Find of the Moment: Hanging On To Something Special

Bridal Hanger

Imagine walking into your closet to grab your favorite outfit, to find it hanging on a hanger that has your name on it – how is that for something special, something uniquely personal!  LilaFrances’s personalized wire wedding hangers on Etsy is just that kind of a special treat.  Not only do we love the products that the owner, Anna Hartshorn has created, but we also are inspired by her story. Personalized Hanger

When she was just a little girl, Anna loved to play with and twist together anything she could find lying around the house including twist ties, pipe cleaners, hair pins, and even telephone wires.  She would take these creations to her mother and present them as her own unique little masterpieces.

Bouquet Charms

Personalized Bouquet Charms

Her mom would always tell her that “there’s something to this” and encouraged her to use her talents for making something special for others. Little did Anna know that those talents would actually lead to creation of her personalized wedding hangers now sold on Etsy.  Anna now dedicates everything she makes to her mom who passed away from cancer. She says that her mom’s belief in her has propelled her to make these products for brides and grooms on their special days.

heart hanger

Not only does LilaFrances make personalized hangers but she also creates cake toppers, ornaments, bouquet charms, wedding Earrings signs/decorations, table numbers, table number holders, jewelry hangers, and many jewelry items including earrings, necklaces, and rings.  Each item is lovingly handmade from scratch and you can just see the care and attention to detail.  Symbols and other objects work great in wire, too!

When you purchase items from LilaFrances, you also help fund cancer research. Anna donates 5% of all profits to the Ovarian Cancer Research fund in honor of her mother.   This is a wonderful incentive to use one-of-a-kind items in your wedding and even treat your bridal party to a special item of their own. What a great feeling!

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Modern beauty – spring make-up trends are so romantic!

Courtesy of WSJ Magazine, photographs by Eric Maillet

We love the modern interpretation of these classic beauty elements, perfect for the fresh spring wedding look.

Perfectly bridal nailsAdorned nails with textured tone-on-tone lattice – perfectly bridal!

Classic SirenA touch of silver at the cupid’s bow – so alluring!

Something BluePainted slashes of electric-blue liner – Something Blue, indeed!

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To do before ‘I do’ – tips for winter weddings

Brooch bouquets

Brooch bouquets by Blue Petyl, photography by Shannon Treglia

published on
written by By Karen Caffarini
GateHouse News Service

Winter weddings can be a romantic and less expensive alternative to those held in the more popular summer and fall months, especially if you tie the knot in a colder climate and in a venue that highlights the beauty of the season.

Still, there are pitfalls couples need to consider when planning a wedding in months that could bring blizzards, below-freezing temperatures and popular holidays.

Travel delays

Remind out-of-town guests to allow extra time to travel, whether by plane, train or automobile, as inclement weather could cause flight delays and road closures, advises wedding planner Wayne Gurnick of Moments by Wayne. Gurnick was voted Best Wedding Planner in Los Angeles, Best Wedding Planner in California and Top 10 Wedding Planner Worldwide by Wedding Industry Experts 2012 Awards.


Consider starting your ceremony and reception an hour earlier than you would in the spring or fall as the sun will set an hour earlier on your outdoor photos, suggested Randall Lorenz and Mary Nadolny of the Meeting House Grand Ballroom in Plymouth, Mich.. With the reception ending before midnight, you’ll want to delegate someone to plan an after-reception event, such as a pub crawl or party in one of the suites at the hotel to continue the fun, they said.

Coat check

Your guests might arrive bundled up in coats, boots, hats, gloves and perhaps umbrellas, all of which will be hanging on the backs of chairs if there isn’t a coat check, Gurnick said. Your guests will appreciate having a secure place for all their belongings and you’ll appreciate not having your reception hall filled with outerwear. Also be sure to have enough people manning the coat check so guests don’t have to wait in long lines and no coats end up on the floor.

Consider holidays

Gurnick pointed out that winter holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are busy times for restaurants and banquet facilities, resulting in higher pricing and less availability than during other winter weekends. Also, while these might be good times to ensure close family members, particularly those out of town or college students, will be able to attend your wedding since they’ll be home for the holidays anyway, other guests may decline in order to be with their own families. And while it may sound romantic to have a Valentine’s Day wedding, Gurnick said this is one of the most popular days to go out to dinner and buy flowers, resulting in skyrocketing prices for both. Lorenz and Nadolny said January is usually very slow for venues, which is good for budget-conscious couples.

Outdoor ceremonies or photo shoots

Photography by Brooke Mason

Even if you’re having a mild winter, the weather can be unpredictable. It doesn’t take much to wreak havoc on your hair, make-up, shoes and satin gown, Gurnick said. Have a realistic back up plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.


