What They Did Right: Lisa and Howie at Caramoor (Reception)

Posted by on Oct 8, 2010 in Blog | 2 Comments

After the gorgeous garden ceremony (which, very happily was not thwarted by rain nor cloud) Lisa and Howie’s 300 guests made their way into the Venetian Theatre.  One of the most wonderful things about Caramoor is that is isn’t just a wonderful backdrop for weddings, it is actually a center for music and art and, for most of the summer the Venetian Theatre is the setting for a series of concerts.  The sound and lighting are always beautifully handled by Warren of Go Production Services.

This was Always a Bridesmaid’s first time collaborating with Matthew Robbins.  Lisa and Howie’s guests were from all areas of each of their lives.  Classmates from college, family friends, law school friends, rabbinical school friends.  When talking about it, we all loved the concept of bringing a series of “family trees” to life for the escort card display and Howie designed an oversize mural that we affixed envelopes with each guests’ calligraphed (by Laura Hooper) onto it.  I often write about tiny details that can help make a large wedding seem more personal and while brainstorming one day Lisa decided that they would write EACH AND EVERY GUEST A NOTE that would thank them for coming and (of course) tell them what table they were seated at.   It was a huge, huge, huge hit.

Great Performances provided the food and catering services which included a multi-course meal as well as series of adorable passed desserts that enabled us to keep the party going without anyone having to forgo their sweet indulgence.  And of course, there was the amazing cake provided by Ron Ben Israel.  At the end of the night the amazing staff at GP set up a flower wrapping station- Matthew constructed the centerpieces so that they were mini bouquets- and we were able to hand each female guest a bouquet as a favor.


Marchesa by Lenox, Front Row at Henry Roth, New Digs.

Posted by on Oct 5, 2010 in Blog | 2 Comments

First, I can’t believe I’m writing this again, but, Always a Bridesmaid has a new home. I haven’t been posting for the past couple of days because we’ve been internet less and phone less and blah blah blah, BUT we are settled now. We found a space we simply could NOT turn away… a little reception area, a nice, simple clean design studio for us to show clients sample tables and an production office large enough for Rebecca to sit at a desk that is full size instead of the “children’s desk” she said we gave her when she first started. We have A LOT of work to do, but I’m including a couple of sneak peak images of our new space which is (happily) still in Tribeca.

Our reception area is still coming together.....

Our reception area is still coming together.....

Next, what a great time to be a bride. If you are on the Upper East side tonight, The Registry at Bloomingdale’s is playing host to two amazing fashionistas Georgina Chapman and Karen Craig of Marchesa will be showing off their new line of China, Marchesa by Lenox. The wonderful Millie Martini Bratten, Editor in Chief of Bride’s Magazine will be on hand to lead a discussion with the designers of all things glamorous, including creating fabulous table tops. I’m a little late on the draw on this one, but the event will be from 6-8. (sorry so last minute! the internet just went back on!)


If you weren’t aware of it, in addition to our many fabulous FASHION WEEKS held here in NY, we also are host to something called NY Bridal Market. I love Market, because I just love going to all the shows and getting to see the gowns up close and personal. Typically, the shows are only open to buyers from various salons as well as bridal media and a handful of Event Designers and planners, which is sad since if I, single wedding professional with no need for a wedding dress, get excited to attend the fashion shows, imagine how a bride would enjoy them? Well, this season Michelle Roth and her brother, the incomparable Henry Roth are opening up their 2011 runway show to real brides. The show will take place at the world famous Kleinfeld salon and 25 Brides will have an opportunity to attend this intimate show that attracts everyone in the biz from Darcy Miller to Colin Cowie and of course, Randy Fenoli. The show will take place on October 20th and you must click here and winners will be notified on October 11th.

Details, Details, Details: Lisa and Howie at Caramoor

Posted by on Aug 31, 2010 in Decor & Details | 13 Comments

I am still riding high off of our wedding this past Sunday at Caramoor Center for Music and Art.  Howie and Lisa came to us only about 15 weeks ago to work with them on their wedding.  This was a first for Always a Bridesmaid- not because their engagement was short, but because we’ve never worked on a rabbi’s wedding before.  Lisa is a rabbi and runs the conversion program at Central Synagogue.  This was a wedding that was just FULL of details! Fun, fabulous, details.  I wanted to share some of them with you because I hope that they inspire you!! I think that details don’t have to just add beauty to a wedding, they stand as tiny opportunities to add some more meaning to your day.

