Thursday, January 31, 2008

Designer gowns for a First Daughter

In case you haven't heard, Jenna Bush is getting married this spring. According to Style Scoop, First Lady Laura Bush asked 12 designers to take a stab at creating a gown for her daughter. The results:
Dresses designed by:

  1. Vera Wang
  2. J. Mendel
  3. Arnold Scaasi
  4. Carlos Miele
  5. Amsale
  6. Carmen Marc Valvo
  7. Angel Sanchez
  8. Badgley Mischka
  9. Nicole Miller
  10. Lela Rose
  11. Marc Bouwer
  12. Oscar de la Renta
My personal favorites are Carlos Miele (4), Amsale (5) and Arnold Scaasi (3). It'll be interesting to see what she ends up wearing based on these designs.

So tell me: 1) Which is your favorite, 2) What do you think Jenna will pick and 3) If you had a chance to ask any one of these designers to design a gown for you, what would you ask them to create?

Image from Style Scoop

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pittsburgh flair: Black & gold DIY invites

Yet another idea for throwing a stylish black & gold wedding. Miss Chickadee at Weddingbee shared photos and instructions for her DIY save-the-date cards, in black, white and yellow:
She created save-the-dates, but you could easily translate this concept into wedding invitations, menus, programs and more. Simple and stylish.

For more black & gold ideas, check out my previous posts on a black & gold wedding: style, candy and Terrible Towels.

Image from Weddingbee

Monday, January 28, 2008

Choosing your father-daughter dance song

Head over to iTunes to check out the latest iMix from Perfect Memories. Today's new play list features my top ten choices for your father-daughter dance. I tried to select of range of songs that would work depending on your personality and preferences: from sentimental to sweet, classic to modern.

You can find all of the Perfect Memories play lists here. . .and look for more in the future.

What do you think? What song will you dance to with your dad on your wedding day? Comment below and let me know!

You might be interested in:
Wedding Planning Secrets: How to have a fairy tale wedding on a shoestring budget.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pittsburgh flair: The Terrible Towel

Want to really bring some Pittsburgh into your wedding? Have a Terrible Towel send off at the end of your ceremony or reception. Imagine the bride and groom walking through a stream of guests waving the towels, acting like the Steelers just won the Super Bowl:
Whether you're having a black & gold wedding or not, the Terrible Towel send off can be a great way to incorporate some Pittsburgh-style fun into your wedding (take a look at Knottie Pittsburgher's bio for a real wedding example). Plus, using Terrible Towels offers some side benefits as well. Terrible Towels:

  • Can double as favors for your wedding guests.
  • Raise money for charity. Proceeds benefit the Allegheny Valley School.
  • Prevent messes, unlike rose petals, rice, confetti or bubbles. Chances are your site won't restrict them.
  • Make for one cool photo.
The Mike Feinberg Company sells Terrible Towels at bulk discounts. If you can't afford to buy one for every guest, ask around: many of your hometown family and friends probably own one already. Or you can just line your exit with your bridal party members, saving on the number of towels you need to purchase.

Image from Charm Bracelet

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New poll: Are you inviting kids to the wedding?

Vote in our latest poll on one of the most controversial wedding guest issues: are you inviting kids to the wedding? Choose your answer in the poll located on the left sidebar.

Stay tuned for the results, and look for a post to follow about the subject, including some recommendations on handling this sticky situation.

Poll results: When did you get engaged?

The results from the latest poll are in:

When did you get engaged?

  • On any other day: 47 percent
  • On a holiday: 33 percent
  • On a special occasion: 19 percent
Thanks for voting, and look for a new poll to be up shortly!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fab 5: Stylish boutonnieres

Think beyond roses, baby's breath and bows and let your groom don a boutonniere that's stylish and, well, a little more manly. Calla lilies are always a popular choice for a sleek modern look, but reach a bit further outside the box and check out these fabulous five options:

  1. Modern Elegance

    Creamy white flowers accented with a bit of purple create a stunning accent against a black tux. Match the accent color to the tie for pulled together look.
    Image from Get Married

  2. Starring Role

    Two stephanotis flowers paired with a sprig of berries create a modern boutonniere for the costar of your wedding day.
    Image from The Knot

  3. Unexpected Twist

    Leave the floral behind with this all green bout made of succulents and green amazon coleus for a decidedly non-feminine look.
    Image from

