Friday, April 30, 2010

Eco Chic Bridal Gowns

Almost two years ago, Laura and I did a post about environmentally friendly bridal gowns for Style Me Pretty. (You can read the original post here.) It’s amazing how the eco-chic market has grown since then, with more and more talented designers coming on the scene. Lucky us-- the results are nothing short of gorgeous!

Here's a sampling of the "green" bridal gowns that have caught our eyes lately. First up, Oregon-based designer Sarah Seven:

Photo credits: All images Sarah Seven on Etsy except for top right (Sarah Seven featured on Utterly Engaged)


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nautically Inspired Weddings

Whether your wedding is shipboard or on land, nautically inspired nuptials offer boat loads of charm. We hope this seaworthy inspiration board sends you off into a wonderful weekend-- bon voyage!

First row: navy bridesmaid dress (Sweet Monday Photography), seersucker bridesmaid dress by Thread, hand painted Lanterns (Style Me Pretty), escort card display (Brides.com)
Second row: seersucker ring bearer (Ritzy Bee), table setting (Style Me Pretty), yellow shoes (J. Crew), boutonniere (Brides.com)
Third row: deck chair (Brides.com), invitation suite (brides.com), chairs (Snippet and Ink), bride (Snippet & Ink)
Fourth row: lifesaver (Brides.com), wine, aisle runner and bouquet (Brides.com, tablescape (Snippet and Ink), paddles (Style Me Pretty)


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Natalie and Mike {A Sneak Video Peek}!

Take a sneak peek at my wedding from this past Saturday from the fabulous Tom Bowen.
The couple and families were amazing, the decor was breathtaking and the party was rocking! More photos and details to come! Enjoy!

Laura
video

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ahoy! {Weddings at Sea}



Ships and boats aren’t options in all areas (obviously), but can be creative venues for weddings. If you love the water, exchanging vows on the deck of a beautiful paddlewheel boat or sleek yacht might be your idea of heaven.

Keep in mind that not all your guests will be as sea-worthy as you, though and once the boat has set sail, there’s no getting on or off. If you decide on a shipboard wedding, try to make it shorter than a typical five hour reception to be considerate of guests who might not want to be on the water for so long. Seasickness patches aren’t a bad thing to stock up on, either!


It is crucial with a wedding on a boat to indicate on your invitations exactly what time the boat will depart. Showing up late after the ship has sailed is no fun!



Other details to consider when planning a wedding at sea:


--How many people can realistically fit on the boat. Usually space restrictions on a ship are set because of safety so there is not much wiggle room.


--Catering space--We have had to build catering tents on docks to accommodate large ship weddings! Most boast don't have lots of kitchen space so choose a caterer with experience doing shipboard weddings. You also may have to adjust your ideas to what works on a boat!


--Weather-- This can be a big issue. No one wants to be sailing in a storm and Mother Nature is one thing you can't control. Be sure you can enough inside space on the boat to hold all your guests in case your wedding day doesn't turn out to be sunny. If you do have a super sunny day, you might want to provide sunscreen towelettes for guests so they don't get burned standing on the deck for hours.


Coming up later this week at Bridal Bubbly: creative ideas for nautical weddings!


Monday, April 26, 2010

A New Look!



Welcome to the new and improved Bridal Bubbly! We wanted a fresh look so designer Heather Bianchi stepped in a created something fabulous. Heather also designs gorgeous invitations and paper products (including favor tags, labels and boxes) for weddings. Here are some of her lovely looks.





We'd love to know what you think about our new look! Enjoy!
Laura

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Week Inspiration!


wildflowers in glass bottles (weddingchicks.com), invitations (Chewing the Cud),
bridesmaid dress (Nimli), Stephen Russell and Brilliant Earth Rings (Martha
Stewart Weddings), flower girl dress (Whitten), paper flower boutiniere (Martha
Stewart Weddings), wine (Martha Stewart Weddings), bridal gown by Sarah Seven
and eco friendly jewelry (Utterly Engaged), organic cake by Sarah Magid, bridal
shoes (shoes.com), recycled glass votives with 100% soy wax candles (Martha
Stewart Weddings)

Enjoy our Earth Week finale: an inspiration board of everything eco-friendly and organic for weddings! It's been a fun week!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day {40th Anniversary}


Today is officially the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day! It's pretty cool to think how far things have come, especially for weddings. A decade ago, virtually no one talked about eco-friendly weddings. Even five years ago, green weddings weren't nearly as mainstream as they are today.

