close-up.

1. Take a pea size amount of a liquid highlighter and mix it with your foundation or tinted moisturizer when applying. That's all it takes!

2. Using a cream blush on the cheeks gives the skin that fresh dewy look

3. Using a powder highlighter apply to the cheekbones and a sweep down the middle of the nose

When it comes to picking the best lip color for your complexion.

Look at the vein color on the inside of your wrist.

* Are your veins a bluish tint? If so, stick with colors that have cool undertones (ie pinks, mauves, and berry colors).

* Are your veins a greenish tint? If so, pick colors with warm undertones (ie corals, brick reds, and golden colors).

* Are your veins a bluish greenish combo? If so, you are neutral and any color will work for you!

The color you see, the color you get - Cosmoholic Cosmetics

I absolutely love this lipstick – Mysterious Mocha and Rockstar Red are my favorites. The thing that is also really cool, the color you see on line is the EXACT same color you receive. Way Cool.

To purchase Cosmoholic Cosmetics, please visit

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fine and Dandy - a site for grooms and those who love them

Photo Fine and Dandy

I’ve been looking for someone hip, cool and who has the ability to give the inside scoop on keeping you my groom, well-groomed and up on the coolest styles. Matt Fox is the ‘shopkeeper’ of ‘Fine and Dandy and this site is a good site before, during and after your wedding. Be sure to check out their “Dandy Deals”

Can you tell me why you created this site?
I've wanted to open a storefront shop for many years. With the great expense of real estate in NYC, it's been more a dream than a reality. About a year ago I had the idea to give it a try online. We launched on October 31, 2008, and were thrilled with the holiday shopping sales.

What do you think you can provide for the grooms that are going for a different 'look'?
We're big believers in the simple, traditional look, with a few understated details: a basic black tux with a bow tie (hand tied, of course) cufflinks, pocket square, and coordinating socks. Your grooms are on their own to find a tux but we've got the accessories covered.

What are the best/signature pieces, do you have any that are 'eco-friendly' and what are the best sellers?
Our bow ties are our signature pieces. The bow tie is making a big time come back, and not just in formal wear. In addition to bow ties, we have a simple silver rectangular tie bar that has been extremely popular. Very "Mad Men". Right now we don't have anything that is specifically eco-friendly, although that is something that is important to us as we expand.

Can you give me some advice on what they should do/how they should prepare not just for their wedding, but maintain the 'look' after?
Always, always be the best dressed person in the room. It's better to be 10% over-dressed than 10% under-dressed. The US has been gradually shifting over the last several decades to becoming extremely casual-dress focused. That seems to be changing, particularly for menswear. I think part of it is the economy. We all have to dress to impress (and keep our jobs). Men should focus on fit, and the details of a few well chosen accessories.

Grooms no matter what, remember to keep your look simple, comfortable and add something special to help you stand out. Remember it’s your wedding too.

For more info: If you are interested in checking out some great accessories for your wedding, go to Fine and Dandy Shop.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jacadi - for the little 'stars' in your wedding party

Jacadi children
Photo with compliments of Jacadi

We’ve all been to weddings as guests. We all “Oooo” and “Ahhhh” as the only people who could steal the show from the bride, walk down the aisle. The ‘little people’ are so cute (if they’re not crying) and very proud to be so dressed up. Let’s face it; once you get them down the aisle, you just pray you can keep them clean enough for photos and then…

Well even the crankiest child will feel good in Jacadi.

Jacadi recently introduced its new “ceremony collection” – what flower girls and the smallest of wedding attendees will be wearing this year. Fancy but not fussy, the collection offers dresses with delicate ribbon or eyelet details for her and dress pants, shorts and shirts for him. Complete the look with matching shoes and frilly ankle socks, offering full head-to-toe dressing for little ones. Prices range from $130 for a smocked dress to $64 for a pair of linen dress shorts. Every outfit is more adorable than the next and what all the best-dressed kids are wearing.

If you don’t know Jacadi, they combine classic European style with an American “mix-and-match” sensibility, featuring smocked dresses for girls, button-downs and polo shirts for boys and infant items. With three locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, you will be able to find great clothing for the little people in your bridal party. Come to think of it, you do know Jacadi as a favorite of celebrities from Katie Holmes (and Suri) to Jennifer Garner (and Violet).

For more info: Items can be found on the website at

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eco-gifts that recycle, provide comfort and keep on giving

Laura Su
Design by Laura Su Prismera Design

With so many vendors becoming more environmentally aware, there is an explosion of options to choose from. Here are just a few to checkout this week.

Jewelry with a purpose…

Laura Su, the founder and designer of Prismera Design capture nature and botanicals in her jewelry and accessory line. Conscious of the environmental impact of creating a collection, many of her pieces are made from stainless steel, and recycled material which do not require the use of chemicals to care for them. Her creations are modern with a feminine edge. VerdeRocks is a eco-friendly fashion and jewelry company whose pieces are an eclectic mix of brass, copper, bronze, crystal, gold, silver, and steel alongside vintage crystals, recycled glass and semi-precious stones.

