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!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013


 Are you searching for the perfect gown for your wedding and don't know where to start or how to choose?   Here you will find some tips to help you sort it out and make sense of a very important decision.   And, to find more tips to dress shopping, see my other blog at VIP Magazine.    If you have other questions, let me know.      

 Dress Silhouettes  
Aline- an unbroken line from the bust to the hem with a fitted bodice and a full skirt
          This style is suited to any venue.  Suitable for most body types, but not good for              
           a thick waist.

Ball Gown- the most formal style, with a fitted bodice and waist and a very full skirt- the   
                   Cinderella dress.
                   Suitable for a medium to full bust and to hide a fuller hip.

Empire- falls from under the bust and flows loosely
              Suitable for a small bust and a slimmer figure, but not good for an hourglass.

Mermaid-  contours and hugs the body from the bust to the knee and flares at the hem.
                 Suitable for an hourglass figure or a tall and slim figure, this is a sexy style.

Trumpet- hugs the body to the hips with a straight skirt and flares at the hem.  Suitable   
               for an hourglass or slim figure.

Sheath-  very form fitting and straight to the floor.  Suitable for a tall or petite, slim
               figure.  Not suited to a full figure.

V- Neck- v shape dip in the front that may carry to the back.
              creates good support and good for a busty figure

Bateau- follows the collarbone to the edge of the shoulder.
             suitable for a small bust

Halter- wraps around the neck or a high neck with deep arm holes and an open back.
            good for broad shoulders

Portrait- off the shoulder
              suitable for a medium to full bust and also flattering to a pear shape figure

Scoop- a u- shaped dip in the front and a low cut
            suitable for most body types

Spaghetti Strap- thin straps on a strapless gown.  not meant for support

Strapless- there are three styles of strapless gown---
                 curve- similar to a scoop neckline and suitable for a large bust
                 straight across- a straight line across the bust and suitable for a small bust
                 sweetheart- a dip in the center and suitable for medium to full bust
                 ***a strapless dress should be belted inside the dress to keep from the
                    need to pull on it all day

Charmeuse- light- weight, soft and silky. very revealing and not forgiving of figure flaws
                     suitable for the fit bride and for any weather

Chiffon-  sheer, delicate and easily pulled
               good for a ruched gown and any weather.  

Georgette- light- weight crepe with a nubby, dull texture.  needs to be lined and suitable
                 any weather

Crepe- gauzy, crisp fabric, suitable for any weather, but best in spring or fall

Duchess Satin- a silk and synthetic blend with a shiny, soft feel- like butter
                          wrinkles easily and best suited for winter

Dupioni- raw silk
               great for outdoors or winer

Shantung- raw silk,lighter and nubbier texture than dupioni
                  good for a summer wedding

Faille- ribbed, soft silk or tafetta or cotton

Mikado- rigid and very structured silk with a sheen
             good for a fall wedding

Organza-  sheer and stiffer than chiffon
                 great for outdoors and warm weather

Satin- heavy and smooth silk with a high sheen
          luxurious and elegant for a formal wedding and better in cooler weather      

Tafetta- crisp and smooth silk with a light shimmer and lighter than satin
            suited for a fall or winter wedding

Tulle- silk netting, very sheer and fragile
         good for any weather and ethereal look

The train is the back of the hem that flows behind the dress

Cathedral- the most formal, this falls 7 ½ feet from the waist

Chapel- not as long and less formal, this falls 4 feet from the waist

Court- slightly longer than a sweep, this falls 3 feet from the waist

Sweep- brushes the floor and can’t be bustled


Overbustle- buttons or hooks across the back of the waist that connect to
                    loops around the train.   this bustle hooks on the outside of the dress

Tufted- good for a dress with b

eaded pickups, this bustle brings up a tuft into each bead
           the result is similar to a balloon shade

French- ribbons under the dress, tied to form a drape effect.  it is the most secure type

English- low overbustle and good for a narrow dress- mermaid or trumpet

Austrian- good for an organza gown this bustle threads ribbon through the train and
               pulls up like an Austrian puff shade

Pickup- a narrow bustle created with on button and one loop into an overbustle

Side- good for a ruched, asymetrical gown, the bustle is pulled to the side into the detail    
White, Ivory ( a more yellowed shade), Diamond White ( a more grayed white), Champagne ( more brown than ivory), Blush ( a pink hue) and all manner of color from pinks to reds to black, purple etc.
  *** an ivory or diamond white gown requires an ivory or diamond white veil and the groom should be in an ivory or diamond white shirt.  these colors vary in shade, so make sure to compare before letting your dress look dirty

