Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Choosing the right Champagne can be a challenge

Have some?  Yes, please.
Champagne, the nectar of the gods and has always been considered the beverage of choice for all kinds of celebrations. For your wedding, you may consider purchasing champagne for your toast, but what do you really know about it?

For example, did you know that European union laws prevent any sparkling wine produced outside of Champagne France to be called Champagne? Spain produces some great sparkling wines at truly unbelievable prices, which are called “Cava”. In Germany, they are called “Sekt” and in Italy, “Spumante”.
There are several houses (Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot, Freixenet, Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon etc.) I’ll have some great information and pairing ideas for you over the next several weeks, but I do invite you to ask any questions and to send me your views, on your favorite brands.

Champagne makes great aperitifs, are absolutely refreshing and when they are used to ‘introduce’, elevates any celebration. But what kind should you pick?

Brut: Very dry, best for hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, and served with fish, shellfish or chicken. So just think dry will be great for a seafood bar, oysters and especially lobster.

Extra dry: These are slightly sweeter than brut but not super sweet. This kind of Champagne is considered very versatile as you can order and serve it with the same foods as Brut, but also can accompany dessert. Actually, this is the perfect anytime drink.

Sec, demi-sec, doux: These are very sweet champagnes and truly reserved for dessert courses only. So serve it with your dessert bar and you can’t go wrong.

Honestly no matter which one you choose for your wedding, take a moment to enjoy the bubbles with your family and friends. I'd also ask your wine steward to save a bottle unopened and un-chilled, so you can have it to enjoy upon your return from your honeymoon!  I'm sure they will be happy to do that for you.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Sales and events August 2010 NYC

Preston Bailey
Photo from Preston Bailey
There are two contests that I highly recommend you enter. Both are offering $100,000 weddings and that’s a lot of candlelight and cake. If you are chosen as a lucky winner, let me know.

♥ ♥ ♥ and Us Weekly today announced the launch of its 3rd Annual “Dream Wedding” program – a contest for celeb-loving engaged couples to win a $100,000 Hollywood-style wedding. The winning couple will get a wedding planned entirely by and their favorite A-list wedding experts. As if that weren’t enough, all of the wedding details will be profiled in Us Weekly magazine, and Now, THAT’S how to have your wedding stylin’.
Here are the details:
Enter the contest at until July 29.
August 3 to August 10: 10 couples will be announced online, and America votes for their favorite couple
August 13 to September: The Dream Wedding winning couple is announced online and the wedding planning begins!
There are only a few more days to enter, so do it quickly, and good luck.

♥ ♥ ♥

Join WPIX anchor Tamsen Fadal every Wednesday in the 8am hour for 'Wedding Wednesdays', a 21-week series offering wedding planning tips, trends and advice for brides and grooms. "The New York City Magical Wedding Presented by Scotto Brothers on PIX", invites engaged couples from the Tri-State area to share their love stories via or with one lucky couple winning the $100,000 wedding of their dreams. Check your local TV listings and set your DVR to catch Tamsen's tips every Wednesday morning. Hey like lotto, you gotta be in it, to win it!

♥ ♥ ♥

I adore this hotel. Perhaps my love of this English owned proper has a bit to do with where I attended graduate school…or…maybe its in England, where I learned to do a proper pub-crawl. In any case, The Crosby Street Hotel continues their extremely popular “Sunday Film Club NYC”. Every Sunday night, the latest movie releases (and some cool foreign films too) are shown with dinner or drinks in The Crosby Bar beforehand. I’m thinkin’, a great date night for you and your honey.

♥ ♥ ♥

The designer behind Ceci New York, Lisa "Ceci" Johnson, is launching a brand new online magazine called CeciStyle. It looks Haute! Delivered directly to your inbox, the magazine will offer glimpses of the hottest trends in art/decor, jewelry and of course wedding tips and gifts.
Go to to get on the list before it launches on August 3rd.

♥ ♥ ♥

Happening very soon, but there are still a very few spots available for Bailey & Blum mentoring weekend, August 6-8 with Preston Bailey and Marcy Blum. With their own unique style, it’s unlike anything else out there. It’s hands on, it’s interactive, it’s one-on-one and lots of fun. So you say you want to be a wedding planner – NOW is your shot to learn how from two industry favorites. While I haven’t spoken personally spoken to Preston or Marcy, knowing these two…there will be lots of surprises in-store. Consider this an investment in your own rising star.

