Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wonderful wedding cakes

Whoa, I didn't notice it's been quite a while since my last post. My apologies for not being able to post as much as I want to. It's been some pretty busy months.

But enough with the excuse.

Browsing through my tags, I realized I don't have an entry about wedding cakes. One of the most important and traditional elements of a wedding and I haven't talked about it yet?! Well, better late than never.

They say that the wedding cake traditionally symbolizes the couple's fertility and luck in marriage. It's also the symbol of their love and sweetness towards each other. The tradition of having a wedding cake predates to the ancient times: the Romans created cakes to be broken over the bride and groom's heads. Whoa! The crumbs that fall -- for the guests to pick up -- symbolizes good luck.

Also, do you notice that most wedding cakes come in layers? That's because during the olden times, the height of the cake is symbolic of their social status. The higher the cake, the more popular the bride and groom. Interesting bit there, huh?

The tradition of cutting the cake symbolizes the union of the bride and groom. This is considered the first act of the man and woman as husband and wife.

I've heard of a tradition wherein the topmost layer of the cake must be preserved for the couple to eat on their first anniversary. Not sure what that meant, but we never did that.

Traditionally, wedding cakes come in white, also symbolizing the purity of the bride. But nowadays, more and more couples are opting for multi-colored cakes, especially if they want their cakes to match their theme or motif.

They also include toppers for additional pizzazz to the cake. It can be figures, silhouettes, little buntings, or monograms.
Others have elements like crystals, edible beads, or even flowers, may they be real or fake.

Also, some weddings feature not exactly cakes, but cupcakes. This makes it easier to distribute the "cake" to the guests. Some couples who opt for wedding cupcakes but still want the traditional cake cutting ceremony include a small cake for cutting.

There may be lots of meanings and traditions behind the wedding cake, but one thing is for sure: the wedding cake is one of the main attractions of the festivity. That's why a lot of brides and grooms make sure that they're not just delicious to eat, they're also wonderful to look at.

Photo credits: Nevie-Pie Cakes, Vienna Cakes, My Sweet and Saucy, Kikuike (via Etsy), Perfect-Wedding-Day, and The Cake Parlour.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Black bridesmaid dresses

Here in my country, the Philippines, the elders frown upon black as a wedding color. It represents mourning, they say. But today, more and more couples are doing the bold move of using black for their wedding motif.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a forum member asking how to pull off black for her bridesmaids. She was worried that their black dresses would look drab in pictures. That got me thinking about black bridesmaid dresses and how the girls can still look pretty even in that color. See what I found on the Net:

Top, left to right: Alfred Angelo, Alyce Designs, Eden Bridals, Nordstrom.
Bottom, left to right: Barry Jay, Jordan Fashions, JLM Couture, Sophia Tolli.
I say, it's an elegant color, especially for evening or glamorous Hollywood-themed weddings. By itself, paired with jewels or matched with other colors, black can be an elegant color for your bridesmaids.

Hope this got you inspired!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Celebrity wedding: Kate Moss and Jamie Hince

I just can't stop ogling at the wedding photos of Kate Moss and The Kills guitarist Jamie Hince released at Vogue.com.

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince as photographed for the Vogue feature
Their wedding was a mix of vintage glam and country chic. Utilizing lots of whites, the overall vibe was simple yet utterly elegant. Check out the details:

Kate and daughter Lila Grace
Groom in Yves Saint Laurent, bride in John Galliano.
The reception
Tablescape details
The wedding cake

Looks like a fashion ad, don't you think?
Their wedding is a great inspiration for those wanting to do a rustic vintage wedding. Hope this got your minds stimulated.

Images from Vogue.com and MarieClaire.co.uk

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Real wedding: Michelle (of Inspired Weddings) and Gio

In celebration of our 3rd wedding anniversary, I'd like to take this time to reminisce about the days that led to the big day. 

But before I do, I'd like to put this disclaimer that 1) this wedding was held in the Philippines; 2) all the suppliers we had are from Manila; and 3) this is a super-budgeted wedding.

Our budget that time was more or less Php160,000 or not more than USD 3,800. And here in the Philippines, that's already an average (even below average) amount for a wedding that had around 170 guests. So how did we go about it?

Hubby and I relied on Manila's most famous DIY haven: Divisoria. That's where I found our suppliers for the dresses and raw materials for the music CD souvenirs. Also near the area is a street called Recto Avenue, wherein lots of printers accept wedding invitation jobs. We had Printlane do our scroll-type wedding invites.

