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November 2013 - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Who Wedding Guests Should Ask

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Who Wedding Guests Should Ask
Nov 302013
If you're going to a wedding and you have a question about the gift registry, what to wear, whether there will be kids at weddings, or anything else, try not to call the bride or groom---they're stressed as it is! Instead, give a call to the mother of the bride or to the best man or maid/matron of honor. They're usually privy to the wedding details and will be able to answer your questions.

For more Wedding tips, visit http://Wedding.lifetips.com

One Couple’s Colorful, Playful Wedding at the SLS Beverly Hills

 California, Glamorous, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer, Whimsical  Comments Off on One Couple’s Colorful, Playful Wedding at the SLS Beverly Hills
Nov 292013
Bride and groom at the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

We'd all been there as kids: You dream of an extravagant, fun-filled, over-the-top party with a budget your parents would never approve. Bright colors, crazy games, and lots of dancing. So when Joy and Jamie sat down to plan their wedding in early 2012, they knew exactly what they would do. They'd use their marriage as an opportunity to throw that party they'd always wanted, with a grown-up twist.

Jamie and Joy met in 2009 at a coffee shop (though, ironically, neither of them drinks coffee). Jamie asked Joy if anyone was using the seat next to her, and her response was "No, just you." The two quickly hit it off, and dated for two and a half years before Jamie proposed.

In January of 2012, they headed to the SLS Hotel for an impromptu date, including a couples' treatment at the hotel spa. Jamie booked them a room and had it filled with lilies, Joy's favorite flowers. He told Joy how frustrated he was that he hadn't been able to find the perfect diamond for her engagement ring, then pulled out an incredibly gaudy piece of costume jewelry and slipped it on her finger "as a placeholder," says Joy. When she told him no placeholder was needed, he removed the costume ring to reveal the engagement ring he'd designed hiding beneath it, already on her hand!

Bride in Allure Couture with a yellow Calla lily bouquet.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

For their wedding on November 3, 2012, Joy wore a drop-waisted ball gown with an embellished sweetheart neckline by Allure Couture. She chose the gown because, she says, "When I tried it on, I felt and looked the way my inner little girl had always thought I would look on my wedding day."

Groom's custom Nikes in black and turquoise.

The groom and his son getting ready for the wedding.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

Jamie and Joy had their Nikes custom-designed during a long weekend in New York City. Jamie's collection is pretty impressive, and he's gotten Joy in on the fun! They also had sneakers made for Jamie's children, Emmerson and Bailey. Bailey served as his dad's best man, getting ready with him before the ceremony.

The groom's children in customized sneakers.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

Emmerson, who was Joy's maid of honor, only agreed to wear a floor-length dress if Joy would let her wear sneakers underneath. She and her brother sported custom Nikes emblazoned with "Best Girl" and "Best Boy".

Outdoor wedding ceremony at the SLS Beverly Hills.

Outdoor wedding ceremony seating at the SLS Beverly Hills.

Outdoor chuppah decorated with yellow and orange flowers.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

The couple's ceremony took place on the hotel's terrace at sunset. A combination of benches and black and silver chairs, flanked by oversized mirrors, gave the space a modern spin. The focal point was the elegant chuppah, draped with billowing white fabric and topped with orange and yellow flowers. Turquoise fabric added a playful touch.

The bride and groom with their kids showing off their rings.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

Joy and Jamie let their officiant design the ceremony. He sent them each a questionnaire beforehand and used their answers to put it all together, which gave their wedding a personal, heartfelt touch.

A colorful wedding reception at the SLS Beverly Hills.

Scrabble wedding centerpieces with bright flowers.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

The reception was all about fun. Three different table setups each had a separate focus: Games (jacks, Rubik's cubes, and Scrabble), candy, and chalkboards and pinwheels. They displayed the table numbers on Lite-Brite boards. Shades of yellow, orange, pink, and turquoise popped against white backgrounds and tied the tables together.

Felt moustache and lips place cards and photo booth props.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

The escort cards also served as photo booth props. Women got hot pink lips, while men got playful moustaches. Guests loved using them for photos later in the evening!