♥ ♥ ♥
Ok, now to the sales and trunk shows for August

50% off selected bridal gowns only at Saks Fifth Avenue July 28 - 31
August 5 through 7 and November 18 through 20
August 12 through 14
August 19 through 21
August 26 through 28
When: Entire month of August
Where: Saks Fifth Avenue - 611 Fifth Avenue – plz call for appt. 212.753.4000

♥ ♥ ♥
Angel Sanchez Trunk Show
When: August 5–7
Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show
When: August 12 – 14
Where: Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier110 East 55th Street, 8th Floor , New York City plz call for appt. 212 319 6778

♥ ♥ ♥
Kenneth Pool
When: July 29
Where: Wedding Salon of Manhasset , Manhasset, NY Plz call for appt. 516-869-8455
When: August 26 –29
Where: Wedding Salon of Manhasset , Manhasset, NY Plz call for appt. 516-869-8455

♥ ♥ ♥
Bridal Reflections has a full month at all their locations:
Marina K Couture
July 30th - August 1st – Carle Place/Westbury salon
August 5th - 7th – Fifth Avenue salon
Ines Di Santo – with a special in-person appearance
August 6th - 8th with Designer Appearance Saturday, August 7th – Carle Place/Westbury salon
Romona Keveza – with a special in-person appearance on Sat. Aug 13
August 12th - 14th - Fifth Avenue salon
Anne Barge August 13th - 15th – Carle Place/Westbury salon
Where: Bridal Reflections: 5th Avenue location – 260 Fifth Ave (at W.28th) 212.764.3040
Where: Bridal Reflections: Carle Place/Westbury Salon – 80 Westbury Ave Carle Place 516.742.7788

♥ ♥ ♥
Ok, this should keep you busy for a bit. There are LOTS of new events and another surprise retail bridal opening (swarm to secrecy for just a bit longer) that you’ll find here in the coming weeks. Until then I remain,
Yours In Bridal,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rock The Guac Cabo Wabo Style

Cabo Wabo Cantina
Cabo Wabo Guacamole

For the last few weeks I’ve written about some great cocktails and this week will be the same…well, with a slight twist. If you are a rocker you know Sammy Hagar is the creator of Cabo Wabo Cantina and besides being a really great guy, he has graciously shared some of his favorie Rock The Gauc recipes for your summer party. Sammy says “Summer afternoons are best with good friends, good tunes and great Cabo Wabo Margaritas.” I couldn’t agree more.

Avocados are really in peak season right now, so there is no time like the present to have a Mexican-themed party to celebrate your love. It’s also great if you are having a destination wedding and then coming home to have a party with your family and friends. Bring a bit of the ‘heat’ with you. So just “Rock the Guac” and sip your tequila ice cold.

Cabo Wabo Guacamole - Served at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Las Vegas Serves 10

10 Avocados, pitted and peeled
¼ cup of Jalapenos, minced
2 tbsp. of Salt
¼ cup of Yellow Onion, diced
5 tbsp. of Lime Juice
1 ½ cup of Tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp. of Cilantro, minced
2 tbsp. of Guac Oil (1 cup Olive Oil + 1/4 cup Garlic, minced)

Place avocados in bowl. DO NOT MASH! Add all other ingredients on top of avocados. Mash and mix avocados with ingredients into a chunky consistency. Enjoy!

Trio de Guacamole - Served at ZOCALO Restaurant in ChicagoCabo Wabo Cantina

Guacamole Tradicional - Serves 2
2 Ripe Avocados
1 Plum Tomato, seeded and finely chopped
¼ Medium Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Serrano Pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 Handful of Fresh Cilantro Leaves, finely chopped
1 Lime, juiced
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Mash and mix avocados with ingredients into a chunky consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Guacamole Rojo - Serves 2
2 Ripe Avocados
1 Plum Tomato, seeded and finely chopped
¼ Medium Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Red Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 handful of Fresh Cilantro Leaves, finely chopped
1 Lime, juiced
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Roast tomato, onion, and red jalapeno over an open flame until slightly charred on all sides. Mash the avocados leaving them a bit chunky. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything gently together to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top guacamole mix with roasted red jalapeno salsa before serving (recipe below.)

Roasted Red Jalapeno Salsa
2 Red Jalapeno Peppers
2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Garlic Clove

Roast jalapeno and garlic over an open flame until slightly charred on all sides and blend, adding lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Guacamole Fruta
Serves 2
2 Ripe Avocados
2 oz. Guava, finely chopped
2 oz. Papaya, finely chopped
1 Manzano or 1/2 Habanero Pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 Small Handful of Walnuts, finely chopped
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Mash the avocados leaving them a bit chunky. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything gently together to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Changes are happen'

As you may notice...there is a change to today's background. Well, that's because the former about to 'retire'. That's ok, because the new site is going to RAWK!! So for just a few more days bear with me while these changes take place.

