Thursday, March 19, 2015

Planning: Pleasing Your Guests


Recently, For the Bride has learned not all guests are thrilled after attending a wedding. Long kisses at the altar…reception too crowded…long lines at the food stations are just a few of the complaints we heard. So, how can you please a roomful of family and friends? We’ve made it easy for you by pinpointing some very common guest grumbles. Read on and vow to avoid them!
Stockbrokerxtra - Dreamstime

GRIPE The invitation didn’t say it was an outdoor wedding. I ruined my favorite shoes when the heels sank into the soft ground.

WHAT TO DO If the invitation doesn’t state your wedding is outdoors (if your site is a beach/park/garden), add an enclosure that lets them know what to expect. Say something like, “Ladies should wear comfortable shoes due to uneven ground at the ceremony.”

GRIPE “You may kiss the bride,” turned into a ten-minute love fest.

WHAT TO DO Keep the smooching short. Remember, the honeymoon is a few short hours away.

GRIPE The dance floor was too packed—no one could move.

WHAT TO DO Be sure your dance floor can handle the crowd. Event planners say you’ll need a minimum of 2.5 square feet of dance-floor space for each guest. However, if you know your guests love to show their moves on the floor, opt for 3 square feet.

GRIPE I never received a thank-you note.

WHAT TO DO So maybe you’ve already written 157 thank-you notes but have 43 more to go. Finish no later than three months after the wedding. Make the process as painless as possible by doing a little each night--and get hubby to do his fair share, too.

GRIPE Either there were a lot of party crashers or the couple hadn’t planned well. There were long lines at the food stations and bars.

WHAT TO DO A good way to avoid the lines for food and drinks is to have the wait staff offer trays of drinks and hors d’oeuvres, which will keep some people from queuing up.  

GRIPE The bride and groom were getting pictures taken for half of the reception.

WHAT TO DO A simple solution is to have formal shots done before the wedding. Most couples get them done so they can be with guests immediately following the ceremony. But if you want to stick with tradition and not permit the groom to you before "I do," keep it to a minimum. You don't need shots at three different locales. Let your photographer know in advance how much time you want to allot for pictures.  

By Patricia Canole

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wedding Etiquette Q & A

The Best Advice on Handling Your Trickiest Dilemmas

I’m confused. What is the difference between an escort card, a place card, and a table card?
Great question! The escort card is often mistakenly referred to as a place card, but the two are quite different. The escort card informs guests of the table at which they will be sitting and has their names and the table number on it. These cards are usually placed alphabetically on a table near the reception entrance so guests can easily find their spots. The place cards are already on the dinner tables and situated at a place setting to indicate where each guest is to sit. Used more frequently at formal weddings, these are optional for informal weddings. The table card is a prominently displayed sign on each reception table that bears its number.

We're getting married in April 2015. Is it acceptable to send out wedding invitations by e-mail?
Although it may be tempting to do, wedding invitations should be sent the traditional way. After all, with e-mails inundating computers and Smartphones today, an invitation received through the mail is considered very special—and also a good way to set the tone for your wedding.

Where should we place our favors? We’re giving our guests bottles of wine, and we’re not sure whether to put them on the reception tables or display all of them on their own.
It’s up to the two of you to decide which presentation appeals to you most. You can put a bottle at each guest’s place setting on the reception tables, or all the bottles can be beautifully displayed for guests as they leave. Just be sure that someone monitors the table, so people don’t take more than one!

By Patricia Canole

Friday, March 6, 2015

Beauty: Skin Deep

Expert Advice On The Latest Products and Procedures 

For A Flawless Face.

We recently met up with New York City dermatologist, Dr. Sejal Shah, founder of Smarter Skin Dermatology who told us that it’s not as hard as you may think. Perfect skin can be yours for the big day—and beyond. Here’s what she had to say.

When should a bride-to-be start a skin care plan?

I recommend brides start a skin plan at least six months before the big day. Initially, it's important to determine priorities and establish goals, this will help set a timeline, as well as guide the best procedures. In addition to procedures, I like brides to start a skin care routine that will get their skin in shape.