A wedding cupcake tower display.

The bride and groom's father-daughter and mother-son dance with their kids.

Photo: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

Instead of a cake, the couple served tiers of mini cupcakes in their favorite flavors. Tie-dye frosting in bright colors was a playful finishing touch. In addition to their choreographed tap performance, Joy and Jamie did a father-daughter and mother-son dance with Jamie's two children. Then, the real party began!

After throwing a fairly unconventional wedding, Joy and Jamie recommend that all couples make sure that the wedding is about them, and is the way they want it. "Compromise for each other, not those outside your partnership. And remember that this is the first day of the rest of your life together!" says Joy.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: SLS Beverly Hills || Wedding Planner: Allyson Joseph of Bob Gail Events || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Allure Couture || Jewelry & Rings: KIV Karats || Shoes: PMK Custom Kicks and Nike ID || Florist: Bob Gail Events || Invitations: Urbanic Paper Boutique || Catering: The Bazaar || Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop || Photography: Allison Gable & Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable

—Jaimie Schoen

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Gem Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Finding Your Dream Engagement Ring

 Engagement Rings  Comments Off on Gem Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Finding Your Dream Engagement Ring
Nov 292013
Engagement Ring Shopping Tips

Photo: Petkov Plamen

Cushion cut or emerald? Baguettes or pavé setting? Figuring out what kind of engagement ring you want (not to mention where you and your fiancé should buy it) can seem daunting. Fear not! We're about to make it really easy—and fun!

1. Learn the lingo

Baguette: A rectangular diamond, usually set on either side of the central stone.
Carat: The unit by which gemstones are weighed. More carats mean a heftier price tag. Clarity: The clearer the stone, the more valuable it is.
Color: Diamonds come in a rainbow of colors, from canary yellow to pink to black, but colorless diamonds are the traditional favorite—and the more colorless they are, the more expensive they become. Color grades range from D (colorless) to Z (pale yellow). Insider's tip: Anything between D and J will look colorless to the untrained eye. Cut: The style used when shaping a stone. (This is different from the shape of the stone.) Cut grades range from excellent to poor. An excellent (or "premium") cut will cost you about 10 percent more, but it's well worth it. "If a lower- quality stone has a premium cut, the stone will pop like something much more expensive," says Russell Shor, senior industry analyst at the Gemological Institute of America.
Pavé: Tiny diamonds set very close together, so no metal is visible.

2. Look your budget in the eye

You probably have a rough sense of what he can afford, but it's important to have the conversation before anybody starts shopping. Heart set on a Kardashian-size boulder? Be prepared to wiggle on color and clarity, or go for a stone with a larger surface area (or "table") but less depth. Insider's tip: Consider a stone with a slightly smaller carat size—say, 1.9 instead of 2.0. The difference in cost is major, and you'll never miss that wee bit of carat.

3. The shopping question

Sixty-two percent of couples today shop for rings together, but if you'd rather he go solo, make sure your mom and best friends know what you want. Chances are, he'll ask for their help.

4. Go surfing

Whether you want to buy your ring online or just browse, the Web is full of great jewelry sites. Bluenile.com, kwiat.com, tiffany.com, zales.com, simongjewelry.com, forevermarkdiamond.com, and cartier.com are some of our favorites, because they let you combine different stones and settings to see what you like best.

5. Shop till you drop

Of course, shopping for rings in person is also really, really fun. In addition to being waited on like you're in a five-star hotel, you'll get to see exactly what the ring looks like on your finger—and he'll feel like a prince for making you so happy.

6. Big brand or local boutique?

Totally a matter of personal choice. Ask family and friends for recommendations—and check to make sure the store is accredited by Jewelers of America. Insider's tip: It's typically cheaper to forgo the preset ring. Buy a loose stone, and design your own setting.

7. Precious metals Platinum, white gold, or yellow gold?

Platinum is the most durable (and pricey); if you're debating color, really think about what other jewelry you wear.

