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A s P e C i A l s e C t i O n O f t H e r e C O r d - r e V i e W, f e b r uA r Y 14 , 2 014

dress styles define modern romance By TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG


edding bells are ringing in a new era of romance, as bridal fashions redefine traditional styles with a modern voice. Perfectly suited for the contemporary bride, unique beauty reigns supreme in thoughtful collections edited for every personality and nuptial style. One of the most important markers of a wedding’s mood, a bridal dress can set the stage and encapsulate the mood. It’s as important as the symbolic kiss of commitment and as sweet as the icing on the wedding cake. Here’s what 2014 has to offer in its wedding trousseau: Short and sweet Above-the-knee dresses are chic and playful. They are popular for casual ceremonies, courthouse nuptials, second-time brides and reception dresses. Go for a “mod” vibe with sheaths or A-line styles in rich fabrics. Crisp details such as linear belts, flat bows and cap sleeves embellish through perfect definition. Matching coats or demure shrugs, reminiscent of the Jacqueline Kennedy look of the 1960s, are a perfect counterpart to complete the look. New this year are cropped styles that compromise between traditional looks and abbreviated hemlines. From the waist up, these dresses borrow from the conventions of luxurious bridal gowns. However, below their profusions of sweetheart busts, illusion necklines, lace sleeves, tulle and beading, the conventions end and transform into a flirty show of long legs and short skirts. Sexy backs Let’s face it — during the ceremony and on the dance floor, your back will be the center of attention. Designers have responded with backs featuring geometric cut-outs, embellished criss-cross straps, plunging Vs and deep open drapes. Soft skin is beautiful, but subtle decoration can be intriguing. Using the bare back as a canvas, Ines di Santo employs sheer, flesh-colored, illusion insets decorated with arabesque patterns of crystal stones. The effect is reminiscent of henna body painting, skin artistry or a refined tattoo. Gowns with open backs are also a sophisticated alternative to strapless dresses — especially when modesty in the front reverses to unexpected sexiness en verso. illusion necklines Illusion necklines enable designers to play with interesting bodice contours without worrying about corresponding structural concerns — like a strapless dress slipping down. Illusion necklines also allow for a lovely ambiguity between bare and covered skin. Sheer, gauzy fabrics seem to sugarcoat the skin of the shoulders, the collarbone and the back, while enabling a surface upon which to scatter iridescent crystals, silk flowers and delicate appliqués. The more random the placement of the embellishment, the more spontaneous — and less serious — the dress will feel. Crystals evoke stars in an evening sky. Knots of metallic thread glitter like light reflections on the water. Strewn fabric petals cling to the shoulder and bust like sweet peas wrapping round a pole in summer. This is the stuff of fairy tales. Capes, cloaks and mantles Creative cover-ups and cloaks add romantic drama to simple silhouettes. Sheer capes and mantles resemble trains or angel wings as they flutter and flow behind a bride on her walk down the aisle. Diaphanous gauze shawls conceal and reveal shoulders in the most alluring way. Fur wraps add luxury and texture to the sparkling fantasy of a winter wedding. Bow-tied capelets impart doll-like charm. Perfect for outdoor venues, these extra layers not only add warmth; they also allow an element of the dress to play with the breeze. Fabric dancing in the air or billowing around a couple exchanging vows evokes a form of poetry that is like visual music. It also sets the stage for gorgeous photographs. Long sleeves Ever since Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, long lace sleeves have been the most popular detail of wedding attire. Kate’s gown, designed by Sarah Burton, creative designer for Alexander McQueen, showed a taste for both tradition and modernity that struck a chord with brides around the world, and designers are relishing the creative possibilities of covered arms. Look for Romana Keveza’s long sleeves in delicate lace inspired by the Duchess’s famous gown, Temperley’s billowy Continued on page 2a


Courtesy of Monique Lhuillier

Time for a party? Time to look your finest! ............................................. 3A Creative brides go outside the box for unique looks ..................................4A The perfect blend: your celebration, your food ....................................... 5A

Beyond Cake Additional baked goods to wow your guests



o eat cake or not to eat cake: that is the question. Well, not really. But you get the idea. Cake is still the primary dessert of choice served at an overwhelming majority of weddings and other special occasions, and for good reason. But there are other options out there as well, and local bakeries are ready to step up to the altar, so to speak, with some really good choices. Flourish Baking Co., owned by chef Diane Forley and husband/ partner chef Michael Otsuka, has been in Scarsdale since 2009. Whole-grains centric, the bakery is open to the public and also sells products at several farmers markets. Everything is produced in-house. “We’ve tried to merge our cooking and baking to create some innovative products,” Forley said. “We’re vegetarian-based and do a lot of savory baking — pot pies, vegetable tarts — and then for sweet items always focus on fruit-driven desserts, some of the healthier choices in terms of confections” — fruit, chocolate, nuts and seeds, for example.

Forley has taken some of her favorite recipes and recreated them “using healthier ingredients,” she said. “If you can create something that is equally as decadent, but you’re careful in choosing the ingredients, that is the way to go. I look at white sugar and it’s not interesting to me anymore. I can make dessert much more flavorful now.” Flourish Baking Co.’s menu includes plenty of alternatives to a “butter cream on white cake,” Forley said. “If you want that it’s out there, but you don’t always have to go that way. For example, it was an interesting Thanksgiving for us. I had our traditional pies and 75 percent of our customers wanted the healthy version, with the alternative crust or different topping.” In addition, she said, “Something we’ve been playing around with are little petite desserts — tiny bites. There’s a feeling of indulgence, but it’s a tiny, mini-dessert instead of something heavy.” As an alternative to traditional cake, David Shore, managing partner of La Renaissance, a French patisserie in Scarsdale, offers his firm’s house specialty, an appetizing blend of layers of almond meringue filled with chocolate cream, mocha buttercream and Continued on page 2a


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February 14, 2014

dress styles define modern romance of circular spirals. A related trend is the high-low silhouette for brides who want to kick up their toes in the front, while keeping the glamour of a floor-sweeping train in the back.

Continued from page 1A

disco-era sleeves with buttons and cuffs and Rosa Clara’s sleek and simple opaque bodices and sleeves. For a similar look without the commitment to a long sleeve, try a pair of elegant, elbow-length gloves.

Structured peplums From simple to glamorous, wellstructured dresses stand out for their integrity. Construction details, such as the peplum, reveal the artistry of the designer and impart a couture quality to his or her finished gowns. Angel Sanchez, renowned for the architecture of his garments, is a prime example of such a designer. This year, his collection exploits the peplum in unusual ways. Going beyond the peplum’s typical trumpetlike volume at the hips, Sanchez explores the peplum form through geometric proportions and handkerchief-like folds of fabric at the waist and hips. Monique Lhuillier, a designer known for refined lacework, softens the peplum according to her signature style. Uber-feminine dresses use asymmetrical layers of lace and tulle to add volume and movement that is evocative of an orchid or an ocean wave. Peplums of any variety, however, share a common attribute: they add feminine volume to the bride’s hips and make her waist look tiny.

