Monthly Archives: April 2011

Favorite Moments From The Royal Wedding (so far)

The moment the world has been patiently awaiting has finally happened. Prince William has married Kate Middleton, and what a ceremony it was. As the celebration continues in London, below are my top five favorite moments (so far).

  • Of course one of the greatest moments of the entire wedding was finally witnessing, although not in person, Kate Middleton’s dress. She looked stunning. CBS News reported that Kate Middleton helped design her dress, which prior to being revealed had been rumored to be a possible take on what Princess Diana famously wore. However, she clearly made her dress represent her own style. It was finally revealed that Sarah Burton designed Kate’s beautiful wedding gown with its lace overlay for Alexander McQueen’s collection.  The gown she wore during the ceremony is one of three she will wear throughout the day.
  • As Kate and her father began their decent down Westminster Abbey’s aisle, cameras panned to Prince Harry as he happened to turn his head to catch a glimpse of the new princess. As he turned his head to again face the alter, he looked over at Prince William and smiled. Surprisingly, Prince William did not turn around to watch his bride walk down the aisle.
  • As the ceremony began, Kate and her father really seemed to hold hands very tightly. That small moment was my favorite of everything that happened – so sweet.
  • As Prince William slid Kate Middleton’s wedding band onto her finger, it really was not much of a “slide.” The ring seemed to catch on Kate’s finger, and surely the entire world gasped. Thankfully, Kate’s ring is safely on her finger. That would have been so bad had her ring not fit properly!
  • Obviously, watching Prince William and Kate proceeding down the aisle and out of Westminster Abbey to meet their waiting carriage was another favorite moment. That and watching the newly married couple ride through London on their way to Buckingham Palace as the crowd seemed to roar. It should also be noted that Prince Harry rode with the bridesmaids (flower girls in the US) and page boys. Awesome? I think yes.

Congratulations, Prince William and Princess Catherine. Your ceremony, though very formal, was beautiful. I sincerely hope you both enjoy your day as much as the world has enjoyed watching every moment unfold.

Now we wait for the kiss and more from the palace parties. Let the royal wedding day continue!


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Royal Wedding Update: Kate Middleton will apply her own makeup

Rather than being days away from the royal wedding, now merely hours separate the world from watching Kate Middleton wed Prince William. Soon we will (finally!) learn the designer behind what promises to be an ultra-glamorous gown; however, until then, enjoy this interesting fact – Kate will be applying her own makeup.

I learned this interesting fact this morning and was initially caught completely by surprise. Why would someone who is marrying a prince choose, or rather be allowed, to do her own makeup? However, as I have learned more, Kate’s makeup decision has been put into perspective.

To put it simply, this royal-to-be just seems to want to take control of one element of her wedding day and be “normal.” Although many brides (aka those not marrying a royal in front of 1900 guests and an estimated 2.6 billion people around the world) choose to have their makeup professionally done as a luxury, others choose to apply their makeup themselves. As a result, Kate is obviously not alone in her decision because whether it is your wedding day or just a night out with friends, you always want to feel like yourself. If that means applying your own makeup – do it!

For those of you feeling concerned that Kate is applying her own makeup before walking down the aisle in Westminster Abbey – fear not! According to, she has taken lessons with Arabella Preston, a London-based professional makeup artist. Oh, and to boost your confidence further, Kate applied her own makeup for the now famous engagement portraits. Surprised? I was in awe. She looks awesome in those photos.

Kate Middleton – apply your own makeup. You go, girl!

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Signature Wedding Flowers: A Q&A with Floral Designer Brittany Gillespie

The dress, the cake, the food, and the music – all are essential elements of a wedding. However, what about the bouquets, the boutonnieres, and the centerpieces? Floral design – it is another essential element of a wedding. 

Meet floral designer Brittany Gillespie. While she was growing up, Brittany liked to create arrangements using flowers picked from her mother’s garden. After realizing her love of floral design at an early age, Brittany began working in a flower shop when she was 14. Now she has honed her craft, and together with her husband, Brittany opened Petals Lane, a flower shop located in Philadelphia, in 2005.

