Pinterest gains popularity in wedding planning

If you’ve browsed the Internet any time in the last year, you’ve probably heard of Pinterest, the latest social media craze. And brides-to-be everywhere are logging in and getting on board.

Tiffany Ellis, dress consultant and assistant wedding planner at EVENTS by September’s Bride in Holland, Michigan, has seen brides embrace this Internet trend. “We get a lot of brides into the shop who are re-creating things that they have seen on Pinterest,” notes Ellis, such as many handmade touches, unique color schemes, and dresses in different styles and colors for each bridesmaid.

The idea behind Pinterest is so simple that anyone can learn to use the site: Find images you like online and “pin” them to one of your themed collections, called “boards.” The boards allow brides to gather ideas easily in one place and create a visual of what they want their wedding to look like, Ellis says.

“A lot of brides need to see it all put together before them, and Pinterest makes it so much easier than cutting and pasting,” Ellis says.

Stocking and storage ideas for newlywed kitchens

By Lori Trepasso

When you’re registering for wedding gifts or sharing “wish lists” with friends and family before the wedding, it’s tempting to want everything a kitchen can hold, and then some!

But what items will you really need and use after the I do’s are said?

“I always encourage (couples-to-be) to focus on the real “work-horses” of their kitchen such as knives, cutting boards, and cookware,” says Gina Gramarosso, a team leader in Naperville, Ill., for The Pampered Chef.

“There are very few meals that are prepared without cutting or chopping!”

Investing in high-quality knives makes kitchen work more time efficient and safe.

“A high-quality knife makes meal preparation go so much faster, and a sharp knife is actually safer than a dull one,” says Gramarosso.

When choosing a cutting board, size and material can make a difference.

“Avoid glass or wooden cutting boards and (instead) use ones made of materials such as poly-urethane,” says Gramarosso.

“Glass boards can dull and damage your knife blades, and wooden boards can absorb liquids and food particles.”

Gramarosso recommends investing in a large, grooved cutting board that can hold a lot of liquid for large jobs like cutting a watermelon or slicing a large roast.

Color coded cutting boards (i.e., green for vegetables, yellow for fruit, red for meats) are also popular choices.

Cookware is the most important choice when stocking a new kitchen.

“Quality cookware (pots and pans) makes all of your dishes turn out better because it cooks the food evenly and makes clean up much quicker,” says Gramarosso.

Some other “must haves” for the newlywed kitchen include:

measuring cups and spoons

prep bowls with lids

mixing bowls

scrapers in all shapes and sizes

specialty cutting tools such as a vegetable peeler, zester, and food chopper

New trends for the kitchen are items that are both functional and attractive such as glass containers, bamboo serving pieces and towels, and ‘cool and serve trays’ complete with ice inserts to keep veggies and dips cold.

So, once you accumulate a fabulous array of kitchen items and gadgets, how do you store them and keep them organized?

“If you use the item every day, keep it close at hand such as on the counter or in a nearby cabinet,” says Cathy Dietl, a professional organizer. “If you only use the item periodically, store it in an out of the way place like the top of your pantry or in a nearby closet.

Dietl also recommends purging your collection of kitchen gadgets periodically.

“Get rid of things that you really don’t use or that you have duplicates of as that’s what can really add to the clutter,” says Dietl.

A counter-top caddy can help keep a kitchen organized and minimize clutter as well.

“Register for, or invest in, a nice counter-top caddy for kitchen gadgets and tools,” says Gramarosso. “Ten years down the road, you can turn that old kitchen caddy into an art supply caddy for your kids! 0They are great for holding pencils, rulers, scissors, and markers.”

The kitchen pantry often becomes a ‘catch-all’ for all types of items and can easily become disorganized.

“I recommend using storage bins in the pantry, and storing like items together,” says Dietl.

Like the gadget drawer, the pantry needs to be cleaned out frequently.

“I recommend that people scan through their pantry about every three months and throw out old or expired items,” says Dietl. “Then, about every six months, go through and give it a thorough cleaning.”

Saving original containers for larger items can help with storage issues as well.

