Oct 082014
 
Cream and Shell Pink Color Palette

Photos: Jose Villa; John Aquino; Jeffrey Westbook; Devon Jarvis

Pretty pastel hues have a place in the bridal world year-round — not just in the warmer months. So if you have your heart set on a delicate color palette of cream and shell pink, it's possible to incorporate the girly tones into your big-day décor any time of the year (fall months included).

These gorgeous neutral shades are among the most versatile (not to mention popular!) picks for a bridal color combination. They're the perfect accompaniment for nearly any reception space and feature super-flattering shades that even the pickiest bridesmaid will love.

See More: 30 Amazing Ceremony Structures for Your Wedding Day

Select a chic chevron invitation in the two pale shades — a dose of gold metallic, by way of a contemporary block text, will help town down the feminine hues. With just about every wedding-worthy flower available in some shade of pink and cream, you'll have your pick of gorgeous arrangements that suit the palette. (Though, if you're leaving it up to us, we'd go with fluffy garden roses, modern ranunculus, and few romantic hydrangeas.) With such neutral shades, it's important to select a statement-making detail for your reception like this cream-and-pink wedding cake with teardrop fondant details. Shop all of our favorite cream-and-pink wedding details below.

Above: 1. Invitation, "Viceroy", $2,730 for 100, Jessica Tierney for Bella Figura; 2. Bridesmaids' Dress, $370, Amsale; 3. Earrings, $45, Banana Republic; 4. Sea-Urchin Place-Card Holders, $17.50 for 10, Beachy Chic Décor; 5. Centerpiece, $200, Seaport Flowers; 6. Cake, $13 per slice (serves 75), Elegantly Iced

No Passport Required: U.S. Honeymoons for Adventure-Loving Couples

 Brides Magazine August/September 2014, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings  Comments Off on No Passport Required: U.S. Honeymoons for Adventure-Loving Couples
Sep 112014
 
US Honeymoon Destinations

Photo: Richard Cummins/Getty Images

Not all couples want to spend their honeymoon lounging poolside. In fact, many couples are forgoing traditional beach honeymoons in favor of something different. From scaling mountains to exploring dense forests, newlyweds are on the hunt for an adventurous honeymoon that will take them outside of their comfort zone. We found three adrenaline-inducing honeymoon destinations right here in the U.S.

If you're into desert drama, do Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.
Two of the most stunning natural places on earth landed just 80 miles apart in southern Utah: Bryce Canyon, with red-rock spires that become even more otherworldly at sunrise and sunset, and Zion, which cuts a half mile down through shale and sandstone into a wonderland of slot canyons and waterfalls. Go comfy-rustic in a cabin at Zion Lodge, the only hotel in the park (doubles from $197), or sleek and chic at the glass-and-wood Amangiri (doubles from $1,200), 15 minutes from Lake Powell and 95 miles from Zion — worth the splurge for the spa's floatation-therapy pavilion alone.

See More: Out-of-this-World Honeymoon Destinations You and Your Hubby Will Love

If you want to perfect you drop-in, try Maui.
Humpback whales cruise by en route to breeding grounds, by they're not the only mammals drawn to the warm Maui waters. Legendary waves like the rights of Hookipa and the bowls of Honolua Bay lure beginners and hard-core surfers alike. Rather spend your days on the beach than on a board? The sun, sand, and emerald-carpeted volcanoes will keep you happy. Get the best of all worlds at Travaasa Hana (doubles from $350), where you can master the art of hula dancing and mai tai sipping in between session of surf school on Hamoa Beach.

If you want to go wild, do Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Bigger than Switzerland, one of the largest protected swaths of land in the world lays claim to sky-high peaks, dense forests, and glacial ice fields. Much of this Alaskan park is inaccessible — unless, that is, you have use of a bush place. At Ultima Thule (all-inclusive doubles and bush flights from $3,400), an upscale lodge in the heart of the wilderness, pilot and owner Paul Claus will fly you to hard-to-get spots, like a hidden river where bears gather to catch breakfast or the biggest ice field outside the poles — the perfect spot for a picnic. Bonus: Instead of a subzero tent, you'll nest each night in a riverside cabin with a king-size feather bed. The middle of nowhere never looked so good.

