Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thank you so much for all of your support last year and we look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year.
Tamara and Deborah
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Some people prefer to keep these special traditions to themselves, but I prefer to share with all of you in hopes that some of you will either be inspired to begin your own holiday tradition or share in mine :)
When I was growing up my mom's best friend Chris had this wonderful thing she called Pie Night! It was held annually the night before Thanksgiving and we all gathered in her home o...well...eat Pie! It was so much fun and it was a grat way to prepare our stomachs for the challenge that lie ahead the following day...Thanksgiving Dinner :)
Unfortunately, for all of us, Chris moved away to live near the Lake a couple of years ago and Pie Night was lost...I really began to miss the time together and it really did start off the holiday season for my family.
The Secrets of Pie Night!!!
So, these are some of the things that we do for our Annual Pie Night...some you may like and care to adopt and some you might pass over, but all of the below proved important to a successful party...
*We send out an invitation and it invites everyone to "Kick-Off the Holidays" with us. The key here is everyone is welcome and you really need to be prepared for this. The bottom line is alot of people have extended family in town for Thanksgiving, so our rule is ALL are welcome, whether you bring two people, nine people or come with just your family, we welcome EVERYBODY to celebrate with us.
*We ask everyone to bring their favorite sweet. This year we requested that everyone bring their favorite "Homemade" Sweet. It was incredible because we had everything from Reese's Peanut Butter Cookies to Pumpkin Cupcakes along with every pie imaginable. The most requested pie at our house is Aunt Jen's Kentucky Derby Pie!!and we are lucky she humors us all by turning up with it!
*I decorate my entire house for Christmas with the exception of the decorations on my Christmas Tree. I ask that everyone eat, drink and put three ornaments on my tree to help me complete my home. Then, I vow to leave it alone...however my guests decorate it (and we have some wildcards in our group) I leave it just the way they did it. My husband, son and I then place our special ornaments on the tree on Thanksgiving.
*The Kids...The Kids...and we have tons of kids (all different ages) that come to Pie Night, so we have a woman who comes and makes holiday items with them up in the gameroom. We put a Holiday Movie on and they can make anything from ornaments for their trees to placecards for their Thanksgiving Table...whatever their hearts desire!
The rest of Pie night consists of just enjoying each other's company and catching up with everyone while enjoying lots of sweets accompanied by plenty of holiday libations.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season enjoying their friends and families!
Monday, October 5, 2009
What I loved??? There were really five BIG reasons that I chose the Stonebriar and I believe Brides today are still choosing it based on these things. #1 I love the resort feel. Now, this is a personal preference of course, but I absolutely love environments where I can swim, golf, spa...aka: RELAX! I love to RELAX and I don't do it nearly enough. #2 It has the most elegant "Texas" flair. I was living in NY when I was planning my wedding and we had soooooooooo many people coming in from out of town so I was so happy to find a place that would give everyone a little taste of "The Texas" :) #3 Ann Evans! She was the catering sales manager at the time and I clicked with her right away. Although Ann has moved on and is now at the Westin Galleria, when I met the current Director of Catering, Jill Price, I felt the same way. They have a world class team and they are very, very serious about taking care of their clients. #4 The Pool...OK, I know it sounds silly, but did I mention I got married in August and it is hot as blazes in Texas in August??? The Westin Stonebriar has a FABULOUS pool with an awesome water slide!! The kids and my husbands friends can all attest to the waterslide being alot of fun! #5 F&B...now that is what we hotel people call food and beverage and the culinary experience at the Stonebriar was outstanding! I still serve the La Crema Pinot Noir we all had with dinner at my annual "Pie Night"...more on that later.
The Ballrooms...are perfect. Elegant, very nicely appointed and very neutral in color. You can do absolutely ANYTHING in them decor wise and it will be beautiful! If you are getting married in Dallas you must take some time...go North...and visit the Westin Stonebriar Resort. It is well worth the drive. A little piece of Heaven right here in Frisco!!! Visit http://www.westinsstonebriar.com/ or call 972.668.8000 and ask for Jill Price!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Ballrooms are absolutely beautiful!!! The hotel seems like it was perfectly built for a wedding ceremony, cocktails and dinner reception for 300 guests. I am not sure I can think of a better scenario for a wedding of this size in the city.
