RECAP 2015 Capital Bridal Affair - Photography by Rodney Bailey


On March 1, 2015 Favored Owner Yodit Gebreyes and one of our Favored Brides attended the Capital Bridal Affair (CBA) and Fashion Show at The Mayflower DC. If you have never been there, it is a beautiful hotel located downtown near the White House and the perfect venue for a luxury wedding. In October, we have the privilege of planning a wedding there and the CBA was the perfect event to get our brides creative juices flowing.

The official photographer was Rodney Bailey who has been voted the “Top Wedding Photojournalist” by Washingtonian Magazine since 1999. For more on Rodney Bailey and to see more of his amazing work, check out his website here:




#ThrowbackThursday: Alicia Keyz and Swizz Beatz


Four years ago today Alicia Keys and Kassem “Swizz Beatz” Dean wed in an outdoor ceremony in Corsica. The beautiful island located between France and Italy was the perfect scenery as the couple said their  “I dos” to a small and intimate guest list.


Alicia donned a Vera Wang Grecian Goddess gown while Swizz looked dapper in a custom white Tuxedo jacket. 


If you recall Mr. and Mrs. Dean were expecting their first baby together during the ceremony and now on their 4th Anniversary, they announced they are expecting again! This will make two kids for the couple together and five collectively. Congrats on the new bundle of joy!!


#ThrowbackThursday: Wedding Trends Then and Now

The 1990′s The 1990′s was another decade of fashion change. The early 1990′s held onto some of the same styles, but as the years progressed, the styles became a little sexier and less traditional. Rock & Roll was the primary influence that changed this time period, slowly doing away with the big veil and long sleeved, modest wedding dress.

The early 2000′s

This is where personality prevails. The idea of making your wedding day your own has become more acceptable, and for good reason; it’s your day! As the years progress, creativity and using inspiration from years past, and future, has become more acceptable. Whether your invasion of the perfect wedding day is with all of the glitz and glamour or a casual picnic in the park, make it your own!

Here are some top trends shaping weddings now.


Dramatic Opulence

Professionals are predicting a return to formality and dramatic opulence. “Say goodbye to Mason jars and burlap, and say hello to caviar and elegance,” says South Florida-based party planner Sara Renee Lowell . “Wedding vendors are sick of couples bringing in the same rustic, vintage inspiration photos. Opulence is in.”

Which means the return of dramatic floral arrangements on pedestals, gleaming candelabras, and loads of professional lighting (translation: no more simple strands of café lights). For a recent wedding, New York event designer David Stark created a luxurious reception with a formal French garden theme: Sculpted hedges around the perimeter of the venue and structured dinner table centerpieces were juxtaposed against a lush, romantic canopy of flowers and glowing lanterns suspended overhead.

Pictured: David Stark created a formal French garden theme for a recent wedding reception.


Social Media Bans

With a smartphone in nearly every guest’s purse or pocket, wedding-day photos are almost guaranteed to appear in real time on social media sites. But more and more couples are politely restricting smartphone usage during the ceremony using cleverly worded signage (displayed at the venue’s entrance or printed in the ceremony program), as well as verbal reminders from the officiant.

“We’re going to see more and more ‘unplugged’ ceremonies in 2014,” says Renny Pedersen, Chicago wedding planner.. “Nothing is worse than seeing a beautiful photograph of the bride walking down the aisle marred by a bunch of cameras and iPhones. This way, the wedding photographer is able to get the most important shots, without any unobstructed views.” Bonus: Guests will also be more present during the ceremony. 

Pictured: A printed chalkboard sign by DesignSmithPaperArts asked guests to keep their smartphones and cameras in check. 

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Tapas-Style Tasting Plates

Family-style dinners were a huge trend last year, but they’re actually quite expensive to pull off, and the platters of food require significant table real estate, says Calder Clark of South Carolina-based Calder Clark Designs. So, what’s next? Bar-height tasting stations, where guests receive artfully plated, fork-friendly miniature meals prepared on the spot by stationside chefs. Experts say guests love the variety.

