Company Launches Match-Making Service for Wedding Planning

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If you used a match-making service to find your boo, it only makes sense to use one to plan the wedding, right?

That’s the concept behind  OneWed.com, a Chicago-based site that  uses the MatchMake service, which matches brides and grooms with their ideal wedding vendors, based on compatibility.

The site is being released exclusively in New York and Chicago, matching engaged couples to wedding photographers, venues, and caterers.

Just like online dating websites which use personality assessments to match compatible singles, this service does the same for the bride to be,  finding the best-suited local vendors for the soon-to-be-married couple.

“We married the fun quiz environment of OkCupid with eHarmony’s compatibility-based match making, and added our own visual twist since brides love images,”  OneWed’s editorial director Azure Nelson said.

Gone are the day of yellow-page style vendor listings, scrolling through pages and pages of listings online, and finding a vendor that meets your needs. Instead, OneWed builds profiles for all its users by asking a series of questions to the bride and groom, which means they can match well-suited vendors in Chicago to you with ease.



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The site plans to eventually charge for the service, but Chicagoans can take advantage of this service for free during the launch period.

 

Alternative wedding registries – WALA

Wedding registries are a time honored tradition. Normally you head to the store and pick out your favorite china patterns or blenders, but a new trend of alternative wedding registries is on the rise to help newlyweds fund everything from their mortgage to modern art.

 Yahoo financially fit has broken down a list of alternative wedding registry ideas.

If you’re looking for honeymoon help: itemize your honeymoon wish list so guests can help pay for specific activities during the trip, check out honeymoonwishes and travelersjoy.com .

Is a new home in your future? If so, sites like hatchmyhouse.com and mydreamhomeregistry.com lets guests contribute cash to your savings account to help you afford your new home.

If you don’t want to be too lavish, but still want to take a mini excursion or ‘staycation’: Newlywish.com is perfect for couples registering wanting to take advantage of local things like wine tastings or museum memberships.

If giving back is your wedding wish, charitable donation sites like IDOFoundation.org and changingthepresent.org/weddings lets you create a special registry that lets guests to choose from designated charities and non-profit organizations.

If you’re getting married or know someone who is check out this list. Times are changing, you don’t have to be so traditional anymore let your wedding gifts work for you.

San Diego shows its passion for fashion

Models show off M Bride wedding gowns at the LOVE, Etc. bridal showcase at the US Grant Hotel on March 4. DIANA CAVAGNARO
view slideshow (4 images)



M Bride heads up wedding showcase

The US Grant Hotel presented LOVE, Etc., a wedding and event showcase featuring all things wedding on March 4, much to many engaged San Diegans’ delight. The event was set up on multiple floors, each with its own theme. The first floor, themed “First Date,” featured entertainment and weddings booths, while the “Romance”-themed lower level provided guests with additional booths, gourmet food and entertainment. Up at the second floor, guests encountered “I Do,” which included items from Tiffany Co. and must-have wedding shoes from Neiman Marcus.

In addition to the booths, two performances took place in the Presidential Ballroom — Aerial Revolution Entertainment, a company that performs incredible acrobatics, and a fashion show presenting the exquisite gowns of M Bride (which specializes in haute couture and high-end wedding gowns), as well as collections from Monique Lhuillier, Ines DiSanto, Elizabeth Fillmore, Kevin Hall, St. Pucchi and jewelry by Pamela Pogue, delighted guests.

During the afternoon, guests took part in live chats and tweets, and a raffle was held with a dream honeymoon give away, making the event a one-stop shop for those planning their upcoming nuptials.

Show Biz Style

Show Biz Style honored the heroic families of Naval Special Warfare on March 9 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel Marina, with Sally B. Thornton serving as honorary chairwoman. The semi-formal event featured a dinner and fashion show with a Hollywood Glamour theme, and the crowd arrived wearing sparkling silver or black-and-white attire.