The guest rooms at The Pierre are stunning! Debs and I stayed in a beautiful one bedroom suite when we were there and we had every amenity at our fingertips. The rooms were gorgeous and I felt right at home...did you know they velcro the curtains to the wall so they always look perfect...just a little tidbit. I also really, really love the elevator operators!!!! There is just something about stepping into the elevator, seeing that little red velvet seat in the corner and being greeted by someone that pushes the button for me (my two year old does it too, but it just seems different :)). It is just one of those luxuries in life that I LOVE! The guest rooms and some of the public spaces have undergone a renovation recently and the style is really perfect in my humble opinion. The Lobby Bar is wonderful. The food is wonderful and service is great. I had a wonderful experience there!!!
Lastly, I must mention the group of gentlemen that work at The Pierre. These guys are AMAZING and they don't miss a beat. Bill Spinner and Chris Edmunds were impeccable. We appreciated them so much and cannot wait to work with them again. When you have a chance visit http://www.tajhotels.com/ and check out the Pierre! If you are interested in hosting your wedding celebration or any other special event at The Pierre contact Bill Spinner...he is the King of Catering over there...I'm not sure of his official title so that's what I call him.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Bottom Line...If you can afford to stay at the St. Regis or host your wedding celebration here...you should do it. There are absolutely zero reasons why you shouldn't. It is a world class hotel in a the greatest city on earth.
Visit www.stregis.com/newyork to get a little look at this beautiful paradise in the middle of the concrete jungle.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
When you land on this beautiful hotel's page you will see the following flash across the screen alongside stunning photographs of a legendary place.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Is there anyone out there that does not know of the Diamond King Harry Winston?? It goes without saying that his jewelry is constantly sough after and his diamonds are the biggest and the most beautiful...STUNNING is probably the best description of this gentlemans designs!! oh...and EXPENSIVE!
I have had the pleasure of meeting one of the Winston men in 1997 in Beverly Hills. I was with on of my best friends Arian on our Texas Tech University Choir Tour and we were admiring the Harry Winston window on Rodeo drive when we were invited in by the security guards! We were then greeted by a wonderful gentlemen who asked us what we were looking for...obviously in our matching choir tour shirts and jeans we were not in the market for Harry Winston, but he was wonderful to us and asked us if we wanted to see something he had just gotten in?? We obliged and he brought out the most stunning diamond necklace valued at over 5 million dollars that had just been flown in that morning. I was far to scared to touch it...Mom always told me not to touch anything in a store I couldn't afford to buy, but Arian was so gracious and brave and he placed it right around her pretty little neck. It was one of the largest diamond pieces I have ever seen close up and I was amazed by it's extraordinary art deco design. I had never seen anything like it before. The gentleman finally removed the necklace and then told us to make sure to watch the Oscars as one of the most famous women in the country would have it on that weekend. Both of us think Madonna wore it as that was the year Evita was out and we both remember it being a huge music idol...but 10 years and a few kids later our memories are a little worn, so that's our Harry Winston story and we're stickin' to it!
You are CRAZY if you don't take a few minutes to explore the world of Harry Winston at http://www.harrywinston.com/ My personal favorite is the Marquesa Aquamarine Cocktail Ring shown in the Colored Stone Rings category!! Enjoy the beauty of Mr. Winston.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Jude Frances is jewelry designed by women for women creating a really beautiful style!! With a vintage feel these two wondeful ladies have hit home with me!!!
"Although they admit that they are as different as white and yellow gold, when Jude and Frances met at a charity dinner in 2002, they instantly knew they would make ideal business partners. Today, not only have they become best friends, they have turned their line into a multi-million dollar company. "We are there for each other through thick and thin. Not a day goes by when we don't talk," says Jude.