Jazz age Inspired by the elegance of the 1920s and 1930s, flirty flapper dresses and sleek Art Deco gowns are back in fashion. Evoking the Great Gatsby era, empire waistlines contour the body, as iridescent beading lays down in elaborate, angular patterns. Look for plays of silver and gold to impart ultimate luxury. Fringe trim is also indicative of this trend, especially for decorating shoulders and embellishing short skirts. Designers capture Art Deco glamour through Old Hollywood-style gowns featuring sleek silhouettes in luxurious silks and smooth satins. Crystal brooches at the waistline, modified cloche hats or thin sparkling forehead bands complete the look. Vintage dresses from the golden age of fashion are also an option; however, quality can be unpredictable, so make sure you consult with a professional seamstress in order to reinforce and reline any deteriorated areas. Tea length

Sleek and streamlined

Playful and flirty, tea length dresses are not only cute, they are also practical for outdoor nuptial venues and brides who envision a reception full of dancing. Because tea length dresses are hemmed anywhere from the ankle to the mid-calf, they direct special attention to bride’s shoes. So, if you are obsessing about gorgeous feet embellished with ruffles, bows, Swarovski crystals or Christian Louboutin’s iconic red soles, a tea length dress is the perfect accompaniment for your fetish. To create the greatest impact with a tea length skirt, structure is important. Therefore, designers seek defined shape through A-line cuts and bubble silhouettes. Belts are a fun addition, as are textured fabric details such as Marchesa’s lively relief patterns

Courtesy of Romona Keveza

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Courtesy of Monique Lhuillier

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Modern silhouettes are simple and refined. Less is really more. Luxe materials and hand-finished construction details exude sophisticated sensuality. Mermaid styles and slip dresses hug the body’s curves, while sheaths and shifts present a graceful columnlike structure. Silk’s sumptuous hand — in organza, gazar or taffeta — makes it a wonderful choice for these gowns. Clean and pure, they do not need much decoration — just a little piping at the bustline, or gold thread embroidery at the hem or a slit along the thigh. Or a graphic accessory to emphasize the sleek modernity of the gown. Or maybe nothing at all. These gowns are perfect in their simplicity — just like true love.

Courtesy of Monique Lhuillier

Beyond Cake

Additional baked goods to wow your guests Continued from page 1A

whipped cream, surrounded by lightly toasted slivered almonds. Or there’s croquembouche, a traditional French dessert composed of profiteroles and decorated with wispy threads of spun sugar. Often seen at Christmastime, the tower of lusciousness can be used to mark a celebration any time of year, including weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, bar and bat mitzvahs and first communions. “What I find is that people want what we carry,” Shore said. “They come specifically for specific items, and when we don’t have them they get upset. Our product list is endless; we bake a lot of things. It just depends on what customers want — we cater to them individually.” From petite fours glaces to Sarah Bernhardts — specialty cookies with an almond macaroon base with chocolate ganache and chocolate icing — La Renaissance caters to the sweet tooth. Tarts, chocolate dipped strawberries, sorbet cakes, mousse bowls and other tasty treats are sure to get the imagination going. Dawn White is the owner of MeMe’s Treats, located in Shrub Oak and Bedford Hills. Known for specialty cookies and party desserts, White’s bakery is a whirlwind of seasonal activity. She suggested a number of items as alternatives to traditional cake, although, she noted, most brides and grooms still prefer having cake in addition to other items. Often there will be a sweets table at weddings or other big occasions such as bar and bat mitzvahs and first communions, White said. A favorite for bridal showers is her “wedding dress” jumbo cannoli, a homemade 24-inch cannoli shell filled with 40 mini cannolis, decorated to look like a long white dress. “For the wedding, customers might want a cake or small cake with cupcakes placed all around it or a huge cupcake bar or cookies and pastries on everyone’s tables,” White said. “Cakes are still popular, of course, but cupcakes are huge right now.” From Valentine’s Day to Easter is a whirlwind of favorites such as zeppoli and sfogliatelle, mini and large Italian pastries at MeMe’s Treats, and these are perfect alternatives to cake, White said. Another option is White’s signature

“cookie crowns,” which she describes as a perfect “two-bite” dessert, decorated and topped with edible jewels. “They’re sold individually or in boxes of nine, and are especially popular with the kids,” she said. “They’re definitely beyond the cake.” Lidia’s Bakeshop in Dobbs Ferry is the namesake of owner Lidia Racanelli, who offers a wide range of comforting treats to eat in or take out. There are plenty of excellent options if a customer wants to serve something other than a traditional cake, Racanelli said. From muffins and pastries for a morning meeting or gathering to a full range of cookies, pies, tarts and cupcakes, Lidia’s Bakeshop has them all — and all are made right there. “Our customers love selecting all kinds of delicious things here,” Racanelli said. “Cakes are some of what we offer, but everything is perfect for whatever occasion you have.”

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February 14, 2014

tiMe fOr A PArtY? time to look your finest! By eVe MARX


big day is looming and you’re in a bit of a dither. It’s your daughter’s wedding, your nephew’s bar mitzvah, your own 30th anniversary, your high school reunion — you name it. The main thing that’s freaking you out is that you know there will be pictures. Whether it’s how you’re going to look in the professional photographer’s studied lens or just in the myriad and random Facebook and Instagram pictures everyone’s taking on their phones, the prospect of pictures can seem like a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. You know you want to look your best, not just for your friends and family, but images of how you looked that day will follow you into eternity. What’s the best way to ensure you’re looking great? Devra Bader of Devra Bader Skin Care & Beauty Spa on Garth Road in Scarsdale said for a special event it is always best to hire professional makeup and hair experts. “They will help you design your dream look with suggestions of the best hair and makeup that complements your choice of wardrobe and the specific event,” Bader said. “Your pictures will be flawless no matter who is capturing the photos and where they may be posted all over the web! Your skin will glow, your eyes can tell a whole story from just the right angle, and you will be relaxed, knowing your look will stay all through the day or night.” Bader said the most asked question from her clients always is, “How do I get this look on my own?” Her answer is that it is all about looking well blended and to not look like you tried too hard. “Tinted primer is my favorite product to help pull this off,” she said. “From there it’s one great color shadow, a powder liner across top lashes, mascara, and under eye concealer.” Bader advised that lips should be hydrated no matter what color you choose, and a dusting of a powder enhancer is a must to pull it all together. “It gives the skin glow and subtle color,” Bader said. When choosing a look, Bader advised, there must be a discussion between client and stylist on how dramatic or natural the finished look should turn out. “I tend to play up eyes and keep the lips soft,” she said. “Trying to pull off both can sometimes look too ‘made up.’” The projected spring colors are full of pastels, Bader said. “Orange lips are going to be all the rage,” she said, so put that winter red to rest. “Orange lips work well on all skin types. There is an orange for everyone, even if it means incorporating the color into a lip balm.” And natural looking dewy, not matte, skin is a must for makeup this spring. Got hair questions? Join the club. Bader had solid advice on this front as well. “Root