8. Make it official

Before you buy, have your stone independently appraised and graded—you'll need this for insurance purposes. Most important of all? Once you've said yes and that little beauty's on your finger, enjoy it—it's your ring!

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Brides’ Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Gifts for Your Bridesmaids

 Bridesmaids  Comments Off on Brides’ Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Gifts for Your Bridesmaids
Nov 292013
Best Gifts for Bridesmaids - Holiday 2013

Photos: Courtesy of vendors

Your bridesmaids offer nods of encouragement as you brave the bridal salon for wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses. They share in the paper cuts that come from stuffing wedding invitation envelopes. They even endure high-heeled pain (and smeared mascara!) standing by your side as you recite those handwritten wedding vows.

This holiday season, it's time to show them some love.

You could panic and get them all a nail polish a week before the wedding, or you could take advantage of the season's best steals and snag your nearest and dearest totally unexpected—and totally adorable—tokens of appreciation they'll go nuts over and, better yet, will actually use. Here, nine items our editors ohhed and ahhed over this year.

Time to go shopping, brides-to-be!

1. For the Bridesmaid You Put on Mother-in-Law Duty: Dramatic Earrings

So glam, so elegant, so affordable—these stunners make any LBD black-tie ready.

Chandelier earrings, $17, Cost Plus World Market

2. For the Bridesmaid Who Has Been Reading Your Horoscope Since Before Your Met Your Fiancé : A Constellation Necklace

Admit it: You've got more than one initial necklace from your own bridesmaid gigs buried in your jewelry box. Break out of the alphabet with a simple gold-plated disc painted with the birth-sign constellation of each of your 'maids.

Gold-plated Taurus locket necklace, $75, Julie Nolan Jewelry available on Etsy

3. For the Bridesmaid Who Checked "Vegan" on the RSVP Card: An Organic Skin-Care Set

Weeks of pre-wedding stress and a weekend of champagne top-offs will leave your girls needing some TLC, stat. Help them give their complexion some love with this set of (all-natural and organic!) travel-size essentials, including a cleanser, moisturizer, blotting sheet, and microdermabrasion scrub mask. They'll be ready for work on Monday in no time!

One Love Organics Essentials to Go, $50, One Love Organics

4. For the Bridesmaid Who Has an Excel Spreadsheet Dedicated to Your Bachelorette Party: A Stash Box

No, not that kind of stash. It's the perfect size for her earrings, hair ties, fave lipsticks, and anything else you need organized—and customizable with each bridesmaid's name and favorite design.

Personalized Lucite box, $78, Minnie & Emma

5. For the Bridesmaid Who Always Offers to Do Your Makeup: A Wedding-Day Makeup Set

This has everything they'll need for touch ups at the reception (or any night out ever): gorge neutral lipstick, mini mascara, and a corrective pen to brighten up tired eyes after a night of dancing. They'll thank you when the photos come out!

Givenchy Red Carpet Look, $60, Sephora

6. For the Bridesmaid Who Introduced You to the Perfect Stationer: Monogrammed Stationery

She'll never be more excited to write you a thank-you note for her gift.

Monogrammed note set, $18, Fig. 2 Design Studio

7. For the Bridesmaid Who Helped You Stuff Envelopes: Ultrarich Hand Creams

Buy the set of 10, jam-packed with moisturizing shea butter, dole 'em out to your bridesmaids, and keep the rest for yourself!

L'Occitane Hand Cream Soiree, $92; Sephora

8. For the Bridesmaid Who Has Her Own Pinterest Board Dedicated to Your Wedding Dress: A Statement Necklace

Gift them a piece they can wear with their bridesmaids' dresses—and then out on Saturday night a week later.

Necklace, $98, C. Wonder

9. For the Bridesmaid Who Is Traveling All the Way Across the Country Just to Be There: Jewelry Roll

So very Liz Taylor on a yacht off the coast of Italy, no? They'll want to stash their jewelry in it year-round.

Leopard jewelry roll, $24, Pottery Barn

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I Can’t Ask My Fiancé For a Different Engagement Ring, Can I?

