Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion

While the mixing of cultures in America is a given, sometimes fuses these traditions can be tricky. But, they don’t have to be – let’s take a look at customs that you can incorporate into your big day that is both Asian Fusion and American.

From China to Japan to other Asian countries, each culture has their own set of customs that have been passed down from century to century. Some modern couples opt to do two ceremonies, one honoring their parents and traditions, and one that is more modern to suit today’s culture of weddings.
In Chinese tradition, the wedding date is picked carefully according to astrological signs and birth dates, and the ceremony begins on the half hour to cement the couple’s good fortune. Chinese weddings are chock-full of colorful customs, often accompanied by the sound of firecrackers and gongs. Many modern brides change their bridal outfit up to three times! Who wouldn’t want more than one spectacular dress to debut? The three dresses include a traditional white dress, a traditional Chinese bridal dress for the tea ceremony, and a cocktail dress to send off the guests.

In Japanese culture, there are many symbols and customs ingrained in their wedding traditions. While the Western custom of exchanging rings has become increasingly popular over the years, the ritual of “san-san-kudo”, the three by three exchanges are rich with meaning. It is performed by the bride and groom and both sets of parents; each person takes three sips of sake from each of three cups. The first three represent three couples, the bride and groom, and their parents. The second three represent three human flaws: hatred, passion, and ignorance. “Ku,” or nine is a lucky number in Japanese culture. And “do” means deliverance from the three flaws.

In many cultures such as Pan-Asian, symbols, colors, and different types of food mean good luck or fortune for the newlyweds. The different foods served all have special meanings, for example lobster might be served because redis a lucky color or clams served with both shells symbolize the couple’s union. Honoring your tradition is important, but so is staying true to your likes and dislikes of what you want on your big day. Honor is a big part of Asian culture, but what big day isn’t about giving a shout out to your parents an the people who’ve shaped who you’ve become? If you and your fiance are from different cultures, try to incorporate as much tradition as you both feel comfortable with. We guarantee your guests who are not familiar with them, will be dazzled by the Asian Fusion!

Gothic Wedding

Gothic Wedding
Fall is a fantastic time of year for a wedding, and there’s something fascinating about a bride who is daring enough to use Gothic wedding themes on her big day. It’s not traditional, it might scare some of your guests, but if they’re dare devils like you then they should get into the theme. What better time of year than October for blood red elegance?
Our favorite main piece is probably the thousands of Gothic wedding dresses you can pick from. They can be as expensive as traditional dresses but we’ve found some deals where they seem slightly less pricey. They can be simple to ornate, for example this stunning red A-line.
Other styles can be darker for your more Victorian rocker side.
The possibilities of a Gothic themed wedding are spectacular. You have permission to use dark colors that most people would think are too dramatic. There really isn’t anything too dramatic or wrong in this theme. We love brides who think outside the box! Your Gothic wedding doesn’t have to death and skeletons, like most people associate with the word. Gothic can simply refer to romanticism and you can wear white, like this stunning cascading gown.
Whatever colors you choose it’s all about the romance and elegance even with a Gothic wedding theme. But, feel free to go wild with black roses, cloaks, crimson accents and all the wonderful darkness that’s out there to play with! Your guests can also get into the theme by wearing top hats, long gloves and canes. Your perfect fall wedding is waiting.

British Wedding

British Wedding
This year, what’s left of it, still boasts hot trends such as the British Invasion. We’re sure Princess Kate and her sister Pipa’s style have influenced this trend! The elegance, sophistication and Downtown Abbey inspired style at weddings gives the feeling of grand royalty with out breaking the budget.
great-british-wedding-mood-board-jpg
The British wedding theme will have simple tables adorned with lace clothes. Dining alfresco is a popular option for this theme as well. It’ s so versatile that you can have the British wedding theme but also add your own flare to it. You can add personal touches like the vintage china you got from your grandmother, or serve that jam you learned to make yourself. Of course, setting can play an important role in an English themed wedding. Try picking a manor
or luxurious hotel to make it feel Victorian. Bonus points for finding a red phone booth for photo opportunities! You can even make one if you’re feeling DIY, there are plenty of ideas on Pinterest, on how to do this.  A red, white and blue color scheme will add to the British wedding feel –why not have your bridesmaids carry different colors or vests for the guys?
Have fun and keep a stiff upper lip when planning a British wedding. There are plenty of options to make it feel either modern or vintage England at your British wedding. Lace is never a bad ide
Aruba, jamaica, Oooo I wanna take ya