You can also check out sites like Etsy.comfor eco friendly vendors who have created designs that are unique and affordable.

Take me home…
Have you considered Target for your eco-friendly registry? They have an eco-friendly section, which has eco-friendly dishware (Confetti Recycled Melamine is funky and fun) made from recyclable materials. There is also several Bamboo pieces that continue to be really popular. Finally as you wind down from a long day what better than to slip into bed on organic sheets, made from 100% pure cotton. Other companies that will help you set up an environmentally friendly home is 3R Living . Their products are stylish and sensibly priced, and Plover Organic whose organic cotton bedding (as shown in the picture) is for the style-conscious, earth-conscious home.

The gift that keeps on giving…
I’m still a great believer in philanthropic donations, yes, even in this time. Here are a few to check out.

Brides Against Breast Cancer, will send you a card for each guest announcing your gift that will keep on giving. To save a tree, just have them send you one card, blow it up on the copier and display it as people enter your reception. Two other organizations that look to help create a new future are the National Center for Family Literacy and Changing The Present where your guests can, provide clean drinking water to a family in Honduras, or provide mosquito netting against malaria for children in Africa, doing so all in your honor.

If you want to give and simply can’t decide, JustGive may provide the answer. JustGive is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase charitable giving by connecting you with the charities and causes they care most about. I really like them because this one site can help you feed and empower the hungry, protect animals and prevent cruelty, support women of the world, create peace or even plant a tree. This is truly a one-stop shop that will help you pick a charity that reflects you as a couple.

I’m sure no matter what you do, your impact will be great and your passion to save the planet will benefit future generations.

Until next time…

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Merging customs, traditions and lives

The toasts. The bouquet toss. The dreaded Electric Slide. These are rituals that, for better or worse, you can expect at a typical wedding. But what if you wanted to blend your cultures and traditions?? Here are more cultures and traditions that you can incorporate into your wedding to personalize it and add a little 'international flair' to it.

If your family is from France
Having a special cup for your toast is a wonderful tradition. Here many couples drink from an engraved two-handled coupe de marriage cup for the reception toast. The cup is then passed from generation to generation.

If your family is from Japan
Japanese couples officially become husband and wife after taking three sips of sake from the same cup. This is known as ‘san-san-kudo’ and has long symbolized the bond between the couple and the spiritual world.

If your family is from Poland
This tradition might have added ‘benefit’ during this economic crisis. It is a custom that guests pin money to the dancing bride and groom to help them out financially build a new life together.

If your family is from Taiwan
On the morning of the wedding, the groom and his family goes to the brides’ house. Before he looks at her, he kneels in front of her parents and promised that he will take care of her. I think that when a man asks permission he is doing the same thing, just with out kneeling…then again, maybe the kneeling wouldn’t hurt.

So no matter what your custom or culture, there is a rich history you can pull some traditions. Likewise, if there is a culture/customs that you like, incorporate it in your ceremony anyway. Tell me what you're doing -

Monday, May 11, 2009

Launching a new bridal collection - Niki Livas

Niki Livas
Courtesy of Alfred Angelo

Do you know Niki Livas? For many years, Niki has been a leading designer in the prom industry. With an eye on the future and her extensive knowledge of a woman’s body, Niki has really done a wonderful job in her debut bridal collection.

Niki, what do you consider “hot” as you were designing your collection or better, what are brides asking for when looking at your beautiful dresses?

The number one thing asked is for low backs and I mean really low, also with back interest (something strappy or with bling). We also see girls asking for ball gowns in certain areas of the country, by this I mean princess looks with big full skirts. In my collection, there is something for every bride.

I’m sure you’re used to busy seasons when you were working on your other dresses. What are you finding as the busiest times of the year or spike in bridal gowns?

For us and I think for the industry in general, after the holidays, when girls get engaged for June-September weddings, and again in early Fall and Spring weddings. The collection has been incredibly well-received thus far, and has generated a wonderful amount of interest throughout the bridal industry. There’s been a lot of buzz generated especially for brides looking for a great gown with their eye on a particular budget.

With a growing number of brides that are very ecologically conscious, what other ways can a bride be more 'environmentally friendly’?

If their gowns can be recycled and other girls can wear them again, so they are not discarded, that is one way. If the gowns are made in natural fabrics like cotton or linen, that is also a great advantage. Simply if the fabrics don’t have to be dyed and they are kept in their natural form, that is more eco-friendly. We are working on some ideas for more eco-friendly designs in our bridal collections for the future.

How long does it take to create a dress and what are your price ranges?

