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August 2014 - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

10 Genius Wedding Ideas That Don’t Cost a Penny

 Planning Tips, Wedding Planning, Wedding Style, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on 10 Genius Wedding Ideas That Don’t Cost a Penny
Aug 312014

Personal touches are everything when it come to your wedding. Whether your groom spends days curating that perfect reception playlist featuring every single one of your favorite songs or you mix up a signature cocktail that is as delicious as it is meaningful, the smallest details can make the biggest difference.

But often times, even the littlest elements can be pretty expensive — especially in the world of weddings. To help you turn up the personality and turn down the price tag, we asked some of our favorite florists, planners and bloggers to share unique and creative wedding ideas that are free — yes, free!

With wedding freebies like printable drink straws, escort cards from the paint store, and wildflower confetti, it's totally possible to save cash without sacrificing style. To see all the creative ideas from our favorite wedding pros, check out our complete slideshow in the link below.

Click here to read our entire list of 10 genius wedding ideas that don't cost a penny!

Pretty in Pink! Our Favorite Pink Wedding Bouquets

 Flowers, Wedding Flowers  Comments Off on Pretty in Pink! Our Favorite Pink Wedding Bouquets
Aug 312014

Pretty pink hues — everything from blush to bold magenta — are perennially popular picks when it comes to wedding colors. While the paler shades, like blush and petal pink, may seem like the most obvious pinks thanks to their neutral yet pretty style, engaged girls should feel free to think beyond these light colors. Richer, warm colors are just as easy to incorporate into your wedding.

While there are lots of places to add pops of pink, the most obvious is through your wedding flowers. Namely, your bridal bouquet. Since your bouquet will be photographed from the time you're getting ready until the very end of the reception, it's important to pick standout blooms that complement your décor and wedding dress.

Whether you're a winter bride or a beach girl, there are tons of pink blooms for you to carry on your big day. Consider garden roses, peonies, ranunculus and lilies, or mix and match your favorite blossoms to create a lush and unexpected arrangement. Another inspired idea? Use neutral, rosy tones as a base color to anchor bold, seasonal colors. If you're tying the knot in the fall or winter, try mixing in deep reds. Spring and summer brides should consider bright yellow accents to play off the warm-weather months.

To help you get inspired when creating your own arrangement, we found 20 beautiful pink bouquets! Click here to check them out!

Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade Are Married! See Photos of Her Two Wedding Dresses & Get All of the Details

 Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings, News  Comments Off on Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade Are Married! See Photos of Her Two Wedding Dresses & Get All of the Details
Aug 312014

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade have officially tied the knot! The actress and championship-winning basketball player were wed yesterday at the Chateau Artisan in Miami, Florida.

The power couple stuck to the classic color of black and white for the occasion where the beautiful bride wore two custom Dennis Basso wedding dresses from Kleinfeld Bridal. Wade sported a custom-made Dsquared2 ensemble with a Wedding Collection bowtie he personally designed with The Tie Bar and a boutonniére by Floral Fix.

One gown (seen above) featured a sweetheart neckline and a plunging, bow-adorned back, while the second (seen below) was embellished with bugle beads, pearls and crystals and featured a high-slit skirt. "Dennis Basso was the perfect choice for my wedding day," Union tells WWD. "He is a classic American designer, and knew perfectly how to harness both my inner Grace Kelly coupled with a touch of sensuality through his designs." The actress and designer were introduced by Union's stylish Jason Bolden.

Naturally, the ceremony was star-studded with such notable celebrities in attendance including newly-engaged actor Kevin Hart, fellow Heat team member Chris Bosh and his wife Adrienne, LaLa and Carmelo Anthony, and reality TV star Jonathan Cheban.

See More: Which Celebrity Couple Will Get Married Next?

The guests were asked to wear formal white looks and were serenaded by John Legend. A 1930's era juke joint was recreated for the party where Vanilla Puddin' chardonnay was served as the wedding's official white wine, as reported by People.

Before the big day, the couple held their rehearsal dinner at posh steakhouse Prime 112 where only an intimate group of 30 friends and family were invited. The dinner's menu was decided by the couple, where they dined in one of the restaurant's private rooms, a source tells Us Weekly. The lady of the evening skewed sultry in a black halter jumpsuit with cutout detailing, while her soon-to-be husband wore a simple white collared shirt and black trousers. They drove up to the venue in a black Ferrari and finished their night, partying at Miami hotspot LIV.

