Friday, January 29, 2010

Preston Bailey 'Celebrates' and plans for the future

Preston Bailey
A must for everyone who has ever wanted to have a party

There are parties and then there is a Preston Bailey party. While the night air was cold, inside the Manhattan Armory was “HOT”, as Preston Bailey and his book “Celebrations” set the night on fire. With the help of his long-time friend Marcy Blum, they created an event that was tastefully sexy and filled with surprises.

Celebrities in the entertainment and the wedding industry, family and friends were on hand to celebrate the true genius, creativity, passion and style of Preston Bailey. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, he out does himself again. The author of Design for Entertaining, Fantasy Weddings, Inspirations and most recently Celebrations, he takes artistry to a completely different level and this 226 page book shares some of his best work. It gives you a peak at his talent and highlights some original events for celebrities like Ivanka Trunp, Jennifer Hudson, Joan Rivers, Donna Karan and countless others.

Entering the Amory tonight was a feast for the eyes and senses. This once raw space was transformed in just 48 hours and the result, magic. With the drapes that covered the walls and the Orchard covered ribbons that created faux-trees; from the giant atlas sculptures to the giant ball filled with candle-styled ice cubes, every detail was carefully arranged. Every servers, dessert table and stage that looked like a moveable runway was perfect. The dancers who had flowers – shall we say, strategically placed added a surprise element. However, when Gloria Gainer, and Martha Washington both performed, it took this party to another level.

I was both honored and very pleased that he gave me a few moments before the festivities to share some things coming up in the very near future:

The Bailey&Blum mentoring weekend - March 5-7, 2010
This is an exclusive mentoring weekend with both Preston and Marcy Blum where they will walk attendees through the process of becoming a wedding planner. There are welcome cocktails, interactive workshops, dinner with a famed chef and much more. It is a time to really learn from two of the very best in the business

The Preston Bailey Institute (more about this in the coming months)
This is need and designed to share what he has learned with those who are truly interested in becoming the best in the event planning business. In other words, this institute will continue where the mentoring weekend leaves off.

There is so much going on with Preston Bailey; I know that 2010 will be a year for him to remember. As the music began to swell and just moments before the first guest walked in, I asked him what would he tell someone who was interested in being an event planner. He said:

  1. Have faith
  2. Follow your dreams
  3. Love what you’re doing

From what we all know about Preston Bailey and especially what I saw tonight, he is doing all three. Congratulations Preston.

For more information about Preston Bailey, please visit his site. Next week, more from Preston and more pictures from the book launch.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An 80th birthday for Sylvia Weinstock

Sylvia Weinstock
The Grand Dame of butter cream, Sylvia Weinstock

On behalf of those of us in the industry and brides everywhere, I want to take a moment to wish the New York’s Cake Diva, Queen of Cakes, Grand Dame of butter cream designs, a very Happy Birthday. Sylvia Weinstock is celebrating her 80th birthday today and if you ever met Sylvia you know her spirit, youthful exuberance and work ethic are far younger than her actual years. In other words, she runs circles around us all.

What started as a wedding cake for her daughter’s friend, her cake was seen by NYC society caterer Donald Bruce White and as they say, the rest is history. While Sylvia has a star-studded clientele that includes the likes of Star Jones, Donald Trump, Michael Douglas & Katherine Zeta-Jones, Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner and Mariah Carey, she makes amazing confectionary delights for couples worldwide.

All Sylvia’s cakes are custom designed and created according to the specifications of her clients. Not only do the cakes look beautiful, they taste delicious, because only the best available ingredients are used. Working with couples to pick their cake design and filling, Sylvia believes it’s acceptable to mix layers creating ‘surprise flavors’, not only for the guests but their guests. So you can have one layer chocolate and the other a completely different (but complimentary) flavor. Taking an element from the brides gown or veil are often incorporated in the cake design adding to the beautiful personal touch.

Her most recent book Sweet Celebrations contains recipes, designs, techniques, tips and illustrations of her cakes, with instructions for creating some fairly simple cakes that the reader can try at home. This is a great book to give to your favorite DIY bride, or anyone that just wants to make a cake that is a feast for the eyes and great tasting. It is one of my favorite coffee table books and should be a book you have on your shelf.

Sylvia is often seen at bridal showcases, handing out cake often to stunned brides. Let’s face it, Sylvia is a rock-star in the wedding industry and how often do stars ‘mingle’ with their fans. In her case, every chance possible and for that we are all grateful. She was seen last year at a wedding professional event dancing up a storm and because she is so, well 'normal' it's just another reason we love her.

So happy birthday dear Sylvia, you are truly the Leonardo da Vinci of the cake world and we are so grateful to you. Thank you for your passion about weddings. Thank you for setting the standard so many strive to achieve. Thank you for just being you. May you have many, many more.

For more information about Sylvia take a look at her website.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sales and wedding events

It’s that time of the month again. Sales, events and just fun things to do. I try to make the process a bit easier for you and what a better way then knowing what’s coming up. So get your calendar, write some (or all) of these down and have a great time.

