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Archive for June, 2010

Say I Do in Jamaica!
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, floral inspiration

There are many reasons to plan a destination wedding or honeymoon in Jamaica. It’s lovely, the weather is great, you can enjoy wonderful food, and the list goes on. But, for me, the list should be topped with the Ritz Carlton Golf & Spa Resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica.

This resort is a destination in and of itself. There is a Jerk Cooking School on the beach here, the rooms are wonderful, and the service and cuisine are tops. Cuisine… meals, perfectly paired with wines, exquisite presentation…best of any destination in the Caribbean. Hands down.

This luxury destination offers an “all inclusive” meal package, which even includes beverages and room service. It’s not the customary drunk fest you might expect from all inclusive resorts. This is a fun place, but people are respectful. Even the few kiddos we saw were a delight.

This is the view from my room, taken with my iPhone (I was too excited to pull out my “real” camera!). The room I had was spectacular, and truly larger than my first college apartment.

When we arrived on property, we were greeted by the staff, who always had a warm smile to offer. That’s one of the things people like best about Jamaica–the friendliness of the people.

World-recognized friendliness + Ritz Carlton = perfect vacation.

The special event team at Rose Hall offers spectacular decor, and they have an impressive collection of preferred vendors. This is an outdoor party they set up on the veranda, that boasts fab views of the regal green lawn below and the blue water beyond.

If I were getting married again, I’d choose to wed on that fab circular lawn, and then have my guests dine and party on this veranda.

Many guests choose to wed on the beach, and the set up there is also lovely, but I like to wear heels and they seem more suited to lawns than shifting sands.

Check out this floral arrangement and chic table setting. It’s not all shells when you are decorating in the tropics.

and this mini arrangement was on each of the chairs!

If you’ve read our Summer/Fall issue, you know we love fancy chair covers and embellishments. Even in the Caribbean, we are scouting out the best for you, our dear reader!

Look for better shots of this prestige destination in our Winter/Spring 2011 issue. And when I get back to the states and plug in, I’ll share my own camera images too!

This location is about as perfect for newlyweds as they come. I couldn’t possibly make you wait until December to hear about it.

Just book the flight. Next time I’m bringing my husband.

Your editor, Stephanie Gandy Riley

on location in Jamaica

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Love this color!
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, photography, real weddings

We can’t get enough of the color scheme of Suzanne Clifton and Michael Dixon’s wedding at the Estancia Club. These colors, illuminated with candlelight, are oh-so romantic.

Deep burgundys and reds appeared throughout the couple’s October celebration, from the elegant table settings to the groom’s richly patterned tie (below).

Guests’ escort cards were delicately hung on a manzanita branch…so pretty!

Spectacular floral arrangements in this color scheme provide a delicious contrast to the desert scenery.

Fabulous cupcakes from La Dolce Pesca!

Of course, our favorite part of the wedding: the blissful look on the newlyweds’ faces!

Thanks to Jennifer Bowen for sharing these images.

Wedding Coordinator: Imoni Events

Floral Design: Flora Europa

Location: The Estancia Club

Invitations: The Invitation Lady

Makeup Artist: Linda Wagner

Hair Stylist: Nya Michelle

Bridal Salon: Destiny’s Bride

Rentals: Tri Rentals Event Specialists

Cupcakes: La Dolce Pesca

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Meet me at the Ritz Carlton!
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites

This island is more beautiful than I recall. Of course, from the fabulous vantage point of the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman, everything is more beautiful.

We began our adventure with a reception on the beach. It was nothing short of spectacular. Here is the aqua lounge I told you about in my last post!

The beach cabanas line Seven Mile Beach, and there is food and beverage service there as well.

A highlight of my time here was the spa. Ahhhh.

This is the entry to the Silver Rain, a la prairie spa, which puts you in the mood for relaxation. The floor is made of these glass tiles–it is quiet and serene and you feel like you are entering a secret hideaway.

One of the most amazing things about my spa experience here is that the spa staff allows you to choose the music for your treatment. Who hasn’t had a nice hot stone massage ruined by a tired Celine Dion CD playing in the background?

I chose “The Tao of Violas.” It was perfect in every way.

Before and after your treatment, you are pampered in this relaxation room. Warm neck wraps, lite snacks and delicious cold beverages are brought to you while you soak up the quiet, peaceful relaxation.

You can’t really tell from this photo, but the curtains surrounding this nest of calm are actually sort of fluffy, furthering the cloud-like feeling.

I was actually late for dinner after my treatment….can you say “spa brain”?

your editor, Stephanie

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My “Something Blue”
categories: Uncategorized

When I got married eons ago, my “something blue’ was the spectacular blue water of Grand Cayman where we spent our honeymoon!

Visiting this wonderful island was something I considered once in a lifetime….yet here I am!

This is the view of the serene blue water and the fabulous Ritz Carlton pool from my room on the 8th floor–Penthouse Level!

When I received the invitation to explore the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman, I jumped at the chance to see what today’s honeymooners could expect.

Fine dining, luxurious ocean-front accommodations, pristine Seven Mile Beach, and the aqua lounge–drink service while you float peacefully in the ocean. Oh yeah!

These are just my iphone pics. When I get the images from the Ritz Carlton, I will be sure to update you all. A slice of heaven like this, is just too good not to share!

Remind me to tell you about Sting Ray City!

Until later, your editor on location

Stephanie Gandy Riley

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Food for thought…for the Mr. and Mrs.
categories: open houses, trends in catering


The delectable cuisine of Santa Barbara Catering will be the centerpiece of “Mr. and Mrs. — a Wedding Event,” on Wednesday, June 23 at Inspirador.

Brides-to-be have a rare opportunity to meet the faces behind the wonderful catering talents of Santa Barbara Catering from 5:30-7:30 pm. The event will also offer creative wedding planning ideas, and introductions to the venue’s preferred vendors for photography, floral design and decor.

The event link is; guests are encouraged to RSVP before June 21 by emailing  Inspirador is located at 63 E. Boston Street in Chandler.


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To “see” or not to “see”?
categories: for your ceremony, photography, real weddings

One of the many burning questions among brides and grooms:

“Should we see each other before the ceremony or not?”

There are many reasons why you might want to–alleviate those pre-ceremony butterflies, take some pictures so you will have more time at the reception, share a private moment together before you are in front of family and friends.

Those who adhere to tradition can still have pictures together without seeing each other, according to Sarah Hagerty of Hagerty Photography.

She shares these charming images of Rachel and Chase at their recent wedding at Firesky Resort and Spa.

She recalls, “Since this bride and groom, Rachel & Chase decided not to see each other before the wedding for their bride and groom pictures, we did something special.

We set Rachel and Chase up in such a way that they never saw each other until Rachel walked down the aisle with her father, yet we got some awesome pictures of them together beforehand!”

And here they are at their ceremony!

And the lovely couple afterwards, enjoying their time together.

Congratulations, Chase and Rachel!

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