After four years of dating, Wade proposed to Union in December 2013 with an 8.5-carat cushion-cut diamond stunner. This is the second marriage for both Wade and Union, as he was previously married to his high-school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches from 2002 to 2007 and she was married to NFL player Chris Howard from 2001 to 2005.

Navigating That Time Between the Ceremony & Reception

 Etiquette, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on Navigating That Time Between the Ceremony & Reception
Aug 312014

Just as much as it's important to have every wedding detail set — from the flowers, to the cake, to the reception lighting — it's also important to time your big day just right. You don't want to get guests all excited during your ceremony, and have them lose energy and interest with a four hour-long break between your "I do" and the reception. It's key to have a good momentum going. That being said, a break between ceremony and reception is also necessary for taking pictures and setting up your venue. To do so well, our etiquette experts are here to help you nail the perfect timing so you can keep the party going!

Can I have a pre-reception break?
A short break between the wedding ceremony and reception is probably helpful to you (you can take your formal pictures then and still make it to your cocktail hour). And two hours of downtime shouldn't upset your guests. (It's pretty common, actually, especially for Catholic church weddings.) Your local guests can probably just head back home and cool their heels before the evening festivities begin. As for the out-of-town guests, be sure to provide a little something for them. Maybe offer a few light snacks and drinks in a hospitality suite at the hotel where they're staying. Or, ask a friend or family member to invite the out-of-towners to their house for iced tea and cookies.

What's the appropriate amount of time between the ceremony and reception?
Having your reception start immediately after the ceremony is ideal, which is possible if you're holding both at the same place. If not, don't let guests languish for more than an hour between events. Try to choose venues that are no more than half an hour's drive apart, and take as many formal photos before the ceremony as possible, suggests Holly Tripp, a wedding consultant and owner of Holly Tripp Event Design in Dallas, Texas. "You could even have the receiving line at the reception [during the cocktail hour], so guests can start enjoying drinks and hors d'oeuvres once you greet them," says Tripp. If, however, a long wait is truly unavoidable, "arrange to have a hospitality suite with refreshments at a nearby hotel, or ask a family member or close friend who lives in the vicinity to host a pre-party," she says.

I'd like the wedding ceremony to be small and intimate — can I invite most guests to the reception, only?
Yes, it is certainly acceptable to extend an invitation to only the reception. More and more couples are going this route, choosing to have an intimate, private ceremony with just family and closest friends, followed by a larger reception with everyone else. (However, it's never acceptable to extend an invitation only to the ceremony if you're also having a reception.)

Just keep in mind that some guests may feel a bit bummed about missing out on the poignant part of your wedding day. To make sure everyone is aware and comfortable with the decision, it's important to announce it in advance; otherwise, you may risk some hurt feelings from guests who had hoped to witness the ceremony. First off, you will need to print two sets of invitations. The first set should list both the ceremony and the reception information, while the second should invite guests to the reception, only. Once the RSVPs start trickling in, stick to your guns: Some guests may try to pressure you into inviting them to the ceremony also. But if you make one exception, you'll invariably have to make another one. So stay strong and don't go back on your original decision. Just be sure to convey how excited you are to party with them at the reception.

Trending Now: Wedding Dresses with Modern Belts

 Bridal Fashion Week, Spring 2015 Bridal Fashion Week, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on Trending Now: Wedding Dresses with Modern Belts
Aug 302014
Belt Wedding Dress Trend

Photos (from left to right): John Aquino and Steve Eichner; Courtesy of Romona Keveza Collection; Thomas Iannaccone

Bridal sashes are a wedding dress standard. And while cinching your waist is a surefire way to flaunt your curves, there are more options than just the classic ribbon-tied sashes. This season, designers took it one step further by showing more structured and statement-making waist-cinchers. Whether it was an ultra-sleek and modern silver metallic belt or just a thicker cut of fabric, these belts are totally fashion forward. Whether you're looking for a figure-flattering accessory, or you want added embellishments, consider trying this fashionable wedding dress trend.

