Time for Tea!

Looking for locations for a bridesmaids’ luncheon or bachelorette weekend brunch? Well look no further. Alice’s Tea Cup, the trendy little tea room in NYC is the perfect spot!

Alice’s caters to customers of all ages, and as soon as you enter the door, you feel as if you have stepped back into your childhood. Fairy wings (that you are welcome to wear or purchase) along with other whimsical décor, adorn the various rooms inside. The chic fairy-tale atmosphere is perfect for the bride-to-be to share time with her bridesmaids or closest friends and family before her big day.

At Alice’s you will find a wide assortment of tea types from all around the world from traditional Black Teas to exotic Tisane Teas. If you would like to try something truly unique, the menu even offers a list of beverages called “Mar-tea-nis and such” that includes specialty teas combined with alcohol and other specialty ingredients. In addition to the wonderful teas you will find in this culinary wonderland, you will also find another tasty delight loved by all- the scones!

Anyone who has tried Alice’s Tea Cup knows that the scones are truly out of this world. These delectable treats are made fresh daily, and come with a sweet, creamy fruit butter to spread on top. Not to mention, they are a lovely compliment to the wonderful tea you will be sipping.

Alice’s Tea Cup has 3 different locations in NYC and offers breakfast, brunch and lunch. Reservations can be made for bridal showers and luncheons, and they even offer “Alice’s After Hours” if you are interested in having a private party in the evening.

Just recently, our beautiful bride-to-be Kisha had a bridal shower at Alice’s on Saturday, May 14th.

If you are interested in hosting your next event with stylish fairy-tale flair Alice’s Tea Cup is the place to go!

Fab Find: Bubbles and Beauties

Looking for a great favor for a bachelorette party or shower? Or how about a unique way to ask your friends to join your bridal party? Well the TFT Girls absolutely love this week’s fab find for just that!

Bubbles and Beauties create custom bath bombs that look and even smell like cupcakes! These chic ‘guilt-free cupcakes’ are an awesome twist for a fab favor that everyone will love. They offer over 25 flavors to choose from such as Berry Cheeky, Pepper My Mint, Choc of the Town, Strawberry Fields and more. After choosing your favorite flavor, customize each one for your special occasion with a saying such as “Will you be my Maid of Honor?” or “Jamie’s Bridal Shower”. These are the perfect favors to unwind and enjoy an after party soak!

Read more about Bubbles and Beauties custom bath treats here.

Exclusive Finishing Touch Offer From The Lia Schorr Day Spa in NYC

Lia Schorr

As a special first Mother's Day gift from my husband, I recently spent a day of pampering at the Lia Schorr Day Spa in NYC.  Although the ambiance of the spa is quite understated, the services are superb.  Lia greeted me personally when I arrived, and by the time I left, I felt like family.  Her accommodating staff made me feel the same way too.  I greatly enjoyed my hot stone massage and body scrub by Siobhan, wax by Tami and crystal and seaweed facial by Eugenyia. 

Lia has been in business for almost thirty years, and most of her team has been with her since the very beginning.  Lia also runs a skin care school, and has had numerous celebrity clients visit her spa throughout the years including Oprah and Brooke Shields.

Just in time for wedding season, and as a special treat for our Finishing Touch brides and friends, Lia is offering 30% off of all her services if you mention reading this blog.  Visit her website here to learn more, and book your appointment for a day of beauty today.  Enjoy! 

Cheers,

Soroya

Fab Find: Stephanie on the Sex and the City Hot Spots Tour!

With Sex and the City 2 hitting theaters this week, girls all over the globe have been anxiously waiting for their latest dose of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte!

Recently, Stephanie from the Finishing Touch team took a few of her girlfriends into New York City for a day of Sex and the City fun. They started the day off at the world famous Plaza Hotel-where they were greeted by photographer David Toth who came out to shoot some photos for Stephanie and her friends to capture some of their exciting day. David took great shots of the girls at some fabulous locations such as the Pulitzer Fountain, Central Park, and the Plaza gardens.