With global trade, it is possible to get virtually any flower all year around, Gurnick said. But if your flowers are traveling further than your guests, expect to pay a premium.

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Planning your perfect wedding

published by Huffington Post Weddings
infographic by Wedding Paper Divas

If wedding planning was your job, and you worked at it 40 hours per week, then it would take you over 3 months on the job to get it done!   We did the math based on the survey information below.  That’s one of the reasons why more couples are using wedding planners to help.  The Wedding Report predicts that in 2013 “professional wedding coordinators will be in demand, for full planning and month-of wedding plans” and even to assist parents with parties that they will host to entertain wedding guests, such as welcome dinner, rehearsal dinner and farewell brunch.

No matter how your own plans compare to the information collected below from thousands of couples, every couple would agree that after all the planning and preparation, the wedding day goes by all too quickly.  It’s so important to make each moment count and enjoy the process every step of the way.  Our Wedding Words of Wisdom™: Take mental pictures and savor every moment.

The Road to Wedded Bliss



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A brief history of weddings

If you’ve ever wondered where wedding customs and traditions come from, here is a humorous history of weddings.  Enjoy!  Courtesy of

A Brief History Of Weddings




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Find of the Moment: Ringing in the New Year

With the New Year fast approaching, it’s time to start preparing to ring in the New Year.  Bet you are thinking champagne toasts and resolutions!  We are thinking innovative ring pillow alternatives.   Paloma’s Nest has put a new twist to the traditional ring bearer pillow.


If you are envisioning something more contemporary and unusual to hold your wedding rings for the ceremony,  you will love this Find!  Paloma’s Nest has handcrafted small ceramic dishes – Ring Bearer Bowls™.  Each bowl is just as cute as the young charge that will carry it down your aisle – only 3.5 inches in diameter, with two little holes near the top rim for ribbons to hold the rings safely in place for the ceremony.

Ring Bearer Pillow from Paloma's NestYou can purchase bowls that have already been made with sayings such as “To Have and To Hold”, “With This Ring”, “Forever Yours”. You can even get the saying in other languages including Spanish, French and Hebrew.  To customize the look, the bowls are available in the shape of a heart or a dove.  You can even customize the phrase, to express exactly what is most meaningful to the two of you.  With 3 lines of 20 characters/spaces per line, you can etch in your names, wedding date or even your favorite saying. And it only takes 3 weeks to create your custom item complete with everything you need for your little guy to walk down the aisle with your rings.

Ring Bearer Bowl from Paloma's Nest (heart-shaped)

Not only is this adorable Ring Bearer Bowl™ sure to create great photo opportunities and sounds of delight as your guests catch a glimpse of your ring bearer strolling down the aisle, but it will also double after the wedding as a memento from your wedding day. These bowls can be passed down from generation to generation. It’s always nice to have a family heirloom in the wedding.  Perhaps, a Christmas tree ornament on a dish for your jewelry   The options are limitless!

Ring Bearer Bowl from Paloma's Nest (dove-shaped)If you are wondering who is behind these wonderfully creative items, you’ll be thrilled to know that Paloma’s Nest is “the marriage of materials”-  She loves clay.  He loves wood.  They are Caroline Colom Vasquez and Jose Vasquez-Corbalan and Paloma’s Nest just celebrated its 5th birthday!

We think that Ring Bearer Bowls™ will make a wonderful engagement or shower gift, too.  But that’s just the beginning!  There are so many wonderful items that Caroline and Jose have created – cufflinks, boutonniere and bouquet tiles and even family tiles to announce the establishment of your new family.

Here is to a great 2013 and wonderful creative items for your rings and so much more!

Family Tile from Paloma's Nest

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A Gown Fit for a Princess

Valencienne GownIt always starts with an idea, a vision, a dream, a fantasy, a feeling.  Every woman experiences that hard-to-describe emotion when talking about her wedding gown.

Valencienne Bridal Gown SketchesPictures are worth a thousand words, they say, and Kim Ironmonger couldn’t agree more. Kim is the creative force behind Valencienne, a boutique of bespoke luxury.  “Bespoke” is a British English word that means an item of clothing made to the buyer’s specifications – personalized and tailored.  Every gown starts with a sketch and so begins a creative collaboration between the designer and the client.  The process of design and creation is just as magnificent as the end result.

In a world of instant creativity, lightning-speed production and global manufacturing, there is something magical about walking through the doors of Valencienne.  Located in the heart of fashion-forward Toronto, the boutique has the atmosphere of tranquility and beauty.  Do you remember the last time you had a piece of clothing made just for you?  If you are like most modern women, chances are that you’ve never had the pleasure of this experience.  So, go ahead and indulge yourself – bring out your inner princess and the staff at Valencienne will certainly treat you like royalty.

