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Brides Magazine December 2014-January 2015 Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning
Jan 202015
 
Save vs. Splurge Lacy Lingerie Vampy Blacks

Photo: James Westman

Whether you're prepping for your wedding night or honeymoon, thinking ahead to Valentine's Day, or just looking for a sexy surprise any night of the week, lacy lingerie is sure to make your guy smile. While these sultry pieces can often come with a steep price tag, you don't necessarily have to spend big to look great. Here, we found a pretty save and splurge for three steamy styles, so you can go big for those special occasions and opt for something a bit more affordable for everyday wear. Get shopping!

Vampy Blacks
One of these sets is not like the other — can you tell which black-and-white look will set you back over $400 more than the other? We couldn't either, so both pieces are a great buy!
Splurge (above, left): Tulle and lace set, $620, Kiki de Montparnasse
Save (above, right): Mesh and lace set, $164, Lilipiache

Save vs. Splurge Lingerie Romantic Ribbons

Photo: James Westman

Romantic Ribbons
Both of these pretty pink pieces are oh-so-sweet for your wedding night. You'd never guess that one is twice the price, though!
Splurge (left): Silk georgette and lace, $213, Fleur of England
Save (right): Satin and lace, $133, Erin Fetherston for Cosabella

Save vs. Splurge Lingerie Electric Blues

Photo: James Westman

Electric Blues
A sea-hued blue set is perfect for your beach honeymoon. Will you pack a pricey pick or something slightly less spendy?
Splurge (left): Tulle net, $376, La Perla
Save (right): Lace, $122, Cosabella

Want more genius big-day lingerie advice? Pick up the February/March 2015 issue of BRIDES, which is on newsstands now and available for download here!

Jan 182015
 
Lilac and Mint Wedding Color Palette

Photos: Joel Serrato; Yasu + Junko; Nicholas Duers

If you're searching for inspiration for your wedding décor and need to break free from the deep tones of winter, look no further than one of our favorite bright and airy combinations: lilac and mint! These pretty pastel hues are perfect for a romantic, garden-party inspired reception that's bursting with the first signs of spring. Hosting winter nuptials? No problem! This dreamy pairing will help enliven your cool-weather wedding. Here's one way to utilize this color combo:

Start with a color-blocked invitation in the two colors with lots of bright white text. This option from Fourteen-Forty feels feminine yet still entirely modern thanks to a cool geometric design. Your bridesmaids will love either of these pale tones for their dresses. Balance their look with a mostly-white bouquet with pops of mint and lilac or a cool accessory, like a green clutch.

For table settings, consider minty dinnerware overtop a lilac tablecloth — the result is so beautiful and unexpected. End the evening with a sweet, pale-purple confection that is perfectly pretty.

Invitation, "Sweet Angles," $1,300 for 100, Fourteen-Forty; Bouquet, $175, Belle Fleur; Clutch, $1,595, Edie Parker; Dinnerware, "Illusion Celadon" with platinum rim, $475 for a five-piece place setting, Haviland; Bridesmaids' Dress, $250, Watters; Cake, $12 per slice (serves 75), Erica O'Brien Cake Design

Jan 132015
 


beauty travel tips


Photo: Getty Images


Perfecting your bridal beauty look is one of the steps in your wedding-planning process. And while it's certainly fun to try out pretty looks for your big day, there's one part that's often quite challenging for brides-to-be: Finding the most flattering lipstick color for your skin tone! And with winter finally here, so many ladies are looking for that perfect red shade to make a big impact on their overall look. After all, crimson lips are classic, flattering, and guaranteed to command attention.

To help you nail your look, we consulted makeup artist Daniel Martin to learn the best red shades for fair, medium, and dark skin tones.

If you're fair skinned...
Orange-based reds will instantly warm up fair skin, says Martin, keeping porcelain complexions looking radiant rather than washed out. And because pale skin can be easily overwhelmed by too much bright color, be sure to pair your bold lips with soft, neutral shades of eye shadow and blush.
We like: Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice, $7.99, Revlon; Audacious Lipstick in Lana, $32, Nars; Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour in Incandescent, $35, Chanel

See More: 14 Things That Should Be in Every Bride's Makeup Bag

If you're medium skinned...
"Classic blue-based reds contrast nicely and look so vivid against medium coloring," says Martin. (Bluish reds also trick the eye to make teeth look whiter — bonus!) You can carry off a punchy eye-and-lip combo, but keep cheeks minimal by lightly contouring them with bronzer instead of piling on blush.
We like: Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Matte Crimson, $16, Clinique; " Colour Riche Nurturing & Protective Lipcolor in True Red, $7.95, L'Oréal Paris; Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revolution, $7.49, Maybelline New York

