The Finishing Touch featured in (201) Bride Web Exclusive!

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Check out our web exclusive on (201) Bride Magazine's site! In this article, Candice offers some beauty tips on preparing for your big day. See what she has to say about exercise, skin care, hairstyles and more on getting ready for your special day.

Click here to read it!

Grab your girls for a photo shoot!

The one downfall of attending a university five hours from home is having your friends live in the south. Upon graduation, I headed back to the Tri-State Area (a place I realized would always be 'home') while my friends moved to Washington DC, Virginia and the furthest, Florida. Our lives took different directions with new relationships, jobs and homes, as we adjusted to not coming back from class to three girlfriends making dinner and having dance parties anymore.

This summer was the kick-off to our First Annual (hopefully) Girls Weekend Getaway!

Date: August 6-10, 2010

Location: The Ritz-Carlton in West Palm Beach, FL

Miles Traveled: 2,599 combined

Significant Others left behind: 2

As a special treat for my friends, I hired a professional photographer for two hours to capture some memories of the four of us. Ryan of Ryan Merrill Photography, and his assistant where so flexible and fun to work with as they followed us around.

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We tried to use our creativity for some fun and 'spontaneous' shots.

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Along with a shot that I think should be submitted to the JCPenny catalog..

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It wouldn't be 'us' if we weren't cracking up over something random.

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And lastly, to show our JMU pride (Go Dukes!)

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A great little 'gift' to my girls and something that will last a lifetime. Our photo shoot provided many laughs, memories and pictures to last a lifetime. For a bachelorette or shower idea…treat a friend to an 'impromptu' photo session with as many locations/wardrobe changes/props you can think of!

All the best,

Nicole

(and Casey, Whitney & Tiffanie)

Sound Byte: Candice featured on the Wedding Podcast Network!

 

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Recently, members of the New Jersey Association of Bridal Consultants joined forces to put together a dream wedding for a bride who is battling breast cancer. As the NJ State Coordinator, our very own Candice, helped to coordinate the wedding day for this deserving couple. Robert Allen of the Wedding Podcast Network, invited Candice to talk about this special wedding on a "Meet the Masters" recording. NJ-ABC Media Chair Rhonda Bassat-Rivera, celebrant Julie Laudicina, and photographers Tim Camuso and Glenn Maida also took part in the recording. During the recording, they each discuss their reasons for participating and how being a part of it affected their lives. Great job Candice! To hear the recording, click here!

To read more on Tina and Paul's Wedding, click here!!

Say ‘I DO’ to a Gluten Free Wedding!

So you have chosen the gluten free lifestyle because of a health condition or because it truly makes you feel better and you believe in it.  These days, most supermarkets, restaurants and caterers are beginning to fully understand the importance of a gluten free diet. When it comes to putting a menu together for the big wedding day, alternative banquet menus  are becoming much more acceptable and even trendy. 

Chelsea Clinton's wedding last month was reported to have a gluten free and vegan menu.  She has been a vegan since she was a teenager and has a gluten allergy. Her wedding was rumored to be catered by Chef Laura Pensiero of Gigi Hudson Valley Caterers and the the gluten free cake was created by La Tulipe Desserts of Mount Kisco, New York.

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 If you are thinking about having a wedding such as this, be sure you choose your caterer carefully.  Set time aside and make appointments with several caterers who claim to be gluten free.  Remember, this is your day – what a great moment to share something you are so passionate about.

Share and Enjoy:

The Perfect Gift to ‘Bag’ Your Bridesmaids!!!

 

 

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We are always on the lookout for some fab gift ideas for our Brides to give to their Bridesmaids. Brides usually want to give a gift that's personal and fits the personality of their Bridesmaid, but will also remind them of the Bride. We came across this great collection from Rebecca Minkoff called "I Do" Bridal Bags. These made-to-order bags come in four different styles – you can choose your own material for the bags – and can even use left over material from your wedding gown trim (which is what inspired the idea originally!) This is surely a special gift that any Bridesmaid would appreciate! 


