Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Color Day: Peach, Olive, and Navy

Looking for the perfect laid back color palette?  We love the combination of peach, navy, and olive!  It's charming and rustic, perfect for your laid back barn or garden wedding. Navy and peach tend to remind us of a preppy nautical theme but when you throw in the moss or olive green accents, it changes the look completely to give it a natural and vintage foresty feel!

 5. J Crew via VPOnsale | 6. Jodie | 7. Wedding Chicks  | 8. The Perfect Palette | 9. Juxtapost

Jen & Saira

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips for the Bridesmaid: 50s Style Bridal Shower

The best thing about Facebook's creepiness is that you can get a glimpse into other people's fabulous ideas. A few months ago I lurked photos of my friend at a 50s themed bridal shower, and I absolutely loved it! The planning is fairly simple -- the invite establishes the theme, throw in a few decorative items to keep the theme going, and serve basic finger foods that use a ton of butter! The real fun comes with having all  the guests dressed from head to toe in 50s finery. Think full dresses, pearl necklaces, printed aprons, perfectly curled hair, just adorable! This is a very manageable bridal shower theme that is sure to be a hit with your gal pals.


Jen & Saira

Friday, June 22, 2012

Real Wedding: Jennifer and Tavis

So, a while back we did a Color Day post on our friend Jen's "button inspired" wedding.  Photographer Angela Ferro exquisitely captured their day and, as promised, we're finally going to share some of our favorites with you! Jen and her hubs, Tavis, tied the knot on a beautiful, albeit rainy, day in Brisbane, Australia.  Australia is close to our hearts as PDR's Jen spent some time studying there in college and these photos bring back warm memories of BBQ's, relaxed and carefree vibes, and true Aussie hospitality.  Destination weddings are super hard to plan, particularly when you want to include as many personal touches as possible.  Luckily, Jen had brilliant wedding planners in her now mother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Her mother-in-law put her creativity and crafty skills to use with a number of DIY projects and the end result was a wedding bursting with character and charm.  We love the care taken to personalize this wedding and see Jen's warm personality and artist flare in pretty much every little detail.

Jen was happy to share her story and helped to shed some light on her overall wedding style and favorite moments.

On the importance of personal touches...
We also incorporated a few unexpected and nontraditional elements in the day. For instance, the initial plan was to play lawn games during the cocktail hour and use this time to take photos in the gardens. Unfortunately, it rained all day. One unexpected wedding event quickly turned into another as I told myself that I was wearing a one-use dress and was going to get the most out of it, even though it meant that Tavis and I were quite wet by the end of the photography session! Also, Tavis thought it would be funny to read his vows from his iPad and I then read my vows from my iPhone which I secretly had his best man carry for comedic effect. The ceremony was performed by both Tavis' brother and his best man and was both sweet and hilarious. For example, the first line of the ceremony was "Hello. This is a wedding." It was important to us to have a few personal details that really reflected us as a couple and I think these examples certainly allowed us to achieve our goal!

 On choosing to have a small, intimate wedding...
The wedding was cozy. Tavis and I both think that marriage is very intimate and personal and we wanted our wedding to be a great celebration of us. In fact, Tavis often referred to the wedding as a "party." We decided that the two things we wanted most out of celebrating our marriage were to be with the people we really love and take an awesome honeymoon. We happily remained true to ourselves and on budget by keeping these things in mind!

On her favorite moments of the day...
There were three really fantastic moments that stick out to me when I reflect on the day. The first was when I saw the cake. Planning the wedding from the US made me feel a little removed from the event. It wasn't until I saw the cake that it finally felt real and I became much more present; it was as though all the work had paid off and everything was going to be perfect. I am still in awe of how beautiful the cake was. The second of my favorite memories of the wedding was walking in the processional with Tavis' best man behind two bag pipers. The pipes made the most beautiful, heart-wrenching sound that set the tone for the ceremony, which Tavis wrote. Finally, was the first dance. Tavis and I danced to The Smiths "There is a Light that Never Goes out" which quickly became a sing-along for us and our guests. Then, at the end of the song, Tavis spun me around the room several times making everyone laugh and cheer. It was such a joyous event. The entire wedding was absolutely magical but these moments were definitely the most memorable for me.