I recommend the following:

• Daily moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30, such as Neocutis Journee. 

Neocutiss Journee

• An antioxidant serum such as Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. If acne, signs of aging, or uneven 
skin tone are more specific concerns, I add in a retinoid.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
• Use a hydrating eye cream at night. Some of my favorites are Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream or RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream.


• A good hyaluronic acid product for increased hydration. One of my favorites is Neocutis Hyalis Refining Serum.

Neocutiss Hyalis

• If skin tends to be sensitive, look for products with soothing ingredients such as Aveeno Ultra-Calming line as well as skin barrier-repairing ingredients, such as niacinamide, found in CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion.


• Most important of all get plenty of rest.

What are the most common skin concerns for brides?

Every bride has different skin concerns depending on numerous factors like age, skin type, even wedding location. The most common skin concerns are usually stress-induced redness, acne, wrinkles, and discoloration (sunspots/freckles).

What are the best procedures to tackle these concerns pre-wedding?

The best procedures depend on the bride's primary concerns and goals. The most common goal among brides is clear and glowing skin. Two of my favorite procedures for skin rejuvenation and maintaining radiant skin are the Clear and Brilliant Laser and ViPeel (my go-to chemical peel). After just one treatment with either one of these procedures, you will notice smoother, glowing skin.

For best results, I do recommend a series of four-to-six treatments at least a month apart. You will want to complete the series at least two weeks before the wedding day.

• Redness Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are my treatment of choice. I usually recommend three-to-five treatments.

• Wrinkles Frown lines, crow’s feet, etc., are best treated with Botox. A Botox treatment is great because it lasts three-to-four months so brides can do one treatment three-to-four months prior to the wedding and then a touch up two weeks before.

• Acne Besides a prescription regimen of oral and topical medications depending on the severity of the acne, I also like to incorporate chemical peels and extractions into the treatment plan. Steroid injections like Kenelog are a great quick fix for those big painful red bumps that flare up due to stress.

• Sunspots/Freckles The Fraxel Laser Treatment works well in removing sunspots and freckles. I recommend one-to-three treatments a month apart.

By Patricia Canole

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Planning: Joy Ride

The Road To The Right Transportation.

Your grand entrance begins with your wedding-day ride. It reflects your style and gets the wheels of your celebration turning. These tips will help to guarantee a smooth drive.

THE PERFECT MATCH Consider the following questions: How many people will be riding in the vehicle? Where do you need it to take you (the ceremony, locations for photo ops, the reception, the hotel or airport)? Be sure to budget in ample time if you decide on a horse-and-carriage ride.

LOCATE YOUR WHEELS Ask other vendors for recommendations. Or, if your place of business uses a reliable car service, inquire about its wedding packages.

Keep in mind that most limo companies offer a variety of vehicles, including stretch SUVs, party buses and antique cars.

WHEEL DEAL Transportation companies will require that you sign a contract. Pay particular attention to whether they charge by the hour or distance. What about overtime? Does the hourly charge start when the vehicle leaves the garage or when it picks you up? Are parking costs and tolls included in the price or are there additional expenses? Make sure you are clear about cancellation policies and refunds on deposits. The contract should indicate all intended stops (ie: home/church/photo locale/reception, etc.).

BE THRIFTY Think about hiring a different car to pick you up after the reception. Otherwise, the car that picked you up in the morning will be parked outside your party doing nothing more than kicking up the hourly fee.

ASK FOR THE ROYAL TREATMENT Several transportation companies offer wedding-day packages to make your ride more memorable. Why not have the tux-clad chauffeur 
roll out the red carpet for you when you arrive at the ceremony site? Also, many vehicles come stocked with chilled Champagne (toast each other in private!), and you can choose a sign for the back of the car, ranging from “Going to the Chapel” to “Mr. & Mrs!”

By C.A. Deignan

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wedding Events Timeline: The Bachelor Party

Don’t Think Of This As His Last Chance To Celebrate Being Single;

It’s Simply An Opportunity To Spend time With His Closest Friends And

Toast The Amazing Life Change That’s About To Happen

Photo via Shutterstock



WHEN Two-to-three weeks before the wedding.