Frances, mother of two and former owner of an interior design firm, oversees design and operations for JudeFrances. She was born in the English countryside and favors the more romantic, classic styles. Her favorite piece in the line is a JudeFrances diamond monogram necklace that Jude designed especially for her as a birthday gift. Frances is inspired by architecture. In fact, the new Venetian Collection launching in June 2007 was inspired by a trip she and Jude took to Italy for Frances' 40th birthday. "The iron grill work I saw in Venice inspired our new diamond overlay designs."
Jude, mother of three, leads sales and marketing. This Texas native inspires the edgier side of the line. Her favorite piece in the line is a white gold cuff bracelet with a diamond cross that Frances gave her as a birthday gift. Jude is inspired by fashion and style and has a knack for staying ahead of fashion trends. "
Their jewelry can be found primarily in Neiman Marcus stores. For more information and a look at the beautiful jewelry these women create please visit www.judefrances.com
Monday, August 31, 2009
Cellini! Cellini! Cellini!
When you first approach this store, located on the Lobby level of the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in NY, you can see people with wide eyes staring into the windows. Now, this could be because the rule is that nothing under 5 carats goes in the window or it could be because they are staring at one of the most gorgeous jewelry collections I have had the pleasure of viewing. This place can definitely cause some heart palpitations for the men in your life, especially the ones who might be asking for your hand soon, but I will have you know when you step in you will immediately be put at ease by the lovely ladies and gentlemen that stand behind the counters.
I have walked into most of the "Big" diamond places...I had an incredible experience with one of my best friends at Harry Winston in LA where we actually met the Harry Winston (more later this week), but Tiffany & Co., Cartier and on and on...I have walked through the doors of all of them and noone compared, in my mind, to Cellini. To this day I have an enormous amount of respect for them and the way they treat their clients.
A little about my husbands and I experience with them...My husband was definitely a little intimidated when we first went in together to talk to them about engagement rings. Being a wedding planner for so many years, I have seen about a million diamond rings in my life and was looking for a sapphire and diamond engagement ring with a sapphire being the center stone. This was even more challenging for my husband as he was nervous to find the perfect ring. We spent some time with Cellini together and I told them what I was looking for. They then spent some time with my husband to chat with him about his budget for the ring. They educated him on Sapphires and then told him to bring me back on Saturday and they would share with us a sampling of sapphire engagement rings in his budget. They clearly took this very seriously as on that Saturday when we walked in there was a beautiful display of sapphire rings selected just for me!!! Now, here is the secret ladies...her name is LAUREN! Meet lauren, ask for Lauren and support Lauren because she will not only make sure your man feels comfortable, but she will make sure that you get what you need/want!!! There was a clear favorite in my mind amongst these sapphire rings and although I never "said it" she read my emotions and in about three weeks it was sitting on my left hand. I LOVE my Ring and I am always proud to wear it.
Needless to say, there have been several other purchases at Cellini since then and they always offer great advice and are an absolute pleasure to work with. They have worked very hard to establish a long term relationship with myself, my husband and many of our friends. We lookforward to working with them on fine jewelry and watch purchases whenever able for a very long time. Please take a moment to explore Cellini at http://www.cellinijewelers.com/ or at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue in New York City. We know you will enjoy your time with them as we always do!!!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Dallas Brides Magazine published by Modern Luxury...now this magazine I really love. The reasons are really simple and perhaps it is because it is a fairly new publication and there is a level of sophistication and expectation by the wedding readers, but they have impressed me and I hope they will continue to!
Reason #1 Sophisticated wedding gown spread...WOW! This shoot is set in one of my favorite places of all time the St. Regis Hotel, New York and Modern Luxury has managed to find the most stunning and sophisticated gowns that are fashion forward, yet not too much that they wouldn't be selected by a semi-conservative Southern Bride. Brilliant! and Stunning photos to boot by a NY photographer named Jill Wachter http://www.jillwachter.com/ . Please checkout her website...she is extraordinary at her work. My favorite gown in this spread is the Reem Acra "White Cloud" gown...and how elegant it looks in this photo with gloves...Brides beware...the Debutantes will definitely be after this one...