Sep 092014
 
Orange and Yellow Wedding Color Palette

Photos: Julien Capmeil; Rodin Banica; Jeffrey Westbook; Devon Jarvis

Who says bold wedding color palettes are just for summer? Although the warmest months may be behind us, things are still heating up in the wedding world. Case in point: This peppy palette of orange and sunshine yellow.

While it may be the ideal fit for a sunny, outdoor affair, there's no reason couples can't work these two bright tones into their wedding day. With a few adjustments, this palette can work for just about any wedding style or season. To make it work for you, pair these colors with lots of white, cream, or beige — anything neutral will help balance out the bold hues.

See More: 40 Bright and Beautiful Wedding Bouquets

Believe it or not, it's easy to incorporate these bright hues into your ceremony and reception. To help you execute this color combo effortlessly, we rounded up some of our favorite ways to add pops of the citrus colors into your wedding: Sunny bridesmaid dresses pair beautifully with warm, orange blooms, and your 'maids will appreciate the break from traditional wedding hues in their closets. Dress up your tables with fun, polka dot dinnerware, like this chic option from C. Wonder. And graphic details on your invitations keep the bright colors looking sleek — not overwhelming.

Shop our favorite orange-and-yellow wedding finds below!

Above: 1. Petit Fours, from $3 each, Duane Park Patisserie; 2. Sandals, $128, Ann Taylor; 3. Plates, price upon request, C. Wonder; 4. Invitation, "Citrus Palms Suite", from $900 for 100, Alissa Bell Press; 5. Bridesmaids' Dress, $358, Lauren Gabrielson; 6. Bouquet, $100, Seaport Flowers

Sep 052014
 
Pastel Wedding Accessories

Photo: Svend Lindbaek

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn't mean you have to put away pretty pastel details — especially when it comes to your wedding-day look! No, we don't mean you have to purchase a pale-hued wedding dress in order to be on trend (though we do have quite a few favorites!). Rather, fashion-forward brides are selecting wedding-ready accessories in ultra-soft hues for a chic pop of color to an otherwise all-white look.

Luckily for the bride-to-be who wants to add a pastel accessory to her look, there's no shortage of pretty choices! Designers practically flooded their fall runways with pale pink, mint green, and yellow options that are the perfect addition to your bridal wardrobe.

See More: 71 Engagement Rings with Colorful Stones

Some of our favorites statement-making pieces included barely-there-hued shoes and jewelry. A petal-pink leather sandal would be a gorgeous complement to a trendy tea-length wedding dress. Offset your engagement ring with a colorful bauble, like a white gold-and-amethyst stunner. Prefer your jewelry to be more understated? We loved a yellow-sapphire ring with just the right hint of color and sparkle.

So pick one (or two!) of these pastel accessories for a trendy bridal look any time of the year!

Above: 1. Clutch, mint alligator bag with crystal quartz, price upon request, Marchesa; 2. Bracelet, ombre pink-sapphire bracelet, price upon request, Paolo Costagli; 3. Ring, yellow-sapphire and diamond ring set in 18-karat yellow gold, price upon request, Irina Ferry; 4. Ring, amethyst and white-sapphire ring set in 18-karat white gold, price upon request, Kalan by Suzanne Kalan; 5. Ring, pink-tourmaline ring with diamonds, price upon request, Carelle; 6. Heels, pink leather sandal, $515, Alexander Wang

Sep 042014
 
Beach Honeymoons in the US

Photo: Courtesy of USVI

Most couple's dream of a relaxing, post-wedding retreat filled with lots of sun, sand, and great cocktails. Can you blame them? After the stress of wedding planning, you and your new husband deserve a luxe escape filled with endless white sands and clear water to romp around in. But a beach honeymoon doesn't have to break the bank, either! We found incredible U.S. beach retreats that you can reach without ever having to present your passport!

If you want major beach time, head to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Soft white sands? Check. Turquoise waters as far as the eye can see? Check. Potent cocktails made with local rum? Check, check, and check. This may be a U.S. territory (bring your dollar bills, y'all), but its spirit is Caribbean through and through.

Take your pick of three isles: St. Thomas, a cruise-ship hub with killer duty-free shopping; laid-back St. Croix, with a rum distillery dating back to 1760; and sleepy St. John, seen above, most of which is a national park. Explore its hiking trails and white-sand beaches from the 96-room Westin St. John (doubles from $299, Westin Resort St. John), which just underwent a facelift, or Caneel Bay (doubles from $459, Caneel Bay), the legendary romantic resort founded by Laurence Rockefeller, which just opened two new restaurants. Who says you need a passport to travel to paradise?