Leonard Simpson and Brittany Noelle Simpson produced the flamboyant fashion show, with Simpson intertwining the theme into each segment — the catwalk featured all-white or all-silver fashions. The fashion show began with a black and white segment from Celeste Boutique. Georgiou Studio of La Jolla sent the models down the runway in white with a touch of black. Tommy Bahamas of La Jolla sent their models down the runway leading greyhound dogs at their side and showing off the men’s fashions. The finale was sizzling with Hollywood Glamour. The models wowed the audience with sparkling white and silver dresses. Amanda Baker from ABC’s “All My Children” was on hand as a celebrity model on the catwalk.

The event benefitted San Diego’s Seal-NSW Family Foundation, whose goal is to fill the gaps of government and military programs. For more information, visit www.westcoastseals.org.

Upcoming events

• April 26 — Walk on the Wild Side luncheon and fashion show presented by The Vista Hill Foundation, Manchester Grand Hyatt. For information, call (858) 854-5152.

• April 27-28 — Simon Fashion Now®, Fashion Valley Mall, Trends Friends Night starts the event on April 27 at 6 p.m. followed by two fashion shows. The event continues on April 28. For more information, visit www.shopfashionvalley.com

• April 29 — Spring Bridal Bazaar, Del Mar Fairgrounds, includes three fashion shows. For information, call (760) 334-5500

• May 3 — 19th annual Hats Off to San Diego luncheon, The Prado at Balboa Park, a salute to Broadway presented by the Gold Diggers. For information, visit www.golddiggerssandiego.org

• May 11 — Golden Scissors Fashion Show presented by San Diego Mesa College Fashion Program, Sheraton on Harbor Island, silent auction and VIP reception start at 5:30 p.m., fashion show starts at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call (619) 388-2206.

• May 11-13 — Southern California’s first dedicated Steampunk Victoriana Convention, Town Country Hotel, Victorian swimsuit contest on May 12 poolside from noon to 1 p.m. and Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea Fashion Show on May 13 from 1 to 3 p.m., $25. For more information, visit www.gaslightgathering.org

• May 15 — Fall/Winter 2012 TREND Event presented by FGI San Diego, San Diego History Center, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., $10 FGI members and $15 guests prior to the event. RSVP at FGIsandiego@yahoo.com.

— Diana Cavagnaro is a nationally recognized hat designer and milliner. She has been teaching in the fashion department at San Diego Mesa College for 20 years and is an active member of the Gaslamp Quarter Association, The American Sewing Guild, the San Diego Costume Council and the Fashion Group International.

American Gypsy Wedding Dresses: Designer Sondra Celli Talks Creating Over-The …

Gypsy Wedding Dresses

Boston-based dressmaker Sondra Celli, who will be featured on the new TLC series “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” premiering Sunday, has been designing over-the-top wedding and first communion gowns for the U.S. traveller community for 33 years. Celli and her staff work together to whip up outrageous dress creations –- sometimes in just a handful of hours — each of which needs to be bigger and better than the last to meet the demands of their customers.

HuffPost Weddings spoke to Celli about how she got her start in the bridal business and what it’s like to work with gypsies on creating the focal point of their Big Days. Here is her story.

I was always creative as a child. Because my mom was in the bridal business, I fell into that market, but I really wanted to be a designer more than a retailer. As a little girl, I always re-did everything she ever bought me — I’d take dresses apart and rebuild them. I loved to trim things up, put feathers on them and change them.

When I was 17, I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and before that I went to Scholastic International, which is a program that takes young designers as interns to six different countries. So, at 15, I went to Europe — Italy, England France, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark — and I worked as an intern in different design houses. I just fell in love with this business. I think the exposure to Europe and to New York at a young age just opened my eyes.

The gypsies actually found me through a couple department stores that I’d been working with at the time, when I started my own business years ago. Someone gave them my phone number. They called me and they said they wanted clothes. I asked, “Who are you”? They said, “I’m from Bridgette’s Baby Boutique” and “I’m from Anne’s Baby Boutique” and, before the end of the week, I had seven or eight baby boutiques call me, but they were all on the same street. And I wondered how they could all be on the same street? I called around to a few mentors of mine and one of them said, “Honey, you’re selling to gypsies! They lied to you and pretended they were stores.”