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To read more on Rebecca Minkoff and the "I Do" Bridal Bags, click here!

Fab Find: Customize Your Own Cupcakes!

With shows like TLC's Cake Boss and the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, it's hard to go anywhere these days without seeing some delicious custom made bakery treats. However, with custom comes cost and it's not always feasible to have a custom cake for a smaller event you may have..so why not do it yourself?

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Roundabouts features some great cupcake sleeves that you can use to make your very own custom cupcakes! They have a wide variety of sleeves to choose from -you can create 'Popcorn' cupcakes for movie night or 'hamburger' cupcakes for a barbecue. From baby showers to football parties they have cupcake sleeves for all occasions!


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Click here to check out more on Roundabouts and to see some of their yummy recipes!

The Finishing Touch Gives Back ~ Tina and Paul’s Wedding

We first learned about Tina through Erik Kent of NJ Wedding.com who had read about Tina on her sister's blog, 'Tina's Elevator: Chronicle of a Strong Woman's Up and Downs." Tina was first diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2006. Just two
years after she beat it, she was re-diagnosed with metastatic breast
cancer in September 2008. In late January 2010, a PET Scan showed that
the cancer in Tina's organs (liver, lungs, chest nodules) had shrunk.
Unfortunately, the cancer in her bones has spread. Through all of the ups and downs, Tina knew one thing for certain…that she wanted to marry Paul,the man who had been with her through it all.
  When we learned about Tina's wish to have a
wedding, we knew right away that we wanted to help make her dream come
true ~ but we would of course need a little help from some of our friends! As State Coordinator of the New Jersey branch of the Association of Bridal Consultants, Candice teamed up with some fellow ABC members to
create an amazing wedding day for Tina and Paul.

 



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One of Tina and Paul's wishes was that they be able to be married outside in nature.  On June 26th, Tina and Paul got their wish as family and friends gathered at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan to witness their marriage. Tina looked beautiful as she was carried down the aisle by the groomsmen on a magnificent doli. With the ceremony led by Officiant Julie Laudicina, Tina and Paul exchanged their memorable vows. 


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After the ceremony, guests headed to The Excelsior in Manalapan for the reception. Cocktail hour music was provided by Elegant Ensembles, and set the tone for the evening of celebration. Everyone was then brought into the ballroom, where they experienced the beautiful decor that was created for Tina and Paul by the many generous ABC NJ members. All of the amazing floral arrangements were done by Robin Rohsler of Rohsler's Allendale Nursery and Florist. Lighting design was provided by Dynamite FX– and they chose the perfect lighting to really bring out all of the decor. The linens were provided by Select Event Rentals, which also helped to accentuate the color scheme of the wedding. Along with planning services, the Finishing Touch also provided day of stationery for Tina and Paul including escort cards, table numbers, and signature drink signs. 


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Tina, Paul and their nearly 160 guests danced until the very end to music provided by Craig Scott EntertainmentTimothy Glenn Photographers and Multi-Vision, were there from start to finish to capture all of the beautiful and emotional moments throughout the day. 

 

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We were touched to see how happy Tina and Paul were – with many photos showing their glowing smiles. It was an amazing, emotional, and powerful day for everyone in attendance- but for Tina and Paul it was a dream come true. We were so happy to have been able to be a part of their special day. 


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Special Thanks Again to ALL of the very generous vendors who contributed to their day:


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-Paper Works & Events of Englewood, paperworksandevents.com
invitations

-Officiant Julie Laudicina of Staten Island, New York, julielaudicina.com – ceremony.

-Elegant Ensembles of Closter, elegantensembles.com
ceremony and cocktail hour music.

-Magda's Designs, Inc. of
Bloomfield, magdadesignsbeauty.net
– hair and make-up.

