Category Archives: Wedding Vendors

Enter Our Drawing to Win a Free Catoctin Creek Distillery T-Shirt – Ends July 31

Catoctin_Creek_t-shirt womenVisit’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.)

watermelon wedding punchThe 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…

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Free Shipping on Judaica from until July 1

Jewish wedding ring 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…

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Flash Sale on Wedding Peonies at – Ends July 1st!

Light pink peonies wedding flowersblush pink peony wedding flowerspeonies wedding flowers

Flash sale on peonies from
“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…

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Tips for Finding and Working with a Top-Notch Ice Sculptor

Just out: This week’s Weekly Wedding Tips: Tips for Finding and Working with a Top-Notch Ice Sculptor

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Congrats to the Winner of Free Huppah Rental!

The winner of the free huppah rental from 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.

Want to get the scoop on other happenings at Sign up for our weekly email with insiders’ wedding planning tips and special deals on huppah rentals and the wedding items you need Subscribe now

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Sign Up for Weekly Wedding Tips

Sign up for our weekly email with insiders’ wedding planning tips and special deals on huppah rentals and the wedding items you need Subscribe now

Related posts:

More new wedding planning posts…

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Weekly Wedding Tips

Sign up for our weekly email with insiders’ wedding planning tips and special deals on huppah rentals and the wedding items you need Subscribe now

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Filed under Catering, Huppah Examples, Huppahs, Jewish Wedding Ceremony, Jewish Wedding Traditions, Recipes, Wedding Decor, Wedding DIY, Wedding Reception, Wedding Vendors

DIY wedding dress in Grace Kelly style from Vogue Patterns

Wedding DIY wedding gown pattern
Attention DIY brides: Vogue Patterns offers a pattern for a beautiful Grace Kelly-esque wedding dress. If you are inspired by Grace Kelly’s style, like Kate Middleton and her royal wedding dress, it’s fabulous.

Sizes: Miss/Petite Miss
Difficulty Rating: Average
The silhouette flatters all figure types.

Pattern Number: V2979

Get more info…

Photo source:

If you’re a Grace Kelly fan, you’ll want to watch this vintage news report of her royal wedding.

Kate Middleton Wedding Dress PatternALSO TAKE A LOOK AT:


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Special Wedding Details: Catoctin Cocktail with Kosher, Organic, Rye Whisky

roundstone-rye-whisky catoctin creek


Every once in a while I get really excited about bringing you a new find.
This is one of them: Catoctin Creek distilled spirits from Catoctin Creek distillery.

The distillery, located in Virginia, is only two years old. All their whiskys, brandies, and other distilled spirits are certified kosher, certified organic, and — based on all the awards they’ve won — certified delicious.

I’m all for choosing one or two wedding details that will surprise and delight your guests, and I’m all for serving one amazing featured drink in lieu of springing for a full bar. A featured cocktail using a Catoctin Creek spirit fits the bill. The Catoctin Coctail recipe and description below are from Catoctin Creek’s website,

Show off the cool looking bottles at the bar so everyone knows they’re getting something new.

Catoctin Cocktail

Catoctin Cocktail


This is a variant on the classic “Canadian Cocktail” but is so much better when made with a 100% rye whisky. Mmmmm….. delicious, eh!
2 oz Catoctin Creek Organic Rye Whisky
1/2 oz Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 dash bitters (Peychauds is a good one)
In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, combine all the ingredients. Shake well, strain and pour into a cocktail glass.


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Special Wedding Details Series: Unique Ice Carvings

When it comes to planning a wedding, I’m a big fan of having one or two stand-out elements; details that will make your wedding personal and memorable and that are worth splurging on a bit in what otherwise might be a tight budget. This post is the first in a series highlighting elements that can serve as those personal, memorable details.

Bill Bywater ice carverGuest Blogger: Bill Bywater
New Windsor, New York

Bill, a commercial sculptor, is a member of the Academy of Ice Carving and Design. Bill’s company, Bywaterworks, was named by that organization as one of the world’s top 200 ice carving companies.

So you have chosen your soul mate, you have chosen your officiate, picked the date, and picked the location. Now you can contact your ice carver. Some larger reception venues, like hotels or catering halls have an ice carver on staff or one that they are used to working with. It is not unreasonable to ask to see photos of their work so you can determine if they can knock out a standard swan or if they can execute a more involved and personalized carving. Ice carvings fall under auspices of the Sous Chef. This kitchen position includes cold food service as well as vegetable and fruit sculpture.