“Keep the original boxes for larger serving pieces and appliances because it keeps them dust free and makes them easier to stack in extra closets,” says Gramarosso.

Grace Kelly: Bridal ideas from the princess that inspires 30 years on

Thirty years after her death on September 14, 1982 the Hollywood actress turned Princess of Monaco continues to enamour the world. 

Grace Kelly‘s sense of timeless elegance and beauty is something every bride aspires to.

Her own wedding dress, designed by Helen Rose with vintage lace, that she wore to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956, is known to have inspired the likes of Kate Middleton, Nicole Richie and many more.

Take a look at these stunning shots of the luminous beauty both on and off set to get ideas for bridal perfection. 

Keeping things delivate, Grace made everything look effortlessly feminine with flowers, gloves and petite handbags. For those looking at an Autumn/Winter wedding cover up, look at Grace’s choice of lavish, oversized coats to keep you warm before you head up the isle


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Wethersfield Historical Society To Display Wedding Gowns From 1837 to 1967

Rachel Zilinski was getting married last year and needed ideas for her wedding dress.

The administrator and collections manager for the Wethersfield Historical Society, Zilinski turned to the society’s wedding gown collection for inspiration.

“We discovered all these great wedding dresses,” Zilinski said. “We had to show them.”

The result is “Wethersfield Weddings: Tying the Knot!,” a special exhibit of historical wedding dresses dating from 1837 to 1967. The exhibit will also feature wedding invitations, pictures and assorted nuptial accessories provided by the community.

The exhibition officially opens with a reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center. The event is free and will include a tiered wedding cake donated by Shop Rite, society Director Amy Wittorff said.

“The manager tells me that the baker is going all out,” Wittorff said.

The exhibit’s 19 dresses vary from ethereal chiffon to everyday cotton, illustrating how fashions and customs have evolved over more than a century, Zilinski and Wittorff said.

Saying yes to the dress used to be much simpler and cheaper. The oldest gowns from the early 19th century, for example, were so-called “best dresses,” garments that women continued to wear after their wedding to church or formal occasions, they said. Many are not white, a practice that began when Queen Victoria wore a white gown at her 1840 wedding, but only took hold in the late 19th century.

“We have so many wonderful things in our collection that we can bring into context,” Wittorff said. “I’m hoping that people make connections with the past and the present.”

Zilinski said her favorite dress is a blue-and-white striped silk gown with lace trim worn by Wethersfield resident Mary Strong at her 1880 wedding. It features a bustle at the back and panniers, shells of fabric attached to the hips.

“It’s just the colors,” she said. “It’s so funky. It’s appropriate to the time period, but you’d never dream of wearing a dress like this today.”

The dress, like many of the era, required a corset, Zilinski said. Another gown of the same time period features a frighteningly narrow bodice demanding a gut-wrenchingly tight corset.

“There was a lot of criticism of the fashion at the time,” Zilinski said. “It was very glamorous at the time.”

Other dresses include a 1920s flapper-style chiffon gown with lead weights to keep its shape, a 1930s gauzy gown and a late 19th century dark blue frock with bodice and bustle. Blue was a common wedding dress color in the 19th century, which is why Tiffany Jewelers chose the color for its boxes, Wittorff said. The show also includes bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.

At least one bride will be on hand Thursday to see her dress on display. Marsha Meehan will get to see the embroidered column gown she wore at her 1967 wedding that she later donated to the historical society.

“I think it feels pretty great,” Meehan said of having her dress in the exhibit.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, Meehan wanted a dress that was nontraditional. She found the ivory gown at Sage Allen. A fan of folk music, she loved the informal material — dotted Swiss — whose use in a formal garment was unheard of at the time.

“It kind of reflected me and the ’60s,” Meehan said.

Also part of the exhibit are historical wedding invitations, which were often handwritten and sent to 10 or so family and friends a week or two before the nuptials, Zilinski said. Ceremonies in the 19th and early 20th centuries were typically more informal than today, often taking place in the front parlor instead of a church, she said. Brides spent more time and money on their “trousseau,” the wardrobe and home textiles, such as quilts, that they brought to their marriage, than their gowns, she said.

