Vera says next spring’s designs are about architecture and discipline. As I write this, you won’t yet see links to the designs on her homepage, but you can find them here: See the pics. Watch the video.
Category Archives: Wedding Vendors
Did you see the recent episode of Worst Cooks in America where the contestants had to feed a pack of hungry bikers? Show hosts Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell brought their cooking-challenged challengers to Brooklyn to duke it out at the East River Bar.
The contestants served up some grilled figs and chicken wings, and the production crew served up some biker-worthy wall flair in the form of hubcaps and skulls. But last year, my littlest brother and his bride held their wedding reception at that bar, and I can tell you the place cleans up real nice.
See for yourself, with wedding and reception photos by Jacob Arthur.
(BTW, is it really fair to make people who didn’t know anything about cooking a few weeks earlier come up with their own original chicken wing recipe in 90 minutes?)
And here are pics from another real-life wedding: Natalie + Richard Wed Under an Ivory Silk Huppah in a New York City Park
Alanna and Joe showed how personal and fun a small wedding can be when they chose their favorite neighborhood hangouts for their wedding and reception. Both sites were within walking distance of their Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment. The ceremony took place at the East River State Park, across the river from Manhattan, and the reception took place about a mile away at the East River Bar. The couple’s favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant catered the reception.
The entire event was informal and easy going. Guests who showed up at East River Park before the ceremony hung out and enjoyed the sun with other park goers or got something to eat at one of the food trucks adjacent to the park. Fifteen minutes before the ceremony, a party rental company appeared and set up chairs at a spot facing the river. A view of Manhattan on the far side of the river provided the backdrop for the ceremony. When a few guests arrived late, after the ceremony had already ended, the officiant, Joanna Fernandes, suggested that Joe and Alanna take the opportunity to renew their vows for the benefit of the late arrivals, which they did, a mere five minutes after the ceremony.
After the wedding, guests joined Alanna and Joe in walking to the reception. At midnight, the couple invited everyone back to their apartment for a star-gazing party on the roof.
In planning their laid-back wedding, Alanna and Joe focused on sharing things they love and a few special details. They claim that they fell into their sunny color scheme just by choosing the accessories they liked. The wide-ranging mix of colors came together because Joe’s boutonniere used the same yellow flower as Alanna’s bouquet, and Alanna’s sunglasses frames picked up the turquoise in Joe’s paisley tie.
Thank you, Alanna, Joe, and photographer Jacob Arthur for sharing.
Here are more details:
Colors: A sun-splashed mix of orange, hot pink, yellow, and turquoise anchored with a touch of navy.
The bride wore: A lacy sheath, wedge flip flops, sunglasses, and a feathery fascinator in lieu of a veil.
The groom wore: A navy seersucker suit, paisley tie, striped socks, and straw fedora.
Officiant: Joanna Fernandes
Flowers: A bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere DIY’ed by the BR’ide. Alanna explains that she put a shell from the beach where Joe proposed into his boutonniere: “Thank you, thousands of hours of cable wedding tv!” David Tutera would be proud.
Transportation: Alanna and Joe reserved a limo for a ride to the park before the ceremony, but the trip to the reception was by foot. Guests with mobility challenges took advantage of taxis available outside the park.
Reception decor: With the East River Bar’s evocative decor, Alanna and Joe didn’t need to do anything to create a festive atmosphere. The only element they added were tent cards on the tables telling guests they had found the right place and listing the reception menu. What more do you need?
Reception music: The jukebox.
Entertainment: Great conversation and the bar’s video games.
Food:: A buffet of Italian specialties by Patrizia restaurant. To keep the buffet fresh, as well as to refresh the energy of the party, Patrizia delivered the food in four separate courses throughout the reception.
Photographs: Brooklyn-based Jacob Arthur
Do you have a nano-size wedding music budget? Consider using your iPod to crank out the tunes. I recently talked to Patrick, owner of the Washington, DC-area Ipod Mix, which creates custom music mixes for weddings and other events. Patrick has been an event DJ for twenty years, and he now also offers iPod mixes through his internet-based service. The cost savings over live music or a DJ are amazing: as little as $100 gets you music for your cocktail reception and dinner/dance reception.