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I Wanna Take Ya

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I Wanna Take Ya

Are you looking to say “I Do” on a tropical island, sandy beach or private beach? Do you want a small, simple wedding? Do you want something different than the normal wedding affair? Whatever your reason, you have come to the right place. Toes in the water, tush in the sand, salty sea air whipping through your hair, these are just a few of the highlights of a beachy fun wedding. From Cape Cod to the white sandy beaches of the Virgin Islands, beaches come with some details that you need to consider when planning your love fest.

1) Pick an Off-Season Date

This may seem like a no-brainer, but pick a date in the off-season. Peak times may include Memorial Day through Labor Day. Off-peak is anything outside that window of time. The weather will still be stunning, but you’ll hear a lot more “yes” if you’re not trying to pull off a huge event in the middle of local business’ bread-and-butter season. Also, they’ll probably be more flexible in off-peak pricing than if you were trying to get married over 4th of July weekend or something.

2) Privacy

Once you pick a date, you’ll need to decide if you’re going public beach or private beach. The reality of getting married on the beach is that beaches very rarely offer the same freedoms as private property. Also, some people have serious aversions to sand, and consider it a glorified form of dirt. But beach weddings are possible, and not all of them require you to throw a large chunk of cash at an all-inclusive beach resort place.

Also, keep in mind that you may have a lot of gawkers that watch your wedding on the sidelines. There is really no way to avoid this unless you have bouncers or something.

3) Permits

If you choose a public beach, literally memorize the city ordinances governing that beach. Some beaches require permits for bonfires, food services, etc. Also, know THERE IS NO WAY TO AVOID OPEN CONTAINER LAWS. This may depend on the state, country, etc that you are having your beach wedding at, but know this could be a costly mistake if not adhered to.

According to many travel and wedding magazines the following 10 spots are the best locations to get hitched on the beach, in no particular order:

  1. Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines
  2. East Hampton, NY
  3. Watch Hill, Rhode Island
  4. Coronado, California
  5. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii- Kapalua.com
  6. St. Tropez, South of France
  7. Sitges church, Catalonia, Spain
  8. Mount Irvine Bay, Tobago
  9. White Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines
  10. Anse Chastanet, St. LuciaAruba, Jamaica, Oooo I wanna take ya
10 cant live without wedding blogs

Best Wedding Blogs

10 Can’t Live Without Wedding Blogs…Best Wedding Blogs
While planning your wedding, it’s always nice to have some inspiration when it comes to giving you ideas, drooling over gowns, or fun DIY projects. We’ve done the dirty work for you and sifted through hundreds, if not thousands of wedding blogs and Websites for the crème de la crème.
We chose the following fabulous wedding sites brimming with inspirations, pictures, and drool-worthy pretties to make your head swirl with ideas.
1) Martha Stewart Weddings
The queen of crafts is back at it and adding her flair to weddings. We can’t get enough of her personalized touches and crafty goodness.
2) Style Me Pretty
Want to drool over beautiful wedding photograph after another? Well, you’re in luck. SMP is the source for all things pretty. Not only do they pack the punch for pictures, but they also have a great resource guide to contact and utilize vendors that are featured in real weddings in your area! Isn’t that just the best idea ever?