lifting products for thinning hair are the best preblowout product,” she said. “They give great texture and volume.” Still need more hair? With the right stylist, extensions are a good bet. “They can be cut and styled to fit easily into your everyday style and clip in and out easily so you can choose how and when you want to use them at home or at your salon,” Bader said. What about if your makeup must carry over from day to nighttime? “All makeup applications should have the same plan,” Bader said. “But as the event flows into the evening hours, add a little something extra for the eyes.” She suggested that could be another application of eyeliner or an extra shimmery shadow applied to the lid only to create a more dressy evening look. Dina Altieri, a former featured artist for Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Chanel, and creator of Hush Dotti Beauty, said the biggest trends from the runways are showing clean, glowing skin, an understated eye and a bold, hot orange lip color. “Another hot look for spring is gleaming skin and just that,” Altieri said. “No makeup is a hot makeup trend! Using nothing but what Mother Nature gave you is very much in this season. Skin must be hydrated and in excellent shape to pull this one off, but, yes, it’s a trend. Another trend is pale pastel eye shadows, the most popular of which is blue. Yes, you heard me — blue. Blue worn smudgy, blue worn to the brow bone, blue worn pale and timidly or boldly is very much in style.” Altieri, who at one time was the coowner of kdstudio in Katonah, said another hot trend for this season is black, inky eyeliner. “Now this is one trend a woman can learn and pull off easily on her own,” Altieri said. “Most women are intimidated

by makeup, especially eyeliner. Mastering the art of applying black liner along your top lashline will make any woman look lifted and instantly finished. Most women are afraid of liquid liner, but using a gel or cake form of liner with a small brush is very easy to become comfortable with.” All you have to do is use your top lashes as a guide and glide the brush along your lashes close to the lash line, Altieri said. “Voilà, you will see an even line and smile at the instant glamour you can achieve with just a little practice,” she said. As for spring’s projected pastels, “This season’s pastels also encompass pinks and greens and clean shades of white, so you can wear what suits your mood.” Natalie DiDomizio Ciullo, manager of Salon D’Luxe in Mount Kisco, addressed the thinning hair issue with confidence. “There are extensions/clip-ons for women who need a fuller look,” Ciullo said. “Whether it be for a night out, event or for the camera, there’s something for everyone.” At her salon, the pros use a brand of extensions called SHE, which are used by many women in the fashion, music and entertainment industries. Ciullo swears by the brand. “You will definitely see a difference.” Erica Breining at Bellava Med Aesthetics & Spa in Bedford Hills advises being very proactive and working on your look weeks, if not months, before the big occasion. “Everyone loves photo facials,” Breining said. “Because they make your skin look young and fresh and unlined. But timing is everything!” Breining advises having the laser treatment known as a photo facial about two weeks before the big day to leave time for the resultant brown spots to slough off and the redness to die down. “This is great

followed by a Hydrafacial to exfoliate the brown spots right before the big event,” she said. Worried about your special outfit fitting as well as you’d like? Especially if you’re not a fan of Spanx? Slim Lipo is a useful tool in many a modern woman’s beauty arsenal. (Not to mention it is much less invasive — or painful — than regular lipo.) Slim Lipo really works to smooth away fatty bumps and lumps. “You have to do it about two or three months before the big day,” Breining advises. “You have to leave enough time for the swelling and bruising to subside and the positive effects of the skin tightening to start.” Breining said this winter a very popular procedure done at her med spa is something she calls the “Mother of the Bride” procedure, which is essentially a modified facelift. “It’s a weekend procedure,” Breining said. The procedure is done by the med spa’s resident plastic surgeon, Dr. Lyons. “Dr. Lyons prefers to do these about two months before the big day,” Breining said. “With the weekend facelift, some patients are good to go in only a few weeks.” Altieri advises that if a woman is questioning if she should have professional hair and makeup done before a special occasion, all she needs to do is open any magazine or watch any television program, including the local news, to see the benefits of professional attention to hair, skin and nails. “Hair behaves differently in someone else’s hands,” Altieri said. “No embarrassing fly-aways, no squirrel-like curls behind your head. The same applies to makeup. A professional will take the time and patience to make you look like the best version of yourself.”

Spa owner offers a beauty timeline for your special day


veryone wants to look great for their special day and Balance Day Spa can help. Centrally located in White Plains, Balance Day Spa has a longstanding reputation for delivering high-quality services at affordable prices. Owner/aesthetician Allison Adamiak offers some advice: “If you want to look and feel your best on your special day, then advanced planning is of key import.” Adamiak added, “One of the biggest concerns for many of my clients is having beautiful skin for their event. It is important that clients have realistic expectations regarding the length of time that it can take to achieve a desired result. For example, if you suffer from chronic acne then coming in for a facial a week prior to your event most likely will not be enough to solve your skin issue. Skin issues take time to develop and therefore often take time to resolve.” Adamiak advises beginning any spa treatments a minimum of six months prior to your big day. She offers the following timeline as a

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• One-plus months prior: Now is the time to have a back facial; this will help to ensure that your back is gorgeous for the day of your event. If you are considering having a sunless tanning treatment prior to your big day, you should consider doing a trial in advance. This is also a great time to think about whitening your teeth. • One week to go: Your big day is almost here! This is the week when you should plan to have your final treatments. Begin early in the week with your facial, any necessary waxing and a body scrub. Now is also the time to have your hair cut and colored. Toward the very end of the week, have your nails done. Your final step should be to have your sunless tanning treatment; these generally take approximately 12 hours to fully develop, so if you want your tan to be perfect for your rehearsal dinner, then you should plan your treatment for the day before. Balance Day Spa specializes in all aspects of aesthetics. Visit or call 358-9898.

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suggested guide: • Six-plus months prior to your event: This is a great time to begin receiving monthly facials; it is also advisable to begin following your aesthetician’s advice regarding an appropriate regimen for home care at this time. • Four-plus months prior: Initial hair and makeup trials should be scheduled. In the event that you are not delighted with your initial stylist/artist, trials should always be scheduled far enough in advance to allow you adequate time to seek out an alternate beauty professional for an additional trial. Event bookings should be scheduled as soon as you find the right team for your big day. • Two-plus months prior: If you are not already doing so on a regular basis, this is the time to begin your waxing services; having a first-time Brazilian Wax the day before your event may not be the best idea as some clients may experience irritation to their skin. It is highly advisable to schedule all of your pre-event grooming appointments at this time.

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February 14, 2014

Love and Imagination:

Creative brides go outside the box for unique looks By TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG


e know — you’re not the average bride and you don’t want a plain vanilla wedding. Most of all, you don’t want to be like everyone else. Instead, you want your wedding to be unique. You want it to be an expression of both your personality and the new life you’re excited to start with your soon-to-be partner in happily ever after. So, you’ve custom-designed invitations and had them letter pressed; you’ve found the most to-die-for vintage rings; and you’ve orchestrated a summer solstice ceremony during which hundreds of sky lanterns will be released to the stars. You’ve even been making your own wine for a special marriage toast, and you’ve penned your own vows — in French poesie. The honeymoon? Already booked… in a treehouse retreat nestled in the branches of one of the oldest oak trees in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. But, what about the wedding dress?

