Friday, October 31, 2008

Meet Louie

Now here's something you probably have not seen before....Meet Louie. Louie was this bride and groom's RB! He walked right down the aisle like a chimp - I mean champ. This was an idea of the groom's...the couple is from Philadelphia (home of the Phillies!)and there will be more pictures to come. There is no limit to your creativeness - happy planning!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Almost 100 Top Sites for Your Wedding...

Here are some great sites - various ones for various wedding day needs. Some you may already know about, some to inspire and others to plan by. Happy Planning - and surfing! {Thanks to for your leg work!}
You’ll find all you need for under your dress—and on your honeymoon—at this lingerie superstore. There are nearly 70 styles of strapless bras alone, plus plenty of shapewear styles (such as Spanx), and alluring bustiers, chemises and bras that are perfectly packable.
What we really love: The "Bridal Necessities" article, which recommends undergarments according to dress style and fabric.
This site offers accessories in color schemes to fit any wedding—and in a variety of styles that even your pickiest bridesmaids will adore.
What we really love: Visit the Plan Your Custom-maid Jewelry section to try out pieces with several necklines to find the right looks.
If you’re looking for silver sandals or an ivory silk clutch for your wedding, this site is a fast way to do it. The visual search engine hones in on what you want—a particular style, color, pattern, or all three—and may come back with hundreds of pale pink flats from around the Web, for instance. You can edit further by price point, store or manufacturer.
What we really love: Use the box tool or search bar to focus on an essential element, like a bow on a shoe or a zipper on a bag, and you will view only options featuring that detail.
If you want more bling than your wedding budget can handle, consider borrowing a piece from this antique- and estate-jewelry site. You can rent any, including a ruby and diamond necklace or a blue topaz and diamond ring, for $100 for three days (you pay the full price of the piece up front, and you’re refunded all but $100 once you return it).
What we really love: If you decide that you can’t part with the jewelry you borrowed, go ahead and keep it. (In that case, you won’t be refunded anything.)
Keep guests cool at your outdoor wedding with gorgeous adorned parasols from this specialized site. Order a few dozen simple rice-paper parasols for your crowd (starting at $6.50 each for a large order), or choose a more luxe hand-beaded, monogrammed or marabou-trimmed one for yourself.
What we really love: The parasol with a fringe of shells—perfect for a beach wedding.
Babysitting services let everyone have a good time at your wedding—parents don’t have to wrangle their kids away from the cake, and kids have fun just-for-them activities they’ll love. This site offers specialized babysitting "camps" nationwide that start at $499 for seven children for four hours, including games, crafts and activities.
What we really love: Partner site gives free access to a limited database of qualified sitters.
This site has the most extensive babysitter list going—plus, you can get background checks and reviews of potential caregivers from other clients. (Membership, from $39.99, gives you access to sitters’ contact info; you can hire one to watch youngsters at your reception, or give recommendations to out-of-towners needing a sitter to stay with their children at the hotel.)
What we really love: You can also use this site to track down a pet-sitter to watch over your furry friends while you’re honeymooning.
Stylist to the stars (and 2004 Trendsetter) Janice Kinigopoulos makes it easy to borrow expertise on her site: She takes you step by step through three wedding looks: glam, princess and natural. If you like what you see, a few quick clicks allow you to buy all you need, makeup to applicators, to create it at home.
What we really love: Check out the Babe 101 section for quick tips—including a five-step process for making lipcolor last all day.
Get beautiful naturally with products from this site, which offers the Web’s largest selection of organic beauty items from cult-favorite brands like Dr. Hauschka and Jurlique.
What we really love: Saffron Rouge gives two free samples with each purchase—and lets you choose them—so you can stock your honeymoon carry-on without breaking the bank.
Get money back for all that Web shopping you’re doing with this ultrapopular discount site. Here’s how it works: You create an account, then log in to the site whenever you shop. You’ll earn a flat amount or a percentage back from your purchases at member sites—at most, including Nordstrom and Banana Republic, it’s two to five percent, but there are many that give more ( gives 10 percent; gives 13 percent). Four times a year you’ll get a "Big Fat Check."
What we really love: This site also lists coupon codes (some are Ebates-exclusive), so you can simultaneously save and get money back.
You can keep track of your wedding-budget ins and outs in Quickenlike style—for free!—with this online tool. The site allows you to create separate files to track your wedding expenses independently from your everyday spending, and make simple pie charts and graphs to see where your money’s going and estimate when you’ll deplete your funds.
What we really love: Expensr’s new mobile feature lets you use your cell phone to input all of your expenses on the go.
This perpetually updated coupon site makes it easy to find a bargain—search by site or by subject (wedding shoes, honeymoon lingerie) and find a list of codes, along with the percentage of people who used each successfully.
What we really love: Don’t stop shopping to search for coupon codes—if you load RetailMeNot’s bookmarklet into your browser, you can click on your bookmark and get a listing of codes for that online store in a new window.
Instead of using all your cell-phone minutes (or ringing up a huge landline bill) chatting with vendors or bridesmaids, you can set up an account with Skype and talk for free with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
What we really love: Have your out-of-state bridesmaids sign up for free videoconferencing, and you can easily show off the rock from thousands of miles away.
