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10 + Tips for Wedding Planning AND website fix

  • Posted on October 28, 2013 at 3:47 am

If you are a newsletter member or a radio show listener you will know that I told you that my dates for articles listed on my website had been broken somehow and all articles were stuck with an August 2013 date.  Usually I wouldn’t mind, since that is my birthday month, but I do want you to know that I am current with the information I am giving you.  This missive is just a way of trying it out, but let me also tell you what’s been popping off here in the Big Apple on the wedding scene, too

The air is crisp, actually it has been downright cold.  Who am I trying to kid.  My heat thankfully was turned up and is pumping out nicely.  I hope that you are experiencing that toasty feeling as you continue to plan for your nuptials.  If not find your fiance’ and cuddle together while you do your planning.

  Christina Ricci married her fiance on my Mom’s Birthday or . . . well 10/26/13

      Vera Wang’s strapless dresses are still hanging on.

      In the last year, celebrities have been having private, secret or intimate which means small weddings.  Will that trend seep into the lives of regular folks’ weddings, too.  It could save you a bundle.

      DIY wedding programs are on the rise, as keepsake items for both the wedding couple and their guests.

      Save-the-Date magnets, DON’T have to be expensive AND it helps remind your guests not to plan anything else on your wedding day.

      Cupcakes are now taking over as the wedding cake go-to item.  Easy for both the wedding couple and their guests to eat, especially on-the-run in the reception when greeting other people.

      Save big on wedding ceremony & reception by having your wedding in January or February.   That’s the time when places are starving for people to reserve venues.  (Immediately following the holidays) is a plus for you.

       Allow your guests to feel like stars too, with a DIY red carpet and backdrop (maybe with your logo or names scattered on the backdrop) for your version of a photo booth.  Talk about fun times for all, plus great wedding pictures.

       Engaged, but no wedding date yet?  Start saving now, via a wedding prepaid debit card, or bank account specific to the wedding or store a certain amount under your mattress or in a jar each week. (I’m half kidding.)  

 Top CharLena Pick of 5 New York City outdoor wedding spaces:

                          Central Park

                          Riverside Park

                          Fort Tryon Park over looking the Hudson River

                          Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn

                         South Beach on Staten Island

                         Botanic Gardens of the Bronx (Honorable Mention – If wearing fragrance, watch for bees.)

And if you would like to sign up for my newsletter, you in the right spot, just check the upper right hand corner on any page on this website.

August a Month of Fun & Pure Joy

  • Posted on August 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm

We made it through the “Dog Days of Summer” or “Christmas in July” as a few advertisers call it.  Weddings are seemingly supposed to slow down to a crawl, but if you looked at my friend Rev. Louis Olivieri, Wedding Wire reviews, you might not think that.  Now we are into August and the weddings start to heat up again, all the way through fall into early November.  It used to be that the month of June was the BIG wedding pop off month, but people have turned away from June, at least here in NYC, as being too filled with other celebrations  (graduations, Father’s Day, the summer solstice, etc.) and a bit traditional to have their weddings.  No, now it’s September, August and October as the summer into autumn weddings, usually in that order.

It’s interesting if you think about, since a lot of NY-ers are out of town during the summer, especially during August because it is their last ditch effort to hit the road before school starts again or before Labor Day marks the commercial end of the summer and ‘regular’ vacation time.  September, I do understand, don’t you?  It is SO beautiful as the leaves start to turn colors from greens to red and by the end of October to hues of gold, orange and brown.  By November the leaves have almost gone or at the very least almost have all been raked up.   Then you almost get that chiaroscuro look to the trees before real winter sets in, here in New York City.

As August rolls in this year, I have decided to add some fun of my own.  Why?  Because this is my birthday month.  Unlike a lot of my friends, I have ALL ways loved my birthday.  In fact, I used to celebrate it for 3 mos.  From July through September.  Aah!  The good old days.  Anyway, now it’s only a month celebration and rather than wait to celebrate it through September, I am celebrating the whole month of August.  As part of my celebration, I am offering my books up for a steal from $.99 to 2.99 each.  Then towards mid-September they will go back  to their regular price.  There may even be a freebie thrown in here and there, as a surprise.  I haven’t decided which one, but it’ll be a good surprise to us all.  Happy Birthday to you.  Happy Birthday to you.  Happppy Birthdayyyy to everyonnne.  Happy Birthday to YOUUUUUU!  And me, of course.  Enjoy!