It was only in the 1920s and especially after World War II that the big production weddings of today took hold, Zilinski said.

“The economic prosperity after World War II really permitted the idea of the wedding industry,” she said.

The society has asked the public to let them scan their wedding photos as well as lend invitations and other nuptial knick-knacks, such as napkins, matchbooks and menus. The exhibit will include wedding photos from 1863 to the present. One artifact is a late 1950s wedding gown box from G. Fox’s specialty wedding section with the bill stapled to it. The cost of the dress and headpiece: $110.48.

The Keeney Memorial Cultural Center is at 200 Main St. To donate a gown or lend an item for the exhibit or for more information, call 860-529-7656.

Avril Lavigne Dishes on Wedding Dress Ideas

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Avril Lavigne has opened up about her wedding ideas for her upcoming marriage to rocker Chad Kroeger in an interview this week.

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The 27-year-old pop star got engaged to the Nickelback frontman last month after dating for just six months.

Currently, Lavigne has been photographed sporting pink and green hair with a large part of her hair shaved completely off, so it comes as no surprise that the singer admitted she wants an out-of-the-ordinary wedding.

“Either it’s something I’m going to design, or partner up with, collaborate with another designer,” said Lavigne speaking to reporters during a fashion event Monday. She launched her own clothing line, Abbey Dawn, in 2008.

“It might be something that I buy a few different dresses and rip them up and put them all together and dye them,” she added.

Many fans were shocked at her engagement to Kroeger, also native to Canada, as Lavigne was recently linked to reality television star Brody Jenner. The news of her engagement hit on the same day as Jenner’s birthday, sparking rumors that the singer was seeking revenge.

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“He makes her so happy,” a family friend told People magazine of Kroeger. “Both of their families could not be more excited.”

Kroeger, 37, proposed on Aug. 8 with a 14-carat diamond ring, according to People magazine. The couple reportedly met while working on a new song for her latest album.

“A romantic relationship blossomed as they spent time writing together,” Lavigne’s friend told the magazine.

Meanwhile, Lavigne presented her latest designs during New York Fashion Week on Monday, where Kylie Jenner, Brody’s little sister, served as a runway model for the show.

“Thank you Kylie Jenner and all the beautiful models who rocked the Abbey Dawn runway tonight,” Lavigne posted to Twitter after the event.

Lavigne’s marriage to Kroeger will be her second; the singer married Sum 41′s Deryck Whibley in 2006. They split after three years or marriage.

Avril Lavigne – Complicated and Girlfriend at Teleton (Mexico)

Autumn is for romance at the Ajax Wedding Show


Love is in the air at the Ajax Wedding Show on Sunday, September 16th. Brides and grooms are planning ahead to create their very own exquisite wedding. If you’re planning a wedding, you simply must visit Ajax Pickering’s longest running wedding show where you can pick up some incredible new decorating and dressing ideas and meet some of the area’s most impressive wedding professionals.

“I love helping couples create cherished memories that last a lifetime,” explains Laurie McCaig, Show Coordinator. “At this show, couples can find absolutely everything they need to plan their wedding. Everything from wedding decor and cakes to limos and photographers – it’s all here!”

Once you hear the soothing sounds of the Hartshorn-Walton quartet, prepare to be amazed. As you cross the threshold of the exquisite Ajax Convention Centre, you’ll be greeted by friendly, smiling faces, dazzled by the stunning decor and tempted to try some of the best hor d’oeuvres in Durham Region (courtesy of Ajax Convention Centre).

The Fall Wedding Show brings the best of everything you need to plan the most special day of your life to the beautiful Ajax Convention Centre. Local brides and grooms love that the focus is on top Durham wedding suppliers so they don’t have to travel very far to get exactly what they want.

The exquisite decor at the front entrance, ticket booth, and the stage has been carefully put together by Annie Lane Decor. Eva and Nancy will be using elegant amethyst to create a heavenly ambiance for the elegant bridal fashions and wedding ideas.

Brides receive a “Bride to Be” badge at the front door which makes them eligible to win fabulous prizes throughout the day. Spot prizes, courtesy of the News Advertiser and participating vendors, will be announced randomly throughout the show, creating lots of fun and excitement all day long. Listen carefully for your chance to win!