“Today’s couples are serious foodies, and they come bearing recipes and resolute memories from their favorite restaurants,” Clark says. “They want to include them in the reception, and there’s no easier way to do that than with the tasting plate—it’s petite, going back for seconds is totally kosher, and guests are able to be more experimental with unfamiliar foods.”

Pictured: For a wedding designed by Calder Clark, chef Johannes Klapdohr created an elegant tasting plate of Southern fried tomatoes drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and accented with edible nasturtiums.


Large Focal Points

Rather than decorating the reception with a slew of blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em D.I.Y. details, couples are more interested in decor that makes a statement. “The 2014 bride is ditching contrivances for oversize ‘wow’ factors like custom dance floors, vast patterned wall installations, and Versailles-worthy furnishings and lighting,” says Clark. “Our client is tired of littering seated tables with tchotchkes and is favoring the mantra ‘go big or go home’—in good taste, of course.”

As a result, couples are asking, “What will catch my guests’ attention when they walk in our tent?” Clark says. “Savvy couples realize that very few will remember custom-colored confetti packets at each place setting, but everyone will remember a nighttime ceremony lit only by 500 luminaries.”

Pictured: For recent wedding, Calder Clark designed an installation that served as a focal point: The 3-D wall was inlaid with boxwood topiaries arranged in a geometric pattern.

Source:                                                                                                                                                                 Source:

#ThrowbackThursday Fergie & Josh Duhmel

Fergie and Josh Duhamel tied the knot at the Church Estate Vineyard in Malibu, California. Fergie called it “magical” and “ethereal,” while Josh said it “incorporated both our personalities.“Lots of nature was important to Josh,” Mindy Weiss says. “I knew I could bling it up for Fergie.” fergie and josh wedding

The entire wedding party — including the bride and groom — was outfitted in dresses and tuxes from Dolce and Gabbana. Fergie wore a fitted, white ruched, corseted wedding gown with a mesh tulle overlay, spaghetti straps and a long train, all custom-made for the occasion. I love the back of her dress!

fergie and josh wedding

fergie and josh wedding

375 guests in attendance enjoyed a massive 150 pound cake at their $1 million wedding. Following an after-dinner slide show, Josh presented to Fergie a segment he produced of 40 of the couple’s friends and family lip synching and dancing to her signature hit, “Fergalicious.” – What a cute idea!

Ellen Black, of Lehr and Black, the company that designed the couple’s wedding stationary, tells, “Fergie loves bling and has a love for unicorns and Josh loves nature. The artwork had leaves and hidden details like a unicorn and the invites were decorated with crystals. There’s a current trend for celebrities to give out the invitation as a gift at the end of the wedding. That way, they can avoid the invitation being revealed before the wedding and can keep all the details a secret.”

The couple also gave their guests a unique treat by including a specially designed caricature of themselves with the invite. Black adds, “Josh has a love for art and viewed it as giving away of piece of art.”

fergie and josh wedding

Fergie‘s and Josh Duhamel‘s matrimonial diamonds were designed by Brazilian jeweler H. Stern. The jeweler designed the engagement ring, wedding bands and some wedding party accessories.

Fergie’s engagement ring is a customized Stars ring that features a round, 4-carat brilliant-cut diamond set in a stunning band with colors ranging from white to cognac. The singer also received a matching, narrow wedding band. Both rings were made of H. Stern’s 18 K Noble Gold. Josh’s wedding band was created at Fergie’s direction, featuring organic lines and asymmetric edges. Each band also has a special engraved personal message by the bride and groom.


#ThrowbackThursday Taking it Back to the 1930s

We’re taking way back this week for Throwback Thursday; back to the 1930s!

        vintage style wedding gown

This vintage style wedding gown is sure to be a show stopper. Just look at those Jewels! All eyes will defiantly be on the bride when she walks down the aisle in this stunning piece.

