Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eva and Kevin

Finally, finally, finally... I can post the amazing pictures of one of our most delightful couples, Eva and Kevin. Their wedding took place at the Convent of the Sacred Heart followed by the reception at the adjacent James Burden Mansion. These locations held such special significance to the bride as she attended school at Sacred Heart, so from the moment we met Eva, there was no doubt that the wedding festivities would take place in her childhood "home away from home." We were so lucky to get a beautiful day in May, allowing amazing photographer Lily Kesselman to work with the couple outside in Central Park for their formal shots. (All photos below from Lily Kesselman)

Eva's style is simple and classic, so we opted for a fresh palette of light pink and ivory with a pop of green. She was moved by a photo of an antique-inspired table setting early on in the planning, so we incorporated charming mix-and-match charger plates with a "grandma's china closet" feel to give the table settings some character. In keeping with this style, we sourced ivory textured wallpaper to cover the glass vases for the centerpieces (the plain glass vase was too modern!) and then sponge-painted the wallpaper with a light gold paint to tie it back to the chargers and chairs as well as the ballroom itself which is adorned with gold.

It was a fantastic evening with a warm, upbeat mood that perfectly reflected this sweet couple. Allison and I enjoyed every minute of working with Eva and Kevin from our first consultation to our last goodbye!

Additional vendors included: Sterling Affair Catering, Lenox Hill Florist, Bud Maltin Metropolitan Orchestra, John Miller Videography, MJW Calligraphy, gown by Melissa Sweet.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Design on a Dime recap

Today's session of The New York Wedding Workshop was a hit. We had a lovely crowd of brides-to-be who were all in the throes of their decor planning and looking for the behind-the-scenes tips on high style for great value.

Sharon Schuster played host in her absolutely breathtaking photography studio and so graciously photographed every minute of our session. Thank you, Sharon, for all of the beautiful pictures to follow.

To illustrate some of my top decor tips, I designed two sample tabletops with some of the palettes of the moment... the first in silver/yellow/white and the second in navy/fuchsia/white. Both designs represent reasonably priced ways to make a huge impact with your tabletop design.

Yvonne Wong, the mastermind behind Double Happiness Creations, was on-hand to advise our "students" on how to incorporate their design ideas into their wedding stationery as well as how to find inspiration for their wedding design. Yvonne also contributed her beautiful menu and table number designs to accent our sample tables. My heartfelt thanks for your many invaluable contributions to this event!

Last, but certainly not least, a shout-out to my friend and videographer extraordinaire Seth David Cohen for joining us this morning to capture me in action. I look forward to seeing the footage and editing a great PR piece. I can't wait to work with Seth again soon on a fabulous wedding or party!

The New York Wedding Workshop is on haitus until "engagement season" is again underway in the fall, but pleae be in touch if you are interested in any of the events that we host so that I can get an idea of what sessions will be in demand going forward. See you then!

Monday, June 22, 2009

How to Design on a Dime

This weekend, I am hosting the second edition of the New York Wedding Workshop seminar entitled "How to Design on a Dime." We had a great response for our first session in January so I am thrilled to meet a new set of brides and talk about so many of the tricks of the trade I've mastered over the years to try to get big looks for less. Want a little preview?

1. An interesting vase can make small flowers look more impactful.

photo Barnaby Draper

2. Investing in event lighting provides 10 times more value per square inch than any other decor element.

photo Rob Lettieri

3. Use every element at your event as a decor element. This includes favors, menus, programs, napkins - even your water glass!

photo Brian Dorsey

Do you want more? Join me and wonderful contributing vendors Sharon Schuster, Double Happiness Creations and Seth David Cohen Video on Saturday for an in depth seminar on how to get the greatest value for your decor dollars and how to push the envelope of your creativity while you do it! Tickets are still available at or by calling 212.206.9201. See you then!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Making Life Easier

I wanted to let everyone in on a few secrets we tell our clients to help make their planning a little easier after the big day.

Relax on Your Honeymoon
Jet Set World Travel is a fabulous travel agency and concierge service that a countless number of our clients have used to help send them on their dream vacation. After getting to know exactly what you’re looking for in your trip, Julia and her team put together customized travel itineraries, coordinating everything from the hotels and airfare, to private transportation, restaurants, tours, cooking classes, spa visits…you name it! About a week prior to your departure, they send you off with a bound book detailing every day of your trip. Their in-depth knowledge goes far beyond the pages of Conde Nast and it’s always a pleasure working with them.

