Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Year's Wedding Resolution(s)

As everyone knows resolutions are either made and kept, or made and forgotten. 2007 brings a new year for setting the right attitude towards planning one's wedding.

And for the groom, this can mean the following:

1. Helping the bride out with the invitations. If it's a small task such as putting stamps on the envelopes of those wedding invitations, then offer some help. Even better - offer to call up or email all those guests who forgot to send their RSPVs.

2. Trying out the food and cake. When looking for a caterer or restaurant, some brides prefer to go all out on their own because getting the groom involved is just too much of a hassle. Let's face it, some guys just don't want to be involved in this process.

3. Compromising on the guest list. If it means that the bride wants her old high school friend at the wedding reception, then just let her invite one more person. Besides, perhaps you might get a nice gift at the same time.

4. Being nice to your future mother in law. Yes, we all know what it is like when you simply cannot stand her, but she is the mother of your future wife, and you must like some quality about her that made you decide to marry their daughter.

5. Getting back in shape. Get that beer belly stomach flat in the next several months. Work out and look the part for your wedding.

And for the bride, what does this mean:

1. Don't get mad at the groom for not helping out. Hey, guys can sometimes be just plain dense. Yes, they can be, and if you don't explain the importance of chooding the right type of icing, then he will never know. Explain and be gentle, though.

2. Don't be too demanding on your wedding planner. She is out there for you and wants the best, so make reasonable requests. If you are a bride with an enormous wedding budget for the wedding planner, then explain things in detail to her, so she knows exactly what you want.

3. Don't settle for something that is cheap or deeply discounted unless you are willing to compromise on something that is bound to come up wrong. This can mean spenidng a little more on items (e.g., good wedding shoes, favors, or gloves), but you will be thankful in the end because you know the saying "you get what you pay for."

4. Do take time to enjoy the planning process with the groom. You can do this by establishing some incentives such as a nice weekend getaway or romantic lunch by the beach.

5. Manage time and expectations. If choosing flowers will probably take up 3-4 hours, perhaps it's best that the groom stay out. If you know it will take that long, be prepared for one bored guy.

Happy New Year to all new bride and grooms!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ringbearer and Flowergirl - Consider these issues

The debate continues as to whether you should have children at the wedding ceremony. We've all heard about nightmare stories such as the ringbearer tossing the pillow or the flower girl tossing the basket of petals. So, before you consider having kids as part of the wedding entourage, here are some things to consider:

1) How many children do you plan to have? The typical wedding has one ringbearer and one flower girl, but there are some weddings that can have up to three or four children.

2) What should the minimum age be? For a ringbearer, there are some brides that prefer to get kids that are at least 4-5 years old.

3) How much do you plan to spend on their wedding outfits?

4) Will the location and timing of the wedding be an issue?

5) If you don't have children at the ceremony, should you just make your entourage consist of one maid of honor and bestman?

With countless other issues to consider, sometimes there are weddings wherein the bride and groom forego an entire entourage, and just choose to have a flower girl and ringbearer. The choice is really up to you and your sanity!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Pregnant Bride - Blessing or Dilemma?

You’ve met the man of your dreams. Everything seemingly appears to be blissfully perfect. You’ve found that wedding gown that you’ve been dreaming for since you were a child. Life could not be better except one day – 3 months before your wedding date you find that you are – PREGNANT. Depending on what kind of “circle” you come from, the news can be one of the following:

Excitement – your mother, your father, your aunts, etc. are all happy for you because you’re already at that age wherein it’s about time you had a baby.

Disappointment – you know that feeling when you yourself know that you don’t want to be having a baby, and telling a single soul could be disastrous.

Apathy – this is an unlikely scenario yet it can sometimes happen.