For the flowers, we went to Dangwa, a short drive from Divisoria, where stalls of flower shops are lined next to each other. It's where you can find affordable flower arrangements for different occasions; almost all of them do weddings, too.

Rings would have been expensive, if we chose two-toned and diamond encrusted rings. So we opted for the simple gold band (around USD 210) and had our initials and wedding date engraved.

The biggest splurge we made was on the food. Almost 40% of the wedding budget went there. We found Eloquente, a caterer that offered great food, nice reception set-up, plus cake and use of the bridal car.

For photography, we got Treasured Memories. But since we were working with a tight budget, we opted to get their photography service only, which consisted of only unlimited unedited shots saved in a DVD.

One of the challenges we had were with regards to venues. We wanted a church and reception venue that were close to each other. Good thing Mt. Carmel Church in Quezon City had a function hall in the premises. 

Where to prep for the big day was also a challenge, as that time, everyone was so obsessed with getting married on 8/8/2008. We were getting married the next day. Hotels were quite fully accommodated at this time. But good thing we found a quaint bed and breakfast called Stonehouse that's some streets away from the church.

Working with a really tight budget seemed stressful at first, but when you've got family and friends to pitch in on some things, it becomes less daunting. My brother and his friends played for the ceremony, my friends hosted the reception party, and my sister and cousin coordinated everything.

So was it successful? I think yes, primarily because 1) we had a long preparation of 1 year and 2 months before the big day; 2) we did a lot of research and legwork on our own, and we got to talk to all of our suppliers face to face; 3) family and friends were there to help (in one form or another); and 4) we learned to let go and enjoy the moment.

The event didn't pass without any snags; of course there were a bit of things that didn't go exactly as planned. But it didn't mean that we should stress out and sweat the small stuff. We thought, after all, nothing's bigger than celebrating our union.

Here's a short slideshow featuring a few things and moments from our wedding:


And that concludes my story on how we made our wedding possible. Hope to hear from Inspired Weddings' readers soon!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New gowns from BHLDN

Yes, here I am once again to give you a showcase of new wedding dresses, this time from BHLDN. Looking at their latest collection, I find myself falling in love with this company all over again.

I am particularly enamored by the Elysium gown, which features an illusion neckline filled with embroidery:
Elysium gown
... the neckline actually reminded me of what Emma Watson wore for the London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I think the tulle/ illusion neckline is in vogue!

The Arcadia gown, meanwhile, utilizes floral appliques made from organza, chiffon, and tulle:
Arcadia gown
The skirt features a slit that gives it a sexy look while allowing your shoes to steal a bit of the show.

The Windswept gown is also one of my favorites, with the feather-and-leaf trims at the bottom:
Windswept gown

And while this isn't a gown per se, the Counterpart Shell top and Tulle Tiers Skirt form an awesome bridal ensemble:
Tulle Tiers Skirt and Counterpart Shell Top

For brides-to-be who'd like to veer from the traditional style, BHLDN offers dresses and separates that are laid-back and adventurous yet still very stunning. Check out their new releases on their website.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Marchesa Bridals - Spring 2012

Marchesa presents its new bridal collection for Spring 2012. The latest design features sheer fabrics, vine-like patterns, and dainty floral flourishes that will surely capture every bride-to-be's fancy.

The Violet dress instantly caught my eye, with its sheer neckline and vine detail from the shoulders to the bodice:
Violet (Spring 2012)

The Eloise utilizes the peplum skirt design:
Eloise (Spring 2012)

With its frilly ballgown skirt, Luisa is sure to be the choice of romantic brides:
Luisa (Spring 2012)

For ladies who want to showcase their hourglass figures, Talitha will definitely do the trick. The lace appliques also spell glamour:
Talitha (Spring 2012)

And for the modern bride who goes for the non-traditional short bridal dress, Sienna is a beautiful option:
Sienna (Spring 2012)

There are lots of other gorgeous wedding dresses in their website, so go there and check out Marchesa's Spring 2012 bridal collection. There's surely one dress that you'll fall in love with.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

[PRESS RELEASE] New Online Bridal Registry Site Launched to Provide a More Integrated Registry Experience for Couples



Quezon City, PHILIPPINES. -  Admit it; one of the great things about getting married is receiving all the presents you need to start your new life with your new life partner. And thanks to bridal registries, couples no longer have to go through the age-old problem of having three rice cookers and five blenders. A new site is now taking this convenience even further using Internet technology. GiftHavenRegistry.com is an online wedding gift registry site that revolutionizes the bridal registry experience by integrating different stores into one registry, providing real-time updates on purchased items, and incorporating a more interactive platform for couples.

