Friday, July 31, 2009

Anne Marie's at Devonshire Place offering 1/2 off room rentals

Your wedding is probably one of the most costly expenses you'll ever take on, so when there's a chance to save money...take advantage.

At Anne Marie's at Devonshire Place is offering an amazing deal.

Book an inclusive package during an open date in one of our rooms during the rest of 2009 and get 1/2 off the room rental, $350.00 in the Starcrest Room and $750.00 off in the Celebration Room.

Available Dates:

August 1, 15, 22, 29-Starcrest or Celebration Room

September 12, 26-Starcrest Room

October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Starcrest Room

October 17, 31 Celebration Room

November 14,21,28 Celebration Room

November 7, 21, 28 Starcrest Room

Call Matt at 545-2249 for more information.

Garden-inspired cake stand

Another fabulous cake stand find. This one is from lalalaurie and would be perfect for a garden-themed wedding.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cake stands that stand out

Cakes are, once again, taking center stage at weddings. And if you're an avid wedding blog lurker like I am, than you've probably run across a Style Me Pretty's Raise the Cake competition for the beautifully dressed up cake stand.

Take your color scheme or wedding theme to a completely new level with cake platforms that will truly feature the attributes of your cake.

Check with your cake designer or event coordinator for ideas and inspiration.

Picture Source: Raise the Cake

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

When bridal couple Amy Nimmo and Jason Fawcett told Kathe Olsen of Fresh Horizons Creative Catering they wanted to do something memorable for their March wedding reception, Olsen really ran with it!

“Since most of the guests were traveling from out-of-town, we wanted to make sure that their trip was worthwhile,” says Nimmo. “We wanted the reception to be fun and different; Kathe and I researched many ideas to find which ones would be just right.”

The highlight of this collaboration?

Ice plates. Yes, plates made out of ice.

Designed to serve a light intermezzo of sorbet, the diamond shaped plates of ice displayed an underlying etching of a heart--- one of the themes for the wedding. The mango flavored sorbet was chosen to be a match for the color-scheme of the wedding, and the plates were designed to be the “icing” underneath.

Other distinctive concepts Fresh Horizons planned for the event, which took place at the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts, were a late night snack bar featuring hot dogs (the groom’s favorite), a Martini luge dispensing green apple or pomegranate flavored martini’s and a mini dessert bar of fresh fruit pastries.

“It’s so exciting when we get to be this creative,” says Olsen. “We do a lot of different and unique things – it’s what we do – but every so often a wedding comes our way that really allows us to play, and this event did just that!”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I decided to join the Army because after 9-11 I felt it was time to do my part. I was already enrolled in ROTC but being around such inspired, ambitious, and courageous people made me realize that I wanted to be apart of something great and make a difference.

I graduated from St. Edward's University and commissioned out of the University of Texas in December 2005. Matt took a different route. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point where he played Division 1 soccer for four years. He wanted to serve his country and fly. He commissioned in May 2005. We met at Fort Rucker, Alabama, home of Army Aviation. He lived a few doors down and we really got to know each other when I joined the softball team he was coaching. We became friends and later fell in love.

We both chose to fly the best aircraft in the Army inventory.. the UH-60 BlackHawk. After attending Dunker training (where they teach you how to get out of an aircraft your strapped into, with doors on, upside down, and 10 feet under water) and SERE school (Survival, Evade, Resist, and Escape training) we both graduated. He went to 4th Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade in Savannah, GA where he deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in May 2007.

I went to 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Katterbach, Germany. I deployed to Balad, Iraq in August 2007. While deployed we both had the opportunity to fly countless mission, ranging from assaults to caring VIPs. We moved personnel, cargo, and anything else needing transport to keep Soldiers and equipment off the streets and away from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Matt came home in July 2008 and I came home in September 2008.

Since, we have met every few months traveling to Spain, Paris, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Germany, and home to see our families. Matt, currently in the Captain's Career Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, will graduate in October of this year.

We will marry on 28 November 2009 and return back to Germany to finally live together again and wait for the next exciting adventure for the US Army to send us on.

