Bridal Affairs

Angel of Hearts Weddings offers unique and comprehensive assistance to the discerning bride in planning her wedding with a full range of services tailored to her needs. Making magic is my passion.

Angel of Hearts Weddings--Watching Over Your Big Day!

Here is a place to share all things wedding! Please share your ideas with me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Now while you might well be wondering how one apparently small question could have such massive repercussions just bare in mind what this day means to the lovely lady in question. Most guys have never really given much thought to their future wedding but for many women it is a day they have pictured from their earliest memory. When you were scuffing your new school shoes chasing a ball your bride-to-be was already dreaming of her future Prince Charming (although at the time he was probably wearing a cape rather than your favourite trainers and T-shirt). It’s an over used phrase that it’s the most special day in a girl’s life but it is true. And what’s more she expects it to hold the same significance for you. So while she’s buying a newsstand’s entire stock of wedding magazines and showing you the 27 different ways she’s thinking of wearing her hair she’s hoping that thoughtful look on your face relates to your own ideas for the wedding rather than whether you’ll get to sneak out for a quick 18 holes this weekend rather than go to yet another wedding fair. Oh yeah… and she’ll wear a dress that will cost the price of a small family car. And then never ever wear it again.

Communication is key. Despite your beloved now having turned into bridezilla, in the words of Rudyard Kipling you need to “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs”. She IS going to get stressed. She IS going to get upset. You WILL have arguments concerning the wedding day. All this is perfectly natural and doesn’t mean you love each other any less it just means you’re planning a wedding and researchers say this is one of the most stressful events in a persons life. Especially for the bride.

One of the biggest complaints brides have is that their husband-to-be doesn’t seem to get involved enough or show enough interest. Yes there is an impossible list of questions to get through; What kind of flowers? What colour tie? What gifts do you get the bridesmaids? Should you sit Cousin Albert near the door in case he has one of his “moments”? While it’s true that what font you use on the place settings isn’t going to end world hunger or bring about piece in the Middle East these small details can make all the difference on the big day so get involved. Your wedding should be an extension of your personalities with all the quirks and idiosyncrasies that make the two of you so different. That doesn’t mean you have to dress as Smurfs or walk down the aisle to Iron Maiden but it means you should both be have a say in how you want the day to play out.

But you will need help to. Any bride has a whole support network buzzing around her keen to help out at every step and dress fitting. Us guys are never quite as willing to look for help but it’s not a bad idea to have someone on hand you can call when you need to head on a “fact finding mission” of you own to the nearest watering hole. Make sure your best man is the right man for the job who will sit with you and help you let off some steam when you need and also be the kind of friend that can help take some of the load off your shoulders when it comes to researching cars, musicians, DJ’s, etc.

So don’t just sit back ignoring the chaos, it isn’t going to go away and you’ll only add to the bride’s stress levels and if you bury your head for too long you might wake up on the day to find you’re travelling to the church in a pink stretch limo in a lime green suit. Make decisions, enjoy the process because despite some of the potential sticking points it should be enjoyable. After all this is going to be the most significant day of your lives, its your big day too.

Thanks to Kye Harman, at Simply the Best Man, for always giving the guys their fair share of the attention!

Friday, August 05, 2011


Last night, The VanCleve Wedding Pavilion dazzled the crowd at the Best of the Main Line Party at Drexelbrook. It was a stellar evening- more to come later today. But, The Wedding Pavilion was a hub of excitement and beauty as the stunning gowns of designer Matthew Christopher were displayed and modeled by two lovely and charming ladies. Matthew Christopher was also in attendance, entertaining the brides and patrons of Van Cleve, as they stopped to gaze and congratulate Deborah and her staff. There was no lack of fun and frolic as the cameras snapped photos and Deborah and the "bride" danced to the amazing and entertaining sound of Jellyroll. This incredible display was a highlight of the evening. And, this is Matthew Christopher with his lovely "bride".

Deborah VanCleve Phelps, Abigail McGrah and Leslie Padilla chatting it up.

Deborah and Abigail with one of Matthew Christopher's stunning dresses.

Matthew and Deborah pose for a photo.

Matthew kept the ladies entertained all evening. He is not only talented, but very funny with his lively humor and his adorable smile. He is mesmerizing, real and so funny.

Jellyroll kept everyone on the dance floor. The Van Cleve "bride" and Deborah were no exception. Imagine this to be your wedding and that is you in that gorgeous gown known as the "Peggy Sue Gets Married" gown. Deborah looked fabulous in her little red dress.

How much fun is this?

Deborah, Matthew Christopher and the models pose for a lovely photo- one of many taken with this stunning backdrop. As ladies stopped by to get a close up of these dresses and sign up to win a Matthew Christopher design, the models answered questions and Matthew took the time to speak to several brides.

The lovely bride. This dress is incredible. The fabric is delicate and the wispy applique makes this a perfect gown for a summer wedding.

Matthew Christopher and Leslie Padilla pose for a photo for me. I had to take two!

All in all,it was a great evening and a fabulous party. I will post more about it later today. The Best of the Main Line Party really was the best!