Tues., Jan 26, 2010
Priscilla of Boston is having a designer trunk show. Be the vision of romance in one of the timeless elegant designs from their collection. The sale begins today and is available at all Priscilla of Boston Salons. Check out the site for a location near you.

Wed., Jan 27, 2010
Yes, this is happening tomorrow. Cocktails, Tasting and Dance Lessons. What more could you ask for? I’m sure the cocktails will ‘relax’ the most nervous groom while he is learning what will truly be a wonderful first dance with you. This is a wedding salon event and sure to be a good one.

Wed., Jan 27-31, 2010
The Temperley London New York boutique will be holding a sample sale. Select styles from Pre-Fall 2009, Autumn/Winter 2009 and past seasons will be marked up to 75% off. So if you are looking for RTW & Accessories for your engagement party, or your honeymoon outfit, this it the time to go. They are located at 453 Broome Street (at Mercer Street) 2nd Floor. 212-219-2929

Jan 29, 2010
If you are looking for a fun, romantic movie this week, check out When in Rome. Why am I posting about a movie, because Amsale bridal gowns are featured. They are absolutely beautiful…did I said “they….” Hmmm. If you click on this link, watch the trailer, you can enter the sweepstakes to win an Amsale Wedding Dress. Go for it, because..When in Rome…”

Speaking of sweepstakes, I wanted to thank all the grooms that entered my give-a-way. With so many entries, Smartbox is generously giving two away types of experiences. So congrats to Bryant Green and Arnold Scher. I’ll be in touch with you this week to get your mailing addresses.

Early February Events

Get your sneakers, your team and your game plan ready. It’s the world famous Running of the Brides event at Filenes Basement. I warn you, this is not for the faint of heart. These brides mean business and are willing to 'bridal-dive' into 1500 designer and name brand wedding gowns for a fraction of the retail price. So get on line early and come with your game-face. Doors open at 8AM
Filene’s Basement – 4 Union Square South. Good luck!!

Mark Ingram will have the following trunk shows during the month of February. I would recommend that you call for an appointment and to make sure that dates have not changed. Mark is one of the best in the business with an eye for detail and what truly looks best on a the body of a bride.
Anne Bowen Trunk Show
January 25 - 27
Angel Sanchez Trunk Show
February 4 - 6
Rivini Trunk Show
February 11 - 13
Rose Taft Evening Trunk Show
February 14 - 15
Oscar de la Renta Trunk Show
February 18 - 20

Fri-Sun., Feb 5-7, 2010
If you were one of the lucky brides who attended the David Tutera book launch last week, you saw how beautiful his gowns are. If you weren’t able to attend, no worries because the dates and in some instances personal appearances continue. See the collection and meet David at Bridal Reflections in Carle Place. Call for your appointment 516-742-7788

Fri-Sat., Feb 5-7, 2010
A good friend and owner of Gabriella New York will be hosting Michelle Rahn’s 2010 Spring collection. Very Parisian couture here in NYC and you can save 10% and in this economy, every bit counts.
Gabriella New York Bridal Salon – 400 West 14th Street, Suite 2A.

Long-range events:
Wed., April 7, 2010
New York Weddings Events – Tickets are on sale now. Lots of great vendors – ok, over 100 vendors all under one roof, ready to answer your questions. My own personal opinion, NY Magazine has one of the best wedding events around, so if you go to no other event, make it this one.

Here's wishing you a great time and if you are a vendor and want to be listed, let me know.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vintage gowns by Colette Komm

colette Komm
Photo w/permission from Colette Komm

It is always an honor to meet designers, but when you meet a designer who is beyond the trends, and whose designs are among the hottest of 2009 and 2010, it is a real pleasure. So take a few moments to enjoy the style of Colette Komm Couture Bridal.

What are the 'hot' types of gowns are girls asking for (either type of material (cotton, silk) style, shape, etc.)?

Right now I'm taking a lot of cues from vintage gowns from the 1920's-1950's. Sewing and construction details are really what inspires me as I have loved to sew since I was a child. I've been doing hand-made silk or silk ribbon floral embellishments, 1930's bias cuts, highly constructed 1950's corsets and bustiers... (of course not all on the same dress!) My favorite fabric to work with is peau d'ange, also called razmir, or peau de soie--it's the same weight as duchesse satin, but not shiny. It has a gorgeous luster and a beautiful hand.

What are the busiest times of the year, and do you see a spike in bridal season or is it year round?

It is busy year round with an obvious spike for late spring and early summer weddings. It is best to book a gown with me 8-12 months in advance to be sure there is adequate time for the fittings and the construction. Making a couture gown is a very labor intensive process, and not something that can be rush ordered.

Are your gowns eco-friendly and if yes, what other ways can a bride be more 'environmentally' friendly?