MB’s reception editors give this bakers’ supply site a definitive thumbs-up for its array of unique vintage toppers. The imaginative inventory includes everything from a Kewpie-doll couple to a glorious ’60s-era plastic bride and groom—and prices on some of these gems start at a mere $10.
What we really love: DIY brides can find some cool wedding dress– and cake-shaped cookie cutters in the Wedding section.
MB advisory panelist Mindy Weiss adores the glittering cake adornments on this site: "Everyone will walk up to the cake to see what is sparkling," she tells us. Choose a motif, from monograms to butterflies, then select colors of Swarovski crystals to make your statement.
What we really love: The site’s new additions: gleaming silver flowers, couples or words that can top your cake and become a keepsake.
This site’s wide variety of style options makes it our hands-down favorite for unique aisle runners. You can find sleek and simple ones in every color scheme, from $135, or monogrammed or painted options, from $350.
What we really love: The beaded runners, which are ideal for a formal evening ceremony.
This site for the Universal Life Church Monastery is the fastest, easiest way to get loved ones ordained to perform your ceremony. Your chosen officiant can fill out a simple form to receive a free minister certificate allowing him to lead your service. (Check the State Marriage Law page to see if your officiant-to-be needs to fill out other paperwork before the big day. A note of caution: You should also check with the town hall in your wedding locale to make sure your friend-ordained marriage will be officially recognized.)
What we really love: site also has sample sermons and ceremony handbooks to order.
You’ve probably already used this online invite site in the past to keep track of party details for casual get-togethers, or even for your engagement party or bachelorette weekend. But what you may not know is that, under the Entertaining tab, Evite also offers other organizational tools that can help you with your wedding plans, like a drink calculator that determines how much alcohol you’ll need to stock at your pre- and post-wedding bashes.
There’s more to this Internet behemoth than a killer search engine—it can also act as your personal wedding assistant. Use the shareable calendar/to-do list to keep your fiancé in the loop on the cake tasting and other tasks; put key files (such as your guest list) in a Documents account to access them anywhere; and even translate short phrases to use on your ceremony programs, if many of your guests are from abroad, with the language tool. (We’d still advise asking a native speaker to double-check the translations.)
The ubiquitous music site isn’t just for downloading songs for your wedding playlist—you can also check out podcasts and slideshows from potential wedding vendors, subscribe to a pre-wedding-workout series, and download well-edited selections of wedding-song possibilities in the Essentials section. Best yet? After the big day, you can post a podcast of your wedding-photo highlights—edited in QuickTime, iMovie or Final Cut—for guests to download.
Pack your honeymoon carry-on bag with ease using this ultrapopular beauty emporium’s Airline-Approved subsection. You’ll find products—cleansers, moisturizers, lipglosses, complete palettes and more—that’ll make it through airport security checkpoints.
Sure, you can use this video-sharing site to unleash Uncle Harold’s outrageous Chicken Dance on the world, but now YouTube will also let you tweak highlights from your homemade wedding video with its new Remixer tool ( Just upload your vow exchange or first dance, and you can splice and add special effects and music without pricey editing software.
Consider this your essential do-gooder spot. Through the site and any of its partner stores (like Target and JCPenney), you can have a percentage of guests’ registry purchases go toward your favorite cause. You can even set up a charity registry to let guests donate in lieu of gifts. Or, instead of favors, donate to a charity of your choice through the site.
What we really love: Book your honeymoon or order invites through a site partner, and a percentage of your purchase can go to charity.
Our own reception department swears by Paper Source for the DIY essentials, including an extensive selection of vellum and specialty paper, stamps and embossers to help dress up your wedding stationery. Check out the Kits section for materials to handcraft unique programs, invitations and other projects.
What we really love: The Video section offers instructions on creating crafts, such as booklet invitations or pretty packaging for food favors.
DIY brides should check out this vintage notions site for fine trimmings—old-fashioned silk flowers, ribbons, fringe, appliqués and paper—to use as adornments on
their stationery, favors and accessories. What we really love: Check out the Tinsel Treasures section, where you can find exquisite trimmings straight from the 19th century to embellish your bridal bouquet.
There are favors to fit nearly any theme on this sizable site recommended by many staffers and advisory panelists—from the basics (custom-wrapped candy bars and cookies) to unusual options (plane-shaped keepsake boxes, Japanese incense sticks), searchable by theme, type of product or even type of bride (Timeless, Dramatic, Natural, etc.).
What we really love: The speedy turnaround: All orders are usually processed and shipped in one to three business days.
This site, a staple for editors, offers unconventional favors you won’t find everywhere else—wooden elephant candle holders perfect for an Indian wedding; ornament-shaped boxes for a Christmas wedding; and colored-glass flower bookmarks for a garden-themed event.
What we really love: Search by theme for other unique elements, such as handmade invitations and ring-bearer pillows.
A favorite of NYC planner Michelle Rago, this custom basket emporium offers inspired welcome gifts for out-of-towners and thank-yous for your favorite vendors.
What we really love: The Movie Time Gift Basket ($30), an old-fashioned popcorn box filled with Jujyfruits, Milk Duds, Sno-Caps and other theater treats.
We’ve found the prettiest favor packaging on this ultrastylish Canadian site—everything from watchmaker’s cases to sleek plastic "candy tubes," and customized labels and ribbons to finish it off. Most packaging can be had in the very reasonable less-than-$2 range.