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Brides are thinking outside the box. When I was asked, recently, to find a "raw space"- a warehouse, for a client, it set me to thinking about all the really unusual and edgy places to have a wedding. In my search for this perfect spot, I found so many ideas that I decided to share them with all of you savvy, edgy brides out there. There are museums, castles and old estates, still. But, now there are old factories, barns and magic gardens in the middle of the city- and all the unique food, finishing touches and attire to go with them. Let's take a trip into the edgy world of weddings.

Raw space- a term that has become a buzz word for some of these great locations. The Green Building in Brooklyn, New York is one of those raw spaces. Complete with its exposed brick, weathered wood and bare floor- oh, and a carousel- this venue i
s worth a look. Gotham Hall is a grand lady in the middle of Manhattan with a great hall and a smashing ambiance. In Philadelphia, there are several great location- The Power Plant, used to be a chocolate factory. Beat Street Station is funky venue in Manayunk that will set the tone for a very modern wedding. And, right in the middle of a block on South Street, there is the Magic Garden. A "graffitied" garden with a perfect combination of indoor and outdoor space. Another venue that is gaining popularity is the farm. I was surprised at how many local farms are available for weddings. The rustic charm of an old barn and the great outdoor photo ops are endless possibilities. I am just full of ideas for an offbeat and edgy wedding.

When it comes to buying your wedding gown, many brides don't want the traditional ballgown. I found everything from sleek and sexy draped designs to pants and everything in between. These dresses by edgy designers such as Tamman, Rosa Clara, Luisa Beccaria, Collette Dinnegan and others will floor you with their unique and gorgeous gowns.

If vintage is your idea of the perfect gown, then why not check out sites like Etsy, Posh Girl Vintage and The Frock. Another place to go for a fabulously different wedding gown is The Lane. This site is full of dresses that you will swoon over- from all over the world. And, if you want to be eco- friendly with your wedding gown, designers like Adele Wechsler and Amy Jo Tatum are worth looking into. No chance of duplicating friends getting married with any of these dresses. So, if you are daring and bold and really want to make a statement on your wedding day- dig into some of these designers and see what I found.
I must add a word of caution to this section of the post. When purchasing a vintage gown from a web site or ordering a gown from a designer who does custom work, be sure of your ground. Find out how they work and make sure that you have recourse and a place to take your gown for alterations. And, if you fall in love with a dress from a designer that isn't in the USA, make sure that you are able to purchase the dress here. There is so much information on the web. Not all of it is good and not all of it is practical. So, don't set yourself up for disappointment. I have done my homework for what I post and I try not to steer you wrong. But, no one is perfect and what works for some doesn't work for others.

So, now you have that funky venue and a smashing gown. Now, you need to accessorize with a headpiece befitting and edgy bride. These ideas from places like BHLDN, Suzy O'Rourke and ETSY are perfect. Headbands, flowers and feathers are modern alternatives to a veil and you won't feel the need to remove these right after the ceremony. Birdcage veils are also very trendy and work well with a vintage or more informal gown.

And, to finish off your look- your shoes. I love these great finds from Hey Lady. With names like Twinkle Toes and Princess Buttercup, you will get a chuckle out of finding the right shoes for you.

Don't be afraid of color. Red or blue or purple peeking out of the bottom of your
gown will be fun and imagine that shot of the shoes and the ring and the bouquet! Put a feather clip on your shoes or a flower to match the one in your hair. Use your imagination and have fun. Be daring!


Other elements of your wedding "picture" include the guys, the decor and the flowers. For inspiration and ideas you can browse sites like Style Me Pretty, Perfect Palette and Green Wedding Shoes for "styled shoots", photos of what a wedding can look like. Some of these images are just that. I love the feathered boutonnieres, the button cake and the lemonade stand. Some of the things you see on your web search of ideas for your wedding are from real weddings and some are these styled shoots. Be aware of what is possible for you. Things may look great in a photo,but are they practical. If you are one of these edgy brides, who can think outside the box and make your wedding dream a reality this way, then go for it. You may be able to re-create these ideas and make them your own. And, for a fabulous and "out of the box" photographer to take the photos or this smashing wedding- why not try Tyler Boye, G E Masana, Oak Street Studio
( who took some of these photos) or Gruber Photography. Why settle for typical wedding photos if you are having an atypical wedding.


Here is where we really take a leap into the realm of the edgy wedding. Food trucks! Imagine your guests being fed by these charming trucks with everything from gourmet burgers, to dumplings, to cupcakes. It takes food stations and the buffet wedding to a new dimension. Schnitzel and Things, Country Boys, MHO Gastrotruck Rickshw Dumplings and Go Burger are among this new craze. Do you have the imagination, are you bold enough to try this? I can't wait to have my client try this- and brick oven pizza too.