I try to be as eco-friendly as possible, recycling pattern paper, giving away fabric scraps to design students or using them to make my signature hand-sewn silk flowers. A lot of my gowns include corsets, which can be worn again separately from the skirt. I think one of the best way for brides to be eco-friendly is to cut out purchases of things that are ultimately going to get thrown away like little trinkets or party favors.

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

I prefer to have a new client book her gown a year in advance (especially for summer weddings) but 8 months will usually do. If you try to book less than 6 months before you may be lucky and I can work it in, or you might be unlucky and I'll be completely booked. Having a couture gown made is different than ordering a "size 6" from a salon. There are multiple fittings, first in muslin to perfect the cut and fit, and then final fittings in the actual fabric. It's more of a time commitment than buying something off the rack, but nothing will ever fit and flatter you as a couture gown made especially for your body. And for brides who are really passionate about fashion, watching and participating in the process of the gown being made is a fascinating and once in a lifetime experience. Gowns are typically priced between $10,000-15,000; however, some gowns may exceed this range depending on the intricacy of the design and construction.

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

My gowns are really investment pieces and in the words of a recent client, "wearable art". They can be turned inside out and be just as beautiful to look at--down to the way the hooks and eyes are stitched. Something that I always tell brides is that in 40 or 50 years when you have kids and grandkids, the only thing you will have left from your wedding are the photos and the dress you wore, and you will be wearing your gown in all of the pictures, so make sure you get the right dress! It will become a cherished heirloom.

For more information about Collette Komm's designs, visit her website. The collection can be viewed by appointment only in Colette Komm’s Manhattan design studio. Call her 212.580.2690 or send an email to

Monday, January 18, 2010

Your wedding gift to guests can save lives

Dearest Couples,

Since last week, there hasn’t been a moment when the news or Internet, hasn’t been inundated with stories and pictures of the mass destruction in Haiti. Like so many other moments in our lives; 911, the death of Michael Jackson and others, no matter how much we wanted to turn away from it, we are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Can you for one second imagine, what it is like to have almost an entire country – your country be reduced to rubble in a matter of seconds? The closest for me has been 911, when the towers went down and that’s nothing in comparison. What if that earthquake (and god forbid), struck New York.

On so many of the various social networking sites we have been asking people to give what you can to various relief programs. The thing is…what happens when the buzz ends? Like those people who survived Katrina, who are still homeless, help will be needed for the foreseeable future.

So what does this have to do with you or your wedding right?

Yes, this is a wonderfully exciting time for you. You are planning your future with the person you love. There are dresses to pick out, a venue to choose and bands to listen to. I’m not trying to take anything from you. I want you to enjoy every moment of this process. I want this to be a special time in your life.

But why not consider something you can do – right now or when your wedding happens 6, 9 or 12 months from now. Instead of searching for something to give to your guests, why not give a true gift that will continue to provide hope and share your love with others. Give a donation.

A donation to an organization is an opportunity to show your guests;
Thank you for coming to our wedding and because you cared for us, we are caring for others by giving a donation to (insert any charity you want). I’m sure your guests will love it a lot more than a trinket they probably won’t use anyway.

Here are a few charities to check out. They provide relief both National and Internationally.
Red Cross: Text "HAITI" to 90999 to instantly donate $10
Yéle Foundation: Text "Yele" to 501501 to instantly donate $5
Doctors Without Borders: (I have a friend who works for this organization.)
World Vision:

Because I believe in being honest and giving credit, one of my colleagues on the, has compiled a brilliant list of organizations that will provide help. Please take a moment to look at it and then, do something. This is the year to ‘Make Things Happen’, as my friend Lara Casey says. Coming up shortly, I’ll have some great news to share about what some of us in the wedding industry are doing to help the people of Haiti.

Come on, you know we’re more than just pretty dresses.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A smart groom chooses Smartbox™ for his groomsmen

Smartbox Adrenaline

Hey Grooms-to-be! If this is your first time reading my monthly column dedicated just for you, WELCOME! If you are a regular reader, great to see you again. Today, we're going to tackle (go JETS!!) a fun topic. What to give your groomsmen.

Deciding on a gift to the guys that are standing up for you can be a challenge. A unique token of appreciation because your guys are special and this is a special time. Let’s face it, your groomsmen are not the normal ‘cuff-links’ or beer mug crew.

I also know looking for the gift, that is special can be difficult. With helping your fiancée with wedding plans, you need to find a gift that lets them know you appreciate them each in a unique way. But will you have time to personalize each and every gift.

Well I’m here to say, don’t rack your brain. Be smart and give a “Smartbox™”. This takes the stress out of groomsmen gift giving.

This innovative gift provides unforgettable experiences for the ‘giftee’ at a reasonable expense for you. You can choose from over 2,200 experiences offered by over 1,800 partners Nationwide.

1. You choose the type of gift box from the six categories available: Fun for All, Adventure, Gourmet Retreats, Adrenaline, Charming Getaways and Serenity

2. The recipient uses the guidebook enclosed in the box to choose among the many possible options. This may be the hardest part for them, because there are so many wonderful options.

