Mid Atlantic Celebrations

Wedding writing has become much more fun since I’ve had a lot of new brides in my family. My niece is planning to serve pie instead of wedding cake at her reception. There are so many cute options for serving/display, it’s hard to know which one to pick!
Best Friends for Frosting has a really cute mini pie tier.


This “sweetie pies” is too cute for words, but fun for a wedding.


I’m not sure what keeps this one from collapsing, unless it has a cake-like filling.

Photo: Jeremy Lawson Photography

These little pies in mini-Mason jars are distinctive, but the price of all those jars may be prohibitive if you have a large wedding. On the other hand, if you make them yourself, they would be less than a bakery cake; you could make them in advance.

Photo: Tiny Pies

Our Best Bites has a Mason Jar pie tutorial for you DIY brides, and includes freeing instructions.

Source: Our Best Bites


Tips for an Eco-Chic Wedding: Part 1

Since last week’s post was about budget gowns, I thought that I’d revisit a topic I covered in the News Journal in 2008. Green Weddings still receive a lot of buzz, but Emily Elizabeth Anderson, author of eco-chic weddings (Hatherleigh, 2007) not only provides tips on planning an environmentally friendly celebration, but also one that is socially responsible while being affordable and elegant.


Cute Eco-Chic DIY Wedding. | weddinggawker.

Being eco-chic does not mean that you have to sacrifice style. “Small changes add up,” said Anderson. “Together, they can have a global economic and environmental impact.”


Eco-Chic Wedding.

The “eco” in “eco-chic” should stand for choices which are good for both the economy and the environment. As an advocate a sustainable style, one that exists in harmony with natural resources, Anderson said that many brides add another layer to their wedding planning when they focus on recycling. By simplifying your wedding in an eco-chic manner, you can reduce bridal jitters and fully enjoy your day.

Try to separate those things which are truly important to you from those that are a marketing message. “It’s your day,” said Anderson, “you don’t have to do anything. Brides should take the confidence they have from their everyday life and carry it through their weddings.”

The wedding planning process is a good time to start thinking of yourselves as a couple, said Anderson, and make your decisions jointly. Many couples pay for a significant portion of their wedding. As a result of the drive to create a “once in a lifetime” moment, they find themselves going into debt. Financial concerns are one of the leading causes of stress in marriages.

A look at three big ticket wedding items shows you ways your can keep your wedding eco-chic.

Budget Bride Alert! Deeply Discounted Gowns

I’m a big thrifter, and although I regularly shop local resale shops and have recommended a few boutiques for brides to check out, I’ve never actually gone out to try to find a wedding gown. I went out to a bunch of DE/PA area boutiques and was amazed at the quality of the gowns I found and the great prices. Here are some deals that are a steal. Some need a little work or dry cleaning, but others look and feel new. Check them out fast, because some other bride-to-be is sure to snap these beauties up!

Goodwill of Delaware
4317 Kirkwood Hwy
Wilmington, DE
(302) 993-0413

Yea, I know, Goodwill wouldn’t have been my first stop for gown buying either. But if you’re on a budget or planning a green wedding and would prefer to buy something off retail, then this is your place. I found two gowns that were left after the March 9, 2013 DBCC’s Designer Bridal Gown Sale at the Delaware State Fair Grounds in Harrington. I couldn’t go this year, but I’ll DEFINITELY go to the November sale and report.

First up is an Eden Brides gown, Size 12 for $50. ($50!) It needs the most work, but nothing someone who’s clever with a needle and has a good dry cleaner can’t handle.


It has some great silver embroidery and a touch of bling at the nipped in waist to provide a flattering silhouette.


Covered buttons run the entire length of the back and train,


With more silver decorating its base.


Gown number 2 is an OLEG CASSINI gown for only $100. I didn’t get the size (I’ll do better next time) but you can try calling the store. The gown is strapless, chiffon over poly satin dream, with delicate embroidery on the chiffon.


It’s missing one button, but if you’re lucky, you might have a small piece left after alterations and you can make a new one.


It has a beautiful, floating train.


I’ll have more gowns and a resale boutique up this weekend. I need to call the store to check the sizes.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing: Part 3

Photo via Best Ballroom Dance

When selecting a dance and music for the bridal party, be sure to take the type of dresses the women will wear, as well as their hairstyles, into account. A low-cut or tight dress may make lifts or dips impossible. Remember to use fashion tape to keep gowns in place and prevent wardrobe malfunctions.

Find out what services are provided by the DJ. Many include the bridal party entrance announcement, the introduction of the bridal and groom, the cake cutting ceremony and the carter and bouquet toss as part of their package. Others charge a separate fee.

Similarly, check the equipment the DJ will use; their professional experience and qualifications.

Check the reception schedule with the DJs. How many breaks will they take in an evening and when? Equally, be realistic about your expectations. For a long event, it is considerate to provide the DJ with dinner. Don’t expect the DJ to be the last one served for refreshments, yet be the first one up to provide music. Have the caterer make a plate for the DJ to be served right after the bridal party.

Be sure to plan ahead! Six to twelve months is a good guideline to ensure you book the act you want on the date you want. And if you plan to have a choreographed dance routine you may need that much time to make sure everyone learns the steps.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing: Part 2

Photo by Craig Mitchell

When scheduling your interviews with DJs or musicians, be sure to consider other factors in addition to the cost. Ask the DJs about their style and what kinds of things you can expect them to do during your reception. Some DJs are known for their games and dance lessons; some provide straight music, with no interruptions. Talk to each DJ, and decide which style best suits your mood and gathering.

Be sure to take the age and tastes of your guests into account. The older generations may not be comfortable dancing to techno. It may be wise to start with American classics, like Sinatra songs or light jazz during dinner.

