Wednesday, September 29, 2010

vintage vixen

There is a new trend taking storm in professional photography and gift giving. Lots of ladies are channeling their inner glam and posing vintage pinup style. Not trashy pinup but a classier, flirtatious version.

Professional photography studios specialize in creating your vintage look.  Think Vargas girls. You select a theme and outfit and your hair and make up are done to coordinate. If you are not comfortable in a risqué Marilyn pose, perhaps you can mimic Sandra Dee. The options are endless…what about a sexy Rosie the Riveter look? Hmm.

Are you looking for a day-of wedding gift to give to your groom? This is a really unique gift that will definitely impress! Not to mention that you have probably been following a bridal workout so now is the time to capture your slim physique in this style.

You can also give this gift to your husband for your first wedding anniversary. Paper is the traditional first anniversary gift. And these photographs are printed on paper, right?

Bachelorette parties are taking a liking to this day of pampering. Groups can go together and inspire each other’s vintage themes. This isn’t my cup of tea but it sounds like some ladies are having a good time playing dress up.

And if you are having a vintage themed wedding, you might just want to invite your guy to the photo shoot. Use the professional pics of you both in theme for your save the dates, invitations other aspects of your wedding.

One of my friends inspired this post. Of course I love all things vintage so when I heard about her photo shoot I thought it sounded so fun! She had a wonderful experience with a local vintage pinup photographer plus professional hair & make up artists. Her pictures turned out fabulous! The rollers and red lipstick really suit her. These studios are surfacing all over the country but the popular, booked up photographer in Philly is Celeste Giuliano. Her work is very cool.

-The Perennial Bridesmaid

Friday, September 24, 2010

behind the seams

I picked up my knee length red bridesmaid dress yesterday from the tailor. When I dropped it off it was practically ankle length and the straps were excessively long. The woman pinned, poked and cut the dress to the shape of my body. Yes actually cut it! Right before my eyes. In less than a week it magically fit thanks to my Korean Fairy Godmother.

With a price.

I’ve complained about this before. I know. Waa. But why does properly tailoring a dress have to cost so much? This was the highest yet. The alterations actually cost more than the dress itself in this case!

Don’t get me wrong, properly tailoring your clothes makes a world of difference. This isn’t an area that should be skimped on. (Although, I am guilty of saving some money by say, not taking the side of a dress in as it should be. I am the only one that suffers by looking 10 pounds heavier in the extra satin.)

Not this time though. It properly fits all around. I am going to wear this dress again. Famous last words.

I came to the conclusion that there must be a way to get dress alterations at a lower rate. I’ve tried a few things outside of the brick and mortar tailor shop.   No shop equals less overheard cost according to my theory.

  • Naturally, I asked around for an old Italian neighbor who does alterations in her living room - right next to her plastic upholstered sofa. (is that just a Philly thing?) No one had a granny to recommend though.
  • I trolled craigslist for a seamstress looking for work. None locally. Does anyone sew anymore?
  • My last idea is to find a fashion design student. A senior preferably. Someone who knows what they’re doing and who actually WANTS to alter satin bridesmaid dresses for some extra cash. After all, I live about a mile from one of the nation’s leading fashion colleges. These students must live amongst me, right? Why can’t I find them and save some serious alteration money?
If you have a recommendation of a serious sewer that fits one of the 3 criteria above, I am all ears. I’ve got more dresses to alter…

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

now booking

It has been a quiet week on the wedding front but hey, it’s only Wednesday!

It may be quiet this week but it looks like January 2011 is booking up quickly. This includes one long weekend in Las Vegas for a bachelorette party. We’ll be staying at the Flamingo because we just couldn’t think of a better place to base this party. We’re also planning on seeing a cheesy Vegas show. Chippendales anyone? Why not?

Needless to say, I am very excited about the upcoming trip! I’ve already began planning what I'm wearing…

-The perennial bridesmaid

One of these days I might just get a picture with the iconic 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign.

