Monday, July 30, 2012

Wedding Shower Inspiration: Daniela's Vintage Tea Party

Every girl dreams of her beautiful wedding day with formal invitations, lush flowers, elegant  details, white dresses, and ever so helpful bridesmaids.  But, would you dream that your bridal shower could be the scene stealer?  Today we are pleased to share Daniela's "vintage tea party" themed bridal shower, exquisitely put together by her thoughtful and creative bridesmaids.  From homemade Vanilla extract favors to handmade doily garland and paper pom poms, this is a shower is full of charming personal touches that helped to create an elegant and sophisticated day for the bride to remember.

We asked one of the bridesmaids to give us her take on how they went about planning this event and here are some of the thoughts and insite she shared with us:

Was there an overarching theme for the shower?
Our initial thought for a theme was an elegant, soft, vintage inspired tea party, but we didn't want to take it too literally and serve just tea and put pictures of tea kettles and cups on everything. We wanted to keep it as elegant and sophisticated as possible. Towards the end it had felt like we broke pretty far away from our initial "tea party" idea but then seeing it all come together and looking at the pictures now, I think it translates as just that.

How did you come up with the ideas for the theme/decor?
Most of the ideas stemmed from things we knew Daniela loved and then we used our own ideas and inspirations found online to embellish on that. 

It seemed there were a lot of little details. How long did it take you to plan?
It's hard to say how long it took to plan since I'm sure we both had been thinking of ideas since before Daniela was even engaged. But I believe our actual planning probably began about 6 months ahead of time. For example, our favors (Homemade Vanilla Extract) had to sit for 4-5 months before being bottled and ready to use.

How did you choose the venue?
We knew we wanted to host it at a place where we had complete control and constant access so we could be planning and setting up in the months, days, and hours beforehand, so that is why we decided to host it in Sheryl's backyard. We felt having it at a hall or restaurant, although less work for us in the long run, would limit us.

How long did it take you to set up?
As for the set up, we did a lot of prepping in the months and weeks before the shower and stored everything in Sheryl's basement. We began setting things up in the yard the evening before (once the tent was set up and tables & chairs delivered) and spent the day of the shower doing the final touches. After the shower and the following day was the clean up...which with a lot of helping hands was a breeze!

What types of games did you play?
For games there was bridal bingo, a word search, and a Pat & Daniela quiz. We also placed LRC (Left Right Center) games along the table for people to play at their own will, but I think people were too busy chatting, eating, and drinking to be bothered to play .

Did you do it all yourselves?
We (Sara and Sheryl) did all of the planning and coordinating ourselves and tackled the majority of the decor and details. Thankfully both Daniela and Pat's mothers were very eager to help and were very generous in their contributions (tent, tables, chair & linen rentals, catering, and tons of additional desserts).

Was it a surprise?
The date, time and location of the shower were not a surprise to the bride to be -- we actually even placed an invitation to her own bridal shower on her front steps spruced up with some flowers. But we didn't let any of the details slip. 

Want to throw a shower like this?  Check the links these ladies have posted on Ruffled and Craig's List if you are interested in purchasing the china, glassware, server ware, and other items for your very own tea-party themed event!  Not all of the items are for sale, but it will certainly get you off to a great start!

Thanks to Sara and Sheryl for sharing these photos and detail with us and warmest congratulations to Daniela, the lovely bride to be!

Jen & Saira

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Color Day: Purple and Grey with Sunflowers

By now you've probably noticed that we really like grey and love to pair it with a variety of hues.  We've done grey and purple together, we've even done sunflowers once before, but never have we paired all three of these things together... until today!  This board was customized for Saira's friend, Ashley!  Ashley is using purple as her main color, sunflowers as her flowers and grey as her accent color.  Here you can see the tone of the chic and sophisticated combination of purple and grey is changed to a  more relaxed and fun feel with the addition of the bright and cheery sunflower. Congratulations, Ashley! Best of luck in your wedding planning!

 Are you planning a wedding and looking for some inspiration?  Send us your colors or ideas and we'll put our heads together to come up with a custom board just for you!

