Thursday, September 30, 2010

Josephine Baker Inspiration Board

Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy are all known for a certain simple chicness and restrained elegance in their style. There is nothing restrained about icon Josephine Baker, and we love her for it. This is a woman who had a pet cheetah named Chiquita, and often performed wearing only a skirt made of artificial bananas and a Tiffany's store worth of diamonds. She was glamorous, she was sultry, and she was absolutely dazzling-- even when she wasn't dripping with jewelry. Josephine's take on fashion was infused with a sexy playfulness that reflected both her time on the stage and her love of France. Ooh la la!

Photo credits: animal print lounge chairs (Taylor Jackson Photography), pink bridesmaid dress (Jason Wu), Josephine Baker, bride with feather boa (, fur coat (, necklaces (, tablescape (Joseph Allen Photography), hat (, purse and sparkly dress (, Josephine Baker, bride with feathers (, cake (Utterly Engaged), shoes (, art deco reception (

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Audrey Hepburn Inspiration Board

Audrey Hepburn is such a style icon that when it came time to do a board inspired by her, we couldn't pick just one iconic look. So this board includes a little bit of everything: the ballet flats from Sabrina, the Vespa from Roman Holiday, the Holly Golightly hair (and fancy cigarette holder!), and the gamine tea-length gown from Funny Face. She was one of the few stars whose personal style lived up to her movie wardrobe-- as evidenced by the divine elfin-like chiffon dress she wore at her real-life wedding to Mel Ferrer. Which Audrey look is your favorite?

Photo credits: First row: Breakfast at Tiffany's guestbook (Style Me Pretty), place setting (Martha Stewart Weddings), cigarette holder (Orange & Blossom), tea length gown (, Tiffany's inspired favors (Martha Stewart Weddings)
Second row: invitation suite (Martha Stewart Weddings), Vespa (Straight Through the Heart of It), little navy dress (Simple Silhouettes), hairdo (Style Me Pretty)
Third row: Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, cake (Martha Stewart Weddings), Audrey Hepburn's bridal gown, copy of gown (Johanna Hehir)
Fourth row: Gloves (Orange & Blossom, ballet flats (The Knot), dress details (Style Me Pretty)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jackie Kennedy Inspiration Board

If I've done my job right then you won't even need the picture in the bottom right corner to identify today's style icon. Pillbox hat, gloves, a triple strand of pearls and cake with bows and buttons... could it be anyone but Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis? Jackie's wardrobe during the Camelot years exuded regal sophistication: geometric designs in sumptuous fabrics that perfectly matched her striking natural beauty. The two wedding dresses in the bottom row are both from J. Crew, an especially appropriate choice considering the brand favors simple A-line silhouettes and is a favorite of our current First Lady!

Photo credits: cake (Maisie Fantaisie), pillbox hat (Couture Bridal), gloves (Rebekah Westover), pearls (, neckline (Karen Wise Photography), earrings (J. Crew),  Hammersmith Farm (, pink dress (Oscar de la Renta), bridal gowns (J. Crew), Jackie Kennedy (Life Magazine)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wedding Workbook Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the subscription to My Wedding Workbook is Evelyn Israel.  Congratulations Evelyn! Email us and we will hook you up.  Happy planning!

NYT Wedding Announcement Face-off

It's always fun when our couples' weddings are in the Washington Post Style section or the New York Times Wedding Announcements.  What's even more fun is when our weddings win the weekly Gawker New York Times Wedding Announcement Face-off.  Who knew there was such an official scoring system?

We planned Elizabeth and Adam's wedding and it took place this past Saturday at Meridian House and was absolutely lovely. Photos of the wedding and all the fun details to come but, first, the face-off against Bianna and Peter!