Venue: Home of the Groom's Parents - Brisbane, Australia
Floral Design: Brisbane Bouquets
Invitations: Keg Design
Catering: Wine & Dine'm
Wedding Cake: Josie Staines
Bridal Gown: LoveJune
Bride's Shoes: Seychelles
Bride's Jewelry: Land and Laboratory 
Bride's Hair Clip:
Bridesmaid's Dress: Andrew Marc
Bridesmaid's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Men's Suits: Bill Paul Ltd.
Groom's Shirt: Sebastian Gray Clothiers
Groom's Shoes: Dr. Martens

See more details of Jen and Tavis' Wedding and read the story of how they met over at Style Me Pretty!

Thanks, Jen and Tavis for sharing these with us.  We wish you a long and happy marriage!

Jen & Saira

Monday, June 18, 2012

Real Wedding Planning: The Venue Search, Part 1

We became motivated to start PDR after planning our first wedding together (Jen's!). Now that we have our own blog and some wedding planning under our belts (unofficially, of course) we thought it would be fun to share some of the major steps for planning our second PDR wedding. Now, although we are starting with the venue search, we are of course skipping some major steps that all couples must broach, including dates, budget, and theme. While some of these questions remain open ended, we had enough of an idea to scope out some venues in order to get a more realistic view of what type of venue can host Saira's gigantic Pakistani / Chinese wedding. Here are the contenders thus far:

Maritime Park in Jersey City, New Jersey

Maritime Parc was the first venue we checked out, and we have to say that, as of right now, it's everyone's favorite. It was a bit hard putting on our poker face when we stumbled onto a venue that has pretty much everything we're looking for. The space itself is very modern and minimalist -- everything is bright white except for the light wooden floors. There's a ton of natural light (the majority of the walls are windows) and there are wrap around terraces. It's a 3-floor building: the first floor is a lobby with a few plain white sofas; the second floor is the main ceremony / reception area topped with low layered ceilings, windows on 3 sides of the room, a wrap around terrace, and beautiful views of downtown Manhattan; the third floor has an amazing wood cathedral ceiling, windows around almost the entire room, and a wrap around terrace. So let's get down to business:

The Pros
- They accept outside catering! While their own catering menu sounds pretty amazing, it's a huge plus that they allow you to bring in outside help. They do, however, require references for places they haven't worked with before.
- The space itself is like a blank canvas, so you can really create whatever you want with it. They have no restrictions on decorators or florists, so it's really your space to create.
- There is no extra ceremony fee.
- The location is perfect for pictures -- it's located in Liberty State Park, so you have a lot of greenery plus beautiful views of downtown Manhattan.
- There is plenty of ample parking for guests with cars.

The Cons
- The chairs are this dark wooden color. If you wanted delicate gold chairs with white cushions, they cost an extra $6.50 per chair, plus tax and delivery!
- There may be extra costs if you don't use their house linen (which is grey and white). 
- The venue itself is located in Liberty State Park, which is right off the Turnpike. Convenient for our guests who are driving in, but may be an issue for our New York City guests who would be using public transportation.
- You can only come in to set up your event 2 hours before the start time. While this should be enough time it may be cutting it close depending on how dramatic your set up is.
- Because the space is so minimalist, you may need to spend extra in filling it up with candles, flowers and other ornaments so that it doesn't look too sparse.
- Saira's fiance's best friend is having his wedding there this summer -- what are your thoughts about sharing wedding venues with close friends?