 Engagement Rings, Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on I Can’t Ask My Fiancé For a Different Engagement Ring, Can I?
Nov 292013
How to ask for a different engagement ring

Photo: Getty Images

It sounds trivial, but not getting your dream engagement ring is a big deal for a lot of brides. It's jewelry you wear every day! If you wanted a platinum ring and your fiancé bought you one in white gold, can you ask him to reset it? Our wedding etiquette experts weigh in on this tricky issue in our daily post.

I got engaged about a year ago. My fiancé had a beautiful ring hand-made for me. I love the setting, the diamonds are exactly what I wanted. I get complimented on it all the time. The problem is...I wanted platinum, and he got me white gold. I only wear silver jewelry, I hate gold anything. I feel that this is something I'm going to wear for the rest of my life, and I should have exactly what I want. Am I being selfish and/or unreasonable? Should I tell him that I would like to have the ring reset in platinum?

There is no way to bring this up to your fiancé without insulting him, and there is no way to have the ring reset without undergoing a huge expense. Platinum typically costs twice what white gold costs, so you're probably talking at least a couple thousand dollars to re-set. Your future husband was smart to buy only the ring he could afford, and you should appreciate that about him.The best thing to do without hurting your future husband's feelings is get the ring dipped. If you have to get it dipped every 6 months to a year, that may be an option for you. Platinum can be very expensive and maybe it was not in the budget for him at the time.

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Leave the Kiddies at Home

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Leave the Kiddies at Home
Nov 292013
Unless your children are specifically invited to the wedding (i.e. the invitation reads 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith *and family*), arrange for a sitter. More and more couples are choosing to have child-free weddings, and it's better to be on the safe side than to infringe on the wishes of the bride and groom.

For more Wedding tips, visit http://Wedding.lifetips.com

A 1920’s Wedding Inspiration Shoot With Nautical Flair

 Elegant, Formal, Glamorous, JLM Couture, Real Weddings, Vintage  Comments Off on A 1920’s Wedding Inspiration Shoot With Nautical Flair
Nov 282013

For couples seeking out a wedding style that will stand the test of time, there's nothing better than gathering inspiration from a bygone era that is just as gorgeous now as it was then. This inspiration shoot, designed by Lindye Galloway and photographed by Jasmine Star, does just that, taking details grounded in the 1920's and making them fresh and modern, with a nautical twist.

The shoot took place at the Marion Davis Beach House in Santa Monica, California. Says Lindye, "it is a place full of history and architectural beauty, which made it the perfect home to which we could add our own 1920's wedding flair!" Muted sea green, cream, and gold--with touches of navy for contrast--combine with shell-inspired shapes to create a salt-weathered, airy, sunlit atmosphere. And when the venue is as beautiful as the Marion Davis Beach House before it's decorated, you know the end result will be stunning. The décor takes advantage of all the home has to offer, making this shoot a sun-kissed mixture of cozy and chic.

The simple invitation suite sets the scene. A graphic blue pattern, reminiscent of rolling waves, ties into the seaside location and adds Art Deco sensibility.

A scalloped pattern, made of gold sequins, covers the three panels that form the backdrop of the altar. Tables topped with lush floral arrangements complete the vignette. And how creative (and comfortable) is the seating? Vintage sofas, settees and armchairs are a fantastic upgrade to the traditional options, and also help to bring the ceremony back to a time past. Overhead, a crystal chandelier harkens back to the Roaring '20s.

Ceremony altar with white and gold flowers and a gold sequin backdrop.

Ceremony decor with golden and white roses and a brooch.

Golden and white roses, white chrysanthemums and dusty miller leaves create a soft, warm color palette. Hints of gold, from brooches on the vases to the base of the side tables, add a touch of modern shine. The use of vintage furniture for the ceremony seating heightens the antique, timeless atmosphere.

Golden and white bridal bouquet with chrysanthemums, roses and dusty miller leaves.

Roses, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and dusty miller are wrapped in lace and finished with a vintage-inspired gold brooch. The subtly shimmering décor is perfect for a formal ceremony.