With Gift Haven Registry, the experience begins with the couple’s profile. Those familiar with social networking sites will find this first step enjoyable as you and your significant other create your account, personalize your profile with pictures and a message to your family and friends, determine your registry style through a fun quiz, and customize your wedding gift registry cards to send out to guests. The next step is to browse around and pick from the wide array of items you can add to your wedding gift list that include kitchen tools and gadgets, cookware, dinnerware, and other home decors. Generous friends and family can even contribute to purchase your dream honeymoon for you. And if your husband-to-be is disinterested in planning the wedding, he will definitely be by your side through the bridal registry process once you show him the Groom’s Corner where he can find everything he needs for a home entertainment system, the garage, or his man cave. 

The best thing about an online gift registry is that you can do everything without even leaving your house! No need to take trips to different stores and check your registry gift list every week. Gift Haven Registry integrates different retail establishment partners and provides you with one master wedding gift list that gets updated in real-time. Your guests will also enjoy the convenience of doing their shopping for your wedding gifts online. Your friends can choose to chip in to buy part of a high-priced item that you selected. Gift Haven Registry simply provides convenience for both the couple and those who care for them.

Check out www.GiftHavenRegistry.com to learn more about how this site can make a couple’s bridal registry experience a more enjoyable and less stressful one.  

For more information about gifthavenregistry.com, feel free to contact the Gift Haven Registry customer service team at 7148690 / 3877462. You can also like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/gifthavenregistry.

GIFT HAVEN REGISTRY
CONTACT     : Kathleen Gosingco
714.86.90 / 387.74.62

Gifthavenregistry.com is  powered by:
Shinen Media Technology Corp.
+1 217 501 2271
+63 2 584 1099

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Share your wedding!

One of the reasons I put up this blog is because I wanted to share to everyone the inspirations that helped me create my own wedding.

Next month, on the 9th, my husband and I will be celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. 

And I realized I really haven't shared my full wedding preparation experience. I only got to share you the moodboard I made for my wedding. But I haven't really told you the nitty-gritty, the bits and pieces of the preps.

And as my blog says, "tips and ideas ...from my own personal experience." I think it's time I share them with you. :)

But on the next post. I have to collate my photos first.

After I share my own wedding with you guys, I'm inviting you to also share your big day (and the days before it) to the other readers of Inspired Weddings. We'd like to see how you created your wedding day. It'll be fun for everyone, and I'm sure future brides and grooms would love the inspiration you'll give.

If you'd like to share your wedding story, email me at mjdroldan@gmail.com. I'll start with my own wedding, then anyone who wants to have their story published here can contact me.

Hope you can join me in this endeavor. :) 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Inspiration Board: Yellow and Brown

I dunno why I'm leaning to shades of brown lately, but I always thought of it as a good neutral-colored complement to a bright or rich color. And I also realized that it's been a while since I used yellow for my inspiration boards, and this is why this board came to be. Seems like a nice color combo for rustic or summery weddings.

Hope you like today's inspiration board:

Top row: Cake Central, Maggie Sottero, MJ's Designs.
Middle row: Thisleberry Press, shadow090109 via Etsy.
Bottom row: Siri, Amanda Pair.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A new look

Once again, Inspired Weddings has a new look.

Geez, I'm just a sucker for Blogger's Template Design, I guess.

But I really do hope you like this design.

Will be posting soon, so just continue to drop by the site. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Toilet Paper wedding dresses

Yes, you read that right. Cheap Chic Weddings held a contest on the best wedding dress creation using rolls and rolls of toilet paper. And you'd be surprised with how creative the entries were.

The winning dress was made of 4 rolls of toilet paper, glue, and packing tape:
Susan Brennan's flower-and-feather strapless dress wins her USD 1,000.
The 2nd place dress was also cute, with layers of ruffles for the skirt. This was made from 1-ply tissue, duct tape, spray adhesive, and first aid tape:
Laura Lee's strapless dress with layered ruffled skirt
I personally liked the 3rd place creation, which used 20 rolls of toilet paper to achieve the flowers and the frilly train:
Wonderful skirt and train details from Cynthia Richards' entry. Her daughter helped create this piece.
It's so wonderful how designers, professional and budding, can come up with amazing wedding dresses like these -- and they're even made from everyday household materials such as toilet paper! Just goes to show that creativity can go a long, long way.