Reason#2 TONS of articles/editorial...this is what I LOVE in a magazine. There are a significant number of advertisements as well, but I don't feel like there is so much advertising I cannot clearly find the articles I seek. None of the articles in this magazine are too lengthy to read through quickly. Lots of one to two page articles and editorial that have lots of good information! I love the article on all of the upcoming trunk shows! Great Information! They have these little pages they call "Wed Dossier" and each page has a category. I love the Floral page...beautiful and slightly contemporary uses of floral and highlighting two of my favorites Mami of Botanical Art and Todd Fiscus back at Avant Garden???well, there he goes again...I cannot even begin to keep up with Todd. I wish I knew where he got that energy...Congratulations Todd!!!I also really love the "Wed Dossier" food page on the Incredible Shrinking Menu. I LOVE this concept and we have been using it in NY at the cocktail receptions there for a while. It is a great idea and helps with people going too crazy at the reception and then having no room for the three-course dinner that is soon to follow. Passing minis is great too...it keeps lines down at stations (if there are any) and definitely keeps people mingling. Great article on a fabulous party food tip!
Reason #3...It's just pretty. It is a glamourous looking cover and it just makes me want to pick it up off the shelf and give it a home...mission accomplished Modern Luxury. Thank you and I look forward to the next!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Good morning all and Happy Thursday!
Below is the schedule for the month of September. Our focus will be Venues and Fashion! We will also spend a week on Local NY Publications, but we are waiting for the new issues to hit the stands which should be this week...so stay tuned.
August 31-September 4, 2009
Bling! Bling! Bling! Do I really need to give you more of a summary here??? I think not...Let's talk some serious jewels!
September 7-11, 2009
Favorite NY Wedding Magazines
This week we will feature the Local NY publications and talk about what we love about them. There are a couple of EXCELLENT publications in NY. They are so inclusive and the editorial is great with so many incredible professionals in NY sharing their experience and advice! So well done in such a smart way.
September 28-October 2, 2009
Favorite New York Hotels
How we will narrow this down to 5 I have no idea, but I promise to give you the best of the best in this category!!! A distinguished list indeed. The Director's of these fine establishments will be sharing themselves with you, what they LOVE about their hotels and why theirs is the best for your wedding or special event!!!
October 5-9, 2009
Favorite Dallas Hotels
This is tough one too, but I think I know who you all love and I feel very much the same. One every day and again you will be hearing it straight from the horse's mouth! The best of the best share with you why their hotel is #1!
October 12-16, 2009
Let's Talk Fashion!
With only one week until the designers walk the Bridal Fashion runways in NY, let's talk about what we should expect and what we are all hoping for. I will be talking a bit about the designers I am most excited about seeing in NY. Some have established a legacy while others are new on the scene. I am so excited to share with all of you about these ladies and gentlemen!!!
We will publish the rest of the October calendar of Events on Thursday, October 1, 2009!!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Texas Wedding Guide has been around for a long time in Dallas. I am going to guess at least 10 years... I have always liked this publication and think it has always been presented in a very elegant way. I have always liked the size of this publication and the way it feels when I hold it and read it. It feels like I am reading a book and I love that...not sure why...I just do.
I really like the way vendors are presented in this publication. They have a section called "How I found my perfect..." where real Texas Brides talk about how they found certain vendors and what they loved about their experiences with them on their wedding day. I think this is a great way to present this information!
The Real Weddings area is nice as well. They congratulate everyone on the initial page and then there are two pages on each individual wedding. Very well done and just a couple of photos of the most beautiful details or moments. The only thing I wish they would do differently is list all the vendors as most of them just list the photographer. I certainly understand them wanting to support their advertisers, but I think Brides like to know everyone involved...just a thought.
Lastly, and I have saved the best for last...I have always been a HUGE FAN of this publications insert wedding planning guide. It is smart and concise. It is helpful and filled with important and good information for couples that are getting married. This guide has been around since the beginning and it really is one of the best reasons to run to the store and grab The Texas Wedding Guide off the shelf. Enjoy!!!
Monday, August 24, 2009
consider to be the best local wedding magazine, although there are some new publications that intend to give D a run for their money...I suppose only time will tell if they will be successful. D is such a powerful brand of magazines!!!