If you're dark skinned...
Don't fear dramatic shades. In fact, the deeper the red the more vibrant it will look on dark skin, says Martin. You can also rock tough-to-wear metallic or shimmery finishes, which can come off as garish on paler skin. Balance those glimmer lips with a touch of highlighter on your cheeks and your good to glow.
We like: Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Red Ego, $30, Estée Lauder; Audacious Color-Intense Lipstick in Wild Amarena, $39, Gucci; Moisture Renew Lipstick in Diva Red, $7.49, Rimmel

Want more genius big-day beauty advice? Pick up the February/March 2015 issue of BRIDES, which is on newsstands now and available for download here!

Plan Like a Pro: Event Designer Kristin Newman Shares Her Top Wedding Tips

 Brides Magazine December 2014-January 2015, Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on Plan Like a Pro: Event Designer Kristin Newman Shares Her Top Wedding Tips
Jan 112015
 

Kristin Newman, a top party planner in Charleston, South Carolina, tells brides to get grooms involved early — and keep the wine flowing late. Here, more of her expert tips.

If you're good at making decisions, a short engagement is fabulous.
A long one can be agonizing; it lets you rethink everything. Ten months is perfect, but planning can be done well in four.

Before you book anything, do this with your groom first.
Write down five adjectives that describe your dream wedding, and determine your top five priorities — the things you feel are most important for you and your guests to experience.

Build your reception style around what you love most.
For many couples, weddings are about an amazing Motown band and a packed dance floor. But not for everyone! For one of my couples, it was brunch. So we threw an English-style mid-day wedding, served crab-cake Benedict, and hired an orchestra to pay jazz while everyone hung out.

See More: Whatever You Do, Do Not Follow These 10 Pieces of Wedding Advice

For the greatest impact, focus your budget on the sensory stuff — a calligraphy invite, great music, the best food.
And if you're looking for a place to save, skip the favors. Often guests don't even notice them!

Be sure you photographer gets all the details shots before the reception starts.
Also, put her on your guest list so she receives an invitation and can shoot that before the wedding too.

When in doubt, go with signature color scheme: blush, taupe, and tan.
I love a putty colored palette! Add texture with linens and crystal. All white with candlelight is beautiful too.

A rustic wedding can be really chic.
I worked on a riverside wedding with a Ralph Lauren-boho vibe: The bridesmaids wore braided updos and carries long boughs of viney blooms wrapped with suede. It was natural yet sophisticated.

Want more genius big-day design advice? Pick up the February/March 2015 issue of BRIDES, which is on newsstands now and available for download here!

Embrace the Quickie: The Sex Secret to a Long and Happy Marriage

 Brides Magazine December 2014-January 2015, Married Life, Relationships, Sex  Comments Off on Embrace the Quickie: The Sex Secret to a Long and Happy Marriage
Jan 082015
 
Embrace the Quickie

Photo: Rennie Solis

A few years ago, two dear friends got married in our living room. The bride wore white, a ragged dress last used in her gig as the Eight-Foot Bride, a living performance piece she did for cash in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when she was younger. The groom wore a traditional dark suit. My two youngest kids acted as flower girl and ring bearer, my daughter in a zebra-striped gown with a fuchsia cloche hat and a single lily, my son in white tie and tails bought at a quinceanera store and made from the same fabric as dryer sheets. We spent much of the night keeping him away from open flames for fear he'd go up like a magician's flash paper. Nothing about this affair was typical — not the accordion music that accompanied the bride down the aisle nor the taco-truck wedding feast. The only thing that made this wedding routine for me was the toast I offered.

For the last decade or so — since I found myself on The Oprah Winfrey Show staring down a cabal of vengeful mommies horrified by my claim that the key to my successful marriage was my insistence that my husband take precedence in my heart, even over our four children — I have been asked to make several wedding toasts. And each and every time, I say the same thing. I tell the bride and groom that as far as I can see, there is really only one thing that guarantees marital success. Only one thing that is sure to inoculate a couple against the sexless, passionless norm that is all too often the fate of contemporary marriages, especially once children arrive.

