Friday, July 29, 2011

A few etiquette tips…

We thought it would be nice to put together a few etiquette tips for you on things that you should or shouldn’t do or maybe should just have as a heads up.
Bridal shower and wedding guests:Personalized Bridal Shower Invitations set of 8
Rules dictate that if you invite someone to the bridal shower you should invited them to the wedding  as well.  There are of course exceptions to the rules, for example if people at work throw you a shower you don’t need to feel obligated to invite them to the wedding.   If you invite say your third cousin twice removed to your actual bridal shower it is a common courtesy to invite them to your wedding, if you don’t it could be considered rude and possibly cause hard feelings.
Cash bar only:
This is considered a big no no in the wedding industry!  We under stand that you have probably already spent a small fortune so far, however look at it from a guests point of view.  You possibly have bought a plane ticket to get there, bought new outfits and a great gift from the registry and then you find out you have to pay for drinks.  It could put a sour taste in the guests mouth.  Maybe other options could be looked at, for instance, paying for the cocktail hour or a two hour free drink limit or maybe just not serving alcohol.
Thank you notes:
Yes these are a MUST!  They don't have to match  your invitation suite unless youSet of 8 flat note card Thank You's with Cherry Blossoms want them to.  For the shower/bachelorette events  you should get them mailed out no later than a month after the event.  For gifts given at the wedding you have a little more flexibility but try not to make it more than 2-3 months afterwards out of politeness.
Save the dates:
Although not all couples send these out and they are not required, it is helpful for some guests.Elegant Script Save the Date Sample in Black and White on Pearl Shimmer Luxury Cardstock  Especially those that live out of town.  They may need to set up travel arrangements and hotel accommodations.  These can be sent out as far as a year away but if you intend to send them closer keep the out of towners in mind so they have an opportunity to prepare.
Asking for money as a gift:
This is and always will be considered a HUGE faux pas!! You should never out right say it or add it to your invitations, that is considered really rude.  Money is a non-spoken gift that allot of people already give because its the easiest choice.
Who pays for what breakdown:
Here is the basic traditional break down.  We understand that in this day and age nothing is set in stone so take it as a basic guideline not a set rule of thumb!
Brides Family
  1. Wedding gown and all accessories
  2. Bouquets/Reception Flowers/Corsages
  3. Ceremony/Reception and accoutrements
  4. Invitation Suite/Save the dates
  5. DJ/Ceremony Pianist
  6. Photography/Videography
  7. Wedding Cake
  8. Favors/Throwing Rice
  9. Bridal Shower (with help from the bridesmaids)
Grooms Family
  1. Rehearsal Dinner
  2. Grooms Cake
Bride herself
  1. Bridesmaids gifts
  2. Bridesmaid Luncheon
Groom himself
  1. Groomsmen gifts
  2. Engagement ring (obviously)
  3. His tuxedo
  4. Boutonnieres
Bride and Groom together
  1. Wedding rings
  2. Clergy fee
  3. Church fee
  4. Marriage License
  1. Gowns/tuxedos
  2. Bachelor Bachelorette Parties
We hope these tips on etiquette have been helpful.  As we said nothing is set in stone so don’t feel you have to stick to some guideline you know your financials better than anyone. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wedding Traditions around the World part 2…

In our second Wedding Traditions post we want to share with you the traditions and cultures of China.  When a couple in China decides to get married instead of pulling a date out of a hat or using a popular one, they consult a fortune teller.  Who then uses astrology and their birth dates to come up with the perfect day for their ceremony. 
Instead of going for what we consider the traditional white wedding gown like a lot of countries do, Chinese brides wear a red silk dress intricately embroidered with a dragon and a phoenix.  These animals symbolize love and passion and endurance, the couple is sure to have a long happy life together and be able to stand the test of time.  They choose red because it signifies love, joy and prosperity.  This also may not be the only dress the bride wears, she will buy as many as she can afford and change into them often throughout the day to show that her family is wealthy enough and worthy.
During an early morning tea ceremony with their families the bride and groom will instead drink a honey wine from goblets that are tied with red string or ribbon to symbolize the bond they have with one another.  The wedding ceremony itself is very simple and small, usually only the bride, groom and their immediate families attend.  After the ceremony guests at the reception should be prepared for a 10-12 course feast.  This is another way for the couple and their families to show their wealth and worth.  Some typical dishes served would be shark’s fin soup ($150 per guest), birds nest soup (used to be made from real birds nests) and a whole fish.  The word for fish is similar to the word abundance which is why they serve a whole fish, to show abundance.  Lots of traditional Chinese music and dances are performed throughout the reception in particular the “lion” dance.  This dance is said to scare away evil spirits and ensure the bride and groom have a happy carefree marriage.
Check back for another posting of “Wedding Traditions around the World” and see what country we have next!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Regal Inspiration Board…