 

It’s the Fourth of July: Happy Fourth, Two Thousand Thirteen

  • Posted on April 27, 2013 at 4:06 am

It’s the fourth of July here in New York City on a balmy afternoon as we get ready for the fireworks.  The official fireworks, because for the last couple of days there have been fireworks happening via prodigious youth or just illegally gotten and ignighted around the neighborhood.

Anyway since it is the 4th of July, you are probably gearing up or already at a BBQ.  What if you didn’t know what to wear if you were going off to a real  outing to friends or friends of a friends, what could you possibly wear.  I thought I’d include an article from a friend’s website to help you out, entitled Fabulous July  Fourth Holiday Wardrobe.  Enjoy:   http://www.womenworking.com/fabulous-july-fourth-holiday-wardrobe

 

 

Let me tell you a secret, well maybe it’s not that big of a secret: I hated the strapless.   Now the strapless gown is . . . mostly dead.  I was so tired of seeing every single bride, no matter their shape or how well-endowed they were, trying to uphold a strapless gown. I have nothing against Vera Wang’s popularity with her designs; it’s just that no one got the idea, that she designed that specific silhouette for herself.

Ms. Wang is a size 2. She can wear the strapless and be quite lovely in it, but not a size 22 and up.  Or a woman who is larger endowed (which is me and a number of my friends).  To say it caught on, is really an understatement since we have had about 15 years of strapless beauties from most of the other designers of wedding gowns. It just does not work, nor did it work on all brides, even when they tried to make work.   Some of us, just should not wear that silhouette, no matter how sexy we feel.  The ”girls up top”,  by the time you get to the reception, you the bride, can already feel weighed down or at the very least like you have sold your assets over and over and over again during your various wedding poses for your pictures and videos. It’s the gift that just keeps on giving, because now everyone for years has your pictures in which you have spilled over your gifts from on high to everyone.
Well all I can say now;  is YAY Team, for getting off that rotting bandwagon and the move on toward the lace and more demure, but sexy wedding gowns. Of course, the real thanks should go to Harry’s new wife Kate. As weddings go, we, the world over have been copying the Royals of England and their wedding attire and accessories, including the cake design for at least two centuries.
Lace is SO romantic, don’t you think? You can add it to the bodice, the skirt, on the sleeves, at your neck or even to camouflage an ample bosom. And it is SO feminine, too. It screams special occasion, whether it is in white, cream, eggshell, black or any other color.
Let me show you just of a few of what I mean including your bridal party, too. Yes, we don’t want to leave them out of the romance of your wedding day. They are like icing on the event, before the cake is revealed.

First out the shoot: Eva Longonria’s lace and ruffle soufflé, courtesy of US Magazine. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-style/pictures/cannes-film-festival-2012-the-best-dressed-stars-2012215/22682 as she was dressed for the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.

Weddings

  • Posted on January 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

CharLena’s Picks:  Wedding Dresses after the 2013 Awards ceremonies’ Top Five.  

This is also a continuation from March 2013 Budget Weddings NYC Newsletter:

 

From 5 through 1 with honorable mentions to follow afterwards.  Remember no matter the color, or shade of the dress all dresses can be replicated.  I have named three places on my radio show:  www.Blogtalkradio.com/budgewweddingsnyc4u

# 5 Amy Adams on red carpet at the Golden Globes.

 

Amanda Seyfried on Oscar’s red carpet comes in at #4.

#3 Jennifer Lopez at Golden Globes.  Love the way the dress falls at the bottom.  And of course, what girl wouldn’t want a bit or lots of lace to glam it up.

 

Surprises of the pales in color, coming from this bold colorful woman, but you know a woman’s prerogative is to be changeable.   This year I liked these:

#2  Just remember to have your seamstress move the darts away from your breasts and you too, can rock this even better than Anne Hathaway did on The Academy Awards’ red carpet.