Every guest at the show has a chance to win a romantic one-night stay at the Ajax Hilton Garden Inn. Stop by the Ajax Hilton booth to fill out a ballot!

Be sure to see the incredible fashion shows at noon and 3pm. Discover graceful wedding gowns and elegant tuxedos from Bridal Desires and Tuxedo Royale. With music and emcee by Sight and Sound Music Services, you will be inspired to create the wedding of your dreams.

After each fashion show one lucky bride will win hundreds of dollars in fabulous prizes from The Bay, sponsor of the show. Stop by The Bay’s booth to fill out a ballot. These prizes are stunning so be sure to hear the announcement after the fashion shows. Brides must be present to win!

From reception venues, caterers and wedding cakes to photographers and flowers and all the incredible details, you’ll find it all at the Fall Wedding Show. Choose the song for your first dance as a married couple. Look for bridal bouquet and reception ideas and discover some incredible little details that you hadn’t even considered yet to make your special day extraordinary. Some vendors will even be offering specials and discounts to couples who book their services at the show.

Watch as the hair stylists from Michael’s Hair Studio and makeup artists from MakeUp by Lena work their magic on the fashion show models right on the floor so you can see how it’s done. Feel free to ask questions about proper application techniques and the best colours to use. Then arrange your personal consultation.

If you are planning a wedding, don’t miss this show! A full list of vendors is available online at Ajax Convention Centre is conveniently located right off Highway 401 at Salem Road and has ample free parking.

Tickets: Save and Win!

Discount coupons are available online at the brand new to save and win! By printing off the coupon and bringing it to the show, you pay only $4 per person, and each online coupon entitles you to be entered in a draw for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate courtesy of Pickering Photo. Remember to bring the printed coupon for your chance to win! Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the event for $6 each or two for $10.

The Ajax Wedding Show is Sunday, September 16 at the Ajax Convention Centre.

Wedding Cake Toppers: New Ideas for the Age-Old Tradition

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A look at 16 modern and vintage toppers, and one cake without

Tyler Sullivan's picturetdm-35-icon.png

In the wonderful world of wedding cakes there are oh so many options. Everything from flavor to style to type to height and width must be agreed upon; not to mention tiers, filling, frosting, color, theme, shape, frills, and fuss.

Click here for the Wedding Toppers Slideshow

In addition, there is the age-old tradition that seems to be becoming trendy once again: the wedding cake topper. To top, or not to top? Classic figurine, or something newer and more inventive? Rustic and Etsy-esque, or sleek and modern?

The avenues for toppers are seemingly endless. The classic marital couple topper has evolved into a variety of handmade items, edible delicacies, and even comical snapshots — everything from flowers to pom-poms to glitter to banners has decorated the tops of the latest cakes. Cakes themselves have taken on a whole new life, becoming themselves a topper, or dispelling the notion of even needing one.

However, in the name of tradition, and to celebrate our Entertain editor’s engagement (yes gentlemen, she is taken), we’ve taken a closer look at some of our favorite wedding cake toppers, and one cake without. So here are 17 of the most interesting ones we found.

Happy topping, everyone.

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Kristen Abele and James Schulman: How We Had A Beach Wedding For Under …

Think it’s impossible to have a beautiful beach wedding on a budget? Miami-based couple Kristen Abele and James Schulman, both 28, will prove you wrong. After spending a total of $8,000 on their January 2012 nuptials ($20,000 less than what the average couple in Miami shells out for a wedding), Abele shares how she and her now-husband were able to pull it off. (As told to Natasha Burton)

Deciding to spend less on our wedding wasn’t so much a big, conscious decision as it was a life necessity.

James and I had always wanted to own our own business together and the timing happened to just work out right before we got engaged for us to begin our endeavor: a content marketing and copywriting business based here in Miami, called The Found Gen. We started to test the waters with clients and quickly found ourselves in demand — which is the best case scenario for any new business.