You’ve looked, but all those dresses seem so … white … and long … and typically conventional. For a wedding that is not going to be like everyone else’s, most of the wedding gowns feel like they could be, well, anyone else’s. We know. It’s a difficult challenge. While you want your dress to feel like a wedding gown and express the importance of the day, you really want it to feel like you and express your individual vision. We do hear you. We understand. We know you don’t want to be boxed in, so, we’ve dug in deep to uncover makers and designers who embrace the individual spirit as their muse. Let their styles be your inspiration, as their wedding gowns inaugurate new styles that take tradition outside the box.

Artist’s Palette Inspiration: Chiaviano Couture and Heidi Elnora Hand-printed fabrics and hand-painted designs on readymade dresses mean you will be wearing a work of art when you

stroll down the aisle. Using traditional silhouettes and white background “canvases,” makers like Chiaviano Couture and Heidi Elnora create attention-calling dresses with unique surface decoration and colorful designs. Bright hued graphics and lyrical, painted florals enable the bride to embody the artist-designer’s creativity and wear a personal work of art. With customized creations, painted dresses can incorporate a wedding’s signature colors or the couple’s meaningful themes.

Sports fan Inspiration: Chanel and Versace The runaway bride was the inspiration for the presentation of Chanel’s bridal collection this year. Paired with each dress the models were wearing — most of which had a sporty vibe, including some crop tops — feet were adorned with white sneakers. Comfortable and practical, the look was ironic in its irreverent independence and spirited nonchalance. Likewise, Versace embraced a similar sports- and fitness-minded theme with white hoodies crowning dresses and jackets in the collection. Texture came into play on hoods with fur trim or those encrusted with grommets or crystal stones. In addition to a sporty attitude, these examples also evoked fantasy roles reminiscent of medieval, Renaissance or fairy tale heroines.

Business Casual Inspiration: Alfred Angelo, J. Crew and Victoria Kyriakides A growing trend in wedding dresses is not a dress at all. Ever since designers Sarah Jassier and Theia paraded women in white tuxedos down their runways in 2012, pantsuits and jumpsuits have been offering cheeky alternatives to traditional gowns. Ideal for brides who feel more comfortable in pants, tailored white suits are cool and elegant, while white tuxedos exude chic confidence. Alfred Angelo’s interpretation of the trend makes a statement of sleek masculine style contoured to the female form. Victoria Kyriakides’s textural fantasies involve flowing and sheer fabrics, all-over beading, ruffled sleeves and lace trim. Accents, such as satin-covered buttons at the cuffs and oversized fabric flower corsages, feminize

traditional menswear conventions. Even J. Crew has embraced the trend with a new bridal jumpsuit, showing how mainstream the runway trend has become. With a plunging neckline, lace overlay, sheer cap sleeves and a row of diminutive bows down the back, J. Crew’s “Eyelash Lace” jumpsuit is available for $750.

Split Personality Inspiration: Vera Wang Maybe opposites really do attract? There’s always been an appeal about the dialectical contrast of extremes. Hard and soft. Black and white. Leather and lace. This year, Vera Wang takes these three oppositions to an extreme by adding black leather details to otherwise traditional silk wedding gowns. In Wang’s collection, tight black bodices combine dominatrix styling with hand-draped silk skirts. Quilted


onyx tops and edgy black corsets, some embossed with animal print designs, add sharp drama to Wang’s ivory mermaid gowns. Black sashes, belts and elbow-length black leather gloves complete the look. The sophistication of these gowns can increase the formality of a wedding, in comparison to a traditional all-white gown. For brides who want to turn convention on its head, gowns rendered in beautiful black or gray silk offer elegant, yet daring, alternatives. Accessorize with red flowers for sensual richness.

Over the Rainbow Inspiration: Austin Scarlett, Maggie Sottero and Giambattista Valli Colors have always been associated with joy and spontaneity. So, if you are a free spirit living in a brightly colored world, a lollipop-hued dress might be your ideal match. Color is a wonderful way to personalize your wedding. Popular shades this year include blushes of pale Continued on page 7A

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February 14, 2014

The record-review/Page 5a

tHe PerfeCt blend: your celebration, your food By LAURIe SULLIVAN

lunch or dinner depending on the time of the party. McCourt recommends a kidfriendly meal that might include chicken fingers or pasta, and a different menu for the adults. Dinner is generally a buffet, but can be a sit-down dinner if preferred. When asked if it was important to pair the food with the type of event being given, McCourt said it depended on the type of event, but in any event, the party-givers meet with the caterer, Great Performances, who can prepare anything they want. Asked if clients know what type of menu they want, she said, “Some do and some don’t.” The space can handle events from 200 to 2,500 by taking over all their other spaces. To liven up the party, Chelsea Piers can create a dance floor down below. Chelsea Piers also has a venue in New York City with two different event spaces, Pier 60 and The Fieldhouse, both overlooking the water. Abigail Kirsch is the exclusive caterer for both spaces. The event spaces in New York City are larger than Stamford. With sports being the focus of most parties, some events have had servers dressed as referees passing mini hot dogs, pretzels and cotton candy, or dressed in the colors of the child’s favorite sports team. The NYC venue is also used for weddings.


eddings! Bar/Bat Mitzvahs! Milestone birthdays! Anniversaries! Anything worth celebrating deserves a party. In fact, you don’t need any excuse to throw a bash — do it just for the fun of it! There are so many elements that go into planning an event: venue, music, flowers, invitations and more. And high up on the list, perhaps most importantly, food. What type of cuisine will pair best with a black tie event? A wedding under a tent? That 40th birthday in a restaurant? So many options, but where to start? The question can seem daunting — but doesn’t have to be, so don’t despair. Before you get down to brass tacks, first think about what kind of party you’d like to have and a guestimate of how many people you’ll invite. Party size definitely will dictate the type of venue you can consider. Venues, restaurants and caterers offer lots of experience with event planning to help you take the guesswork — not to mention legwork — out of throwing a party with the perfect pairing of cuisine and setting your guests will remember long after the party’s over.