So even if you don't plan on having a completely green wedding (or maybe you haven't thought about greening your wedding at all), consider doing just one or two small things that can make a big difference in the environmental impact of your wedding.

Plant trees-- Offset some of the carbon emissions that invariably come from an event by planting trees. You can even use this as a favor. American Forests is a great organization for tree planting. Or give your guests tree saplings from The Green World Project to plant in honor of your wedding or potted herbs (if most guests are local and don't have to schlep a pot through an airport). In honor of Earth Day, we are planting 100 trees through American Forests today!

Potted herbs in buckets by Kelly MacPhee via Snippet & Ink; Herbs in terra cotta pots via Intimate Weddings

Straight-up Offset-- Carbon Fund will help you determine how much to offset for your event. They even have a feature you can put on your wedding website so you can get your guests involved. Even offsetting a little bit can help.

Eat local-- Talk to your caterer about sourcing local food. We do lots of "100-mile" weddings where all the food comes from a 100 mile radius. Sure, there are some things we have to skip, but the food is always fresher and more flavorful if it is in season and isn't being trucked a thousand miles.

Skip one paper product-- Save paper by not having oodles of tags and cards and inserts. Most weddings don't need so many invitation inserts, Simplify and put extra information (like directions and hotel pricing) on your website. Instead of one menu per person, do a couple per table or have one large beautifully written menu displayed. If you have ceremony programs, only print one per couple. We always end up with extra programs at the end of a wedding anyway! If it is an option, choose recycled paper for your printed goods. We love Twisted Limb for fabulous recycled invitations!

And one of our favorite letterpress companies, Smock, has joined forces with the Amazon Conservation Association, to encourage couples to bypass traditional wedding favors at their receptions and go eco instead. Instead of candied almonds, personalized mix CDs or other traditional less-green “keepsakes” for your guests, why not help save the Amazon rainforests (and help slow global warming) instead? For a $5 donation per guest, you can thank your loved ones with a contribution to help protect the Amazon. Couples will receive one beautiful favor card per two guests, sustainably letterpressed on bamboo paper, to display on tables at your reception explaining how your donation has helped create a better livelihood for local communities and to help conserve the biological diversity of the Amazon basin. Smock donated the design and letterpress printing of the favor cards and will gladly personalize these favor cards for free for those couples who have chosen Smock for their letterpress wedding invitations.



These are just a few basic ideas. We'd love to hear what you're doing to make your day more eco-chic! Happy Earth Day!

Laura

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Traveling in {Green} Style


Earth Week rolls on and we are rolling right into fun ways to get around on your wedding day without guzzling lots of gas. If your wedding isn't all in one location, chances are you'll need a way to get from one venue to the next.

Instead of using traditional limos (or, heaven forbid, huge stretch Hummers), why not try Enviroride? Their fleet consists of Toyota Camry Hybrids, Toyota Highlander Hybrids and "Blue Tec" Mercedes. All of the cars are equipped with GPS and real time connection with dispatchers to help with any re-routing (and if you've ever tried to locate a late limo, you know how crucial that is).



If you want to make even less of an environmental impact, check out the three pedicab operators in D.C. Capitol Pedicabs, DC Pedicab and National Pedicab all provide bike-driven transportation around the city. It may take a while to move all of your guests this way but it's the perfect way for a couple to make their getaway! Happy riding!