I was 22 and green in this business. So basically, I said, “Listen, I can’t be selling to you, I have to run a regular business.” They really wanted what I made, which was pretty flamboyant in those days compared to what was in the market. They decided they would buy from me — I would do custom clothing for them and sell it to them retail. They’ve been my customers for years.

I get a lot of requests for odd things and I really love the challenge. On the English show, the brides wear a lot of white. Here, gypsy brides tend to like color. Color separates you from the last girl, it makes you different. That’s a big deal for them. They don’t want to be like anybody else. Gypsies like to be unique.

They will send me photos from France, from Saudi Arabia. They’re computer savvy. They’ll come up with dresses that are 30 or 40 thousand dollars and they’ll ask me “Can you make this for a 10-year-old child?” They want to create their version of it. They’ll steal the color from it, or the straps or one little detail from it and I’ll design a whole new version pulled from different ideas.

I made a dress out of wigs once, which was pretty cool. The bride wanted these really wild colors and she wanted something she said “like the tail of a pony.” So I bought all different colored wigs and I chopped them up and I built a skirt out of all of them and it became like a fringe. It was absolutely fabulous.

We have a decent staff here of 11 people. But we have to work a lot — 20 hours, sometimes 24 hours, a day. A dress like that would take us 2-3 days.

We’re making very unique items and we’re technically challenged every single day. Some of these dresses are 70-80 pounds. I’ve got communion dresses that are 40 pounds and the kids are 68 pounds. It’s technical. You have to figure out how to make the dress stand out, how you’re going to make the weight shift equally on someone’s body. One of the women here actually has an engineering degree, which does help a lot. We work as a great team. Everyone here has a different skill and together we can make anything that anybody can dream up. The joy is in the design. I get up every day and I come to work and I love what I do. I do something completely different every day.

Gypsies don’t plan anything. Sometimes they call me at 12 o’clock and they want a dress by 5. It happens every day. I mean, I can’t make a $7,500 dress in five hours. But I can make a cute dress with some fringe and crystal in 5 hours, no problem.

You have to remember that travellers live dollar-to-dollar, day-to-day. If someone has a big contract this week, let’s say they paint of pave or whatever they do, and they have cash in hand, they decide that that’s the week they’re going to spend it all because this is the week they have the money. That’s how they live. And then they start again the next week. They’re not saving for college, because there isn’t any college. We’re thinking ‘Put the money in the bank and we’ll be prepared for retirement.’ They don’t think like that. They only think about today.

Sometimes I find them very stressed because they’re so competitive that they live, eat, sleep thinking about what’s the next thing they’re going to buy and it’s beyond their means sometimes. And they’ll call me and we’ll discuss a dress and they won’t buy it. And then two weeks later, and they’ll call up and need it in three days because they finally come up with the money to do it.

I think people portray the gypsies as bad people or people who only care about materialism. But everybody cares about materialism. We just show it differently. They show it through cars and diamonds. You ask my mother or your mother and anybody else “How are your children?” and they’ll say, “My child goes to Harvard” or “My child goes to Princeton.” We want to show that our kids are, you know, better than everyone else’s.

It’s the same thing with gypsies — it’s just in a different form. They walk around with the biggest Rolex and the biggest dress and they have to have the biggest wedding. The power they get, in their community, is from materialism. Whoever has the most bling wins.

As told to Natasha Burton

Click through the slideshow below to see some of the outrageous wedding dresses featured on “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding”

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Managing the Stress of Wedding Planning

Spring is a popular wedding season.  But no matter the season, weddings can be overwhelming.  So what is is about these blissful ceremonies that can turn nice people into monsters and how can this transformation be avoided?

Olesha Haskett is marrying her college sweetheart, and she’s chosen a destination wedding in Jamaica. Talk about stressful. 
“I’ve had my moments. I won’t deny that. But it’s been mostly because of other people.”