3. Once they decide, they reserve their experience directly with the vendor and turn in the voucher at the time of the experience and enjoy. There are no extra fees to worry about. The guidebook even offers details on where to stay overnight and eat in the area of the experience.

Everyone is happy. So they can hike it, indulge it, tour it, bobsled it, off the road it, just do it and have fun at it. The Smartbox™ motto is: 'Get it. Give it. Live it…'

What a great concept –many experiences in one box and the hardest thing for you to do, is pick the ‘theme’ of box. Let the recipient pick the ‘gift’. There may actually be a way to “match your wedding theme to the potential gifts in the box”. What I love the most (beyond all the awesome variety) is there is NO Expiration Date.

Because the people at Smartbox™ are committed to good times, stress-free gift giving and want couples to live ‘happily ever after’ they are sponsoring a give-a-way. They are offering one lucky groom-to-be the Adrenaline gift box.

Adrenaline gift box- some of the most exhilarating activities to choose from, including: climbing a slippery frozen waterfall, racing around a track on a motorcycle and more. The Adrenaline gift box retails for $299.

If you want more information about Smartbox™ experiences, or to purchase a Smartbox™ securely online, please visit Smartbox™ can also be found at, Border’s, Duane Reade and Sam’s Club.

To win your own Adrenaline gift box, here’s what you have to do:

  1. You must be a subscriber to either this blog or the bridalease column.
  2. You must be getting married to someone amazing (well that’s the easy part – tell me who they are)
  3. What’s your wedding date, and location
  4. Tell me what your gives you that boost of Adrenaline
  5. Finally, tell me who or what you would like to see me cover in 2010. It can be a person, place or thing.

You have from today January 14, 2010 until January 22, 2010, 1:22pm to enter. Please send your answers to bridalease2win(at)gmail(dot)com, put Adrenaline in the subject line. This gift is purely an opportunity between Smartbox™ and you (the potential winner). Good luck!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Eco-Wed and you know what that means....Eco-Chic

Natural Shaving products for a close shave

If you don’t believe there is ‘such a thing as global warming’, then you haven’t been looking at the crazy weather patterns that have had the entire country in its claws. Cold on some level doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’m not here to preach to you about the benefits of participating in any way you can to help the environment, I’m just here to share some new vendors with you, who do.

There is a San Francisco based shaving company called Pacific Shaving who created a line of grooming essentials that they call 'good for the skin, good for the wallet and good for the earth'. Don’t under estimate the small size; the company says that you can get up to 100 close and clean shaves with their products. The small size makes it easy to take in your toiletry bag when you’re heading to the gym and because it lasts, its easy on your wallet. Yes, ladies, they have products for you too. Stop by to find a local store near you.

Nothing says ‘fresh-start’ like a Sweet soapsbar of sweet smelling organic soap. Sweetsoaps which is a N.J. based eco-friendly company can take care of your needs. They happen to be committed to the environment and recycle all packing materials making them even more energy conscious.

Don’t you just love this 2x3, eco-friendly cotton, drawstring bag? It can be customized with your message and art. They not only offer a selection of small handmade natural soaps that can fit in this bag, they also offer a wide variety of soap colors/fragrances to match your wedding. Prices start at $3.00 each at

Dogeared continues to respond to the marketplace's demand for beautiful eco-friendly jewels and gifts. dogeared jewelsThe Respun line of bags, journals, and jewelry rolls made from recycled t-shirts continues to expand and joins their Organic Canvas Collection.

The New Beginnings Hankie makes a charming gift for the mother of the bride, or anyone who might cry happy tears. And a Simple Sachet Pillow, filled with delicious smelling lavender to make a perfect bridal gift.

As the year goes on, there are lots of new eco-friendly vendors I’ll introduce you to. If you have one that you like, why not tell me? Send a note to bridalease{at}gmail{dot}com. I’m always happy to ‘find someone new' for you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bridalease honored with the Norah Award

My dear and newly engaged couples,

I just wanted to take a moment to let you know what's happenin' with the 'God-mother.' I have been taking some time during the last few weeks to re-assess how and what I really, really wanted to do for you - the people that sustain me each and every day. Will it be a new website, will there be a different style, what?

Well, during this process of thought, prayer and really searching for what would make ME happy during an engagement process I started to wonder if I was really doing you a pure service. I wondered if my peers thought that I was providing the right type of info, since there are just soo many blogs out there. Well, yesterday I received an answer in a really unique way.

I was just honored my by peers in the wedding industry with the "Norah Award". So what is the Norah? It is an award given out to wedding experts who 'exemplify the virtue of honor in the wedding industry'. To have them say that I am a writer/blogger who should be in the company of people like:

Brides Against Breast Cancer
My Fair Wedding - David Tutera - Television Host and Wedding Icon

Destination I Do magazine, Jennifer Stein, Editor-in-Chief
Get, Stacie Francombe, President

simply blows me away. Of course it all means that the 'pressure is on' lol. I am more than ever determined to create the kind of site that you know will give you the real deal on the who, what, where and how much when you are planning your wedding.