Monday, September 20, 2010

baby, baby

First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes the baby in the baby carriage

I took a break from the wedding circuit this weekend to attend back to back baby showers. Literally. Back to back. Just 2 hours apart.

So I learned that jungles are big for the 2010 tykes. Specifically monkeys. They were a feature on each baby’s registry. They had the whole jungle nursery thing going on. Cute.

I also learned a few new shower games. I don’t actually know baby shower games so maybe they’re not new at all but I suspected some originality that I am here to pass on to the world wide web.


First, Make a Baby. Get your mind out of the gutter. This is a competitive game and grandmas were present. You take play-dough and make a baby. The Mama-to-be then judges the babies. Voila!

Baby Songs. Make a play list of songs that mention baby in them. Really this game could go on all day. Think about all of the baby songs you know. Anyway, make a short playlist. Have guests write down the name and artist of each song. The guest with the most correct guesses wins. And you’ve got yourself some background music for the party. Double voila!

I think you could easily transfer the Baby Song game to a Love Song game for a wedding shower. Make a playlist of songs mentioning love (which really are endless) and have guests record the song and artist throughout the shower.

Oh baby!

-The perennial bridesmaid

Friday, September 17, 2010

mmm, chocolate

God, I love getting chocolate as a favor. It never gets old. Don’t let anyone tell you chocolate isn’t a good favor.  The last rehearsal dinner I went to included a personalized favor. It’s nice to get a favor at the pre-wedding dinner although not a requirement.

The favor was mini Hershey bars so I was in heaven but they DIY’d a spin on the bars that made it oh-so personal. The groom’s family printed out the wedding logo on standard business labels and then wrapped each chocolate bar individually. This is an idea I never thought of before but hello! So simple. And much more cost effective than getting those customized M&M’s or customized Hershey Bar labels online. You will pay a premium for those.

The crafty ladies didn’t stop at the chocolate bar labels. They took it further to really personalize this favor. The dinner was held at a brewery and homebrew beer was one of the wedding themes so bottle cap magnets were made with the wedding logo and silly pics of the couple. Bottle caps! Clever. Again.

Here’s a pic of how they neatly packaged it all up in cellophane envelopes.

Remember, a professional wedding logo is not a requirement. You can create a monogram or use your initials and get the same effect. These favors could also be given to guests at a shower or even the wedding.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

consolation prize

The mere reason bridesmaids were invented was to tend to the bride’s every wish, right?

Well, I accepted the challenge of scouting vendors to handcraft hair pieces for our March bridal party upon the bride's wish. They should be black and made of feathers and rhinestones and evoke some old Hollywood glamour. We’d like for the bride’s birdcage veil to sort of coordinate as well. Perhaps a feather fascinator for her too.

Sounds easy, right?

Not exactly because there are just SO many great vendors out there to choose from. I decided to post an alchemy request on etsy to see who could propose the ideal product at our price point.

The bids poured in. 

The final decision was made today and the order was placed. Since there are so many artisans out there, I wanted to give a few of the runners up some blog time by featuring their work.  Which I just love.

Check ‘em out.

Yaneth and Co

Pick Me Flowers

Paper Silk Made


-The perennial bridesmaid

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

one hot disaster

Seriously. There is never a dull moment in this thing I call bridesmaiding. But you already knew that. Hence the need for a blog to hash out all of the details. But this newest catastrophe is just that. A catastrophe of Mother Nature size.

I know I go on and on about the need for planning and being organized and doing things in a timely manner. Blah. Blah. Blah. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how organized you are or how far in advance you plan because Mother Nature and her natural disasters won’t consult your plans before wrecking havoc on them.

Months ago we booked a cabin in the foothills of the Rockies for a Boulder, CO wedding that I am in next month. The contract was long ago signed, sealed and delivered. Now all I had to do was think about the views I would enjoy and the trails I might be able to explore on the property while on wedding downtime. (And hem my dress.)


