Friday, October 29, 2010

A Bride Who Blogs!

I received an e mail Wednesday from a past father of the bride.  I worked with John and his wife Susie over 3 years ago on their daughter Kate's wedding.  I can't believe that much time has gone by.  From time to time, I enjoy getting an e mail update from John on the family or just a smart wedding related article he's come across that makes him remember me.

The e mail I most recently received was a forward to a cooking blog his daughter Kate has started.  When I was working with them, Kate was working as a pastry chef in California.  I was most impressed by their wedding menu selections and know for a fact this family can call themselves the real deal when it comes to good food.

I won't go into so many details, because I want you all to read the blog, but to mark her third anniversary, Kate shares a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup as well as some advice and insight I find absolutely priceless.


Italian Wedding Soup

It's my wedding anniversary today and I am feeling mushy. Mushy and moonstruck. (Sentimental isn't a remarkably different state for me, it's just a lot worse today. Or better? For better or for worse!) If you suspect you may find this post unbearable, kindly skip ahead to the recipe. It's such a good one, and I don't want you to miss it.

I've been thinking a lot about marriage this week, what I've learned in the three years I've been in one. This year had its rough parts, to be sure. It is a hard thing sometimes, being married. People don't really mention that when you're going into it, though when they do it's nearly impossible to take it heart and understand it. (Not us, I thought. We're deeply in love and so right for each other!) Well, we're still very much in love and still very right for each other, but I get it now. And I get how those hard times make the good times that much better. That a marriage is the sum of its parts and also something more: the highs and the lows and the in-betweens, the earth-shatteringly amazing and the mundane. The personal victories and setbacks shared as a team. The better and the worse. That it all gets melded and merged together, and there's your marriage. That the effect is cumulative, with a palpable feeling of weight and history and richness the further you go along.

Oh, but anyhow. You're here for soup. Let's get to it, because this one is something really special.
I might first point out that Italian wedding soup isn't actually served at weddings, in Italy or elsewhere. It's a mistranslation of Minestra Maritata, or "married soup", a nod to the well-matched pairing of greens and meat, and the marriage of flavors in the soup. (Slightly less auspicious, but we all know that "well-matched and married" trumps "wedding" despite those noisy cultural forces screaming otherwise.)

A good soup is also the sum of its parts, and also something more: the humble carrots and onions, the sturdy foundation of a good stock, a cheery bit of dill, a splash of wine and salt. Some time to allow the flavors to merge and meld. To marry.

Ina Garten's recipe is a deluxe version of the perfect chicken noodle soup, rich and balanced and sustaining. She'll be the first to tell you to use a homemade chicken stock, and I have to agree with her; you'll miss the depth and richness otherwise. If making your own stock seems like too much effort, here's a compromise, in the spirit of today's post: try the recipe first with store-bought. If you like it as much as I do, and I'm pretty sure you will, go for homemade the next time around. Make a big batch on a quiet Sunday and you'll have leftover stock to improve other soups and grains and stews all through the winter.

So that's it for now. Enjoy your soup. Enjoy the company of the people you love. And to my favorite person on the planet, the man who knows and loves me better than anyone, who makes the best Saturday morning cappuccinos, who still gives me butterflies and makes me blush: happy anniversary, my love.

Italian Wedding Soup
adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa; serves 8 as a main dish
for the meatballs:
  • 3/4 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 pound uncooked chicken sausage (casings removed)
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated (plus extra for serving)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the soup:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 C yellow onion, minced
  • 1 C carrots, diced
  • 3/4 C celery (2 stalks), diced
  • 10 C chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1 C baby pasta (fusilli, stars, mini farfalle, etc.)
  • 1/4 C fresh dill, minced
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or Silpats if you have them. In a large bowl, gently mix the meatball ingredients together and shape into 1" meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sweat the onion, celery and carrots for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the meatballs, dill and spinach and cook an additional minute. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve with crusty bread and additional grated cheese.
Wedding photo edited from an original by Rodney Bailey.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fabulous New Bridal Salon in Potomac {Love Couture}

We are so thrilled to share the news that there is a gorgeous new bridal salon in the Washington, D.C. area!  Love Couture Bridal Boutique is located in Potomac, Maryland and is luxurious, stylish and designed to give brides an amazing experience.

Love Couture is the creation of Sandy Leone, who has been in the bridal retail business for fifteen years and who believes that every bride should have a wonderful experience buying the gown of her dreams, whether she spends $1,000 or $10,000.  To that end, she has designed a store with spacious dressing rooms, rows upon rows of gowns and swanky detailing.

The salon carries bridal gowns by Lazaro, Pronovias, Ysa Makino, Marisa, Stephen Yearick and more.  Bridesmaids can select from Lela Rose, Cynthia Rowley, Dessy, Alfred Sung, After Six and B2.  The salon also carries a great selection of Mother of the Occasion dresses, evening dresses and frocks for flower girl!