 

 

#1 Jennifer Lawrence’s dress that toppled her.  I LOVE, LOVE, the cut especially the skirt, the raised or brocade pattern and the wideness of the skirt.  Imagine it in lavender   Just remember during any part of your excitement to pick up your skirt in front as you walk or ascend stairs and to carry your train while descending stairs and you’ll be golden.

I hope you have enjoyed my picks for the season and remember even though most of the picks are designer gowns you can get replicas or have it made in the color and even style of your choice.

The following pix in no special order are the honorable mentions.

 

I like the sweetheart neckline and the design of Carrie Underwood’s bodice.

If you have a near perfect bod you can rock this gown, like Jessica Chastain did or better.  The sleekness of this dress is killer, for sure.

 

The flowing soft material of Lupe Fiasco’s dress and the color are so wonderful, I had to include it.  I think I used to have a raw silk skirt and tank in this color.  Whew!  Need I say anymore?  I didn’t think so.

 

 

I think the cut out for this dress is going be seen at a lot of parties this year including as part of the proms all over the place and especially here in NYC.  Can’t you just see it.  It is SO interesting and fun.  Good choice Ms. Watts.

 

And finally T. Swift again in a more demure lace gown or is it a dress.  I don’t remember how long this one was, but lace and a wedding seem to be synonymous   It looks like Ms. Swift’s apparel has an overall air of wedding attire with 2 in my top 10 and one in my “honorable mentions”.

Now you have a whole slew of gowns to get ideas from.  Make your choice and rearrange them if you are not buying off the rack but having someone make it and have them make to your specifications.

 The Men: (I guess I can’t leave them out, right?)

Men’s wedding attire is almost still unchanged, but what about a red or even black velvet  tailored jacket or tux and black velvet shoes.  Maybe a colorful cummerbund to match the cravat and or tie.  Mmmh!  I like that too.  There’s a change a happening . . .  a little.

 

Good Evening!  This is the month of February 2013 and I decided to try different days and times for my radio show on Blog Talk Radio.  Perhaps you have listened to show in archives or actually listened to it live.  Let me know what time you would like to listen to it live and I will see what I can do.  In the next couple of weeks, here are a few of the people I plan to have on:  Bridgette Bartlette, Fouzia Elidrissi, Jean-Hans, Phil Nee, just to name a few over the wedding industry.  Last week I even met a well known make-up artist/performer who may be on.  His first name is Ernesto.

Meanwhile today, I read from both my soon-to-be published book – New York City Budget Weddings Elegant and Affordable and the Amazon published book – Wedding Cake:  From Frosting to Crumbs, plus gave you advice about choosing your wedding cake, complete with questions and  also a little bit about your wedding planning budget, men’s wedding attire, plus spiritual transformation during your wedding planning.  Please check that out via Blog Talk Radio’s archives of my show Budget Weddings NYC 4U.  I know you’ll get a lot of enjoyment and tips from listening.  www.blogtalkradio.com/budgetweddingsnyc4U/

 

Enjoy your weekend and tune in Monday at Noon when I give you my Picks of the Oscars’ red carpet attire for weddings.

 

 

Whether you are already in the midst of your wedding planning or even if this is the start of your of that process, you deserve to take some time off from your wedding plans, to regroup with your fiance’ to release the perils of wedding planning.  Take time out each day, to reconnect and just be.  You will feel inspired to go along with almost anything, as long as you are together on the same page of understanding.  It draws you together more perfectly than “just” going out on a date.

You may want to incorporate this into your marriage as a daily habit to keep and continue to grow together with.  Making time for each other is a sure way to stay in love with each other and to communicate better.

Here’s some ideas to stay together and release at the same time:

Start a novel together and read out loud to each other a little each night.

Draw a bath as warm as you can stand, pour some wine into your wine glasses, light some candles and soak away the stress of the day and the events of planning your wedding. (This might be a once a week relaxation form, but lovely nevertheless.)

Massage each other’s shoulder, maybe once a week a full body massage, complete with scented oils.

Exercise together at the gym or go to a yoga class together.

Sit comfortably in each other’s arms and look deeply into each other’s eyes.

These are but a few suggestions, I am sure you can come up with some of your own that are perfect for you.  Perhaps you will even want to continue the practice into your marriage.  It’s a great way to stay connected with other, instead of growing apart.  Start now to do some of these things and I promise you will get through your wedding planning without a hitch and still deeply in love with each other even after a few mishaps or arguments or misunderstandings during your wedding planning.