“For music and songs, we leave it completely up to the client to tell us what their style and tastes are, then we customize their mix to fit this,” Patrick says. “We try to make each mix as different as possible so it has a unique feel for their wedding day.”
But he brings his DJ experience to the custom mixes, adding what Patrick calls “dance floor packers”. “You want people to enjoy themselves and have fun, and these types of songs help people loosen up.” Still, it’s all based on the clients’ tastes. Ipod Mix has done mixes with all country music, rock oriented mixes, and mixes with a more vintage feel.
For amplification, you can connect your iPod or other MP3 player to your venue’s in-house amplification system, which sometimes requires a rental fee, or equipment rented from an entertainment company. Fees vary, but you can expect sound equipment rental to run in the neighborhood of $200. If you are renting your tables, chairs, or a tent, Patrick recommends asking the same vendor about including sound equipment in a package deal.
For couples considering the iPod option, Patrick recommends two points to consider. First, there’s no getting around the fact that the atmosphere will not be the same as at as when you have a live DJ. I would recommend thinking about the crowd you’re inviting and the space you’ll be in and considering whether they’ll help make up the energy that a DJ would otherwise bring to the cocktail hour or dance floor.
Second, and what Patrick says is “the absolute biggest thing to keep in mind”, is that not everyone at your wedding will share your musical tastes. Speaking from his twenty years of DJ experience, Patrick says, “If you limit too much the type of mix we create for you, most likely you will find people are not going to have a good time. The best, most successful and entertaining weddings are ones where all the musical styles are included, so everyone will be dancing and enjoying themselves all night long.”
Photo location: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, Maryland
During November only, receive a 20% discount on all huppah rentals at Huppahs.com. Just reserve your huppah by November 30. Take advantage of the lull before the engagement season storm to lock in your huppah and enjoy this limited time discount.
With 20% off, you can rent a huppah for as low as $195 plus shipping or delivery.
Rentals are available nationwide. Choose from a variety of styles.
Check availability today at
Today’s guest blogger: Rick Ryan, Nashville Wedding DJ, Uplighting and Photobooth
It is amazing how quickly uplighting is becoming a “must have” item at weddings. No, it doesn’t surprise me that discerning brides are wanting this after all, when done correctly, it adds more “pizazz” than perhaps any other single decoration you can do. That said, as a wedding vendor who does this on a regular basis, I’d like to share a few bits of wisdom that will help you with your own uplighting.
1. Color Selection – I have to be honest, I generally cringe when a client says “We want a very subtle color.” The whole point in going to the time and expense of uplighting is to enhance the facility. Vibrant colors are what make your pictures jump off the page. They also, quite noticeably change the mood of your guests. It’s been proven in scientific studies that colors have a dramatic impact on mood and energy. If you’re really after a subdued vibe for your event, white or amber are excellent choices. However, aren’t most brides always the ones telling me they “just want our guests to have a great time”? Use color to your advantage! Magenta, Purple, Blue, or Red (or shades thereof) are some excellent choices.
2. LED or Incandescent? Incandescent cans/fixtures still are used fairly regularly by some lighting contractors. I believe it’s primarily because these fixtures are cheaper or perhaps it happens to be what the lighting vendor has in their stock. While we do also have some incandescent fixtures, we don’t typically recommend them for uplighting for several reasons: 1) They get hot and little ones are drawn to them like a moth to a flame. It’s a sure-fire recipe for little hands that get burned and that translates into wailing kids at YOUR event. 2) It takes a lot more power to run them and that means more and bigger extension cords to power them. 3) Limited color choice. These fixtures use gel paper to shade the bulb for whatever color you’re after and that means, no changes at the event. If your chosen gel paper color doesn’t mix well with the paint on the walls, tough luck as there’s no way to tweak the color shades on the spot.
LED fixtures are cool to the touch, use very little electricity and the colors can be changed quickly, at the venue. If the color you picked at your meeting gets changed by the color on the wall, your technician can often adjust the shading on-the-fly, prior to your guests’ arrival.