Valencienne Bridal Gown

Today’s bespoke luxury is quite versatile and Valencienne sources luxurious beads, lace and silks from all over the globe.

Valencienne Bridal Gown 2Still, the old-world tradition of personalized and tailored clothing remains and the result is simply stunning.  What makes the bespoke wedding gown so special?  You have a world-class gown designer create sketches based on your wishes; you select from the most luxurious fabrics, lace and beading; every inch of your body is carefully considered and your comfort is of utmost importance.

Not enough?  Your gown is hand made in the workroom at the back of the bridal salon by talented seamstresses who rejoice when they see the look of pure bliss on your face.   That’s when it hits you – you are in fact, a princess.

Valencienne Bridal Gown

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Interview on Wedding Words of Wisdom™: Making Beautiful Wedding Music

What role does music play in a wedding? Sherri Axe, from The Teahouse Company talks about music’s important role throughout the evening. She gives insight into creating your musical menu with various combinations and customizations. Music keeps the party going throughout the night and brings excitement and emotion to the event; it’s one thing people love to talk about after an event. If you are looking for a live band to play Beatles music with a banjo and a bluegrass feel, they can make it happen – Sherri says that anything is possible. She talks about tailoring each band to the bride and groom in order to make their day a special and unforgettable one.

Listen to the full interview.

Sherri prides herself on her bands and the ways in which they can mix and match members to create the perfect band. She says that her bands are always “here for the Bride and Groom” and to help fulfill their vision for the wedding. Sherri gives us insight into how her bands can transform throughout the night from a 2 piece classical ceremony band to a 3 piece cocktail hour band to finally a 6 piece band of your choice for the reception to get the party hopping. One band can play all types of music and transition throughout the night into various genres. With extensive experience in the industry, Sherri provides the basics for what to look for in a band, how to decide between a band versus a DJ and even reveals a few band secrets for our listeners along the way.

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Find of the Moment: Casa Loma, the beginning of “Happily Ever After”

A destination wedding can take place anywhere, not just in a tropical paradise.  Recently, we  discovered the magic of Toronto, bathed in a warm glow of fall colors.  A bustling metropolis with world-class entertainment, dining and accommodations, Toronto has some great treasures, and Casa Loma is one of them.

Casa Loma was Canada’s Camelot, built by a financier Sir Henry Pellatt.  The project started in 1911 and took three years and $3.5 million to build.  Today, it welcomes you with elegance and grandeur of old Europe and is the ideal place for a fairy tale wedding.


Despite the authentic feel of an old European castle, getting to Casa Loma is much simpler than following a winding narrow passage and crossing the moat.   Within minutes, you leave the hustle and bustle of modern life behind, as you drive down stately residential streets lined with mature trees. Best of all, the grounds offer a very modern day amenity – a large parking lot that can accomodate cars as well as tour coaches.  Inside, you are instantly transported and your guests will enjoy learning about Casa Loma history – after all, this IS a museum!

The conservatory is bathed in light streaming through the floor to ceiling windows and is surrounded by lush plants, brining the garden inside. No matter what time of year you select, the conservatory provides a beautiful backdrop for wedding pictures. With a fountain as its focal point, it is a romantic spot for a wedding ceremony!

Imagine using this elegant hallway to line up for your wedding processional!

Now that you’ve peaked inside the castle, it’s time to close your eyes and imagine your wedding day at this elegant one of a kind place. Wondering what to wear? We have just the perfect place for the wedding gown fit for a princess.  Next stop, Valencienne, where Kim Ironmonger and her designers create bespoke luxury.

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Wedding Words of Wisdom™ Interview with Elizabeth Rosbottom: “The Perfect Fit”

Elizabeth Rosbottom
Custom Couture and Bridal Designer

Listen to the interview.

Elizabeth Rosbottom joins us from New York to talk about designing custom couture wedding dresses and gives us insights into all the details you need to know when buying your wedding dress. With an impressive background, Elizabeth talks about the intricacies of wedding dresses and what to take into consideration during the decision making process.

Elizabeth talks about how to embrace your own personal style while keeping three important aspects in mind: comfort, cost and body type. Knowing the ins and outs of the fashion industry, Elizabeth emphasizes the keys to finding your perfect fit based on a number of considerations including location, wedding style, skin tone and many more.

She knows exactly how to guide brides to that perfect dress for the big day. Her custom couture designs can be classic and simple or as over the top as you would like, that’s the benefit to creating a one of a kind dress that you, and only you, will ever wear (unless you pass it down to your daughter or granddaughter someday – that’s the hope!).

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