What we really love: If you don’t have time to wrap favors, let this company do it—your gifts will arrive signed, sealed and beribboned.
You may have shopped this site before for fun favors and decorations for a backyard luau or Cinco de Mayo extravaganza. But move beyond the plastic mugs and beach balls, and you’ll find clever favor packaging at rock-bottom prices—everything from tulle drawstring bags to cute Chinese take-out containers.
What we really love: Check out the extensive crafts section for plenty of ideas to keep your youngest guests busy during the reception.
Uniquely designed boxes are the basis for this site, a favorite among brides wanting to give their favors a showstopping presentation. Abasic cube shape might fold out into petals, with the gift at the center—or a big square may contain multiple smaller boxes inside. They’re perfect for showcasing cookies for guests, or even jewelry gifts for bridesmaids.
What we really love: The blooming boxes with paper flowers on top ($24 for 24) can make for a beautiful escort-card presentation.
This site offers all the goods and goodies you need to fit any theme you can dream up, from beach bash to fiesta to tea garden. MBeditors frequent the site for hard-to-find entertaining elements, such as fun stirrers and straws, and clever (and affordable) decor accents.
What we really love: The site’s unique favor ideas: supercute bride and groom wooden toys, pretty leaf soaps and more.
This site’s a must-see for beachy brides, thanks to its collection of cool yet classic ocean-themed offerings. You’ll find a wide array of inexpensive sand dollars, shells and starfish to use in your decorating; shell-embedded candles and sleek silver lanterns for centerpieces; and even a coral-adorned album to use as a guest book.
What we really love: Introduce your theme by adorning the entrance of your ceremony site with a seashell-and-rope wreath
This is the place to find truly one-of-a-kind items to incorporate into your wedding, created by a collection of artists and craftsmen from around the world. You can order anything from pew decorations and guest books to custom cake toppers. At press time, the site had more than 2,800 items listed in the Weddings category alone.
What we really love: You can search by subject, location of artist or even color.
If you don’t know your freesia from your phlox, consider this site your Flowers 101 primer, where you can peruse standard and exotic blooms and figure out what you might like. (Be sure to check out the mixed bouquets, many of which include some of the more unusual flowers.)
What we really love: "Wedding Farmer’s Market" Grand Boxes (from $199), which include four prearranged bouquets of mixed florals in white or a blend of colors.
If fresh flowers aren’t one of your wedding-day essentials, or they’ll cause an allergic reaction in you or your groom, this silk-flower site caters to you. Flowers for Rent creates unique wedding arrangements—from pew adornments to bouquets and corsages—using realistic-looking silks, and you can rent or buy the pieces. (bridal bouquet is about $175 to rent or $325 to own.)
What we really love: Even if you decide silks aren’t for you, click on the Varieties and Colors tab for a visual dictionary of flowers.
You don’t have to fly in a celebrity designer to get star-quality flowers for your wedding, thanks to this stylish site from 2006 Trendsetter Mark Held. You can order anything from sleek, ribbon-adorned vases filled with calla lilies to twig baskets brimming with English garden blooms—and none of the arrangements require assembly upon arrival. Prices start at $60 per arrangement, plus shipping.
What we really love: The "Flowers to Go"—roses, orchids and carnations overflowing from brocade Chinese take-out containers—can be a unique bridesmaid bouquet alternative or a clever table topper.
For no-fuss (and bargain-priced) blossoms, you can’t beat this site. Choose from one of nine flower combos, including roses, hydrangeas, carnations, sunflowers and calla lilies; pick a package size; and you can have elegant bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and centerpieces delivered right to your door.
What we really love: "The More Merrier" collection ($250 plus shipping): any combination of 30 boutonnieres and/or corsages.
Track down great parent and bridal-party presents from dozens of stores searched via this site, which uses a number of variables to narrow your options, from price range and product type to the recipient’s personality. (Answer a few quick questions to determine the recipient’s "type," like proud parent or hipster, and find a well-edited selection of gifts that person is likely to appreciate.)
What we really love: Know their signs? Search for bridal party gifts by the zodiac through the site’s Horoscope Gift Guide.
This testosterone-filled site offers customizable, classic gifts for the guys in the party—cigar paraphernalia, silver flasks, poker sets—and some great alternatives. (Check out the personalized pub signs, an essential accessory for any bachelor pad or basement den.) Just make sure you steer him elsewhere to shop for you and his mom, as the girls’ gifts selection is notably small.
What we really love: Have your guy submit his proposal story, and he could be profiled as "Marrying Man of the Month" alongside luminaries like Survivor producer Mark Burnett and Google cofounder Sergey Brin.
MB’s editor-in-chief loves this site’s elegant and unexpected gourmet fruit hampers, which go beyond the standard apple/orange/pear blends into more exotic treats: kumquats, passion fruit and loquat, to name a few. They make a nice thank-you gift for VIPs and your best vendors. Another favorite: the ice cream, cones and brownies collection, which even comes with a silver scoop.
What we really love: The "Five Sweets Box" ($55), a woven hamper that opens to reveal tiers of dried fruit and chocolate-covered nuts—a decadent welcome basket for a very special out-of-town wedding guest.
This stylish shopping site specializes in personalized goodies, from preppy-chic stationery to monogrammed silver bangles and pendants—perfect picks for gifting your bridal party.
What we really love: The elegant monogrammed soaps ($20 for three bars) come in fragrances like cherries jubilee and milk-chocolate truffle—they’re the kind of gift your ’maids will love but wouldn’t buy for themselves.