See More: 10 Mistakes Couples Make When Booking Their Honeymoons

If you want to island hop, try the Florida Keys.
Just 50 miles from Miami, many of these coral islands are linked by the 127-mile Overseas Highway, so you don't even need a boat to hit isles like Marathon and Islamorada — plus tons of islets you've never heard of along the way. (You might, however, want to charter a skipper to take full advantage of the area's killer fishing.)

Everyone eventually ends up on the southernmost outpost of Key West, a party spot with a quirky artist's soul and legendary sunsets. Do it up on bar-dotted Duval Street, then retreat to Casa Marina (doubles from $219, Casa Marina), a hushed resort with an 1,100-foot-long stand. The next day, if you overdid it on the mojitos, put on your sunglasses, toss a towel on your beach chaise, and let the staff ply you with popsicles and frozen cucumbers — great for depuffing partied-out eyes.

Want to add a little excitement to your beach honeymoon? Consider hitting the waves at one these surprising surf spots!

Seaside, Oregon: Pacific Northwest surfers go nuts for the breaks off this beach town, just two hours outside Portland. Cleanline Surf offers lessons every Saturday.

St. Joseph, Michigan: Who knew you could hand ten in the Great Lakes? The small summer swells are great for beginners. Let Third Coast Surf Shop show you the ropes.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Best known for charming towns and wild beaches, the Cape has gnarly waves too. Sugar Surf teaches you how to ride them like a pro.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina : This is the place to surf in the South. Honeymoon here in summer and you can jump into a surf lesson at Surf Camp.

Cocoa Beach, Florida: The epi-center of Floridian surfing is also a sweet spot for honeymooners. Ron Jon Surf School will help you get your feet wet.

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.

Padma-Restaurant-Picks-August.jpg

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."

Padma-Restaurant-Picks-Ma-Peche.jpg

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."

Padma-Restaurant-Picks-Bartolotta.jpg

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."

Aug 302014
 
Sea-Green-Blue-Palette.jpg

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

An Unexpected Wedding Detail: Floral Bridal Corsages

 Brides Magazine August/September 2014, Flowers, Wedding Flowers  Comments Off on An Unexpected Wedding Detail: Floral Bridal Corsages
Aug 292014
 
Wedding Floral Corsages

Photo: Taghi Naderzad

If the word "corsage" makes you cringe with the thought of high school prom, think again. Beautiful, blooming wrist corsages are earning a place in the wedding world and we understand why: Not only are they super pretty, but corsages are also a cost-effective way to make a big statement without blowing your whole budget on flowers for you and your bridesmaids.

If you're not the type of bride who can see yourself toting around a bouquet all night long, consider swapping the classic arrangement for this unexpected trend. Or you can also carry the corsage as if it were a classic posy if you still want something to carry down the aisle.

See More: Love the Idea of Floral Corsages? See More Inspiration for Your Bridesmaids!

In the photo above, you can see just how pretty these floral accessories can be. Plus, you don't even have to give up bridal-favorite flowers in order to make the trend work. Classic peonies or garden roses make for beautiful corsages. To achieve an understated, but romantic look, stick with one or two oversized blooms and fill the rest of the arrangement with greenery, small flowers, and berries.

Still not ready to party with your classic, lush wedding bouquet? Consider gifting your bridesmaids with a colorful corsage that coordinates with their dress — another wedding trend that's gaining popularity.

Would you give up your bouquet for a corsage? Tweet us @BRIDES to let us know your thoughts!

Aug 282014
 
US Honeymoon Ideas for Foodie Couples Sonoma

Photo: Luc Decker Photography

Do you and your husband-to-be consider yourself major foodies? Then plan a honeymoon that reflects your tastes — literally! You don't have to eat your way through Italy or escape to the south of France to enjoy a honeymoon filled with good food and wine, either. With tons of incredible eateries and even better wine right here in the U.S., you can plan a foodie's dream escape, no passport required!