3. Table/Chair Placement – Uplighting is usually done by placing fixtures on the floor, next to the wall. We recommend a 3 foot buffer zone for all tables/chairs. This keeps guests from bumping, moving or even damaging the lighting fixtures. It also gives the lighting technician the ability to do a more even spacing between each fixture, improving the overall look of the presentation.
4. How Much Is Enough? One thing I tell all my clients is, “Don’t skimp on the number of fixtures.” When you run short on a color presentation, it’s very apparent to everyone in attendance. It’s better to slightly over-do it than to come up short. The biggest question I hear is “How many cans do I need?” As you would expect, it obviously depends on the size of the room(s), the number of guests, and what wall-space is available for lighting. What I can tell you is, for most of our jobs (125-200 guests), the magic number always seems to come up to 20. This is roughly a 1500-2500 sq ft room and is what comes standard with our “Diamond Package”. For rooms of 2500-4000 sq ft, I generally recommend 30 cans, sometimes more.
5. DMX vs Stand-Alone (LEDs only) – LED lighting fixtures have two modes they can be operated in: stand-alone or DMX. I won’t bore you with the techy details but basically DMX means the lighting fixtures can be controlled remotely (either wireless or wired). Of the jobs we’ve done, almost all have been non-DMX. Without going into specifics, basically DMX will add $200-$400 in labor costs, not to mention the fact that it will add tons of cable and tape to your setup. For the little bit of extra flexibility it gives, our customers have stated that it’s simply not worth it. Yes, we’ll be happy to make your entire venue “beat to the music” or “make the colors change between songs” but in our experience, it’s not something we hear on a regular basis.
6. Static or Color-Change – Most LED fixtures can be programmed to roll gently from one color to the other. This is known as “color change mode”. We do have a fair portion of our wedding clients that opt for this setup, but I’d place it as the minority. Practically all of our school dances or proms use color change but weddings typically will either go with a single (static) color or perhaps may use alternating patterns of color (“red – white – red – white”). Only you can decide what works best for your color scheme and venue. One thing I will add is that it also can be dictated by the wall space available. We’ve done a number of venues where they may have a patio area with temporary sidewalls installed. These types of setups will have minimal wall space to be colored and may work better with multiple colors, rolling constantly. A hotel ballroom typically will have a lot of open wall space and will get too busy with so many colors going on. Better to choose a static color, or pattern of statics and stick with that.
7. Chair Rails, How to Handle Them – When we do an install, one of the things we’re always trying to do is to keep fixtures out of the way and close to the wall. First, we don’t want guests tripping over our fixtures but also (to be transparent) we really don’t want guests stepping on (and potentially breaking) our expensive fixtures. One of the problems we regularly run into are chair rails. While these do a great job at preserving paint from chairs and tables, they also block off light as it travels up the wall area. The only way to overcome this is to set fixtures further away from the wall, usually about a half-foot. However, keep in mind table and chair placement (#3 above).
8. Uplighting Sets the Tone – One of the things that I regularly preach to my clients (most of our engagements include DJ service as well) is that we create great events by setting the tone from the very start. The moment a guest walks in we want them to do “the tilt-back” (as I like to call it). That’s where they walk in the entrance, then pause as their eyes widen and they take in all the sights and sounds we’re presenting. If we’ve done our job correctly, this raises the expectation of your guests. Once that expectation is raised, it’s much easier to push it on into “off the hook” territory. Uplighting is a tremendous tool for setting the tone of an event. When a guest walks into a room with bright, vivid colors all around, they can’t help but to expect a fantastic evening and expectation creates energy.
9. Do It Yourself or Pro? I know that everyone is looking for ways to save a buck, especially in today’s economy. While it’s true that fixtures can be rented, most people don’t realize what it takes to get power to all your fixtures. By the time you rent the fixtures, then buy all the extension cords needed, it often is the same price (or more) than just paying a professional outfit to do the install, not to mention the job of tearing it all back down and returning the fixtures. But even beyond the “hassle factor” involved, having a bunch of extension cords often creates a huge mess and that’s not something you want on your special day. We use special zip cord with add-a-tap outlets for our installs. These are long strands of cable (25ft & 50ft) that have an outlet every 5 feet. It puts a much cleaner line against the wallboard but, more importantly, it helps to keep spacing even between fixtures. There’s nothing that will ruin a lighting presentation faster than to have a 5ft gap, then 7ft, then 4ft, etc.