We won’t be enjoying the views or the trails. The vacation house was destroyed in the 4 mile canyon wildfires that swept through the area last week. Of course, it is a major loss and shame for the owners of the home who were so friendly and great to work with. I feel terrible for them. I’m sure we’ll find other accommodations but these kind people lost their house. What a tragedy.

The show will go on and the local disaster will not hold a candle to the wedding that will take place. What? Too soon?

-The perennial bridesmaid

Thursday, September 9, 2010

logo of love

I hope you already read yesterday’s post about the cool wedding I went to this weekend. The details were not missed. But it all began with a wedding logo.

Way back in 2009, the bride and groom commissioned a graphic artist to create this logo. It was meant to include the wedding theme colors: purple & blue and wheat or kraft. And of course it was outlined in polka dots, the primary or initial theme of the wedding. (I later learned that the tandem bike was the “secondary surprise theme”!) Also, note the 2 fonts introduced on this logo. I don't know their names but these 2 fonts were carried out on all wedding print collateral.

There you have it. The birth of a brand. Known as Leigh & Aaron 9.5.10.

Everything was branded. Well, not everything. It was done tastefully. The logo was on the invitation and all colors and polka dots were included. You may recall reviewing the invitation, if not catch up!

The logo image with omitted text was used for the table numbers as pictured yesterday. It was also used to indicate the cake flavors. Oh and also for the ‘just married’ flag. All pictured in yesterday’s post. Go see how many logos you can find...

The photobooth printed out guests’ images in real time with the logo on it! I thought this was really unique. Probably because I’m technically impaired and have no idea how they DIY’d this. It’s the little things that impress guests so think outside of the box.

Other printed materials were not branded with the logo but more so with the chosen colors and fonts. Check out a page of the program.

And the place cards that I referenced yesterday. Even if you’re not going the extra mile and branding your wedding, you can still do something informal like this for the escort cards in your own color scheme. Just hang them up on a clothesline. So simple but refreshingly different.

If you are overwhelmed by this level of wedding marketing, have no fear. You don’t have to brand everything! Perhaps you can come up with a monogram that you like. Just remember to be consistent and use it on several elements of your wedding.

Happy marketing!

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

in tandem

In order to recap last weekend’s wedding, I feel that I really need to summarize the bride and groom. Here are a few adjectives that describe who they are: Marketer. Hombrewer. Jewish. Natural. Crafty. Ohioan. Theatrical. Bicycler. Laid back. Original.

Keep those in mind.

Ok, now onto the wedding.

Sunday was one of those perfect September days that make you thrilled for fall but also nostalgic for summer.  Not a cloud or hint of humidity in the sky. The grounds of the John J. Audubon Center  made for an excellent natural setting. The couple crafted an original ceremony from beginning to end. It included Jewish traditions such as the huppah and the breaking of the glass as a shout out to the bride’s background. They wrote their own vows and friends read select text from the couples’ favorite poems & books. They had a custom made Ketubah, a Jewish marriage contract shown below, which mimicked a bicycle. The laid back ceremony was accented by a circle of guests seated in chairs and coordinating blankets to observe.

After the breaking of the glass by the groom, guests made their way to the unique barn for cocktail hour. We enjoyed homebrewed beer that was made with love by the groom. The place cards were hand crafted name cards that were pinned to a clothesline complete with photos of the couple on another clothesline above.

And I almost forgot the West Philly Orchestra that played throughout the ceremony, cocktail hour and part of the reception including the horah, another Jewish tradition. The sound of horns brought a little bit of soul, a little bit of funk and a lot of original entertainment to the wedding.

The reception was held in a pavilion just up a trail from the barn and adjacent to the ceremony site. It was donned in purple and wheat accents as that was the color scheme of the event.

The newlyweds made a theatrical entrance on their own tandem bike complete with a ‘just married’ flag! What a fun surprise.