Laura

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eco Umbrellas


Our fun Earth Week series on eco-friendly wedding ideas continues! Since we are in April, the month of April showers, it's fitting to talk about stylish umbrellas. We've used umbrellas to shade form sun, protect from rain and just to look cute! Now there's a new, eco-friendly option for wedding umbrellas for the bride who wants to be as green as possible.

The biodegradable BRELLI is sustainably made from bamboo, a renewable resource, and features a unique, patented, biodegradable PVC clear canopy. This canopy offers vision, superior protection from the elements, and is a bright and brilliant evolutionary leap forward from the dark and damp alternative. It is the ultimate high-fashion accessory that is still green.





Even in landfill environments, a discarded BRELLI will completely biodegrade in less than five years... this is a tiny fraction of the time it takes for a conventional umbrella to biodegrade. BRELLIs are also made from materials that, during their biodegradation process, release only harmless gases. The gas released by each discarded BRELLI in a conditional landfill can be harvested to generate enough electricity to recoup more than 90% of the energy that was used to create it. Cool, huh?

But if that doesn't convince you, just check out how fab they look!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Earth Week!


April 22nd is Earth Day so here at Bridal Bubbly we're going to be celebrating all week long! We love eco-friendly wedding ideas so all week we'll be highlighting our favorite green wedding finds.

One of the age-old wedding questions is what to throw as you're leaving the ceremony or reception. Most places don't allow rice or confetti and lots of historic sites around here have nixed sparklers so that leaves you with not much (especially if you don't like the idea of bubbles). And if you're trying to limit your waste (you hate the idea of plastic bubble containers getting tossed into a landfill), things get really tough.



We were in one such predicament with an upcoming wedding until we discovered eco-friendly confetti that is biodegradable and dissolves upon contact with water plus paper cones made out of seed paper that can be planted after the wedding!

We love this eco-friendly (and lovely) idea! Not only can your guests shower you with confetti (great for photos) but they can then take the cones home and plant them in their garden. Love it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Old Friend, New Venue


Wednesday afternoon, Laura, Amy and I had the pleasure of visiting our fantastic friend Michael Deltette at his new home away from home, the contemporary, sophisticated Park Hyatt. After just over a week on property as Director of Catering, Michael seemed comfortable and excited as he showed us some of the hotel's little know spaces, including a mezzanine level PERFECT for a fun family style rehearsal dinner, and told us about the exciting renovations and upgrades coming to the hotel in 2011.



We had a fantastic lunch at the Blue Duck Tavern where renowned chef Brian McBride concentrates on farm to table service. Everything is organic and one of Laura's favorite features of the menu is that it tells you where in the country everything you will order has come from. It's amazing to think the same preparation we had for our lunch for 4 is what each and every meal produced for an event guest has. Brian personally takes care of every detail in the kitchen.


One of the bonuses of using the Park Hyatt's ballroom space is that the whole floor is yours for the evening. No competing with other receptions going on in the hotel or other rowdy party guests. (Just your own!)


So, if you're around the West End part of town, stop in to the Park Hyatt, check out the stylish reception space, stop into the Blue Duck Tavern for the apple pie and home made ice cream--my favorite!-- and say hello Michael!


Sara

Fluffy Thoughts {Grand Opening!}


Last night, we were lucky enough to join Lara Stuckey of Fluffy Thoughts for the grand opening of her new store in McLean, Virginia. Her new shop is so chic and stylish and is chock full of amazing things to eat. We got to see her sister, the fabulous Carine of Carine's Bridal Atelier, and lots of other wedding industry friends so it was a fun evening!

We have long been fans of Lara's amazing wedding cakes and now she offers cupcakes, coffee and other sweet treats out of her store. Now we can get our fix anytime!



I love her carrot cake and vanilla/vanilla and my husband raved about her chocolate cake. The fun thing about Lara's wedding cake tastings are that she lets couples design their own flavor combinations of cake and fillings. You'd be surprised at what fun creations our couples have come up with: white chocolate cake with blackberry and green tea fillings, chocolate cake with passion fruit, and banana cake with peanut butter and chocolate!