Here, a few looks from recent bridal runways that feature of-the-moment belts!

Belt Trend Romona Keveza

Photo: Courtesy of Romona Keveza Collection

Romona Keveza Collection: This season, Keveza was the biggest belt proponent, with design after design walking down her Spring 2015 runway featuring a thick metallic band. These mid-waist additions are so eye-catching that they even come off as futuristic! In the best possible way, of course.

Wedding dresses by Romona Keveza Collection

Belt Trend Monique Lhuillier

Photo: John Aquino and Steve Eichner

Monique Lhuillier: We've already compared this look to a piece of chic outerwear, so it's no surprise that the tulle overskirt's band is a thick piece of fabric that resembles a belt.

"Fabienne" long sleeve embellished sheath wedding dress with a front slit, tulle overskirt, and keyhole illusion neckline, Monique Lhuillier

Belt Trend Reem Acra

Photo: Thomas Iannaccone

Reem Acra: Offsetting the design's inherently ethereal feel, the severity of this thicker white band adds drama and contrast to an otherwise soft and romantic silhouette.

Embroidered chiffon A-line wedding dress with a v-neckline and short sleeves, Reem Acra

Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi Reveals the Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.

 Brides Magazine August/September 2014, Food & Drink  Comments Off on Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi Reveals the Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.
Aug 302014
Padma Lakshmi Most Romantic Restuarants

Photo: Getty Images

Whether your guy is looking for a dreamy spot to pop the question or you're planning a a romantic dinner for two, it can be hard to find a truly special place with great food and atmosphere. Luckily, Top Chef host and tableware designer (find her new line at Bloomingdale's!) Padma Lakshmi knows a thing or two about romance and food. Here, she offers up her top three favorite romantic restaurants in the U.S.


Photo: Courtesy of Besh Restaurant Group

August in New Orleans
Rated as one of the top tables for two by Afar, this intimate restaurant, located in a cozy French-Creole building in New Orlean's Central Business District, boasts an extensive menu and incredible interior.

Why Padma loves it: "It's old-fashioned and perfect for proposing. New Orleans food can be heavy, but John Besh has a light touch. It's traditional, but elevated."


Photo: Courtesy of Má Pêche

Má Pêche in New York
Located in the heart of midtown, New York beneath the Chambers Hotel, this restaurant features bare wood tables, cozy lighting, and a menu that encourages sharing.

Why Padma loves it: "I love all of David Chang's restaurants, but here you can get all of his yummy foods in an environment that's romantic and discreet."


Photo: Courtesy of Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare

Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare in Las Vegas
Right in the heart of Sin City, the Barlotta Ristorante is a four-star eatery located in the Wynn Las Vegas. With house-made pasta and over 40 varieties of fresh fish and shellfish daily, this Mediteranian and Italian-inspired restaurant is one you shouldn't miss.

Why Padma loves it: "The seafood is insane. Paul Bartolotta's on his cell phone at 10 at night talking to fishermen in Italy. So luxurious."

All of Your Tricky Religion Etiquette Problems, Solved!

 Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on All of Your Tricky Religion Etiquette Problems, Solved!
Aug 302014

From choosing the officiant you want (whether or not your parents approve), using ceremonial symbols from a religion you don't belong to, and having bridesmaids who aren't your religion partake in your religious ceremony, faith and weddings can get tricky. Lucky for you, our wedding etiquette experts are here to help solve your biggest religion etiquette problems!

Does a bridesmaid who's Jewish have to go through the motions of our Christian service?
Her participation depends on her beliefs and the dogma of your religion. She can kneel or stand when the rest of the congregation does, and should answer "I will" or "I do" when the officiant asks if those assembled will support you and your fiancé. However, she doesn't have to say any prayers or sing hymns if she'd prefer not to. As for Communion, different beliefs have different rules. Often, people who are not receiving Communion can still approach the altar and by crossing their arms over their chest, signify that they would like a blessing, rather than the bread and wine. Talk to your officiant about the convention in your house of worship, and tell your bridesmaid. It's also a good idea to print the information in your wedding program so that guests who belong to different religions or denominations will know what their options are. Each person can then decide for herself what will make her feel most comfortable.