This MB staff favorite offers tasteful gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents—everything from sophisticated silver jewelry and luxe leather goods to themed sets for your favorite gourmet chef, spa lover and others.
What we really love: It’s easy to personalize these presents: Many can be monogrammed, and some can even be customized with pictures you’ve uploaded to the site.
The mood of this Web shop, cofounded by LA planner and advisory panelist Mindy Weiss, is slightly retro, unexpected and totally fun. Whether you need a sparkling collar for your pooch’s big-day ensemble, a "sand ceremony" set for your vows, cool skull-and-crossbones-adorned flasks for the groomsmen or a cute tote for your honeymoon, you’ll find it here.
What we really love: The Monograms section carries everything you can think of, including luggage tags, coasters and handkerchiefs.
To arrange some postnuptial pampering for your bridal party, visit this super spa site—the world’s largest—and purchase gift certificates your bridesmaids can redeem at any of the 3,600 participating locations.
What we really love: Check out the Spa Specials section for deals to make the certificates go further—or to find fun trips for a little pre-wedding pampering for you and your ’maids.
MB staffers and advisory panelists rave about this site for its unique array of gift items, from funky housewares—a glass "blossom tea" set, brightly colored agate bowls—to pretty sea-glass and turquoise jewelry.
What we really love: Shop the Recycled section for stylish, eco-friendly gifts that turn discards like old typewriter keys and tin into cool cufflinks and frames.
This shopping site has all the finishing touches for your wedding, such as toasting glasses and favors, but it’s notable for its cute tees and tanks for everyone in the bridal party (including a pink "I’m in charge of the petals" shirt for your flower girl).
What we really love: Check out the charming cookies ($6.50 each) you can send to pop the "Will you be my bridesmaid?" question.
Really indulge a wedding VIP—or your new spouse—with a unique activity from this cool outing-concierge site. You’ll find private cooking classes at top restaurants; a personal shopping adventure at a chic department store; full-on adrenaline rushes, like flying fighter planes; and more. Prices start at $50 and head into the thousands for some of the wilder options. Can’t decide? You can also give gift certificates to let your recipients choose their own adventures.
What we really love: There’s a selection of experiences perfect for brides, including a makeup makeover for you and your bridal party, a group wedding dance lesson and a personalized song for your processional.
The coolest part of green-living guru Danny Seo’s site is his blog: In it, he often shows photos of random objects that have inspired him during his travels—such as a mirror framed with wine corks—that make for environmentally friendly reception decor. The site also contains links to buy Seo’s eco-conscious-themed books, including Simply Green Parties, which has lots of ideas you’ll be able to use for your wedding.
What we really love: Check out articles featuring some of Danny’s most beautiful suggestions by clicking on the Magazine tab.
Sign up for this shopping site’s registry, and let guests choose stylish, eco-conscious items (cotton duvets, reclaimed-wood bowls, solar lanterns) to stock your new home.
What we really love: sleek cufflinks and beaded necklaces in the Jewelry section make great bridal party gifts.
The reusable, brightly colored vintage fabric gift bags on this eco-friendly site are always a crowd pleaser. Use the smallest ones for favors or larger ones for bridal-party gifts.
What we really love: The small bags ($38.99 for eight) are also the perfect size for presenting a little stack of cookies, bottle of water and weekend itinerary to out-of-towners.
Unlike many flowers in the market, the roses and lilies from this site are grown without chemicals, making them perfect choices for eco-friendly bouquets, centerpieces or adornments for wedding cakes.
What we really love: An "Eco-points" system allows you to earn credits with every purchase to apply toward other items on the site—so you can earn your way to free organic chocolates or a bouquet for your newlywed home.
While customized covers aren’t exactly a new guest-book concept, this site takes it a step further, allowing you to also select the interior format: You can ask guests where they traveled from, how they know you and what their wishes for you are—or for their predictions and advice. Another option is leaving room for a Polaroid photo of each guest.
What we really love: You can add pages for your own thoughts on the wedding day.
MB editors adore the hand-bound guest books offered at this online bookmaking boutique. Choose from one of 32 elegant cover fabrics and one of two interiors.
What we really love: The site’s digital scrapbooking kits let you build a professional-looking book with your wedding photos.
Why hunt for the perfect wedding-day bag when you can create it yourself? On this site, choose from 21 bag styles and more than 150 fabrics. Most styles are in the $100 range; you’ll get a 10-percent discount for orders of five or more bags of any style.
What we really love: If you live in one of a handful of major metropolitan areas, you can take the custom-shopping experience offline at free 1154lill parties, either in your home or at retail locations in Chicago, Boston or Kansas City—you and your bridesmaids can check out your options over a few glasses of wine.
If you want to look like a million bucks on your wedding day, rent a couture bag here. Prices start at $59.95 for an annual membership, which lets you keep bags as long as you desire, plus an extra $20 per month for each rental. If you’re not a member, you can still rent a bag for a slightly higher fee.
What we really love: The Wedding Shop section has a well-edited selection of silk and leather designer clutches (Vera Wang, Gucci).
"The most elegant bridal handbags" are found on this site, reveals LA planner Mindy Weiss. Many are adorned with crystals or beaded handles, and floral and butterfly hairpins.
What we really love: See which stars sported the same accessories you chose on the site’s Celeb Fun section.