See More: Wedding-Night Sex: Expectations vs. Reality

At this wedding in my living room, I raised my glass and gazed down the long table into the eyes of my beloved husband. I smiled at our four beautiful children. Then I turned to the flushed and joyful faces of the bride and groom and, from the vantage point of 18 years of happy marriage, gave them all the wisdom I had: "Embrace the quickie!"

Research tells us that sexual intimacy is an important component of marital happiness. It is the glue that holds you together, the way you reengage and reconnect. And when problems arise in the relationship, couples are often counseled to focus on foreplay — to take time, to linger and "play." I think this is terrible advice. I'm firmly of the belief that languid, intricate foreplay is the enemy of successful marital sex.

Don't get my wrong: I like a foot massage, maybe a back rub, French kissing and getting — ahem — serviced as much as the next girl. Cuddling rocks my world. But to use an analogy appropriate to our current food-obsessed culture, all that foreplay is like dinner at the French Laundry or Per Se or any of those destination restaurants that specialize in 15-course tasting menus heavy on the foam and all the things sous vide. It wows your palate, introduces you to tastes and sensations you've never experience before. You love every minute of it. But a meal like that takes five and a half hours and costs a thousand bucks, and by the end of it you are fit for nothing but a 10-hour sleep beneath 1,000-thread-count sheets. But dinner? Dinner happens every night of the week, and mostly you're perfectly happy with a nice roast chicken, a well-grilled pork chop, or a burger hot off the griddle.

If your demand of every sexual encounter that it rise to the level of a 15-course degustation, I promise that you will never get laid. Event sex is great, but when you and your new husband have returned from a long day's work only to confront the dog that needs to be walked, the laundry you didn't get to last weekend, and the stack of unwritten thank-you notes gathering dust on your new dining room table, it will be the last thing you have energy for. If sex is a production, then more often than not you'll just flake out on the couch and watch an episode of Game of Thrones or a rerun of How I Met Your Mother. I don't mean to imply that watching TV in companionable silence isn't one of the great pleasures of marriage. It is. But it can't be the only shared pleasure. Most women and virtually all men miss sex if it isn't a regular part of their lives. And most marriages suffer when physical intimacy is no longer part of the equation.

See More: The 3 Most Common Sex Problems Newlyweds Face

Here's my advice: Make the quickie your go-to formula. Tell yourself that you'll get to a fancy restaurant on the weekend, or on your next vacation, but tonight it's takeout. To be clear, by "takeout" I don't mean that as a women you forgo your pleasure. On the contrary, I'm committed to the belief that only the most occasional sexual encounters should end without both partners feeling fully satisfied. Since more women find it difficult from a purely anatomical standpoint to reach orgasm through intercourse alone, I say take control of your own orgasm. Embrace the efficient use of self-love with whatever tools you need. (A visit to the drugstore can prove instructive.) Even better, you can train your husband to help; most men are more-than-eager students.

Take the advice of a woman who, speaking from now more than 20 years together and despite having four children, a marriage with two busy careers, and all the normal anxieties and stress of contemporary life, still loves making love with her husband. Embrace the quickie. It will keep your marriage as exciting and sexually fulfilling on your 20th anniversary as it is on your wedding night. Although I think on your wedding night, if you're not too inebriated or exhausted, you should go for the tasting menu. All 15 courses.

Ayelet Waldman is the best-selling author of several books, including her most recent Love and Treasure. She is happily married to novelist Michael Chabon. They have four children, all of whom will turn shades of mortified red if they read this essay.

This article appeared in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of BRIDES.

How to Get Flatter Abs in Time for Your Wedding (Hint: It’s Not Crunches!)

 Brides Magazine December 2014-January 2015, Fitness and Health, Wellness  Comments Off on How to Get Flatter Abs in Time for Your Wedding (Hint: It’s Not Crunches!)
Jan 072015
 
Flat Abs for Your Wedding

Photo: Arthur Belebeau

Toning your midsection into envy-inducing abs takes work, but luckily there's a more targeted approach than doing endless amounts of crunches to no avail. Master these quick, easy exercises from celebrity trainer David Kirsch for a flawless wedding-day waistline. And he knows a thing or two about creating a great bod: He's the man behind Kate Upton's enviable midriff!

Stability Ball Handoff Flat Abs Move

Photo: Brown Bird Design

Stability-Ball Handoff
Lie on the floor on your back, with your arms stretched out behind your head, while gripping a stability ball with your hands. Reach your arms and legs up simultaneously, and pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Lower your legs and arms at the same time, then reverse. Do three 30-second sets for times per week.

