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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for May, 2011

categories: bridal fashions, Tips and Advice

Today, we are going to a deeper level of friendship… we’re talking bras. And since you will be needing a special something for your wedding night, I am sure you will want to join in on this conversation.

I recently had a mind-shifting experience at bra heaven {intimacy}’s newest location at Scottsdale Fashion Square. I was in a beautifully lit dressing room with store manager Caroline and she actually asked me “what don’t you like about your current bra?”.  I could have gone on for hours but it comes down to one thing: incorrect fit. She showed me exactly why my bra felt like a thing of torture and then proceeded to do something about it. No, we didn’t start a little bra bonfire right there in the store but we did talk about seams, straps and cups. It was actually liberating to know my body was not to blame- the bra was! 

We tried on many pieces that I would have never in a million years thought to try on and was pleasantly surprised. The {intimacy} team truly knows what they are doing- each person you come into contact with at the store has been through a week-long “Bra Fit Bootcamp” taught personally by Susan Nethero, the Bra Whisperer.  The store carries 90 sizes and offers European brands that cannot be found anywhere else in the US.

They also carry a ton of accessories and undergarment care items. One cutie thing you will love is the Bra(g) Bra Luggage- it’s a hard shell for your bras that prevents them from getting abused in your suitcase. Also, the Bra(g) Panty Pack is adorable with it’s Clean and Not So Clean sides. 

The end result of my personal bra fitting was that I could not resist the Amazone (which is 20 times more stunning in person).  I could have gone practical with black but I didn’t because this is the new bra life I have chosen to lead!

And guess what? {intimacy} will help you host a bra party at the store! A really good time AND honest bra talk amongst bridesmaids anyone? You need undergarments. Seriously good, seriously beautiful undergarments. {intimacy} is the only place you need to go. I promise!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Wedding Inspiration: Geometric Cakes
categories: cakes and sweets, Wedding Inspiration

Simply put, wedding cakes can be whatever you want them to be. If you are having a modern- style wedding, there is no rule that says you have to have a cake that looks like it belongs to a traditional wedding. In fact, I highly encourage you to celebrate the drama that a cake can convey.

Today we look at Geometric Cakes- these sweeties can also serve as a riddle, i.e., “can you count the squares?”. Just kidding, but really, they do deserve admiration. 

(Photo by Artisan Photography)

(Photo by Tenuto Photography, Cake by La Dolce Pesca)

I like this cake because the colors are subdued but the design is edgy- the dots look like some sort of code

(Photo by Brian David Photgraphy)

I think this is my favorite geometric cake because it has a simple color palette without being boring:

(Photo by Jennifer Bowen Photography, cake by Let Them Eat Cake)

As you can see, geometric doesn’t have to mean unsophisticated so don’t  limit yourself when it comes to your wedding cake- this is the really fun part of wedding planning!

If you are not sure what you want when you meet with your cake designer, don’t be afraid to sketch something or bring in photos of cakes you like but make sure you are able to describe WHY you like them (or dislike them). Do you like the colors? What shape cake do you want? What feeling do you want your cake to conjure? A professional will take your lead and create something perfect just for you.

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Huge News Around Town!
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, Giveaways and Contests, open houses, upcoming events

I am just brimming with news today!

But first, if we met at the Phoenix Bridal Show last Sunday, I am so glad you stopped by and chatted with me. Seeing each of you so excited to meet vendors was a treat and made the day fly by!

Now on to the big news:

For the very first time ever, Major League Baseball is getting in on the wedding game in a big way! They are holding a contest where the prize is a ceremony and reception at the All-Star FanFest at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday, July 12. Couples submit their stories (in video format) online by June 1 and the winning couple will be chosen by All-Star Ambassador (and the D-Back’s favorite former player) Luis Gonzalez, Celebrity Wedding Planner David Tutera and Jenni Croft Badolato from ABC’s “The Bachelor”.

You are never going to believe the amazing line-up of wedding vendors that are donating their services to the wedding! Wedding Coordination by Charlee Geisler of Signature Events– a veritable wedding rockstar here in the valley- along with:

Angelic Grove – Floral décor and arrangements :: Eyes 2 See Photography – Wedding photography :: Serendipity Video – Wedding videographer :: Classic Party Rental – Specialized party supplies and rentals :: F/X Entertainment – Ceremony and reception music :: Celebrations in Paper – Invitations and wedding program :: Cheryl Roberts with Steven Paul Salon – Hair and make-up :: Julia Baker Confections – Wedding cake :: Men’s Wearhouse – Tuxedos

(Image Courtesy of Eyes2See Photography)

They are also giving away some fantastic loot: a catered reception for 50 guests by Aventura Catering, a wedding ring package from Molina Fine Jewelers, a wedding dress by Uptown Bridal, roundtrip airfare and tickets to the 82nd MLB All-Star Game. The lucky couple will also receive items from Major League Baseball partners including a $500 MasterCard gift card, beverages for the reception provided by Anheuser-Busch, hotel stay provided by InterContinental Hotels Group, and a $500 Newlywed Lawn & Garden Kit donated by Scotts featuring a wide array of Scotts Miracle-Gro products.