The Mezzanine in Newark, New Jersey

(Images from Wayne Yuan Photography)

We have been in love with The Mezzanine ever since we attended a wedding there for our good friends, Mike and Sheryl. The Mezzanine is housed in the National Newark Building. A former bank converted into an event space, the space is incredibly majestic, detailed, and grand. When you enter the space, you have to go up a set of stairs. The second floor is also the main floor, which is broken down into thirds which are separated by glass walls. The central space is generally what is used for the cocktail hour, and the side spaces are used for the ceremony and reception, respectively. When you rent the space, you have use of the whole building, which means you can really customize your wedding. We really liked the open floor plan, the beautiful marble floors, the elaborately painted ceiling -- it's just exquisite. But here's a more critical look at the Mezzanine:

The Pros
- The space is so elegant that we really don't think you need to dress it up much. All you really need are flowers for the table and some well placed candles.
-  There are no extra charges for tables, chairs, or linens.
- The timing of the event is very flexible. You can choose the start and end time, and there is no one there to strictly force you out.
- There is no extra fee for holding the ceremony at the venue.
- They allow outside caterers, and are not as strict when it comes to working with new places.
- The location is extremely convenient for those traveling from New York, as it's only a few blocks away from the train station.
- You can have your event here any time, rain or shine, as there is no outdoor space.

The Cons

- Because the venue is located in Newark, parking can be incredibly difficult. Your options are to make your guests pay for parking, do valet parking for around $3,000, or hope that your guests stay at a hotel (they partner with a number of hotels that provide shuttle service). Transportation to and from the hotel / train station is incredibly important, as you don't want your guests straying around Newark late at night.
- The costs are on the higher side, although there appears to be some flexibility. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get a set price per head yet, with the event coordinator asking us to name a number rather than giving us an approximate amount.

The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey

(Images from Henry Shoots)

We stumbled upon the Newark Museum after doing some research on museum weddings. Unlike New York museums, the Newark Museum is definitely on the affordable side, and appears to be relatively unknown option. Situated near the Rutgers Newark campus, the Newark Museum provides a great alternative to your usual banquet hall. The main reception space is the Engelhard Court, a beautiful open space in the center of the museum. Having your wedding at the museum means your guests can have access to one of the many interesting galleries -- both beautiful and educational! A wedding at the Newark Museum gives you access to the garden and the Ballantine House (a historic mansion converted into a museum) at no extra cost.  Let's examine this option:

The Pros:
- While the Museum itself is not very grand, the Engelhard Court is very beautiful and airy.
- The garden is a true surprise. It has a giant cherry blossom tree in the middle, and is surrounded by subtle structures around the perimeter. Weather permitting, your ceremony and cocktail hour would take place outdoors in the garden.
- The Museum's required rental fee, plus a set-up fee, is actually quite affordable. Of course, these costs don't include catering, but even so, it won't burn a hole through your pocket.
- We love that you have access to the Ballantine House. While this space will not be open to the public, your wedding party plus a few special guests are given space to get ready and enjoy a few relaxing moments before the big day.
- The staff seems to be incredibly helpful and on top of things. You can tell that an event here would be incredibly organized and well-timed.

The Cons
- The Engelhard Court is a beautiful space, but with 250 guests, it will be very cramped. While it can accommodate approximately 250 people, we think the space is better suited for no more than 200 guests.
- If you plan on having your ceremony here, but it ends up raining, your Plan B is to hold the ceremony in an auditorium -- definitely not the ideal romantic setting. 
- Similarly, if it rains you no can no longer use the garden for cocktails. Instead, you would use the space surrounding the Engelhard Court, known as the Vaulted Gallery, which will do the trick, but could lead to a more cramped and difficult to navigate cocktail hour.  
- They are incredibly strict with outside caterers, although they do allow them. Apparently there is a bit of a vetting process, but hopefully your caterer will understand that once they are approved, it will make subsequent weddings at the Museum much more convenient.
- You may incur additional fees for tables and chairs. While they provide white folding chairs for the outdoor ceremony and gold chairs for the reception, they only have 160 gold chairs, which means you'll have to supplement the rest out of pocket at $5.50 a pop.