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After their morning of photo fun, the girls went on the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour. On the guided tour, the girls got to follow in the footsteps of the "Fab Four" and shop where they shopped, drink where they drank and gossip where they gossiped! The tour included over 40 locations from the show, and as they drove by each landmark they viewed clips from the SATC scenes that took place there! The tour guide had many interesting facts about each location and about each of the cast members, from Charlotte's art gallery and Samantha's private club, to Miranda's lucky gym.  She even pointed out where Carrie and Mr. Big held their engagement party.

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One of the favorite stops on the tour was the Magnolia Bakery, where everyone was treated to some delicious cupcakes that Carrie and Miranda had once enjoyed on the show. The tour continued where the girls could do some shopping at stores such as Ralph Lauren, Diane Von Furstenburg and Manolo Blahnik.


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Of course the day wouldn't be complete without a few cosmopolitans! One
of the last stops on the tour was at O'Neals, which was known on the
show as the bar 'Scout' that was opened by Aidan and Steve. While
heading to the last stop, the girls were treated to an exclusive sneak
peek into SATC 2. The tour ended on 42nd Street at the HBO Store where
they had everything SATC!

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The tour is perfect for a girls' day out or for a unique bachelorette party in NYC. So whether you are a Carrie, a Miranda, a Charlotte or a Samantha- you will be certain to have a day that's simply fabulous!

Special thanks again to David Toth! Click here to visit his website!

Click here for more information on the Sex and the City Hotspots tour!

2008 – What a Year!

What a year!  2008 flew by so quickly and was so full of amazing events, we can hardly believe 2009 is already here.

As we think of all of the wonderful things we have to be thankful for here at The Finishing Touch, we would like to take this opportunity to look back on 2008 and talk about all of the fantastic events and accomplishments.  We would also like to let you know about the great things we have coming up in the new year.

2008 brought many changes to The Finishing Touch.  We opened a London office to cater to European clients looking to get married in the NY Metro area and US clients planning European destination weddings and honeymoons. 

We gained four new team members – Leah Rosensweig, Nicole Spagnoli, Priscilla Leto, and Soroya Campbell.

Another huge milestone that we are very excited about is that we added an Event Decor Design division specializing in creation of unique custom stationery and decor including invitations, programs, menus, seating cards, table numbers, favors, and bridal party gifts.

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Photos above by Infnity Photography, Francesco Mastalia Photography, and Ron Holtz Photography

One of our accomplishments for the year, is that we were selected to plan The Knot Magazine's annual North New Jersey Market Party which will be featured in their upcoming January 2009 issue.  The Olde Mill Innwas transformed into a chic Rainforest to showcase the event's "Going Green" theme.

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Photography by Magique Studios, Cake by Pink Cake Box, Furniture by Jersey Street Furniture Rental, and Floral Design by Santos Florist

We were also very honored this year to have been hand-picked to be listed in The Little Black Book of The Best Wedding Vendors on Style Me Pretty.comStyle Me Pretty.com is the ultimate wedding blog for "the style obsessed Bride."  The Little Black Book is a unique virtual resource to help Brides find the very best vendors.  Only three vendors per region per category are hand-picked for this distinction.  Stay tuned for more in upcoming blog entries.
 
This past year, our company and events were featured in various media outlets such as The Knot New York Magazine, Special Events Magazine, Manhattan Bride Magazine, The New York Times, 201Bride.com, and NJ Monthly Magazine – among others.

Of course, most importantly, there were our fabulous couples and their families.  We were so honored to be able to be part of their big day and help them make that day even more special and perfect.   

We rang in 2008 with Meghan & Kevin at their New Year's Eve Wedding at The Manor in West Orange, NJ.  Then it was off to the Dreams Resortin Cabo San Lucas with Jamie & Jason where we coordinated a gorgeous beach wedding and "Mess the Dress" session with their photographer, Norman Gilbert.  Their "Mess the Dress" session was featured in NJ Bride, NJ Monthly, the NY Times, 201 Bride.com, and even on TV.

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Up next was a cherry blossom fantasy wedding for Beth & Alex at The Roosevelt Hotel in NYC.  Then a beautiful seaside affair for Letty & Jeff in Cape May at the Hotel Alcott.

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Photos by Aleksey Photography

With the Spring also came the Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, and Wedding for Rebecca & John.  Each event was uniquely personalized for the couple by our Event Design division.  Look for their "Match Made in Heaven" wedding at The Knoll Country Club in the January 2009 issue of Contemporary Bride.