Glossary of Terms   

Ruching- a pleated look in the bust or skirt
Beading- rhinestones, crystals, pearls or other gems sewn into the dress
Lace- an openworked fabrice with open holes used in decorating or creating a gown.     
         alencon, chantilly, English, Battenberg- the most popular types
Sashes- ribbons ties for adding color or effect to the dress
Corset- a laced up the back effect that is heavily boned and cinches the waist
Brooch- a pin that can be placed on a dress to create a more formal effect.


Cap- hugs the shoulder
¾ - stops at the elbow
Long- stops at the wrist
Bell- flares out at the elbow to create a bell look

To create a more modest look for church or to keep warm in cold weather, consider a bolero ( a short jacket that hugs the body to the should blade), a fur wrap, a lace jacket

with sleeves or a shrug( similar to a bolero).  These can add a layer that can be shed later at the party.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Today's post comes from a ridiculous article I read this morning in the Huffington Post.     On the heels of the disrespectful and false 20/20 report a few weeks back, this article does a disservice to the wedding industry and gives false and dangerous information to the bride.   It also purports that brides should "LIE"  and call their wedding a "party" and not a wedding.    Planning a wedding is complex and stressful.  But, it is not guerrilla warfare and it can be accomplished without lies, disasters or going to the poorhouse.   So, I have gathered some facts that you can use to plan your wedding and still have a "wedding" and not a "party".

You can also find planning books and spread sheets in places like The Knot, Google and Weddingwire.
 From wedding websites to planning advice and other helpful templates, you can plan a perfect day.

 Wedding Planning Do's:
 * Who is paying for your wedding?  Many couples are taking on the responsibility of paying for their weddings.   Parents may or may not contribute, though some parents still take the traditional roll of financing the big day.   Have a discussion about your wedding vision and wishes.   Then, set a time to discuss that vision with your parents and find out what and how much they want to input.   If your parents are footing the entire bill, then consideration should be given to their parameters.   If they are contributing a specific dollar amount, then more of the control may be in your hands.  Either way, compromise and communication are very important to the success of the planning process and to the end result- your wedding.!

* Make a wish list and have your fiance make one too.   Then, decide what is absolute and what you can compromise on or give up.   This will help you to create a budget that works for you and it will avoid arguments down the road.   

* Realize there are unexpected expenses.   Things will come up, you will want to embellish some things and add extras or need more of something.   When you create your budget, allow for unexpected things.  More on hidden expenses later.

* Set up a wedding account.   On line banks are a good place to do this, as they pay high interest and often don't charge for transferring money into your checking account.   

* Use websites like Etsy or Wedzu to find accessories for less.    Beware of "deals" that are too good to be true and DO NOT buy a "discount designer" gown on line.   More on this later.   Don't hire wedding professionals from places like Craigslist or classifieds.   You may not get what you bargain for.   

* When hiring your vendors, ask about setup and delivery charges, taxes and other service charges.   These costs can add to your overall budget.  

* Planning your wedding off season or on a Friday or a Sunday can save you money.   Many venues, caterers and other wedding professionals will charge less at a time when they are not as in demand.    

Wedding Planning Don't's:
 * Don't haggle!   respect the fact that wedding professionals are making a living.   They charge a fee for a reason.   You may be able to get a better deal if you opt for tailoring a package to your needs.   Understand that you would not haggle with a doctor for surgery or a lawyer for legal advice.   Wedding professionals are no different.   There are qualified professionals for all budgets.   

* Read your contracts!    Before signing and paying a deposit, read the contract and ask questions.   Make sure you understand what is provided and make sure your vendors know what you expect.   This will avoid a misunderstanding later.    

* Get wedding insurance!   This is not an expensive investment, but it could save you a great deal of money if something goes wrong, if Mother Nature creates a disaster and most venues require it.     

* Understand what you can afford!   While you are planning, you will see all manner of amazing things you will want to have.   You will also see images of things that look great, but are impractical or prohibitive in cost.   Stick to your budget and stay on track.   In the end, you will be just as happy and your day will be just as perfect.