Cinderella's Coach ice sculpture bill bywater

Cinderella's Coach and Horses; Source:

I did not go school for culinary training, I went to school for sculpture and got into ice carving later. If you need to research who in your area can handle an ice carving for your wedding reception, engagement party, bachelor or bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner, here are some suggestions:

  • 200 Best Ice Carvers. Both this and the next organization’s websites feature lists of dedicated ice carvers.
  • National Ice Carving Association
  • WeddingWire lists ice carvers under “Unique Services”.
  • You could Google “ice carving blocks” to find out who is making crystal clear carving blocks near you. They will know carvers.
  • My site is I serve the Hudson Valley and north to Albany, west to Fairfield, and a little of Northern NJ.

Be ready to tell your ice carver the critical information about your event so they can determine if they can accommodate your needs. Only once the contact person,(usually the bride, groom or wedding planner), tells me the date, location, time and description of the ice carving(s) needed, can I tell them if I am free at that time and what the cost would be.

angels with candles ice carving bill bywater

Angels holding candles; Source:

For me, ice carvings start at $350 for a single block carving. A single block of ice can become any animal, heart design combination. I have carved an R2D2 robot, a pair of wedding bells, back-to-back saxophones forming a heart, kissing fish, a turtle and frog as bride and groom… you get the idea. This is an area for a couple to express themselves and show their flare. Couples’ names are often incorporated into the carving using a snow fill technique so they show up white.

visitors-services ice carvingI once talked a bride out of getting their names and the date on side-by-side hearts because it would look like a frozen gravestone. We did one large heart, with an arrow and both first names. She was very thankful I could picture the finished carving in my mind as we were discussing it, thus avoiding the headstone look.

Flowers and photographs can also be frozen into the block when it is being made if that is what you would like.

My price includes delivery to a freezer or the table. I also include a drip/display pan with clear hose that goes to a bucket beneath the table and fluorescent lighting. (I do not include the bucket.)

Starting at $500 I can carve the ice right in front of your guests’ eyes. It makes for a fun cocktail party and takes an hour or less. See an ice carving demonstration.

Once you have secured the services of an ice carver, let your caterer know that your carving will be delivered to either their freezer or directly to the table. Most caterers will let you know they can not be held responsible if the carving is damaged ahead of time in the freezer, but they should be willing to have their staff set it up for you. A carving should be in place half and hour to an hour before the room is open to allow it to loose its surface frost from the freezer.

Eiffel Tower ice carving

Eiffel Tower; Source:

Determine with your table layout where the ice carving will go, and make sure it is indicated on the room layout design. Plan on not moving the ice carving once it is set up. If your reception is outdoors, avoid direct sunlight. I tell folks an ice carving will be in good shape for three or four hours, but the slow melting is also part of the elusiveness of the medium. Wings and fins can look better and better as they melt, so birds and fish are often the subject matter for ice carvings.

Ice carvings do not have to be just stuck on the buffet.

More info about ice carvings at weddings:

Walk-in ice bar at Damenti's Restaurant, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Walk-in ice bar at Damenti’s Restaurant, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. Photo: Bill Bywater.

And take a look at this: Oh, Martha Stewart, THIS is an ice bar

Contact Bill Bywater.

Bill Bywater is a professional commercial sculptor. His talents are often applied to architectural restoration projects, and he has sculpted sets and props for Broadway shows and movies (his name is one of the ones you see racing by at the end of movies). He turns his talents to creating unique ice sculptures for weddings and corporate events through his company, Bywaterworks.


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Judaica Wedding Gifts at Israeli Accents in Rockville, Maryland

Yair Emanuel Judaica Rockville Maryland MD

A selection of items at the Israeli Accents Judaica shop in Rockville, Maryland. The pomegranate-motif trivet is in the middle of the top row.

A few days ago I walked into Israeli Accents, a Judaica shop in Rockville, Maryland, and walked out with more than I had planned. I saw a beautiful, deep- red pomegranate-motif trivet designed by Judaica artist Yail Emanuel, and bought two. If you’re looking for Judaica for a gift, Yair Emanuel’s wide range of Judaica and Jewish-themed items for the home are beautiful and widely-popular.

After buying the trivets I went online to find an image of the design, but could not find it online. Just another reason to stop in your local Judaica shop when looking for a gift for Passover or a wedding.

I’m going to give the trivets as gifts for the two fabulous women at whose homes I’ll be spending the upcoming Passover Seders. While driving home, I seriously considered keeping one of the trivets for myself, but I’ve found in my life that I’ve never done better holding on to something when I could give it away. Jean and Anita, if you read this, try and act surprised when I give you your hostess gift. Can’t wait to see you all!