Torso Rotation Flat Abs Move

Photo: Brown Bird Design

Torso Rotation
Lie with your upper back on a stability ball, keeping your butt off the ball and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a medicine ball straight up in front of you. Keeping your arms straight, rotate your upper body to one side, then turn to the other side. Do three 30-second sets four times per week.

See More: Need More Crunchless Ab Workouts? Check Out Another Great Way to Get Fit Before the Big Day

But the best way to get slimmer in the weeks leading up to your wedding is to consider a flat-belly diet! Cut out sugar, as it's a major cause of bloat, according to New York City trainer Will Torres. Stick to veggies, whole grains (like brown rice and quinoa) and lean protein (like salmon and grilled chicken breast).

Avoid these at all costs:
Granola: Despite its healthy rep, a single cup can pack up to five teaspoons of sugar. Yikes!
Dried fruit: It contains the same amount of sugar as fresh fruit, but since it's bite size, you're likely to eat way more. Grab an apple instead.
Sushi: Many restaurants coat their rice in sugar, vinegar, and salt for taste, boosting bloat.
Alcohol: Your body converts it to sugar, so Torres suggests giving it up a month before your big day or at least limiting your happy hour intake to one glass of pinot.

How to Get Flatter Abs in Time for Your Wedding (Hint: It’s Not Crunches!)

 Brides Magazine December 2014-January 2015, Fitness and Health, Wellness  Comments Off on How to Get Flatter Abs in Time for Your Wedding (Hint: It’s Not Crunches!)
Jan 072015
 
Flat Abs for Your Wedding

Photo: Arthur Belebeau

Toning your midsection into envy-inducing abs takes work, but luckily there's a more targeted approach than doing endless amounts of crunches to no avail. Master these quick, easy exercises from celebrity trainer David Kirsch for a flawless wedding-day waistline. And he knows a thing or two about creating a great bod: He's the man behind Kate Upton's enviable midriff!

Stability Ball Handoff Flat Abs Move

Photo: Brown Bird Design

Stability-Ball Handoff
Lie on the floor on your back, with your arms stretched out behind your head, while gripping a stability ball with your hands. Reach your arms and legs up simultaneously, and pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Lower your legs and arms at the same time, then reverse. Do three 30-second sets for times per week.

Torso Rotation Flat Abs Move

Photo: Brown Bird Design

Torso Rotation
Lie with your upper back on a stability ball, keeping your butt off the ball and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a medicine ball straight up in front of you. Keeping your arms straight, rotate your upper body to one side, then turn to the other side. Do three 30-second sets four times per week.

See More: Need More Crunchless Ab Workouts? Check Out Another Great Way to Get Fit Before the Big Day

But the best way to get slimmer in the weeks leading up to your wedding is to consider a flat-belly diet! Cut out sugar, as it's a major cause of bloat, according to New York City trainer Will Torres. Stick to veggies, whole grains (like brown rice and quinoa) and lean protein (like salmon and grilled chicken breast).

Avoid these at all costs:
Granola: Despite its healthy rep, a single cup can pack up to five teaspoons of sugar. Yikes!
Dried fruit: It contains the same amount of sugar as fresh fruit, but since it's bite size, you're likely to eat way more. Grab an apple instead.
Sushi: Many restaurants coat their rice in sugar, vinegar, and salt for taste, boosting bloat.
Alcohol: Your body converts it to sugar, so Torres suggests giving it up a month before your big day or at least limiting your happy hour intake to one glass of pinot.

Jan 062015
 
Thank You Card Etiquette Pre- and Post-Wedding

Photo: Cathy Crawford

Thanking your friends and family not only for their generous wedding gifts, but for also being part of your special day is an absolutely essential pre-and-post-wedding task (yes, engagement party and shower gifts require a thank you, too!). While a gracious note seems simple enough, there are some key things you need to keep in mind. To help you get it right, here are the 10 do's and don'ts of the perfect thank-you card.

Do: Order Stationery Early
Purchase a good stock of stationery shortly after he pops the question so you can thank people for engagement-party and shower gifts. Your thank-yous must be on paper: texts and emails don't count.

Don't: Worry About Matching Thank-You Cards to Your Invites
It's not required to have matching stationery, so feel free to get creative with your thank-you notes! Pick something that expresses your personality and that you really love since you'll likely be seeing a lot of these pretty notes.