  4. Something Blue

    Whether your wedding colors are blue or your groom wants to get in on the "Something Old" tradition, lean toward the unexpected with these charming blue blooms.
    Image from The Knot

  5. Keep It Simple

    Let his boutonniere accent, not distract. This lily of the valley bout is simple and understated.
    Image from Wedding Channel

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Always a bridesmaid

27 Dresses, staring Katherine Heigl from Grey's Anatomy, will be in theaters tomorrow--a perfect excuse to treat your bridesmaids to a girl's night! The movie looks cute and funny, and they have some fun interactive games on the Web site, like creating your own ridiculous bridesmaid dress.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is holding a contest in conjunction with the film. If you've been a bridesmaid more times than you care to remember, enter the contest for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card. To enter, email your story to the email address listed in the sidebar of this article about the movie and some local bridesmaid veterans.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quiz: How Pittsburgh is your wedding?

Head over to the Perfect Memories Facebook page to test yourself on our new quiz, "How Pittsburgh is your wedding?" This slightly tongue-in-cheek quiz tests your knowledge and love of the most popular Pittsburgh wedding traditions. Find out what kind of Pittsburgh bride you are!

To take the quiz, visit our Facebook page and click on the link in the discussion board. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A special first dance: Dirty Dancing style

Choreographed first dances have become quite a wedding trend lately, and truthfully I love them. It's unexpected and memorable for both the couple and the guests. Spend a few minutes on You Tube and you'll find a ton of examples. I may do a future post sharing more of my favorites, but today I want to show you this gem all the way from the UK:

This made me think of one of my college roommates who's always said she wants to do this dance at her wedding one day (but with Patrick Swayze, not her own husband!). Perhaps this will inspire her to actually do it.

Sidenote: I love, love, love that wedding dress!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Finding a cheap flight for your honeymoon

I was browsing the Web earlier this week with StumbleUpon, and came across this comprehensive blog entry on finding the best deals on air fare. Laura Milligan at TravelHacker put together 30 resources for making sure you're getting the best price on your airline ticket.

Buying online is a great way to save on travel, but be prepared to put in the work to get a good deal for your honeymoon. Start early, because unless you are flexible on either the dates or the destination, you probably don't want to leave a last minute deal to chance. When looking at flights, I personally recommend comparing rates across at least a few of the discount sites, and once you find a flight you like, double check with that airline's Web site as well. Sometimes they end up giving you the better rate.

Image from

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Year's Eve wedding in Etna

Head over to the Post-Gazette to watch this video and read this story about a couple who were married in Etna on New Year's Eve.

The couple, Franklin and Daniele, exchanged wedding vows outside at the same gazebo where they met as teenagers at the bus stop. Very cute story, and I love the cars honking their good wishes in the background!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pittsburgh flair: Sports garters

Many Pittsburgh brides choose to wear a garter that represents their (or their husband's) love for one of our local sports teams--usually the Steelers, though I'm all about showing the love for the Penguins and Pirates myself. Google "Steelers garter" and you'll find thousands of Web sites selling different versions of this wedding tradition.

Unfortunately, combining the ultra-feminine laciness of a typical garter with the sporty colors and logos of your favorite team can result in gaudy hideousness (case in point one and two). And, whether the garter is officially licensed or not, many sites charge a premium for purchasing a team-affiliated item.

Enter Kristi's Charmed Life on eBay. Here you'll find the garters previously sold on the Morning Glory Garters eBay site. The sports team garter sets feature sheer organza accented with a bit of ribbon, a sports pin and one team logo for a simpler, cleaner look than most other sports garters out there. Plus, for around $20, you can purchase both a keepsake and a toss garter in the set, making this site my recommendation for Pittsburgh sports garters.

Kristi's Charmed Life currently offers garters for the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. She also sells a Penn State garter in her college collection, though no Pitt or WVU garters are currently for sale.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fab 5: Groom's cakes for every personality

A Southern tradition, groom's cakes have recently become very popular in Western Pennsylvania and across the county. Brides present the cake as a gift to their groom, and usually choose a design that fits their new husbands' personalities. The cake itself is typically richer than the wedding cake--choosing a chocolate groom's cake, for instance, can provide a flavor option for your guests if you're serving a white wedding cake. Though typically served at the reception, you could also use the groom's cake as dessert at the rehearsal dinner, or even a Sunday brunch.

While groom's cakes certainly aren't a necessary component, I love the fun designs and options available. It's also a great way to reward your guy with a little bit of his personality, after a year of putting up with wedding planning. And so here are five creative groom's cakes, each fit for a different kind of guy.