Below, Brittany talks about a wide range of topics from the most popular wedding flowers and how to incorporate your friends and family into your floral designs to how to carry your bouquet and ways to bend, but not break, your wedding flower budget. Because a Q&A would not be complete without examining new trends, Brittany offers her opinion on what is next for wedding flower design.

Going to the Chapel: What are the most popular flowers used for bridal bouquets and centerpieces?

Brittany Gillespie: I find that brides most often will use Roses and Orchids.  However, now with bridal media (magazines, books, internet, and other resources) the information and ideas are much more vast.  Brides are finding new ideas, flower varieties and styles that they may never have thought of before unless their florist would have shown them.

GTTC: How can a couple incorporate how much their family and friends mean to them into their floral arrangements (bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces)?

BG: I think that the first thing to decide is the bride and groom’s taste and style.  Once they have the idea that they want, then you can build from it. To incorporate family and friends, a bride and groom can add a favorite flower or color to arrangements; a piece of fabric or a trinket can be used, wrapped, or hung on the bouquets and boutonnieres; a memorial arrangement can be used for members not with them any more.

GTTC: What is the correct way for a bride and her bridesmaids to hold their bouquets?

BG: I would suggest any way that shows how much the brides and bridesmaids love the flowers.  For the traditional walk down the aisle, I like to see the flowers in front of them held with both hands at the waistline, but I think it is important to ask the photographer their opinion because they will be shooting your memories.

GTTC: What are the top ways couples can have gorgeous arrangements at their wedding without breaking their floral budget?

BG: Budget is tricky. Unfortunately everyone does not have an unlimited budget to have the royal wedding. The best way to get the most you can is to discuss budget in the very beginning. I suggest this because it will let me suggest things that will fall within the budget.  One trick that not only allows for a beautiful wedding but saves some money too is to use different arrangements. Rather that all lush & large arrangements, a bride can do 1/3 large, 1/3 lower, and then incorporate candle light on the remaining tables.  This mix in the room will create the most for the least.  Another way to save is in actual flower selection.  Every flower costs a little different, and smaller flowers will take more to fill up an arrangement.  A bride may want to select less expensive flowers that are larger and have a larger head.  The last thing I suggest is to decide what is the most important to the least important so that they are focusing their budget to the most important details for their wedding day.

GTTC: What are some of your favorite arrangements that you have created?

BG: To be honest I have done so many centerpieces, and I have so many that are my favorites. My personal style is monochromatic letting the individual flower show then a mix. I also love lots of candles around my centerpieces.

GTTC: What do you think are the future wedding flower trends?

BG: I think the future of wedding flower will be more bride specific.  I think that brides today are so mush more in tune and informed in options that weddings will incorporate flowers that will be more suited to the client’s personality.  All flowers are beautiful, but how they are combined will create a wedding that is unique to your client.

Although Brittany has long loved flowers and design, she and her husband had a greater goal in mind when they opened Petals Lane. “We created our shop to combine creating beautiful florals and new designs as well as listening to what our clients want.   I think it is important to not only introduce new designs (flower selections, arrangement style) to my clients that they may have not seen before, but also to incorporate these new ideas with what they already like.”

I hope the arrangements below, created by Brittany and Petals Lane for the Conway wedding, spark your creativity for your wedding and maybe cause you to fall in love with a floral design you may not have thought of yet. For more information about Brittany Gillespie and Petals Lane, visit the flower shop’s website.

*all photos courtesy Brittany Gillespie



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Wedding Photo Inspiration

*all photos courtesy Christy & Mike Sheeran and Michael’s Photography

Every time I see the photos from my friend Christy’s wedding, I am again reminded of what I like so much about them.

Christy and her husband Mike made sure to have traditional wedding photos taken. However, their photographer from Michael’s Photography incorporated a couple of really creative elements. I love the photos of the couple seen from among the tree branches because they seem to have an effortless glow. It’s also fun that Christy and Mike incorporated the personalities of their wedding party into the photo of everyone running – they are part of a fun family, and it shows.

Wedding photos mark a specific time in your life, yet it’s important for them to have a timeless quality. In my opinion, these photos have that quality as a result of mixing traditional and creative elements together.

I hope you feel inspired.

