Sunday, November 30, 2008

Registry 101: Travel

We've reached the final installment in the Registry series - Travel.

A romantic dinner and scuba diving lessons are among the honeymoon "experiences" for which you can register. This honeymoon planning company charges a service fee that ranges up to 9 percent, which is deducted from guests' contributions. (Rates depend on how much you book.)

Register for anything from drinks by the pool to hotel accommodations, and the fees for this service are charged directly to gift buyers (the bigger the gift, the lower the fee.) The site also offers destination guides.

In business since 1995, the site can either book your honeymoon or allow you to register for excursions like snorkeling or horseback riding for existing travel plans. You can also put airfare and hotel costs on the registry and break them down into increments guests can purchase as gifts.

Register for fun stuff like rounds of golf or spa services, and purchased gifts are accrued onto one card that you can take with you for the big trip. The card is redeemable at any of the 2,700 Marriott hotels and resorts across nine brands. If you don't use all your points on your honeymoon, they are redeemable for future trips.

Book a vacation at any one of Sandals or Beaches 12 all-inclusive resorts and then register your honeymoon so guests can help defray the cost—and you can truly relax and enjoy your time together. Their resorts are located on Antigua, the Bahamas, Jamaica and St. Lucia.

Starwood, which owns Sheraton, Westin and W, among others, lets couples register for "Honey Money" gift certificates that are good for 24 months from the date of purchase.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Fashion for the Rain and Snow

We've encountered more than our fair share of rainy wedding days this season.  Now that winter is approaching a new form of precipitation is upon us - snow.  Whether it is rain or snow - it's important to be prepared.

These rain boots are the best way to get some great outdoor shots without ruining your cute shoes.  Plus - your photographer will love them!  A pair for you and a pair for each bridesmaid too.

all boots from Nordstroms

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're thankful for a wonderful year filled with amazing clients, outstanding vendors, and lots of laughter!
Thank you for making this year great!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You'll Need a Drink

A seasonal cocktail to enjoy with family and friends and some good conversation.
Apple Brandy Cooler
2 ounces brandy
1 ounce light rum
3 ounces apple juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 teaspoon dark Jamaican rum
Shake well with ice.  Strain into tall 10-ounce glass.  Float dark rum on surface and garnish with slice of lime.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sweet Stuff

Because Thanksgiving can be about more than pumpkin pie...

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

Another serving suggestion:  Make individual trifles in special trifle dishes, martini glasses, small glass bowls - anything cute and small.

thank you FoodNetwork and Paula Deen

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh So Delicious

This is a recipe from Alton Brown that we've been using for the past few years.  The turkey is amazing and the prep is simple.
Good Eats Roast Turkey

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey 
For the brine: 
1 cup kosher salt 
1/2 cup light brown sugar 
1 gallon vegetable stock 
1 tablespoon black peppercorns 
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries 
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger 
1 gallon iced water 
For the aromatics: 
1 red apple, sliced 
1/2 onion, sliced 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 cup water 
4 sprigs rosemary 
6 leaves sage 
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving. 

Thanks Alton and the Food Network

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ritz-y Evening with a Top Chef

We were invited Friday evening to the Ritz Carlton, Washington, DC to taste the new Autumn banquet menu by chef, Eric Ripert.

We knew of Chef Eric Ripert from wonderful restaurants like La Bernardin (his NYC restaurant)and appearances on Top Chef (a favorite of us both) and were just thrilled to taste his food.

The entire evening was really just fantastic. We felt wonderfully spoiled. Each element of the evening was so thoughtful.

We began with Veuve Clicquot, hors d'oeuvres, and conversation. We were then taken downstairs to the ballroom where we were greeted by the banquet and events staff from the Ritz. As the doors to the ballroom opened we saw a room draped in chocolate brown taffeta uplit in green. There was one long table spanning the length of the ballroom that glittered with glassware and pin spotting.

The table was dressed with a chocolate brown and warm green striped linen and accented with a variety of all white floral arrangements from Green Works. The sparkle brown chargers that we used last weekend for Nigeria and Jeff's wedding as well as the amber resin chivari chairs were perfect choices from Party Rental. The modern glassware paired with an amber water glass, gold flatware, menu card, and place card all worked together to create a luxurious yet chic place setting. It was so much fun to walk into the room and have no idea what awaited us. We didn't choose the linen or the chargers or light the candles. It was a treat to dine in such a beautiful room without the work of creating the design!