The crafty details that went into this entire wedding were more than I’ve ever seen before. DIY at it’s finest! Let’s see… I mentioned the homebrew beer that was drank well into the night. Each beer had a clever name and description.  they were named for the bride and groom's families.  Even the toast was with a craft champagne beer by the brewmaster groom.

Then there was the cake display. It was actually a cake buffet of about a dozen types all made by friends. Each cake donned a little flag that stated the flavor and baker. The center cake was topped with a tandem bike which was cut by the bride and groom. I'm sorry to say that I didn't sample ANY of these because I was having too much fun on the dance floor.  How did I do this to myself again?

Then there was the homemade favors…they were a little bit of heaven in the form of chocolate and peanut butter called “buckeyes”, a shout out to the groom’s Ohioan roots. They were packaged complete with a poem by the bride about the buckeye and how it relates to the couple.

A DJ took over after a gourmet barbecue dinner and dancing ensued. For those interested in other forms of entertainment, there was a photobooth to cheese it up in, games of cornhole to play and trails of the Audubon to explore.
All and all, it was a laid back yet detail oriented event that truly captured both the bride AND groom’s personalities. These people seriously know how to throw a party!  Thank goodness I am friends with them.

Stay tuned for the next post related to the marketing that surrounded this wedding. What do I mean by that? You will see! Here’s a hint…branding.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Friday, September 3, 2010

going global

Man, I love weddings but they are seriously popping up left and right. In the last 2 weeks, 2 great friends got engaged! Yay!

The first proposal was on the back of a boat at sunset. How romantic! Having known both the guy and girl separately for years and now watching them unite forever is truly awesome!

The second proposal occurred 2 nights ago. He popped the question at the exact location of where they first met. All of their friends were in on the surprise so they were there to take pictures. Mexico 2011 here we come!

Love is in the air this weekend. On the same day, in 2 different time zones I have a couples shower and a wedding. Obviously, I can’t be in 2 places so I am attending the wedding and, yes, giving a speech! Although, I am a bridesmaid in the wedding that the shower is being held for, I will just have to be there in spirit. Bummer.

Finally, dresses. I need to pick up a bridesmaid dress this afternoon and place an order for another one for a March wedding. The collection is growing. So far, I haven’t worn the same color twice in a wedding!

Looks like I am facing 2011 head on! It is shaping up to be the biggest wedding year yet with 7-8 on the horizon so far. I'm updating the countdowns on the right as quickly as possible! There seem to be more destinations playing into these wedding themes too. That should make for some interesting posts.

Stay tuned.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Most people select a glossy ivory wedding card from Hallmark and insert some cash or a fat check when going to a wedding. This is pretty standard and it’s what most expect to receive as a wedding gift. Often the couple is registered at a few home stores. It’s easy to select a gift for the couple if you don’t want to just give cash. And of course, some wedding goers get creative and shop off the registry for a crystal frame, vase or the like for the couple’s gift. The adventurous may even give a wine of the month gift which was my personal favorite gift to give in 2008.

But no one has ever given the gift I am about to tell you about before now. I suppose I should never say never! But seriously…

My friends were like 2 kids on Christmas morning unwrapping their wedding gifts the morning after their reception. They tore through numerous cards and saved the wrapped gift boxes for last. The came to a large rectangular box, opened the card and saw that it was from the groom’s uncle and family. The paper came off to reveal a Pamper’s box. Surely they didn’t receive diapers as a gift. Upon further review, the gift was inside. You’ll never believe it…

Hot Sauce.

A variety of hot sauce. Yep, the kind you put on wings. Unbelievable. Strangest wedding gift ever! I could understand if there was some kind of inside joke. Maybe the couple loves wings or hosts a wing eating contest every year or the wedding was barbecue style as opposed to the actual formal wedding that it was. But no, there was no common denominator. It was just a totally random diaper box full of condiments from a family of six. Pun intended?

Who doesn't love hot sauce?   I’m nearly speechless.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Hot Sauce by ChefKnifeRevolution