Not only are her cakes delicious but they are works of art. Lara is such a talented artist and every cake is more amazing than the next!



So if you're in the area, be sure to stop by and visit Lara and her talented team at 1320 Old Chain Bridge Road, McLean Virginia. But if you want a wedding cake consultation, be sure to call ahead and make an appointment: 703.942.5538. Now I think I'm going to go find that cupcake I saved from last night!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Equally Wed!


I am loving the online magazine Equally Wed! Aside from featuring gay-friendly vendors around the country (including us), the magazine has great content. From real wedding profiles and ideas on personalizing your wedding to fun fashion reports from Randy Fenoli (from "Say Yes to the Dress"), there is plenty of advice and eye candy.

Plus, they have a fab swag bag giveaway. Enter Equally Wed’s Swag Bag Giveaway contest to win $500 worth of wedding swag, including beauty and grooming goods, fashion accessories, and travel products and services! Good luck!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How Sweet It Is {Cupcake Inspiration Board}

mmm... delicious
row 1: Brides.com and The Knot row 2: Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot row 3: Style Me Pretty, Brides.com, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings row 4: Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides.com
You've probably noticed that we love cupcakes. And the cupcake craze has certainly taken D.C. by storm. We now have numerous cupcake bakeries and even a mobile cupcake truck! We've been doing cupcakes at weddings long before the shops showed up, though.

I love when couples offer lots of flavors or present them in a pretty way. I'm a fan of cupcake wrappers and cupcake towers. I also love when the cupcakes are arranged on various cake stands and pedestals. I love when the icing coordinates with the wedding, and I think monogram toppers are fab. I am so into the cupcakes on sticks, too! How cute is that?

There isn't much you can do to make me dislike a cupcake unless it just doesn't taste good. The cake has to be moist but not too spongy and the icing can't leave a waxy coating in my mouth (yuck). We are always on the lookout for new cupcake sources so stay tuned this week for some new reviews of our favorite cupcakes!
Laura and Alison

Monday, April 12, 2010

Inspired by Art {Museum Inspiration Board}

busts (Style Me Pretty), flowers (Martha Stewart Weddings), cake (Snippet &


Ink), couple kissing (Brides.com), framed escort cards (In Style Weddings), live event painter (Wedding Bee), tablescape (Brides.com), bride (Favors in the City)
We love working in museums (and D.C. has a lot of them, although not all will host weddings)! Although you don't have to theme your wedding around art if you choose a museum as your venue, the setting does offer a wonderful background for an elegant and sophisticated affair. 

We're using fabulous white frames like the one shown above to house escort cards for an upcoming museum wedding and creating gorgeous still-life arrangements that echo classic paintings for another. I also love the idea of having guests "paint" wishes on a canvas that you can then hang in your new home (as opposed to the traditional guest book). And you know we're crazy about live painters at weddings! Enjoy the arty inspiration!

Laura and Alison

Friday, April 9, 2010

Amenity Baskets for the Bathrooms


Today's post isn't too glamorous but it is super practical for brides wondering what to put in amenity baskets for the ladies' (and men's) rooms. You can always simplify or embellish but here is a list to get you started. I usually try to find a container to match the decor of the wedding so I've used metal buckets for farm weddings, plexiglass trays for uber-modern weddings and white baskets for garden weddings. I'm famous for clearing out the sample aisle at the drugstore; those mini sizes are perfect for bathroom baskets!

For Men or women:

Combs
Hair gel
Breath mints and breath strips
Dental floss picks
Mouthwash
Prepasted wrapped toothbrushes
Individual packets of aspirin and Advil
Imodium
Chewable antacids
Dr. Scholl's blister treatments
Bandaids
Shout stain remover pads
Lint roller
Kleenex
Lotion
Static Guard
Safety pins
Mini sewing kit with small pair of scissors
Deodorant
Hand sanitizer

Additionally, in the ladies' basket:

Tampons
Pads
Hairspray
Bobby Pins (blond, black and brown)
Clear nail polish
Q-tips
Blotting papers
Lip balm
Powder and individual make-up sponges
Nail files
Replacement earring backs

I've found that people clear out these baskets by the end of the night so don't count on getting anything back! If anyone has ideas for items I've left out, let me know!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Help for Mothers of the Bride (or Groom)!