EXTRA: Want to go to the moon? Julia is part of an elite group of travel consultants selected to book travel to space!

Your New Identity
We recently came across the site, a name changing service for those brides that plan on taking their spouse’s name after the wedding. It almost seems too good to be true – they have all the forms for your state in one place and after filling out one personalized questionnaire, the information is filled out for you and all you need to do is press “Print!"

Dress: $6,000. Band: $12,000. Cake: $3,000. Not having to spend days of your new married life filling out paperwork to change your name on your social security card, passport, drivers license, bank accounts, mortgage, insurance cards and more: Priceless.

Cleaning Your Dress
Whether you plan on preserving your dress or selling your dress, you will first need to send your gown to someone who specializes in these types of garments. There are always a number of local options no matter where you are located, but we also like the Imperial Gown Restoration Company. Imperial Gown first arranges a pickup of your gown – free in all fifty states! After they have thoroughly examined every square inch of your dress for any possible stains, tears or snags, they present you with a quote of what it will cost to have your dress restored to the original condition. Should you choose not to go forward with the cleaning, Imperial Gown sends you back your dress right away, also free of charge! Visit Imperial Gown Restoration online at or call 1-800-WED-GOWN.

Photos courtesy of Jet Set World Travel, Guy Cali Associates, Sarah Merians Photography.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Piece of Cake

One of our favorite things to incorporate into any event is a sculpted cake. Whether it’s an engagement party, bridal shower, birthday party, bar mitzvah or wedding, there is always an excuse to do something special! Check out a sampling of some of the fun cakes we’ve done over the years…

Yee haw! This cake was done for a "Denim and Diamonds" themed Bat Mitzvah. The family was originally from Texas, so wanted to incorporate their hometown into the festivities!
Cake by Cakeline. Photo by Sharon Schuster.

This 1920's themed birthday cake was presented to a guest at one of our corporate holiday parties.
Cake by Cakeline. Photo by Lina Jang.

This groom’s cake reflected the groom's love of sailing. Most of his groomsmen were fraternity brothers so the bride included the Greek letters on the back of the boat!
Cake and Photo by Cakes by Mona.

This bridal shower cake was given to the ultra fashionable bride-to-be. Her mother thought no other bag could be more appropriate than the classic Hermes Birkin. Check out more pics from Lauren’s bridal shower here.
Cake by Pink Cake Box. Photo by Gruber Photographers.

Part of our “Baby’s Gone Wild” shower we did in conjunction with TBS Movie and a Makeover and The Bump, this cake was a surprise to the lovely mother-to-be. The mama was expecting a baby girl so the inside of the cake was hot pink! See more photos here!
Cake by Pink Cake Box.

Done for a Homer Simpson themed Bar Mitzvah, this cake was adorned with all of Homer’s most famous accessories: donuts, tv remotes, nuclear rods and of course, Duff beer. Check out more photos from this party over on The Knot's newest website,!
Cake by Cakeline. Photo by Lotus Photographers.

This 30th birthday girl loved all things turtle – we had a custom designed turtle logo made that went on the invitations, cocktail napkins and menus. If was even reproduced into a cake for the party!
Cake by Colette’s Cakes.

This topsy-turvy cake was done for a rockin’ Sweet Sixteen party last year. The birthday girl wanted all of her favorite things incorporated into the black and pink color scheme – music, purses and shoes!
Cake by Cakes by Mona. Photo by Lotus Photographers.

This grooms cake was done for a bride who wanted to incorporate all of her husband-to-be’s favorite things into one: Mac computers, his alma mater The University of Colorado and a career in medicine.
Cake by The Cake Girls.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lauren's Bridal Shower

A few weeks ago one of our clients had her bridal shower upstairs at the fabulous Vento in the Meatpacking District. It was a beautiful party and Lindsay and I cannot wait for the wedding in October. Floral arrangements done by Flowers by Jose. Photos by Gruber Photography. Click on the photos for a larger view.

The mix of pink and orange spring flowers was truly stunning...

The menus and escort cards were perfectly coordinated. Each guest took home a set of notecards as their favor.

Our favorite part was the surprise cake by the wonderful ladies at The Pink Cake Box - shaped like an Hermes Birkin bag!