 

I mentioned this on the book’s Page on Facebook, but want to share it here, too:  Color is invading the wedding dress and NOT big flowers, either.  It’s almost like icing on the cake.  White flowing dresses, but with a bit of color in tulle or taffeta.  Also, this year ruffles are back in lots of different ways:  big ones, small ones and then some that look like flowing tears of fabric or even look like feathers.  You can see pictures on my Pinterest under Wedding Apparel.  Pinned Image

The designers taking up the cause of color are:  Vera Wang, (yup! Truly) and Alfredo Angelo.  Both can be found at David’s Bridal.  Picture above is from neither of the mentioned designers.

Tip #2

Look for and find those marvelous wedding gown January Sales.  Not just at David’s Bridal, but at trunk shows and other wedding gown boutiques, too.  Below are dresses from David’s Bridal for only $249.                                                     $199                     A Vera Wang pink print in Taffeta for $299 at DBs.

Happy New Year.  If you are getting married this year, choose a significant date, have your plan and budget ready and let’s start your engines and let’s roll.

Tip #1

Always, always, always remember to get a contract wherever you go and with whomever you are dealing with for services or products, EVEN or especially if you know them.  AND you’ll save money more money, too.

Yup!  That goes for EVERYbody.  For a follow-up or more in depth look at this, see my full length article in my Newsletter.  Sign up at right to receive the monthly newsletter.

