Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz Announce Wedding Plans

Swizz Beatz in a very open interview to OK Magazine recently dispelled rumors that the couple is getting married this weekend, but says that it’s coming and coming pretty fast. As for wedding planning, Swizz makes sure that he’s not going to just “show up”, but that he’s going to have a big hand in planning the festivities.

“Yeah, you know, I’m a planner! I like getting into the detail of things. I’m inspired by fashion, I’m inspired by art, I’m inspired by architectural things so [I like] being involved with the wedding. I’m not the person who sits back and goes, okay, well I’ll just show up. I’m actually spearheading certain plans but it’s a nice blend, a nice partnership.”

While this may have some women swooning over how he’s such a “perfect” guy, let’s not lose sight of his wife and kids that he kicked to the curb to be with Alicia. No one is perfect, but let’s not get caught up in romance. I’m happy for them, but it seems a little too quick to be a fairy tale story. We all love happy endings, but one very positive thing is that he’s keeping the kids at bay and doing his best to keep the environment positive around the kids from both women at all times. Congratulations, but slow the train for your own mental health.

Win a Wedding Dress Or A Honeymoon

One of the craziest things I’ve seen is the cost of weddings. So why is it that Get Married has a literal laundry list of gift certificates and honeymoon vacations on their wedding contest pages there for the taking? And why are there barely any brides signing up to win them? Hundreds of thousands of visitors every month to the site and the brides are thinking to themselves, ‘”I never win anything.” and they don’t sign up! It’s like crazy town.

“Most brides simply walk away from opportunities that seem like there’s no chance they could win. Most websites don’t even get participation in the single percentage digits of what they’re traffic is primarily because it’s either not well represented on the main site or people have just become numb to giveaways because of the mass amounts of spam and scams online. But reputable companies like these are typically itching to give this stuff away, so avoiding opportunities like this is almost like leaving money on the table.”

Right now as we speak, Get Married is offering a $500 gift certificate from David’s Bridal, a dream vacation to Honduras for 7 days on the island of Roatán, a honeymoon package to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, another one to Turtle Island in Fiji, and even two sets of dinnerware. They’re right there for the taking, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense why more brides aren’t taking advantage of it.

Enough said.  Go get it; http://www.getmarried.com/contests/

4 Celebrity Couples Got Married This Weekend

This past weekend was a tad strange because there must have been some deal on wedding favors or something because the celebrities ran to the altar to hitch the wagon in droves.  Among them were;

Martin Lawrence and Shamicka Gibbs

Martin Lawrence, 45 tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Shamicka Gibbs, 35, this weekend. This couple has been together for over a decade which is amazing. Considering that Martin has been in tough relationships before, it was probably a very scary move for him. The couple decided to hold the ceremony in his backyard and in attendance were some very notable guests such as Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington and others. The couples 3 daughters were all flower girls including 9 year old Amara, 7 year old Iyana and 14 year old Jasmine from Lawrence’s previous marriage.  They kept it very intimate and held the reception on the Beverly Hills property as well.

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt

In a much more extravagant wedding, John Krasinski (from The Office), 30, and Emily Blunt (from The Devil Wears Prada), 27, exchanged vows in Villa D’este in Como, Italy. The bride adorned a 3 carat Edwardian and platinum diamond ring that costs somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000. According to UsMagazine, she wore a “cream, chiffon, sweetheart-draped Marchesa gown with embroidered detail.” Unlike the Lawrence’s above, this couple have only known each other since 2008, but they’ve been a couple ever since. They have apparently been holed up in George Clooney’s villa in Italy since the 4th of July weekend getting all of the arrangements together. George and John shared the screen in Leatherheads and he was also in attendance at the wedding with his girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis. John noted that the wedding on The Office was a great way to have a practice run through of the real thing.

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher

Top 40 Grammy winning country megastar Carrie Underwood, 27, said “I Do” to Ottawa Senators hockey player Mike Fisher, 30, in a ceremony in Greensboro, Georgia.  The event that apparently cost somewhere in the vicinity of a half a million dollars took place under a lakeside tent. Probably doesn’t matter though since People magazine was rumored to have paid $2 million dollars to have exclusive access to the event. Guess we know what the next cover will be for People magazine. The wedding took place in Greensboro, GA at Reynolds Plantation. Carrie was said to have worn a Chantilly lace Monique Lhuillier gown and Monique also designed the bridesmaid dresses as well.  The couple was spotted at LAX for their honeymoon that is to take place in Bora Bora and Tahiti.

