Archive for April, 2011

The Royal Wedding: Trends We’ll Likely See

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The brand new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Catherine have said their vows, have shared their cake and have danced the night away so what impact will their wedding have on future weddings?  Some trends I think we might see emerge from the big wedding:

*Dresses with sleeves. Whether you liked Kate’s formal long lace sleeved gown or Pippa’s short sleeved form fitted number, I think the Middleton sisters proved that sleeves can still work for wedding and bridesmaid gowns!

*Brides leaving their hair down. Kate’s hair was loose and flowing in a demi-chignon and it suited her perfectly.  I hope more brides will follow suit and realize that sometimes an up-do isn’t a must-do.

*Non-diamond engagement rings. Kate’s engagement ring is an 18 carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds that used to belong to William’s mother, Diana.  “Saying it with diamonds” is a largely diamond industry driven tradition and there are other stones that are lovely on the left ring finger as well.

*Small bouquets. Kate’s bouquet of lily of the valley, sprig of myrtle and sweet williams was petite and understated.  The bouquet didn’t take away from the dress in any way and while it wasn’t my favorite, it was lovely!

*Local and in-season flowers. Kate could have had absolutely any flower she wanted whether in-season or not but she went with all UK grown flowers that were in season.  Environmentally friendly and beautiful.

*Meaningful and unexpected touches. The eight tiered wedding cake was made up of 17 individual fruit cakes and decorated with 17 varieties of sugar flowers, each with their own meaning.  Kate was very specific about which flowers she wanted included which I love – each meant something to her and/or the UK as the flowers of all 4 countries she’ll eventually be queen of were represented as well.

Here a trend I REALLY hope we see come from the Royal Wedding…

*Keeping some things quiet. In this day of Facebook and Twitter and blogs and wedsites, it is so easy to share every detail of the big day before it even happens.  Here is hoping that Kate’s keeping her dress a total secret gives other brides permission to keep a few cards close to the vest until the wedding day.

The Royal Wedding: The Big Day

Friday, April 29th, 2011

I was one of the many people who got up at 5 am to watch the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton unfold live on TV.  While I am quite tired now, I am also very glad that I did.  If you weren’t watching along and/or have just gotten out from under a rock, here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the day:

Pictures source

A few of my favorite things from the day:

*I don’t think that Kate stopped smiling – she just looked so genuinely happy.  I love that.

*Kate’s dress was worth the wait.  It was created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and it was simply beautiful.  The first thing that I thought of when the bride emerged from the car was that she reminded me so much of Princess Grace Kelly – a suitable role model for Kate given that both married princes but were not born royalty.

*Kate’s sister Pippa nearly stole the show.  Her bridesmaid’s gown was also created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and fit her like a glove.  It truly was a gorgeous gown that was perfectly suited to her – and in white!  I suspect that while some brides will gravitate towards Kate’s style of gown, some will also look to Pippa’s as bridal gown inspiration.

*William waited until his bride was almost to him before he looked at her but Prince Harry peeked as she approached and when he turned back to his big brother he said “Wait ’til you see her.”

*As soon as she got to the altar, William told her she looked beautiful.  Hint for any grooms reading: do this.  The Prince sets a good example – tell your bride how absolutely beautiful she looks when you see her for the first time. *swoon*

*I loved the Bishop of London quoting St. Catherine of Siena in his homily: ““Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

*Kate seems so real to me – she told William, “I am so happy right now!” as soon as they were in the carriage and when the doors opened and they walked out onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace she exclaimed, “Wow!”  I love that the excitement and the moment weren’t lost on her – after all, she may be the future Queen but today she was a bride.

*I loved all the fashions and hats on the guests but some people really need a new stylist.  I am looking at you Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

*Loved that they did their own getaway in a gorgeous blue Aston Martin with the license plate “JustWed.”

Overall, it was a beautiful day and it seemed like even with all the protocol, the pomp and circumstances and the choices that William and Catherine couldn’t make, they still managed to keep the day very much about them which in the end is really what it should have been about.

