Monday, February 23, 2009

Take A Load Off, Annie.

I am kind of a couch potato at times! It's embarrassing to admit, and I wish that I could say I am someone who "just can't sit down" and "has to be doing something at all times" and gets "antsy lounging around watching 90210 re-runs"...but that's not me. At least not in general. I love a good sofa/couch/love seat, and love even more having a few quiet moments to really sink into it by myself, or to share it with a good book, my dog, my hubbie, or my new boyfriend, DVR.

The very popular trend of including lounge furniture at wedding receptions and events of all kinds leads me to believe that I am not the only Lazy Lucy around! Who doesn't like to kick up their heels (or kick off their painful, new heels, ouch!) and enjoy a cocktail while chatting with an old friend (or new flame) and watching people get crazy (or silly, or sentimental) on the dance floor. Sitting somewhere comfortable and soaking in the atmosphere of the wedding or event you are attending is a natural tendency and desire. The thing is, party-goers didn't even realize how much the lounge was something they did desire until it became fairly ubiquitous. Now it is very nearly a must have.

Your wedding guests will love these unusual seating options for meals that only require small plates that can easily rest on their laps (and that require only a salad fork and no knife to consume), or for later in the evening after an elegant, served meal when all they want to do is watch your mom's eccentric college roommate break out her rusty (but passionate) Hustle moves from 1976 to the band's best version of "Hot In Here". Awkward, yes, but fun to watch from a fabulous couch or ottoman on the side lines!

Here are a few ideas for you. You can see how well a lounge area can fit into a tent devoted just to dancing, the corner of a gorgeous indoor venue, or off to the side of a more formal affair. Depending on your style, you can keep it sleek or add lots of pillows. For something more sultry, why not get a great throw rug, forgo the sofas, and put pillows straight down on the rug? That might become a midsummer night beneath the stars as unforgettable for another couple as for the bride and groom.

Lounge it up!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Be&D Mine

I'm giddy on the heels of hosting my first private sale of gorgeous, luxe handbags, belts and shoes by the design team of Be&D at my husband's place, Six Plates Wine Bar in Durham ( Besides being insanely talented designers, Be&D also happen to be two of my favorite people I know. Each piece they create is handmade in their New York City atelier out of the highest quality Italian leather they've found. I've heard plenty of people (who know better than even I do) comment that the quality is far superior to other more well known luxury brands.
The thing I love about this line is that there is something for every type of woman, no matter her age or personal style. And the bags and shoes are all so different that even if there is a room full of people wearing them, no two look the same. Certainly there are design elements that sometimes carry over so you can tell it's a Be&D (they're famous for bold hardware) but in general, you feel like an individual with your piece. They're a little bit flashy, a lot luxurious, and always stand out. Looking at a sea of them at the sale we hosted was like coming across a blanket of gems that washed ashore; I wanted to bend down to inspect every last one of them. If only my pockets were deep enough to carry them all home!
It's no wonder that two such interesting and complex individuals came up with a line that has so many personalities. I personally have one for every mood, in large part thanks for my dear friend "D". The clutches in the photo here are fabulous for an evening out or just for running to get coffee, but especially make the perfect accessory to your fabulous rehearsal dinner dress (which then will do double-duty on your honeymoon, believe me).
Be&D also has some beautiful options for bridal handbags: lots of white leather, white patent, big bows, ruffles, and all things bridal and feminine. Alternatively, you can bring out the Carrie Bradshaw in you and carry one in hot pink or Peacock Blue, the definite "IT" color in weddings this season.
Enjoy perusing the fruits of my friends' labor. I love them, I love their bags, and I hope you will too. Boys, thank you for trusting me enough to send your precious gems down South! We're all still buzzing about our new acquisitions.

For Valentine's Day AND your Big Day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Note From The Ghost of Emily Post

A recent email from a bride of mine has prompted this post. I tend to be quite a stickler when it comes to etiquette. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't encourage straying from certain time old traditions in favor of more updated ones that suit your style. After all, it's 2009 and things are different now. In certain places, men can legally marry men and women can legally marry women (and if it was up to me, it would be legal for everyone everywhere today).
You are not like every other bride and so your wedding should reflect you (and your sweetheart too...let's not forget him). That said, there are certain formalities when it comes to weddings that I think are important to uphold. For instance, get your thank you notes out on time. People really appreciate receiving them and often worry when they don't, that their gift has gotten lost in the mail. Also, remember that your wedding is not the end-all be-all event to almost anyone other than you and your families (sorry to break it to you!), so take measures to help ensure your guests will enjoy themselves to the fullest. For example, provide transportation between events if it fits into your budget. If it doesn't, simply type up a weekend itinerary and directions to have at the front desk of the hotel to make getting around easier on them. Don't have a ceremony at 4pm with a three hour break before the reception. This is really aggravating to guests and frankly, just gives people an excuse to go to a bar to kill time. I don't have to tell you why that's a bad idea!

Perhaps the most important etiquette issues in my book is related to your wedding invitations. If you don't know how to properly address them, ask someone! If no one in your life knows, get advice from a wedding planner, a professional at a stationery store, or a calligrapher. If all else fails, consult The Wedding Blue Book by Crane, which has any answer you could possibly need when it comes to wedding etiquette queries. The worst foot to get off on is sending a guest (who is supposedly a very special person in your life if they are invited to your big day) an invitation that is improperly addressed or worse, that has their name spelled incorrectly. Proofread, proofread, proofread!!!

And so now a note to your guests from the ghost of Emily Post:

If you are a single person (or even if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend but they don't live with you), and you receive a wedding invitation that is addressed only to you, you are not invited to the wedding with a guest. Period. Furthermore, do not ask the bride if you can bring a guest with you.

There are many reasons why a bride might choose to not allow you to bring a guest: space in the venue, limited budget, or the desire to keep the wedding more intimate. Whatever the reason, it is her prerogative to do so and it is the absolute height of tackiness to call her up and ask if you can bring someone along. It puts your friend, the bride, in an awkward position and it's something she will always remember that you did. Do you want to be remembered for your bad manners? How about being remembered for that knock-out dress you wore to the wedding instead? Just please, for the love of the bride, make sure it's not white.