This week's faceoff:
Bianna Golodryga and Peter R. Orszag
Scoring Sunday's Nuptials: Ditch The DJ, And Other Wedding Tips

The bride is a weekend anchor of Good Morning America: +1
The groom is "the former director of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington" and "a distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations" and "a contributing columnist to the New York Times": +3
The groom graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and received a PhD from the London School of Economics, which he attended as a Marshall scholar: +6
The bridegroom's first marriage ended in divorce: -1
The bride's father is a math professor at Yale: +1

Elizabeth Sherburne Van Heuvelen and Adam Matthew Shoemaker
The bride's name is Elizabeth Sherburne Van Heuvelen and she ain't changin' it: +1
"The couple met at Williams College, from which they graduated, the bridegroom magna cum laude": +3
The bride received a master's degree in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins: +1
The groom received "a law degree from Harvard and a master's degree in medieval Icelandic studies from the University of Iceland": +5
The bride's mother "was appointed by President Obama as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a group focusing on improving the way the government works": +1
"She had just returned from Beijing studying Chinese, and I had just returned from Oxford": +1
"They soon learned they had carrels next to each other in the library": +1

Thanks Gawker! Lots of high-fives in the office today!

Grace Kelly Inspiration Board

From top left: bride (Angela Anderson Photography), Grace Kelly in bridal gown,
flowers/cake (Style Me Pretty), Monaco castle (, Grace Kelly's hats (Vanity Fair), car (Salvatore Ferragamo), ice blue bridesmaid 

dresengagement ring (, tiaras (Martha Stewart Weddings), Grace Kelly blue dress, hankerchief and pearls (Style Me Pretty)

This week we are all about being inspired by classic style icons. Some were also famous brides, some weren't. But all of them had an influential style that we love and think is great inspiration for today's brides.

You can never go wrong with the classic elegance of Grace Kelly. She was the epitome of Hollywood glamour and romantic sophistication. When I think of a wedding inspired by Grace, I think of formal gowns, palatial estates and sweeping views. Glitz without being gaudy. Sexy but still demure. Who is your favorite style icon? Is there anyone (old or new) whose style is influencing your wedding?  We'd love to hear about it, and we're open to suggestions for the next icon inspiration board.
Laura and Alison

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sneak Peek at Mad Flowers

Take a peek at the gorgeous flowers from the fab lads at Mad Flowers in Dublin, Ireland.  Yes, Ireland. I met them last week when I was checking out Ireland for wedding venues.  This is just a sneak peek on a longer upcoming post on them.  Love their name and love their work. Stay tuned for more!

My Wedding Workbook giveaway!

Last chance for a free, 2-year subscription to My Wedding Workbook Premium, the total online wedding planning system that's the next best thing to hiring a wedding planner and can save you tons of time.

What is My Wedding Workbook? Basically, it's a complete system that is your planning partner, offering you the resources you need every step of the way to stay organized and sane while you're planning your big day. No other wedding tools or software compare to it, and their Premium Package includes:

• A Wedding Website with online RSVP, a blog, photo galleries, guest books and lots of other cool features.
• A Wedding Organizer that lets you easily and quickly manage your guest lists (including out-of-town guests and hotels), venues, vendors, budgets, appointments, payments, tasks/to-dos and much more.
• An Ideas-and-Inspiration Board for managing all your thoughts, pictures and Web links so have a place to record all your big ideas.
• An Email Communications Center for easily reaching out to your guests in bulk (plus it plugs right into your master guest list so you can create custom email lists).

To enter to win, just email us with "My Wedding Workbook" in the subject line. We'll pick a winner on Monday so check back! Good luck!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Amsale Trunck Show at Hitched!

 Still looking for that perfect dress? Rest easy, gals… the Amsale Bridal Gown Trunk Show is happening at Hitched on Friday, October 1st & Saturday, October 2nd!

Designer Amsale Aberra’s gowns are perfect for the bride who wants to look understatedly glamorous and classic, but with a bit of modern flair. Whether you’re looking for something slim-fitting and lightweight, or a full-skirted, intricately embroidered ballgown, Amsale’s designs are sure to please! At the trunk show, you’ll have the opportunity to see the latest styles from the Amsale bridal collection, as well as a chance to meet with a representative from the company to discuss custom changes or questions. Hitched will also be offering a 10% discount on all gowns purchased during the trunk show!

Ever popular with Hitched brides, the Amsale Trunk Show is sure to book up quickly, so give them a call [202.333.6162] or shoot them an email [] to schedule an appointment!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Something of an Inspiration

I started my fall wedding season off in grand style with a fabulous couple, Adrienne and Daniel.  The two got married on the beautiful Saturday of Labor Day Weekend right on the edge of the water in Fells Point, Baltimore.  I'll post more about their amazing affair soon.  The reason I'm writing is the bridesmaids gifts.  They were functional, had meaning and were downright awesome.