With so much hype still out and about because of the royal wedding we thought a nice regal inspiration board would still fit right in.  Yes all little girls dream of being a princess but those princesses sometimes grow up to be a queen and we all know how regal and stately that look can be.   When you think of regal the word couture comes to mind. Here is an inspiration board dedicated to just that! Isn’t this just glorious?    Does this inspire you?

regal  inspiration

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Raspberry Ice Cream Inspiration Board..

Its summer, the Raspberries are ready for the picking and the ice cream is chilling, so we thought it was appropriate to do an inspiration board in these luscious colors to tempt you.  These colors are a delicious combination all together don't you think?  Does this inspire you?
Raspberry Ice Cream Inspiration Board

Monday, July 25, 2011

Smores on a stick DIY…

While searching the web and getting ideas on great DIY’s for weddings we came across this great post on Elizabeth Anne Designs for Smores on a stick and just had to share.  Since its summer time and people everywhere are sitting by campfires making smores the traditional way (which is super yummy and gooey) we agree with Elizabeth Anne Designs, why not incorporate that into a great wedding favor.  We loved the idea of this smores being on a stick and wrapped up, no gooey mess that way.  See for yourself and check out the post on Elizabeth Anne Designs to get the full tutorial.

So who isn’t craving a smores right now?  We know we sure are!  Will this be your summer wedding favor?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bridesmaids gifts…

What do you get your bridesmaids for gifts?  There are so many different options out there it could be difficult to decide.  What you should do is sit down and brainstorm, think about who they are individually.  Write their names down and next to each one, describe them or what they mean to you.  this may give you some insight into what you should get.
You could get them all the same gift and personalize it.  You could even try to make them something if you are feeling creative.   No matter what you give them they are going to love it, because it  came from you and your heart!  Take a look at some of the things we found while searching the internet for ideas, what else can you come up with?
bm gift ideas

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What’s in our windows?

We thought it would be great to share with you what was in our windows each week.  This week’s gowns are the gorgeous design “Bijou” by Amsale and the fabulous design “Primrose” by Christos!    Each mannequin is wearing jewelry by a designer that is new to us, Elizabeth Cole, stunning pieces!  If you are in the area you should definitely take a drive by and see them for yourself because they are just that much better in person.  Take a look at the photos below for a sneak peek:

window 1window 2 

window 2j 



If you are interested in seeing any of these gorgeous pieces just call us at 603-431-5454 to make an appointment.


Wedding Style Part two…

Today we have wedding style part two, this style is very romantic and elegant.  Take a look at the scrumptiousness of the ruffles and the elegance of the colors and how they mesh together to create a glamorous combination.   This is another wedding style that you can’t go wrong with, is this the style you would choose?
romantic and elegant

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Princess Inspiration Board…

Little girls all over the world dream of being a princess and even as they grow up their tastes may change but the idea of being a princess still holds true in their hearts!  Take a look at this princess inspired inspiration board.  Does this inspire the princess inside you?
princess inspiration board

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Anatomy of a Tuxedo…

Ok we’ve all seen tuxedos before and know what they are, but do we all know what they consist of? Here is a list we compiled of the basics and their definitions. You will also find a few variations on them as well. This should help you in the search for that perfect tuxedo for the groom and groomsmen.

This term is often used when referring to a tuxedo jacket, it is a formal jacket that can have either a notched, peak or shawl collar. Most people think of a white jacket when the term “Dinner Jacket” is used, however, that is not the case. A dinner jacket is simply a jacket that falls at the hips and can be 1-3 buttons (occasionally more).

This type of tuxedo is generally worn for full dress or white tie, this very formal jacket is cut just below the waist and the front hem dips into points and has "tails" at the back that come to about the knee. The jacket has non-functional buttons on either side and never closes. Usually worn with all white accessories but not required.

A tuxedo jacket also known as a “Spencer Jacket” the hem is just below the waist, rather than below the hip like traditional jackets. At the front opening, the front hem dips into points, so that it resembles a tailcoat with no the tails.


This suit is worn by the groom and not generally worn past noon time as it is a daytime suit. It resembles the tail coat in that it is long in the back; however it doesn’t have the front notches in the front and cuts away in a slope towards the back, thus the name “Cutaway”. This suit is generally worn with a winged-collar shirt, striped ascot, grey vest, and grey/black striped pants.