Yours in bridal,

Feeling Italian tonight, head to San Rocco NYC

San Rocco NYC
San Rocco NYC

When you think of the flat iron district, homemade Italian pasta may not be the fist thing that comes to your mind, but it should. Along 24th street, just off 6th avenue you'll find a fantastic little restaurant that is a hidden gem I’m happy to introduce you to. San Rocco NYC oozes authentic old world charm, fresh food, and a wine list to rival any in NY. What San Rocco has (in my opinion) that some of the others don't, dedication and authenticity to true Milanese Italian style cuisine, in a über chic and relaxed environment.

There is a wonderfully charming chef who is the mastermind of the kitchen at San Rocco. Chef Stefano Serro is charming, takes the time to greet his guests and by each plate presentation, you can tell the pride he takes in his food. “I don’t like a ‘fat’ kitchen, so all my food is high quality and we make everything here on site. Food should look as good as it tastes so presentation is important. As for great cocktails or great Italian wines, we have a lot so you don’t have to worry about finding one you’ll love.” The goal of chef Serro is to change the menu seasonally, so that only the freshest vegetables and produce will be used. He is truly an eco-friendly chef.

What San Rocco also provides is a wonderful and unique atmosphere for any of your wedding related events. From your rehearsal dinner to the after wedding brunch, they will be able to create a menu especially for your special day. What a great girls afternoon - wine and food tasting.

Join San Rocco every Wednesday evening for their delectable apperitivo bar and a free Seperatist cocktail, thru July 30th when you show proof that you have read this article. Tonight is a perfect ‘date night’, so leave the wedding planning….for a few hours, grab your honey and enjoy the night.

For more info: San Rocco - 37 West 24th Street New York, NY 10010 (212) 255-4655. Open seven days a week.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Introducing: Rafael Cennamo White Couture - 2010

Rafael Cennamo White Couture 2010
The designer Rafael Cennamo

Nothing gives me more excitement than introducing you to a “relatively new” designer in the bridal market. Recently, I attended a small showing of his collection and honestly, blown away. His designs have already found their way onto the red carpets and on the bodies of lots of celebrities. I know you’ve seen some of his evening-wear on stars like Toni Colette, Vanessa Williams and the new Mrs. Carrie Underwood-Fisher, and wondered “who is Rafael Cennamo?” Well, allow me to introduce you to the next rising star in bridal couture – Rafael Cennamo.

Born in Venezuela and armed with a strong Italian background, Rafael Cennamo defines the new guard of contemporary couture. Since 2001, Cennamo has been designing and generating attention from both media and celebrities who appreciate his eye for detail and reinterpretations of classic silhouettes.

Fueled by his passion for modern glamour, Cennamo designs with a classic eye, but sees through a contemporary lens. A self-described dreamer, Cennamo isn’t afraid to modernize “princess-like” gowns with edgier structure and body-conscious sensuality. Nowhere is this clearer than in Rafael Cennamo 2010 White Couture. In this his first exclusive bridal collection, the brilliance of his lines are showcased in their purest forms, without color or distraction. Here luxurious fabrics and impeccable detailing meet a delicate persuasion towards decadence; and Cennamo’s brand truly becomes the modern fairytale, one where rock and royalty collide.

I can’t wait until the new 2011 collection is complete and I promise to bring it to you as soon as it happens. Honestly, his passion and modern approach is a welcomed breath of fresh air.

For more info: You can find his collection in select Neiman Marcus stores and other high-end stores worldwide. I hear that there are plans to open boutiques in both New York and Miami, but no launch date has been formally announced...yet.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where did my posts go? I've just noticed that several of my posts haven't posted. I'm sorry!! Let me tell you what's happening. I'm in the process of moving things and getting a bigger, brighter, most amazing site (can you tell I'm excited!!) up and running.

Do ya want to know what's different?

A Celebrity Corner
The "Perfect Pair"
Many more give-a-ways - including a 2011 designer original!!
...and of course honest reporting on the places and things you need to make your wedding process easier.

So while I'm in the process of changing formats, please forgive me but I promise it will be worth the wait.

