Networking fun at the Meadow Wood Manor

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Last week we were invited to Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph, NJ for a Cocktail Party Showcase Event. We love these events as we are able to view and learn about the space, create professional relationships with the venue as well as vendors and at the same time, be exposed to unique food and entertainment ideas. Upon arrival at Meadow Brook we entered a mini themed cocktail bar with rainforest leaves & flowers, bamboo waterfalls and pina coladas garnished with pineapple and a blue cherry. YUM! Enjoying the gorgeous weather we were able to  relax on their outside patio as we observed their award winning chef create an ice sculpture.

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We then made our way into the cocktail hour room which was quite large and found 3 expansive food stations in each corner. Our favorite was the 50’s station, complete with mini Sabrett hot dogs, cheeseburger sliders, onion rings, shoe string french fries, baked mac & cheese and root beer floats ~ Again, YUM! We also were able to taste food from the Tuscany Corner as well as Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market station offered very interesting ways of displaying food, such as carved cheese displays as well as vegetable crudités in mini martini glasses or shot glasses.


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For the following hour, we convened in the grand ballroom which was decorated with lighting and presented a variety of table mockups. We enjoyed a full seafood bar and an Asian Fusion station while we were entertained by numerous entertainment acts. We laughed while we watched Candice play Joe Fischer the magician’s assistant, were in awe watching the salsa and swing dancers and bopped along with the DJ and drummer. We also enjoyed the oldies sung by the strolling quartet!


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Lastly, we were treated to a separate room specifically for the dessert buffet stations (my favorite part of the night!). They offered a funnel cake bar with ice cream, fudge & caramel toppings, a crepe station as well as a chocolate fountain.


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One of the key players for this event was Lisa Plocianak with A Touch of Elegance, one of our favorite vendors.  And of course we could not forget the stuffed cupcakes from The Cupcake Factory that we received as favors as we headed home; a GREAT way to end the evening.



Happy Spring,

Nicole & Candice


A Pampering Session So We Can Pamper Our Brides


Last week we had the pleasure of spending an evening at the Jacqueline Pasquale Spa in Edgewater, NJ.  While Leah was on her cross-country adventure, we were treated to a private pampering session where we learned tips to help our brides get ready while they are away for a destination wedding.



Owners Jacqui and Pasquale were gracious hosts, and they rolled out the “red carpet,” treating us to wine and Hor'dourves in a relaxing and inviting environment.  There were several stations set up for us to visit to experience different treatments so we could share our experiences with our brides.




One stop was with Juliann who demonstrated the Ultrasonic Microdermabrasion.  The technology has been widely used and popularized since the early 1980’s in Europe.  We had the demonstrations on our hands where the stainless steel tip of the hand piece was used to increase circulation, improving the skin’s texture.  It is safe for all skin types and does not have any side effects.  By the end of the process, we all had visible improvements, as our hands looked smoother.  For more information, and to learn about Juliann’s skincare products, contact her at 7760-727-0138 or at



Alan Jordan was also on hand to provide back massages.  His services include massage therapy, neuromuscular therapy for chronic stress, prenatal massage and lymphatic breast massage to promote health and wellness care.  He also offers package discounts ~ perfect for the bride looking to distress before the wedding.  At the end of our treatments, we all felt really relaxed and stress free.  You can reach Alan at 551-795-5224 or visit his website at






We even met wedding and event videographer Dan Hart from R Tank Media.  He serves the tri-state area and beyond, and does 1 or 2 camera shoots.  He can do a full documentation of the day’s events or a tightly edited 2 hour dramatic keepsake.  He offers pre-ceremony and reception coverage, video montage and many more a la carte options.  You can also have a choice of high definition blu-ray or DVD quality video.  Learn more at or contact him at 201-408-4835.



One of the big highlights of the evening was receiving a make-up lesson from Jacqui ~ a service she offers to Destination Brides who are looking to do their own make-up.  We also received tips on various hairstyles from Laura Koski.  Our styles ranged from a complete up-do on Priscilla, to a half up and half down style on Candice, to loose locks with handmade flower pieces on Soroya and Nicole demonstrating both a long and shoulder length style.  It was great to see how all the looks would be perfect for a seaside affair.




Make-up was put on to look sun-kissed and natural.  Rosy cheeks and pink glossy lips were the look, with some shimmer on the eyes.  Priscilla was even treated to eyelash extensions, which made for a very dramatic enhancement.



Overall, our looks were glamorous but not overdone and the best part is that we learned to do it ourselves.  We had such a great time, and we now feel even more confident about assisting our brides with hair and make-up when we are managing their destination weddings.  There’s nothing like learning from such great pros!  Thanks again Jacqui, Pasquale, Laura, Juliann, Alan and Dan.




Stay Fabulous,


The Finishing Touch Team


An International Summer Affair in NJ: Laura and Travis’s Wedding – 9.20.08



Although this one has been a while coming we are so excited to share the details and images from one of our great weddings from 2008. 

What a better way to end the summer than with a romantic wedding in beautiful Montclair, New Jersey? Laura and Travis, one of our couple’s living in London, were married on September 20, 2008 back home in Laura’s hometown.  As Travis is originally from South Africa, the couple’s guests were a wonderful mix of cultures. 