There are changes coming...and they are ALL GOOD.
Thank you to my peers that read this blog, thank you to my hubby who gives me the gentle encouragement to follow my passion and a big THANK YOU to YOU, my readers world wide. Keep letting me know what you want, who you want to read about, what your engagement and planning concerns are. I'm here to wave my wand and make those wishes come true.

Thank you so much.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Cherry Blossom bloom with Claire Pettibone bridal couture

Claire Pettibone
Photos with permission from Claire Pettibone

Using the Japanese flower, Cherry Blossom as her muse, designer Claire Pettibone’s 2010 collection was a breathing sight to behold. If you don’t know Claire Pettibone, she is known around the world for her signature romantic and vintage inspired gowns, is also a master of “back appeal”. No matter, front or back the detailing and jewels are truly inspired.

Using a soft and effervescent palette of snow white, metallic silver and gold with accents of pale pink and Empire Red, “Cherry Blossom 2010” was a luminous vision of purity and exotic innocence. The elaborate embroideries and tactile embellishments were reminiscent of mystical florals that appeared in Sakura, Madame Butterfly and Petals in the wind. A light sprinkling of iridescent sequins, crystals and pearls lend a shimmer for an overall wondrous, magical and romantic effect.

Silhouettes in light and free-flowing romantic styles include:

  • A-line paired with modified kimono bodice and sleeves, a sheath with mandarin collar.
  • Sublime elements such as wraparound lace overlays, bubble hems, and a Watteau train which adds to the dream.

Ms. Pettibone has said of this collection “I enjoyed exploring the rich history and symbolism of Asian cultures to discover precious details for this collection. Through my research, I was struck by a sense of Innocence and Purity, a soft sweetness. As always, my goal is to conceive a timeless expression of beauty that transcends the age in which we live and helps to create a magical day for the bride. In a world sometimes overwhelmed by challenges, a wedding is a celebration of joy and love, a promise of hope for the future… a much-needed reminder of all that is precious and wondrous. The more we see and discover, we find the lines between cultures have become blurred, and Beauty is universal.”

Celebrities like “Man Men” star Elisabeth Moss specifically choose Pettibone because of its ‘soft and vintage feeling’. While I’m hoping there will be one in New York soon, there will be a trunk show at JaeHee Bridal in Englewood, NJ, Jan.15-16th, 201-541-0077. Call for an appointment.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Jan 2010 Bridal sales and events

Can you believe that the first week of the new year is already over? Yes, even in this bitter cold, there are plans to be made, shops to visit and aspirin to take. Am I right? For those of you who are new to my column, every first Friday is dedicated to the grooms. You know, showing the men in your lives some love. Yes it will have lots of styling, to-do's and gift ideas, but also some straight talk from some of the top professionals in the industry. So I'm hoping that beginning Jan. 15th, you (and your grooms) will come back because there is going to some great information as well as an amazing groom give-a-way.

I can't think of a better kick off the 2010 Grooms series. Don't worry ladies, next week there will be some great give-a-ways for you too. I'm so excited!!

Today, I wanted to give you a list of some really great events and sales coming up. Mark your calendar.

Sometimes when I’m just sitting here, trying to figure out how to make my column the premiere wedding source for you; how to provide you with the best and most timely information possible, it just comes to me. Why not just do it – you know, just put the information out there because you never know when there will be a ‘new reader’. So I’ve decided that I will make sure listings of events, trunk shows and other fun stuff will be published twice a month. Now let’s keep it real, there may be months when nothing is going on - it happens. Well during those times, I’ll let you know that too.

So let’s get this New Year started with things for this month. As I have said in the past, if you are a vendor or even a bride/groom that knows of a cool event, let me know about it. Send it to me at bridalease (at) gmail (dot) com. I’m happy to post all about it and I look forward to meeting a bunch of you in the coming months. Also just a reminder that sample sales and trunk shows are subject to change without notice, so make sure to call to confirm.

Trunk Shows:

Priscilla of Boston – various locations
Jan 12 – Jan 18 – Priscilla of Boston Salon
In New York – 212.997.3956 – Designer Collection Event
Jan 14 – Jan 18 – Priscilla of Boston Salon
In Short Hills – 973.376.2345 – Vineyard Traveling Trunk Show
Jan 19 / Jan 21 - Kleinfeld
In New York City – 646.633.4300 – Vineyard Trunk Show
Jan 30 – Jan 31 – Priscilla of Boston Salon
In New York – 212.997.3956 – Paris Trunk Show

Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier –110 E 55th St, bet Park & Lex. 8th floor - 212.319.6778
Jan 21 – 23 Marchesa Trunk Show

Amsale – 625 Madison Ave NYC – 212.583.1700
Jan 15 – 16 Amsale Flagship Salon (Amsale line)
Jan 14 – 17 Saks Fifth Avenue (Christos line) - 212.940.2269