The wedding publication is filled with resources for Brides and Grooms...tons of advertisements and some editorial that helps Brides and Grooms find vendors in Dallas. The Real Weddings section is also plentiful...alot of really beautiful weddings with lots of really beautiful details and resources.
My favorite article in this particular issue is called "The Sweetest Things" and is not as much of an article as it is a photo spread with some really stunning wedding gowns. Most of the gowns are from Neiman Marcus Downtown, but a couple are from Stanley Korshak and some small Boutiques as well. My personal favorite is the Vera Wang Organza gown on page 96. I also love the Betsey Johnson corset gown although I wish I could see the whole thing (the model is seated)...At any rate, there is a page within the spread with some nice accessories which completes this fashion extravaganza. On the fashion topic, there is also a little page on Beautiful Bridesmaids gowns (page 58) and the Nocturne dress by Siri is one of the most elegant I have ever seen. Gorgeous!!!
A couple of other little items I found in this issue that I loved for you all are in the Gift Shop (page 56) the LAFCO soaps from NY...I LOVE THESE!! There is a great shot of Vintage cake toppers (page 64) and last, but not least there is a page on...yep...you guessed it HANDBAGS (page 51) and the Valentino, Edidi and Larisa Barrera are all a tie for most glamourous bag I have seen this week!!!
Friday, August 21, 2009
The website is http://www.bellanottelinens.com/ and I will warn you now you WILL FALL IN LOVE and if anyone gets busted for purchasing these expensive linens without the proper permission...you didn't hear it from me. I had the pleasure of working with the ladies out at Simple Things in Fort Worth (817.332.1772) to design my linens and they were AMAZING! I could not be happier and I hope you all will be enjoying a little Bella Notte in your lives soon.
Oh, and Happy Birthday David!!!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The great things about this site are pretty evident when you land on the homepage. The wedding channel.com website and the knot.com website are very similar in appearance and setup, but once you click into the categories you will find things to be much different. The knot.com has the BEST wedding gown gallery...the most designers by a longshot and the best dresses. This site has a wedding of the week which is always beautiful and filled with great detail ideas and they have an unparalleled section of real weddings.
When I was married a few years ago I got a log-in for the knot and they personalized so many great resources for me. I had a wedding checklist, guest list and budget that I customized to help me keep track of everything. I recommend this to any Bride and Groom...even if you have people hired to assist you with everything, it is great to keep some of these tools privately so you always know where things are at.
The last thing I will say I love about the knot is that it doesn't forget about you after the wedding...I still log on and it tells me how many days it has been since my wedding (by the way I apparently had 184 items on my checklist incomplete...hard to believe...I'll have to look into that one day especially since our wedding went off without a hitch), but the best is that they have two additional sites called the nest and the bump...so visit www.theknot.com for all of your wedding needs...visit www.thenest.com for the post marital bliss stage (and also the stage where you have to figure out where to hide all the stuff he brought with him from college for your new home) and visit www.thebump.com for all the pregnancy fun and excitement! I love that they stay with you and keep in touch! Enjoy tying the knot with the knot.com!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
From wedding gown galleries to honeymoon locations, registries to wedding supplies this site has everything and tons of it. They also have an area where they focus on weddings by color which I am always inspired by. It is definitely one of my favorites. Take some time and look around this site. Make sure you check out the Wedding Cake Gallery on this site. I definitely think it is the best one out there! They also have an incredible area where you and your groom can design your own wedding website. Have fun!!! This site shares every detail of your special day!!! Visit http://www.weddingchannel.com/ Today!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
One of my favorite internet resources for parties is www.foryourparty.com They have tons of items that help wrap up all of the little details of an event. From elegant menu cards to crazy straws this company has it all!!! You can design your own items or you can select items they have designed that you can find in their "Grab and Go" section. I designed the most adorable matchbox last year for a client that everyone raved about and the quality was wonderful!
They have recently added another website titled www.beforeyourparty.com with a selection of save the dates and invitations. I have not had the opportunity to use this resource yet as I do prefer to touch and feel invites, however, they do offer samples so it looks like it is going to be a great resource as well.
