February 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
Do you find this hand scribbled tasting menu appealing? Cesar and I certainly did. On Saturday night, we visited the Metropolitan Building to sample their in-house caterer’s cuisine. Nestled in a salmon colored interior room on the kooky third floor that houses a collection of antiques and props, we joined three other couples and a mother/daughter team, none of whom seemed to enjoy the scattered charm of the evening as much as we did. After each bite, we kept saying, “Mmmm, that was tasty!” The other guests were much more critical … of everything. Some of the night’s comments included, “How are you planning to decorate the bath tub in the main bathroom? It’s unsightly.” and, “This lemon flavor must be from a bottle, I taste benzoate.”
Benzoate? My palette must not be refined enough if that one slipped by me. But then again, I don’t spend much time analyzing the preservative flavor of everything I ingest. So I’m going to go ahead and say I liked the lemon flavor of the perfectly cooked asparagus, even if it came from a bottle. I like to be a little rough around the edges. That way it’s so much easier to accept quirky elements like a bathtub in the bathroom (how’d it get there?), rather than letting it become an obstacle to my enjoyment of our wedding day.
The goal in attending the tasting was to make sure the caterer can in fact cook a piece of meat or fish. The beef had a satisfying amount of red in the center, the salmon was melt-in-your-mouth, buttery-delicious, and the hors d’oeuvres were tasty enough to get me in line for seconds. So for us, they passed the test. After all, we are inviting guests to our wedding during which they will be fed, not a dinner party in which we’ll incidentally get married. And so after savoring the last morsels of salmon, Cesar and I licked our chops and put satisfying plus signs next to the items we liked the best. Others in the room asked flatly, “Is that it?”
For any bride considering the Metropolitan Building, this should be the take-away: the spaces are magnificent and there is the potential to have tons of fun putting together a totally unique and affordable event if you embrace the inherent character of the cracks and crevices. But be aware that the owner Eleanor does business in a manner consistent with a bygone era, and while you can absolutely expect to enjoy yourself in the quirky world she has created inside the defunct factory, do not expect the trappings of a packaged ballroom wedding. The staff is willing to accommodate any needs you might have, but they may go about it a little differently than you’re used to. If you call to inquire about a tasting and Eleanor is not by her desk, she might ask you to put your inquiry on a postcard and send it via snail mail (in which case you simply call back later and ask to speak to Amanda). If you ask her if she has recommendations for wedding officiants, she may tell you to that’s between you and your god. If you call on the day of the tasting to confirm the time, you might have to call twice (or thrice). So if you don’t enjoy eccentricity in your planning process, hire a planner who does.
February 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
Walking down 17th St after after a quick dental appointment (I’m pretty proud of my zero cavity assesment!), I stumbled into Pippin Vintage Jewelry, merchants of whimsical vintage costume jewelry and some antique and estate pieces. I spent a good hour looking at everything and playing a quiet game of “Guess the Decade.”
Pippin has little in the way of an online presence, so you will have to visit the shop to see all the lovely brooches, gloves, hats, and matching earring and necklace sets, priced from $10-$60.00. But let me tell you, the baubles are absolutely worth the trip. If you’re a fan of the vintage brooch bouquets that are all the rage right now, Pippin has plenty of large floral pins from the 50s and 60s to help you on your way to hand-crafted-dom.
(And for any gentlemen who may be reading, if you’re considering popping the question, Pippin has a nice little selection of antique engagement rings that sparkle like you wouldn’t believe! Not priced in the $10-$60.00 range, though.)
February 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
By 7:30am I had already skimmed through all the gowns, shoes, and lingerie at BHLDN. If you haven’t seen my posts from the last few weeks, BHLDN is the new bridal line from the people who gave us Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Free People. I have to say, with a measure of relief, that while I found everything to be as lovely as one would expect from such a family tree, there was nothing unexpected. That is to say, nothing made me exclaim, “If only I had waited to buy my dress!” Although there is one dress that I find to be, if not directly influenced by the one I picked, uncannily similar. It would undoubtedly be the one I’d choose if I were still in the market for a frock. See if you can pick it out.