MB staffers give this nutritional information storehouse kudos for listing virtually every food you can think of, packaged or not. You can look up your favorites—including restaurant entrées and prepared supermarket foods—and find out everything from calorie count and fat grams to the amount of vitamins and minerals inside.
What we really love: If you don’t have time to figure out whether a food’s good points outweigh its bad, check out its nutritional grade and a cheat sheet of its characteristics.
Get a virtual personal trainer here: Answer a few questions about your fitness goals, workout equipment and ability level, and Podfitness will customize an audio workout for you, created by one of 80 top trainers. You can download up to two workouts per day to your iPod with a $19.95 monthly fee—and change your fitness goals or trainers at any time, so you’ll always have fresh motivation to hit the gym or your living room.
What we really love: You can choose songs and upload them to iTunes to have them mixed with your workouts.
This site is a must for brides wanting to lose weight for the wedding; it gives away tips and tools that other sites typically charge for. Enter your current weight and height to calculate your BMI—then find out how long it’ll take to meet your goal weight safely with one of the site’s customized weight-loss and fitness programs. These include workout instruction slideshows, and menus for a healthy diet. You can also set exercise and calorie goals and track your workouts, meals and progress.
What we really love: The very active (and addictive) bride- and groom-to-be forums.
The venerable weight-loss program has a comprehensive site filled with free, healthy menus, inspiring Before & After profiles of WW devotees and lots of medically sound tools to help you shed pounds. If your groom needs to trim down, this is a smart place to do it—you can now customize the site for guys and receive workouts especially for men, for instance. Online memberships cost as little as $5 per week and give you access to features such as the Recipe Builder, which will turn your favorite calorie-laden recipe into a healthy one.
What we really love: Restaurants section under the Food & Recipes category tackles one of the trickiest dilemmas for any busy bride: how to eat out and still lose weight.
Most wedding-planning sites are deemed too girly by the guys; this one is just for him, with essentials—planning checklists, tux tips and more—presented in a male-frendly format.
What we really love: The instant toast generator and thank-you note generator.
This urban myth—busting site is the spot to check out the veracity of all those bizarre wedding tales you hear—from the couple who were arrested after brawling over feeding each other cake (true) to thrown rice exploding in birds’ stomachs (false).
What we really love: The Wedding Customs section gives the origins of various traditions, from having bridesmaids to tossing the bouquet.
A novel way to release wedding-planning tension is to visit this quiz site for answers to your burning questions: Are we compatible? Who’s my celebrity soul mate? Some were created by Ph.D.s and can actually give you insight into your personality—others, like "Which Golden Girl Are You?", are purely for fun.
What we really love: The Create-a-Quiz tool lets you devise your own Q&A. You can test friends’ and family members’ knowledge of the two of you at your engagement party.
If you couldn’t get your groom to go for ballroom-dance lessons, don’t fear: The easy-to-follow iPodlike animations on this dancing site can help even the most awkward dancers master some moves. You’ll get a few selected steps for each dance style for free and can download the rest of the moves for $2 each. (complete waltz comes to $12.)
What we really love: While the site covers first-dance essentials like the fox-trot and the waltz, you can also get schooled in hip-hop and salsa so you can sizzle on the dance floor.
If your musical tastes run a bit outside the mainstream, this site’s the place to go to download tunes for your party playlist. Emusic’s collection of two million songs focuses on independent-label music, with ample offerings in the reggae, funk and jazz genres.
What we really love: 30 downloads per month are $9.99 (about 33 cents per song).
Even if you can muster only a snippet of the lyrics, you can find the title and artist on this site—we tested with some pretty arcane songs. Just type in the words you know (minus the punctuation) to find possible matches.
What we really love: In the forums, you can also seek help finding songs based on just a vague memory of the video.
MB’s executive editor swears by this lyric storehouse: "If you’re trying to find a song for your first dance—or the right quote for your programs—but want to make sure the lyrics are appropriate, check here."
What we really love: list of Top 100 lyrics can help you unearth playlist suggestions.
This customizable "Internet radio" site can bulk up your reception playlist. Type in an artist that you like, and it will create a station featuring that artist and others in a similar vein. Give the songs it plays thumbs-up or thumbs-down ratings to help the site fine-tune selections for you, and if you want to buy one, simply click to or iTunes.
What we really love: Enter a search term in the Find a Shared Station feature (try "romantic" or "love") to discover some of your fellow listeners’ preferences.
Of the countless photo-sharing sites on the Web, this one’s especially useful for celebrations. Create a group for your wedding (you decide whether to share it with the world or make it invite-only), so family and friends can upload shots and reminisce about the big day.
What we really love: If your shutterbug pals took too many great pics to narrow down, order a QOOP thumbnail photobook, which fits 20 photos per page, through the site.
This collaborative storytelling site lets you share photo, text and video tales with friends and family; they can add theirs, too. It’s a great way to compile and collect sweet stories (and priceless pictures) from your guests after the big day. (How else will you know about the hilarity that ensued at Table 15?)
What we really love: After creating a story with one of the templates, you can order a hardcover copy as a keepsake for $29.95.
You can display that amazing wedding photo on your mantel—or upload it to to transform it into a work of art. This user-friendly site can digitally remaster that close-up of you and your groom in any art style, from a Warhol-like grid to a comic-book frame to a traditional watercolor.
What we really love: Photowow’s photo restoration service can even fix up Grandma’s wedding picture for display at your reception.
Many reception-table disposable cameras are only half-used—or are filled with shots of everyone’s knees, courtesy of the bride’s 4-year-old nephew. You can end the waste with this digital-camera rental site, which lends good-quality Kodak digital cameras for guests to use, from $20 a pop (plus an extra $7 per camera for insurance). Send the cameras back, and they’ll upload your shots, so you can pick the best for printing.
What we really love: You’re given your own site to share the rental-camera photos with guests—and they can upload shots as well.
Consider this your custom print shop—it can turn favorite photos into save-the-date postcards, witty T-shirts for the bachelorette party or cool mugs for favors. Upload your image, add any wording, and click to order. You’ll get discounts of up to 36 percent for multiples, so an order of bridal-party trucker caps (from $11.95 each) can be quite reasonable.
What we really love: Upload your wedding logo or a photo of you and your groom, and create personalized postage for your invites.
This specialty site, recommended by MB’s accessories editor, makes it easy to find wedding-appropriate footwear: It’s entirely stocked with white and metallic shoes, from satin stilettos to beaded flip-flops. But you’ll also find other nuptial gear—evening bags, cake toppers and jewelry—as well.
What we really love: Check out the site’s Sale section. It boasts a sizable (and totally stylish) selection of shoes for just $15.
Free, fast shipping and free returns—what’s not to like? And the bridal shop within this site is truly the best online, offering nearly 500 styles in all price ranges, from inexpensive Coloriffics to couture Vera Wang. Brides in the know set up virtual shoe salons at home: They purchase a selection of shoes in various styles, try them on with their dress, then ship back the ones that don’t work for them.
What we really love: There’s a nice selection of evening bags, which can be sorted by color to pinpoint styles that match your dress.
A wedding monogram or motif can tie your wedding details together—but if you’re not artistically inclined enough to create your own logo, you can simply pick an ultrastylish option created by this site’s husband-and-wife design team. For $75, you’ll get an electronic version of your logo to use on anything from your wedding Web site to favor tags.
What we really love: Destination-specific wedding logos, including some surprisingly pretty picks for Las Vegas, such as a decorative pair of dice and a showgirl silhouette.