Carmelo Anthony and LaLa Vazquez

The names may not be familiar to some, but sports fans definitely know Carmelo Anthony,26, as one of the many stars from the Denver Nuggets. LaLa Vasquez, 31, has been in many film and TV roles including Soul Plane and You Got Served, but was also on many TV shows like Charm School with Ricki Lake, Flava Of Love, I Love New York 2, etc.  Yeah, those shows.  The wedding took place in Manhattan and was heavily attended by many NBA players including LeBron James who was boo’ed when he arrived.   But the stars were out as also in attendance were Justin Timberlake, Spike Lee, Kim Kardashian (with hubbie Lamar Odom), Serena Williams, Ludacris and many others.  According to CBS News, the wedding “featured towering marble columns and chandeliers, and was decorated using red tablecloths, centerpieces of red Ecuadorian roses, hundreds of candles and thousands of red roses hanging from the high ceiling.”  And if that doesn’t seem over the top, the couple, who have been engaged since 2004, sent out red and gold invitations that were decorated with Swarovski crystals and delivered in a black box featuring their initials. Good God.

Which wedding would you like to have been at?

8 Great Fall Wedding Ideas

Fall wedding decor ideasFall is a very popular time for weddings. primarily because of the weather and that nature masterfully weaves its color palette into stunning displays of oranges, yellows, reds and browns.  It’s natures best color coordinated season of the year.  Brides simply love this season and here are some great ideas to accentuate your fall wedding planning.

1) Location
Make sure that wherever you host your wedding, that it’s somewhere that is accented by the natural beauty of the season. A quiet Victorian style church surrounded by trees in their fall colors makes for some incredibly brilliant wedding photo opportunities.  Mountain settings are simply stunning if you can get your location reserved before that other bride does!

Leaf Save The Dates For Fall Weddings2) Set the Tone
It’s good to plan ahead and make your guests aware of your fall themed wedding in advance. This may help to steer them in their choice of fashion accessories such as maple leaf broaches or autumn color handkerchiefs. Set the pace by sending our leaf save the date cards or wedding invitations with a fall or autumn feel to them. There are tons of wedding invitations places online including Rexcraft, Invitations By Dawn, Get Married and many more.

Maple Leaf Place Card Holders3) Fall decorations
It’s also important to make sure that your guests can enjoy the seasonal colors whether they are inside or out by decorating the tables with centerpieces that use colorful leaves, straw, dried flowers, and pumpkin colors. Keeping within the brown and yellow spectrum of colors will be eye catching. Small details like using a Leaf Guestbook or maple leaf place card holders make very dramatic statements.  Handmade tablecloths and doilies also give a small town feel that adds a nice touch.

Maple Leaf Bottle Stopper for Fall Weddings4) Fall wedding favors
Give your guests fall wedding favors that will help them to remember the occasion. They may not remember details, but when they get to take home fall themed wedding favors like copper leaf bottle stoppers, place card holders, or simply any of the many ideas that are available out there, you give them a point of reference to remember the occasion.  If leaves or pumpkin type gifts aren’t your style, at least try and manage to stick to your color palette.

5) Dress Color
In some people’s eyes, the only potential downside to a fall wedding is the dress color.  An off white wedding dress is normally a safer bet with fall weddings. primarily because a bright white dress can clash with your fall motif.  Be sure to stick to the color coordination since you are the focal point of the day.  If you’ve inherited a white dress or refuse to walk down the aisle in anything but white, it won’t ruin the day, but it’s that attention to detail that will set the bar. Also ensure that the wedding party and especially bridesmaid dresses will help to support your color choices.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe6) Food
Your fall wedding menu should highlight food of the autumn season with selections like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, squash, zucchini, and apple cider with cinnamon sticks.  Don’t forget your vegetarian guests as well. Likewise your wedding cake should also have fall colors and decorations incorporated into layers or decorations.  Placing the cake on a light brown or dust yellow tablecloth surrounded by leafs would be a great eye catcher.

7) Everyone knows
Out of all of the great fall wedding tips that are available out there, be sure that you keep the color coordination on the top of everyone’s mind. Let your wedding planner know your plans so that they can inform all of the right people and monitor the situation for you. The caterer needs to know that you want your menu seasonal so that they can plan accordingly. It’s just very important that everyone is aware of your autumn motif to make sure that they don’t add something to the mix to clash with your flow and feel of fall.