Lauren's family and friends couldn't be any happier for her and did so much to make the shower really special. Each bridesmaid was assigned a room in the house and prepared a gift basket and poem to present to Lauren. They were so creative!

Of course no event would be complete without our Custom Candy Shoppe!

We have had such a wonderful time working with Lauren and her family the past months and look forward to the festivities ahead! Stay tuned for the wedding in October...

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Look Good Naked"

The other day my husband asked my what the heck I ordered from the Home Shopping Network (upcoming years of impulsive infomercial purchases flashing before his eyes). The package was none other than my new favorite product - Tan Towels!

Tan Towels are my everyday answer to getting that oh-so-fabulous streakless glow, without having to go in the actual sun (or worse…the dreaded tanning bed). My first option would be an airbrush tan (Anna at Rita Hazan Salon is the BEST! All our brides visit her before the big day!) but its a little unrealistic to maintain year round.

Tan Towels are featured in this month’s issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. And hey, if Oprah loves it, it must be great, right??

What are your tanning secrets?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is a stick up!

One of my very favorite new tools for amazing party transformations is the use of removable vinyl transfers and removable wall stickers. My amazing graphic designer Michael of Mighty Design Studios originally introduced me to the idea when I was thinking about how to decorate our new office last fall and once I saw them, I was hooked. Then, Allison and I traveled to San Diego in January to attend The Special Event (the event industry's biggest educational conference) and we saw how so many amazing event designers were using the vinyl transfers on everything from fabric to furniture. So, over the course of the past six months, we've been using these fun, easy and inexpensive products to make big wow's at all types of events (and in our office too!).

At a wedding, the most universal way to incorporate a vinyl transfer is have a custom decal made to apply to your dancefloor. This one from Off The Wall Expressions is pretty standard, but you can use any time of personalized art that you'd like in almost any color.

When working in a loft space as we often do, it is quick and simple to bring some moodiness to the space by applying transfers or stickers to the large, bare walls. Blik is one of my favorites in terms of cool designs.

If using rented lucite furniture or bars, the options become endless... you can customize with names, patterns, quotations or even drink recipes!

We used lots of stickers to decorate the walls and tables of our "Baby's Gone Wild" baby shower a few months ago.

For an interactive guest book alternative, try a reusable chalkboard vinyl sticker that your guests can write on and then you can either photograph and discard or remove and re-stick at your home.

If you want to know more about how to use vinyl transfers or wall stickers for your special event, you won't want to miss my upcoming design seminar on June 27th - "How to Design on a Dime." Hope to see you then!

Wedding Secret #1

Wanna hear my first wedding secret? Last month I sold my wedding dress! I know…how unsentimental of me to not have it take up room in my tiny, NYC closet, collecting dust until I can one day be rejected by my daughter who will look at me in disgust when I suggest she wear it. No way! Before I was married, I had big plans for my dress! (None of which Lindsay believed I would do in the end…She knows me too well I guess!) Dye it black! Cut it short! Someone even suggested I turn the bottom of the dress into christening gowns.

Then about two months ago my fabulous wedding photographer Rosalind let me know about this great website that connects brides looking to buy/sell used wedding dresses called My Monique Lhuillier dress was on there for less than two weeks when it sold to a lovely bride in Michigan. It was so simple - I paid $25 to post it on the site for 1 year and the interested brides emailed me directly. I’m excited that someone else will be able to wear the dress I loved so much, but also happy to have unloaded the “mental clutter” that was taking up so much space in my head.

I guess I’ll never get to be like Britney Spears and run errands in my wedding dress, but hey, I have other things to look forward to!

A Brief Introduction...

Hi everyone! I first wanted to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me yet…My name is Allison, and I’ve been Lindsay’s trusty sidekick for the past 3 and a half years. I am a lover of organized spreadsheets, corny reality TV, all things pink and green and most importantly, the Internet. I am a hater of ugly chairs, rainy days, bad emailers, tobiko, mayonnaise and ketchup. I was married last year in my hometown of Chicago and will be celebrating my first anniversary with my all-things-wedding-loving husband this weekend.

Beginning today, I pledge to go full force, embracing my new life as a wedding blogger, letting you know all of my deepest, darkest wedding planning thoughts and secrets.

Stay tuned for my daily* dish…

* Daily = probably more like bi-weekly, let’s just take things day by day for now.