IRVINGTON, NY • 914 -231-5371

marrying well: french style

Steak out: a party place Benjamin Steak House in Hartsdale offers a space for small intimate parties or up to 250 in their main room for any life cycle event, from wedding receptions, bar and bat mitzvahs, a 50th anniversary, corporate events or any reason at all. In the warmer months, the restaurant offers an outdoor patio that seats 150 and the lounge seats another 100. They cater to parties from 10 to 300 guests. Owners Benjamin Prevulka and chef Arturo McLeod opened the steakhouse over three years ago at its West Hartsdale location. The duo had experience at the famed Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn and later opened their first restaurant in Manhattan before opening Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester. Prevulka said it’s important to “always make sure your guests are getting a great meal. Besides entertainment, people always remember a great meal and they love to talk about the food at celebrations.” He advised that there should always be an adult menu and a children’s menu at a bar or bat mitzvah so “parents and children can enjoy different options — you want to make sure that you son or daughter is having a great time, but you also want the parents to fully enjoy the dining experience as well.” In winter, Prevulka recommends lobster bisque soup, Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, rib eye, rack of lamb, Chilean sea bass, pasta primavera and their signature dish,


Courtesy of LeMoulin Event Planning & Catering, Ltd.

the Porterhouse steak. For side dishes there are Benjamin’s home fries, creamless creamed spinach, onion rings and other vegetables. “For black tie events a lot of people do surf and turf (steak and lobster) for festive dinners,” Prevulka said, because for black tie events it’s “simple, yet sophisticated” and most people love either steak or lobster. For anniversary celebrations, this restaurateur said, “People love to nibble on seafood platters.” Prevulka explained that whether you’re having a cocktail party or a black tie event, “people want to mingle, [so] make sure to have passed hors d’oeuvres so people will not leave hungry.” Another option is stations with hors d’oeuvres or platters. For a big dinner, birthday celebration or wedding, he advised having a full sitdown dinner. “You can start with light hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and move it to a sit-down dinner,” he said. For party-givers on a budget, he suggested a buffet. For a themed party, like a costume party, Prevulka noted that passed hors d’oeuvres that are “easy to eat and not messy” work best, like shrimp cocktail, oysters, mini crab cakes, lollipop lamb chops or steak bites.

“What makes a great event versus an OK event is ambiance, food and exceptional service — you have to make people feel special,” Prevulka said. Child’s play: a party space for adults and kids Take the challenge of rock climbing, crack a bat in a batting cage, hit the heights on a trampoline at the gymnastics center, practice your strokes in an Olympic-sized pool, hit the ice on one of two ice rinks. Four thousand square feet of party space to challenge you and tons of ways to celebrate any occasion at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. Chelsea Piers offers a unique party venue for kid and adult celebrations, from birthdays and bar and bat mitzvahs to bachelor and bachelorette parties and everything in between. The space is also used for corporate team building events. Chelsea Piers event planner Lauren McCourt said the venue offers unlimited ways to be entertained in a seemingly unlimited space. For bar or bat mitzvahs, while the kids seek their own personal best, the adults can enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the mezzanine, which overlooks the activities below. When the kids are done, adults and kids can enjoy

Chef and owner Josyane Colwell of Le Moulin Catering in Irvington offers clients complete party planning services, from suggesting venues, providing party rentals and staffing, suggesting florists, musicians and photographers — and creating menus that marry well to suit the occasion. In addition to her catering business, Colwell also owns a small (10 tables) café/steak restaurant on Main Street in Irvington, which also has take-out food for lunch or dinner. It has been there 25 years. The affairs Colwell caters are literally a movable feast, especially if they are being held under a tent and no kitchen is available, where all the equipment has to be brought to the venue. She will create an intimate dinner for two and on the other end of the spectrum, caters large events and weddings, including one for 385 people. Any celebration, large or small, she can do. She’s even catered a Passover meal (but not kosher). In business 34 years, this chef from Nice, France, cooks from the heart, noting that you “have to put your inside into what you cook.” Colwell said that cooking is more than following a recipe: “It’s about color and smell.” Her food is all made from scratch the day of the event — never frozen — using only the freshest herbs and ingredients. The perfect blend: food and wine Colwell uses foods in season, working with farms and Hudson Valley wineries, to Continued on page 6a

You make the Memories. We’ll do the Rest.

When you hold your once-in-a-lifetime event at The Garrison or the Highlands Country Club, we make it even more memorable with incomparable Hudson River views, impeccable service, and inspired cuisine. Our special events staff works with you, one-on-one, from beginning to end. Let us set the stage for your perfect day. Celebrate. Dine. Stay. Discover The Garrison and Highlands Country Club.

Celebrate. Dine. Stay. Discover 845-424-3604 •

Fine Stationery Invitations Calligraphy 1 King Street Chappaqua, New York 914.861.2799


Page 6A/The record-Review

February 14, 2014

Have you thought of everything? Party details you shouldn’t forget


Guest Etiquette:

How to handle smartphones at your wedding By Jacqueline Vazquez


he proliferation of camera phones has raised a new point of discussion for couples hoping to capture the essence of their wedding through a professional photographer of some distinction — how to handle wedding guests with cameras in their phones and preserve the privacy and security of the wedding events is a growing challenge. Social media are changing the rules around the ceremony that was originally about the couple. As Kim Ode of the Star Tribune said, “On a day planned down to the mints, social media allow for random acts of mindlessness.” While some couples may embrace the technology, others wonder “how to keep their vows from going viral.” This concern has prompted wedding planners such as myself to formulate some guidelines covering social media at weddings. • Recognize that most couples make a distinction between the wedding ceremony and its more solemn aspects and the reception with its feel as a celebration. • If the bride doesn’t want people to see her in her gown before she goes down the aisle, she needs to make sure her attendants understand that uploading photos of her in that special dress before the ceremony is forbidden. • One suggestion is to put a notice in

the program itself which clearly states that this is an “unplugged” ceremony. Reinforce this request by asking the officiant to remind the guests to silence their electronics. • Some couples have posted signs at the entrance to the ceremony asking people to refrain from using electronics. Placing a sign at the spot where the guest book is placed is another option. Social media at the reception seems to be more acceptable. Photo-sharing sites enable guests to download reception photos into a designated wedding album which makes it nice for the couple to see lots of the action at their party. Please note that the wedding ceremony is an important and sacred part of the wedding day, so take consideration before pulling out your smartphone or device. Jacqueline Vazquez, MBC, CWEP is the owner, designer and professional wedding and event consultant of Lifetime Events by Jacqueline. She was awarded the 2013 ISES Big Apple Award and was an Event Solutions Spotlight Award Female Rising Star finalist. Vazquez is an instructor for Wedding and Event Planning at Lehman College, a member and NYS manager of the Association of Bridal Consultants, a member of Weddings Beautiful Worldwide, and a board member of Girls Inc. Westchester and the Eastchester Tuckahoe Chamber of Commerce. Visit

