Archive for the ‘advice & suggestions’ Category

One of my favorite things, although a rare indulgence, is to get false lashes from Nancy at Brideface. It’s definitely a “special occasion” treat, and I am such a spaz that I refuse to take my makeup off at the end of the night, in hopes of making it last to the next day. Which always results in me waking up in the morning, freaking out that there is a spider on my pillow. (The “spider” = a cluster of lashes that have come off, as they’re not meant to be slept in).

So when Nance told me about Tracey Wells and her semi-permanent eyelash extensions, I had to see what it was all about! I went in yesterday and was so happy with the results that I just had to share the info. It’s a bit of a tedious process (more so for Tracey than for you!), but while you lie on a massage table for up to two hours, Tracey meticulously glues false lashes one by one to your individual real lashes. The lashes last 6-8 weeks, shedding with your own regular lash cycle. They are perfect for weddings – have them done the week before and you’re all set for your rehearsal dinner, wedding day, honeymoon and then some!

Eyelash Extensions by Advanced Permanent CosmeticsI took before and after photos with my phone – the transformation is dramatic! (Please excuse the unkempt brows and under-eye bags). It helps that my natural lashes, sans mascara, are pretty pale. Not as translucent as my sister’s, but pale for sure. On darker-haired beauties (like florist Courtenay Lambert) they look just as gorgeous but even more natural, in my opinion.

Tracey will be offering her services (eyelash extensions, Cry Baby mascara, and cosmetic tattooing) at The Bridal Studio every Thursday, and has a super convenient online appointment scheduling site. If you have any questions about her services, you can always contact her directly at 513-720-3296.

Aviva Events was neither paid nor asked to post this review – we just love to share amazing products and services with our readers!

I stopped by the Ikea bridal event toward the end of the evening last night and was pleasantly surprised! For some reason I was expecting haphazard tables of DIY projects, but that was far from the case. They had set up about ten different tablescapes, all using 100% Ikea products and nothing else. Each table was completely different… some of them I really loved, some definitely did not match my personal style, but even if you did not reproduce the settings exactly, there was an idea to take away from each table.

Below are photos from some of the tables (they were taken on my phone and under Ikea warehouse lighting, so most of the colors are not true to life), and a few tips on the overall themes and ideas I took away from the event. Each table had a sheet listing all of the products used to create the look, with their tag line “simply perfect, simply affordable”. Are some of the items used and ideas proposed a good value? absolutely. But others? in my opinion, not so much. I promise to elaborate on that in tomorrow’s post. But first – the wedding décor ideas!

Ikea Tables

1. Don’t be afraid of patterns. Incorporating a pattern into your wedding décor will give your reception instant personality. If you feel like patterned linens on every table is too bold for you, consider dressing up just one table: the head table, cake table, escort card table, etc. are all good options to stand out. Or, you might consider a simple patterned ribbon or fabric wrapped around the vase for your centerpieces, a patterned napkin at each place setting, a bold pattern on your cake, patterned lighting on the ceiling or walls… the list goes on.

Ikea Wedding Decor

2. Play with layers and height to add drama and interest. You could be as tame as simply adding an overlay on top of your main table linen (perhaps something in a pattern? or even a simple sheer), or you can use multiple centerpieces of varying heights, candles and frames and other objet d’art to create visual interest on each table. Using a charger (or even a woven or brightly colored placemat or a large plate) under each place setting and/or hanging lanterns, etc. in key spots in the room, will add further interest and more pops of color for a very festive atmosphere.

Ikea Wedding Decor

3. Use things in an unexpected way. One of my favorite things was a really fun, oversized picture frame that was hanging behind the “head table”. Instead of a photo, it framed an imaginary couple’s monogram. So simple, but still so unique. Also, instead of hanging paper lanterns from the ceiling, they stacked them to create tall lighted pillars on each side of a table. That could also be a great way to frame an entrance from one area of a reception to the next. And perhaps the boldest table had no linen at all – it was created by combining six brightly colored side tables, with large pillows for seating. Each of the above are fun and unexpected, and definitely make a statement.

Check back on the blog tomorrow – I’ll run through some of the costs of the items that were used and give my take on whether or not they are a good value. Also, I really couldn’t do three posts in one week on Ikea without including the recipe they shared for Lingonberry Parfait :)

Wedding Trends for 2010

January 20, 2010

Nearly every blog, magazine and wedding-related tv show is happy to tell you all about the hottest wedding trends for 2010. But when you look back at your wedding photos in 50 years, do you want to think “Wow, that was so 2010″, or “Wow, that was so us“.

What I want to get across, is to take the trend forecasts with a grain of salt. If a trend is something you love, then go with it, but if it’s not, don’t try to incorporate it into your wedding just because it’s “in”. To find inspiration for your wedding, you can look to the wedding magazines and blogs for images you like, but you might come up with something that’s even more you if you turn to unconventional sources of inspiration.