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Add a little bling to the bride with this gorgeous brooch bouquet.

bridesmaid dress 2

Lets not forget about the bridal party! These ladies look stunning in their gowns.

table setting

Photo by Jess Kornacki 

Capture the glamour of the 1930s with sleek and simple table settings. Mirrors, gold and crystal scream elegance!

reception decor 2

reception decor

You can go with either circular or rectangular guest tables for the reception. Round tables create a more intimate atmosphere where long tables create an open feeling. And don’t forget, lighting is everything! Placing candles on each table gives a space a more romantic vibe.

Flower purl cake

And what’s a party without cake? This beautifully crafted cake can serve as more than just a delicious desert. The elegant flowers and shimmering pearls can add to the decor of the wedding. Instead of having one large cake, try placing one of these as the center of each guest table. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!


These vintage dictionary word necklaces make the perfect party favor. You can customize each one by selecting your own word or phrase.

Now here are some tips on how to create your own 1930s themed dream wedding.

The Dress 

            If your thinking early 30’s then you need to be looking for a fitting flowing gown, and be considering slippery higher sheen fabrics. Cowl Necklines, curved trains and even medieval sleeves can be a major part of the overall look.              The most exciting thing about planning a 1930s wedding is choosing the clothing. You can either find genuine vintage pieces, or have reproductions made. Many bridal shops have brilliant selections of vintage style gowns, and you can find some specialists online that actually reproduce vintage wedding clothing.



Okay, so the bride is now perfectly dressed and ready to dazzle come the wedding day. What's left to complete the stunning vintage picture? Why, the groom of course!Making a comeback, popular tuxedo can be thought of as a much more modern wedding choice. In fact, during the 1920s and 1930s, the morning suit was the usual choice for weddings. It wasn't until the 1930s that the tuxedo began to work its way into acceptable wedding attire.Go trendy and pick up a tuxedo; they’re making a comeback anyway! The original vintage suits of this era are truly spectacular as well; if you can find one in your size, snap it up!


Use the entertainment of that era as inspiration to create a 1930s-themed wedding. The 30s was the golden era of the lindy hop, a type of swing dancing popular from 1935 to 1945. This exciting partner dance that features slides, jumps and throws is entertaining to watch, so if you are feeling adventurous you could hire professional lindy hop dancers as the entertainment for your wedding reception. Other popular dances from the 1930s include the foxtrot and the rumba. Take lessons to learn either of those dances and perform it as the first dance. Another option is to invite the wedding guests to join a conga line during the reception. Conga lines were popular in nightclubs in the 1930s so if it was ever time for a conga, it’s definitely at your 1930s wedding.

#ThrowbackThursday: Celebrity Wedding- Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

alg-kushner-trump-jpg On October 25, 1999, daughter of Donald Trump, Ivanka married Jared Kusher. The bride wore a Grace Kelly inspired Vera Wang gown to walk down the aisle at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Ivanka and Jared spared no expense for the wedding. She accessorized her dress with $130,000 worth of jewlery from her own line and the groom wore a black Brioni tux. Not only did the guests get to enjoy a beautiful wedding, they received Tiffany & Co invites and custom Havaianas with words Jared and Ivanka had written on the soles for the favors. The couple will celebrate thier 14th wedding anniversary next week. Congrats!!



#ThrowbackThursday: The Obamas

potus1 Last week, the most powerful couple in America celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. President Barack Obama and his First Lady Michelle, committed to spending the rest of their lives together at Trinity United Church in Chicago on October 3, 1992.


The dynamic duo met in 1989 when Michelle worked as his advisor at the law firm where Barack was working . POTUS proposed after three years of dating and promised Michelle not a life of riches, but an interesting life. After a life of politics and now living in the white house, I am sure he has made good on his promise! The couple now share two beautiful daughters, Malia (15) and Sasha (12).


#ThrowbackThursday: Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie

Hillary duff

On August 14, 2013, Actress Hilary Duff celebrated three years of marriage to her Hockey Player beau Mike Comrie. She walked down the aisle is a beautiful lace Vera Wang gown in Montecito in Micheal Douglas' former home. From the pictures, the day seemed to be flawless but Hilary says her wedding day was a complete disaster!