Flowers:   While it is widely known that seasonal flowers are less expensive, there are varieties that are available all year round, so the prices don't flucuate.   And, there are many "look a likes" that can substitute for a more expensive bloom.   Ask your florist what is in season, but do your research and know what you can ask for at any time.   And, be open.  Sunflowers can be cost effective all year.  But, peonies have a window of availability and are more expensive at other times.   

Venues vs The Backyard Wedding:   You may thing you can have a less expensive wedding in the backyard.   Well, consider all the extras that are NOT included in your backyard- tables and chairs, a tent and dance floor,  port- a- potties, satellite kitchens for the caterer.   By the time you add in all the things that aren't already there, you could end up spending more than you bargain for.   

Buffet vs Sit Down: Buffets are not as cost effective as you may think.  First, you need to rent more tables and more linens to accommodate the food.   And, the caterer must make more food than you actually need in order to keep the buffet looking fresh.   Finally, guests will eat more and longer than a sit down meal.    So, you have to provide for this fact.   A sit down meal will provide on meal for each guest and nothing more.  In the long run, you may spend less serving your guests.   You may also want to consider a brunch or cocktail reception as a way to cut food costs.   An early wedding brunch will cost less and other vendors may charge less with a morning wedding.   

Wedding Cake vs Cupcakes:    Many brides are opting for cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake.   But, at a cost of at least $4-$6 per cupcake and adding the cost of set up and rental of the tower, you may not be saving money.   If you have a planner, you may get them to set up the tower- but ask first.   You can also opt for a smaller cake and then have sheet cakes to be cut in the kitchen to accommodate your guests.   

On Line Shopping:  While this sounds like a great way to save time and money, it may not be.   You can find great accessories and details on line, but when it comes to your dresses or other big ticket items- BEWARE!!!!   Buying your gown on line can wind up costing much more.   You may not get a dress at all or you may get an inferior copy of your dream dress.   There is also shipping and finding someone to alter a dress is expensive.   So, think very carefully about buying your wedding on line.   Remember- YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!   And, try sample sales, consignment shops and other means of cutting costs.

Hidden Costs:  These are things that you may not think of while planning your wedding and signing contracts...
1. The band may charge for extra equipment or other added services if the load in and size of your venue warrants it.   ASK when you meet with them.

2.  Postage is needed for all of your invitations and your RSVP's.   The invitation company does not include this in the price of your invitations.   So, please remember to add this cost in to your budget.

3. The alterations are almost never included in the price of your gown.   So, when you set your budget for your dress, remember to include your alterations and your accessories.

4. If you are having a great time and don't want the party to end, that is fine in most venues.   But, it will cost you.   There is a charge to extend your wedding and if you want the photographer or band to stay, make sure you know what they will charge.

5. Vendor meals need to be figured into your catering cost.   Every vendor at your wedding needs to be fed.   This includes bands, DJ's, planners, other entertainers, etc.  

6. If you have welcome bags for out of town guests, there is a charge to have them delivered to the rooms.   To save money, have them kept at the front desk and handed out at guests check in.   

7. If you are renting tables and chairs, linens, etc ask about the delivery charge.   And, to save money, find out what the venue already has.  You may not need to rent some things.

8. Everything you purchase for your wedding will have some tax included.   Save money by buying your dress in a state that has no sales tax for out of state sales and then have the dress shipped to you.  You can still bring it back to the store for alterations.  Gratuities are another thing that that may or may not be included in a price.   Make sure you are clear about pricing and what it includes.   And, if you plan to tip over and above what is included, remember add that into your budget and have the cash on the day of your wedding.

9. If you are bringing wine into a venue, ask if there is a corkage fee for the caterer to open and serve the wine.   And, if the cake is coming from a baker not on the list of vendors or not from the caterer, there may be a cutting fee.  Saving by using the vendors on a venue list is always a money saver.  

10.  Your photographer charges for the time he spends with you.   If you want albums, extra photos or any other product- that is over and above what you pay for in your contract.   Find a photographer with a package that suits your budget and then, ask about extras.   

There are many ways to save money and to stay on budget when planning a wedding.   You don't have to ask your relatives to take your pictures or cook the meal.   And, you don't have to resort to unethical and false recommendations to have a wedding on a reasonable budget.  If you have more questions or need more information, please contact me.  I am happy to assist.   


Consider hiring a planner.   A good planner can keep you on budget, recommend vendors in your price range and ensure your wedding day is perfect.   A PLANNER IS NOT A LUXURY!  And, if you are a DIY bride on a budget, it could be the thing that saves the day.   