I took notes, I spent days and I followed up with everything in this post. There is so much more! Want to find out? There are endless possibilities and there are many roads to travel to the altar. This is one that is sure to put you and your wedding at the top of the heap! Want to know more?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Welcome back to The Wedding Pavilion with me. Today, I want to tell you about some of the wonderful designers that the Wedding Pavilion carries. Do you know that you can dress your entire wedding party- including the mothers at The Wedding Pavilion? There are so many fabulous choices here. Pronovias, Stephanie James and Matthew Christopher are among the most cutting edge bridal designers at The Wedding Pavilion. Whether you are looking for a figure hugging and dramatic sheath, a formal ballgown or a smashing, yet informal short dress for a country wedding, The Wedding Pavilion has a dress that will blow you away.

Dressing our maids is easy at The Wedding Pavilion. Watters, Jenny Yoo and Alvina Valenta are among the fashion forward designers you will find on the 2nd floor of the salon. Short or long, chiffon or taffeta, lots of color options and a great staff to help you decide. You will truly enjoy the process here, at The Wedding Pavilion and you will leave relaxed and assured that the dresses will arrive on time and fit right.

Lets not forget the moms. There is a whole building devoted to dressing the two most important ladies in yours and your groom's life Designers like Stephen Yearick and Rose Taft are among the stars of eveningwear designers. You will find everything your mother needs to put together the perfect look to make her feel beautiful.
Shoes, jewelry, headpieces, purses- all things you will find glittering all over the salon. Some of the most trendsetting designers, such as Sara Gabriel, decorate the salon with their finishing touches for your your special day.

You can make your wedding day attire shopping a one stop, stress free and stunning experience with a trip to The Wedding Pavilion. So, contact The Wedding Pavilion for your appointment to have that special one on one attention that every bride deserves.

Next Week: Custom Designs at The Wedding Pavilion

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


When I picked up the new issue of Bride's Philadelphia, in addition to some really great wedding ideas, I took the time to read this article by Lauren Matthews. It made so much sense that I reached out to her and she agreed that I should post this on Bridal Affairs. Thanks, Lauren, for sharing such a well written and intelligent article. This really helps a bride to sort out the differences in that title "wedding planner".

"I need a wedding planner, er, coordinator, um, designer. Wait... what?!"

We investigate your options so you know exactly what type of wedding planner you're shopping for.

By Lauren Matthews

You know it's smart to hire a planner—but should you hire a wedding planner, coordinator, consultant, architect, producer, designer, or stylist? Sure, it's confusing, but we investigated the different designations so that you'll know exactly what you're shopping for.

Job Titles Explained

Since there's no license or certification required to practice wedding planning for a living, planners essentially can call themselves whatever they want. And while belonging to an organization like the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC), or the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA) is an indicator of experience, it's not the only one. Talent speaks for itself via photos on the planner's company website or blog. And, of course, as with all pros you might hire, always read reviews on sites like (natch), and politely ask for references from other vendors and couples. Now that we're clear on these points, let's look at what these pros can do for you.

Full-Service Planner

a.k.a. wedding planner, wedding coordinator, wedding producer

Does what?
-Provides vendor referrals and negotiates contracts; schedules and attends all vendor meetings
-Creates detailed timelines and floor plans
-Helps determine and manage your budget
-Attends site tours and menu tastings
-Brainstorms style ideas and coordinates design details
-Coordinates hotel room blocks and transportation
-Manages the rehearsal
-Oversees everything on the wedding day (makes sure everyone adheres to the timeline, handles snafus, manages vendors, and executes your vision on-site)

Right for you?
-You have no free time because of a demanding job
-You have no clue where to start when it comes to planning, and your organizational skills aren't the greatest
-You have a very short time frame for planning
-You're throwing a destination wedding and/or a wedding weekend involving multiple events
-You're hosting your wedding in an unusual space (read: not a hotel, restaurant, or banquet hall)

Wedding Designer

a.k.a. wedding stylist, wedding architect

Does what?
-Creates the wedding's design concept
-Provides color palette guidance
-Oversees the décor budget and vendors (florist, rentals, lighting, stationer)
-Sources special props and equipment
-Attends a site visit to visualize where you want everything to go, devise a layout, and identify potential problems
-Creates detailed floor plans
-Ensures all of the décor elements are in place on-site at the wedding

Right for you?
-The décor is the most important element of the wedding for you
-You're confident in your organizational and logistical skills, but your creative skills are lacking
-You're trying to pull off a very specific theme or you have a million wedding style ideas that you can't narrow down

"Day Of" Planner

a.k.a. wedding consultant, wedding director

Does what?
-Puts in at least 25 hours of pre-wedding work (versus 80 to 250 hours for full-service planners; up to 40 for designers)
-Meets with you four to eight weeks before the wedding to get a handle on what you've planned thus far
-Checks in with your vendors to review the signed contracts and confirm logistics
-Creates detailed timelines and floor plans
-Completes a final walk-through of the ceremony and reception sites
-Addresses any overlooked details (such as forgetting to hire a coat check attendant)
-Manages the rehearsal
-Oversees everything on the wedding day

Right for you?
-You want to play an active role in planning your wedding but would like someone to take care of the last-minute details and make sure you haven't missed anything
-You're extremely organized and detail-oriented
-You don't have the budget for a full-service planner