Have a great weekend and the New Company "Yours In Bridal" will be launching on a server near you very soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

LaLa Vazquez chooses Bridal Reflections and Romona Keveza for wedding reception attire

LaLa Vazquez and CArmelo Anthony
LaLa Vazquez marries Carmelo Anthony photo by Getty

With several celebrity weddings this past weekend, none had more sparkle or style than the wedding of former MTV VJ LaLa Vazquez to NBA star Carmelo Anthony. While you’ve already seen LaLa in her bridal gown, it is her ‘reception/change outfit’ that she purchased at Bridal Reflections NYC, that you will hear about and see in the slideshow here first!

Brides, remember it’s not just where you purchase your wedding gown, it’s the service that comes with it. The impeccable service that each and every bride receives at Bridal Reflections makes it the most sought out bridal salons in NYC for couture dresses and five-star service. Often you’ll see my postings about ‘trunk shows’ because you just may find your dream dress. This is true and happened unexpectedly to LaLa just a few days before her wedding.

LaLa Vazquez, Carmelo Anthony, Romona Keveza
Original gown by Romona Keveza - front.

LaLa already had her wedding gown(s) (by Vera Wang), but after accompanying her bridesmaid to Bridal Reflections on Thursday, July 8th for their bridesmaid dresses, LaLa fell in love with a Romona Keveza gown displayed in the salon for their trunk show and tried it on. This particular gown was featured in Romona Keveza’s 10th anniversary collection and you guessed it; LaLa immediately fell in love with it, but…wanted just a few small changes. Bridal Reflections in their effort to have yet another happy bride, worked in overdrive to get her alterations done in time for her big day (which was just 2 days later!).

I had the opportunity to speak with Cristina DeMarco from Bridal Reflections who worked with LaLa on creating her dream dress. The vision was “to create a very fashion forward look. Changes were made to the a-line chiffon skirt, changing it into a hi-lo skirt (short mini front into ankle length in the back), which gave the gown a bubble hem finish creating a soft draping in a puddling effect. She truly has a one of kind gown!” Why did LaLa want a shorter front? I would suspect to show off her killer legs and dazzling shoes.

The original Romona Keveza gown was strapless with a sweetheart neckline, which highlights a voulant-textured bodice made of silk chiffon scattered with delicate Swarovski crystals. The soft flared skirt is made of silk chiffon. Accented at the waist, is an attached Swarovski crystal belt – just a little extra bling. The 2011 collection is equally beautiful and I hear the fall collection is one of her best yet.

LaLa Vazquez, Carmelo Anthony, Romona  Keveza
Original gown by Romona Keveza - back

Bridal Reflections is a favorite known as a full-service bridal salon, willing to go the extra-mile for all their brides. This is what I mean about service so I wasn’t surprised that they did this for LaLa. They create an environment that makes each of their brides feel like a celebrity.

I’m thrilled to once again keep you in the loop on exclusives as well as tell you about upcoming trunk shows. Here are a few that are at the Bridal Reflections NY flagship store, but check their other two locations in Long Island for upcoming dates and designers.

What: Simone Carvalli Trunk Show
When: July 15-17
Where: Bridal Reflections - 260 Fifth Avenue (At W. 28th St) To schedule an appointment, please call 212-764-3040

What: Ines DiSanto
When: July 22-24 Note: Ms. Ines DiSanto will appear in person
Where: Bridal Reflections - 260 Fifth Avenue (At W. 28th St) To schedule an appointment, please call 212-764-3040

Congratulations to the happy couple and to Bridal Reflections for making yet another brides dream come

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Romona Keveza spring 2011 Legends are made bridal collection

Ramona Keveza
Romona Keveza photo's by FirstW

Inspired by blossoming of a flower, this collection flourishes and is completely designed around a full, rich and beautiful life.

Her direction for 2011, plays with lengths, colors and cuts that range from feminine to flirty. The flower blooms that are on some of the collection seems to ‘open up’ and create a beautiful shape in each of the gowns. These are for the couture and modern bride who appreciated meticulous craftsman ship. This is also for the woman who may see her gown as a heirloom piece for her daughter.

She also showed her romantic film noir evening gown collection. Her silhouettes are reminiscent of the romantic films of the past, highlighting lustrous fabrics that are feminine yet super sensual. When we viewed her line the looks were a contrast between architectural and organic shapes mixed with a bit of fantasy.

Worn by starts like Angelina Jolie, Juliette Lewis, Julia Roberts, Angela Bassett and Marisa Tomei just to name a few. You can find her eveningwear and couture bridal sold at only the finest stores in the US and Canada like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Stanley Korshak. Of course, you can always visit her site directly for shops in your local area.