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Photos by Infinity Photography, Floral Design by Santos Florist

Spring also brought a truly one-of-a-kind wedding for Tiffany & Howie.  This very fun, memorable wedding at The Addison Parkwas filled with unique touches and entertainment including a fairy tale horse drawn coach, a living statue, a jazz band, an acapella group, and a magician for the kids.  To top all that, the very talented Bride had a music video of herself singing "God Bless This Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts professionally recorded by Pro Video Productions to play during the couples' first dance much to the Groom's surprise.  Click here to go to our Facebook page to see the video "Tiffany & Howie's Love Story".

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Photos by Artistic Imagery Photography, Floral Design by Diana Gould Ltd., Living Statue from World Gate Entertainment, Horse Drawn Coach from Valentine Carriage

Rose & Mike's chic Pink and Brown wedding at The Venetian kicked off the summer.  (More about Rose & Mike's wedding in an upcoming blog entry). 

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Photos by M & R Foto

Then began a very busy Fall.  Irene & Alex's intimate ceremony was held in Central Park and their sophisticated wedding dinner was held at Le Bernardin.  Irene looked beautiful in her Oscar de la Renta gown and, in fact, was the very first Bride to wear this stunning creation that has been featured in countless magazines.   

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Photos by Francesco Mastalia Photography, Floral Design by The Romantic Garden

Jill & Alan's wedding at the Puck Building was the ultimate New York City wedding.  The Puck Building was transformed into a swanky lounge for an all night cocktail party.  The talented Bride's gorgeous artwork was used to personalize everything from the invitations to even the cake.  To watch a video clip from Bitcon Productions of this amazing wedding , click here.

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Photos by Francesco Mastalia Photography, Floral Design by Florisan, Cake by The Painted Cake, Rentals by Jersey Street Furniture Rental

September also included a tented wedding at the romantic Oakside Mansion for Laura & Travis.  (More on their wedding in an upcoming blog entry.)

Autumn in all its splendor was featured at Stacy & Jeff's posh affair at The Green Brook Country Club. 

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Photos by Ron Holtz Photography, Floral Design by The Romantic Garden, Cake by Carlo's Bakery

Mariana & Andrew's wedding was the epitome of New York City style and elegance.

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Photos by Grant Govier Photography, Floral Design by Thomas C. Anderson, Cake by Ron Ben-Israel

Jayme & Nick's wedding at the Manor in West Orange showcased the beauty of the Fall season with personal touches like custom pumpkin carvings and mini pumpkin seating card holders.

    

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Photos by Magique Studios

Whitney & Michael's nature inspired Chocolate Brown and French Blue wedding at the Montclair Golf Club showcased the Groom's Scottish hertiage with kilts, traditional fare and drink, and of course, a bagpiper.  (More on their wedding in an upcoming post entry.) 

We would like to thank all of the fabulous vendors we work with – the venues, photographers, videographers, hair/makeup stylists, caterers, officiants, musicians, DJs, limo companies, bridal gown and tuxedo shops, floral designers, rental companies – without whom none of these fabulous events would be possible.  

We have some very exciting plans for 2009.  We have fantastic weddings coming up including a Dominican Republic destination wedding, a New York City destination wedding for one of our London clients, and an "Old Hollywood Glitz and Glamor" styled wedding.  Be on the lookout for details on these and many more weddings and events in the upcoming year.

We also look forward to expanding our Decor Division in the future to help even more couples personalize their weddings and make them truly memorable.

Be sure to watch for us in the media in early 2009.  Our founder, Candice Benson, will be on an upcoming episode of Get Married on Lifetime.  In addition several of our events will be featured in industry print:  Rebecca & John's wedding will be featured in the upcoming January issue of Contemporary Bride; Tiffany & Howie's wedding will be in the upcoming issue of NJ Bride which will also feature Candice in an article on top Wedding Consultant secrets;  The Knot North New Jersey Market Party will be featured in their upcoming issue out in January ~ with more to come as the year goes on.

Thank you all so much again for your continued support and for allowing us to be a part of your very special day!  All the Best in 2009 and Beyond,

The Team at The Finishing Touch

Candice, Leah, Nicole, Priscilla, and Soroya

     

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Our Evening with Michael Phelps!