By Jackie Lupo

ou’ve booked the venue, you’ve chosen the food and you’ve had your final dress fitting. But the little voice in the back of your mind whispers: “Have you thought of everything?” We spoke with some of the area’s top event planners about some of the details that may not have made it onto your to-do list — but that can really save the day. Our experts: Regina Michielli, events manager for the Fort Pond Bay Co., which operates several venues including the Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry and Harvest on Hudson in Hastings; Hilary Perettine, director of marketing and sales at the Salem Golf Club in North Salem; and Carolyn Bender, an events planner based in White Plains. All the experts suggested making a timeline of what needs to happen when. Michielli says you should get “everything documented in a contract so it’s like a bible that you follow.” • Make sure you’re clear about what changes you can make and when the deadlines for changes occur. Some venues expect you to provide a final head count by at least the week before, but find out whether it’s possible to make last-minute additions if necessary. • Many people have dietary restrictions such as soy or peanut allergies, gluten-free diets, and so on. You may want to consider putting an insert into the invitation asking guests if they need any dietary accommodations. • Don’t forget to arrange to feed your vendors, such as photographers, videographers and entertainers. • What’s your bad-weather contingency plan? If it’s an outdoor summer event, supplying fans to guests is always appreciated. Ask your venue if they can supply valet parking or coat check if rain or snow is in the forecast. Also, can the venue supply a tent on short notice for an outdoor party? • If your party is on a beach or in a park, are there restrooms? Can you hire portable ones? • Don’t forget the kids. Babies and little children can be adorable wedding guests, but they may need a space to nap or a place to have some kid-size fun. Ask the venue if they have a “baby-sitting room” where kids can be looked after if necessary or, even better, participate in some games or crafts. Consider hiring a trusted teenager to perform this service if your venue does not have a nanny on call. • And don’t forget about the senior citizens at your party. Is the venue

accessible to someone in a wheelchair or using a walker? Do you need to designate a driver for senior guests? • Are you ready for the unexpected? At the event, have an “emergency bag” available. Usually an event planner will take charge of this detail, but if you are not working with a planner, designate someone to be in charge of it. Bender’s bag includes “practically every medicine,” such as Tylenol, Visine (because “somebody’s always got a little allergic thing”) and an antihistamine; a lighter, candles, tape, scissors, post-its, pens, adhesive bandages, contact lens solutions, a nail file, clippers, tweezers, a sewing kit, lint brushes, tampons, deodorant, stain remover and Static Guard. • At the reception, don’t forget about little amenities. In the ladies’ room, some basic toiletries in a basket are always appreciated. • Since today’s high-heeled shoe styles can be downright uncomfortable to wear for hours, “People are bringing baskets of little flip-flops or peds for dancing,” said Perettine. • What will happen to your gifts? If you anticipate receiving cash gifts in envelopes, Perettine suggests carrying a pretty basket or small bird cage to collect these, instead

of having the guest of honor stuff them in his or her pockets. • Some guests may bring actual gifts to a wedding. If you are leaving for the honeymoon directly from the reception, appoint someone you trust to take the gifts home with them until you return. • Are your documents in order? Be sure you leave enough time before the wedding to get the necessary official papers, including, but not limited to, the marriage license. For example, do you need any permits? If any part of your event is being held in a public space (such as a ceremony held in the park or on the beach) you may need a permit from your town’s parks and recreation department. If you’re having an outdoor event where you plan to play music, be sure you have permission or you might be shut down by the local authorities. Also, check to see if you need a permit for any special electrical equipment or open flame devices, such as lanterns or torches. • If the party is outdoors and there will be music, is there electrical power available? • If you’re having your ceremony in a church or synagogue, discuss what restrictions the location may have on photography or videography during the

ceremony. Can the photographer move around while the ceremony is in progress? Is flash photography permitted? Is special lighting allowed in the sanctuary? • Also, ask the venue if they permit special attractions such as a bubble machine or a smoke machine. Some places don’t allow them. • Have you thought about security? What happens if somebody has too much to drink and a fight breaks out? What if somebody faints during the ceremony? Ask your event planner or your contact at the venue how they handle these emergencies. “We require security, which our guests pay for,” said Perettine. “They are off-duty plainclothes White Plains police officers that are EMT trained. Sometimes people don’t realize security is required at some venues.” • What will happen after the party? If the bridal couple is leaving during the reception, who will pay the vendors, such as the musicians and photographer? Who will be in charge of taking home leftover items such as extra party favors, leftover food items, decorations, and so on? The most important detail? “Obviously,” said Michielli, “Staying as calm as possible.”

Winter events, weekend getaways at The Garrison


elebrating their first winter of “leaving the doors open,” The Garrison is offering a myriad of special events, weekend packages and fine dining at dinner and brunch for locals and tourists alike. Some of the events include Valentine’s Day prix fix, the weekend package at the Inn, the Tavern Dining Series at their sister property, Highlands Country Club, and PechaKucha Nights, which are informal gatherings where creative people in and about the region share their ideas, works, thoughts and holiday snaps in the PechaKucha 20x20 presentation (similar to a “show and tell” for all ages). The Garrison has various private rooms featuring casual elegance, breathtaking views of the Hudson and exquisite food to accommodate all your family celebrations including christenings, graduations, bat/bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, bridal/baby showers and birthday parties. Also, worth mentioning are the wireless and

audio-visual capabilities designed to cater to corporate and off-site meetings. Just 10 minutes from the train station, The Garrison, nestled in the Hudson Highlands, has become a popular getaway for locals and Manhattanites who enjoy casual elegance, fine dining and an area to explore the arts. Winter rates at the Inn start at $89 for weekdays and $125 for weekends. The Garrison’s Valley restaurant is offering a Valentine’s Day menu that includes a three-course meal with appetizer, entree and dessert at $59 per person. A few of the items to choose from are Beau Soleil oysters, mushroom chowder with smoked bacon, Yukon gold potatoes and scallions, sashimi of yellowfin tuna, Maine sea scallops, flavorful risotto with local vegetables and baby herbs, red velvet cheesecake and local apple and red pear cobbler with house made vanilla ice cream. With a wine cellar that offers over 120 wines to choose from, Valley offers wines for any and all occasions. Valley won the

2013 “Best of the Hudson Valley” award, sponsored by Hudson Valley magazine, in the category of “Best Restaurant With a View.” “Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary, a bat/bar mitzvah or graduation, a bridal or baby shower or your latest business success, The Garrison offers a spectacularly beautiful setting and a variety of private rooms to suit your gathering,” said Chip Allemann, The Garrison’s general manager. “We’re proud of our talented staff, picturesque views and fine cuisine.” The Garrison is a 300-acre property with an 18-hole golf course, critically acclaimed contemporary restaurant, four-room country inn, and a special event and wedding venue. Built in 1915 as Bill Brown’s Physical Training Farm, The Garrison — along with its sister property, Highlands Country Club — is now owned by Chris Davis. The Garrison is located at 2015 US 9, Garrison. Visit or call (845) 424-3604 Ext. 27.