Check out www.foryourparty.com and have fun designing all of the details, details, details!!!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Today I am going to talk a little about one of my favorite things in the entire world...Handbags... and since I am in NY let's honor someone in this fine city!!!
I love beautiful handbags and Clara Kasavina, in my humble opinion, makes some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I discovered this lovely woman's handbags over four years ago and was so excited to carry one of her designs on my wedding day. It was a beautiful pearl beaded bag with a vintage clasp and border at the top embellished with Crystallized Swarovski elements. The other detail I loved is that it had a jeweled letter "T" that clipped on to the front of my bag. I still carry it for special occasions, but I really think her bags have become more and more detailed and beautiful over the last four years. She has expanded her collection to include exotics, day bags and even some "one of a kind" bags. Her bags are expensive, but surprisingly handbag prices start at $200.00. Some of her most popular and detailed bags are in the $650.00 to $1500.00 range, but in my opinion they are absolutely worth it!
You can check out her website at www.clarakasavina.com for all of you Winter Bride's please check out the "Mink Bow Tie Clutch" which is absolutely stunning!!! It alone makes me want to get married again, but this time in the snow! See you tomorrow!!!!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Good Morning all and Happy Monday!
Below is the schedule for the next three weeks through the end of August. Our focus will be our favorite resources for Brides and Grooms in regards to Media through publications and the web.
August 11-14, 2009
Favorite National Magazines
This week we will feature one National Magazine each day and talk about the things that we love about these publications and how they best serve our Brides and Grooms. We will also blog a little bit about our favorite article in the most current issue.
August 17-21, 2009
Favorite Internet Resources
This week we will feature some of our favorite Internet Resources. From party favors to wedding cake picture Galleries, check in to see what our favorite picks are to help you with the details for your special day.
August 24-28, 2009
Favorite Dallas Wedding Magazines
A shout out to my hometown! This week we will feature one local Dallas publication each day and talk about all the things we love about it. In addition, we will blog about our favorite article in the most current issue. The Dallas publications are definitely some of the best and some Dallas weddings certainly make a BIG impression, so we are excited to share with all of you!
We will publish the September Calendar of Events on Thursday, August 27, 2009!!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Most blogs are a promotion of someone or someone's company...we have a website for that and although I cannot promise we will not talk about Fleur de Lis Weddings and Special Events, my assumption will be you know and respect what we do if you are on our blog. We also do not believe in exploiting our clients all over the Internet. Some of our clients do want to share their special events with you as well as their thoughts about us and those can all be found on our website as well which will launch in a couple of weeks...
See you on Monday! Enjoy your weekend!!!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I would also love to extend my warmest thanks to a few people that made my wedding such a wonderful celebration and who continue to be a blessing to Bride's and Groom's every weekend.
Ceremony: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
(Father John Libone)
Reception: The Westin Stonebriar
(Ms. Jill Price, Director of Catering)
Floral Design: Bella Flora of Dallas
Lucy and Cesar Diaz
Entertainment: Absolute Entertainment
Ice House Band
Makeup: Mayra Rams-Sanabria
Now, for some advice I have for Bride's and Groom's...words of wisdom, if you will, from a girl who has walked that aisle in addition to having planned hundreds of weddings over the last 13 years.
Relax, enjoy, stay in the moment and please try not forget what the day represents. I see so many people get wrapped up in the party and believe me, I have seen some of the most incredible parties imaginable and I concur that the party and the details are ultimately very important. All I ask is that you try to remember what is really going on and that the purpose of a wedding is for you and your partner to commit your love and devotion to each other forever in front of those you love the most and those who will support you throughout your lives together. If you can stay in the moment and feel the love that surrounds you, you will certainly be slightly overwhelmed...and being slightly overwhelmed will feel really good for a change...
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Thank you for checking out the Fleur de Lis Weddings and Special Events Blog! We will officially be launching this blog the first week of August 2009 and we promise nothing but new and exciting ideas every day about weddings and special events all over the world. Stay Tuned for all the latest and greatest information on planning your special day and getting ahead of all of the latest trends!!! Check us out August 6th for our Official Launch Day...and my Wedding Anniversary!!!!!