Truth time. Which is harder to check off your to-do list: finding your dream wedding gown, or finding a dress that's chic, sophisticated, and fabulous for your mom? If you're like most of our brides, mom is harder to outfit than you are!

So grab your mom, future mom-in-law, grandma, aunt – any woman in your life who has vented to you about her frustrating search for a great ensemble to wear to your wedding – and head on over to Hitched for the Modern Trousseau Mother of the Occasion Trunk Show at Hitched on Friday, April 23rd. Designer Callie Tein understands the frustration, and her Mother of the Occasion gowns and separates are anything but cringe-worthy. Instead of frumpy suits, she has fabulous, chic separates and gowns. Instead of gaudy beading, she has elegant and tasteful ruching, embroidery, and lace. Instead of tacky polyester, she has rich 100% silk separates and gowns. And her designs cover the entire spectrum of dress codes, from garden luncheon to black tie affair!

Make an appointment today for this fabulous opportunity to outfit the most important ladies in your life! Please call 202-333-6162, or email appointments@hitchedsalon.com.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Signature Cocktails for Outdoor Weddings


If you're still looking for a fun signature drink for your outdoor spring or summer wedding, look no further. Here are too yummy drink recipes from our favorite mixologist, Natalie Bovis-Nelson of TheLiquidMuse. For more amazing cocktails, be sure to check out her book, The Bubbly Bride. Thanks, as always, to Natalie, for her yummy drinks.

And remember, ladies, you can always rename a cocktail to fit your wedding or your names so your guests enjoy Mary's Mimosa or Robtinis!



Blueberry Lavender Lemonade

1 ounce blueberry vodka
1/2 ounce lemoncello
3/4 ounce Sonoma lavender syrup
3/4 ounce lemon juice
2 ounces prosecco
1 lemon wheel

Shake vodka, lemoncello, lavender syrup and lemon juice with ice. Strain into white wine glass. Add prosecco and stir. Place lemon wheel on edge of glass for garnish.


Fantasy Island Mimosa (perfect for daytime weddings!)

1 lemon wedge
1 package Pop Rocks candy
3/4 ounce pineapple juice
3/4 ounce guava juice
2 ounces champagne
1/2 ounce grenadine

Rub the rim of a champagne flute with a lemon wedge. Pour about two tablespoons of Pop Rocks onto a small, dry plate, Dip glass rim into the candy so that the pieces stick to it. Pour juices and champagne into the flute. Slowly add the grenadine, allowing it to sink to the bottom. If you make and drink it quickly, the candy will still crackle when you bring it to your lips!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

credits: tablescape (A Delightful Day), bridesmaid dresses (In Style Weddings), centerpieces (In Style Weddings), cakes (Martha Stewart), invitations (Hello Lucky, landscape (Martha Stewart), cupcakes (Martha Stewart), cake slice (Martha Stewart), boutonnieres (Martha Stewart)


Cherry blossom season is one of my very favorite times in D.C., although I'm not crazy about the unbelievable traffic it creates around here. But what is more lovely that those fluffy pink and white blossoms? As you can imagine, we've done many cherry blossom themed weddings with everything from cherry blossom cakes to cherry blossom invitations to cherry blossom branches poking out of the top of hotel welcome bags. Enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Engaged at The Willard!


If you missed the Engaged Magazine Bridal Event, you missed an amazing evening. We were lucky enough to be at The Willard with the amazing Edge Floral Event Designers, Digital Lightning, Syzygy Events and DC Rental. Check out the photos of the unbelievable decor that this team created for the hotel.

As guests walked down Peacock Alley, they were met with towering black vases filled with hot pink flowers and surrounded by candles. What a statement!