Given that we were in the first year of business when we started planning our wedding, our budget was a priority. We needed to be able to pay rent each month and buy groceries before we could worry about cake toppers and table settings. But regardless of our financial situation, our style didn’t call for all the lavish luxuries that some weddings demand.

Still, my husband and I were both aware of the pressure to have an over-the-top wedding, especially from social media. For that reason, I stayed away from Pinterest entirely. At first, I followed a few blogs I liked but after a few months I realized I didn’t need to see anyone else’s wedding — I needed to focus on my own. I stopped looking for more ideas and instead just turned to APW (A Practical Wedding) for advice on what I was going through daily, which included the little dramas that are inevitable with wedding planning, like budgeting and marrying into a new family.

Above all, my husband and I wanted our wedding to be fun, carefree and a hell of a good time. So, we focused on the necessities: food, booze and a few core decor elements — you know, like tables. To crunch the numbers, I downloaded a program from Google Weddings. And we stuck to it.

We cut a lot of costs by avoiding many the formalities of weddings. We ditched the idea of having a bridal party. Instead of a cake, a family friend offered to bake outrageously delicious cupcakes. We bought local flowers, which were in season and cheaper to come by. And we limited our guest list to 100 people.

We also saved tons on our venue. Through a family connection we nailed a little-known beach space called The Key Biscayne Beach Club for — I kid you not — $300 for eight hours. It’s a small low-key club for Key Biscayne residents and my stepfather’s parents were members there for years. Even after his parents were no longer members, the people at the club remained close to the family.

They’ve had weddings there in the past — $300 a night is the going rate to take charge of the space — and for us, it was a perfect place to get married: It’s a small piece of beach space with a concession stand, a tiny playground on the sand and an indoor space normally filled with plastic tables and chairs. Most beachside weddings in Miami are usually held on South Beach and are associated with four or five star hotels — there’s really no way you could rent the space for less than $10K. So, this was a dream come true.

To keep with the beach “theme,” we had beach balls for our guests to throw after the ceremony rather than rice. Although, I admit I didn’t think everyone was going to peg us with the balls — I was more expecting them to toss them around like at a graduation!

My stepfather, who officiated our wedding, rocked a tux and flip-flops. Our tables were decorated with pieces of local coral. But we really tried to let the beach speak for itself. We wanted to incorporate simple design and coloring -– we paired blue glass vases with white flowers — and not overdo it with the décor.

Of course there were issues — what would wedding planning be without a dash of drama thrown in? We had some trouble fitting the rehearsal dinner into our budget. In the end, we ditched a sit-down dinner and invited all of our guests to a local pizza parlor instead. We ordered pies for everyone and had BYO booze. The total tally for 80 guests was $300. The bonus factor? It was such a casual affair that my aunt hired a mariachi band to serenade the whole restaurant as a surprise. People who weren’t part of our party started to join in on the dancing — it was a blast!

My ring was also a sticking point budget-wise, so we ended up turning to heirlooms to get us through. My mom gave me an old diamond cross necklace she received from her parents as a wedding present. Then, a local jeweler took the diamonds and the gold that held the cross together to forge me a band. It cost $100 for the labor — that’s it.

One of the things we did splurge on was my dress. I got it at David’s Bridal and, at $800, it was one of our pricier items. I had tried on about six dresses when the woman helping us brought out this ball of white poofiness -– even though I had been adamant about not wanting a ball gown. My mom told me to humor her and, low and behold, it became the dress. One major factor for, ahem, saying yes to the dress, was that I could comfortably sit down in it. So, once I realized I could do that, I was sold.

Our dream wedding, if you take price out of it, would have been exactly what we delivered in the end: a good get together with friends and family. The whole night didn’t feel like a wedding at all — in a good way. It was just a fun excuse for all of us to get together again.

The best part of the night, at least for me, was during my first dance with my husband. I’m kind of a goofball and, while dancing to “At Last” by Etta James, I just naturally started to serenade my husband while making all sorts of silly faces. Picking out my best friends’ laughter in that moment meant the world to me: I realized I was married, having a ball, and my friends and family from all over had come to share that experience with us.

Click through the slideshow below to see snapshots from Abele and Schulman’s wedding.

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