I have to share my first experience with Love (before the salon was even open): a couple of weekends ago my bride had the belt from her dress stolen on her wedding day.  Naturally, she was really upset and called me--so I started calling bridal salons.  Most weren't even open yet, some weren't answering phones and some didn't have any belts like the satin and rhinestone one I was looking for.  But I put out a call on Twitter and my dear friend Doreen from Engaged Magazine reminded me that Sandy's salon was opening soon and hooked us up. 

Sure enough, Sandy produced an entire bag of gorgeous belts for me to take the bride for her to choose from. When I went to pick up the belts at Love, she was still unpacking!  Talk about customer service! Long story short, my bride ended up with a belt from Love that she adored and looked amazing with her gown. So you why I love Love Couture Bridal and can recommend them so highly!

The gowns are gorgeous, the salon is stunning and the staff is fabulous. We couldn't be more excited! The store is by appointment only so call (301-610-5683) or email (  We'll see you at Love!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Whimsical Washington Wedding {Elizabeth and Adam}

One of my most fun weddings of the year had to have been Elizabeth and Adam's September celebration. They were a fun couple with a great sense of humor and desire to have a very personalized, fun event!

Elizabeth started the day getting ready at The Willard Hotel with help a pair of very talented ladies: Katherine Nevitt for hair and Kim Giammaria for makeup. 

 After a few portraits outside, we were off to National City Christian Church for the ceremony.

The groom and groomsmen were already busy taking photos with the team from Fotobriceno in front of the historic church.

The couple worked with The Written Word for their beautiful paper products.

I love when brides walk down with both of their parents.  It's traditional in Jewish weddings but I love when brides of other faiths borrow the custom.

The bride's grandfather serenaded the couple on the violin during the ceremony. What a touching moment!

I can't remember the last time I'd worked in National City Christian Church but it's so gorgeous!  And I have to give a special shout-out to Eva, the church coordinator, for being so thorough and helpful.  Everyone at the church was great but we couldn't have done it without Eva!

Did I mention that this was a fun group?

After a little more goofing around, we were off to Meridian House for the reception where the team from Multiflor had hung lanterns in the wedding colors throughout the garden.  A string quartet from MSE Productions played as guests arrived and sipped on fruity sangria.

The house looked stunning thanks to floral decor by Nick Perez at Multiflor, lighting by EventEQ and linens and tableware from Perfect Settings.  I love when couples use color and these bold orange, yellow and merlot tones looked amazing!

Little flip books with photos from the couple's travels (and boy, have they traveled!) were tucked into guests' napkins.

Since we were short on space for an escort card table, we had a lovely seating chart designed by Lisa Sprites of Sprites Ink.

My favorite touch of the wedding was the wedding toast bingo cards!  Guests were invited to fill in words they thought toasters would say and then the first person to fill a row would yell "bingo!"

The toasts were great and we had several bingo winners (and some fun gag gifts for the winners)!

After an amazing dinner by Occasions Caterers, the couple took to the dance floor for their first dance and The Fabulous Fantoms kept guests dancing for the rest of the evening.

Instead of the wedding cake, the couple had cupcakes from their favorite cupcakery, Georgetown Cupcake, with their initials on top in wedding colors.  I can personally attest to the strawberry and chocolate peanut butter flavors--yum!

When guests weren't dancing, they were enjoying the dessert buffet from Occasions in the garden and making use of the fun outside photo studio from Fotobriceno.  I love Occasions' miniature sweets (because they don't have as many calories, of course)!

To say that they had fun with the wipe board balloons would be a vast understatement.

This was one seriously fun wedding that mixed elegance with whimsy. Everyone had such a fabulous time and the wedding fit the couple perfectly.  And isn't that what weddings should do?

Thanks to Linda and her fabulous team at Linder and Associates for the flawless transportation, to Dolce Studio Films for being so flexible when we decided to add video four days before the wedding, Wee Sit for providing a babysitting room so fun that event the kids didn't want to leave, and MarcParc for valet that is always efficient and top-notch.  Thanks to Joel and Kate from Occasions for making the numbers work and to Maria and Juan from Meridian House for being so helpful. Thanks to Juan Carlos Briceno of Fotobriceno for the gorgeous images and special thanks to Elizabeth and Adam for letting us be a part of such a fun day.  We had a blast!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Favorite Fall Details!

We were inspired by one of our favorite desserts from Occasions Caterers here in D.C.-- mini candied apples (see above, photo courtesy of Fotobriceno).  These little apples are covered in a crackly shell and are so addictive--yum! They also remind us that the leaves are starting to turn and we're closing in on harvest season so here are some more fun Fall details!

We love these paper products from Sunshine and Ravioli via Etsy!

What could be more autumnal than acorns (a marzipan version) and pears?

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wish Upon A Wedding {Blissful Wishes Ball}

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world’s first nonprofit wedding wish granting organization! Less than one year old, the organization has 16 active chapters, and will have granted 12 wishes by the end of 2010. During the month of November, they are hosting several fund raising galas and auctions throughout the country, and would like to invite you to participate!