The perfect blend: your celebration, your food Continued from page 5a

pair her meals. She also likes French wines, naturally, and those from California and Argentina. For Colwell, pairing the right wines with the food makes for the perfect combination. “You have to have a sense of what you are eating and what you are drinking,” Colwell explained. When asked if people typically know what type of menu they want, Colwell said, “Not really. I think people are not educated as what food is supposed to be, [especially] when we don’t know how it is produced.” Colwell believes traditional recipes should be made as they were intended: “There’s no point to invent another dish when it’s supposed to be one way. You have to be true to your dish. You don’t add cumin to beef bourguignon.” That’s not to say her cooking and presentation isn’t creative — au contraire! Le Moulin doesn’t only offer French cuisine, “we cook anything” like Mediterranean and Italian (her mother is of Italian descent). For black tie and other formal events, Le Moulin can do a five-hour formal sitdown dinner, starting with a cocktail hour and ending with cake and a champagne toast. Another option for a five-hour party is a cocktail hour and a formal buffet, with

assigned tables. A seated first course or salad is served, then guests are invited to the buffet. Clients can have either a seated dessert or a dessert buffet. All menus are created for each event, not prepackaged. Le Moulin can create a Celebration au Parcour, “a unique celebration, where the bride and groom celebrate their special union and the beginning of a new life together through this unique celebration.” Parcour in French literally means “a starting point.” According to Colwell, this three-hour party is common in Europe and in many other parts of the world. “We at the Moulin have created this unique and budget-conscious event to help them celebrate in style,” Colwell said. “There is no assigned seating, rather tables are arranged throughout the room or garden. Guests are free to mingle, sampling passed hors d’oeuvres and partaking of finger food, like charcuterie, cheeses, crudités, pâté, fruits and so on, complete with a wedding cake and a champagne toast.” Wine, water and soda are passed to guests as well during the three hours. There is no cocktail hour. “What’s really important to us is to be more creative,” Colwell said. “There are possible ways to do a smaller wedding, for 50, 75, 100, 150 people. People mingle, they talk, it’s a warmer feeling. In a garden — it’s the perfect environment for that. It’s a little

less formal. It takes some of the pressure out of the whole thing. It could be on the beach, in public gardens. It’s kind of nice to be more creative.” For weddings a way to save money is to have a two-hour party after the ceremony with appetizers and champagne with “all beautiful hors d’oeuvres, like tapas.” There can be a table with crudités, cheeses, small portions. Background music is perfect for this type of party. Colwell suggests this type of abbreviated menu for people on a tight budget or for people celebrating a second marriage. For bar/bat mitzvahs, Colwell said that buffets are “more fun for them.” She likes to serve all kinds of finger foods — mac and cheese mini soufflés, nuggets, mini pizzas, “anything to do with chicken.” She listens to what kids like, noting that their choices depend on what they grew up with. Thinking totally outside the box, a celebration could be a brunch and high tea that can be done at brunch or later in the afternoon. Colwell said this two-hour celebration works best “in the proper environment.” She likes to create unusual menus and names the menus after the event. For Colwell, “Food you have to feel with your heart, like the perfume” — which her family coincidentally makes in Provence.


February 14, 2014

Spice up the newlywed bliss with perfect wedding gift If you struggle finding just the right wedding present for friends and family who are getting married, you’re not alone. You want a gift that is personal, unique and, above all else, something they will actually use. Many newlyweds need to build their kitchen supplies, plus with the foodie trend still going strong, you can’t go wrong with food- and cooking-themed gifts. Instead of gifting a blender or new pots and pans, think outside the gift box and create a basket of premium spices. A good set of spices makes an immediate difference in any kitchen - high quality cinnamon, paprika or even salt and pepper, for example, bring an impressive new level of flavor to any meal. It’s also fun for newlyweds to explore spices together. They can create new combinations for both old and new dishes to learn which flavors they, as a new couple, deem to be their favorites. When selecting spices for gifting, look for natural and organic spices. You want your gift to communicate your best wishes for the happy couple’s health while giving them a true taste of why high standards matter. Here are some top spices the experts at Frontier Natural Products recommend: Step 1: Start with staples To properly build a spice rack, you must have a good selection of commonly used staples. Great staple spices include basil, bay leaves, cayenne, chives, cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, turmeric and, of course, salt and black pepper. Add spice blends Ready-to-use spice blends are quick and convenient ways to add flavor to foods, and they’re perfect for cooks learning their way in the kitchen. Popular spice blends include all-purpose seasoning, chili powder, curry powder, Italian seasoning, Mexican seasoning and pumpkin pie spice. Include adventurous spices Add a surprise element to your spice

gift basket with a few adventurous options. This is a good way to personalize your gift as well. For example, add a spice that is reminiscent of their honeymoon location, such as Frontier’s new Seafood Seasonings, hand-harvested French salt Fleur de Sel, or Grains of Paradise Seed, a tiny seed that tastes like a combination of a mild black pepper, ginger, cardamom and coriander. Step 4: Don’t forget trendy spices Help the happy couple go to the head of culinary class by including top trending spices in your wedding gift. Smoked spices are all the rage right now, so be sure to include some delicious smoked sea salt. Another trendy spice is Vietnamese Cinnamon, prized by gourmet chefs, many whom believe it to be the best cinnamon in the world. Finish with extracts and flavorings To round out your wedding gift, consider including some premium extracts and flavorings to really help prepare the newlyweds’ kitchen. One great example is non-GMO Vanilla Extract from Frontier. Its rich, universally popular taste will enhance treats from cookies to custards. Plus, nonGMO means it isn’t made with genetically modified vanilla beans, a positive for many people. When it comes to wedding gifts, make sure yours stands out from the bunch. A customized collection of spices is sure to be used time and time again by the happy couple, and they’ll think of your thoughtful gift every time they cook.

Creative brides go outside the box for unique looks

Modern wedding trends that are building new traditions


ctober is the new June. More and more, weddings are taking place in the height of fall foliage, heart of winter and prime holiday season, including the ever-popular New Year’s Eve ceremony to ring in the new year. But it’s not just the wedding season that has drastically evolved over the past decade, it’s everything from roles and responsibilities to gift-giving. As you gear up to celebrate the union of your beloved family or friends - or even your own - know what to expect from the changing tides of weddings. Lizzie Post, co-author of “Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition” and great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, helps couples navigate the new traditions of weddings. The Post name has been synonymous with proper etiquette and manners for the past 80 years. As decades pass, so will traditions, but proper etiquette is timeless. Be prepared for the next wedding you attend and know what to expect from changes in the wedding landscape with these important pieces of advice:

Pay it forward Finding the right gift for the newlyweds can be difficult. While registries help to point guests in the right direction, many couples are getting married later in life and already have all the household items that are common wedding gifts. To provide the couple with a small nest egg to use however they wish, a check is always a great and safe gift idea. Several financial institutions, like Bank of America, offer mobile check deposit through their banking app, allowing the couple the flexibility to deposit checks on-the-go to help cover outstanding vendor payments or use on their honeymoon. Another newage trend is contributing to a couple’s honeymoon fund.

after the ceremony. But a few things - like a handwritten “thank you” note - should steer clear of the hi-tech lure. In a gadget-driven society, everyone is carrying a smartphone. Couples can post a tasteful notice at the entrance of the ceremony location or in the program to remind guests to turn off their cell phone ringers and refrain from use during the ceremony. Some couples may actually encourage guests to take photos and share images via social media, but guests should respect their wishes and use phones only as a camera and upload images after the ceremony.

Temper tech use

Respect personalization

Even weddings are going hi-tech. There are numerous websites available that can help the couple to organize the process, communicate with guests and share photos

Couples want their special day to reflect who they are and what is important to them. While previous generations traditionally wed in places of worship,

many modern couples choose to tie the knot at a sentimental location, like where they had their first date. The decor, music and even the food and drink served at a wedding may have a personal story behind it. No matter how nontraditional the element may be, guests should eagerly partake in the festivities, acknowledging and respecting the couple’s individualization.