Monday, July 4, 2011

La Sposa's Colecciones Avances 2012

Wedding dress maker La Sposa gives brides-to-be a reason to salivate once again! Their new collections for 2012 can be now viewed on their website, http://www.splasposa.com.

The dresses come in various silhouettes, but all are absolutely beautiful. Samoa, below, features an A-line silhouette:
Samoa - Glamour collection
Samba, on the other hand, features a mermaid/ trumpet silhouette, great for slim brides:
Samba - Glamour collection
Utilizing the sheath silhouette is Sensacion, also from the Glamour collection:
Sensacion - Glamour collection
If you're all for the Cinderella-type of dress, the Saguinto or Sari will surely be wonderful choices:
Saguinto - Ballgown collection
Sari - Ballgown collection
The Selim wedding dress makes use of illusion with tulle over the main dress:
Selim - Costura collection
La Sposa also features wedding gowns with necklines other than strapless. Check these dresses out:
Selva - Glamour collection
Sacha - Fashion collection
Sagaro - Fashion collection
For a dose of romance, choose the Salem dress which features lots of ruffles on the skirt:
Salem - Dreams collection
The Salsa dress will surely be the top choice of the modern bride, with its streamlined design and side pockets:
Salsa - Glamour collection
For every type of bride -- classic, modern, romantic, chic -- there's a La Sposa dress that fits your personality. Check out more dresses from La Sposa's 2012 collection.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Inspiration Board: Green and Brown

Another board coming up!

While I was browsing through some forums, I stumbled upon a discussion about having green and brown as a possible color motif. One commented that the colors reminded her of trees, so she wasn't really keen on it.

But honestly, I like this combination. It's refreshing on the eyes and I like colors that represent nature or Mother Earth. I believe that, given the right shades, a green and brown combo exudes simple elegance and freshness.

Check out this inspiration board I made:

Top row: William's Bridal, Floral Verde, Project Wedding.
Middle row: Creative Outlook Designs via Flickr, Beau-coup.
Bottom row: The Flower Kiosk, Charlotte Geary, Jenny Yoo
Green and brown is a nice combination to use for afternoon and nature-themed weddings. Hope you find inspiration in this board I made today. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Inspiration Board: Blue and Gold

Wow, it's been this long since I've posted? So sorry, guys.

And yeah, I know I've done a board with blue and gold. But I got inspired after reading some forums discussing about their wedding motifs. This combination is really, really stunning, in my opinion. I chose a lighter blue shade, something near Tiffany Blue for this inspiration board.

So if you're all for a blue and gold combination for a wedding, take a look at what I did:

Top row: Martha Stewart Weddings, Sottero & Midgley, Zappos, Jacarandadesigns via Etsy.
Middle row: Sauci, Justin Lee Photography via A Subtle Revelry.
Bottom row: Alfred Angelo, DavieandChiyo via Etsy, W-Weddingflowers.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Afterthoughts on the Wedding of the Century: Prince William and Kate

Vintage Bentleys and Chryslers, throngs of Britons lined up on the streets, horses and carriages and crazy hats galore, and the big reveal on Kate Middleton's wedding dress -- that probably made up your weekend as you've watched the Royal Wedding unfold before your very eyes last Friday.

After seeing in CNN's live streaming and all the other reruns in the other news channels days after, I realized I kinda liked this wedding.

Prince William in a red Irish Guard uniform and Kate in a lace-and-satin dress from Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
While the wedding had a really big budget, I liked how the couple chose to go for something simple. Nothing ostentatious about their looks and even the bouquet looked simple in white and green. Of course, 1,000++ guests means that this is a really big wedding, so...

I think the one thing that I best liked here is Kate Middleton's dress. Compared to what Princess Diana wore during her wedding, this dress from Sarah Burton was a breath of fresh air. Lace appliques, A-line skirt -- it does say something about Kate's style: simple yet elegant.

William looked dapper in his Irish Guard uniform, but somehow Harry looked more handsome to me. Hehe.

Well, now that the wedding's over, there's only one thing to say to this couple: Congratulations, best wishes, and hopefully your marriage will last.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Inspiration Board: Plaid

I was browsing the Net for some images when I stumbled on a photo of a wedding that incorporated plaid details on its design. I got interested and went ahead to whip up this latest inspiration board using plaid or tartan pattern. Here's what I have for today:

Top row, from left: Sarah Maren Photography via Elizabeth Anne Designs,  Joyce Young.
2nd row, from left: J Crew, Cheeky Design, Scrumptious Cakes via Flickr.
3rd row, from left: Boys Suits Online, Handfasting Cords at Etsy, Alfred Angelo.
The colors may seem kinda mixed, but I chose photos with blue as their base. Sorry about that, I concentrated more on the pattern than the colors. Anyway, hope this gets you inspired. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Create Moodboards with BHLDN

BHLDN launches on its website a page wherein you can create your own moodboard. Here, you can mix and match dresses, accessories, and other items to make your very own inspiration board. You can start dragging and dropping photos on your chosen template or base your moodboard on the ones that have been done by BHLDN.