This beautiful Jim Hjelm dress will definitely stand the test of time. The textured skirt and shimmering belt keep it current, while the elegant low back, sweetheart neck, and modified ball gown skirt will never go out of style.

A white rose boutonniere is a classy, timeless addition to a traditional tuxedo. Arrangements of gold and white flowers in the foyer create cohesion by bringing the color scheme from the ceremony through the home and into the reception.

Vintage furniture lends a cozy vibe to an intimate wedding reception. The dining room's alcoves provide sweet spots to display additional floral arrangements, while floor-to-ceiling windows let in the sunshine.

A low centerpiece of hydrangeas and roses with gold accents.

Low centerpieces ensure that guests can see one another across the table. Golden roses stud arrangements overflowing with white hydrangeas, warming up the sleek table. Tall gold bottles and gilded votive holders give the centerpiece some shine.

Printed menus tie in the wave-inspired motif from the invitation. A similarly textured tone-on-tone placemat is a playful update on a neutral. Treat your guests to something unexpected with gilded flatware, gold-rimmed dishes and luxe golden napkins.

Vintage-inspired deviled egg and caviar appetizers.

1920's cocktail culture inspires the menu. Passed bites–from dressed-up deviled eggs to a modern take on potato pancakes and caviar–are tastily traditional. And for the cocktails themselves, the addition of fresh fruit puts a colorful spin on classic flavors.

White and gold centerpieces with votive candles.

The 1920's were all about glitz and glimmer. Here, a few statement pieces, like these tall gold bottles and gilded votive holders, create a vintage vibe, while the shape and texture are all modern.

Accents of lace, texture, and soft flowers make the table a refreshing combination of antique and contemporary. Dusty miller leaves, overblown chrysanthemums and hydrangeas blur the sharp lines of the vases and bottles.

Vintage furniture used for seating at a wedding reception.

The use of a love seat for the bride and groom ensures that they'll be close together all night, and is a great way to add more vintage furniture to the room. A few pillows bring some color to the neutral-hued chairs.

A display of arrangements in varying heights creates a beautiful tableau and dresses up the room without overwhelming the table with blooms.

Wedding dessert display of macarons, cupcakes, cake pops, cookies and wedding cake in white and gold.

Shades of cream, gold and brown unify the dessert display and dress up simple sweets like cupcakes and cookies. Pearlescent macarons, glitter-topped cake pops and chocolate-dipped cookies are sure to satisfy every sweet tooth. Boxes, trays, and stands on shelves are a fresh take on the dessert bar.

The pièce de résistance is this white and gold wedding cake. Scalloped fondant adds a touch of nautical, while strands of sugar gems are incredibly opulent. The square shape is a beautiful mix of Art Deco and modern.

Simple, elegant makeup, a soft up-do and vintage-inspired jewelry make this a wedding day look any bride would be happy to look back on in the years to come. That mini cupcake? An absolutely delicious (and adorable) sign of the times.

Location: Marion Davies Guest House || Design: Lindye Galloway Design || Production: The Bridal Bar || Florist: Peony & Plum || Invitations, Menus, Place Cards & Paper Details: Laura Hooper Calligraphy || Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals || Cocktails & Catering: GOOD GRACIOUS! Events || Cake & Desserts: Vanilla Bake Shop || Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm || Headpiece: Yana Beauty Studio || Belt & Jewelry: Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories || Bridal Shoes: CHROMATICgallerie || Hair & Makeup: Melina Ruiz, Reign of Beauty || Tuxedo & Shoes: Men's Wearhouse || Models: Susy Diab of Q Model Management, Alejandro Rojas of Wilhelmina Panama || Videographer: Cloudless Weddings || Photographer: Jasmine Star Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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Introducing Our Newest Guest Blogger Carolyn Hsu

 Carolyn Hsu, Real Brides, Real Weddings  Comments Off on Introducing Our Newest Guest Blogger Carolyn Hsu
Nov 282013

What do real brides have to say about the wedding planning experience? Well, it's not all happy tears at the bridal boutique and indulgent cake tastings. Over the next two months, guest blogger Carolyn Hsu, Founder of The Hsu Closet and Managing Editor at Makeup.com, will share the ins and outs of planning a New York City wedding, picking the perfect venue, crafting a day-of beauty look and finding inspiration in the strangest of places.