It takes about 4 weeks to create a dress and the price ranges are $199 to $425 retail. I thought these prices are more affordable and recession friendly. I want to make sure that every woman that is looking for a special dress will have the opportunity to have one, especially with the state of the economy right now.

Anything else you want the readers to know about your designs?

My designs are interpreted from designs I have been successful with in my other evening, cocktail, celebrity inspired collections. Most of the gowns in the collection have something taken from the best performing dresses in the retail stores.

If you want to be on the cutting edge of a wonderful designer who has plunging necklines, body-hugging dresses, with a touch of "bling" at an affordable price, you have found the right designer – Niki Livas.

For more info: Please go directly to the Alfred Angelo site and look for Niki by Niki Livas/Zum Zum - Remember that these designs won't be available until Fall 2009, so be sure to check back here or on their site for ordering information and additional photos.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trading legendary inmates for lifetime 'life-mates' at the Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel Photo
Photo's from The Liberty Hotel

Recently I had the opportunity to return to a place where I spent some ‘time’ a few months ago. When a neighbor asked if I was ever in “The Clink” for a drink, I had no idea what she was talking about. What I found was a charming and history-filled hotel that once welcomed a very different type of ‘guest’. However now if you said you were in jail over the weekend for a wedding, The Liberty Hotel would provide the perfect ‘Alibi’.

If you ever just wanted to escape (no pun intended) NY for the weekend, this hotel is a great option. This luxurious hotel once stood as Boston’s storied Charles Street Jail and is now one of the city’s most romantic and unique venues; home to a much more enthusiastic and appreciative audience. I wanted to share some information to you my NY couples that are thinking of having a wedding in the New England area, especially Boston.

Christina Chunias, Director of Catering, The Liberty Hotel recently spent a few moments with me and we discussed this amazingly space.

Can you tell me about the hotel?

The Liberty Hotel has such a unique character. If you walk throughout the courtyard garden, or along the catwalks in the rotunda, you will find that a great majority of the brickwork is from the original jail. The hotel tries to keep as much of the original ‘charm’ if you will, of the jail as possible. There are some places where you will see the original bars on the windows and in a city were there are so many impressive landmarks, The Liberty Hotel is truly an architectural gem.

The hotel has 300-guest rooms that range in size from 400- to 800-square feet and features now, are very different from its original occupants. From luxury bedding, floor to ceiling windows (many affording unparalleled views looking westward up the Charles River), flat panel HD-LCD televisions and a private bar, The Liberty Hotel really wants their guests to enjoy their ‘time away’. One of the stand-out room types is the one-bedroom “escape” suite. It is like a small apartment with a master bedroom, one and a half bathrooms and separate living and dining areas with Beacon Hill and Charles River views. It’s spectacular.

Photo's from The Liberty Hotel

Why a bride would want to have her wedding here?

While the hotel does get a few “ball and chain jokes” every now and again, once the couple sees how the hotel transforms their space, those jokes quickly fade away. The hotel’s Grand Ballroom can accommodate receptions up to 180 persons, including an amazing seated dinner and a spacious dance floor. If the couple is looking for a place where they can have their guests also enjoy a themed experience and have everything in one space, The Liberty Hotel is a great choice. The hotel is very conscious about those who are looking for ways to save their carbon footprint, so having your guests and ceremony in one place and having fun the entire time, is what the hotel hopes to provide. The guestroom bathrooms are also equipped with Molton Brown bath and body products in eco-friendly dispensers.

Can you tell me about the different types of food offered at The Liberty Hotel?

The Liberty Hotel houses two wonderful restaurants – CLINK and Scampo – which can be rented for rehearsal dinners, showers or other events. James Beard Award-winning Chef Lydia Shire’s Scampo features a vibrant menu of handmade breads, pizzas and pastas as well as the country’s first mozzarella bar. This is a great space for a rehearsal dinner. At CLINK, Chef Joseph Margate sources fresh local ingredients to make his daily changing menus with specialties like seared sea scallops and oyster chowder.

Wedding in Jail - The Liberty Hotel
Photo's from The Liberty Hotel

What are the busiest time of the year for weddings?

While the hotel hosts weddings all year round, the busiest time for weddings tends to be in September and October.

Why a couple would choose The Liberty Hotel vs. any of the other Hotels located here in Boston?

The space is unique, the character is unique…there is no other place in the world like The Liberty Hotel. The hotel customizes wedding packages to cater to the different tastes of each couple and no two weddings or receptions are ever the same. The hotel staff gets to know the couple and then does what they can to make their dream come true. Also, couples will love retreating to “solitary confinement” at the end of their reception.

And I love this hotel. While I was a resident of Beacon Hill, the Liberty provided this New Yorker with a haven and meeting place of old and new friends. Take a look at their website and if you are in Boston go directly to jail…do not pass go.

For more info: The Liberty Hotel
215 Charles Street Boston, MA 02114

The Liberty Hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, so collect those points.

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