Staffers and MB advisory panelists praise this stationery site over and over for the amazing variety of invitation options, at every price level, to fit nearly any wedding style. You’ll find sets for as little as $86 per 100 cards.
What we really love: Invitations are sortable not only by price but by how fast they’ll print.
This every-occasion Web site has a smattering of stylish wedding favors and decorations, and lots of paper elements: custom and print-your-own announcements and invitations; guest books for every theme and color scheme; and scrapbooking materials and premade albums.
What we really love: You can organize the products you like most on this site—as well as articles and projects you’ve started—in the My Room section.
Whether you have to squeeze numerous parents’ names onto your invite or are looking for a fun way to ask guests to join you for a beach wedding–turned-clambake, this wedding-wording site’ll help you find a way.
What we really love: The Address It area has tips for handling inner and outer envelopes and other assembling and addressing instructions.
Most wedding-map designers charge $100 and up for custom maps, but you can DIY it gratis with this site. Enter the names and addresses of your ceremony and reception sites (and any other locations for your wedding), and you’ll get a well-drawn map with cute icons on each locale. E-mail the directions to guests, or print them yourself; an ad-free printable map costs just $9.95.
What we really love: You can further customize by replacing the icons with uploaded photos of your ceremony and reception sites.
For a unique monogram, quotation or motif custom-designed for your wedding, visit this site, which will also print the icon onto removable film that you can adhere to a wall, a dance floor or anywhere else you want to make a statement on your wedding day.
What we really love: You can also order favor boxes and glass votives with your motif.
On this jet-setters’ site, find reviews of the posh honeymoon resorts you’re considering or get the complete scoop on a desired destination. (Full disclosure: It’s owned by Modern Bride’s parent company, Condé Nast Publications.)
What we really love: The Destination Finder tool: Select one or several activities, continents and months, and you’ll get a list of the best places to fit your preferences.
This travel site lets you build and book a romantic honeymoon—and list it all on a registry, so guests can treat you to anything from a seaside dinner to a night at your resort.
What we really love: The Hot Deals section offers special romance-oriented packages at some of the world’s toniest resorts.
Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or a prenuptial girls’ getaway, this site, built by group-travel specialists, makes planning a trip with a crowd a cinch. Groople can help you find the right hotel for your type of event, get you significant group discounts and even assist you in landing "freebies" like room upgrades and comped breakfasts.
What we really love: The Groopvine tool lets you create a Web page just for your wedding, where guests can select events to participate in and communicate about the plans—making it easier for you to keep everyone in the loop about the golf tourney or spa trip.
Our travel editor always turns to this deal consolidator when looking for bargains. "It shows a comparison of all airlines, even discounters like JetBlue and online agents such as Orbitz and Expedia," she says. (To book, you’re sent to the site where the deal was located.)
What we really love: You can set up "fare alerts"—e-mails that will let you know when airline tickets to your chosen destinations drop.
This travel deal finder specializes in international locales, instantly searching more than 150 sites for the best bargains.
What we really love: You can search for a destination based on a preferred activity. For instance, choose "Film Festival" and get a list of upcoming fests worldwide, plus the cheapest air fares that’ll take you there.
This luxe hotel collection’s Web site offers a honeymoon section, with a listing of its 100 most romantic resorts and a free honeymoon concierge service to hook you up with fun activities, meals and other goodies. And since this conglomerate includes properties as varied as the sleek W hotels and the grand St. Regis resorts, you’re bound to find something that suits your taste (and your budget).
What we really love: If you book your honeymoon through the site, you can set up a registry and let your guests gift you with romantic dinners or special experiences.
If you want a real-person review of a honeymoon you’re considering, turn to this popular site to check out the extensive collection of travel critiques. In addition to providing specific write-ups, travelers also rate the properties by "who they’re for," so you can be sure the hotel you choose isn’t a bare-bones business traveler hotel or a young-child magnet.
What we really love: You can view other travelers’ pics and videos of a destination to help you get a better idea of what it’s like there.
If you’re looking for a creative accompaniment to your wedding cake, you might try this custom frozen confectionery, where you can "make" your own ice-cream flavor and have it shipped on dry ice. Choose a level of creaminess and one or two of 60 flavors (including unexpected ones, like cucumber). Then choose up to two "mix-ins" (praline pecans for a Southern wedding, for example, or fresh thyme for a garden affair). It’s a splurge (a four-pint, one-flavor order is $49.95), but a worthwhile one. What we really love: Name your confection, and it will be printed on the packaging—a clever touch for a gourmet sundae bar.
The sweet Web site for this California bakery (founded by 2005 MBTrendsetter Susan Morgan) can ship everything from grand multitiered wedding cheesecakes to elegant chocolate place cards for your big event.
What we really love: The wildly creative gourmet groom’s cheesecakes, resembling golf balls or boxes of Cohibas.
Now that M&M’s can be customized by color (choose from 22) and personalized with a message, they’re the ultimate wedding favor. This user-friendly site allows you to see what your candies will look like as you design them, and makes sure that your sweets arrive in insulated packaging so they won’t melt.
What we really love: The Weddings section (click on Celebrations), which suggests fun ways to use the candies—such as shower favors with the message "No Boys Allowed!"
Forgive the blatant plug, but we couldn’t ignore the fact that MB’s online home offers numerous ultrauseful wedding-planning tools. There’s a dress gallery that can narrow your options by cut and neckline, and even by such specific criteria as fabric type or "key embellishment" (E! News anchor Giuliana DePandi found her gown on the site); an instant, interactive budget advisor; a Vow to Wow customizable diet and workout plan; a Guest-List Manager; and more.
What we really love: All of these functions are free when you register at
If you don’t feel like stuffing invitation envelopes or have run out of time to make the fabulous favors you’d envisioned, consider this site your virtual gopher. You can post any task from your to-do list—whether it’s wrapping bridesmaids’ gifts or designing your wedding Web site—and have local companies and people looking to make some extra money bid to take on the job.
What we really love: There’s no additional fee for you to use the site (your assistant gives back a percentage of what he’s earned from you to pay the site’s commission).
This site offers sleekly styled party plans (table settings, decor schemes, creative cocktails)—and links to stores selling the goods so you can create the looks yourself.
What we really love: site’s fun shower themes, like "Bling Bride" and "Love in Paradise," are worth bookmarking for your ’maids.
Before you set the date for an outdoor wedding or pick a honeymoon spot, check out this meteorological site. In addition to providing standard weather forecasts,’s Trip Planner tool lets you enter a date (or range of dates) and location, and gives the percentage chance of rain, hot temperatures, cloud cover or other patterns based on the locale’s 30-year weather history.
What we really love: The impressively in-depth forecasts can tell you air-quality level and moon phase, or even give you a detailed star chart of your locale’s stretch of night sky.
If you’re not sure whether you like your chardonnays crisp or fruity, answer a brief questionnaire on this site, and the company’s experts will figure out which flavor notes—and which wines—suit you. Since each comes with suggested food pairings, a little digging should lead you to wines that match your wedding menu. You can order them off the site.
What we really love: Rate wines you’ve sampled from the site in your Virtual Wine Cellar, and will use the grades to fine-tune its next picks for you.
This site also answers your wine-pairing questions—just choose the specifics of your entrée or the sauce and spices being used (from basil to saffron), and you’ll get suggestions of three great wine varietals to try with it.
What we really love: The Wine 101 section offers articles to help you choose great wines for every part of your wedding menu.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A thoughtful hankie