  1. The Poker Player

    He's got the guys over every weekend for some Texas Hold 'Em, so why not present him with a cake fashioned after his favorite game? This miniature poker table cake is complete with the playing cards and poker chips.
    Image from Hot Breads & Cakes

  2. The Gamer

    If your groom's always glued to latest video games, serve up a cake shaped after his favorite game system. This XBox 360 cake (pictured for use at an XBox anniversary party) looks real enough to play.
    Image from IGN

  3. The Car Nut

    Your groom's the kind of guy who spends his weekends under the hood, and never misses a Nascar race. Give him a cake designed to look like his favorite classic or race car.
    Image from Cakes by Sam

  4. The Partier

    His favorite pastime is, well, drinking. He links to hang out with the guys at the bar, tailgate before football games and relax with a cold one in front of the TV. Get him a cake that looks like a can or bottle of his favorite brew.
    Image from Cakes by Graham

  5. The Sports Fan

    He lives and dies with his favorite sports team, so get him a cake that shows his passion: a football helmet, hockey puck, baseball and glove or college mascot will do the trick. This Terrible Towel cake was originally designed for a birthday, but would be a great Steelers groom's cake as well.
    Image from Cake It or Leave It
You might be interested in:
The Ultimate Wedding Planner & Guide:
Everything the happy couple needs to plan their wedding with ease!
Compiled and written by a bride, this e-book includes ideas, wedding guest list, budget & checklist, contact list, reception ideas, gift list and more!

Monday, January 7, 2008

2007 Perfect Memories in review

As we start this first full week of the new year, take a look back at the ten most popular posts from 2007. Thanks for reading, and please stop back for more ideas throughout 2008!

Enjoy...and if you'd like some ideas on a topic I haven't covered yet, email me at and I'll gladly create a post.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Driving distance honeymoons: Asheville, NC

Less than an eight hour drive from Pittsburgh, Asheville, NC, offers plenty of romantic activities for a honeymoon. Located in North Carolina's gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a place to experience both the outdoors and the arts.

Scenic Mountains
Take a leisurely drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, or hike together along any number of different nearby trails. Visit parks and attractions such as Chimney Rock, where many scenes from "The Last of the Mohicans" were filmed.

Arts and Nightlife
Downtown Asheville bustles with activity, as artists and musicians provide plenty of entertainment for locals and tourists a like. A small and vibrant city, Asheville shines with its own unique character. At night, visit a local wine bar or brewhouse or take in a show.

Historic Sites
You'll find plenty of historic site and museums in Asheville, the most famous of which being the Biltmore Estate. At Biltmore, you can tour America's largest home, taste test at the winery and rent horses and bikes. You can even stay at the luxurious on-site inn or cottage.
For more information about Asheville, start with Explore Asheville for visitor guides and Web sites.

Images from Explore Asheville and Biltmore.

Visit me at the Pittsburgh Bridal Show this Sunday!

Stop by the Perfect Memories booth at Sunday's Pittsburgh Bridal Show from noon to 4 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton Pittsburgh North. Admission to the show costs $5. Take home some sweets from our mini candy bar and learn more about our wedding planning services. We'll also be giving a way a door prize (a collection of four wedding planning books).

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New poll: When did you get engaged?

With Christmas and New Year's Eve behind us and Valentine's Day just a month and a half away, we're certainly in the middle of a very popular season for marriage proposals.

Many guys choose to make the holidays memorable by proposing; others choose a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary. And of course, still others decide to catch their significant others off guard and propose on any other day of the year.

The thing is, any time is a great time to become engaged (well, almost any time...I'm sure there are exceptions!). But I'm curious about the vote on the poll to the left and let us know when your wedding proposal happened.

Poll results: How will you spend the holidays as an engaged couple?

Here are the results of our last poll:

How will you (did you) spend the holidays as an engaged couple?

  • Together, with both of our families: 56 percent
  • Together, with one of our families: 25 percent
  • Separately, with each of our families: 18 percent
  • Together, just the two of us: 0 percent
Thanks for voting, and look for a new poll soon!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season with your families and friends. It''s time to get back to the every day world, and here in Pittsburgh we've kicked things off a nice little snowstorm (not so nice driving back from Buffalo yesterday, however!)

The Perfect Memories Wedding Blog is back from vacation and ready for 2008. I'm looking forward to an exciting year!