 

 

Working hard in the event industry has some great perks ~ and this was one of the best.  We were recently invited to the 70thBirthday Celebration at the stylish landmark bowling center in Greenwich Village, Bowlmor Lanes ~ with special guest Michael Phelps!  Yes, Michael Phelps, the record holder for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics.

As we arrived, we were instantly checked off the ‘list’, given wristbands, and finagled our way through press and into the building where we were greeted with a glass of wine ~ which Candice quickly traded in for a yummy Mango Cosmopolitan.  We rode up the elevator about 4 floors and entered a very chic atmosphere full of neon bowling, stylish cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres. We met up with our friend Tricia and I threw on oh-so-fabulous bowling shoes to attempt some bowling ~ not such an easy task in our business casual attire. About two games in, the record holder we love Michael Phelps, arrived and joined in on the bowling fun – well at least he sat in the lanes, we did not actually see bowling.  Also in attendance was Benji Madden, showing off his DJ skills, providing us with some great background music.

We had a wonderful evening and would recommend Bowlmor Lanes for your next bachelor/bachelorette party, birthday or customer appreciation event.  There are lots of options for bowling, dancing and holding a private catered event.  We know that we are definitely going back!

Have fun,

Candice and Nikki

Girls’ Night Out 19 Floors Up

On Monday night, Candice and I went to a Grand Opening "Girls' Night Out" at Mad46, the new rooftop lounge on the 19th floor of New York City's Roosevelt Hotel.  This invitation-only event was designed to bring together female event professionals for a fun night of food and drinks – no boys allowed.  : ) 

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We snacked on chicken satay and coconut shrimp and sipped creative cocktails, while taking in the amazing view of the NY skyline and sharing stories about our event experiences.  By the way, I am not a big fan of mojitos normally but the Mad Coconut Mojito they offer there is excellent.  I also recommend the Summertime Splash made with Pineapple Vodka, Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, and Pineapple Juice – its like a tropical vacation in a glass.   

Mad46 is a fantastic place to go for an after-work drink with co-workers or a relaxing night out with friends.  They offer a light snack menu and an extensive cocktail menu.  They can also host private parties such as corporate events or bridal/baby showers.

For more information, go to www.theroosevelthotel.com/Dining/Mad46/.

All the best,

Priscilla

Skydiving!

Recently I jumped out of a plane over 10,000 feet above land and fell 120 mph. Yes, I went skydiving for my birthday! For some strange reason, I had always wanted to go and I finally found someone who would actually join me! My girlfriend and I drove an hour north at 8am on a Sunday to jump together. Since everyone I told could not believe this was something I would want to do, I had to buy the DVD of my jump just to have the evidence!

 

Our instructors made the experience so much fun and did a great job of keeping us calm. After all our instructions and being strapped into our harnesses, we made our way to the plane. The flight up was probably the longest part of our whole experience (20 minutes). Surprisingly, I was cool and collected, watching the ground get smaller and smaller as we traveled up into the clouds.

 

IMG_2277[1]Once we were at the right altitude the door opened and I felt the strongest gust of wind hit my body. We crept to the edge of the plane while the cameraman hung onto the wing to capture my jump. Not once did I look scared, I was laughing and yelling the entire time! We freefell (no parachute) for about 60 seconds, held hands with the cameraman to make us spin and waved to the camera. It was absolutely exhilarating. Once it came time to pull the parachute, my instructor gave me the signal. I then reached down to my waist and pulled the orange tab & poof, I was floating.

 

 

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Our parachuting lasted about 5 minutes as my instructor taught me how to steer. Since I felt a little daring, we did some spirals & turns. Eventually we landed so smoothly on our feet, maybe taking one step forward as we touched ground! Upon landing the cameraman asked how it was and I exclaimed I wanted to go again, right now!

 

 

IMG_2310 It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and something my friend & I will NEVER forget. It is such a thrill and it makes you feel so invincible. I definitely want to do this for my own bachelorette party.  Something about being that excited and nervous together with a bunch of girlfriends can really bond you. We have plans to go back next month!

 

 

Next adventure: Whitewater rafting!