A thoughful gift for the most important ladies in your life...your bridesmaids and girlfriends, these beautiful 100% cotton hankies feature a single embroidered monogram letter with floral design.

Blue scalloped trim details, along with an embroidered monogram organza pouch completes the romantic look.

They also have the monogramed hankie that comes in a box with a label.
Cheeck it out on

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tossing the Bouquet

Of course brides don't want to toss the bouquet they will cherish, so here's an alternative. Why not make these adorable paper bouquets that won't get damaged and will stand the test of time? They will double as an adorable keepsake. Take it a step further and personlaize it with a ribbon that has your name and wedding date.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Instant Messaging

Have a guest book or cards for your guests to write you special notes. You can match the interior envelopes and cards to your wedding day color theme, or pick palletes that compliment them. Either way, you'll love to go back and read what everyone wished for you on your wedding day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Breaking Tradition

Today's brides are continually looking for new & unique ways to reflect their own personlaity and style in their wedding. This willow branch was adorned with white orchids and the results are quite stunning! The addition of the details on the ribbon to hang the well wishes adds great sparkle! Visit for more ideas on guest books, favors and suppies. Their magazine is full of great ideas, even if you don't purchase products from them. Happy planning!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unveiled by Michelle Scanzano

Different Cakes...There's a style just for YOU!

A beautiful petite cake - almost too nice to eat!

A classic with a modern jolt.

Round and red hot!

Write your favorite saying, scripture or lyrics. This "saying" could be a theme that runs throughout your entire wedding - programs, written on the dance floor or wall (visit wedding grafitti link on the left-hand side), on your favors and even start with your invitations!

Try using fruit instead of flowers!

A spin from the classic white. Cool and conemporary!

This mini-cake iced with lime-colored fondant is topped with a delicate birdcage decorated with butterflies and flowers. This would make a fantastic centerpiece if you're looking to step outside the cake box!

Pretty in pleats!

For those of you who can't enough of dots, this one is cute as a button!

A Classic that will stand the test of time.

This "cut out" design is limitless in incorporating your look into your cake {various flowers shapes, monograms, hearts, snowflakes, etc.}

Sweet Daisies - this traditional flower is perfect for your spring or summer reception.

Croquembouche - a traditional wedding cake in France - deserves a spotlight in your wedding album!

Individual Baked Alaska is a sight coming into the dinning room on silver trays!

A prelude to the wedding cake, these mini sorbet layer "cakes" were served as a palete cleanser and garnished with raspberries. Chocolate initials add and extra personalized touch.

Four Buttercream cubes topped with parrot tulips. The blooms are arranged on clear acetate to prevent marrying the soft icing. Each cake serves 60. For easier slicing, foam board seperated the the two 4-inch-high layers.

Whichever style you like, be sure you think about looking through your album years to come. Happy cake tasting!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tips from a Florist

The Crystal Tea Room - Philadelphia, PA

Compliments of the Ritz Carleton

Be sure to inquire if your florist has done weddings at your ceremony and/or reception sites before. If so, he or she may have pictures of arrangements done at your site and will be knowledgeable about what sizes, shapes, and colors work in the space. If not, he or she should be willing to scope out the space and familiarize him or herself with any limitations. At the very least, bring along some sort of photo (a press kit or pamphlet) in case she or he has never worked a wedding there before, so that you're starting with an idea of the space.

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to buying red roses. Marrying around Valentine's Day? Expect a significant increase in the price of a single stem.

Trust us: arrangements of cool contrasting colors (think mint green and cherry red) are definitely vivacious. But when picking a palette, make sure the flowers will suit your wedding style and colors. Bring a bridesmaid dress fabric swatch with you when you meet your floral designer so she has a good starting point.

Consider the season in which you are marrying when deciding on which flowers you want in your arrangements. Marrying in summer or in a humid climate? Go for hardy flowers that won't wilt, such as sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, lilies, and hydrangeas. Avoid gardenias, lily of the valley, tulips, and wildflowers.

Remember: size matters! Be sure your bouquets aren't too heavy or too hard to carry. Trust us: you won't want that burden. And don't choose the bridal and attendants' bouquets without regard to style of dress or body shape. A delicate nosegay will get lost against an elaborate ruffled dress, for example, and a small bride will be overshadowed by a massive cascading arrangement.

Be sure your bouquet isn't too fragrant -- you don't want to be sneezing down the aisle! Some of the most fragrant flowers include freesia, lilies, lilacs, tuberoses, gardenias, and lilies of the valley. Go lightly on these blooms.

Don't assume your florist will have access to your ceremony and reception site early on in the big day. Make necessary arrangements -- get written permission and a key, if need be -- to ensure that everything is coming up roses before you hit the aisle.