So, here we go!  As a couple, they had been to more than their fare share of weddings, and probably had a drawer full of kippah to show for it with couple’s names and wedding dates stamped on the underside.  As a couple, they are terribly witty, and rather than repeat this tradition letter for letter, they saw an opportunity for a chuckle. At a wedding with at least 20 rabbis and cantors in attendance, everyone would know what to do with their kippah right?  Well, just in case someone forgot….
Between them, as a couple, Lisa and Howie had a total of 8 loving parents and stepparents, all of whom were under the Chuppah. Along with that were nearly a dozen siblings! So, for the program, rather than the ins and outs of the ceremony, we offered “A Lineup” . Because they were only one page, we decided to place a pattern on the back, which mirrored their invitation. These were custom created by Smock with the help from Judy Paulen Designs at Bloomingdale’s.
Mayra, Rebecca and I were just in LOVE with Lisa and Howie’s Ketubah, which was designed by the same woman who created Chelsea Clinton’s ketubah (that was sheer coincidence, btw). I love this particular design for its beauty, but when I actually saw it up close I understood why it was ALSO the perfect ketubah for Chelsea’s interfaith wedding as it was written in Hebrew (as is traditional) but with English just beside it.
The couple was beyond excited for their Horah. We slated in a full 30 minutes for it. Being a summer, outdoor wedding, they kept saying “We want people to be drenched from sweat after this horah”…. So, in that spirit, we created sweatbands for people. Right before the music began, waiters from Great Performances came out onto the dancefloor with trays of wristbands that said “1. Place on wrists 2. Enjoy Horah” Clearly, it worked, because not only were people screaming like Justin Beiber had entered the tent, we had a crowd fully clad in white wristbands and out of breath when it was all over.
Of course, some details are simply there to be pretty, and, we love those too, so I’ll share a couple with you! We worked with Matthew Robbins on this wedding, who brought in 30 fabulous farm inspired tables. I’ll wait to share the full look and tablescape, but we utilized tiny silver coffee service trays as chargers, and replicated the design from the invitations on the menu cards, which were warmed up with just a sprig of pine.
And, the icing on the cake was… well, the cake itself! The incomparable Ron Ben Israel created this absolutely astounding cake. It was just amazing. Not only did it pull design elements from the invitations, but it tied in the silver details of the room along with the blue tones (the lettering was navy and silver) of the room decor. Truly delightful!

Talavera Inspired Wedding Decor

Posted by on Aug 23, 2010 in Decor & Details | 5 Comments

I was looking at calligraphy styles on Laura Hooper’s website a few weeks ago when I spotted these amazing escort cards that Laura does on Spanish Tiles.    These tiles, naturally reminded me of Talavera pottery, which while a staple in  Mexico, is really evocative of  a warm, sunny vibe with a bit of Spanish flair.   I was so inspired by these that I actually got my act together enough for an inspiration board.

A few years ago, Always a Bridesmaid was invited to design a photoshoot with Latina magazine at a “Hacienda” in, of all places, Staten Island (who knew?).  Cheryl Kleinman designed this Talavera inspired cake and we created favors of Tin Ornaments for the “guests” affixed to a wall.  I just loved this lace Lela Rose dress, it reminded me of the hand embroidered linens  that we used on the table centerpiece (we placed each centerpiece  on top of a punched-tin bordered mirror) and the colorful Servilletas (oversized napkins) you see in the lower right hand corner.  No destination wedding would be complete without fabulous cocktails and snacks!  The paloma is Tequila and Grapefruit soda and it is DELICIOUS!!!   Less obvious than a Margarita, but just as tasty.  I also loved these cones of chips in the blue patterned paper. What a simple way to dress up your snacks. (image courtesy Inspiring Brides).  Finally, how great are these Talavera inspired letterpress invites from Letter Press light’s Etsy store.


AAB on SMP (our Inspiration to Reality Shoot)

Posted by on Jun 29, 2010 in Blog | 3 Comments

Screen shot 2010-06-29 at 11.30.58 AM

I was so flattered when the fabulous Heather Waraska called to ask if I would work on designing an “Inspiration to Reality” shoot for Style Me Pretty earlier this spring.  Always a Bridesmaid has been fortunate enough to work with Heather a lot over the last couple of years and the idea of collaborating on something together that was totally off the cuff was very exciting.  If you aren’t familiar, “Inspiration to Reality” asks for vendors to take an inspiration board created by an SMP reader and bring it to life, hopefully in the process creating even more inspiring images! The above is the board we selected and the below is just a smidgen of the shoot we created at the fabulous 632 on Hudson with the help of flowers by Saipua, cakes and sweets by Nine Cakes, the gorgeous potion bottles by Emily Thompson stationery by Regas New York, potion bottles by props, furniture and rentals from Props for Today as well as Classic Party Rentals, makeup by Styles on B and just tons and tons of amazing gowns by Alisa Benay and Anne Bowen, to name just a few of the many, many people that participated to make this happen.  And I thought weddings were a production!!! Photo shoots blew me away!


I actually thought that it would be easy to design without a “bride”, but in the end, I realized that I needed a story and so Heather and I spun together a romantic tale of a couple who had a long, storied romance and then wanted to share the day as a European style brunch with some of their dearest and nearest friends.  For more images from the shoot AND the spectacular boudoir session, click here and here.

Later, I’ll show you my favorite details from the shoot that you can very easily replicate and hopefully make your own!