Pronovias - 14 Ease 52nd Street (bet. 5th & Madison) - 212.897.6393
Jan 15 – 16 Featuring the 2010 collection

Bergdorf Goodman Bridal Salon – 5th Avenue at 58th Street - 212.872.8957
Jan 14 – 16 Oscar De La Renta
Jan 22 – 23 J. Mendel
Jan 29 – 30 Jenny Packham

Sample Sale:

Jan 10 - 18
Bridal Reflections sample sale extended now through Martin Luther King Jr. Day - 5th Avenue, 260 Fifth Ave (at W. 28th ST)
Stunning designer gowns will be discounted from 30 to 70% off. You must call the salon at (212) 764-3040 to schedule an appointment.

Jan 18
Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier - 110 E 55th St, bet Park & Lex 8 th floor, 212.319.6778
If you are recently engaged or not, you know there is nothing like a sample sale . Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier & evening-wear will start the year off right with a sample sale featuring a mix of designers. This event is from10am-8 pm be sure you call 212.319.6778 for your appointment.

Bridal Reflections has a huge sample sale on Monday, January 18th at their Fifth Avenue, New York City location. Stunning designer gowns will be discounted from 30 to 70% off. Brides must call the salon to schedule an appointment (212) 764-3040.

Just plain fun event(s):

Jan 20
The cover is amazing and the information inside – pure David. You are invited to the book launch party of David Turera as he shares with you 'THE BIG WHITE BOOK OF WEDDINGS' at the W Hotel in Union Square, NYC on Wednesday, January 20th from 7-9pm. You will enjoy cocktails, planning advice from David himself. I will tell you that space is limited and you must RSVP ASAP to Don’t live in NYC, don’t worry, David may come to a city near you very soon.

Jan 27
The Wedding Bootcamp is at it again. They will have their first event in NY, Wednesday January 27, 2010 – from 6 PM to 8:30 PM at NY Wedding Dance 1261 Broadway, Suite 510. There will be cocktails, tasting and of course dance lessons. For complimentary tickets use code EBNYC at

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dogeared gems the Sex in the City way

This is the week of great announcements. First Amsale designing new wedding attire for the upcoming movie "When In Rome", now Dogeared Jewels & Gifts, a trendsetting fashion brand that creates handcrafted jewelry in Los Angeles, is announcing they have officially licensed the Sex and the City® brand from HBO® to create a new a line of jewelry. Is the theme song playing in your head?

Dogeared designed charms that represent iconic themes from the award-winning HBOseries, among them a diamond, a stiletto, and the Eiffel Tower. The necklaces will be presented on cards printed with the New York City skyline with some of the four main characters' most memorable lines, including:

· "Single & fabulous"
· "I've been dating since I was 15. I'm exhausted! Where is he?"
· "Shopping is my cardio"
· "Hopeless romantic "

"We are huge fans of The Sex and the City series and are delighted to have the opportunity to develop this collection," commented Marcia Maizel-Clarke, Dogeared's founder. "Our design team was inspired by the distinct characteristics of each of the four characters - Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda. We rose to the challenge of creating jewelry that is symbolic of the show and its characters. "

Beginning this spring, the necklaces will be available at the HBO® Shop in New York City and online at, as well as select retailers listed on Dogeared's website: All reasonably priced each piece will be exquisitely wrapped with a black and pink satin pouch. So chic. Perhaps this is a fun bridesmaids gift to remind your girls that one day, their "Mr. Big" will come their way, and even if he doesn't, they are still fabulous in ANY city.

I’m really excited about this partnership but want to also remind you that they are a favorite eco-chic company, who also has an amazing selection of bridal jewelry. I saw a sneak peak at what they will be bringing out this season, and there is something for every type of bride. I’ll be sharing that with you soon and there may even be more surprises. Guess you just have to keep coming back to see.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Amsale and Disney partner because "When in Rome"...

Amsale 2010
Photo from Amsale 2010 collection

There are so many great relationship movies slated for 2010 with “Leap Year” starting the year off right. Like many of you – especially if you’re engaged, you will be looking at some of these movies and checking out the wedding gowns the female lead will be in. Getting ideas for yourself and your bridal party. Remember Carrie Sex and the City®, the movie? I know, I was right along with most of you dreaming what it would be like to try on those gowns.

Well, I’ve just heard that New York based designer Amsale's couture bridal gowns and bridesmaid's dresses, are showcased throughout the upcoming Disney's new film "When In Rome" staring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel. The featured bridal gowns are from the Kenneth Pool and Amsale collections but I can't tell you who wears what because that would spoil the surprise! I can tell you that they are beyond breath-taking.