Haskett credits her fianc, her family and her wedding planner for taking away most of  the stress.  Because with invitations, reservations and libations, weddings can get hectic.
“Stress is natural, it happens. But when you have that support system to be there as a buffer it makes life so much easier for both the bride and the groom,” says Lerkia Lee-Tidball of Savvy Soirees Event Management.

So what causes blushing brides to become bridezillas?
“The pressure can build and really get to people. Those who get easily stressed out may not be able to cope with it well and it comes out in yelling, getting upset,” notes Dr. Greg Jones, a clinical psychologist in Washington, DC.

How to avoid wedding stress?  Experts say:
-stay healthy, don’t let your diet or exercise routine suffer.
-learn how to delegate, ask people to help.
-break things down to manageable tasks and focus only on those tasks one at a time.
-make a timetable
-utilize technology by posting a website.

“Technology will help you eliminate a lot of the anxiety and stress and make it so much easier to communicate with everybody and have everything organized,” Lee-Tidball says.

And most important keep to a budget so things don’t get out of hand.  Something Haskett and her future husband have tried to do.

(Shelby Lin for CNN’s Health Minute)

8 Ideas For Homemade Edible Wedding Favors

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If you’re hoping to add a personalized touch to your wedding, consider handing out house-made edibles as wedding favors. Depending on how many guests you’re inviting, this might sound like a daunting endeavor, but we’ve got eight homemade ideas that can be easily multiplied for large groups. Click through to see them all.

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Same-sex wedding expo returns to Livonia

Like at any wedding expo, diamonds will sparkle, flowers will blossom and gowns will wow.

But unlike at many other nuptials extravaganzas, the blushing brides and beaming grooms scouting the 45 vendors at the Detroit Marriott Livonia on Sunday will be same-sex couples.

The hotel is hosting the second-annual event, organized with Pride Source Media Group, publisher of Between the Lines, the weekly newspaper serving metro Detroit’s LGBT community. Last year, an estimated 225 people attended, according to Pride Source.

This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Power of Love.”

“The demand continues to be there, the inquiries,” said Susan Horowitz, co-publisher of Between the Lines, which has published a special marriage-and-commitment-ceremony edition every April for the last 12 years. “They’re looking for vendors who are friendly and supportive and not going to frown on their same-sex relationship. It’s the most intimate thing we all do, have our relationships honored by our family, friends and co-workers and we certainly want to do it in a welcoming environment.”

The expo was conceived after several reports of discrimination, like venues canceling rental agreements after learning that the marrying couples were of the same gender.

That’s the opposite of Kyle Burns’ attitude. The appraiser at the Miner’s Den, a Royal Oak jewelry store, explained that the shop, which is participating in the expo for the first time, offers a non-intimidating environment.

“It’s a community we want to support,” he said. “We do bridal. We are selling a moment to someone. We are telling someone they can come in here, pick out rings, we’re not judging them at all. It’ll be a fun experience. There’s not anything that they should be afraid of.”

The Miner’s Den will be among the 45 booths advertising everything from caterers, photographers and officiants to invitation designers, limousine companies and event planners.

For the first time, Comerica is the corporate sponsor this year.

“Comerica is very supportive of diversity,” said Chris Kelly, vice president and senior philanthropic adviser for Comerica Charitable Services Group.

The irony that this wedding showcase is being held in a state with no same-sex marriage isn’t lost on Burns.

“What this expo is doing is showing just because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage doesn’t mean the state won’t eventually,” he reflected. ” … The policymakers and the general public sit there and say all you want you won’t recognize it, but it doesn’t mean we won’t continue” to do it.

Roland Smith, a 57-year-old social worker manager from Farmington Hills, plans to attend the expo with his partner of four years, Paul Mattson, 45, a social worker.

“We’re just like everyone else. We want the same things everyone wants — a nice environment, a nice party, a nice place to have our events, with pictures, catering, music, everything else.”

