Saturday, April 2, 2011

Not Your Mama's Wedding Dress: Have Your Wedding with a Unique Twist!

You're no cookie-cutter bride.  Not by a long stretch.  You want a wedding that's distinctive, modern and shows off your personal style.    

Did I just describe you?  If so, this puts you on the trendy, short list... a 2011 resurgence of short wedding dresses hitting the wedding venues this Spring and Summer.  

Short wedding dresses, popular in the 1950s, have made a big comeback 61 years later.  

"My beloved said to me, 'Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away.  For the Winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers are springing up and the time of the singing of birds has come.  Yes, spring is here.  The leaves are coming out and the grape vines are in blossom.  How delicious they smell!..."  Song of Solomon 2:10-13 

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Miracles and Blessings, Kiki here... how are you enjoying your Spring so far?  It's been a little chilly on our East Coast region, but mostly sunny skies, until this week.

Happy Belated April Fools Day!  Winter played an April Fools' Day trick on some of us North Easterners by waking us up to snow showers.  Fortunately, the snow flakes didn't stick and was over before noon. Good one, Winter... we'll see you in eight and a half months.  Until then, we'll be hanging out with our BFFs Spring and Summer.

Of course with Spring and Summer come a deluge of weddings and wedding renewals... traditional and the not-so-traditional.  Our  text-webisode, "Not Your Mama's Wedding Dress:  Have Your Wedding with a Twist," we hope will get you in the Spring and Summer wedding mood.

You're a soon-to-be-bride, and your goal is to stand out from all the past weddings your guests have attended.  Not only do you want to share your love and this new chapter with family and friends, you want your wedding to strike a distinctive chord in your guests' minds... whether you're having 20 or 200.   (above right - posh girl vintage)

A short and sassy wedding dress makes perfect sense for a destination beach wedding.  Perhaps a slightly below-the-knee or ballet-length vintage style for a morning or noonday church wedding is more to your liking.  Or maybe you're a Sci-Fi fan looking for a futuristic design for your museum wedding that will boldly go where none of your wedding guests have gone before.

Let's take at peek at what our three iCafe Moderne Divas are choosing for their out-of-the-box upcoming Spring and Summer nuptials.

Lara, 25 -- an Advertising Copywriter --  plans to jet off this Memorial Weekend for her Las Vegas nuptials with her 80 guests.
She chose a cutting edge, feather dress that shows off her creative flair.  She's definitely no chicken.  Her maid-of-honor and two brides maids are choosing their own Little Black Dresses to wear for her black-and white Las Vegas wedding.

Jocelyn, 35 -- an Interactive Designer -- will step out from programming codes and "tiptoe through the tulips" in New York's Botanical Gardens this June to start her new life styling in this nature-inspired Monique Lhuillier petal dress.

Viola -- a Corporate Attorney -- celebrates her 40th birthday saying "I Do" to her high school sweetie on a romantic beach in Bermuda.  A few years ago, they re-kindled a high school romance at their 20th reunion.  For this second trip down Matrimony Road, she opted for a non-traditional dress with a playful wink of tradition.

She'll lose the long veil and wear a stylish hat.

Not only are our iCafe Woman Moderne Brides-to-be wearing wedding dresses their way, they're transforming their receptions into one-of-a-kind dining experiences.  

Jocelyn's Botanical Nuptials
If Jocelyn had her way, desserts would always come before the meal.  No, she's not having dessert first at her buffet reception, but will have enough sweets to satisfy every sweet tooth.  

Vendor Ice Cream Cart
After sharing in Jocelyn's garden wedding, guests can cool off with their favorite ice cream bars from a Jack & Jill ice cream cart stationed in the reception ballroom after dinner plates are cleared.

A Chocolate Entree?
Guests will already be on a sugar high by the time they dig into their salad greens.  Who can resist nibbling on candy favorites at a well-stocked candy bar... yes, before dinner. 

But wait... it gets better.  They can have their steak and chocolate too.  One of her dinner entrees is a tantalizing Grilled Spicy New York Strip Steak with Chocolate Merlot Sauce... not surprising for this chocoholic bride. 