The Crystal Room was a modern fantasy in white with a custom-built clear chuppah and a raised, lit aisle. The candlelight and white flowers softened this fabulously sleek look. I love the clear chairs from DC Rental--so stunning! A harp provided by Sterling Artists helped set the magical mood with soft, ethereal music.





The Willard Room was divided into two different looks by beautiful brown drapes. The first was a fun, edgy pink on pink look with clean lines and bright flowers. Pink is so fabulous with brown and it looked amazing against the dark wood of The Willard Room. The VIPs, courtesy of Andy Kushner Entertainment, played great 80s hits.





The other half of The Willard Room was a more rich, rustic setting alternating wooden farmhouse tables with brown and copper linens, peasant plates with beaded chargers and velvet Renaissance chairs with tufted banquettes. The power band, Sound Connection, (also from Andy Kushner Entertainment) rocked out. What a gorgeous look for a Fall wedding!





The Engaged Event was an amazing creative showcase and Edge, Digital Lightning, Syzygy and DC Rental blew us away with their ideas. Plus, they are all favorites of ours to work with; you couldn't ask for nicer or more fun people! Everyone was amazing to work with and that is exactly what you want for a wedding. We can't recommend this team enough!

Thanks to Steele and Christina and the entire staff at The Willard for the stunning culinary displays and for making the day run so smoothly. You are the BEST! A huge thank you to Doreen at Engaged Magazine and her crew for conceptualizing and pulling off such a phenomenal event.

We had a fabulous time meeting couples and enjoying the other vendors. The wedding gowns being modeled by Rizik's were beautiful. We loved the mini cupcakes from June B Sweet and the champagne girl (wearing a peacock skirt that held glasses of bubbly) from Moet & Chandon. The amazingly gifted cake designer Patty Colette created a breathtaking wedding cake. We were also spoiled by the talented team from Red Door Salon who touched up our makeup and by the guys at Fotobriceno, who treated us to a fun photo session for our long overdue company portrait (more on that later this week)! The lovely Julie from Blue Sky Films was filming all the behind-the-scenes action and we can't wait to see that (we'll be sure to share).

Hope you all enjoy the inspiration!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Princess for a Night


It's that time again … time to start cleaning out those winter clothes to make room for the flirty clothes of Spring. And with Spring comes weddings … and new bridesmaids dresses to fill your closet.

So even though your best friend who got married two years ago went out of her way to pick a dress that you would wear again (you knew it would never happen) … it's time to clean it out and bring it down to the 5th Annual Hitched Dress Drive to benefit Princess for a Night.

Beginning April 1st, and continuing throughout the month, we invite you to stop by Hitched to donate your gently worn (and dry cleaned) bridesmaid dresses (in all sizes!) that will go to students in the D.C. community. Due to the great expense of prom dresses, these girls might otherwise not be able to afford a dress for this special night.

So clean out your closet and make a girl's taffeta, silk, or satin dreams come true! And feel good about you; someone will wear the dress a second time.

Help Hitched reach their goal of collecting over 200 dresses for these girls. Thanks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Inspiration!

Credits: tablescape (Martha Stewart), bridesmaids and flower girl (J. Crew), egg place card (A Southern Life), linens (Martha Stewart weddings), cake (Martha Stewart Weddings), egg nest menu display (pottery barn), bride (Jessica Clare Photography), tie (The Perfect Palette), candy (the Wedding Vine), Easter Lilies (Martha Stewart), tulip basket (Martha Stewart)


Easter colors are so wonderful for weddings and, although I don't always have a wedding on Easter weekend, I think it can lend itself to some lovely touches. I love using candied eggs in nests for place cards! Last year I had a wonderful wedding over the Easter weekend and we did a candy station but with all Easter candies (peeps in yellow, peeps in pink, jellybeans, chocolate eggs, malted milks that looked like blue robin's eggs, little chocolate bunnies wrapped in foil) and petite baskets for people to fill. It was so pretty and adults loved feeling like kids again as they filled their baskets with childhood favorites.

Enjoy our Easter inspiration and have a wonderful holiday!
Laura