3) Wedding Chicks
Wedding chicks is a one-stop shop for the bride in a hurry. From DIY printables to real wedding features to deals on vendors and services, this site is simply perfect for all brides and their planning process.
4) Recycled Bride
Are you looking for ways to turn one bride’s “junk” into your wedding day treasure? Well, the Recycled Bride does just that. They have classifieds, ideas, tips and tricks on how to effectively use someone else’s goods. They claim they have the largest wedding marketplace containing décor, wedding dresses, wedding accessories, and much, much more!
5) BRIDES
The BRIDES site is the online form of the print magazine. They cover absolutely everything you can imagine from registry assistance to honeymoon help to message boards encouraging other frantic brides that they are not alone in this wedding planning chaos.
6) The Knot
The Knot is the internet’s most-trafficked one-stop wedding planning solution. They offer a fresh voice and real-world sensibility alternative to the white-gloved, outdated advice of the available etiquette experts, The Knot has quickly become America’s leading wedding brand reaching out to millions of engaged couples each year through our award-winning website, books, magazines, and broadcast offerings.

7) Project Wedding
Indeed your wedding is a project. And with the right resources like Project Wedding, life can be a little more manageable. From DIY ideas to forums to travel tips and alternatives for the finicky bride, project wedding is a breath of fresh air.
8) Wedding Bee
The Wedding Bee is basically run by brides-to-be. You can apply to blog about your day-to-day planning, crafts, and other planning tips and tricks. It’s a perfect place for “misery is company” to find other brides dealing with similar situations or selling their goods from their own wedding.
9) Offbeat Bride
The Offbeat bride offers an alternative to traditional brides. From crazy wedding reception concepts to food to attire- anything is fair game here.

10) Budget Savvy Bride
So you’re on a budget, we’ll most couples are trying to stay within a budget for your big day, but the Budget Savvy Bride takes it to the next level of savings. Check it out to save yourself some cold hard cash.

upside down wedding cake

Upside Down Wedding Cake

upside down wedding cakeUpside down wedding cake? Yes, please!

After a whirlwind romance, Bing Bang cutie Kaley Cuoco married her tennis player boyfriend in a super glam, ultra whimsical wedding in LA.  And while the over the top wedding flowers, ritzy venue and celeb guest list are all in line with your typical tinsel town nuptuals, the fete had some seriously cool details like a bubble gum pink custom Vera Wang dress. And for the costume change later on in the night, this super cool bride didn’t go with a safe white either- she switched into a fit and flare red mini dress to dance the night away with her new hubby.  But the one detail that has everyone buzzing, is the upside down wedding cake the couple blew everyone away with, including the wedding industry veterans who must admit that it just might be the coolest cake in history.

upside down wedding cakeSo here’s what we know about the wedding and how the cake plays a perfect part in the entire event. The New Year’s Eve celebration had a “fire and ice” theme with fire being represented with ultra warm hued lighting and ice of course, being major bling.  The six tiered cake, created by Kimberly Bailey of LA- based The Butter End, was suspended from a huge crystal chandelier and adorned with matching crystals to carry through the them right down to the smaller tier. The entire thing was engineered with sandbags of matching weight and involved several trips to home depot to secure it just right so that the couple could literally dance under the “cake hanging from a chandelier” all night. Pretty cool.

And the guests even got a little show when the couple went to do the traditional cake cutting. And sure enough they cut right into it and it stayed perfectly affixed! The photos are really something to behold with a huge chunk missing after they tasted the cherry almond and vanilla almond buttercream confection.

While we hope to see more over the top cakes like Cuoco’s these bad boys don’t come cheap! The Butter End created a seven foot tall cake for Mariska Hargitay and a stunning 1,000 custom sugar flower creation for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding ringing in at around $11,000! So maybe this trend isn’t for the budget savvy bride but we can’t wait to see what those resourceful DIY brides have to say about this one! One thing is for sure, it’s not for the faint of heart!

Isle Media

Isle Media

This past weekend we did an event at Heritage Prairie Farms in Elburn. Sometimes you work with a wedding vendor who is head and shoulders above the rest. Isle Media is one of those vendors and their work is displayed in the video below. Enjoy!

Liz and Skyler Same-Day-Edit (Chicago, Illinois) from Isle Media on Vimeo.