An Impromptu interview at David’s Bridal – Brooklyn

  • Posted on January 7, 2013 at 5:48 am

600 DressOn my radio show: www.BlogTalk Radio.com/BudgetWeddingsNYC4U which is on every other Thursday. The next one is on January 24th.
Anyway last time the show was on, it was Thrifty Thursday Plus, for after Christmas wedding sales exploration. It had been my idea to go to all five boroughs to experience wedding accessory sales on 12/26/12 and then tell you about them the next day on my show. Well because of where I live, I was really only able to get to two of the five boroughs. I also promised to include the impromptu interview that I had on David’s Bridal on my website. I did not do it, yet. I wanted you to experience it first as my preview audience.
As I stepped into David’s Bridal of Brooklyn, I was thinking of you, and started to tell the sales women at the desk that I was looking for some wedding accessories and was interested on what was on sale. Now David’s Bridal was already having a sale on wedding dresses. In fact, a very good sale that started that very day, which goes through 14 January 13, a 50% all wedding dresses, so you know I was intrigued as to what else could be had for that percentage as well.
As always when I ask about sales or specifics about weddings, the first thing I was asked was when is my wedding. Ladies be ready with your answer. Now, as you know I’ve been married for seven years, so I actually couldn’t lie and came clean right away that I was had a radio show and wanted find out for my listeners when, what and how long the sale would go on. That is when an impromptu interview was dropped into my lap or hands, since I was standing. Kim and an unnamed sales woman started telling me about the sales and why it is imperative for brides to be organized before stepping into any store or talking to any service provider for their wedding. Let’s get to the interview.
CPF: Are there any accessories on sale now that it’s after Christmas?
K of DB: Well since this is the official start of the wedding season, yes there are. A lot of things are from 30 to 60% off.
CPF: How long will the sale be?
K of DB: It is indefinite for now, but probably for the next month at least. (Recently saw on TV it’s until 1/14/13)
CPF: Did you say that it is the start of wedding season? Today is the official start of the wedding season?
K of DB: Yes, it is. Christmas is over and most people think it’s all about the after Christmas sales, but in reality the sales in bridal wear after Christmas mark the beginning of the new wedding season. October used to be a savings month for wedding, that month is one of the most expensive, now.
CPF: Ahh. That explains why the bridal shows all begin anew in January.
Kim: Exactly to capitalize on the bridal show we in the industry get the jump and try to pull people into the stores so that brides will have an idea of what gown pricing is and what some of the new styles that will be the next big thing.
CPF: Is there something that every bride should know before coming into your store?
Kim: Before stepping into any store, first don’t be afraid to get the business of buying your dress. Don’t spend time buying your bridesmaids’ dresses first. As part of the whole process, you the bride, are the main event, so to speak, you have to get your dress first. After that it is easier to figure out what the wedding party can and should wear.
You must be clear about what you want to (how much money you want to circulate) spend, and you must know that number before stepping into our store or anyone else’s for that matter. Other things you must know are what style, and the cut, although we will help you with what looks best on your frame. If you have an idea it is most helpful.
CPF: What can the bride expect from the staff of David’s Bridal?
Kim: We’re here to help you get what you want and want to help you find what you want within your budget. We are a full of service bridal store with dresses in plus sizes. The other DB’s do not necessarily have a wide selection of plus sizes, but because we are in Brooklyn, I requested that more than a corner of a rack be devoted to Plus-size gowns. I now have 5 racks of Plus-size gowns including our designers. Right now we are having a storewide sale, with 50% off on wedding dresses now through 14 January 2013. The exception is shoes, whereas the shoes are on sale, if your foot is an unusual size, it may not be in the store and we will have to special order it.
CPF: You have big name designers these days in your store, correct?
Kim: Yes, we have had both Oleg Cassini and Vera Wang, for a couple of years, now who are the designers of choice within David’s Bridal.
CPF: Do you think there is something that a bride or couple must have that a lot of brides and grooms are not utilizing?
Kim: There are a lot of wedding couples who believe they can save money by not hiring a wedding planner. They are wrong! Every bride and groom has to have a wedding planner who can find various things that will save the couple lots of money. Wedding planners know where to ferret out the best deals. There was a bride once who came in to have a fitting and asked me when she was leaving where there was a party store, because she needed warming trays. I felt for her and asked her why her wedding planner wasn’t helping her. She said she didn’t have one and someone was going to help the day of her wedding at her church, but that she was trying to get everything done herself. I told her what I just told you, that she needs a wedding planner if nothing else, to take the pressure off her shoulders of getting stuff done. That’s the wedding planner’s job and they do it quite well, because they usually love doing it and know where to find the deals. It only makes sense.
CPF: Do you buy the dresses for $99 or lower and mark them up?
Kim: No, the $99 – $5000 dollar dresses did not start off at that rate. Most of the dresses started at least twice as the price tags and more before they came to the store and the prices are slashed for DB’s clientele and those are the regular David’s Bridal prices, which are being further slashed now for the sale during January by 50%.
CPF: How many people should a bride bring to help her pick out her dress?
Kim: Brides may bring 1 – 3 people, but no more than that or it just becomes a confusing stressful day for the bride. And don’t bring your fiancé. He doesn’t want to be there. Plus, he is not going to tell you (really) that he doesn’t like you in a dress that you think looks wonderful and in reality doesn’t, because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings.
CPF: To wrap up your advice, the bride must know what she wants before she goes in search of her dress, right?
Kim: Yes, she must be willing to start at the beginning and the bride is the beginning. Then know how much she wants to spend, the style of the dress, and the best cut for her.
CPF: What are some “Don’ts” that neither you nor your staff likes?
Kim: Our store is a full service store and the is staff here to help you. Short notices for your wedding day are not helpful for you or our alterations department. Please no 90 day weddings and expect alterations. If you want your wedding in 90 days from now, you will have to get a dress that fits you perfectly off the rack, because the alterations department will not be able to help you. Minimum 90 days for alterations.
CPF: Thank you very much Kim for all of your wonderful advice and information in this impromptu interview. Will you or corporate be attending the Staten Island College Bridal event?
Kim: Yes, the Staten Island College Bridal event on 1/13/13 the Brooklyn David’s Bridal store’s event and Great American Bridal on 1/14/13 is the DB’s corporate office event, which will be held at New York City Marriott Hotel. It was my pleasure. Thanks for coming in and wanting to share our sale on your show.

A New Year’s Greeting to All

  • Posted on January 2, 2013 at 6:11 am

Happy New Year to all my friends and web-watchers. May the year bring you Health & Happiness, Wealth & Wisdom, Peace & Prosperity, with lots of Love & Laughter to round it out. I hope the glee and glow that you feel by 2013 year’s end will take you into and through 2014 with the same sentiments, to repeat over and over again, throughout your days.
May your nuptials be happier still and filled with love.