The Royal Wedding: Dessert

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Kate and Wills will each have their own cakes at the Royal Wedding:

The bride’s wedding cake will be a multi-tiered fruit cake (very traditional at English weddings) decorated in white and cream icing created by Fiona Cairns.  The baker has kept the final design quiet but has announced that around 16 different flowers and foliage with symbolic meanings will be represented on the cake including the bridal rose {happiness}, the oak and acorn {strength and endurance}, lily of the valley {sweetness and humility} and ivy leaves {marriage and fidelity}.  Sweet William will also make an appearance – and by that we mean flowers although we think the groom is quite sweet on his own.  Floriography, the tradition of using flowers with symbolic meaning, was popular in Victorian times.

The groom’s cake will be a chocolate biscuit cake.  It really isn’t so much a cake as chocolate mousse with crushed up biscuits (crackers or cookies) which is formed into cake shape and then glazed in chocolate.   Apparently this no-bake, chilled cake is a favorite of both William and the Queen.

Now if you weren’t on the list of 600 reception guests, you can still have a little taste of the Royal Wedding locally courtesy of the brill folks over at Jeni’s!  You know we love Jeni’s around here and they have put together an awesome pack of flavors celebrating Kate and Williams’ big day!  From their website:

Ice Creams for the Royal Wedding (and Mother’s Day!)
A Royal Wedding is history being made before our eyes. But, if you can’t be with Prince William and Catherine Middleton in person Friday, April 29, at Westminster Abbey, our procession of limited-edition ice creams will transport you across the pond in majestic style and spirit. Each spirited flavor in the Ice Creams for the Royal Wedding collection is inspired by the refreshing, youthful energy of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Prince William’s Chocolate Biscuit Groom’s Cake
Dark Chocolate ice cream and rich butter biscuits soaked in Lyle’s Golden Syrup, with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Eton Mess
A tip of the hat to a dessert from Prince William’s alma mater, Eton College, it’s royal mess of hand-layered vanilla cream, strawberry sorbet, and raspberry sauce studded with hand-piped meringue stars.

The Royal Wedding Cake
Molasses ice cream with brandied raisins, dates, and pineapple, with lemon zest, walnuts, and traditional spices.

White Stilton on Toast with Champagne-soaked Bilberries
A Royal Champagne Brunch: pungent white Stilton cheese with brown bread crumbs and a generous helping of Champagne-plumped (blueberry-like) bilberries.

I think the Eton Mess sounds delightful personally!  Which pint will you be diving into at 6 am on Friday to watch the Royal to-do?

The Royal Wedding: The Numbers

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

There are lots of numbers flying around when it comes to the royal wedding.  Some of my favorites:

8 – number of years that Kate and Wills have been dating prompting the notoriously nasty British press to nickname her Waity-Katie.

18 – number of carats in Kate’s gorgeous sapphire engagement ring that Williams’ mother Diana also wore.

45 – number of minutes allocated for Prince William and Best Man Prince Harry to make their way from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey.

5 – number of minutes the trip from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey should actually take.

9 – number of minutes allocated for Kate and her father to travel from the Goring Hotel to Westminster Abbey.

1,100,000 – number of people expected to crowd the streets of London in person on Friday to catch a glimpse of the happy couple.

1800 – number of people invited to witness the ceremony in Westminster Abbey.  Still no word on how the RSVPs came in – I can’t imagine there were too many no replies.

600 – number of people who will join the royal couple at a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Prince Charles.

10,000 – number of canapes being prepared for the Buckingham Palace reception.

300 – number of people who will join Kate and William for an after party with a DJ and dancing.

750,000,000 – number of people who watched Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.

3,000,000,000 – number of people expected to watch the wedding on TV and online.

Any numbers around the Royal Wedding that I missed?