Be all-inclusive In the past, bridal showers were strictly for the bride and bachelor parties were a men-only affair. Nowadays, these festivities are no longer gender-specific. Showers can be thrown for the couple in unison and include creative themes like “stock the bar” or “time of day.” Bachelor and bachelorette parties can also be conjoined to involve the

vines into white skirts and patchwork assemblies of multihued textural elements.

Make History

Golden Age

Inspiration: eBay, Etsy, your mother’s closet, a good dressmaker

Inspiration: Theia, Alexis Mabille and Wai-Ching For a high fashion look, consider one of the season’s ombre gowns in metallic tones, looking like they’ve been gilded at the hem. Gradual transformations from white to gold or ivory to bronze — with or without dark burnished edges — borrow from the rich palettes of jewelry-making and the confectionary pleasure of crème brûlée. Fabrics whose colors morph and progress are visually interesting and full of life. These gradations ripple with energy as the bride moves, revealing rich tonal blends and subtle undertones. Intricate embroidery in gold thread add tactile luster. Colorful ombre transformations distinguish the creative collection of independent Seattle-based designer WaiChing, whose elegant gowns breathe with independent personalities of color — including fades of ivory to rust to red, dresses with green hems reaching like

For something truly unique, go vintage or go custom. Of course, your mother’s or grandmother’s dress would be full of sweet sentimentality, but if the fit or flavor is not suitable, expand your search to the vintage market. A search of vintage wedding dresses will yield an ever-changing crop of options appropriate to the look you’re after. Historical dresses can be gorgeous and unique, but make sure to invest in professional cleaning and alterations to make them perfect for your day. A good dressmaker can also deconstruct an older wedding dress to modernize its style. This is an excellent option to honor your grandmother while, at the same time, creating a dress that feels like your own. A dressmaker can also help you realize your dreams by designing a gown around your ideas. Check local fashion design schools for recommendations and review potential portfolios to find an ideal match. Then, be prepared to fall in love.

entire bridal party in a destination event. And while these events are a celebration of joy, expenses can add up quickly. If you use a rewards card, like the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card, you can earn points on purchases to pay for all or part of your trip. This is great for both the bride and groom and guests traveling to the wedding. As trends and expectations shift, so will the way major life milestones are celebrated. It is important to celebrate these moments in life with grace and support for the happy couple - after all, it’s their day - and it should be as unique as they are. For further etiquette advice on navigating 21st century weddings, visit –BPT

Tips for an affordable and memorable destination wedding


Continued from page 4a

pink, peach and poppy — as well as cotton candy shades of pale blue and green. Designer Austin Scarlett’s petal pink gowns are sugar sweet and universally flattering. Maggie Sottero’s washes of barely-there color show that strong beauty can be quietly subtle. More dramatic manifestations of color appeared all over European bridal runways too — but especially in combinations of white, black and lapis lazuli. Because of its high cost in ancient times, intense blue has long been associated with special occasions and privilege. Therefore, striking blue details on wedding gowns feel refined, fresh and luxurious. Italian designer Giambattista Valli’s current blue and white gowns, some ameliorated with black contours, are so gorgeous; you might want to forgo the “something old” and “something borrowed” to splurge on new and blue.

The record-review/Page 7A

flurry of congratulatory phone calls, social media announcements and sparkling ring pictures all mean one thing: engagement season has arrived. With approximately 39 percent of marriage proposals taking place between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, engaged couples are taking note of one of the fastest-growing nuptial trends - destination weddings. These days, one in four weddings is a destination wedding, giving couples - and their guests - a reason to blend the joy of a marriage celebration with a fun and memorable vacation. Planning a destination wedding suitable for all your attendees is easier than you think, thanks to some key insights from Myrtle Beach-based expert wedding planner, Cheryl Cox.

and venues including the city regulations for beach weddings,” says Cox. The perfect beach wedding can be accomplished with the help of a wedding planner as they know the ins and outs of planning a beautiful beach wedding so couples and their guests can enjoy the true beauty of a beachside wedding.

6. Consider a pre-wedding visit “If possible, attend a local wedding show to meet wedding professionals one-on-one or plan a ‘wedding planning trip’ to visit venues and meet with wedding vendors,” Cox suggests. “Remember to take notes so you can recall all the details when you’re back home.”

7. Get wedding insurance

1. Plan ahead Cox says nine to 12 months is the optimum planning time, especially for a destination wedding. Many couples start planning a destination wedding as soon as they get engaged. While the summer months are typically most popular for couples, when choosing a date, Cox recommends considering a Friday or weekday wedding, or planning the big day during the less-crowded but still desirable shoulder seasons (spring and fall).

2. Select a destination that caters to all guests Consider a location with something for everyone. Myrtle Beach, S.C., is the perfect example. The destination offers pristine greens for golf enthusiasts, museums and historic plantations for cultural buffs, delicious Coastal Carolina cuisine for the foodies, fun in the sun with a day at the beach or one of the many water parks, and for brides looking for some quality time with the girls, numerous spas for a day

of pampering. Plus, there are plenty of lodging options for your guests including oceanfront resorts, beach home rentals and quaint bed and breakfasts.

3. Research ceremony locations Beautiful and unique ceremony locations are one of the perks of having a destination wedding. “Research wedding venues, travel and accommodation options, and rates, then rank the venues you like best,” suggests Cox. As a Myrtle Beach wedding planner, she notes that the area’s 60 miles of stunning coastline make the perfect romantic backdrop. Whether you’re looking for a beachside wedding outside a charming beach home or at the Myrtle Beach State Park, or a historic location like Litchfield Plantation or Pine Lakes Country Club, there are countless ceremony locations to choose from. You can even

tie the knot 200 feet above the ground on the Myrtle Beach Skywheel. Visit for more information.

4. Help guests plan activities Travel is the foundation for longlasting memories. In fact, a recent Harris Interactive survey found 62 percent of adults said their earliest memories were of family vacations taken when they were between ages 5 and 10. Help your guests - particularly families with young ones - get the most out of their trip by suggesting activities or even making reservations for dinners, tee times, theme parks, museums, etc., before arrival.

5. Hire a wedding planner Planning a destination wedding doesn’t need to be stressful - hire a wedding planner. “Wedding planners know the local wedding professionals

Give yourself peace of mind by purchasing the appropriate wedding insurance. And, Cox notes, “Research to find the best coverage for your wedding - I highly recommend it.”

8. Be mindful of budget Start your marriage off on the right financial foot by keeping your wedding on-budget. Many couples planning destination weddings find them to be similar or even more affordable than traditional weddings back home. Myrtle Beach offers a variety of wedding venue options at various price points, so you can have your dream beach wedding and still stay on a budget.

9. Enjoy! This is perhaps the most important step of all. Don’t forget to enjoy the experience of planning this memorable day and enjoying the company of your guests. Take pictures, sample cakes, pick out flowers and remember these moments and the beautiful destination you selected. –BPT


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February 14, 2014

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