Nevertheless, you decide to do any of the following:

Tell the groom, but nobody else, not even your mother – naturally, you’d probably want to share it with the groom. If you do this, at least somebody else knows beside yourself. Of course, you’d now be planning on how to conceal the fact that you are now an incubator. Therefore, you resort to finding ways of keeping everything under wraps. Literally, you could keep it under wraps by wearing a shawl with your dress. If you have chosen a strapless gown, a shawl or wrap would be just the right way to look the part well. Another option, change the color of your dress – not everyone might like this choice considering that white or ivory is the norm.

Tell everyone, but those everyone would prefer that the rest of the world (i.e., anyone outside of the immediate family where gossip flies faster than the evening news) not know until after the wedding. – This means that you will have to find a way to cover up everything, so using a shawl could work just as fine. Another option, this assumes that you have chosen a dress that can still be altered, is to create more allowance on the waist area of the gown. Proceed with caution because only a professional seamstress can accomplish such a feat.

Tell it like it is – you and everyone around you doesn’t mind that the rest of the world knows about your new status. Then, if this is the case, you could either alter the dress, or decide to be on the safe side and just get a new gown – perhaps one with an empire cut design, or made for a pregnant bride (i.e., maternity wedding gowns). Some places to check out include:

Nicole Michelle

Her Special Time Maternity

Maternity Bride

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Venetian Masquerade Ball Wedding Theme

Picture this: a wedding party inspired by 15th Century Italy during the Renaissance. It's not just a step back in time, though. It's a Venetian Carnival masquerade ball. You may be wondering right now, how crazy is that? But, it's an off-beat theme for a bride and groom that want something luxurious and extravagant. Interestingly enough, the carnival season is said to begin on Dec. 26th - (St. Stephen's Day).

There are actually many ideas to planning a masquerade ball. It all depends on how elaborate you want the event to be. Obviously, you'd want to know where to get masks for each of your guests. So, here is an initial list of findings from making them yourself to buying them ready-made. Some are pretty pricey, since they're made by artisans in Venice. You can also check out places that make costumes, and eBay is also a great place to find masks.

Mardi Gras Outlet

Naughty Magpie

Mask Italia

Visions of Venice


From BBC - how to make a Venetian mask

Apollo's Fire (the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra)

DIY Network - Paper Sculpture Masks

For some educational reads:

Venice Carnival - official site featuring travel, hotel, and event information.

History of the Carnival of Venice

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dahlia's Gift Guidelines

Thoughtful - what exactly does that mean? They say that when you give a gift that is thoughtful, a lot of of care was taken in the selection of the gift. But, is that really all? Yes and no. Care can mean many things to people, but doesn't it all also entail truly understanding how a gift can be appreciated and used by the recipient. After all, why would you want to give a gift just because it's the expected behavior during the holidays? With that said, the following list serves as somewhat of my personal "guidelines" for finding a truly "thoughtful" gift:

1) Know what purpose the gift will serve. Even if it's a vase, what kind of use will it find at a home. Does it make an interesting talking piece for a host or hostess. For instance, is the vase designed with a special feature(s)? Was it inspired by something historical?

2) When giving something edible, do you prefer to find something sinful, healthful, or a little bit of both? In today's trans-fat laden world, people are becoming increasingly aware of rich foods with fats, so even if you've found decadent box of chocolate truffles, you're recipient may feel guilty about consuming it.

3) Don't buy it just because it's on sale. Nowadays, some people are savvy enough to know when a gift was a "saled" item. It's a definite way to make a bad impression.

4) Ah yes, homemade and handmade always seems to add something heartfelt to the occasion. But sometimes, it has its place. For instance, that scarf you've been knitting may be the perfect for Aunt Gina, but think twice because she may not be all that thrilled about your wonderful creation. Perhaps it's a better gift for your mother-in-law? Hmm?

5) Pay attention to packaging. Yes, you may not have all the money in the world to buy expensive or expensive-looking gifts, but you can always make up for it in the way that you present it. Look for quality packaging in the form of special fabrics, or stationary with a pretty pattern or design. You will look good, too. And it's very thoughful, too!