And then. The food. The food was just amazing.
The Menu: Lobster Cappuccino as the first course and Thyme-Crusted Tuna with Herb and Truffle Salad as the second course. The entree choice was a difficult decision. We both chose the Halibut "au Bambou" with cellophane noodles, wood ear mushrooms and a spiced bamboo broth which was incredibly delicious. The other entree choice was Pan-Roasted Rack of Lamb with a spicy mustard-mint Persillade Cauliflower, Almond and Apricot. Wow. Each course was paired with wine and was presented beautifully. The dessert served was Dark Chocolate, Peanut and Caramel Tart with Meyer Lemon Puree, Peanut Powder and Praline-Citrus Sorbet. The nighcap? A wonderful demitasse cup of espresso. Heaven...

It was fabulous evening of conversation with event planners from the DC area. At the conclusion of the meal Eric came out once again to chat, mingle, and hear our reactions to the meal (we even had him sign our menu card). We left with smiles on our faces and a bag of deliciously light cookies.

All of the images below are from Regeti Photography - see more on their blog . Thanks Srinu and Amy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tie One On

We love Vineyard Vines ties - a wonderful gift for your groomsmen and a great preppy touch.
Shop now for your summer wedding and get 25% off!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Keys to a Relaxing Honeymoon

Bride and Bloom magazine recently shared the
Four Ways to a Relaxing Honeymoon

The purpose of a honeymoon is to help you and your husband unwind after the stressful task of planning a wedding. It is when you are finally rewarded for all the months of hard work you put into your special day. Once the cake has been eaten and the champagne has been drunk, it’s finally time to get away! Here are four ways to help you have the most relaxing honeymoon possible. 

1.    Be Organized
Make sure to have your airline tickets, passports travel itinerary ready to go a week before your wedding. There is nothing more stressful than missing an important document that can ruin your travel plans. Also, pack your suitcase as early as possible because last minute packing is a sure way to forget something.

2.    Start Slowly
When you reach your honeymoon destination give yourself a little time to take a breather, especially if you left for your trip immediately after the wedding. Chances are you’re going to be exhausted from the stress, alcohol, and dancing of the wedding day activities and you’re going to need time to unwind. Check into your hotel room, hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign and go into hibernation with your new hubby until you feel refreshed enough to start your vacation. 

3.    Pamper Yourself
Nothing will help you slip into vacation mode like a day at the spa. Book a massage and spend the afternoon being pampered. Don’t forget to take advantage of the many amenities hotel spas have to offer, like the sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi. 

4.    Don’t Over Plan
A common mistake that many travelers make is over planning their trip. Resist the urge to plan tours and excursions every day. Take some time to enjoy your hotel. Read a book in the lounge, take naps in the afternoon, or soak up the sun by the pool. Laze around without the guilt and refresh your mind, body and spirit.

image and text from

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nigeria + Jeff Some Pro Pics

Kaki from Romance of Flowers sent over some of her images from Nigeria and Jeff's wedding last Saturday.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top 5 Accessory Must Have's On Wedding Day

Bride and Bloom (a great magazine for decor eye candy!) shared these
Top 5 Accessory Must Have's for Wedding Day

1.    Comfortable Shoes
Nothing is more important than a comfortable pair of shoes. Before you spring for a pair of sky-high stilettos, keep in mind that you will be standing for long periods of time and the last thing you want to worry about are achy feet. Do your toes a favor and choose shoes that have a thicker, lower heel and plenty of support to last you through the night.

2.    Budge-Proof Undergarments
What you wear under your dress is just as important as the dress itself. In order for your dress to look and feel great, you need to buy the most suitable undergarments for the style. Ask your seamstress if she recommends a strapless bra, a corset, or stick-on tape. Better yet, ask if she can sew in cups into your dress so it won’t feel like you’re wearing anything constricting underneath.  

3.    Focal Point Jewelry
Besides your dress, the second most attention grabbing item on your body should be your jewelry. Whether you want to wear a sparkly tiara or beautiful necklace, don’t skimp on a focal point accessory. Choose something that complements your gown without overwhelming it too much. If your dress has a lot of sparkle, opt for an accessory that is more understated. Wearing a simpler gown? Choose something with a little more pizzazz. 