As Phoenix Bride and Groom Editor Stephanie Gandy-Riley says, “My two favorite things have come together: Wedding Diamonds and Baseball Diamonds”!

As if that wasn’t enough, the other news is that  the Bridal Fashion Debut is coming up on June 12 from 9-3! This show features many of the Valley’s premiere wedding vendors and we are proud to be participants. We are also launching our next issue there so if you want to see it early, come visit us!

And finally, Crate and Barrel’s Wedding Parties series is starting June 5- they will be at Kierland Commons June 14 from 6-8 PM. You will enjoy drinks and food along with expert registry help at one of the BEST places to register for your wedding. Click here to register for your Wedding Party!

Phew- That’s some pretty hefty stuff to get on your calendar!

Chatting Soon~ Kelly

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Real Wedding: Ashley and Steve
categories: fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, real weddings, reception ideas, Scottsdale Weddings, Wedding Inspiration

Soft, chic, and feminine describe today’s Real Wedding. Ashley and Steve married last Spring at the Firesky Resort and Spa in Scottsdale. This boutique hotel offers a lush escape from the desert; you are surrounded by tropical plants, water features, hip decor and even a sandy beach pool.

Ashley wanted to pair items that belonged to family members and vintage finds of her own. She found many of the decor elements herself then handed them over to the design team to create vignettes thorughout the wedding space. A clever way to incorporate a birdcage Ashley found was to use it as an envelope “box”. Ashley’s  mother’s cake topper and her grandmother’s lace bible were also displayed at the vignette table alongside an engagement session picture of Steve and Ashley.

Another special detail is the cross Ashley and Steve decorated their unity candle with- it comes from Ashley’s Grandmother’s jewelry collection

LOVE the bouquet by Petal Pusher– it’s so sweet and feminine. To keep the vintage theme going, Ashley adorned it with a grey brooch

The centerpieces also received the vinatge treatment- they are made from collections of  items found by Ashley and beautifully displayed on trays that were engraved with couples’ anniversary dates!

The Wedding Trailer from Serendipity Videography:

Ashley & Steve at The Firesky- a Wedding Movie Trailer from Serendipity Videography on Vimeo.

Here’s my Post-Wedding Q and A with the couple:

KG: Now that you have had a chance to settle in, what is your favorite thing about being married?

Steve: Getting the chance to make her happy each day for the rest of our lives.

Ashley: Spending everyday with my best friend and knowing that no matter what, we have each other’s backs, always. It’s such an amazing feeling!

KG: Did you go on a Honeymoon?

We went to the Mayan Riveria, close to Playa del Carmen in Mexico. It was amazing! We stayed at an all inclusive, brand new resort and enjoyed the beach! That was our main goal – to go somewhere that had amazing beaches and we could just chill out and enjoy being newlyweds.

KG: What advice would you give brides-to- be?

Get a planner! Don’t skimp on your planner budget or your photography budget. Those two things can make or break your day and memories thereafter. Whatever happens the day of (weather, forgetting something, messing up your vows, etc.) can’t stop you from getting married. You are still going to be married, so just sit back and ENJOY. It goes by way too fast to waste time worrying about stuff you can’t control or that doesn’t matter.

Congratulations Ashley and Steve- thank you for sharing your day with us! 

Ashley and Steve’s Real Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Ashley Gain Weddings and Events

Ceremony and Reception Site: Firesky Resort and Spa

Bridal Gown Store: Uptown Bridal and Boutique

Bridesmaids Dresses: The Wedding Acessory Superstore

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Florist: Petal Pusher

Photographer: Stephanie Fay

Videographer: Serendipity Videography

Invitations: Chocolate Butter Bean

Cake: Let Them Eat Cake

DJ: Got You Covered

Make-up Artist: Corinna Cooke

Hair Stylist: Dolce Salon and Spa, Stephanie Borgman

Officiant: Matt Anderson


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The Dress, The Decision
categories: bridal fashions, for your ceremony, Tips and Advice, Trends

There are those of you who have known the instant you got engaged exactly what wedding gown you are going to wear. And then there are some of you who have never envisioned your gown and are starting with a blank slate. Even if you are not the girl who dreamt of her wedding day as a child, undoubtedly since you got engaged, you have been thinking about what you will wear. All eyes are on you and you want to feel great, right?