If you Instagram more food pics than selfies, go to Savannah.
Dripping in Spanish moss and southern charm, this Georgia city has almost as many award-winning chefs as it does local characters. From Brian and Jennifer Huskey's brunch mecca, B. Matthew's, to Roberto Leoci's Leoci's Trattoria, Savannah knows how to do haute comfort good. And down-home fare too; don't miss the fried chicken at Mrs. Wilkes. After you've stuffed yourselves silly, check in at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, a Victorian manor with a Lalique chandelier in the lobby and multicourse feasts at the in-house restaurant, 700 Drayton, a popular wedding spot.
Doubles from $199, Mansion Forsyth Park

See More: Love the Idea of Honeymooning in the U.S.? Check Out More Incredible Destinations

If you love wine, try Sonoma.
Think Tuscany without the transatlantic commute. Just an hour outside of San Francisco, Napa's quieter cousin is all rolling hills, bucolic vineyards, and rustic farmhouses. It's also bigger than the state of Rhode Island, which means that honeymooners who comes here to sip and spa have plenty of room to roam. Some of the best wines in the world come from the 400-plus wineries, making daily tastings a must. When you need a break, there's always sunning on a seal-dotted beach, wandering the lavender-scented farmer's markets, ziplining through a redwood forest, or devouring plates of local oysters and duck at Sebastopol's French Garden Restaurant, where most ingredients are grown on the owner's organic farm. Your homestead? Farmhouse Inn, just outside Healdsburg, where you can sleep in a sumptuous, airy renovated barn.
Doubles from $595, Farm House Inn

Looking for an escape a little more off the beaten path? Be the first of your friends to visit these wine regions.

Columbia Valley, Washington: Oregon's Williamette Valley may get most of the press, but its neighbor to the north has award-winning wines and gorgeous scenery (waterfalls! rivers!) to spare. Hit Walla Walla Vintners for its big cabernet francs and lush merlots and J. Bookwalter for its red blends and outdoor seating — perfect for tastings with a view.

Hill Country, Texas: Vineyards in the Lone Star State? Believe it. And there are enough delish vintages to add a wine-tasting tour to your Texas-honeymoon to-do list. Try Bending Branch, with its award-winning cabernet sauvignons, and Becker Vineyards, with a cab and a chardonnay that have been served at the White House.

North Fork, Long Island: Just two hours outside of New York City and a quick shot from the Hamptons, this area has become a destination in its own right, and many of its wines are served in NYC's hottest eateries. Toast your trip with Paumanok's sparkling blanc de blanc, Croteaux's rosé, or Bedell's Musée, a red blend that racks up awards year after year.

How to Throw a Modern, Moroccan-Inspired Wedding — No Matter Your Venue

 Brides Magazine August/September 2014, Wedding Style, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on How to Throw a Modern, Moroccan-Inspired Wedding — No Matter Your Venue
Aug 272014
 
Modern-Marrakech-Inspiration-Ideas-01.jpg

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Marrakech, Morocco (one of our favorite surprisingly romantic cities), is home to famed markets, intoxicating spices, and boldly colorful tapestries. For the offbeat, bohemian bride, this exciting locale offers tons of unexpected inspiration for a gorgeous and exotic wedding day. Even if you're not planning to travel for your nuptials, you can capture the flavor of Morocco no matter where you tie the knot.

Create Structure
Since you're trying to transform the ordinary into something alluring, it's important to set the scene. Start with a backdrop that is equal parts pretty and unexpected. We love the look of this structure that feels so reminiscent of Moroccan palaces. To achieve it, have a minaret shape cut out of an ordinary garden trellis. Rather go the DIY route? Just paint a minaret shape onto a trellis using a neutral color.

Be Bold
To really give your guests the feeling of faraway Marrakech, consider bringing in the bold colors so reminiscent of the area. Sure, a lawn covered in purple poufs may not be for the color shy, but for the boho-bride who loves this glamorous style it's the perfect ceremony seating idea! Jewel tones — the more dramatic the better — and neutral metallic embellishments are what really make this look work.

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Photo: Jonny Valiant

Include Authentic Flourishes
Hit the souk — or, you know, Etsy — for décor items. One way to welcome (and refresh!) your guests is with a Moroccan mint-tea service. Or find a way to include the refreshment as your signature cocktail. Consider other easy places to add a dash of Moroccan-flare to your wedding day. Runners, lanterns and programs with arabesque motifs and Islamic art patterns add visual interest and drive the theme home.

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