HAPPY PLANNING!  Let me know how I can help!

Friday, February 22, 2013


The Great Gatsby is being redone and due to be released in March.   And, Downton Abbey is already creating an excitement for brides to re- create that look.   The new craze for the 1920's inspired wedding has brought designers to create dresses reminiscent of the period and Pinterest boards to be bursting with pictures of these dresses and more.   I started out thinking I would do a post on this trend, but in my research, I found that the whole idea of a "vintage" wedding gets mixed into a crazy combination of retro ( 50's - 60's), romantic and just plain anything that isn't new.   I also found brides in platform shoes and dresses with pickups.  And grooms in cardigans, sneakers and no jackets.    You might also want to know that old movie tickets, coke bottles and chalk boards are NOT authentic reproductions of the time period.   Vintage is not all inclusive.  

So, I decided to write my post on what IS the 1920's inspired wedding instead.     

  The 1920's, if you watch TV, read or have seen The Great Gatsby, was a time of great opulence.   The war was over, prohibition was lining pockets with money- ill-gotten as it was and people, especially women, were feeling their way and spreading their wings.   Weddings was becoming big business!   The wedding industry began to grow and break into pieces- the caterers, the designers, the makers of dreams.   Fashion was changing, hems were rising and corsets and layers of clothing were for your grandmother.   Brides of the 1920's were wearing simpler and shorter dresses and opting for dressing their heads in a more dazzling way, so as to feminize their shorter haircuts.   The bob was the craze and the cloche veil or hat was the sign of the times.  Wreaths of flowers were also in fashion, as were jeweled headbands and feathers.   And, elbow length opera gloves were worn by most brides.   They were made with a button at the wrist so that the hand could be slipped out and the wedding ring could be placed on her finger.
A chemese or tube dress was popular at this time.  Dresses were also designed with intricate panels in the front and back or with geometric patterns.   They were sometimes heavily beaded all over or they were very simple, adorned with lace or embroidery.   Tea length or ankle length dresses were seen most often and dresses had petal hems, were cut on the bias and had lower waists with the train falling from the shoulder.    The dresses here by designers like Jenny Packham, BHLDN and in the Etsy shops, are very modern recreations of the originals.  

At the time, everyone dressed for dinner- even the help.   So, no groom would show up to his wedding wearing a sweater and no tie- or sneakers!  White tie and tails and a top hat were the order of the day, especially for such a momentous occasion.   Shiny shoes and even spats were worn by the men.   The ladies wore silk shoes, often with bows or other embellishment.    This stunning dress by Matthew Christopher is very Gatsby!       
 As you can see, this was a very elegant and proper time and one where everyone practiced etiquette and the utmost of manners and grace.   A wedding dinner would have been an afternoon tea in the garden or an elegant dinner with all the finest of china and such.   There would have been candles and spectacular centerpieces with calla lilies and ostrich feathers.   Black and white was a popular color palette at the time, as was gold and jewel tones, in keeping with the Art Deco period.   There would not have been a beer bottle or a BBQ.              
Here is a little interesting tidbit I found in my research.   The engagement ring changed too.   More ornate, square and in a unique setting, it was coupled with a matching wedding band.   Rings were made more in white gold or platinum. 

Now, when you start to plan your 1920's, Gatsby wedding, you will have all the right inspiration to do it the way your great grandmother would have done it.   You may even want to wear her dress or veil.    


Friday, February 15, 2013


Have you seen the latest Friday, Bride Day show on TLC?   Something Borrowed, Something New  begs the question- "Should I wear my mother's dress or a new gown that I choose?"   Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly and Sam, the funny, talented and wonderful duo that helps a bride decide.   Kelly Nishimoto, a designer, cuts and pastes a family heirloom into a one of a kind gown, while Sam Saboura, a Hollywood stylist scours the bridal salons for a new dress.   The finger biting decision is a secret to them both as the bride appears on her choice.    

I asked them both what the easiest part of the show is and what is the hardest part.   

Kelly-      The easiest part for me is the vision.  I can see what I can do to make an old dress new again.   The hardest part is the construction in the short amount of time and the blind fit. 

Imagine how much stress is involved in creating a dress out of something that already exists in a short time!   
Sam- The easiest part for me is the inspiration.  It is natural for me to visualize the right dress.   The hardest part is that the bride sees nothing until she looks in that mirror.  The pressure to find "the dress" as opposed to her wearing her mother's dress is stressful.