By now, you all know that I have huge Maryland Terrapins pride.  This bride did me proud.  The couple both work for Under Armour, which you die hards know was created by Maryland Football players not so long ago.  So clearly, I wear it :)

When I got to the bride's apartment, I was met by her lovely ladies and her mom all wearing bright pink Under Armour workout tops with "Bridesmaid" written down the side.  My first reaction- I want one!  I'm serving as Matron of Honor to my friend Michele in a month, would it be wrong if I got one for myself?  And the rest of the party of course.

There's more.  The pink!  The bride has had someone in her family that was affected by breast cancer and we all know that pink is the color for hope.  Amazing! Under Armour, a bridesmaids gift (that is functional) and promotion of the fight against a curable disease if properly detected.  This has got to take off!  I asked Adrienne if the company is producing these on a normal basis and they aren't yet.  "But they should!"  I told her.  And I want to be a part of it.

So, I don't know where this will go, but I want to hear from all of you.  Do you love this?  Would it interest you/ would you buy them?  Let me know your thoughts.  I'm eager to share them with Adrienne and see if we can get Under Armour to release a line for the wedding industry that also benefits finding a cure for breast cancer.  I can't wait to hear what all of you think.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Irish Wedding Inspiration {Green + White Weddings}

A little Irish wedding inspiration from  Love the green macaroons!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt {Dublin, Ireland}

Let me start by saying that this post is just a tiny taste of my trip to Ireland (and there will be much more coming) but I just had to share some images of the amazing Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt.  The picture above and below are the view of the back of the hotel that overlooks the mountains.  My suite faced the mountains and had a terrace that ran the length of the suite.  Stunning!

The Gordon Ramsey restaurant also looks out over the mountains and the fountains.  The lobby (below) is lovely and has beautiful chandeliers that look like hot air balloons to commemorate the fact that the estate was used to film the hot air balloon arrival scene in the movie "The Count of Monte Cristo."

This hotel seems made for weddings and has so many stunning places for photos.  The shot below by Kurt Vinion is a classic Ritz Powerscourt image!

More fun details and fun images to come!

Friday, September 17, 2010

To Change or Not To Change {The Name Debate}

The post's headline is a bit misleading, because what we're really after here is a discussion on name changing where there are no points argued, just experiences to be shared.

When Laura asked me to write about this topic, I thought, Ooh, how are going to do this? Because it's something that people feel really strongly about-- I mean, of course it is; we're talking about your name, here! It doesn't get more personal than that. And so that's where this post is going to begin and end-- with personal narratives. Right now, mine is pretty short. After a childhood figuring out all the different words my initials could spell depending on who I married (good options: ART, ARK. Least appealing: ARF, ARS), I've settled into thinking that I wouldn't change my name after all. But that's me speaking as single person. Who knows how I'll feel if I do get married-- and if there's one thing I've gathered from talking to married people of all ages, it's the importance of listening to your spouse's feelings on this topic, even if you ultimately end up making a decision that's not his or her first choice.

There are four married women in the Engaging Affairs office. Two of them changed their names when they got married. Two of them didn't. Each of them was nice enough to share her story, and I truly feel like I learned so much from each of them. Sara pointed out that the decision isn't a binary one that you have to make once and for all before your wedding. Laura reminded me how important a name is on a level I hadn't thought about: her name is her business. Amy gave reassurance that if I ever decided to change my name, it didn't have to be the hassle and paper work nightmare I imagined. And Maeve straight up made me cry.

I was going to try to weave their words into some sort of cohesive summary, but I just don't think I could do justice to the brilliance and thoughtfulness of my colleagues. I had to let them speak for themselves.

From Amy: I didn't even think twice about changing my name-- it was a done deal! My whole life I spent spelling out my last name for people (formerly Guthridge), and now I had the opportunity to have a name that was easily recognizable: Jones. I guess I am a hopeless romantic but it was always something I knew I would do since I was a little girl. And I actually used one of Bridal Bubbly's friends, MissnowMrs, to assist with the name change so it was the easiest thing ever. The name changing program is genius and all the changes were simple and quick... except waiting in the Social Security office for four and a half hours one day. But other than that, a snap! I am happily, and legally, now Mrs. Amy Jones.