The morning suit is generally what the groomsmen, fathers and ring bearers wear. It is a normal length coat with a single-button closure. This suit is generally worn with a lay down-collar shirt, striped tie, grey vest, and grey/black striped pants.

A traditional tuxedo shirt that features a stand-up collar with ends folded over to create what looks like "wings," it is usually accessorized with a bow-tie, sometimes with an ascot.

A formal shirt with a collar like a business shirt, can be worn with a bow-tie or a 4 in hand tie.

A style of formal shirt featuring a short banded collar about one inch high, designed to be worn without a tie. The shirt's top button can be decorated with a button cover (definition below). Tieless formalwear ensembles could be worn to informal or formal weddings.

This is a buckled sash that fastens at the waist (always with the pleats facing up) to cover the waistband of the pants and worn with a bowtie. Today cummerbunds are not worn as much as they used to be and are to be worn instead of a vest.


A vest is an accessory that can be worn with almost any tuxedo ensemble. Some rental vests have an open back (a band goes around the neck and another is hooked across the back); most these days are full-backed. The vest usually matches the bow-tie/4 in hand tie; all of these accessories are available in a wide range of colors and patterns these days, from stripes to florals.

Similar to a business/suit tie, but made to match the vests. Occasionally they are worn by themselves with no vest making the tuxedo a little more relaxed and less formal without being casual.

The most familiar piece in a formal outfit, the bow-tie is generally pre-tied with a matching strap that wraps around the neck. They are also available in “self-tie” meaning you would have to tie it yourself, some bow-ties come with instructions on how to tie them but these are not rentals and you would have to purchase one. The bow-tie should match the vest and/cummerbund.

A decorative, circular accessory, resembling a cufflink or a large stud, worn over the top button of a mandarin-collar or stand-up-collar shirt, with no tie.

A double-knot tie with wide ends that folds over the chest and fastened with a stick pin. When renting these they come pre-tied as the bowties do. This is usually worn with a winged-collar shirt to accessorize a cutaway tuxedo.Orange-Ranunculus-Boutonniere-249x374

A small floral arrangement, that usually consists of just one or two flower blossoms and a few sprigs of greenery then it is pinned to the left lapel right at the buttonhole. If the button hole is sewn shut don’t worry about it, its basically there for just a spot marker.


A pair of ornamental buttons or button like pieces used to fasten a shirt cuff to give it a more formal look.

These look like tiny cufflinks and replace buttons on a formal tuxedo shirt, usually you only get 4 to a set and they generally match the cuff links.

Just give our sister store Soiree Prom and Tux a call at 603-427-6888 and see what else they can help you with!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fabulous DIY projects…

Along with the great summery wedding ideas comes the DIY projects that inevitably pop up.  Here are some of those fabulous ideas take a look:

You can get the instructions to make that fabulous chandelier and chair swag by clicking here.

You can purchase these great doilies at Michaels.

You can get this colorful ensembles instructions by clicking here.

You can get many more ideas like these from the Martha Stewart Weddings site.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Great Combinations…

You have the gown so now its time to start thinking accessories…jewelry to be exact.  Sometimes choosing the right pieces can be tedious and time consuming, so we put together a small “what works” list for you.  Hopefully this will help you along in the process. 


something that has multiple strands, pearls maybe?  Or something with a wide band like a collar style that will cover a little more are.  Try wearing smaller stud earrings if that’s the case.


A great chain necklace with a gorgeous crystal drop pendant and maybe even something with a splash of color depending upon your wedding color choices.  Wear some longer delicate earrings and you have a great match.

One Shoulder

If you do a necklace make it simple and fine, on the delicate side.  You can always make a dramatic statement with a fabulous cuff bracelet and some chandelier or drop earrings.

Take a look at some of the things we found scouring the internet and the magazines, these are some absolutely gorgeous items.


jewelry splash

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dove Grey and Soft Pink Inspiration Board…

When seeing these two colors together in combination they bring such a regal and elegant feel to mind.  Just the way the Dove Grey softens and deepens in contrast to the Soft Pink.  They are a fabulous combination that you can’t go wrong with.  Does this inspire you?

Dove Grey and Soft Pink Inspiration Board

Monday, July 11, 2011

July Designer of the Month…

This month we decided to choose the exquisite designs by Alvina Valenta of which created some absolutely breathtaking and stunning gowns this season.  Not only are these gowns just gorgeous in general  they are also a great kickback to that beautiful vintage flair we talked about last month.  From the 1930’s glam to the sultry Hollywood starlet look, they have it all this season, even some great tailored looks with a 50’s appeal.  Take a look for yourself and don’t just take our word for it.