The expo is 1-5 p.m. Admission is $10. More information is at www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=52378

Be an “appy couple”

It’s here. You shouldn’t at all be surprised that you can now design your very own app for your wedding. The website Appycouple.com allows couples to create an app specifically for their special day, that is compatible with Apple and Android products (as well as web access).

via Appycouple.com

The app acts as your save-the-date,  invitation, photo album, reply cards and gift registry links. You can pretty much take care of all the little details that you need to get to your guests through their phones. Directions, dinner choices, rsvp, you name it. The app also comes with a free coordinating wedding website.

Maybe grandma doesn’t have an iPhone, but she has internet? Everything that you create in the app can also be emailed in designs that match your mobile creations.

There are a plethora of colors available to design your app, that come in just as many different designs. It’s definitely a new, fun way to take care of the invitation process.

For an invite to the site, which is by invitation only, click here.


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Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves Getting Married?

Matthew Mcconaughey and his model fiance Camila Alves are planning to tie the knot in an exotic ceremony in the model’s native country of Brazil.

The actor proposed to Camila, the mother of his two children, in December of 2011 and they have been busy with wedding plans.

Camila and Matthew, who recently moved to Texas, flew to South American earlier this month for the actor’s photoshoot and used their off-time to scout out possible wedding venues in Sao Paulo.

A source revealed, “Matthew and Camila were scoping out venues in Brazil. Camila is definitely the one in control of the wedding planning. Matthew likes to act as if she’s ‘dragging’ him here and there, but really he enjoys it…

“Camila always dreamed of getting married in Brazil, and Matthew didn’t need much convincing. He’d pretty much do anything for her, and he’s come to love the country.”

Unrivaled Themed Wedding Options At Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa – eTravelBlackboard

Uniquely Themed ceremonies at Universal Studios Singapore,Maritime Experiential Museum and more

Imagination is the only limit for themed wedding options at Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa, incorporating Southeast Asia’s first and only Universal Studios theme park.

A recent example of a spectacular wedding in the park was a 30-table Chinese wedding combining venues in the ‘New York’ zone and ‘Hollywood’ zone.

The bride and groom made a grand entrance in a Rolls Royce, strolling down a red carpet paving the entire New York street! The wedding came to a grand finale on a celebratory note with fireworks at ‘Lake Hollywood’.

Wedding packages at Universal Studios Singapore can also include ‘celebrity’ guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop Charlie Chaplin and BeetleJuice. And to complete the Hollywood movie wedding experience, rides and shows can also be included, such as the world’s first TRANSFORMERS The Ride, Battlestar Galactica and Lights, Camera, Action hosted by Steven Spielberg.

Couples can also opt for the park’s pre-wedding photo shoot package of S$388 (approx. HK$2420), which includes 3 day-passes for couples with a photographer, and a VIP escort for two hours, giving them unprecedented photo opportunities.

Beyond the movie theme park, Resorts World Sentosa has some 40 themed wedding venues in one destination, providing one the most diverse range of choices in Asia under one roof.

Asia’s largest column-free ballroom at Resorts World Sentosa Convention Centre caters for the most spectacular wedding banquets imaginable. The Compass Ballroom is so vast and versatile that it can accommodate up to four thousand guests. Premium wedding package includes a complimentary Rolls Royce as the bridal car, and spa packages at ESPA for the couple, opening at the resort in June.

Coupled with the unique venues are a world-class FB team, in-house entertainment experts and event specialists who can take care of all wedding arrangements. Couples can have ease of mind once they check-in to their complimentary bridal suite. Every detail will be attended to by their personal wedding concierge, right through to execution.

Matrimonial options extend to Singapore’s only beach pool at Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, coming with its own poolside cabanas; Asia’s first multi-sensory Maritime Experiential Museum – where couples can even make a grand entrance aboard a gondola; as well as the newly opened Equarius Hotel that features a pavilion and outdoor lawn for garden-style solemnisation ceremonies. And when the world’s largest oceanarium – the Marine Life Park – opens at the resort by the end of this year, even more creative wedding options will be available.

Just a 20-minute ride away from Changi International Airport, Resorts World Sentosa blends serious business with fun as Asia’s most attractive venue for weddings.