I remember selling dresses.  I always saw "the dress", but making the bride SEE it was another story!  Add in the emotional bond of a family heirloom and WOW!

I asked Kelly and Sam if there were any nightmares in the filming of the show.  Well, it seems that one mom got really upset with Sam because she REALLY wanted her daughter to where her dress.   Sam had to do some real smoothing out of ruffled feathers.  And, there was a bridesmaid that caused a bit of a ruckus.  But, all in all, they both love the show, the brides and their moms and the idea of creating a dream dress- even if it means wearing mom's dress in the end.       

Kelly Nishimoto started out in Georgia, her first design being a wedding gown made from a trash bag and a glue gun.   She soon knew she was destined for bigger and better things and headed for Miami where her first collection, made from colored Reynolds Wrap, was a hit.   Spreading her wings and moving to California, Kelly began reinventing the corset and soon became a hit on the Red Carpet.    Designing wedding gowns came as she was asked by clients to create their dream dress.   Kelly's designs are cool, sophisticated and feminine- just like her personality.   We had a great chat and I can't wait to chat again soon.    

Sam Saboura is adorable!!!  He started out as a personal shopper for Fred Segal in LA.  Dressing celebrities came naturally to him, but he always had a fascination for weddings.   Sam headed the team of Extreme Makeover.  His warmth and keen eye were a great combination for transforming lives.   But, Sam loves Something Borrowed, because it gives him a chance to explore the world of weddings- his passion.

So, tune in tonight at 10 and get to know Kelly and Sam- and the brides who have to decide- Borrowed or New?       

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Happy Valentine's Day! 

 Imagine walking in to your wedding to this exquisitely romantic setting!   And, imagine having a "dream team" to see to every element of your big day!  Every bride deserves to have her vision become a reality!  That is what Matthew David Hopkins and I believe.  And, that is why we would like to team up to give you the wedding of your dreams.  From beginning to end, there is not an aspect of your day that we can't make happen.  So, let the dream begin!  This is, after all, YOUR day!

Matthew David Celebrations can design the wedding of your dreams!    And, I will keep you calm and organized along the way.  While Matthew is designing the "look" of your wedding, creating gorgeous centerpieces with the perfect linens, lighting the room with ambiance and adding all the special touches that YOU describe, you and I will be shopping for the perfect dress, finding photographers, music and all the other pieces of your special day.  Staying organized, feeling calm and having someone at your side through the entire process- and throughout your wedding.  

Matthew David Celebrations will create a vision that is truly you and that will be remembered for years to come- a vision that embodies your personality and style.   And, Wendy's Affairs of Heart will make it stress free, fun and just the way it should be.  We believe that this is YOUR day.  It is not about us, but about what you and your dream.   So, welcome Matthew David Celebrations to Philadelphia and let us make your wedding dreams come true!   Whether you are a New York bride getting married in Philadelphia, a Philadelphia bride looking for a chic New York inspired wedding or a New York bride seeking the best in the business.   The possibilities are endless.  So, let the magic begin!

 Matthew David Celebrations
95 Morton Street
New York, New York 10014
212- 905-3000

Wendy's Affairs of Heart
Philadelphia, Pa

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Are you looking for a unique, romantic and affordable way to "pop the question" this Valentine's Day?  Well, here are two fabulous ideas from my good friend Matthew David Hopkins!!  So, get out your imagination and your glue gun and get set to wow her with a very romantic proposal!  

Inspired by sweetheart candies with messages on them,  Matthew suggests you take that concept and create an intimate table setting with love notes written on paper hearts.   Make sure the real message- "Marry Me" is written one of those hearts.   Then be ready to get an answer and have that bling ready to put on her finger when she says "Yes"!   

Another perfect idea is to create an indoor picnic!   Using your own china and glassware, you can bring the laid back feeling of the outdoors to a romantic indoor experience.  Who needs a restaurant setting for such a personal and intimate occasion?!   Soft lighting, sexy music and just you two- what a perfect way to ask "will you marry me?"   So, if you don't want to be in a crowd with your Valentine, get busy and get creative!   You will be creating a memory that will last a lifetime!     

Matthew has amazing ideas for your wedding too!   So, after she says "YES", let Matthew take over and create another memory to begin your life together!!