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Top 6 Wedding Huppah Rental FAQs (aka chuppahs, huppas)

Simplicity Huppah TinyAnswers to the 6 questions we are most frequently asked at

1. Does rent only hand-held huppahs?
Yes, all of our huppahs are hand-held. This most traditional style of huppah is easy to put up and take down, and easy to transport to where ever you need it.

2. What cities does serve?
We lease huppahs everywhere in the U.S. We ship by FedEx.

3. Do I ship the huppah back in the same box it came in?
Yes. Repack the poles and canopy in the box they arrived in, and apply the pre-paid return shipping label.

4. When I return the huppah, do I deliver it to a FedEx office, or will FedEx pick it up?
You can do either – your choice. Drop it off at a FedEx location near you or call FedEx at 1.800.463.3339 to arrange a pickup.

5. When should I order my huppah?
At least 3 weeks before the wedding to take advantage of $55 shipping (which includes a pre-paid return shipping label). For the best selection, reserve your huppah 3-4 months before the ceremony.

We can get a huppah to you with less than 3 weeks notice, but the shipping cost will be higher. We’re a great last-minute huppah solution.

Check availability online or by phone at 301-300.0950.

Lace Huppah rentals6. What’s the best way to incorporate a hand-held huppah into the procession?
Most often, the huppah bearers lead the procession. The huppah bearers can also enter from the side of the ceremony space just before the procession begins. The arrival of the huppah is a breath-taking moment that focuses everyone’s attention on the ceremony…and your imminent arrival!


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A day-of coordinator will leave you free to enjoy your wedding day

Guest Blogger: Elaine Roberts, Events by Elaine (Nashville, Tennessee)

Amanda and Ryan wedding

Location: The Hermitage, Nashville; Photo: Matt Andrews Photography

Early in the planning process, most brides create the guest list, which dictates the size of the wedding. Many brides assume that a smaller wedding will be simpler or have fewer components. Typically, a smaller wedding just has fewer guests but all the details are the same. Even if your wedding is a simple backyard event, don’t overlook the value of professional vendors.

A professional photographer and DJ can make your event more memorable and enjoyable. The same is true of hiring a day-of coordinator. Even though you may not have a large number of guests or wedding party, you will still need to make sure that all of the details are handled. Who is making sure that everyone is in place to go down the aisle? Who is overseeing the reception décor is in place and the candles are lit? Who is going to make sure that all of your vendors are in place for the critical moments? The answer to all these questions should be your day-of coordinator.

Your wedding day only occurs once and will go by so quickly. You don’t want to have your memories of that day blurred by being stressed about details. A day of coordinator can offer you the most value for your money in the terms of being able to relax and enjoy your wedding day. While a coordinator is not your personal assistant, they can offer the benefit of being by your side to foresee and eliminate problems. Regardless of the size of your wedding, there are still favors, guest books and gifts to be handled.

Location: The Hermitage, Nashville

Photo: Matt Andrews Photography

Another less known benefit of a day of coordinator is the benefit to your other vendors. First, a coordinator gives all your vendors one point of contact for questions throughout the day. Also, having a day of coordinator allows your vendors to do their jobs without interference. Without a coordinator, the DJ or photographer have to keep the event moving smoothly and collect the appropriate people.
No matter the size of your wedding or its location, a day of coordinator can benefit you. You want your day to be special, so find someone that you get along with and hire them. You will be able to relax and enjoy this amazing event.
Events by ElaineElaine Roberts, owner of Events by Elaine (, is a hands-on coordinator for budget minded & DIY brides serving Nashville, Huntsville and the Southeast. She enjoys sharing ideas, resources, vendors and inspiration to make your wedding beautiful.

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Outdoor wedding plans? Weatherproof your huppah.

Huppah-decorated-with-ribbonsThis morning I woke up to the sound of thunder and heavy rain on my window. By this afternoon, the weather was sunny and warm, but we’re expecting to wake up to heavy rain again tomorrow.

The changing weather reminded me of a wedding where I delivered a huppah last summer. It was a sunny day with occasional fast-moving clouds, some of which dumped rain. The venue was a beautiful inn with gorgeous lawns nestled in the mountains of Virginia. The bride wanted the outdoor wedding of her dreams, but the wedding coordinator, worried about the rain, was pressing the bride to have the ceremony indoors and let the facilities folks start setting up chairs.

The bride insisted that they wait as long as possible before deciding that the wedding had to be moved indoors. We knew that the hand-held huppah could be used as easily for an indoor ceremony as an outdoor ceremony. The coordinator knew how long it would take to set up the chairs. At zero hour, the sun was shining, and the bride chose to have the wedding outside. The coordinator signaled the facilities manager, and the chairs were arranged within minutes. The last chair was put in place just as the first guest, the bride’s grandmother, arrived. I watched from inside. The ceremony was beautiful. As the groom kissed the bride, a gust of wind lifted the huppah canopy, and a light sun shower began to fall. Perfect.