When I got engaged last September, I didn't want to plan a wedding—I wanted to elope. It might seem unexpected coming from someone who lives the bulk of her life online (I'm a longtime blogger at The Daily Obsession and The Hsu Closet and current managing editor of Makeup.com), but I'm actually pretty shy when it comes to public attention and displays of affection. In fact, I kept our engagement secret for a few weeks (except to our families of course) before finally releasing a Facebook photo showcasing myself carrying a bag I had bought in Paris—and sporting some brand new bling. To this day, my Facebook relationship status still remains blank.

Carolyn Hsu Engagement Announcement

Photo: Courtesy of Carolyn Hsu

My engagement announcement, in all its glory.

As soon as the cat was out of the bag (or in my case, the bag was out on the Internet), the questions started coming in. When's the wedding? Where's the wedding? What color is your wedding? Have you set a date? Do you have a dress? And the answer to all those questions was either "no" or "I don't know." In fact all the inquiries swirling around my upcoming nuptials quickly became overwhelming when I hadn't even answered the most basic question of all: "would I have a wedding?"

The fact that I'm blogging about my journey to the aisle for Brides gives away that at the end I decided that I would—complete with a ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, the whole shebang. The turning point came when one night over dinner, my fiance told me that despite my frequent proclamations that I was missing the "bride gene," he didn't want me to regret choosing to forgo a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would never have again. Plus, he said, everyone that we care about will be there and when else would we ever experience so much love in one room?

Once that was decided, the rest of the planning process actually turned out to be pretty fun! One of the perks of being an editor is getting to attend awesome events and launch parties put together by some of the best planners around. I started paying extra attention to the details at those events, taking note of what I liked and wanted to incorporate into my own party. I knew from the get-go that I didn't want a big traditional wedding with a lot of pomp and circumstance, but rather something that was more intimate, non-traditional, and reflected who we were as a couple—young professional New Yorkers who didn't take ourselves too seriously and liked to go out downtown and have a good time. I wanted something that was stylish, original, and most importantly, fun and memorable for our guests. I look forward to sharing my experiences and discoveries with you over the next few months.

A little more about my fiance and I: he (Derek) and I met at a random birthday party at the end of 2009. Neither of us knew the birthday girl. Derek had just moved to New York from San Francisco a few weeks prior while I was going on my fourth year living in Manhattan. We met, of all places, in line getting carded and struck up a conversation where I learned that he worked in the solar industry. I thought that was interesting, as I had never met anyone in renewable energy before. A few years and a couple solar conferences later (hey, I went too because those conventions are held in really warm, sunny places ok?) he proposed one evening while we were vacationing in Lake Como, Italy. The ring? A classic David Yurman Crossover, which he knew I liked because I had Instagrammed a photo of it from their press preview months prior. I told you there were some perks to this job!

—Carolyn Hsu

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4 Wintry Signature Cocktails to Spread Holiday (and Wedding) Cheer!

 Food & Drink, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on 4 Wintry Signature Cocktails to Spread Holiday (and Wedding) Cheer!
Nov 282013
Signature Wedding Cocktail Idea - Gin Nolita

Photo: Courtesy of Nolet

Whether you're having a winter wedding or just looking for a fun, festive drink to serve friends and family this holiday season, these signature cocktail recipes incorporate some of the tastiest flavors of the season.

Silver Nolita (above)
.5 oz. NOLET'S Silver Dry Gin
.375 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
.375 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
.375 oz. Aperol
.25 oz. Orgeat

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake vigorously and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit peel.

"Warm holiday spices work in tandem with the Nolita," says the drink's creator, Jaren Singh, Portfolio Mixologist of Nolet Spirits USA. "Think roasted almonds with paprika, a charcuterie platter, or baked pear with a balsamic drizzle."