From Sara: From my point of view, it seemed like all the paperwork, changing bank accounts, passports, licenses, etc., was a HUGE hassle that I didn't have time for. On top of that, I heard changing my name wasn't cheap. So I figured that even if I went by my husband's last name, I wouldn't change it legally for a while. Also, I had made a name for myself professionally and while people knew I was getting married, I wanted to be known as the planner my former clients could identify me as.

My husband didn't feel strongly about me taking his name, which to me was encouraging, but at the same time slightly upsetting. I know it's weird, but part of me thought it was a little important that he was traditional at heart. I'm not quite sure how I will feel when I have children-- it may be the one thing that would make me change. I guess we'll see! (In a few years...)

From Maeve: It took me about six months to change my name, mainly because it’s a hassle and it wasn’t that big enough a deal to either of us to make it a huge stressful process. So I changed it when I had the extra time. Before we got married, I worked in what I would call my career job. I never planned on changing my name professionally. I had worked in the industry I was in long enough that people knew me as my maiden name and that’s how I wanted it. 

But I got married and moved immediately to DC. New hubby, new city, new job: a new name just seemed to fit. Although all of the new may be why it took me months to actually make the name change commitment. 

I always figured I would change my name when i got married. The women in my family traditionally don’t have middle names so that we don’t have to drop anything if we decide to take our partner’s name. So my maiden name is now my middle name. As an adult it shows up all over my life, on my license, my passport and all of my important papers. I like seeing my maiden name so often. It helps me remember where I came from. My married name is impossible to spell and no one pronounces it right. Ever. But it feels like mine.

I don’t think of a name change as a change anymore; it feels more like an adding. For me the addition of my married name to my maiden name signifies the melding of the most important things in my life, my family and my husband. My full name is the truest symbol of who I am. 

From Alison (again). Thank you so much to my fellow Bridal Bubbly ladies for telling their stories. Please share yours in our comments section.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Groomsmen's Gifts {For the Boys}

We recently discovered that we have quite a few grooms who follow our blog.  We're thrilled that these modern men are involved in the wedding planning but we feel bad that we haven't had much focus on them to date. Which is why weren't starting a "For the Boys" feature to showcase things of particular interest to grooms.

To kick things off, we're doing a round-up of cool groomsmen's gifts, beyond the standard money clips and monogrammed flasks.

First up: not to be cliche or anything, but a lot of men (and women!) like beer. So why not toast the important guys in your life with a membership to a microbrew of the month club! There are a ton of options out there-- this one includes free shipping and starts at $34.95 for one month.
Cufflinks as groomsmen gifts are about as omnipresent as money clips and flasks, but these two sets are just so cool. The first is pure steampunk chic-- real ruby jewels with a sleek design. And the second pair are made of wood salvaged from famous ball parks, like Shea Stadium and Wrigley Field.

And what gadget-loving guy wouldn't covet this ultra sleek iPhone case from the MoMA Store?
Another option: hosting a boys-night out for your favorite boys. Paintball sessions and tickets to ball games are always big hits. Or stay in to play cards, and end the night by giving your groomsmen a nice poker set. This one's from Restoration Hardware.


Do you run with a foodie crew? Try a fancy barbecue set with rubs and spices, or some top-shelf liquor. If your groomsmen are music lovers, they'll adore a deluxe turntable from Crosely Radio. So old school! So hip! Such a good gift.


Now men, it's your turn: what's the best groomsmen gift you've ever seen? And thanks for reading Bridal Bubbly!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Feel-Good Inspiration

Photo credits: Chairs (The Knot),, Oscar De La Renta Dress (Ceci New York), drinks (The Knot), courtyard (Style Me Pretty), heels (Fotobriceno), bouquet (In Style Weddings), cigar roller (Style Me Pretty), fireworks, church, balloons (

Some days you need a little pick-me-up-- and often that day is Wednesday. My sister J had a rough day recently, so I whipped up this inspiration board for her dream wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. J wants to ring in the new year and her marriage at the same time, so naturally the party had to include some extra-festive touches. She especially loves the monogrammed chairs, cigar roller, and fabulous Louboutin heels.