Fabric trends: silk chiffon, silk organza, silk crepe, silk taffeta lace and French net/lattice embroidery
Color trends: Crème brulee, pearl, ivory, blush, white, Ivory, Blush, Ice Blue and Champagne
Style trends: One-shoulder, sweetheart neckline, strapless, fluted skirt, detachable side tails, mermaid and chapel-length ball gown

Evening gown color trends: Twilight black, purple, cobalt blue, Bordeaux, peacock blue, antique pewter and antique gold

...and if you wanted it in black....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wine Wednesday: Choose your wine, like you choose your diamond

Which will you choose?

Is it hot enough for you? These beautiful wines served icy-cold will be a refreshing delight on days like today or throughout your special wedding events. While this may vary slightly, if you follow these 4 rules, you’re guaranteed to pick great wines every time.

The Bubbly:
See: For sparkling wines, look at the bubbles; they should be tiny rather than big and gassy. Remer this is champagne not ginger ale.
Sniff: Look for aromas of orange blossom, Asian pear, ripe peach and Bing cherries
Sip: The bubbles should feel creamy and rich in your mouth.
Summarize: Once you swallow, your mouth feels refreshed and happy. If not, then you’re possibly not drinking the best there is out there.

See: Look for a medium-golden color which indicates the intensely flavorful wine.
Sniff: Stone fruit aromas along with pear and tropical fruit are truly characteristic of Chardonnay.
Sip: This wine should fill your mouth with richness. Think buttery and full.
Summarize: The finish lasts and lasts, but the wine ultimately refreshes your palate thinks to it’s crisp acidity in it’s finish.

Pinot Noir
See: Pinot Noir is a more delicate red wine, so it won’t be super dark or opaque.
Sniff: Raspberry, cherry and plum are all found in Pinot, If you close your eyes, you’ll also smell hints or red, red roses.
Sip: This is much lighter in taste than a Chardonnay.
Summarize: Pinot is one of the lightest red wines, so the finish will be smooth and round instead of a big red.

Chardonnay and Riesling
See: The Chardonnay will be more golden while the Riesling more straw-yellow.
Sniff: While the Chardonnay will have peach, nectarine, and tropical fruit aromas, the Riesling will be more apple and floral.
Sip: Chardonnay – Big, Richer, think buttery! Riesling – Elegant more like a whisper.
Summarize: Both are bright with acidity but the Riesling will also have a touch of sweetness (to extreme sweetness) that will compliment spicy or sweet foods.

Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon
See: The more delicate (lighter) Pinot is almost the complete opposite of the Cabernet (King of the Reds)
Sniff: Bright red fruits like cherries and strawberries characterize Pinot. The Cab has darker fruits like blackberries, and black currant, along with hints of vanilla, toasted oak and spice.
Sip: Pinot is light-bodies, especially when compared to Cabernet.
Summarize: The Pinot’s finish will be smooth and round. The Cabernet will have more bite and leave more of an impression when you’re drinking it.

Just to give you an idea, these are a few I would recommend:

Champagne - Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial Champagne NV
Chardonnay - Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay
Pinot - Kenwood Pinot Noir Russian River
Cabernet - Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Indian Wells

San Rocco NYC continues to offer a specialty cocktail every Wednesday in July for my readers, along with their FREE aperitivo bar from 6:00-9:00pm. It's a beautiful day and too hot to cook, so eat, drink and be merry!

As always please remember to enjoy your cocktail BUT, be responsible in your consumption.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monique Lhuillier creates a field of bridal dreams

Oh my gosh!! It is hot enough for you?! Well let's enjoy the cool and whimsical style of one of our favorite bridal designers - Monique Lhuillier

Butterflies, branches, wheat stalks and feathers; all delicately woven into the collection. There are lots of textures and for Monique Lhuillier and she says, "the trumpet silhouette is very strong this season". Yes in deed, romance is back.

Let me just take one step back to remind you of my Fashion Week prediction about the final piece in Ms. Lhuillier’s show. It was a beautiful cherry-red gown. BREATHTAKING! I remember saying to the person sitting next to me, that this piece would be in the springs collection – I didn’t k now if for sure, but it was so beautiful – how could it not. Sure enough, there it was in a beautiful ivory and equally spectacular.

Fabric trends: Satin Organza, Embroidered illusion, embellished lace, Chantilly, feathered tulle and pebble georgette
Color trends: Ivory
Style trends: Strapless, trumpet, ruffle skirt, feathers, tulle overlay, embroidered skirts, ruffle flowers, slide slit, tulle roses and drop waist corset bodice.

All photo's by Lisa M. Barr.

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