Our parish priest has always struck me as a bore, but my father wants him to officiate. What can I do?
It's important to tell your dad how you feel. Give him specific reasons why you find the priest less than heavenly. Granted, religion is a touchy subject, but if you stay calm and talk honestly with your father, you're likely to have an enlightening discussion. Are you open to having another priest from your church officiate? Tell your father that's what you'd like to do. If that's not the case, you must tread even more gently and fully explain why you and your fiancé have chosen to go in a different direction.

We're not Jewish, but we love the significance and look of a chuppah. Can we still use one at the ceremony?
Of course! Just call it a canopy instead of a chuppah. Wedding canopies are especially popular for outdoor wedding ceremonies, where they can help define the altar area. According to Jewish wedding custom, four attendants hold or stand by the poles, and a prayer shawl is draped over the top. Obviously, you'd omit these specific elements, but feel free to get creative with other details and embellishments.

The Obamas Are Attending a Big Wedding This Weekend! Get All the Details

 Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings, News  Comments Off on The Obamas Are Attending a Big Wedding This Weekend! Get All the Details
Aug 302014
Michelle Obama J. Mendel

Photo: Getty Images

President and First Lady Obama do not attend weddings very often, but they will be on hand for the nuptials of White House chef Sam Kass and MSNBC host Alex Wagner today in Tarrytown (a town in Westchester, New York).

The ceremony will take place at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills — a Rockefeller-owned Center for Food & Agriculture. This is the first time the POTUS has visited the venue, but FLOTUS attended a fundraiser at the location in 2012.

A minor side effect of having a wedding in which the first family will be in attendance? Being vetted by the secret service! The guests of the Kass-and-Wagner wedding, along with another Labor Day ceremony, are being checked out due to Obamas staying in the area for the weekend. Sources have told the New York Post's Page Six that the president's entourage has blocked off 50 rooms at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

See More: Celebrities in Wedding-Worthy White Dresses: Michelle Obama, Rooney Mara, and Katy Perry

Journalist, author, and fellow MSNBC commentator Richard Wolffe introduced Wagner to Kass. Reportedly, the chef was instantly smitten with the host — so much so that he asked Wolffe to take him to the White House Correspondents' Association dinner after-party for another chance to interact with Wagner. The two then had drinks at the Monkey Bar in New York City and upon learning that they both were Washington Nationals fans, Kass had the stadium opened in the off-season so he and Wagner could play catch. (How romantic, right?)

Kass has been a longtime family friend of the Obama's and has acted as their personal chef since 2005 according to The New York Times. In addition to running the White House's kitchen, the Chicago-native is the president's senior adviser for nutrition policy and is the executive director of FLOTUS's "Let's Move" campaign, which promotes healthy eating and exercising.

Aug 302014

Photos: Cathy Crawford; John Aquino; Devon Jarvis; Jeffrey Westbook

Whether you're hosting a seaside wedding or simply feel most at home by the ocean, a pretty mix of sea green and blue shades is the perfect color palette for a beach-loving bride. Plus, it's versatile enough to transition from season to season, meaning you can make this look work all year-round.

To perfect the combo, start with your base tone — we suggest blue for winter or fall and sea green for summer and spring. Then, highlight with the alternative shade to add pops of complementary color. A sleek invitation, like our pick from Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence, sticks with a mostly-blue motif and incorporates bright splashes of green along with some metallic accents.

See More: America's Most Romantic Wedding Venues

Pale blue dresses are perennially popular with bridesmaids since the cool shade works well with many skin tones. We love a strapless option for the summer or a trendy illusion-bateau neckline for cooler months. Get creative with your accessories, like a bold shoe or colorful necklace. It's an easy way to add that "something blue."

As for your dessert, go for a modern wedding cake. We love this confection from Lulu Cake Boutique, which features a geometric pattern in sea green and blue with pops of blingy gold.

Check out all of our favorite sea green-and-blue wedding finds above, and shop them below.

Above: 1. Necklace, $950, Cele and Clio; 2. Cake, $15 per slice (serves 75), Lulu Cake Boutique; 3. Invitation, "Prairie", from $381 for 100, Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence; 4. Shoes, $1,195, Manolo Blahnik; 5. Bouquet, $250, Seaport Flowers 6. Bridesmaid Dress, $330, Shoshanna

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