Four Sisters Catering will assist Matt and Azizi with their Winter Wonderland wedding. Check back for decor details.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

When Cinderella lost her glass slipper, her prince came to find her. Dorothy only had to tap her sparkly red pumps in order to go home again. And Carrie Bradshaw forever influenced fashionable footwear by popularizing the stiletto heel.

It’s no secret that women are serious about their shoes, and they make no exception when it comes to their wedding day. More and more, brides are choosing to make a statement with spectacular footwear that “steps away” from the traditional pump.

Nikki Wiatrek chose a pair of silver open-toe heels, complete with rhinestone adornment and an ankle strap, for her afternoon May wedding to Tim Jarzombek.

“After I picked out my dress, I decided to add some spice to my look,” says Wiatrek, who chose hot pink, green and chocolate for her wedding colors. “I don’t normally wear that much white all at once and when I tried on traditional white shoes, they didn’t fit my personality.”

Wiatrek says the heels she found went a long way to complete the “very original” wedding day ensemble she desired. To ensure her look was one-of-a-kind, Wiatrek even added custom beading to the wedding gown she bought at Alfred Angelo.

“The sparkly shoes complemented my dress perfectly!” she says.

A Step Toward Stunning

Elizabeth Campos, owner of Bella’s Bridal of Stone Oak, is noticing a trend toward non-traditional wedding footwear. She says metallics - not only silver, but bronze and gold - have become popular as wedding gowns are designed in deeper shades of ivory and tones of gold. Women are also wearing colored shoes for their nuptials, she says.

“I’ve had lots of brides pick shoes in the coordinating color of their bridesmaid dresses,” Campos says. “It sounds kind of funny, but it looks beautiful when it’s all put together.”

With dyeable wedding shoes a bride can coordinate her footwear in any shade she desires.

“Red has been big for quite some time,” she continues. “One bride even picked a strappy red, satin shoe and it looked amazing. We’re also seeing black shoes worn under a white or ivory gown, and, of course, pink is always popular.”

Choosing to make a dramatic shoe statement with color or with embellishment - like an oversized bow, straps or a brooch detail - is a response to recent trends, Campos says.

“Brides that are very fashion-forward are the ones getting away from a basic shoe,” she says. “They are very open to ideas and follow the trends.”

While satin remains the standard fabric for wedding shoes, styles change season-to-season based on what’s seen on the runway. For example, platform soles with three-to four-inch heels are popular for brides right now.

Toe-tapping trends

Angela Gilcrease, manager of Puttin’ on the Ritz, also sees a surge in strappy shoes for brides, regardless of what season their wedding falls in. She says her customers lean towards the sexier look because that’s what they wear in everyday life.

“It’s more stylish than a regular pump,” Gilcrease says. “The girls like to get their toes done. It’s just a prettier look.”

Still, Gilcrease offers sensible advice to her clients when it comes to choosing wedding day footwear.

“You definitely don’t want to take away from your dress,” she cautions. “If you’ve got a fully laced gown and it’s embroidered down to the floor, do a pretty plain sandal, nothing too extravagant. Still, many wedding gowns are fairly simple, if so, you can get away with a little glitz, like beads or a brooch on a shoe.”

Gilcrease adds that she often encounters brides who use their footwear to fulfill the “something blue” on their list. One of her recent customers requested that her shoes be dyed baby blue. Another found shoes online with a little surprise underneath - a blue sole.

Blue Tux Shoes makes wedding shoes with a signature gray-blue sole. The line is available at The Bridal Salon of San Antonio. Ariel McCormick, a bridal consultant at the salon, says this line is popular because customers are looking for something unique to wear on their feet.

“We tend to carry shoes that have a little bit of pop,” she explains. “With current wedding fashion, brides are celebrated for being a little bit different, whether with the dress or the shoe. There used to be a certain format you had to go with. Now, people have more freedom to do what they want.”

Fit for a Fashionista

As in the case of Nikki Wiatrek, McCormick says brides often look for a wedding shoe that fits their personality.