New Song: I Can’t Wait

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I love when I hear a song that was so obviously written FOR someone.  The lyrics of those songs tend to speak to me and instantly make me all mushy.  I heard one of those songs on the radio tonight on the drive home and I am calling it right now – this will be a popular first dance song for this summer!

I Can’t Wait by Runner Runner

The way you curse while we’re in traffic
A million flavors of your chapstick
The way you keep my heart captive

The Journey concert in AZ
Remember we sang faithfully?
I still got that old hotel room key

This is the way I feel

‘Cause I can’t wait for you to be my wife
To live this life together
And I won’t let you go
I need you to know
That you are my heart, forever
And on and on and on

The way you like to sing my songs
You always know when something’s wrong
The way you say you miss me when I’m gone

The things you do that show you care
You’re always down for truth or dare
Freeze this moment; let me stop and stare

Nothing before was real
This is the way I feel

And I can’t wait for you to be my wife
To live this life together
And I won’t let you go
I need you to know
That you are my heart, forever
And on and on and on
And we’ll go on and on and on

For better or for worse
No matter how it hurts
You’ve got me to hold you hand
I promise you the world
In your wedding dress
We’ll dance till no one’s left
Don’t wanna blink my eyes
Don’t wanna miss a thing

I can’t wait for you to be my wife
To live this life together
And I won’t let you go
I need you to know
That you are my heart, forever

And I can’t wait for you to be my wife
To live this life together
And I won’t let you go
I need you to know
That you are my heart, forever
And on and on and on
And we’ll go on and on and on

The Royal Wedding: Charity

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

William and Kate are using their wedding to do some good and have selected 26 (primarily UK based) charities and asked guests to donate to those in lieu of traditional gifts.  These charities are all said to be close to the Future King and Queen’s hearts and include groups benefiting children, local communities, wildlife and military families.

You can visit the Royal Wedding Charity Fund for more information on the charities that Kate and William selected and to donate if you are so inclined.

Now, I am likely safe in guessing that you don’t have a $450 million inheritance awaiting you (hello, Prince William) but if you still want to follow Kate and William’s lead, you could always do a donation to charity in lieu of guest favors.

Pick something close to your heart:

Is your mom a breast cancer survivor (like my awesome mom)?  Susan G. Komen for the Cure or the Stephanie Speilman Fund for Breast Cancer Research would be very meaningful.

If you want to help couples facing terminal illness and life altering circumstances have a beautiful wedding, Wish Upon a Wedding is an incredible organization that I am honored to be a part of.

You are going to be feeding your guests delicious food at your wedding – how about helping feed those less fortunate in your area by donating to a foodbank or free kitchen?  Locally, we LOVE the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Operation Feed.

If you are an animal lover, your local rescue or the shelter where your own furbaby is from would be a great place to direct your donation.  Locally, the Columbus Dog Connection does great things for homeless pups.

Trust me when I say that guests are not going to miss the little picture frame or the bag of M&Ms.  I promise.

The Royal Wedding: Weddings Past

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Sources are estimating that between 2 and 3 billion people will watch William and Kate’s wedding on TV, online and on their phones – and you thought you were nervous about your ceremony!!  Did you know that there is film of not only William’s parent’s wedding but also his Grandparents and Great-Grandparents?

First up is the 1923 (!) wedding of King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.  If you caught the movie “The King’s Speech” or have ever heard the term the Queen Mum, this is their wedding:

The current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth married her love Phillip in 1947:

Finally, William’s parents Charles and Diana’s wedding from 1981 with that incredible train:

Hopefully those snippets will tide you over until the newest Royal Wedding on Friday!


The Royal Wedding: Did you know?

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Happy Royal Wedding Week!  This Friday, April 29, will likely be the stuff of fairytales – many little girls dream of meeting a prince, falling in love and marrying him in front of all their loved ones and two billion other people from all over the world.  Okay, maybe not that last part.  Anyway, we’ll be talking about royal wedding related details all week long but wanted to start off with a few facts about the wedding that we’ll call “Did you know?”