Finding your dress is one of the most personal things you will do for your wedding and the criteria for what is the “perfect” dress is extremely diverse. You want it to suit you perfectly, whether that means the gown is comfortable, glamorous, princess-like, elegant, or totally original. There are so many options for dresses that you are certain to find the one that speaks to you (or maybe even screams to you!).

The greater-Phoenix area has so  many dress shops that as a bride searching for her one and only, you may be overwhelmed. Today we happily share some alternative avenues for choosing your wedding gown.

First, mosey on over to Brilliant Bridal located in Mesa. Why do you need to check them out? They sell designer dresses “off the rack” for much less than other retailers. How can they do that? They purchase overstock or liquidation dresses from high-end designers. This simply means that you have access to current dresses at much lower prices. The dress you see at the store is the dress you take home (yes, they do alterations).   Look at these gowns from Brilliant Bridal (these are a sample of what you can find, their inventory constantly changes) :

Take note: if you are not ready to purchase a dress at Brilliant Bridal, do not fall in love with a dress there and walk away! Chances are, if you don’t purchase immediately, another savvy bride is going to whisk it away. Luckily, there is a great selection; you will find designers such as Nicole Miller, Pronovias, Amsale and Watters to name a few AND Brilliant Bridal offers a hold option. 

A wedding gown strategy I am loving is wearing a full-length dress that transforms into a knee length party dress. Here’s one in its full-length state, click here to see it knee-length:

(Image courtesy of Jennifer Bowen Photography, Dress by Kenneth Pool)

Another alternative avenue for outfitting yourself is a brand new designer right here in Phoenix. There is something very special about her- she’s only 15 and her collection is debuting at the Phoenix Art Museum June 4th! How cool to be able to say that you supported a local dress designer who has big dreams AND the will to make those dreams happen? Here is Alaysha in action:

Another way to get a custom dress is through Etsy-the creative and talented people mecca. Heard of Joan Shum who’s creations can be found on Etsy? Neither have I but look at these beauties:

You can also go much less traditional with a cocktail gown- Pronovias has some aisle worthy cocktail gowns that could be just edgy enough for a bride who wants something really special:

For the lowdown on how to prepare for your dress shopping excursion, no matter where you go, TLC, who brought you “Say Yes to the Dress”, has created a Dress Shopping Survival Guide. Click here for that little gem (note the suggestion to wear sunglasses- brilliant!).

Remember, what you chose should be YOU, not what anyone else wants you to wear or what you think you have to wear. If you have the dress that truly reflects you and your style, you are guaranteed to feel and look beautiful!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Wedding Inspiration: Alice in Wonderland Inspired Photoshooot
categories: bridal fashions, floral inspiration, photography, Tips and Advice, Trends, Wedding Resources

Photoshoots are the perfect opportunity to fantasize, get a little artsy…go rock and roll. When Sierra Blanco Photography shared this photoshoot with us, we were in awe. The creativity and attitude is downright hot. Look at these two gals in perfectly modern Alice in Wonderland fashion:

For the shoe-lovers out there:


These two look like they are just waiting for that sneaky cat to come pay them a visit…

The cherry on top:

LOVE this expression!

So what can we take away from this gorgeous set and apply to your wedding?

First, look at how the blend of textures creates interest. When creating your cocktail lounge for example, mix metallics with soft elements. Don’t be afraid if everything doesn’t match. That’s the point!

Second, see how dramatic juxtaposition can make for really cool photos? Harsh dry desert + a luxurious gown+ vintage furnishings= chic style

Third, natural lighting is king. Plan your ceremony too late in the evening and you will have photos that are too dark- your photographer will have to use flash and that will create artificial light. Want that fresh crisp clean look? Do photos earlier in the day. Want that syrupy warm light? Time it right and you will love the effect.

Fourth, get your make-up done. Maybe not like these ladies, but your everyday make-up routine will not stand up to the camera for 12 hours. Experienced professional make- up artists are busy for a reason: they make you the best version of you and it lasts all day long!

Finally, work on your face! Practice looking fun, sexy, surprised, mischievous, etc. so that when you get to your e-session and wedding, you have photos that show feeling beyond the happy smile. We call this range and couples who have a wide range (and a great photographer) usually end up with the best pics.

Thank you Sierra Blanco Photography and Crew for sharing this shoot with us- we love the creativity and drama!

Set Design: Tina Wright, Kevin Juberg and Angie Gomez

Hair: Megan Leland

Makeup: Tina Wright

Models:  Angie Gomez and Megan Leland

Photography: Sierra Blanco Photography

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