WHO HOSTS Usually the best man and groomsmen spearhead the planning.

PRE-PARTY TO DO’S Discuss what kind of party is being planned for your

fiancé and make sure you’re comfortable with it too.

VENUE Ideas for planning a weekend away are wide open: Las Vegas is a sure-

fire option for good food and late-night fun, or he can try something seasonal like

golfing in Arizona or California. If the party takes place locally, he might

consider chowing down at an upscale steakhouse. Sports aficionados might opt for

a professional basketball game or the more adventurous types why not rock

climbing, snowboarding, or white-water rafting?

GUEST LIST The groomsmen, your fiance’s brothers (yours, too) and any other


DAY-OF NOTES Let him know: Yes, he can call you, especially if he’s away for

the weekend. His friends might tease him for checking in, but just remember

they’re doing the same thing!

By Patricia Canole

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Diamonds Are Forever

Newly Engaged? Here’s All You Need To Know To Keep That Ring Sparkling Forever.

Demetrios Emerald-Cut Diamond Halo Engagement Ring by Rogers & Hollands

To ensure that you and your diamond ring never part company, follow these expert tips.


•    Have your jeweler inspect the setting after about six months of wear; the prongs can sometimes loosen as the ring conforms to the unique shape of your finger. After this, get your setting checked at least once a year.

•    Store in a safe place, like a ring holder or jewel box.

•   Never wear your engagement ring while swimming. Water is slippery, and cold water is especially tricky. Often it can cause the width of your finger to contract making slippage even more likely.

•    While traveling, keep your engagement ring locked in your hotel’s in-room safe.

•    Be sure to get your ring insured. Most policies offer to replace your engagement ring while others offer cash.


Lotions, soaps, dirt and natural oils your fingers encounter over time will eventually dull your diamond’s sparkle. Therefore, you need to clean it frequently. Here are some options:

•    The Pro: Bring your ring to your jeweler, who will probably steam-clean it—a powerful blast of hot steam expels buildup and scours the stone’s surface.

•    At Home: Your jeweler can recommend a brand. Most call for soaking your ring in a specially formulated solution that includes ammonia and water.

•    DIY: Soak your ring in an ammonia and cold water solution for about 30 minutes; rinse and carefully dry. Pressed for time? Spray some ammonia-based window cleaner onto your ring, and then wipe it clean with a soft cloth.

By Patricia Canole
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine's Day Inspiration

Clever Ideas To Personalize Your Party With Flair.

February 14th is the perfect day for love and romance. But even if it's not your big day, consider including some of these touches!

Opening Shot - Beautiful Day Photography

ATTIRE An old-fashioned look is always romantic. You'll want to wear a classic style gown and tuxedo. Another option is to go for a dress with red accents—a cherry red sash would be stunning. Have your bridesmaids wear dresses shades of pink and red; groomsmen will look handsome with red ties with coordinating red and pink boutonnières.

Gabrielle by Claire Pettibone

DÉCOR Create a romantic atmosphere by blanketing the aisle with rose petals. For the reception dress each table with rose tea-light holders. The simple DIY project begins by removing the rose stem, then open the bloom to remove several center petals to accommodate space for your candle.

COCKTAIL HOUR Serve crimson-hued cocktails and give them Valentine-themed names like “Cupid’s Kiss," and "Be My Valentine.”

MENU Fan the sparks among your guests by including some aphrodisiacs on the menu by including an oyster bar, almond-crusted salmon rolls, or chicken with mole (a Mexican chocolate sauce). Surprise guests with an all-red dessert lounge of chocolate-covered strawberries, a raspberry tart, and even red velvet cupcakes.

FAVORS Gift your friends and family with heart-shaped boxes of candy or macaroons and a note attached saying “Thank you for being our Valentine!”

SPECIAL TOUCHES Rather than table numbers, why not name each for a famous couple (real or fictional). Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Napolean and Josephine, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor come to mind.
By Patricia Canole