 DOM Alvina Valenta

By all means do NOT forget that they also have great bridesmaids gowns too!  Give us a call at 603-431-5454 to make an appointment to come in and see either.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wedding Style part one…

Have you sat down and really thought about what your “Wedding Style” is?  Is it Preppy Chic, Romantic and Elegant, Hip and Youthful?  We found this great article in the Knot Magazine about Wedding Style and how to find it and thought, what a great idea.  So we sat down and thought ourselves about what wedding styles there are and thought we would share those ideas with you.

preppy chic wedding inspiration

Preppy Chic

In Navy and Green

Does this inspire you?

We are going to set this up in a 4 part posting so keep your eyes open for the next three.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wedding traditions around the world…

We all know the sort of traditions that occur at weddings throughout the US.  For example the garter and bouquet toss (as mentioned in a previous post) or even the dreaded Chicken Dance (we love to hate it but secretly love it anyway…right?)!  What about other place sin the world?  What sort of traditions do they have? 

Check out what we discovered about Italy:

Wedding festivities in Italy usually start in the morning and generally on Sundays.  they feel having your wedding (according to folklore) will bring the happy couple lots of  bad luck, so Sundays are the day for nuptials or as they say “la cerimonia nuziale”.  There are no limousines or horse drawn carriages trekking them to the churches instead the bride and groom along with guests, family and friends walk to their destinations.  Having towns people throw things in their pathways to bring them a fruitful life. 

After the ceremony the couple will shatter a vase and see how many pieces it breaks into.  They say that the amount of pieces it has broken into is how many years the couple will be happy!

As for the food, they roast a pig or a lamb and serve it with Marsala wine and Grappa (a strong Italian Liqueur).  For dessert, fried dough formed in the shape of bowties and sprinkled with powdered sugar, they also serve sugar covered almonds, to represent the bitter sweet things in life.

Gifts are a different story, there are no traditional gifts like toasters or linens  that were registered for, instead the guests bring cash, yes cash.  They place this cash in a satin bag called a “la borsa” and present it to the bride and groom, sort of like a dowry.

There is lots of dancing to be had, it is said that a traditional dance they do is called the “tarantella” meaning tarantula.  The legend behind this dance is that a woman was apparently bitten by a poisonous tarantula and cured herself by “shaking her booty” on the dance floor!

All in all it sounds like they throw a heck of a celebration and have a fantastic time!

This is part one of a four part series, come back and see what country is next!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Garters and Bouquets…

Where did this tradition come from and why?

Well it is believed that tossing the bouquet and garter was a tradition from the early 14th century in France. a l i c e  ivory lace garter It was said that it was good luck to receive a piece of the clothing the bride wore.  Even though they were probably never going to wear the gown again brides took offence to their gowns being torn and dispersed, which was the custom.  Usually done during the recessional after the ceremony while she was still in it!  It’s no wonder they took offence!  So the idea of throwing personal items like the bouquet and garter came about, this way the guests of the wedding had something that was personal from the bride and would still bring them good luck.  Some of the men believed that if they gave this article to their betrothed it would ensure a happy and fruitful life together. 

This is a tradition that is still carried out to this day.  So if this is a tradition you enjoy get all those unmarried ladies and gentlemen out onto the dance floor and start tossing!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bridesmaid Luncheon…

  What is a bridesmaid's luncheon?  This is a party thrown in honor of the bridesmaids and sometimes called a “bridal tea”.  This is something generally hosted by the bride and her mother as a way of saying thank you for sharing in my big day.  Usually this is when the bride presents the girls with thank you cards and gifts.  This also gives the girls a chance to get to know one another incase they don’t already.  Some out of town bridesmaids may have never met your cousins or best friend from high school. 

  Historically this was strictly an afternoon event given the day before the wedding, where all parties involved joined and had lunch and tea, thus the name “bridal tea”, which over the years became known as the “bridesmaids luncheon”.  today however it can be given at any point day or night and as far ahead as you wish.  Where to have this is entirely up to you and your budget.  Keep in mind when planning how lavish or low key you want it to be, and where it would take place. 

  This luncheon could be as simple as a DIY mani/pedi party to a posh event at a ritzy hotel.  No matter how much you spend or where you have it just remember its all in fun and for thanking those close to you!


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