Did you know that…

*Kate and William will not kiss at the altar?  It goes against protocol to kiss in Westminster Abbey so their first kiss (in public) will likely take place on the same balcony where William’s parents shared their famous kiss.  {Anyone else sort of hoping that Wills and Kate sneak one in while at the Abbey anyway?}

*The ceremony will be a one ring ceremony – Kate’s wedding band will be made from rare Welsh gold but William will not be wearing a wedding ring.  {His father, Prince Charles, wears his wedding band under his signet ring on his left pinkie – here’s hoping Wills follows suit.}

*Kate probably won’t be a Princess when she gets married.  She wasn’t born royal so she will take his first name as part of her title and will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales UNLESS he is offered a Royal Dukedom by the Queen (v. likely), she’ll become Duchess Catherine.  Then once Prince Charles becomes King, she will become Catherine, Princess of Wales and finally, should William ascend to King, she will be Queen Catherine.  {She also won’t have an actual last name any longer.  Really.}

*Kate invited various people from Bucklebury, the small village she grew up in, including the butcher, pub owner and the grocers. {Love the small town girl not forgetting where she came from!}

*You’ll have to get up very early to be among the first to see the big dress reveal – 6 am (EST) is when Kate will emerge from the Royal Family’s Rolls Royce Phantom VI at Westminster Abbey. {For those true diehards – looks like the Today Show will start broadcasting live from Westminster at 4 am on the east coast.}

*Kate now has her own Coat of Arms – it features 3 acorns and a gold chevron on a red and blue background.  {What did your in-laws give you as a wedding gift?}

*Kate will be doing her own makeup. {Brave girl. Awesomely brave girl!}

*Some are reporting that up to 60% of UK businesses are giving their employees off to watch the royal wedding. {Let’s be real – those who don’t have the day off will probably just be watching it online at their desk, right?}

*Kate’s vows, while traditional, will not include the promise to obey.  {Princess Diana was the first royal bride to omit obey from the vows.}

*While Kate is breaking tradition by arriving to the ceremony in a car (a really nice one) she will be leaving the ceremony in the same carriage that carried William’s parents on their wedding day in 1981. {Talk about a Cinderella moment – imagine riding through the streets of London from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace in a horse drawn carriage with your new husband – the future King of England! *pinch, pinch*}

*Even though the British consider rain good luck on the wedding day, we’re likely not alone in hoping for sunny skies for the new couple!  {I want to see the dress – not a bunch of umbrellas!}

Abby’s 1st Birthday Party

Friday, April 8th, 2011

We recently celebrated my youngest daughter Abigail Grace’s 1st birthday with a small party of friends and family.

I kept the decor relatively simple with a red and turquoise color scheme – the turquoise actually matches Abby’s eyes so it seemed appropriate!

Abby’s bib and birthday hat – both made by my incredibly talented Mom!

A red and turquoise candy buffet and ridiculously delicious cupcakes from The Suisse Shop!

Pictures from each month of Abby’s life – printed and backed with pretty paper and hung in the hallway.

Abigail Grace – my blue eyed birthday girl!

This is how Abby enjoyed her birthday cupcake – she went pretty much face first into it after that first hesitant taste!

One of the funniest pictures from the party – Marshall had accidentally snapped the elastic on his party hat under his chin.  The thing that cracks me up is the other three big kids chowing down on cupcakes, unmoved by Marshall’s tears.  Don’t worry, the little guy was fine – he calmed right down and enjoyed his cupcake with the other kids quite quickly.

A huge thanks to Grogan Studios for taking these lovely pictures of the party!

Useful Tool:

Friday, April 8th, 2011

It seems that one of the most anxiety inducing meetings that my couples have is the floral appointment!  So often they have pulled pictures of flowers they like but don’t know what those flowers are or if they are available in their wedding colors.  I stumbled on a great site with a very nice, comprehensive listing of flowers by color!

With 41 different colors plus bi-color flowers, you are sure to find flowers that will suit your vision and match perfectly!