Signature Wedding Cocktail idea - Winter Lemonade

Photo: Courtesy of Nolet

Silver Winter Lemonade
1.25 oz. NOLET's Silver Dry Gin
1 oz. Meyer lemon juice
4 oz. Filtered water
1 Tablespoon baker's sugar

Combine all ingredients except water, in a mixing glass with ice. Shake and pour contents directly into a Collins glass. Top with filtered water and grated Meyer lemon zest.

Winter is peak season for Meyer lemons, says Singh. "Their slightly bitter profile combined with a little bit of sugar rounds out for a well-balanced cocktail," he says.

Signature Wedding Cocktail idea - Pumpkin Flip

Photo: Courtesy of Nolet

Silver Pumpkin Flip
1.25 oz. NOLET'S Silver Dry Gin
1 oz. Pumpkin Puree
1 Whole Egg
.5 oz. Maple Syrup
1 Bar Spoon Sugar

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Dry shake until emulsified (about one minute). Add ice and shake again, vigorously. Double strain into a martini glass. Dust the top with nutmeg to garnish.

Serve this tasty pumpkin treat with dessert, says Singh. But keep the options light and delicate—think French vanilla macaroons.

Signature Wedding Cocktail idea - Holiday Tea

Photo: Courtesy of Nolet

Silver Holiday Tea
1 oz. NOLET'S Silver Dry Gin
.5 oz. Allspice Dram
4 oz. Black Tea
1 Bar Spoon Orange Marmalade

Brew black tea separately, let stand to chill. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake well with ice, to dissolve marmalade, and fine strain over fresh ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

"This drink recipe calls for Allspice, an ingredient that's perfect for the holidays and cold winter months," says Singh. (What's more, this drink pairs perfectly with bacon-wrapped figs, he says. Yum!)

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Ways to Survive Holiday Dinners on a Wedding Diet

 Fitness and Health, Food & Drink, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on Ways to Survive Holiday Dinners on a Wedding Diet
Nov 282013
Holiday Wedding Diet Tips

Photos: Brian Finke

The holidays are a time for one thing, and one thing only: Food, food, and more delicious homemade food. But even during this feast-centric time, when you're tempted with endless flutes of bubbly and all manner of bacon-wrapped nibblies and made-with-love baked goods, you can keep your wedding weight-loss plan on track. How? By keeping these pro tips top of mind (this way, you can indulge once it comes times to taste things on your wedding menu!):

1. Remember that fruits and veggies are your friends. Gotta love that tasty fiber: If you fill up on Kiwi kebabs or crudités, you'll be less likely to lunge for something naughty.

2. As for dips, a good bet is hummus and guacamole, says nutritionist Tricia Williams, founder of Food Matters, an NYC-based nutrition-counseling service. "But only two tablespoons," she notes. "They contain healthy fats, but the calories add up." A bad bet, then? Hot spinach dip. Although the spinach makes it sound low-cal, "it's loaded with cream cheese and mozzarella," says Williams.

3. Fluorescent cocktails are not a bright idea. Basically, "anything with color isn't good," says wellness whiz David Kirsch. "It's usually caloric and sugary." When it's time to get your drink on, go for vodka and soda. Who knew that tonic water is packed with sugar? (Eleven grams in a measly four ounces, similar to a bottle of Sprite.) Conversely, soda water contains exactly zero sugar. Clearly, vodka-and-soda beats the calorie pants off a gin-and-tonic.

4. Don't walk into a holiday meal ravenous. Kirsch strongly recommends a pre-party game plan that involves sustenance, be it a protein bar or one of his Thermo Bubbles packets, powdered vitamin supplements laced with appetite-suppressing chromium picolinate. "That way," he says, "you won't do anything crazy." (Like eat everything that isn't nailed down.)

5. When it comes to hors d'oeuvres, don't go for savory turnovers, because there's no removing that flaky shell. Also, "be wary of treats wrapped in bacon," warns Williams. Which doesn't mean never, ever. One won't kill you! You can, though, nibble on pigs in a blanket! For extra credit, peel off that blanket. "They're certainly not as bad as a fried wonton," says Kirsch. "Steer clear of anything fried."

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