During an interview with Chelsea Handler Hilary says, "First of all I lost my tooth ... I was eating a bagel," she explained. "You know you starve yourself before your wedding ... Well I was like I'm going to eat a bagel first thing, I'm getting married in the evening but I have been so good it's not going to stick between [now and the wedding]. So I'm just chowing down on a bagel, a nice soft bagel and I spit my tooth out in my hand." Luckily Hilary was able to get her tooth fixed before walking down the aisle but that wasn't the end of her wedding day woes. Since Hilary is a big star, paparazzi are expected to be there but here pastors reaction was completely unexpected. "[He] steps out from underneath the little flowered arbor thing, and holds up like a fake Uzi or like a big gun .... and starts [pretending to blast] at the paparazzi right in front of our guests!" Listening to the story now is funny, but i'm sure I would have been motified if i was her as well! Despite all of the disasters, the couple remains happily married and are now parents to a beautiful baby boy named Luca.





Source: Huffington Post

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Couples- Nene and Gregg Leakes

nene-leakes-wedding-gregg-leakes Nene and Gregg met in 1996 while she was working as a stripper in Georgia. A year later the couple got married and had son Brentt in February of 1999. Unfortunately the world watched Nene and Gregg go through a very dramatic separation on Real Housewife's of Atlanta which finally lead to a divorce in 2010. On June 22, 2013 Nene and Gregg's love story had a fairy tale ending with the couple getting remarried at the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta Hotel.

The Wedding cost a reported $1.8 million with not one detail overlooked for the "very rich" actress. The star studded affair was attended by 400 guests including several of her RHOA cast mates. Nene wore a $50,000 Baracci dress for the ceremony and changed into a $20,000 Pnina Tornai dress for the reception. All of her bridesmaids wore white gowns by Gabriella Arango. From the few pictures that have been released so far the wedding looked absolutely gorgeous! I love the simple elegance of the all white Old Hollywood theme. I cant wait to see all of the details this fall on Nene's wedding special "I Dream of Nene" which will air on Bravo. Congrats to Nene and Gregg! We love to see a couple fall back in love and wish them many more years of love together. Check out a few pictures for the wedding below.



#ThrowbackThursday: Celebrity Couples- Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson

'Safe House' World Premiere After five years of courtship, on June 25, 1983, Denzel Washington married the love of his life Pauletta Pearson. From the marriage came 4 children: John David, Katia, Olivia and Malcolm. The couple renewed their vows in South Africa in 1995, and in a few days they will be celebrating 30 years of marriage! Denzel says the secret to a long lasting relationship is comprised of two things. "Do whatever my wife says, and keep my mouth shut!" Take notes fellas lol. In the midst of seeing marriages fall apart left and right in Hollywood, its nice to see a couple that was able to make it work. Congrats to Denzel and Pauletta!!

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Weddings- Fergie and Josh Duhmel


Fergie and Josh Duhmel got married on January 10, 2009 in Malibu under beautiful magnolia trees and white roses. The bride wore Dolce and Gabbana and the couple exchanged personalized H. Stern rings. Although a cheating scandal tested the marriage, Fergie and Josh remain married and celebrated their 4 year anniversary this year.


Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Couples- Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez

jennifer-lopez-and-marc-anthony-3D Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez were wed in a private ceremony on June 5, 2004. Guests thought the were attending an afternoon party, only to be surprised with a wedding! Four years later, Feb. 22, 2008, the couple gave birth to twins Emma and Maximillian. Marc and Jennifer were married for eight years  before filing for divorce in 2012. Both have moved on and are involved in other relationships.

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Couples- Toya Carter and Memphitz

toya-memphitz1 On June 19, 2011 Toya Carter and Memphitz got married in Atlanta, Georgia in front of their closest family and friends. It was a star studded event taped for Toya's then Reality Show "Toya: A Family Affair". Last year the couple celebrated their one year anniversary in Paris, I wonder where they will celebrate this year? Now the couple is rumored to have their own reality show coming out soon. Will you be watching?


Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Couples- Porsha and Kordell Stewart


Porsha and Kordell Stewart got married on May 21, 2011. Unfortunately, after staring on one season of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kordell filed for divorce on March 22, 2013 just shy of their two year anniversary. Since then, the couple has been the center of controversy including Porsha finding out about her divorce on twitter and rumors of the couple faking the divorce for publicity.

*Whew* I’m exhausting just writing about it! Marriage is a serious commitment so I hope these two aren't faking it for more camera time. If the divorce is real I hope they work it out, from the show it didn't look like they had any issues that couldn't be talked out. Good Luck to the Stewarts!! See below for more pics of the happy times.



Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Weddings- Michael Jordan


At 50 years young, basketball legend Michael Jordan has not lost his zeal for love or marriage. Although his first attempt at marriage failed, Jordan decided to try again with now wife, model Yvette Prieto. This week we are going to throw it back to Michael’s first marriage and recap his wedding last week.

In 1989 Michael Jordan married Juanita Vanoy and had three beautiful children before divorcing in 2006. Juanita received the largest celebrity divorce settlement at that time in the amount of $168 million.


Two years later, Jordan met Yvette in a Miami night club and proposed in 2011. Last week, the couple got married in Palm Beach, Florida in front of 500 of their closest friends and family. Although many of the intimate details of the wedding have not been revealed, we do know the bride wore a custom dress created by J’Aton Couture and that Usher and Robin Thicke serenaded the couple during the reception. In case you wanted to duplicate the sneaker kings nuptials, get ready to sell your first born child and put their first born on layaway. The largest tent wedding ever, 40,000 square feet, cost an estimated $10 million. We hope the second time is the charm for Jordan. Congrats to the beautiful couple!




Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Couples- David and Victoria Beckham


David and Victoria started dating in 1997 after a charity soccer (football) game. The couple wed two years later in Ireland with cute son Brooklyn as the ring bearer. The wedding cost an estimated $820,000 and is among the most expensive celebrity weddings of its time. Currently the couple has four children together: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper.


Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Couples- Will and Jada

will and jada

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith met on the set of Fresh Prince of Bel Air in 1990. In 1995 they decide to take their friendship to the next level and began dating. Two short years later they married in Jada's hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. The couple has two kids together and Jada is step-mom to Will's son from a previous marriage. Despite all of the rumors of a open relationship and separation, the couple remains happy and will be celebrating their 16th anniversary this year.

smith family

The Smith Family in the early years!

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Weddings- Jay Z and Beyonce

beyonce and jay z Hip Hop's Power Couple, Jay Z and Beyonce celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary on April 4th. They got married in a very private ceremony in their New York City Apartment only attended by very close family and friends. On January 9, 2012 the couple welcomed their first child Blue Ivy Carter into the world.

beyonce and jay z

Throwback Thursday: Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson


On October 26, 2002, Nick Lachey married his blushing bride Jessica Simpson in Austin Texas. The couple met in 1998 at the Hollywood Christmas Parade and Nick instantly fell in love. He proposed in February of 2002 at sunset on a chartered yacht in Hawaii.

Unfortunately, after rumors of Nick's behavior at a wild bachelor party three years later, the couple decided to divorce.

nick-and-jessica-wedding- Simpson-with-MOH

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Weddings- Giuliana and Bill Rancic

Giuliana and Bill

Giuliana and Bill Rancic are one of my FAVORITE celebrity couples. They are so cute together and I love how they support each other on thier show Giuliana and Bill on the Style Network. Despite the couples busy schedule and Giuilana's battle with breast cancer they remain happily married.

This super cute couple got married on Sept. 1, 2007 in Capri, Italy and welcomed thier first son Edward Duke right before their fifth wedding anniversary on August 29, 2012. This year the couple will be married for 6 years. Congrats to the couple!

Giuliana and Bill

Giuliana and Bill