Image from Google Images and approved for re-use8) Lighting
Make sure that whoever is in charge of decorating, that they keep the lighting subdued and not bright white.  All of your colors can get washed away in bright white light. Keep lighting off-white or yellow to keep the ambiance flowing even in the air. If the DJ will be supplying lighting as well, be sure that they know of your color plans so that their “disco lights” don’t ruin everything you worked so hard to create. But more importantly, be sure to let your wedding photographer know about the yellow lighting since yellow plays havoc on white balance. It’s best they know as far in advance as possible.

Have more great fall wedding tips or things you’ve learned from your own fall wedding? Share them here!

Tips For a Perfect Beach Wedding

Beach WeddingAfter watching 3 separate beach weddings occur in one day, I had a lot to comment about in regards to certain aspects such as using Ipods, guest considerations, weather, etc.  It dawned on me as I watched 2 of the 3 beach weddings make the exact same mistakes, that there are many things that brides simply don’t think about.  I won’t go into detail about the basic wedding elements such as food to serve, seating arrangements and items like that, but these are things that you may not have considered for beach weddings in particular.

Bride Tide
One of the tricks to holding a beach wedding is timing it properly with the tides.  It will make the difference as to whether you’ll hold the wedding on tight packed wet sand or the soft white sand of the dunes.  Consider the tide tables and make note of when the tide is normally in or out for the particular beach where you’ll be holding your wedding.  While there is normally a lot of variance from day to day, there is some consistency that you can base your service around.

Weather the Weather
It’s best to avoid hurricane seasons which can cause all types of unpredictability with not only the weather, but also the aforementioned tides.  But because you’re close to the ocean, you should always have an alternate plan if it gets rained out.  It’s a worse case scenario, but you need to know that if it can go wrong, it probably will.  It may also be smart to spend time in the area beforehand to see if the area is prone to sand flies or if the section of beach you’re using is windy.  Gusts of sand blowing in the eyes of your guests and the wedding party can quickly ruin the day.

Audio
As I mentioned in my Ipod wedding post, the ocean is the only place on earth that is both loud and relaxing at the same time. It’s a strange anomaly and it’s the relaxing part that has people forgetting about the loud ocean part altogether. The crashing waves can make it almost impossible to hear much being said.  Make sure that your music is being pushed through a PA system and most importantly, that your pastor/priest/minister is also miked through that PA as well.  Even the most booming natural voice won’t be able to be heard over Mother Nature.  I watched two weddings where the minister wasn’t miked. The first had to yell over the ocean and it made it very unromantic when it got to the “I Do” portions of the wedding.  The second was a woman pastor who simply could not be heard at all.  Microphone everyone that will be talking.

Footwear
Consider what footwear your wedding party is going to be wearing and have them dress accordingly.  I was surprised how many women came to a beach wedding in high heels.   Make sure that your wedding party has the right type of footwear for a beach wedding and that your guests also know to plan accordingly with either flip flops or sandals.

Parents/Grandparents
Take into consideration that your parents and grandparents will have to walk the beach to their seating.  If you have any relatives that require the use of canes, walkers or that have any physical disabilities that make trudging through sand difficult, you should account for extra time getting them seated or possibly even seating them beforehand.

Distract The Kids
The second children hit the beach, you can expect them to be distracted easily.  Make it easier on yourself and simply accommodate that distraction by providing kids in attendance with beach themed wedding favors or even providing them with a small shovel or bucket. Maybe even set aside an area off to the side where they can play quietly making sand castles instead of having their parents managing their fidgeting instead of enjoying your big day.

Uninvited Guests
If you haven’t acquired a private beach, you should expect onlookers and in some cases additional noises.  Public access beaches will have your wedding surrounded by half naked adults and screaming kids complete with frisbees, dogs, and surfers.  This is something to consider for potential interruptions.  Most people are polite and will keep the distractions to a minimum when they see the wedding taking place, but on public beaches, you’re sharing the area with people who weren’t invited and you should anticipate the possibility of distractions.

Arranging to have your wedding on a private beach is easier than you think. In North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, you can contact major players for beach rental properties such as Emerald Isle Realty that can get you a section of the beach to call your own for the weekend to avoid all of the possible extra hub bub.  They can also give you access to lodging such as huge beautiful beach houses that can comfortably accommodate 6-8 couples in one beach home for under $2500 for an entire week. Imagine the convenience of having lodging, a private beach for your wedding and also a place to hold your reception afterward and all without the need to travel from one location to the other.