Just pick a template, then drag and drop photos, and you're done!
While the selections from the BHLDN images may be somewhat limited, what's nice about it is that you can upload your own photos from your computer and include them in your moodboard. Framing the images is also made easy because there are loads of moodboard templates ready for use.

I tried making a moodboard here and I found it really fun to do. Check out what I did:

My own BHLDN moodboard: Ruby, Granite, and Citrine.
You'll find tons of other moodboards made by other users over at the site, so check it out. Go ahead and make your own moodboard that can serve as an inspiration board for your own wedding!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Modest wedding dresses

My apologies for not having posted anything for the past few days. That's because I went with my parents to their home province in Bohol, Philippines. While there, I got to visit, aside from Chocolate Hills and the tarsiers, the old baroque-style churches. And you know what, aside from their centuries-old artifacts and intricate ceiling paintings, one thing that caught my attention is how strict these churches are when it comes to the dress code.

Those hearing Mass must not wear sleeveless tops and shorts. Those who want to get wed in those churches had to follow a strict dress code of not wearing sleeveless, backless, strapless, and even off-the-shoulder dresses. Yep, all the dresses -- from the bride down to her entourage -- should cover the shoulders. And this is where I get my inspiration for today: modest wedding dresses.

A lot of the gowns you can see in the market feature those strapless or one-shoulder neckline. But for brides who want a bit of coverage, they don't have to fret. They can still be sexy without showing off too much, just like the models here wearing these modest wedding dresses:

Top row, from left: Ian Stuart, Justin Alexander, Vera Wang, Anna Schimmel.
Bottom row, from left: Le Spose di Gio, Tsai Meiyue, Allure Bridals, Juanjo Oliva via iVillage.com.
The sleeves can be part of the dress or a component of a jacket or cover-up. In any case, they somewhat hide the shoulders and the upper arm.

Opting for modest wedding dresses doesn't necessarily mean that the bride's too shy to show some skin. Rather it just means that you're just confident enough that your dress doesn't need to scream how sexy you are. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inspiration Board: Blue Modern Vintage

For this post, I'm giving you inspirations for a modern vintage wedding.

The combination of the words "modern" and "vintage" got me confused at first, but when I saw weddings that had this theme, I finally figured that it's basically blending the two together, putting vintage elements in a modern-style wedding.

Usually themes like this would incorporate gold, white, and black for a classic look. Sometimes they infuse pink or orange in this theme, too. For my inspiration board, I'm going for blue, white, and gold. Hope you like it!

Sources: Elite Palace, Amy Atlas, Lazaro by JLM Couture, Etsy, Peculiar Pair Press, Chelsea Nicole Photography, Arrow Vintage Cars, Designer Cakes by April via Flickr, Jim Hjelm Occasions by JLM Couture.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wedding dress inspirations from the Oscars 2011 looks, part 2

In continuation of the Oscar-based post, here are more red carpet looks that you can emulate for your wedding day:

Scarlett Johansson looked so pretty in her lacy high-neck dress from Dolce and Gabbana. If lace is your thing, the dress on the right from Justin Alexander is the perfect choice for you.

Hilary Swank's Vera Wang dress had feathery details on the skirt, which made it more stunning. For a similar style, pick Fidji from Pronovias' Dream Collection. It's sure to give your wedding gown a unique look.

Mandy Moore chooses the beige version of Monique Lhuillier's Nightingale for this year's Oscars. I kinda like how the color blends into her skin -- it's as if the top part of her body was just showered with glitters and beads. I'd say it's pretty.

Jennifer Hudson looked sizzling hot on this Atelier Versace number. A similar halter-neckline style can be found on this dress from Sarah Houston's Emerald collection.

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine wore a lovely yellow dress from Valentino. Kinda echoed a laid-back, casual vibe, don't you think? If that's your wedding style, then BHLDN's Greenbow Lace Gown is a great dress to wear for your big day.

See, the red carpet offers tons of inspirations for brides-to-be. Hopefully these selections help you choose the bridal style you want to have for your wedding day.