4.    Something to Hold
Traditionally, a bride’s ultimate accessory is her bouquet. If this is too overdone for you, there are many other options you can go for. Consider a beautiful pomander as a more modern approach to the traditional bouquet. Or, opt for something completely different like a feathered fan, a beaded satchel, or, if you’re having a winter wedding, a cozy muff. Whatever you choose, make sure it compliments your wedding gown. 

5.    Your Engagement Ring
Your engagement ring is how this whole thing got started. Have it prepped for the big day by taking it to your jeweler to have it professionally cleaned. They will have it buffed and shining for the big day, because aside from you and your new hubby, all eyes are going to be on your finger.

image from

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

JCrew for You

Don't forget about JCrew for your bridal gown.  They have the perfect gown for your reception second dress, a destination wedding, second wedding, or if you're looking for a great deal.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nigeria + Jeff

There was quite a bit of rain in the afternoon on Saturday, but the skies cleared up just in time for Nigeria and Jeff's ceremony in the Carriage House at Evergreen House.  
The ceremony was warm and intimate.  Guests gathered around as they exchanged vows with only a few reserved seats in a row.  After the ceremony guests were welcome into the stall area of the Carriage House with Kir Royales and Sidecars - two favorite drinks of Nigeria and Jeff.
There were long tables in the tent dressed in gold and chocolate brown runners with the most amazing floral arrangements from Victoria at Romance of Flowers.  The warm red and chocolate flowers, candles, and goards were lit in tones of amber from Event Dynamics.  The tables sparkled thanks to the chocolate sparkle-y chargers from Party Rental.  The lucite brown chivari chairs were the perfect accent - they remind us of root beer candies.
The dinner started with a soup and salad combination and finished with and amazing selection of desserts.  Everyone from Classic Catering was efficient and helpful as always.
After dinner the dance floor was packed to the sounds of the DJ.  A few people lounged on the couches in the seating area and some stayed in the stalls near the bar to chat.  The ladies on the dance floor took advantage of the chinese slippers were had displayed in baskets - their dancing feet were grateful.
As guests left for the evening, they took home jar of hot chocolate mix that was created by Nigeria and Jeff.  A perfect take-home on a chilly evening.
The entire day was photographed by Michael Clark and he's promised us some of his pictures soon.  We'll be sure to post them as soon as we have them.  The wedding party did pre-ceremony shots at Penn Station and we can't wait to see those!
Congratulations Nigeria and Jeff!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Registry 101: Recreation

It's time for a little bit of fun on the registry list - Recreation

Register for tents, backpacks and even "Ruffwear" gear for your dog at this no-frills destination. Everything on the site is fair game—just be sure to register in the gift section rather than in the wish list.

This New Jersey merchant has a well-stocked Web site and offers great prices on everything from hiking socks to kayaks. Complete your registry and send an e-mail announcement to family and friends.

Whether you're a triathlete or you just want to stock up for the ski season, REI is an outdoorsman's (and outdoorswoman's) dream come true. You can choose your outdoor clothing and equipment online, over the phone or in one of the REI stores.

Register for outdoor gear like bikes, scooters and skates as well as their always-unusual assortment of gadgets. Best sellers include air purifiers, navigational systems and the R2-D2 Interactive Droid. Everything on the Web site is available for your registry.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Tu Vida for Jewelry

We had a wonderful meeting yesterday with Kate and Melissa from Tu Vida - a custom jewelry shop in Federal Hill.

We pulled these images from their website and there are some items featured on their Etsy site (you know we love some etsy!).

The best thing about Tu Vida is their ability to do custom pieces for your entire bridal party.  You can make them all match or have the pieces suit each person.  They can even do coordinating pieces for your flower girl, readers, and Moms.  They can create a piece using a piece of heirloom jewelry or something new and modern.  They even custom package - so that will save you wrapping gifts at the last minute.

Stop by their shop - 300 East Fort Avenue in Baltimore.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spring into Color

We know you're getting excited for the Holidays - but fast forward for a minute to Spring of next year.  According to Pantone (the authority on color) the hot colors for Spring next year will be:

Fuchsia Red - sensual and seductive
Salmon Rose - friendly and approachable
Palace Blue - a classic, spring-y version of navy
Lucite Green - freshness and renewal
Super Lemon - fun and optimistic
Dark Citron - calmer and more serious
Lavender - a softer, summery purple
Vibrant Green - clean, clear and subtle with a hint of shimmer
Slate Grey - a nuanced neutral
Rose Dust - adds dimension with subtle rose undertones