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Adventures in DIY: Favors

Your wedding planning is going smoothly – you have decided on the location for your reception; your color palette matches your personality and the style of your wedding; and you have chosen an overall theme. However, there is still that nagging question of what to present to your guests as they leave your wedding.

Wedding favors (and party favors, alike) catch even the most unique and creative couples by surprise. You don’t want to give people something that is too over the top, yet you still want your gift to them to be memorable and fun. Why not create your own favors?

And so we begin our new adventure in DIY (food themed) favors…

  • Cupcakes: As evidenced by my previous post about Megan Rountree, I am a fan of cupcakes. They represent one of the biggest trends in weddings, and they are delicious and fun. You can choose to bake cupcakes yourself using the same cake recipe as your wedding cake, or consider purchasing a smaller cake so there is less left over and order cupcakes instead. Then place the cupcakes in small boxes, attach a label with your names, and tie everything together with a small bow or ribbon.

*This idea also works for your wedding cake. Simply substitute slices of your wedding cake for cupcakes.

  • Cookies: Sugar cookies are quick, easy, and hassle-free to bake (chocolate chip cookies are too!). Follow your favorite sugar cookie recipe to create the batter (the Nestle Tollhouse recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips is my favorite for chocolate chip cookies). Once you have created the batter, use a wedding themed cookie cutter to create your cookies. Then add sprinkles and/or icing in your wedding colors and bake. Place your cookies in clear cellophane bags, add a label, and tie the bags closed with string or ribbon. Quick, easy, and delicious!
  • Candy Bar: Like cupcakes, candy bars are another huge wedding trend. They can be created completely by you too. Determine your favorite types of candy – make sure to think about what you loved eating while you were growing up – and purchase your varieties in bulk. Place the candy into various types of clear, glass containers, such as jars, vases, bowls, even fish bowls. Make sure you have clear candy bags for guests to collect their candy in and provide string or ribbon to tie the bags closed. No matter how many times a candy bar is used, if you include unexpected candy that guests enjoyed years ago, they will always make for a fun surprise.

I recently attended an event where a family friend baked sugar cookies. They were one of the most talked about treats from the day. As a result, sweet food themed favors are proven to be enjoyable, especially after a memorable night of dancing. Guests will enjoy eating them on the way home, and you will love the money saved by creating them yourself.

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The Royal Wedding Video Spoof by T-Mobile

Did you think members of the royal family really were participating in a video spoof of the wedding, too? Even though I knew prior to watching the video that it was created by T-Mobile (I saw the post on the Facebook page), I still did a double take when Prince Charles and Camilla danced down the aisle. It’s amazing how real the family actually looks! If only Prince William and Kate Middleton really were going to dance down the aisle in front of their 1900 guests. That would truly create a modern – not to mention unforgettable – wedding.

And the royal wedding obsession continues…

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More Magic from Carol Hannah Whitfield’s 2012 Bridal Collection

Meet Carol Hannah Whitfield, one of my favorite bridal designers. With her bubby personality and constant smile – not to mention her romantic, feminine designs – Carol Hannah quickly became my favorite contestant on “Project Runway.” Prior to competing on the show in 2009, the southern belle (Carol Hannah is from Charleston) attended the College of Charleston where she earned a business degree. With her business degree in hand, she decided to pursue designing after being named the best emerging designer at Charleston Fashion Week and auditioned for “Project Runway.” However, she did not have any formal design training. Instead, while she was growing up she taught herself how to sew.

Although Carol Hannah did not win the competition, rather than continuing to stake out her claim in the fashion industry, she instead switched to bridal. Now, Carol Hannah creates new collections every year with “a little bit of magic,” which include her whimsical take on wedding gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses.

On Saturday, which was one of the first days of NY Bridal Market (the wedding industry’s version of NY Fashion Week), Carol Hannah showcased her latest collection at the Chelsea Art Museum. Her new collection features wedding gowns with lace overlays and feathers among others, combined with bridesmaid dresses in hues ranging from pink and red to violet. Her aesthetic remains the same: romantic, feminine, and whimsical, or more simply put, just lovely.

Enjoy the photos below, courtesy of, of some of Carol Hannah’s 2012 collection. Keep checking her website,, for news about when the collection will debut online and in stores, such as Bella Bridesmaid.

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