-Craig Scott Entertainment of Rochelle Park, craigscott.com – reception music.

-Dynamite
FX of West Berlin, dynamitefx.com
– lighting.

-Ocean Tents & Party Rentals of Manahawkin, oceantents.com – chair covers

-Confectionary
Designs of Bogota, confectionarydesigns.com
groom's cake.

-Select Event Rentals of Pennsauken, weparty.com – linens.

-Timothy Glenn Photographers of Ridgewood, timothyglennphoto.com
photography.

-Multi-Vision of Paramus, gomultivision.com
– videography.

-Rohsler's Allendale Nursery & Florist in Allendale, rohslers.com
flowers.

-Mariya Molduvanova – wedding day coordination.

-Dawn Carter -Taylor Nicole Events –taylornicoleevents.com– wedding day coordination.

-Christine Hyder- Christine Hyder Events-  christinehyderevents.com – wedding day coordination.

-Kathi Evans- All the Best Celebrations – atbcelebrations.com – wedding planning

-Bride Ideas of West Orange, RhondaWeddings.com – public
relations.

Newlyweds in New Zealand

Choosing the perfect location for your honeymoon can be tough as there are so many beautiful places to visit all over the world. While many Newlyweds tend to choose a beachy location to simply get away from it all and relax, others choose to share an adventure together and discover something new. And that's exactly what our couple Meghan and Keith chose to do for their honeymoon in New Zealand!


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New Zealand is an island country located in the south-western Pacific
Ocean (which is about an 18 hour plane ride from New York!) Both Meghan and Keith are very active and were interested in doing something a little different for their honeymoon. They were looking forward to exploring another country for two and half weeks…not to mention a well deserved break from work.

The couple chose to stay at a few resorts during the course of their visit so they could try to see as much of NZ as possible. Some of their favorites were the Westin Auckland Lighter Quay, Huka Lodge in Lake Taupo, and Te Waonui Forest Retreat at Franz Josef Glacier. Meghan and Keith told us about their trip to 9 vineyards throughout Marlborough Wine Region, which they saw all in one day – and traveled by bicycle – wow! They went on hikes such as the Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike and a guided hike led by Ultimate Hikes on Routeburn trail in Queenstown. They even caught a game at the NZ International Sevens Rugby Tournament in Wellington (Candice was very jealous of this one).


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Meghan and Keith also enjoyed some fabulous cuisine while in New Zealand. Dockside, located in the heart of Queens Wharf, offered a wide variety as well as some fresh seafood fare. Shed 5 was another great seafood restaurant they visited, which included an outdoor deck that provided magnificent views of the Wellington Harbor.  However, their favorite place to dine was at the Huka Lodge in Lake Taupo where it was some of the best food they have ever had – 5 course meals and wine pairings every night!


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Meghan and Keith had an unforgettable honeymoon in New Zealand and would recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure who enjoys the outdoors. Even if you are looking for beach time to catch some sun or surf, New Zealand has almost as much coastline as the US! With its wide variety of activities and adventures, New Zealand has a lot to offer!

All the Best to Meghan and Keith!

To read about Meghan and Keith's Wedding at the W Hotel – click here!

Fab Find: Eat, Pray, Love…and Jewelry!


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'Eat, Pray, Love' is an incredible true story about one woman's journey through Italy, India and Indonesia as she searches for lasting happiness. In the book, she shares her experiences of pleasure, devotion and balance. After being on the New York Times best-seller list for an amazing 158 weeks,  'Eat, Pray, Love' is now making its way to the big screen and we can't wait!

To celebrate the August release of the film, Dogeared Jewels & Gifts has created a custom line of  'Eat, Pray, Love' jewelry and gifts! From bracelets and necklaces to meditation wraps and journals, Dogeared has created some beautiful items for fans to enjoy. For more information and to check out the collection, click here!

While there be sure to look at all the wonderful options for Wedding Day Jewels for you and your Bridesmaids.