10. Children – I debated strongly whether to mention this or not and let me say it first, I LOVE kids. I have two of my own and kids hold a near and dear place in my heart. That said, for some unknown reason, a lot of parents have a tendency to not keep watch over their kids at weddings. Add uplighting into that picture and you have an almost guarantee that the kids will be messing with fixtures, expensive lighting fixtures. There’s nothing worse from a vendor’s perspective than to look up, as I did a couple of months back, and see some three year old walking along the wall, kicking your fixtures like a kickball. It’s a delicate subject but, if you’re going to do uplighting, please make your guests (with children) aware of the situation and ask their assistance to keep things in control. When things get broken, it’s the client who ends up paying.
I hope the above gives you some ideas in planning lighting for your own event. If there’s anything I may do to assist, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. Now, light it up!
About the author: Rick Ryan owns and operates a DJ, Lighting and Photobooth service company in the Nashville area. His company has become one of the fastest-growing and in demand wedding vendors in Middle Tennessee. For more info, please contact Rick below.
Nashville Wedding DJ, Uplighting and Photobooth
You can even rent some of the latest designer fashions for all the big days surrounding your big event from the rehearsal dinner to the honeymoon.
And while you’re on our new Facebook page get the recipe for our delish Summer Bliss Wedding Punch made with cool watermelon and Catoctin Creek Distillery’s kosher, organic Watershed Gin.
Today I was driving through New York’s Hudson River Valley with my daughters, and before stopping at a roadside stand for raspberries we scoped out Kedem, the kosher winery. The winery sits just off Route 9W, which winds its way through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Just a few miles to the east lies the Hudson River.
The nearby Kedem distributors used to be the only place in American where I could find bokha, a kosher fig liquor popular across Tunisia. It was made in a factory outside of Tunis that employed most of the members of a synagogue I sometimes attended just south of Carthage. A shot of bokha always brought back the year I spent in Tunis and people I knew there.The winery is available for private events in the wine cellar, mansion, and garden. They cater. If you’re planning an event in New York State, they can ship kosher wine to your door.
Visit Huppahs.com’s spanking new Facebook page to find out how to enter our drawing to win one of three T-shirts from Catoctin Creek Distillery in Virginia (men’s and women’s T-shirt sizes available!).
We love Catoctin Creek Distillery. They’re only 3 years old, and their products are certified kosher, certified organic, and multiple-award winning. We built our Summer Bliss Wedding Punch around the distillery’s Watershed Gin, and we’re proud to be partnering with them for this contest. (In addition to the T-shirt contest, you can find the recipe for Summer Bliss on our Facebook page.)
The distillery is located in Purcellville, Virginia, the heart of the state’s wine country. If you’re anywhere near Purcellville this 4th of July weekend, stop by. The distillery has been getting a lot of attention from the press this week for this weekend’s grand opening of their new on-site store.
Our T-shirt contest ends July 31, so head over to our new Facebook page to see how to enter for your chance to win…
JewishSource.com is offering free shipping on all orders of $50 and above, including wedding items like rings, tallit prayer shawls, kiddush cups, and great wedding gifts.
Coupon Code: STORM (in all CAPS) in the Key Number/Code field during Step #3 of the checkout process.
Offer expires Wednesday, June 29, 2011.
Find all the details at JewishSource.com…
Flash sale on peonies from Fiftyflowers.com:
“Our Peony fields are bursting with flowers which allows us to pass on a VIP flash sale to you! Get 100 Peonies for $199.99, but only for a limited time!! Peonies are a picture perfect flower that will WOW you with its beauty and elegance. Choose from our Blush, Hot Pink, Pink Sarah Bernhardt, or a beautiful Mixed pack!”
Hurry, Only Available for Delivery from Now until July 1st, so get them while you can! Go to the peony sale now…
The winner of the free huppah rental from Huppahs.com is Amy Lustig of Rockville, Maryland, who is getting married in November. Congratulations, Amy!
The drawing was run by the highly- caffeinated and widely-loved Broke-Ass Bride brigade. A big thanks to Emily and the brigade, and well wishes for Dana.
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