Over the years, Amsale Aberra has become the couture designer of choice for numerous films and television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Hangover, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and many more. It seems now that word is spreading like wildfire through Hollywood. Why does she think her gowns are such a natural fit for the stage and screen? “I think that my gowns naturally lend themselves to telling a story. They all have an element of fantasy to them, which is so important for Hollywood, but at the same time they are believable. They are modern classics that make sense for real brides to wear,” says Amsale.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for you to see Amsale’s dresses in this movie. I’m sure you’re going to love them, want them and will wear at least one of them, if in Rome, NYC or wherever your dream dress takes you. You can actually see some of her collections at her upcoming trunk shows or read my interview with her:

Amsale – 625 Madison Ave NYC – 212.583.1700
Jan 15 – 16 Amsale Flagship Salon (Amsale line)
Jan 14 – 17 - Saks Fifth Avenue (Christos line) - 212.940.2269

Congratulations Amsale!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And the events begin...

Click here to rsvp to the event

Monday, January 4, 2010

Starting the 2010 bridal season with Alfred Angelo

Michael Shettel
Visionary Michael Shettle for Alfred Angelo Photo by Dan Lecca

It's a brand new year and I've lots of great information coming your way, including a GIVE-A-WAY of products in two weeks. I hope you stay tuned because I'm going to continue to bring you the best in the business.

Last year was a banner year for the bridal industry, and 201 is shaping up to be the same way. I wanted to kick-off this first week with Michael Shettel, the designer extraordinaire behind Alfred Angelo for the last 11 years. During that time, Michael has seen a lot of different dress styles come and go. “To find the perfect dress”, he said, “is to try it on and see how it moves, because movement brings the dress to life.”

It’s always great to get to know the designer behind the dress. Michael is an FIT graduate, beginning his career as a teacher and then became a merchandise designer. He worked for the likes of Givenchy in Paris, Tommy Hilfiger, Arnold Scassi, Diana Vreeland and others notables. Yet once he began to design, it was as if ‘things started to fall into place’.

“Bridal has been such a wonderful experience because it allows me the opportunity to work directly with all types of brides. I have the luxury of making elegant and beautiful gowns, every season, that are special to the bride long after her wedding day is over. To be able to have that 'one-on-one experience' with a bride, helping her choose her perfect dress, then seeing her when she’s found “her dress”….it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Truly I believe that Alfred Angelo is at the forefront of blending and presenting gowns with colors that ‘pop’ for all shapes and sizes. Did I mention their dresses come in size 0 to 30? Dresses come in ivory or white, yet with 55 different colors to add to a panel train, a trim on a neckline, or a sash, they really become part of the final design. By offering so many different options, the bride can personalize her wedding to her linens, flowers, bridal party, the overall theme of their wedding if she chooses too. The end result is truly bold, personalized and modern.

Known for classic silhouettes, like the A-line, empire and strapless styles, every dress that floated down the runway was, very feminine, very sexy, very 2010.

For more information about Alfred Angelo visit their website for a location near you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010 to you all in bridal-land!

Marc Wilson Design
Marc Wilson Design wedding blooms

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Did you get engaged yesterday? Well, first of all, congratulations. You are in for lots of excitement, parties, and to be honest…there maybe some sad, frustrating and even aggravating days ahead. It will all be ok, I promise. Just remember to have fun, plan as early as you can and enjoy this time. Trust me, it will pass in the blink of an eye.

So to help you start off the New Year and celebrate your engagement, allow me to introduce you to two people who are surely to make this process easy for you.

Marc Wilson Design. Marc gets to know you, your vision and then brings it to life. When we met this summer – before the colors for 2010 were announced, he told me what he thought would be hot for this upcoming season. Sure enough his predictions were true. If he has that much insight on colors, six months before they are announced, imagine what he can do to make your dreams a reality.

This is not to say that there aren’t lots of wonderful event design houses out there, but remember I don’t and WON’T recommend anyone that I wouldn’t use myself. Marc truly creates an event that is elegance personified.

Twobirds Bridesmaids
Twobirds Bridesmaid

Have you already picked your bridesmaids? My suggestion is to make the bridal party as small as possible, but if you can’t, you need dresses that will work for everyone. This means that the dresses you pick are comfy, pretty; in your color scheme, and in a multitude of sizes to compliment every girl and yet, allow them their personal style. When I first saw the dresses by Twobirds Bridesmaid, I wanted one for myself. In three words, these dresses are hot, hot, hot! This company listens to and knows what is flattering to your body and best yet, your girls can and will want to wear these dresses out again and again. Remember the economy isn’t ‘fixed’ yet, so consider this when you are shopping. When you provide an option (wear it once – the wedding, then wear it again) your bridal party will be on board. Hey, you might just get one for yourself to change mid-way through your wedding.

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit
Bottlerocket Wine and spirit

Let’s get this party started -

Ok, so you’ve been engaged for 20 minutes and someone is already planning your engagement party. You want something different; somewhere it can be more interactive and mingling of the family and friends. I have just the place for you. I hosted an event there last year and people are still raving about it.