Power to the People
As I mentioned with the audio issue above, you should have a PA for the music to play through including the pastor, any ceremony musicians and ceremony music as well.  So it’s pretty important that you should consider that most beaches do not have electrical outlets. Be prepared to supply power to the DJ for the PA or any other items that may require some juice.  You may have to be inventive with super long electrical cords running from nearby homes.  And if there simply is none, think of something else because doing a beach wedding without a PA will be disastrous.

Seating
Check the sturdiness of any seating you supply. There’s nothing worse than your grandmother taking a fall when the chair legs sink into the sand behind her.  Benches are typically a good idea because of their broader feet which are less susceptible to sinking into the sand once someone sits in them.  It’s also best to preset each chair into the sand to make sure that any further sinking is minimal.

Beach Aisle RunnersAisle Be Back
The aisle where the bride will be walking towards the altar is going to be messy. If you can arrange for there to be a walkway, that would preferably be ideal, but most likely improbable.  Cloth aisle runners will sink into the sand once they get stepped on by your guests and then your wedding party. Thinking outside of the box to keep the aisle still “picture worthy” will be tricky. Some ideas may include having the flowergirl use an excessive amount of flowers to cover the center aisle with a lot of flowers to partially cover up the trampled sand. It looks much nicer than an crumpled up, stepped on, sandy aisle runner that makes it almost impossible for a nice center aisle shot.

Wedding Favors
Beach themed wedding favors are a great touch for a beach wedding obviously, but do it yourself (DIY) wedding favors such as hand painted seashells or sand dollars are a nice touch and can save you tons of money.  The aforementioned North Carolina Crystal Coast, and especially in the Emerald Isle area of the Crystal Coast, there are nice sized seashells virtually everywhere.  Grab a few dozen and hand paint names, dates, personal notes and glitter them up for a fantastic and frugal wedding favor idea.

So those are some things that I saw many beach weddings do wrong and that you should add to your consideration pile when you’re planning a beach wedding.  If you have any more great tips, be sure to add them below in the comment area. I’d love to hear them!

Vera Wang & David’s Bridal Join Forces

Photo from WikipediaIn huge wedding fashion news, the wedding dress mega superstar Vera Wang has agreed to work with wedding dress megastore David’s Bridal to make a line of budget wedding dresses. Vera Wang’s wedding dresses are some of the most sought after fashions in the industry and she’s created dresses worn by Jennifer Lopez and Ivanka Trump to drop a couple names.  But Vera is typically known for being the priestess of the higher end wedding dress pricing, so this seems to be a brilliant move in a time where Google web searches for “budget weddings” and “cheap wedding dresses” are at an all time high.

The arrangement is still behind close doors since there are trademark negotiations in play right now, but the timeline appears to be for Spring 2011 and the dresses will be in the ballpark of $600-$1500 which is certainly in the realm of affordability for most brides.  Even though Vera Wang seems impervious to harm regardless of what the brides are doing, the increased exposure to the everyday bride that she will achieve with this partnership is well beyond her current reach.  According to NBC, David’s Bridal currently accounts for over 30% of bridal business and that size of audience should prove immensely lucrative to the Vera Wang line.

Carrie Underwood Releases Wedding Details

Carrie Underwood to Serve cupcakesWord is that pop superstar Carrie Underwood is way too busy to do the whole beautiful wedding cake shtick and so she does what all brides in her position would do. No, dont buy the wedding cake from Publix, you do something that’s even MORE time consuming than a cake.  Cupcakes!  Where you have to make dozens of little cakes instead of one big one. Yes, that makes sense. Much more time efficient.  However, some are saying it has nothing to do with time.  It’s just what she wants to do.

Carrie has been with her fiance, hockey player Mike Fisher,  since 2008.  She initially shared some details about the wedding when she stated, “I‘m Southern. I like big hair and eyeliner. I want my wedding to be me, so I’ll probably be rocking some big hair and eyeliner… I want the dress to be pretty traditional. I think I want flowers on it – not real flowers.  The designer will probably be someone I’ve worked with before.”

We know that the wedding will most likely be Fall or Winter themed since Carrie is currently on tour until the end of July.  So, we have cupcakes for the reception, a wedding dress from a designer she’s worked with before that will have fake flowers on it, and that will most likely take place in Fall or Winter.  We’re going to call Fall, because as a Georgian, there isn’t any place more beautiful in the fall than the Georgia mountains.

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