Whether you are a bride or groom to be, a wedding industry professional, or you simply love the concept behind their mission… YOU can help make Wedding Wishes come true, while raising crucial funding needed to sustain this wonderful, new nonprofit organization. How you ask? By attending The Blissful Wishes Ball. For our D.C. and Baltimore area readers, there will be a ball in Baltimore on November 17th at the Tremont Grand (invitation above).

WUW Gala Postcard 1 web How You Can Get Involved In Wish Upon A Wedding

The Blissful Wishes Ball is a festive way to support Wish Upon a Wedding & enjoy a nice night out on the town with an elegant dinner, entertainment, music, dancing, and incredible auction items.
No parties in your area? No worries. You can get involved through Online and Live Auctions – Bid Your Wish For Wedded Bliss!

For the first time in history, couples getting married can plan their entire wedding from virtually any city in the United States, knowing that every penny they spend will go directly towards helping a couple in need. It’s so EASY to bid. Find everything from invitations to flowers, catering to DJs, photography to wedding planners, honeymoons and more.

Even if you are not getting married, check it out for other exciting items, such as dinners in top-rated restaurants, entertainment, sporting events and popular autographed memorabilia. Every cent earned goes towards Wish Upon a Wedding and their mission to provide these heartfelt Wedding Wishes.
To learn more click here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beauty and the Beast Inspiration Board

Today's movie board was inspired by a recent girls' night out to a Beauty and the Beast sing-along. Sure it's technically a children's movie, but it's also a classic, and who doesn't love Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth and the gang? Happy Friday, everybody!

Photo credits: First row: statue with roses (Martha Stewart Weddings) library and centerpiece (Style Me Pretty)
Second row: champagne glasses (Martha Stewart Weddings), Ulla Maija dress, reception (Martha Stewart Weddings)
Third row: all Martha Stewart Weddings

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moulin Rouge Inspiration Board

My gift is my song... okay, not really. Today in movie mood boards, my "gift" is a Moulin Rouge  board, and this one's for you!

Photo credits: First row: hairstyle (, invitation suite (Couture Concepts), bouquet (Posies and Pippa)
Second row: reception hall (Couture Concepts), dress (, tablescape (Martha Stewart Weddings), cake (Project Wedding)
Third row: chandelier (Couture Concepts), reception venue (Zena Dia Designs), gown (, street shot (Couture Concepts)
Fourth row: tablescape (Couture Concepts), chair (Parisian Events), hairstyle (Perfect Palette) 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grease Inspiration Board

We're halfway through movie-inspiration week, and today, Grease is the word. We're just hopelessly devoted to the slick style and bubblegum fashions of the classic musical. Long live the T-Birds and Pink Ladies!

Photo credits: First row: leather jacket (Saks Fifth Avenue), bridesmaids (Wedding Bee) 
Second row: pink bridesmaid dresses (Manolo Brides), getaway car (Style Me Pretty), clock (Kristin Vining Photography), cat eye glasses (Style Me Pretty)
Third row: Grease-inspired couple (Style Me Pretty), diner and reception scene (Wedding Bee)
Fourth row: carousel (50's Style Wedding Blog), popcorn (50's Style Wedding Blog), record invitation (Etsy), cupcake (Slightly Obsessive Bride)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gone With the Wind Inspiration Board

The iconic movie inspiration continues with a fabulously dramatic film: Gone With the Wind.  Who could ever forget the over-the-top Southern hoop skirts, wide-brimmed hats and parasols?

Photo credits: First row: Nottoway Plantation, parasol ( Second row: dress (, bouquet (Int Style Weddings), hairstyle (, tassel necklace ( Third row: earrings (, bridal hat (Stephanie Williams photography), groom in tails (Martha Stewart Weddings), velvet flower girl dress ( Fourth row: cake (Martha Stewart Weddings), invitation and program (In Style Weddings), crystal tree and champagne glasses (

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dangerous Liaisons Inspiration Board

This week on Bridal Bubbly, we thought it'd be fun to feature boards inspired by some of the most stylish films ever to grace the silver screen. First up is the decadence of 18th century France as seen in Dangerous Liaisons. Enjoy!

Photo credits: First row: Bouquet and cakes (Weddings By Color), invitation suite (Saima Says Design), miniature cakes (Martha Stewart weddings)
Second row: Tablescape (Martha Stewart Weddings), estate (, chandelier (Daily Wed Share)
Third row: bride with fan (, elaborate hairstyle (, jewelry (Parisian Events), macaroons (Style Me Pretty)
Fourth row: bride in garden (, bouquet (Style Me Pretty), shoes (Marie Antoinette movie)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lobster and Clambake Inspiration!

Tonight I'm headed off to run a fabulous rehearsal dinner on an old-fashioned paddle wheel boat that will set sail from Old Town Alexandria and cruise past the DC monuments while guests dine on lobsters and clams. Fun!  So I thought I'd share some favorite Snippet and Ink shipboard (and lobster) inspiration.

Have a great weekend everyone!