Okay dolls, now that you have a little information about our current contenders, what do you think? Have you had any experience with these venues and have some words of wisdom to share with us? If you could choose one, what would you do? Also, now that you have a glimpse into Saira and Henry's wedding style, do you have any other recommendations for the New York / New Jersey area? We would love to hear what you think!


Jen & Saira

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Color Day: Pink, Purple, and Green

We finally figured out our technical difficulties and by figured out we actually mean that we just happened to get lucky and actually have no idea what really fixed the problem.  But, anyway, here is the inspiration board we promised this morning.  Cheerful fuchsia is paired with cool purple and a bright, apple green for a color combo that is unusual, yet striking.  According to TheKnot, this is one of the hottest new combinations for the year!

1. Aileen Tran | 2. About | 3. Delezhen | 4. Brides | 5. Chafta | 6. OneWed | 7. Beautiful Blooms |
 8. Shoe Daydreams | 9. promdressesale | 10. 1 for Jewelry |

Jen & Saira

Friday, June 8, 2012

One Ring To Rule Them All

First comes love, then comes the engagement ring, then comes the wedding planning, and so forth. At least that's the way it seems. Nowadays, the engagement ring gets more attention than the engagement itself, which is why we think the ring should really reflect the bride-to-be's style. While the classic white diamond is elegant and timeless, it's not for everyone. Many couples opt for non-traditional looks, which could include unique settings, colored diamonds, a variety of gem stones, different types of metals, and so forth. Remember, you (or your future wife) will wear that piece of jewelry on your left hand for the rest of your life, so make it count!

Consider this the circle of life.


Jen & Saira

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Color Day: Vibrant Fiesta

Well, dolls, it's been a while since we've done a color board for you and we figured we'd put together one that definitely says "Summer!".  This color combination is a little bit retro and a little bit Tex-Mex.  We imagine an event with these colors might include papel picado and plenty of frozen margaritas and fish tacos to go around.  A bold choice for your wedding or summer bbq decor, we think these colors will be sure to liven up any party!

Sunflower, Rust, and Turquoise Wedding Color Inspiration Board

Jen & Saira

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Versatile Look Book: The Little Green Dress

We love how fashion mags like to show you how to take one item of clothing and either dress it up or dress it down. The downside is that we can never afford the pieces that they share, and a lot of times the looks shown aren't very practical for the everyday girl.  So we decided to do do a little fashion play of our own by taking a simple, yet structural dress from Top Shop and showing how you can use basic pieces from your wardrobe and transition from work to play. Our goal is for you to be able to change a few, simple aspects of your look (i.e. hair, shoes, a piece of jewelry) so that you can leave work and party the night away without having to pack a whole other wardrobe.

Work It

Be Playful

Time for a wardrobe change!


Jen & Saira

Friday, June 1, 2012

Indian Wedding: The Fashion

Now that our friend Tina gave us a breakdown on Indian wedding ceremonies, it's time to talk about Indian wedding guest fashion! Now, Indian / Pakistani clothing can be very expensive, so we don't recommend going out and buying a new outfit unless you'll have multiple occasions to wear it. We do recommend borrowing clothes from a friend or investing in an outfit with a friend who is a similar size, so you get the most use out of it! For those of you who have reason to invest in a new outfit, here is a break down of basic styles. 

The sari is the most traditional Indian outfit which most people are most familiar with. The base outfit is a long skirt and fitted cropped top, which you then wrap around with a thin, beautifully patterned fabric. It can be a little difficult to figure out how to wear a sari, so make sure you have some help! The lengha is the most common outfit for brides during the reception which consists of a long, floor length skirt and a shorter top. The length of the top depends on the style of dress -- Indian style tends to include a more cropped, fitted top, whereas Pakistani style will include a longer top, sometimes even going down below the knees. The most basic outfit is the salwar kameez, which is pants (either loose or narrow) with a longer top. The current trend is to wear a very long top (almost floor length) with very tight fitting trousers (almost like leggings). Because the fashion changes all the time, we recommend investing in something that hits right below the knees, which is a classic look that is suitable for both Indian and Pakistani weddings.