Develop a play list with your DJ. Many couples choose “their song” for their first dance. Others start with a slow ballroom-type dance, but then change things up by switching to a tune with a faster beat for the second half. Look at websites which show poplar songs for a first dance, the Bride and Father Dance, and the Groom and Mother Dance.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing: Part 1

The viral video of Jillian Peterson and Kevin Heinz dancing down the aisle at their Minneapolis wedding rocketed them to YouTube stardom and earned them a place on national television. Joyous, exuberant and playful, the bridal party boogied to the Chris Brown song “Forever;” surprised and delighted guests while once again proving music and dance can set the tone for your wedding.

While not all couples embrace the dancing-down-the-aisle phenomenon, many bridal parties strut their stuff during their entrance to the wedding reception. Some couples like to start their bridal party entrance with the classic Michael Buffer cry of “Let’s get ready to rumble!” prior to segueing into their music of choice. The couples do everything from a simple side to side step when they are introduced to dropping down and doing the worm. 

Whatever genre you choose, music plays an important part at your wedding reception. It sets the tone for the entire event, promotes conversation, heightens romance, and if you desire, helps to get your guests mingling by moving them onto the dance floor. The music should help everyone have a good time.

International Inspirations Part 3

The City of Quebec, Canada, is often rainy, so brides sometimes place a rosary on a statue of the Blessed Mother outside of Catholic Churches on the night before their wedding in an attempt to ensure good weather.

Celtic traditions abound in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Christian MacKay of Cape Breton Island, incorporated many highland traditions into her wedding.

“The Clan MacKay comes from the most north westerly corner of the Scottish Highlands.  It’s one of the largest clans in the northwest.  My husband’s family, the MacKays, first settled in the Lake Ainslie area of Cape Breton in the early 1800’s. Beginning in the late 1700s, waves of evictions swept through the Highlands of Scotland, known as the Highland Clearances.  The landlords discovered that their land was worth more when used for deer hunting or to raise livestock than was when used for crops. To exploit this new opportunity for capital revenue hundreds of thousands of Scots were expelled from the land. The Cape Breton people cling to their Scottish roots, and many tourists say that Cape Breton is more Scottish than Scotland.”

Prior to the wedding ceremony, her mother-in-law to-be welcomed Christina into the family by presenting her with a piece of the clan tartan, which she wrapped around her bouquet and carried in her wedding. Her husband, Chris wore the MacKay tartan; the traditional sporran, kilt pin, flashes and dress jacket.  Christina’s gift to him on their wedding day was his Sgian Dubh, which is a small knife that is often worn tucked into the top of the kilt hose.

For More Information:

Bridal & Tuxedo Shoppe

Astro Shopping Center

Newark, Delaware 19711

(302) 731-8802

Destination Cape Breton

Alfred Angelo

This story was first published in the News Journal under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All copyrights reserved.



Categories: Brides, Wedding Traditions


International Inspiration Part 2

Other international customs add flare to the wedding day. In Moscow, it has become popular to take a padlock and key to a bridge near the department of public services, and after the marriage registration, close the lock over tree-like metal sculptures and toss the key into the river. This symbolizes an unbreakable marriage. Laughing couples dressed in their wedding best share champagne with well-wishing tourists crossing the bridge.

Metal tree sculpture
Metal tree sculpture

Russians also use a twist on the “unity candle” theme for their weddings. Rather than the bridal couple lighting one candle to signify their new life together, the mother-of-the-bride and the mother-of-the-groom each carry a lighted taper at the wedding reception, said Nadezhda Pokhovalova of Grand Circle Tours. At her daughter’s wedding, the two mothers touched their candle flames to a taper held by the bride. This signified the sharing of the warmth from family hearth, and is a symbolic start of the hearth fire in the couple’s new home.

This story was first published in the News Journal under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All copyrights reserved.

International Inspirations: Part 1

Whether they are sophisticated or whimsical; elegant or fun, international customs can make your wedding personal and distinctive. Wedding traditions vary from one country to another, but each one is special and celebrates the marriage bond of the newlyweds. While family rituals can provide a connective thread at your wedding, many couples are borrowing ethnic inspirations from contemporary international brides.

To be legally married in Russia, couples must go the department of public services for registration. The brides and grooms are routinely spotted in public parks, in front of historic cathedrals, and on scenic bridges having their photographs taken after their registration.

The root word for “red” in Russian can also mean “beautiful,” and does not have the political connotations as found in the West. As a result, the color red is popping up on fashion-forward brides throughout the country. One bride dressed in red from head to toe for her wedding in a figure hugging laced-corset bodice gown, red veil; gloves and shoes.

Bride in red gown
Bride in red gown     

“Everyone wears white… I wanted something different. Red is for love and passion, so I chose that,” she said. Apparently her groom shared the sentiment, since he sported a matching red tie with his crisp white shirt and black suit.

Other brides chose to wear red in more subtle ways. Some wore wedding gowns with red sashes or embellishments. Glimpses of red garters could be seen on brides as the wind caught billowing skirts. One couple even hired a red limousine to chauffeur them around St. Petersburg on their wedding day.

One couple even hired a red limousine to chauffeur them around St. Petersburg on their wedding day
One couple even hired a red limousine to chauffeur them around St. Petersburg on their wedding day

Red is a popular color for bridal gowns in Delaware too, said Cathy Sawdon, owner of the Bridal & Tuxedo Shoppe in Newark. “We have sold over a dozen Alfred Angelo gowns with red accents.” This includes one popular style featuring lustrous satin, rich embroidery, pearl & crystal beading, sequins and a dramatic lace-up corset back. The Semi-Cathedral train can be ordered in 55 colors, including a rich red. “Alfred Angelo pioneered the use of color in wedding gowns,” said Sawdon and creates something special with all designs.”

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