I love a job where I get to cry happy tears on a regular basis.

The bride got the outdoor wedding she wanted, but only because we knew that the hand-held huppah could be used indoors or outdoors with equal ease (and I knew that my canopy fabrics are chosen in part to hold up well in case they get caught in the rain). A stationary huppah would have to have been set up well in advance of the ceremony, and inside because of the uncertainty about the rain. A stationary huppah probably could not have been moved inside at the last minute. In the case of unexpected rain, a stationary huppah might not be able to be moved indoors at all.

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you and your coordinator will almost certainly be making back-up plans in case of bad weather. Using a hand-held huppah is the easiest way to weatherproof your huppah.

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New AHAVA Mineral Cosmetics

AHAVA mineral makeup color chartAHAVA algae rich foundationAHAVA light foundationAHAVA loose pwder

AHAVA’s cosmetics and spa products make great gifts for brides and the whole bridal party. My daughters and I love to pamper ourselves with the Dead Sea mud masks. AHAVA has released a new line of mineral cosmetics to pamper you, and JudaicaWebstore has them on sale now.

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Wedding Venue Profile: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, Maryland

wedding chuppah
Maryland wedding venue mirrorThe beautiful room in which we took the photos you see now at is at Woodend Nature Sanctuary, owned by the Audubon Naturalist Society, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just a few miles from Washington, DC.

Woodend is consistently recognized by The Knot, Brides, and Washingtonian Magazine as a top wedding venue. The sanctuary has gorgeous indoor and outdoor event spaces that accommodate up to 150 people.

Audubon Naturalist Society is the oldest and largest independent nonprofit environmental organization in the Washington, D.C. area. When you hold your event at Woodend, you not only enjoy a beautiful setting, you also support the organization’s environmental education programs and their efforts to preserve open space and work for clean air and water.

See photos and get more information about Woodend Nature Sanctuary…
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Google Launches Wedding Planning Website

Big wedding planning news: Google has just launched a wedding planning website. On it, you can create your own wedding website, organize the guest list and seating plan, share photos, design wedding mailers, and more. A must see:

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New Trend: Green Gold Wedding Rings


18K Yellow Gold Comfort Fit Wedding Ring available at

Can gold wedding rings be green? They can if they’re made from recycled gold. They’re “green” as in good environmental management, and if you are planning a green wedding you might want to consider a ring of reclaimed gold.

When gold is mined, the materials pulled out of the mine are often dumped in piles on the ground nearby. There, the toxic minerals in them can leach into the ground, killing vegetation as well as animals and also seeping into the drinking water sources of local communities. Buying a ring of reclaimed gold means that no new gold was mined for your ring.

There are at least two online sources for rings of recyled, reclaimed gold: greenKarat and Brilliant Earth. If you’re in Chicago, you can make an appointment to visit Leber Jeweler.

Consider these other alternatives to buying newly mined gold: buying a vintage ring and giving new life to a family heirloom.

Keep in mind as you shop that strict interpretation of Jewish law and most tradition-minded rabbis require the use of plain gold rings without any gems or etched designs.

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DIY Wedding Flowers Packages

Blown away by the cost of wedding flowers? No time to DIY? You’re not alone. Hence the growing popularity of Wedding Flowers in a Box. All the flowers you need for your ceremony and reception –including bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and more– come ready-to-go in a box. You pay near-wholesale prices, and the professionally-finished bouquets and arrangements are delivered to your door. Not a bad option for busy brides and grooms. You even get to choose from a selection of flower types and colors. Check out the video from FiftyFlowers:

Video Source: FiftyFlowers

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Because You Asked: My Kippah Vendor Recommendation

brown velvet kippah

dark royal blue suede kippah

white satin kippah
Photo source: Yofah

After yesterday’s post about using kippahs and bentschers as wedding favors, I’ve been asked if I know of a good vendor for kippahs – something good quality and easy on the wedding budget. I’m happy to tell you about the vendor I used just a few months ago for my daughters’ b’not mitzvah: Yofah. I had a great experience with them.

Yofah offers the widest selection of colors and fabrics, and the best prices, of any other kippah vendors I found. Their online system for personalizing the inside of the kippah with text in English and Hebrew is easy to use. And when the kippahs arrived, I found that the quality was very good.

fuschia satin kippahBTW: Let me share with you the kippot style my daughters chose for their b’not mitzvah: fuschia satin. I just love them (the kippahs and the girls!).

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