The ceremony took place at the beautiful Immaculate Conception Church.  One of the many memorable moments of the day came right after the ceremony at the historic painting of a rooster, which according to Laura really signifies the town of Montclair and had many memories to her.  The photographer Phil Cantor, of Phil Cantor Photography ( captured the great photo opportunity with Laura and Travis.








The reception that followed was located just next to Montclair in the town of Bloomfield at The Oakside Mansion, by the Frungillo Caterers.  This gorgeous mansion boasts a stunning wrap- around porch and foliage that makes a most elegant setting.  The cocktail hour consisted of passed hors d’oeuvres on the porch and stations set up inside in the different rooms of the mansion, surrounded by glass windows. Laura and Travis chose calming greens and brown for her color scheme, which allowed for wonderful invitations, menus and flowers.





Following cocktails, the guests were escorted down a small-lighted path with a fountain into a tent where the remainder of the reception and dinner was served.  The band, Moxie, by Elegant Ensembles, started everything off with a bang and the guests were ready to get the party going.  Laura and Travis had the privilege of being announced into their wedding by the famous Alan Kalter, announcer for the Late Show with David Letterman.  It was truly an amazing voice to hear live.





The wedding was a beautiful affair with a diverse crowd, some travelling as far as 8,000+ miles.  We even had the band play a few songs from South Africa to honor Travis and his friends and family.  We truly enjoyed planning and being a part of such a great event!





Guest Blogger: Get A Fabulous Airbrush Tan From Jacqueline Pasquale Spa


Airbrush Tanning is the safest most effective way to achieve the perfect healthy tan.  I ask myself, why isn’t everyone doing this?  I have been airbrush tanning my clients for over six years.  You have seen my tans at the Oscars, the Grammys, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival and the list goes on.


Airbrush tanning can be for everyone.  It is all about finding the best places with a staff that is educated on the solutions and the process.  Please do your research!  The main ingredient in airbrush tanning solution is called DHA.  There are many levels of DHA that can be used.   This is what makes your body naturally tan itself.    This is a perfect treatment for a bride, bridesmaid, someone going to an event, or just someone who enjoys tanning and loves to keep a colorful glow about them.  The best places should be able to customize a color specifically to you.  What that means is different color choices with the ability to add red, bronzer or DHA to your color to customize it for you.    


Many people use tanning beds which are proven to be very dangerous, yet they are as popular as ever.  With an airbrush tan you can achieve a bronze color in one session!   This would take multiple sessions in a harmful tanning bed! With an airbrush tan you will not experience any burning, danger, or bad side effects such as peeling, irritation or more important Skin Cancer.  Instead you will have a healthy natural tan with no bad health repercussion.


Skin Cancer has risen so dramatically because of the dangerous rays of the sun and Tanning Beds.  Now there is a wonderful and safe alternative.  Go get a custom airbrush tan.   It will change your life, it has changed mine.  I always wear the highest SPF in the sun but I always have a great tan.  No one ever knows it’s fake and won’t know yours is airbrushed on.

Airbrush Tanning is in Fashion!  No more wrinkles people. Go get moisturized and tanned at the same time!  Now you can be fashionable, sexy, look young, and most important, be healthy!

Laura Bush

See me demonstrating an airbrush tan at the link below.

Have A Beautiful and Healthy Day!

With Love,

Jacqui Phillips




Exotic Inspiration in New York


Last week, Candice & I were invited to the 2009 Long Island Event Planning Showcase out in Bohemia, New York hosted by the New York Tent Company. We were asked to the annual event by one of the event partners who we love working with, Dan from Luminous Designs.  The event is a great networking opportunity attended by top event professionals from the tri-state area.
Upon arrival at the Ronkonkoma train station, we were greeted by a black party bus to transport us to the event, complete with a movie, drinks and leopard seating! After checking in and dropping our business cards in a bowl in hopes of winning $2,000 in Tent Rental Credit, we proceeded down a long red carpet which led us into the dual-sectioned white tent. The theme of this year’s showcase was ‘Creative Simplicity’, tailoring to innovating event planning in a challenging economic situation. Inside, each corner was themed and color-coordinated providing us with unique décor ideas. One corner replicated a Moroccan tent with orange and red draping, tons of colored pillows on the floor and many votive candles.
Another corner illustrated an ‘all white’ theme paired with simplicity by filling 4 large, clear vases with marshmallows, milk, white feathers and eggs. Both sections featured a different caterer, ‘A Small Affair’ & ‘Elegant Affairs’ and Candice and I enjoyed Thai Chicken with Noodles served in martini glasses, as well as crab cakes , steak with spring vegetables mini meatball sliders. My favorite was the wooden farm table from Party Rental which was decorated with vines and sunflowers, featuring different types of hummus, dips and breads. The event also showcased an ice bar as well as a seated buffet station.

The event was a success and we enjoyed mingling and discussed the industry with event vendors.  Although we did not win the tent credit, we walked away with our tummies full, some great new vendor contacts and new inspiration for our brides, present and future.