Happy gifting! These same guidelines also apply to any kind of gift - even for weddings and anniversaries.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Unusual yet Fun Bridal Shower

Bridal showers are a tradition usually held in a special place to honor the bride. But how about a different take on it? Say, a travel/shopping shower? And, just where would you go with five of your bridesmaids, if not Hong Kong! Assumming that money is not an issue, a one week trip can be so much fun considering that Hong Kong boasts the world's top designer brands imaginable from a to z. Think Rodeo Drive times 10. The shops also close late unlike in the US. If you love to travel, you may be surprised with Hong Kong's vibrant shopping atmosphere. Be forewarned, Hong Kong is a lot like New York, but more compact to say the least (like Tokyo).

Hong Kong Guide

So, just how do you start planning? A few of these places should be helpful:

Plan your mall trek strategically - depending on where your hotel is located. When it comes to looking for a bargain, you can find most of them at the shopping centers. However, you can also find great bargains at many of the outdoor markets. If you do decide to shop with outside vendors, be extremely careful about haggling for the best deal - only recommended for the truly experienced bargain hunter. Also, do not buy anything suspected of being a fake.

Below are just a few examples-

Times Square

IFC Mall

Harbour City

Choose one that has the most diverse access to the major shopping centers. Also, many of the hotels are located pretty close or right beside many of the malls.

Fodor's List
Among the more popular hotels are Excelsior Mandarin Oriental, Park Lane, and Marco Polo.

Subway and Tram
When selecting a mode of transportation, you can usually take the subway or taxi to get from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. Once within the city proper, it is fairly easy to get around by walking - be prepared to bring some damn good walking shoes.


HK Tramways

HK International Airport
From the airport, you can take the Airport Express to the city that will land at a depot with a bus service to all the major hotels. Incidentally, the airport looks much like a mall, too. For those last minute shoppers, the airport has some great shops, too.

Restaurant Guide
There is no shortage of good eats, but be wise and eat at a place that wouldn't have you reaching for some Immodium. You know what I mean. Of course, you'd be nuts not to eat some good Chinese food such as dimsum. Heck, you're already in Hong Kong. How better can that get? Many of the malls also have great restaurants, so check out their listings, as well.

Eat Drink Hong Kong

Frommer's Best Dining Bets

Discover Hong Kong - Gourmet Guide

Travel Tips

Lonely Planet

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming to plan with your bridesmaids, a honeymoon side trip to Hong Kong could look awfully tempting!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Wedding in the Cayman Islands

Intimate, simple, and memorable. After watching the Travel Channel's new program called "Weddings Away: Cayman Islands", a Carribbean wedding with 30 of your closest friends and family can make for a truly wonderful destination wedding.

If you missed any of the show's episodes, these great sources on the web can also help you get started:

Island Brides

Caymand Islands Tourism

WeddingChannel Planner Picks

Grand Cayman Marriot

Westin Grand Cayman Hotel

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wedding Trends for 2007 from The Knot

According to The Knot's wedding forecast for 2007, orange is the color for the season. I'm totally in love with anything orange because you can match it with warm colors like brown, red, and olive. It's also a beautiful shade for a silk shantung bridesmaid dress. You can also find lovely callas, daisies, and tulips in orange! If you love the color green or anything close, then this is the perfect color to match it with.

To read more about the trends for 2007, click here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tux Tux Tux

While dressing in a tux looks superb, finding one that you can afford is turning out to be an "affordable luxury". However, with the sale at Men's Wearhouse should make the process of dressing your wedding party a whole lot cheaper. They're having a sale, too! Don't forget that $20 off coupon.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Caribbean Honeymoon Finds

December is here and so is cold miserable weather. To add a little cheer, this great article from Travel and Leisure magazine features top finds on great hotels and getaways in the Caribbean. Check out their article on "The Ultimate Caribbean Hotel Guide" - a recommended read for anyone planning their honeymoon for the first time. I should also mention that it is a wonderful idea for planning an intimate destination wedding!