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit, is a wine specialty shop that serves brides/couples who have an interest in wine or just want to add an element of fun and elegance to their events. For all couples that are interested in purchasing specialty wines, this company has a great selection of organic, biodynamic and environmentally sustainable wines. I love a good eco-find!! A wedding registry of wines and spirits can be opened at the 1year, 5year and 10-year anniversaries or compiled "starter cellars" giving the gift of daily wine pleasure. They will also host a tasting for your guests and nothing says relax like a 2007 Chateau Ollieux Romanis.

Hope you enjoy these the first of hundreds of helpful hints in 2010. Please feel free to subscribe to my column or send me your inquiries. I love getting mail. I’m bridalease (at) gmail (dot) com. I look forward to getting to know you and help during your wedding process.

On Monday, one of the bridal designers I happen to know and love. See you then….

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 Best of the best for Grooms

Craig the barber
Close shave by and photo credit - Craig the Barber

Who loves ya guys?? I do and can’t wait for you to see what’s happening in the ‘Grooming-the-groom’ column in 2010. I hope you are as excited about it as I am. What this column has done has opened a dialogue for you the grooms (and the women that love you), to read information beyond what’s out there. It’s a different view of what's happening, that I hope you have found helpful and useful to you.

Having met with some great professionals on the ‘groom’ side of the business and here are my top 2009 Grooming The Groom winners.

When it comes to a proper and close shave, there is an art to it. I didn’t realize it until I met Craig. With a nationwide following as well as his own celebrity salon in CA., Craig the barber is the premiere expert in getting that stubborn facial hair under control.

How does he do it – he’s a real guy’s guy who uses simple common sense. What makes him a favorite, he won’t endorse a product he hasn’t tried himself or believe it. Surely that’s why there are lines of men waiting at his shop (and when I met him in NY at an event, guys waiting for up to 1hr) and everywhere he goes, there is a line just to ask him questions and perhaps get his signature shave. I’m very lucky that Craig has also agreed to be one of the celebrity guest writers with me, but you can and should follow him on Facebook or twitter.

J.M. Weston shoes
photo credit J.M. Weston

Humeurs, by J.M. Weston – the Manolos for men
I’ve been to enough weddings and worked with enough grooms that I tell them, like their bride, they must have comfy shoes. They will be standing and dancing for hours. Nothing ruins a picture faster than a grimacing groom because his feet hurt. The Humeurs collection by J.M. Weston, are the best (and yes a bit expensive) shoes for the man who demands quality. These are truly custom made and yes, they are worth every penny. Many styles and colors, you will find one that you absolutely love, promise!

photo by Lisa M. Barr - Boston
Grooms having fun - photo credit Lisa M. Barr

Alternative to the same old party –
Aren’t you tired of ‘those kind of clubs’? You want to hang with your fella’s and have that party where you can have a good scotch, perhaps a stogie and just fun. The thing is, you want to bring it ‘up a notch’ and have a classy event. Well, I know I was supposed to pick just one and if I did, it would have to be the Brandy Library. Since I can’t, I’m giving an ‘alternative to the party’ award to:
The Brandy Library, Carnegie Club, Club Macanudo, ESPN Zone, the 40/40 club and Johnny Utahs. Yes it’s a group award, but I honestly feel that you will find within this group a place for every type of groom. Hey, I’m looking for places in 2010, so if you have a favorite, let me know.

Isn’t it about time you had a product that was for your face, helped you to have a close shave and was made just for you and not the ‘female version' of a product?” Well the people at Lab Series have done just that. Yes, they are an Estee Lauder brand, but they were created for men, by men and have products that have created the easiest way to get a flawless shave, smooth skin and that ‘I’m too sexy for my…” look. I’ll tell you that my husband, brother and best male friend are hooked!! I’m sure you will be too.

Shanghai Tang Groom
Yes I highlighted them yesterday, but they get my award for innovation in men’s design. If a groom is looking for a unique way to ‘stand out’ at his wedding, then a designed jacket by Shanghai Tang or membership to their Mandarin Collar society is the way to go. I love that they are bring an updated version to their mens' division and they have designers who will personalize the style of your jacket. If you want a traditional black jacket, but a wild plaid lining, consider it done. What’s more, this is something that is also a one-of-a kind and something that you can and will wear long after, your wedding day. It’s worth the investment (and it’s no more expensive than a rental, but definitely looks and smells better!)

OH MY GOSH…TODAY is New Years Day!! Well, Happy New Year to you all. I’m really excited about the people, places and things that I’ve in store for you. You wouldn’t believe the amount of mail I get from you and how many of you stop me at bridal shows to ask me questions. I LOVE IT and please don’t stop. All I can say is, 2010 is going to be AMAZING. If you are a new groom-to-be (meaning you got engaged last night) CONGRATULATIONS

If there was ever a time to celebrate the men in your life, it’s now.
So here’s wishing all your dreams for 2010 to come true and if you didn’t like 2009, do what I’m doing. Shake the 2009 dirt off your shoes (or just go buy new ones) and get ready to rock and roll.

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