Tips on Planning a Candy Buffet 
1.  Select colorful eye-catching candy.  Choose 5-10 types of candy budget.  15-20 pounds.   Buy enough candy and in bulk at wholesalers and big box stores:  BJ's, Sam's Club and Costco's.

2.  Decide on whether you want to have retro candy, candy to match your wedding colors or theme... or you can have one kind, i.e, all licorice in different colors and shapes... all flavored jellybeans or mix and match several kinds, or have an assortment. (See above)
3.  Plan the candy by the size of the table and containers.
4.  Select containers -- clear plastic or glass.  Use different shapes and sizes.  If you plan in advance, or working on a tight budget--shop at flea markets, thrift stores... don't miss out on sales at stores like Target, Walmart and Kmart. (especially their dollar day sales)   Dollar Tree stores (and other dollar stores) are also great places to shop. 

Don't rule out donation centers.  You'll find a plethora of glass and plastic containers at Goodwill and The Salvation Army.  You may find some around the house.  Make sure you give them a good cleaning first, even the new ones.

5.  Place candy on risers.  Cover books, plastic containers, beach pails, or plastic milk crates with fabric to use as risers for the candy.  Make sure they'll hold the weight of your container and candy.
6.  Select a nice table cloth for the candy bar, or borrow one from a family member or friend. 
7.  Decorate the candy bar with a few childhood photos of the bride and groom, or a few items from their hobbies, favorite flower, artwork from children in the wedding party, etc.
8.  Get plastic scoops for the containers and small cellophane bags, or small white shopping bags.
Lara's Cotton Candy Las Vegas Reception
Lara loves cotton candy, so it's no wonder she's having Cotton Candy Shrimp appetizers and Cotton Candy as a base for non-alcoholic and alcoholic featured beverages at her open bar reception.  
For a non-alcoholic drink, put a small stick of cotton candy into a cocktail glass, add Mountain Dew or lemon soda and put in a maraschino cherry or cotton candy jelly beans.  

Lara fell in love with the Cotton Candy Martini she saw a chef make on WE-tv's hit reality series, "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," for a "pretty-in-pink" wedding.

(Cotton Candy Martini)

(Cotton Candy Shrimp)
Wedding Cupcakes
You're breaking free from the tradition wedding cake mold and choosing the newest trend, gourmet cup cakes. 


Lara will forgo the wedding cake for cupcakes, but use a small cake as a topper that she'll freeze for their first wedding anniversary.


 (Tiffany Wedding Cake with Matching Mini Favors)
(Made by

 (Tiffany Wedding Cake)

Viola's Bermuda Wedding
Like Lara, Viola's nixing the tiered wedding cake and serving individual cakes in the shape of an open Tiffany-style box filled with cream and berries.  To tie in with her Tiffany blue, peach and ivory wedding colors, guests will enjoy peaches and cream wedding dress and tuxedo-shaped cookie favors.  

Since her groom is an elementary school principal and his favorite food happens to be a grilled cheese sandwich, (a cafeteria favorite for generations) they're having a grilled cheese station at the reception where guests can have their sandwiches made right before their eyes and filled with bacon, crab, lobster, salmon, ham, roasted peppers, etc.  

A Different Kind of Bouquet
Try a Mum wedding bouquet dotted with imitation pearls. 

Now let's test your wedding IQ.

-- July through September weddings are the cheapest to plan.  
December through June are the most expensive.

-- Morning weddings with brunch receptions are less expensive because there's less alcohol consumed.  You can even eliminate a bar and offer only non-alcoholic drinks or a champagne toast.

Saving on the Dress
 -- You can purchase a used wedding gown from recent brides at the sites:  Wore it Once and Once Wed.
-- Want a high-end-looking gown for a budget price?  Contact a wholesale operation that will recreate a gown based on a photo and made in China.  The material may not be first rate, but if the design is more important for this one day use, it could be a great option.
-- Find an operation where you send them a photo and purchase your own material.  These businesses are found through EBAY under:  Wedding Gowns or type in "Wedding Gowns."

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