Jen & Saira

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cat Woman

In honor of The Dark Knight Rises, and in solidarity with our fellow cat ladies across the globe, we are here to declare that we love cats and are not afraid to show it! Kitty printed clothing, accessories, decor -- we want it all. And sure, some cat themed items can appear to be juvenile or excessive, but we think a tasteful item or two can really liven up your look. So here are some items that we think are fun and stylish, yet still simple and discreet enough to be part of your grown-up lifestyle. Kitty Pryde!


Jen & Saira

Monday, July 16, 2012

Real Wedding Planning: The Venue Search, Part 2

 The search for the perfect wedding venue continues! After viewing more venues, we've definitely come to realize that there is no such thing as a "perfect" wedding venue. There are plenty of gorgeous venues out there, even more venues that are crazy expensive, and plenty of places that are close, but no cigar. In the end, the "perfect venue" will simply be the one where the pros and outweigh the cons.

Studio 450 in New York, New York

We stumbled upon Studio 450 after doing intensive online searches for "unique / alternative / loft / museum" spaces. New York City has a plethora of loft like venues that is perfect for weddings. The tricky part is finding one that can accommodate 250 guests (yikes!) Located in Hudson Yards, the space is a penthouse duplex which features an open floor plan, wrap around windows, and an amazing roof deck. It's also conveniently located a few blocks from Penn Station. This venue is rapidly climbing our list as our first option, so take a look and tell us what you think.

The Pros:
- The space is just a venue rental, which means you can bring in all of your own vendors and caterers.
- The flat venue rental fee is very reasonable with no extra charges, and even includes a reduced rate if you pay up front.
- There is a beautiful roof deck and wrap around terrace, which provides great city views (including The High Line, The Empire State Building, and The New Yorker Building.
- The space is beautiful, all white and modern, but with an urban feel. Perfect for the minimalist wedding or for the couple who wants a blank canvas to work from.
- The venue rental is for 10 hours, so you have plenty of time to set up, break down, and party in between. 
- The venue rental includes both floors, which gives you some extra space to play with.
- The building is located close to the High Line, which means beautiful pre-wedding photos!

The Cons:
- Because the space is only a venue rental, your caterer is responsible for everything: food, wait staff, tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, glasses, etc. That means a whole lot of other planning, which means a tiny bit more stress.
- There is no parking, so if your guests are planning to drive in, you will have to arrange parking accommodations yourself.
- The "cocktail hour" space is very dependent on being outdoors, so if the weather is inclimate and you have a larger guest list, then cocktail hour will be incredibly cozy.
- The entrance of the venue leaves much to be desired. It's basically a plain brick front, with no indication of the beauty inside.
- There is only one (rather slow moving) elevator, which can lead to some delays for your guests in arriving at the venue.
- The bathroom number is limited, with only two stalls on the main floor.

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey

Located in Jersey City, New Jersey, the Liberty Science Center is one of our favorite museums in the area. It's educational, interactive and fun for all ages. It's also available for rental for events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, and corporate fundraisers. The museum has different rental options, where each event space includes its own flat rental fee. For a wedding, you would ideally rent two event spaces, such as the main lobby or Governor's Hall and one of the exhibit floors. As their pricing is based on corporate events, they will work with you to create a package deal. The rental price includes the space rental, tables, event security and event technicians. It can also include staff for some of the exhibits, so your guests can interact with the exhibits during your wedding. Enough with the intro, here's the break down:

The Pros
- While the museum has preferred vendors, they allow you to use outside catering if you want certain types of cuisine, i.e. Indian food.
- The space involves built in entertainment for your guests. Worried about kids running amok? Stick them in an exhibit.
- The venue has an incredibly convenient location. New York City guests can take the light rail directly to the museum, while New Jersey guests can park in the lot, for an extra fee. 
- It's an incredibly unique place, which will result in a stand out wedding that your guests will always remember. 
- With a location in Liberty State Park, you get some amazing views for your photos beforehand. In addition, there is a terrace attached to the rental of the fourth floor which your guests can enjoy.