Wedding of the Week: Coral Virginia Wedding

While browsing through one of our favorite blogs by the gals over at Southern weddings, iloveswmag.com, it became abundantly clear that not only is this next wedding more than worthy of a spot on our blog, but that events like this- so full of detail, Southern style and glorious paper ( wait until you see the paper!) are pretty rare.  We love the Southern charm that SW Mag brings us on a daily basis, but something about this wedding transcended your typical Southern Wedding and it chalk full of details and swoon-worthy elements that are perfect for so many different occasions. Let’s take you through a few of our favorites…

southern-wedding-gold-seal-invitation

The over the top simplicity: This may sound like an oxymoron, but this Charlottesville gem’s choices of clean, fresh white florals accented with coral (the color of the day!) to the sleek vanilla palette of bridesmaids dresses just screamed elegant and purposefully simple.  Just the right amount of color is used throughout the entire event that keeping with a neutral palette is just about the chicest idea we can think of. The simple white wedding cake is adorned with a surprising petal detail and the insanely gorgeous head table is all clean lines and white flowers with just a pop of hot pink coral.  The entire look is the perfect balance of style and restraint. And to top it all off, the couple used a modern lampshade overhead for just the right amount of contemporary lighting.  It’s this type of attention to detail that is so thought out yet so subtle, that makes your guests feel so comfortable while knowing they are part of something so very special.

southern-wedding-white-bouquet

Pops of whimsy: Lampshades and color pops aside, the couple opted for little “stations” along the way. A fun sign “Just Dance” adorned to a basket of “dancing flip flops” in shades of pink and white and little stationery cards with cute quotes throughout the reception kept the occasion light and fun. And can we just take a moment to drool over the paper? The stunning paper accents were courtesy of the uber talented Charlottesville native Erika Jack, and they were everywhere! We especially love the Mister and Mrs. signs for the back of the bride and groom’s chairs and the one of a kind menu cards hand stamped with a wax emblem.  Almost everywhere you turn, there is another beautiful use of paper- from marriage advice jars to the elegant wedding programs and table names, it’s worth a peak at every last detail!

southern-wedding-chair-signs

The tent: The Sperry tent (yes, that is the proper name, so don’t forget it when asking for your own!) is quintessential when it comes to have a wedding that screams “American Classic.” The fresh white flags on top are also about as cute as can be and with optional open sides, is perfect for various types of weather. And well the photo of the entire scene at night just about speaks for itself.

southern-wedding-tent-wedding

Photographer: Jen Fariello

Wedding of the Week: Snippet and Ink

There is a must see wedding on one of our favorite blogs,  Snippet and Ink, this week. You can find it under Nadine & Joe: Rustic FallWedding in the Berkshires. Everything about this event screams homespun, yet it remains utterly elegant and chalk full of festive and personal details.

The bride and groom said they were inspired by dinners they had growing up. With long, bountiful tables of family and friends, and of course amazing food. They called on Fire Roasted Catering to bring that homey feel to life while also taking the culinary element up a notch. With  a menu featuring salt rubber cod, roasted beef, and fire roasted pig with apple chutney, the bar was set and guests felt free to roam and eat and also take a seat at the gorgeous long tables. Piles of fresh corn and perfectly fragrant meats were on display as almost décor, which went perfectly with the rustic, yet refined scenery.

We absolutely love when couples mix high and low or rustic and elegant for their big day. The rustic element allows you to set a welcome and relaxed tone for guests, while also making things extra special for the occasion. These two were no exception. The tables were lined with crips white linens, burlap, and local flowers and finished with classic birchwood chiavari chairs. The look is timeless and the perfect choice for an Autumn affair.

Along with florals, the scene was enhanced by seasonal fruits and nuts wrapped in burlap, menus and invites tied in twine and baker’s string, and a sweet old-fashioned candy bar.  Simplicity truly proved to be the way to go with this wedding and we could just feel the love through the stunning and very candid pictures.

So if you are considering a homespun wedding, with an outdoor or even rustic feel, this wedding is too charming for words.

Sarah Culver Photography

Montefiori Event Center w/ Becky Brown Photography

Kate DiNardo & Greg Buikema
July 9th, 2011
Montefiori Events
Music By Design
Becky Brown Photography

Please enjoy their day in the midwest captured by the photo journalistic style of Becky Brown. Most images are on the beautiful grounds at Montefiori Events.