“If they’re really girly and fun, they’ll wear a shoe that has sequins or a bow,” she says. “If they’re more laid back, they’ll wear ballet slippers, tennis shoes or even cowboy boots under their dress.”

McCormick goes on to say that in Texas, where fuller wedding gowns are popular, brides can get away with almost anything on their feet, since the shoe is only exposed when she takes a stride, or during activities like the garter toss.

“It’s kind of fun because it’s like peek-a-boo,” she says of out-of-the ordinary shoes.

No matter how much drama a woman is looking to add to her wedding day ensemble, “there’s always something new coming out,” Gilcrease says, assuring every bride-to-be that the possibilities are endless for a statement-making shoe.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When a bride walks down the aisle, the elegance and luster of her jewelry pay tribute to her gown. As she exchanges rings with her groom, precious metals and dazzling diamonds make an enduring statement of love and commitment.

The importance of wedding jewelry has stood the test of time. In fact, the romance of the past is inspiring highly decorative styles of engagement rings, wedding bands and bridal jewelry.

Vintage Bridal Ring Styles

The intricate details found in vintage engagement and wedding rings from the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s have caught the eye of today’s brides looking for ornate, delicate designs. Bands accented with small diamond settings and filigree, in which the metal resembles lace, are two common antique features that appeal to current tastes.

“In the fashion world, women are enjoying wearing a more classic, feminine look, and we’re seeing that preference reflected in their choice of engagement and wedding rings, too,” says Holly Jackson, manager of San Antonio Jewelry. “One of our designers, Natalie K, has an antique collection that incorporates the fine diamond settings and exquisite metal craftsmanship found in the Art Deco era.”

Antique-style bands are typically thin, and often use bead or pavé settings, in which small diamonds are positioned close together to complement the center stone. Many of the fine settings can be created with precision because of computer technology.

“With high-tech methods, we can set as many as 100 stones to create a softer, more elegant piece,” says Ernesto Jergins, owner of Ernesto’s Jewelry Factory in New Braunfels. “We are able to design the ring on the computer, and push a button so that tiny needles carve out the wax molding in ways that human hands are not able to do.”

White Gold or Platinum

Anyone shopping around for rings has probably noticed that markets for both gold and platinum metals have experienced price surges. In response, brides and grooms are increasingly selecting white gold since platinum has experienced an even greater price upswing.

“Many of our customers are deciding that, at the end of the day, the two metals look the same,” Jergins says. “Platinum is a more complicated metal to work with, and it’s more expensive, so white gold is a popular alternative.”

Jackson agrees that the cost of platinum has impacted how wedding couples allocate their wedding jewelry dollars.

“Many of our customers are choosing white gold over platinum, and then deciding to spend more on the center stone,” she says.

However, one vendor only offers platinum settings for engagement and wedding rings with diamonds. Interestingly enough, platinum was en vogue during the Art Deco period.

“Our wedding couples are investing in jewelry for longevity,” says a sales representative of a local jewelry store. “We have chosen not to offer some of the less expensive metals simply because we know that in the long-run our customers are looking for durability. We are extremely quality-conscious.”

Though white gold and platinum still dominate bridal engagement rings and wedding bands, other golds are making a subtle splash of color. One of the vintage-influenced designers, Michael Beaudry, works primarily in platinum, but also uses yellow gold and rose gold embellishments. Some of his designs include hand-engraved scrolls and leaves as well as filigree in colorful golds.

“His hand-crafted accents infuse the pieces with a very unique quality,” jeweler says. “These little touches are part of what gives them their distinct, vintage style.”

What Men Want

As for grooms, while white gold is the metal of choice, they are more likely to choose yellow gold than women. Their designs remain streamlined, with most of them opting for plain bands or bands with a brushed finish or milgrained edges. For a little flair, they may include small brilliant round or princess cut diamonds.

“Over the years, the preferences of guys haven’t changed much,” Jergins says. “They tend to keep their bands simple.”

One metal that is fairly new to the groom’s wedding band market is tungsten, a very hard and dense metal.