The Cons
- The space is very large, so it will take a lot of careful planning (and money) to adequately decorate it.
- It is a children's museum, which does not lead to the most romantic setting. Expect a lot of bright colors and large structures which may clash with your own decor.
- One of the options is to have your bar set up in front of the "Infection Connection" mural, which teaches you all about infectious diseases. How magical.
- You don't have a lot of time to coordinate set-up, as the museum is open until 5:00 p.m. and doors can open at 6:00 p.m. While you can have vendors start delivering items throughout the day, the actual set up time for your caterer is limited.
- Your caterer is in charge of linens, silverware, plates, glasses, drinks, and chairs, which can rack up the price.
- Because the rental fee depends on what space you rent out,  the price can be a little more if you choose to have your cocktail hour on one of the exhibit floors (which we recommend).

The Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, New York

We heard about The Metropolitan Building from Henry's friend, who went to a wedding at the space and loved it. Located near the water in Long Island City, the venue is an old warehouse converted to an event space. The venue is four floors, with the second and fourth floor including two separate event spaces. The abandoned warehouse look gives this space a beautiful and unique feel, which makes for amazing photos.

The Pros
- The rental fee for this space is very reasonable for one floor. Included in the rental are cocktail tables, serving tables, and a large number of round tables plus white wooden folding chairs. 
- There are no restrictions on caterers or vendors, which can be a big plus. 
- With the space comes access to an endless of supply of beautiful and unique vintage furniture, which will save you big time on any furniture rental costs. 
- The space has a lot of character, including built in shelves filled with old books, beautiful chandeliers, and unique fixtures, so your decor will be fairly simple.
- The venue is located near the water, so it's a short walk to some beautiful city views.

The Cons
- The rental fee is separate for the two floors, so your whole wedding (ceremony, cocktails and reception) is to take place all on the same floor. With a larger guest list, the ceremony and cocktail hour can feel a bit cramped and cluttered. You are of course free to rent out both floors, but they don't provide a discount for the two spaces, so the space goes a bit outside of budget.
- The location leaves a lot to be desired. It makes sense that a refurbished warehouse is located on the same street as abandoned warehouses, but it isn't the most romantic location.
- There is no parking provided, but from what we hear, street parking is always available and is reasonably safe. 
- Because you're only paying for the venue, you have to arrange to rent out tables, chairs, wait staff, etc.
- The space is not meant to be an event venue, so you do have some random fixtures (including poles and walls) that create an awkward shape to the room. It's nothing you can't work with though.
- Since it's an old building, the bathrooms are not in the best condition.
- There is an elevator in the building, but it's  a bit on the slow side and taking the stairs is quite a work out.

That's it for now, dolls. It's very likely that Saira and Henry will decide from one of the six venues that we have shared with you. So tell us, what do you think? Do you have any personal experience with any of these places? We want your input!


Jen & Saira

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Versatile Look Book: Pastel Pencil Skirt

Continuing with our "day to night style", here's a way to dress up a brightly hued pencil skirt from J. Crew (which is on sale, by the way). This skirt is perfect for your summer office style -- pair the colorful skirt with your basic button down or blouse for a conservative yet fashion forward look. Then let your hair down (literally) and recycle the skirt the following weekend for a casual (but ever so fashionable) outdoor BBQ. 

Business All The Time

Cocktails Anyone?


Jen & Saira

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Real Wedding Wednesday: Kasey and Joey

We love to feature real weddings!. Today we are happy to share with you these favorites from the wedding of Kasey and Joey, by our very talented friends over at Marie James Photography.  We love Kasey's retro inspired tea length dress with its gorgeous overlay and think she looks so natural and radiant in these pictures.  We also are really loving the fun vintage looking flower in her hair as well as the groom's relaxed, yet formal, look with the gray striped pants, ivory vest, and solid black jacket. In addition to the bride and groom's great fashion choices, Kasey's bridesmaids wore alternating pink and green dresses, adding another element of fun and cheer to what we're sure was a beautiful wedding.  Are you a recent bride or a photographer and would like us to feature your wedding or a wedding you have shot, please feel free to email us the details to We'd love to hear from you!

Thanks to Danielle over at Marie James Photography for sharing these with us.  Congratulations to Kasey and Joey.  We wish you happiness, always.