Do: Incorporate a Monogram If You Want
There are tons of fresh and modern ways to incorporate monograms in your wedding stationery. Remember to use just the initials of your first names if you're sending anything out before you get hitched, though.

Don't: Tackle Them All Yourself
Split the list with your husband so you both take on some of the work. Cosigning each note is always a nice touch, but it's optional.

See More: What to Do With Those Ugly Wedding Gifts

Do: Send Them On Time
You should send pre-wedding thank-yous within two weeks. For wedding gifts, the max is three months. Planning on personalizing your cards with a big-day photo? If it means missing your deadline, use an engagement pic instead.

Don't: Write a Novel
Keep it to four or five sentences at most. And don't get too formal. If ending the note with a "Merci, y'all" is you, then by all means do it!

Do: Pace Yourself
To avoid thank-you-note-induced carpal tunnel, aim to write about two a day.

Don't: Misspell a Gift Giver's Name
Check each one against the master guest list or her social-media profiles if you're unsure about spelling.

Do: Send Individual Notes
Even if your friends or family members went in on a group gift, they've all contributed. Make sure to send each person their own thank you.

Don't: Forget to Thank Your VIPs
Whether it's hosts who threw parties, vendors who went beyond, and your parents and in-laws who relished (and sweated!) the small stuff, these people all deserve a hand-written thank you, too.

Jan 062015
 


Tips to Make Lipstick Color Last


Photo: Courtesy of Fairchild Digital Archive


Punchy red lips are extremely popular for brides on their wedding day. After all, the bold color means you can wear less makeup overall and helps brighten your skin and whiten your teeth. Win, win!

But nothing's worse than a red ring of leftover color on the edges of your lips. And you especially don't want to see that in your wedding photos. But you can avoid it with a little prep work. Makeup artist Daniel Martin, who primps celebs like Kate Bosworth for long hours on the red carpet, is here to help you make your chic lip look last from your first kiss all the way to your gorgeous getaway.

Martin recommends starting with a lip scrubs to get rid of flakes, followed by a hydrating balm. Then pat on cream concealer. "It keeps the color true and gives it staying power," he says.

See More: The 5 Beauty Products That Every Bride Needs on Her Wedding Day

Then, apply your lipstick, blot it with a tissue, and finish with a second coat. You'll stay picture-perfect for hours and avoid the dreaded color fade throughout your reception. But do make sure to stash your color and a few Q-tips in your bag to clean up smudged edges and brighten your color, just in case!

And don't underestimate the power of a test run! "After your makeup trial, keep your lipstick on," Martin advises. "You want to make sure it holds up over time." If the look doesn't last, you'll know to select a different product on the big day.

Want more genius big-day beauty advice? Pick up the February/March 2015 issue of BRIDES, which is on newsstands now and available for download here!

Easy Ways to Calm Your Guy’s Nerves on the Wedding Day

 Brides Magazine December 2014-January 2015, Grooms  Comments Off on Easy Ways to Calm Your Guy’s Nerves on the Wedding Day
Dec 092014
 
Ways to Calm a Nervous Groom

Photo: Getty Images

Pre-wedding jitters happen to the best of us — your groom included. While nerves before the big day are totally understandable, quashing his fears before the wedding will make those "I dos" even sweeter. L.A.-based wedding planner Jeff Brown has the cure for anything that might be stressing your husband-to-be before the big day. Follow his top tips for easing your guy's nerves about four common topics that might be weighing on his mind.

See More: How to Keep a Wild Groomsmen in Line (Without Looking Like a Bridezilla)

He's stumped on writing his own vows.
Ask him to jot down a love letter to you instead; it will help him tap into his feelings without all the pressure of formality. If he's still terrified, just go old school and recite traditional by-the-book vows. No shame in it — 53-percent of couples do!

He's afraid to do the first dance in front of everyone.
Whether you take lessons or not, promise him you'll have to dance only the first part of the song before inviting the rest of the guests to join you. And schedule the first dance at the start of the evening so he won't have to dread it for half the reception.

His best man is too drunk to deliver his toast.
Skip it, and have him discreetly ask another groomsman to escort Walter Waster away from the party and off to a private room to sober him up.

He has stage fright over delivering his own speech.
Suggest doing a couple's speech instead. That way, he'll need to just stand by your side as you charm the crowd, then hold your hand and swoop.

Pick up our December 2014/January 2015 issue starring model Elyse Taylor on newsstands today or download it here for more of our guide to the groom!

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