“Tungsten is a strong metal that is very scratch-resistant and has a graphite color many men like,” says another San Antonio jeweler. “It has a highly-polished finish, and pricewise, it is very reasonable.”

Stunning Diamond Cuts

Though some brides may use sapphires or rubies for engagement ring accents, jewelers say diamonds are almost exclusively the center stone. The round brilliant diamond cut is the top choice, but many brides are discovering the cushion cut, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The cushion cut gets its name from its pillow-like shape which is square or rectangular with rounded corners. It is usually placed in a solitaire setting with at least four prongs.

“The cushion cut resembles the round cut, but it has large, open facets that really highlight a diamond’s clarity,” Jackson says.

Still very much in demand is the princess cut in which the top of the diamond is cut in a square shape so that the facets emit a bright fire quality.

“The sparkle of the princess cut diamond is very beautiful,” a local jeweler says. “It works well for a center stone on a Tiffany-style mounting as well as within a row of diamonds on a wedding band.”

Glamorous Bridal Jewelry

Traditional pearl and diamond studs, and pearl necklace strands are still the mainstay in bridal jewelry, but the antique movement has also made a prominent appearance in bridal jewelry.

“We have custom made white gold and platinum choker necklaces with vine or floral themes which display diamonds all the way around,” says one jeweler. “Brides are also asking for longer earrings, for example, white gold with falling diamonds or a white gold chain with a pearl at the end.”

Another popular necklace design spaces a few diamonds individually set along a white gold or platinum linked strand, Jackson says.

Still, as the winds of change blow through the jewelry fashion world, one element remains on the top of the wedding jewelry checklist--quality.

“Whether we’re talking about the cut, clarity and color of a diamond or the durability of a precious petal, brides and grooms want to know that their money is well-spent,” a jeweler says. “They are very conscientious about making sure the jewelry they love now will be the jewelry they will always love.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

"We were both working. He remembers what I was wearing… white top, gray slacks and I had a camera hanging from my neck. I remember he looked so serious, walking up the stairs from inside the dugout onto the baseball field.

"A mutual friend introduced him, 'Hey Steph, meet the newest member of Crew 1- the Rookie!' That was the first day Brian and I met. We both love baseball…so what could be more romantic than for two baseball lovers to be introduced on a baseball diamond. That was in 2007. Little did we know that our friends had planned to set us up. After some nudging to get us to hang out, we quickly became friends. And through a long distance friendship, we quickly realized that we had fallen in love.

"A year later, Brian proposed at the same place we had met—on the baseball field at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. I was completely shocked! Brian had spoken with my parents two weeks before the big day.

"Brian then made arrangements with the head grounds crewman at Wolff Stadium to let us on the field one night when the Missions weren’t playing. He then arranged with my mom to get me to the ballpark that evening for the surprise proposal.

"When my mom and I pulled up to the stadium I received a text message that said, “Come to the pitcher’s mound for Your first pitch.” I was so excited…we were going to play catch on the field! Boy was I in for a surprise. Brian met me in concourse to escort me down to the field. He lifted me onto the field then I walked out in front of the pitcher’s mound. Brian went over the home plate where he bent down to pick up my father’s glove and a baseball. He pitched. I caught it! I looked down at the ball to get it set to throw back, but when I looked at the ball I immediately read the words, Will You Marry Me?

"When I looked up, Brian was bending on one knee holding a beautiful diamond ring…all at home plate!It was a baseball lovers dream. And this bride-to-be’s dream come true."

Read about Miss San Antonio American Beauty.
Visit San Antonio Weddings in September to read about their wedding day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

There's something enticing about a beautiful cake that makes you want to do one of two things, eat every last piece or come nowhere near it in fear of ruining the scrumptious display.

But there's a lot more to the cake than what is seen by the eye... and tastebuds. Flavors, styles, colors, icing, fillings, the list is almost endless. To learn more visit our website.

Photos Courtesy of:

1. DaVeck Studios 2. Amy DeYoung Photography 3. Diana Shelley Photography
4. Goen South Weddings 5. Four Creative Studio 6. Elegance Photography