Jen & Saira

Monday, July 9, 2012

Real Wedding Planning: Transportation Poll

Dolls, we are facing our first "crisis" when it comes to Saira's wedding planning. As many of Saira's venues involve urban environments, we are faced with the age old questions that many brides must ponder: Should the bride and groom provide shuttles and / or valet parking for guests? As part of the venue search (which is still underway) one of the cons we are facing is that many urban venues simply do not have their own parking lot. Let's look at our two options in some detail:


Venue #1 is in Newark, New Jersey, which is not exactly known for its scenic routes. As the majority of the guests will be staying in New Jersey and therefore will be driving in, parking options are key. The options are as follows:

(1) Valet parking: This would be the most convenient option for guests, and would protect the guests from the streets of Newark (yes, there is a little sarcasm here). It would also be the most expensive option, costing up to $3,000.

(2) Garage parking: There are a number of parking garages in Newark, many of which are located within a two block radius from the venue. The couple would likely be able to get a discounted rate, which the guests can either pay themselves or which can be covered by the couple. The guests will still have to walk through Newark (or at least the driver will have to), but it would be a very short walk.

(3) Hotel shuttle: This option is available for all guests, whether or not you are staying at the hotel. Guests can park their car at the hotel (which will likely include a small parking fee) and then join other guests for a shuttle which will take them directly to the venue. We do want to note that there will be no alcohol at this wedding, which is one of the main reasons couples provide for shuttle service.  Nonetheless, it will be convenient for guests who don't want to worry about traveling back from the venue at night. The downside is that guests will still have to pay for some sort of parking and the couple will have to pay for the shuttle. Plus depending on the number of shuttles available, there will be some lag time in between trips, thereby inconveniencing guests.

(4)  Nothing: Guests can be provided with information about parking garages and the hotel, and arranged things based on their own preference.

VOTE: Now we need your help! Please vote on which option you think is the most fair and practical for all those involved for parking in Newark, New Jersey. Please feel free to leave comments as well!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Venue #2 is in New York City, just blocks from Penn Station. With the majority of Saira's guests coming from New Jersey, travel to New York City will require some additional planning. Here are the options:

(1) Valet Parking: This is actually not a realistic option for this location, but we thought we would include it anyway, mainly to see if you all are paying attention.

(2) Garage parking: The venue offers discounts with two garages, where cars would pay $25 a pop. This could be paid directly by the guests, or covered by the couple. The garages are located within a few blocks of the venue, and the area surrounding the venue is very safe, albeit a little isolated.

(3) Hotel shuttle: The upside to staying at a hotel in New York City is that you can take public transportation to the hotel (train, subway, path, what have you), check in and get ready, and then have a nice convenient shuttle waiting to transport you to the venue. While it's unclear how many guests will opt to stay at a New York City hotel, guests can have the option of parking wherever their hearts desire and taking the shuttle from the hotel, regardless of whether they are staying there.

(4) Nothing: It's very different to talk about arranging transportation when you are getting married in New York City. The beauty of New York City is the availability of public transportation! Because of the number of different options, guests can simply be provided with the different transportation options and choose what is most convenient for them.

VOTE: Please vote on which option is the most fair and practical for a New York City wedding. We would also love to read your comments and suggestions!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Please share your thoughts with us and let us know what you think!


Jen & Saira

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hair Style Look Book: Top Knot

Sometimes known as a samurai bun or a very high bun, top knots are all the rage this summer. It's basically piling your hair up and looking effortless while keeping cool. We love how simple this hair style is, and how it automatically gives you some extra height! The slicked back look is perfect for a formal event, while the messy updo is great for a hot summer day.


Jen & Saira

Monday, July 2, 2012

All The News That's Fit To Print

You don't need to have a wedding / bridal shower "theme" in order to incorporate unique and interesting ideas to your decor. We already talked about incorporating your love of literature into your wedding, but here are some ideas involving newsprint. What we love about this decor style is that it's so simple (and green). Just take some old newspapers and make it into something beautiful... or hire one of the many talented Etsy artists that we scoped out for you to do the job. These simple newsprint crafts are perfect for more rustic DIY style weddings, adding subtle character to your decor.


Jen & Saira