But enough about me and my needs. Certainly check the site out whether your shopping for a gown, bridesmaids dress, accessories, or inspiration. All of the above are represented in abundance. My favorite feature is the gallery of “Nuptials of Yesteryear,” in which you can find wedding photos from the turn-of to mid-20th century.
And if you’re brand new to the engagement game, BHLDN will help you decide what kind of bride you want to be, then curate a selection of products you might like. I just had to double check my results, and according to BHLDN, I’m on the right track.
Lots to look at and fun to explore, the anxiously awaited site did not disappoint (with either too little beauty or so much that it would give rise to regret). Check it out.
February 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
Last night I was lucky enough to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day with the wonderful women at Lovely. In addition to the love-day theme was the veneration of the new line Ivy & Aster. The gowns, with springtime names like Sweet Pea and In Bloom, are not the only newcomers to the shop, though. Greeting the party guests was a fun new piece from David Fielden:
As you might guess, I became instantly twitterpated and couldn’t stop petting the sweet ruffles on the full skirt. I also love the casually draped neckline. 7213 is going on my long-ish list of favorites!
February 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
Only three days stand between us and the launch of Anthropologie’s wedding line, BHLDN. Sneak peeks are all over the blogosphere today. I can only imagine how much fun it must have been to get behind the scenes and see the goods before they are unleashed to the public.
I love the beige beauty above. Sheer 3/4 length sleeves and the striped scalloped hem? Fantastic. Can’t wait to see the rest!
February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
Let’s pretend 2010 had taken a different course and I was not yet engaged, nor had I ever set foot in a bridal shop or even glanced at a bridal blog. Let’s pretend all of that was to come in 2011. Chances are I would have a different opinion of David’s Bridal if I were to visit for the first time this July, rather than last July. Why? Because at the end of next week, David’s Bridal will begin carrying a new line: White by Vera Wang. With all the high end design elements intact, you will be able to purchase a Vera Wang gown for no more than $1,400.00. If you’ve ever put a couture Vera dress on your body, this concept is shocking.
But Vera, along with a select few of her designer colleagues, believes that good design should be within everyone’s reach. A beautiful wedding dress that will transport you to another plane of being should not be reserved for only those who “have the means” of “picking one up.” And she’s demonstrated this belief before with her line Simply Vera at Kohl’s. The principle here is the same: for the ease of mass production some details are simplified, a standard size grid is established, and the option for customization is eliminated. With a mass product, dresses can be kept in stock at retail locations rather than crafted upon ordering. And while there is no evidence just yet, I am sure fabric content plays a key role in the dramatic price difference. The collection is described on the David’s Bridal website as being constructed from “a wide range of fabrics such as lace, tulle, taffeta satin faced organza, organza, crinkle chiffon, charmeuse, and bobbin net.” But this says nothing of the fiber choice. I would say with 99% confidence that all White by Vera Wang dresses will be almost completely crafted of polyester (this is indeed one difference between her runway looks and the Simply line at Kohl’s). But with designs from the master, who really cares? I wouldn’t even balk at wearing a polyester Vera. Not for a sliver of a second.
February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Who steps into a wedding gown and immediately asks, “How does the back look?” A bride wants to stare at herself head on in order to decide if it is right for her. It takes a third party to provide feedback on the rear view. The oft neglected perspective will be receiving a hefty percentage of wedding day attention, though, and demands careful consideration.
Growing up Catholic, I sat through multiple ceremonies that included a full length Mass. It was the early 90s, which included a very special breed of wedding gown, and my short seven-year-old attention span could not handle an hour of staring at voluminous polyester poufs over long lace sleeves and an explosion of a veil. Things might have been different if I’d been looking at the back of a Claire Pettibone clad bride. So for any bride that intends to have a ceremony in which the witnesses will be staring at your back for long periods of time, please consider a Claire Pettibone dress. Especially if there are children present.
For the record, these ladies do not come cheap. We’re talking the $5,000 bracket. But like Ferris says, “If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” I think I also used that in reference to a Vera Wang I tried on. I’m sure I’ll use it again, too.