 

Until next time,

 

Nicole

Bachelorette Jamaican Getaway

Here at The Finishing Touch, we love to travel. We do so whenever given the opportunity.  Recently, I was able to share a trip to Jamaica with one of our Brides, Letty, and her girlfriends to celebrate her approaching Wedding Day.

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The girls decided to spend four days enjoying some fun in the sun.  With some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Jamaica proved to be the perfect location.  The girls decided to stay in Montego Bay  given its proximity to the airport (just 5 minutes!) as they were there for only 4 days. 

We booked their stay at the Royal Decameron Montego Beach which, although not my top pick for a wedding, is a great place for a getaway.   There is plenty of space for lying in the sun, unlimited drinks and food, and the price was right.   I definitely recommend if you can, booking one of the Ocean View rooms on the first floor which allows you to walk right onto the beach.

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Of course, with every girls' weekend there must be  music and dancing.  One of the top clubs in Montego Bay is Pier 1 where the ladies danced into the night with a beautiful panoramic view of the Bay.  (As an aside, Pier 1 also offers a beautiful location for a private party or wedding reception!)

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It was important to the girls that they experience some 'true Jamaica' on the trip so we knew to call Marva and Javia at KnowJamaica.com.  Marva and Javia run a great tour company on the island and the girls choose to climb Dunns River Falls, one of the most popular attractions on the island.

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Along the way Javia stopped at many local spots including the The Yam Man and a traditional fruit stand where we were able to enjoy some fresh coconuts.  The day was closed with a traditional jerk chicken meal enjoyed with some Red Stripe.

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The ladies and I left Jamaica happy to have helped Letty celebrate her last hurrah and looking forward to her big day!

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Till next time,

Candice

Diva and The City

I love Bachelorette Parties.  I think they are a great way to relieve some tension and have the Bride and Bridesmaids bond before the big day.  So when we were asked to plan the Bachelorette Party for our Bride Rebecca, I jumped at the chance.

Knowing the Bride, she was not a big fan of embarrassing "adult entertainment" nor was she one to go to clubs, so the party needed to be planned so that she would have a good time and not feel uncomfortable. 

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The Bridesmaids decided to host a swanky cocktail party to be held at the Maid of Honor's house and then go out to a local comedy club.  Since Rebecca is a big fan of "Sex and The City" and the premier of the movie was coming up, it was decided that the theme of the party would be "Diva and The City." 

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The guests were asked to dress in pink and black to match the theme.  Strands of pink crystals and pearls were hung from the ceiling and the room was filled with candles and pink rose petals. 

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We designed unique centerpieces for the table that showcased sexy stiletto heels with pink and black faux fur purses, and over-sized "diamond rings."  We also created an over-sized "Cosmopolitan" cocktail centerpiece. 

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Everyone nibbled on hors d'oeuvres and sipped cocktails with risque names like "French Kiss" (French Martini made with Chambord, Vodka, and Pineapple Juice) and "Dirty Girl" (Dirty Vodka Martini with a splash of Dry Vermouth and extra olive juice). 

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Each guest had to pick a handmade cocktail charm to tie to their martini glass that said fun things like "Smokin' Hot", "Bombshell," and "Little Devil."

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For dessert, the guests were treated to pink cupcakes with our custom toothpick toppers that read "Rebecca's Bachelorette Bash" and mini cheesecakes from Cheesecake Aly in Glen Rock, NJ.

During dessert, the guests played "20 Questions for the Bride."  Each guest had to answer 20 questions such as "If you had to marry one of your ex-boyfriends, who would it be?" in the way they thought the Bride would answer them.  Then the guests swapped answer sheets so they could be graded fairly.  Then Rebecca answered the questions out loud.  If the answer matched the answer on the sheet that the guest was holding, the guest had to take a drink. 

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Then it was off to Bananas Comedy Club in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ.  One thing that I thought was really smart was that a couple of the guests' husbands hung around at the cocktail party to act as designated drivers for the night so no one would have to worry about driving while intoxicated.  It was also nice that the boys helped clean up after the girls throughout the whole night!

Everyone had a fantastic time at the comedy club.  Rebecca was very excited to see Bobby Collins which is one of her favorite comedians. After the show, it was back to the Maid of Honor's house for more food, drinks, and funny stories.  I definitely think this was a night Rebecca and her Bridesmaids will never forget.

All the best,

Priscilla