Happy hump day, everybody! (And if you have any inspiration boards you'd love to see, leave a suggestion in the comments. We're all ears!)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Glittering Romance {Rebecca and Nirav}

I had such a great time working with Rebecca and Nirav on their wedding plans and the BEST time the day of their wedding.  This was a day full of energy and joy and the most stunning saris!

Since we had to fit in two ceremonies, a lunch, cocktail reception and dinner in a single day, we were off and running at the crack of dawn. We started the day with breakfast in the Mayflower for everyone while the bride and bridesmaids got ready upstairs with Jayshree Rathod.  Then portraits of the bride and groom and bridal party at 8am.  I was amazed at how fresh and energetic everyone was!

Next the horse from Harmon's Carriages arrived for the Baraat and the groom and his family and friends gathered outside the Mayflower for the joyous procession.  Dohli drummers led the way while everyone danced and sang. Every wedding should start with this much energy!

Guests came into the Mayflower and the drummers continued down the hall to the East Room where the ceremony began and Rebecca entered with her uncle.

Both parents were very involved in the Hindu ceremony.

After the Hindu ceremony, guests had lunch prepared by Ascot Caterers while the bridal party changed into attire for the second ceremony of the day!  Saachi and her team from Partyland Flowers did an amazing job converting the mandap into a classic setting for the Christian ceremony.

Music for the ceremony was provided by MSE Entertainment.

Rev.  added some lighthearted moments in the ceremony.

I love the contrast of the henna hands with the white bridal gown!

After the Christian ceremony, guests relaxed and changed into evening attire and the bride and groom took photos in the hotel and around the city.

Then it was time for the party!  Guests had cocktails in the State Room and then were invited to the seated dinner in the Grand Ballroom.  Again, Saachi did an amazing job with the floral decor and the lighting team from The Mayflower added the ambiance with lavender lighting.  Stephanie with the Mayflower was wonderful coordinating all the various events and set-up throughout the hotel; we couldn't have done it without her!

The stunning cake was created by Cakes by Design.

I love this photo of the little girl looking up with awe as the bride and groom enter the ballroom!

DJ Mike from MyDeejay kept the dance floor packed and played a great blend of Indian and American music.

Thanks to my hard-working colleagues who made this day such a success. And thanks to my hard-working assistants Alison, Maeve, Christine and Amy for being so fabulous!  Thanks to CB Arts for sharing the beautiful images.

A huge thanks to Rebecca and Nirav and their families for letting us be a part of their amazing day.  We had such a fun time!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Charleston in the Pink {Inspiration Board}

Credits: tablescape (Style Me Pretty), tent (The Knot), centerpieces (Martha Stewart), bridesmaids (, cake (Maggie Austen Cake), palm tree (Style Me Pretty), paper (Martha Stewart), boutonniere (Martha Stewart) 

This board was inspired by one of our brides who wants a hot pink and black wedding (with touches of beige for softness--the groom's request) and a Southern sensibility.  Think Charleston sophistication with fun, fabulous colors. Enjoy!

Winners of Michelle's Memos Giveaways

Congratulations to our two winners of the Michelle's Memos giveaways. The winner of the $100 gift certificate is Andrew Lynch and the winner of the $50 gift certificate is Melissa DavisCongratulations to both of you!  Shoot us an email and we will hook it up. We know you'll have an amazing time working with Michelle!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ireland Bound {Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt}!

Here's a sneak peek of the part of Ireland I'll be jaunting off to next week with Doreen Tisone of Engaged Magazine.  Doreen has put together a fabulous trip for a few wedding planners so we can explore some destination wedding options in Ireland.  Our first stop: the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt outside of Dublin.  I can't wait!

More details and ideas for weddings in Ireland when I return.  Happy weekend everyone!

Winner of Saima Says Giveaway!

The winner of the 50 letterpressed Thank You notes from the amazing Saima Says Design is Angie Lumanau.  Congrats! Shoot us an email and we will hook you up.  Another great giveaway to come next week so keep reading.  Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to School {Ceci Style}

 As you may know, we're big fans of Ceci Style and since I just sent my daughter off to kindergarten this week, her latest issue is particularly inspiring.  Check out the back-to-school inspired colors and fun details!

Happy back-to-school everyone!