Be sure to coordinate the delivery time of your bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres with your photographer's arrival -- you'll want them to be worn or held in formal pictures.

Have your flowers delivered boxed with cellophane and well misted -- that way they'll look fresh through your ceremony and reception. Check out each bouquet and remove any damaged blossoms. And don't leave them in the sun's path -- direct sunlight will speed up the wilting process.

If you're keeping bouquets in vases of water to maintain freshness before the ceremony, don't forget to dry the stems thoroughly before handing them out to the girls. You don't want big water stains on the front of all the dresses moments before they take the aisle.

You don't have to toss the actual bridal bouquet -- many brides have their florists create a smaller tossing bouquet for the traditional ritual. It is an extra fee so be sure to pick a low-maintenance arrangement. There's no need to break your budget on this bouquet.

These days, florists are actually more like event designers. You may be able to get decorations like balloons, streamers, lanterns, and chairs from your florist. Dealing with one vendor rather than four or five may alleviate some stress.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jewelry for your bouquet

Bouquet Jewelry is a hot new bridal accessory that is being used to accentuate and personalize bridal bouquets. They are also turning up in bridesmaids flowers, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and even customizing the wedding cake. The jewelry is usually inserted into the bouquet by a six inch post, but may also be attached to stems and hand-tied ribbons.

Six mm faux diamonds can also be inserted into the center of each flower to give the bouquet a dazzling new look.

This bride carried an arrangement of soft pink roses, ranunculuses, and miniature ivory calla lilies, embellished with crystals for a bit of flair.
Some companies have starfish, bumble bees, flowers, hearts and more! Show your personal style, but be sure your bouquet doesn't compete with YOUR jewelry or your dress! Happy Planning!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Silver & White Wedding

Love this table, and I'm sure with candles, it was FABULOUS!

A beautiful note for the favors...more customization with the monogram at the bottom.

Nice way to light -up the table number (tall glass container to put a candle inside) in lieu of the traditional table cards. Great idea & not expensive. FOR DIY: You can use etching cream on the glass to create whatever you want - numbers, initials, designs....just be patient & careful!

Glamour's I dos and don'ts of wedding style

Smart fashion tips and help for brides to make the most of their big day!

Just in time for the summer wedding season, Glamour magazine and The Style Network have teamed up for a new TV special about the I Dos and I Don’ts of wedding style. They've tapped some of fashion’s top experts — like Bobbie Thomas, Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang — for their advice on how to look one’s best on the big day:

Look 1: Off-the-Rack Dress Bride

DON’T spend the down payment for your home on a wedding dress.
DON’T fret if you want your wedding to happen right away and you don’t have the 5 to 10 months it takes to wait for a designer dress to be special ordered.

DO buy a dress off the rack from stores like J Crew, H&M and Target. The trick is to find a dress that is timeless as well as flattering. The J Crew dress on Hana is available for shipment as quickly as you could order one of their bikinis and costs less than a designer gown. J also offers the services of their Special Occasion Coordinators who are on hand to help brides with planning, ordering, altering and anything else they may need for the big day.

Look 2: Mix and Match Bridal Party

DON’T obey the old rule that bridesmaid gowns must always match! There are very few dresses that flatter all body types and your bridesmaids will thank you for taking their sizes and shapes into consideration.

DO find dresses that you and your bridesmaids can love for a modern, updated look. Choose a color or print that you love and let your bridesmaids pick the style of their own dresses. These dresses from Thread have the same materials but come in styles to flatter different shapes. You can also vary the lengths on the dresses and mix solids and prints.

DO make sure your groom fits in with the rest of the bridal party. If your look is more casual, you don’t want him to look overdressed. A modern suit in a summery color looks perfect with an old fashioned detail like striped suspenders. The result is both whimsical and sharp and the pink in the tie highlights the flowers on April’s dress.

Look 3: Dream Dress Bride

DON’T pick a dress that’s so trendy that in 30 years everyone will know the exact season you were married. If you’re wondering whether those enormous puff sleeves or that glittered bodice might not be as in-fashion a few years down the road, you’re probably right.

DO find an “of the moment” It dress that is timeless and classic. This dress by Monique Lhuillier is the type of dress every woman dreams of getting married in. The look is incredibly modern but the texture is soft and romantic. A voluminous skirt is offset by a form-fitting bodice, which really emphasizes your curves. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you feel beautiful in your dress – and it would be near-impossible to feel anything but great in a dress this fabulous.

{Follow this link to see the video & read more }

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Unique Centerpieces

If you're looking for something different for your centerpieces - check these out. (Don't let the price on some of these scare you, you can always achieve the look for less!)

Who says you have to use flowers at all? Line these up on a long table, or one on a round table surrounded by tea lights. Great impact and great glow effect (everyone looks good in candle light!)

Crystal Clear
Sparkly accents add simple elegance. Bouquet of yellow calla lilies wrapped with a rhinestone-encrusted band in a Swarovski crystal-filled urn surrounded by candlesticks, price upon request, by Belle Fleur,

Glass Menagerie

A chic dome dresses up the woodsy scene inside. Terrarium centerpiece of Masdevallia orchids, rex begonias, maidenhair ferns and moss, $450, by Wenonah Webster Landscape and Floral Design,

Clear Distinction
Bring a beachy feel to your table in a sophisticated way, by scattering white-branch coral, $29 each, and flat coral, $34 each, among floating votives in an "Ismir" vase, $29, and bowl, $24. "Voluminous" candleholders, $19–$29. All from Pottery Barn,

Presents Perfect
For an element of surprise, try a gift-inspired centerpiece (guests can choose their own favors). Assorted boxes, each $2.50 or less, from Bellaterra,; Beaucoup,; and Wedding Things,, can be filled with candies, handmade soaps, or other goodies and stacked atop cake stands, by Dover,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Black Tie - Brazilian Style

These pictures are from a family friend in Brazil. I hope you like them & get some ideas to inspire you. Happy Planning!