Living in Gosford ParkFor example, the “Living In” series on Design*Sponge does an amazing job of using movies and television to create style boards for interior design. This approach could very easily be applied to wedding design – recreating the atmosphere of your favorite movie or book will definitely create a very unique and personal style. How beautiful would a Gosford Park inspired wedding be in a venue like Peterloon or Greenacres? (Um, minus the air rifle and poison bottles, of course!).

Look around your own home and closet. Is Dress my Nest still on the Style channel? I adore Thom Filicia. And I adore his approach to interior design as well – he would ask people to choose their three favorite style items from their closet and three personal items as launching points for his room re-designs. The results were beautiful and most importantly personal. The rooms simply “fit” with the homeowners personality, and the style felt comfortable to anyone who entered. That is how you want your wedding to feel – not a cookie cutter design ripped from a magazine page, but a design that is an extension of you. When people walk in, you want them to see that it’s your wedding – not just anyone’s.

So yes, look at the magazines and blogs (really, where else will you find boutonniere examples) but mix it up with some unconvential sources as well. Look to travel and design magazines, rewatch the movie you saw on your first date, cook your favorite meal – then take note of how those things look, how they make you feel, and try to recreate that atmosphere and aesthetic in your wedding design.

What is your favorite source of wedding inspiration?

Photo via Design*Sponge

Planning your Wedding Menu

January 18, 2010

Wedding BuffetA common question I get from clients is whether or not they have to choose strictly from the menu list their caterer provides. In many cases, they might want something that’s a bit different: perhaps a different preparation of salmon than the choices listed, or another entree choice that isn’t listed at all. In some cases, there may be more specific requirements that need to be addressed, if the bride, groom, or any of their guests require a gluten-free or vegan meal.

Most of the time, when a caterer provides you with menus to choose from, they are not telling you that those items are the only things they can prepare, but that those are the more popular items they have prepared and served over the years. It makes sense for them from a time standpoint to not create a personalized menu for every potential client, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for one! While many of their clients will be happy to choose from the basic menus presented, if you want something different, your caterer will be happy to work with you on a custom menu, tailored to your needs and tastes. In short: don’t be afraid to ask for something that isn’t initially presented. Your caterer will probably be excited to work on something new!

Some other notes on planning your menu: Keep in mind, when providing meal choices for your guests, you don’t need to give every option under the sun. You aren’t running a restaurant, and if a guest requires a vegan or vegetarian meal, they will let you know, even if it’s not listed as an option. (Same goes for those with various food allergies). Keep your invitation response card uncluttered by just listing the main entree choices (2-3 at most).

When it comes to making the final choices, many people will want to weigh in. Your sister might think you’re crazy for not choosing the Pecan Crusted Chicken she loved at the tasting, your mother-in-law to-be might insist upon a Steak and Lobster duet and your grandmother might give you the side-eye if you tell her you’ve opted for a buffet over a plated meal. Try not to let the stress of other people’s opinions get to you… in the end, you can’t please everyone, and you have to remember it’s your wedding. While you don’t want to go too over the top choosing items that the majority of guests might not eat (e.g., only serving veal), in the end you should choose what you like. You deserve to enjoy your meal!

Photo credit: Wedding buffet items catered by La Petite Pierre, Photographed by Paul Ludwig Photographiques, from a May 2008 wedding.

Support local small businesses in Cincinnati with your wedding registry! The following local boutiques have gift registry services available, and some even offer online registries. Read below for more information on these stores and their offerings:

Camargo Trading Company, Cincinnati’s premiere specialty boutique, has been a stylish destination for unique high-end fashion accessories and home décor for nearly a decade. The beautifully designed and inviting shop brings exclusive trend-setting fashion and product lines to Cincinnati, specializing in apparel, baby and children, home décor and bath. It offers the latest must-haves and one-of-a-kind treasures, as well as other affordable luxuries for beautiful living every day. Located in Madeira at 7744 Laurel Avenue. (513-561-0842).

Since 1866, Closson‘s has been Cincinnati’s most treasured resource for interior design, fine furniture, home accessories, china and crystal, gifts, fine art and oriental rugs. In addition to an endless array of classic collections, Closson’s has also introduced fine linens, one of a kind imports, pedigreed art and antiques. Located in Oakley Square at 3061 Madison Road. (513-762-5500).

Goldsmith Cardel has been a leading resource for the very best in china, silver, gifts and bridal registry services for nearly twenty years Located in East Hyde Park at 3275 Erie Avenue. (513-871-1961)

MiCA contemporary craft is a fine craft gallery, design shop, and gift store all in one.  Store founders Mike & Carolyn Deininger believe that art & great design should be part of everyday life. Supporting local artists and independent designers is the main focus of the MiCA stores, which means you’ll find items at MiCA that you won’t see anywhere else. Located in O’Bryonville at 2039 Madison Road and in the Gateway Quarter at 1201 Vine Street. (513-533-1974 and 513-421-3500).

From barware, stemware and fine crystal to ceramics and metals, Sterling Cut Glass provides a distinctly personal gift registry, with the special touch of monogramming. Located in the Kenwood Towne Center at 7875 Montgomery Road. (513-985-8100).

Do you know of any other local small businesses that offer gift registries? If so, please leave info in the comments!

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