Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Photo by Mary Schannen of Melange Photography, found via May Contain Nutz
"If it didn’t Bring you Joy,
Just Leave it Behind.
Let’s Ring in the New Year
With Good Things in Mind.
Let Every Bad Memory Go
That Brought Heartache and Pain.
And let’s Turn a New Leaf
With the Smell of New Rain.
Let’s Forget Past Mistakes
Making Amends for This Year.
Sending You These Greetings
To Bring you Hope and Cheer.
Happy New Year!"
Author Unknown, found via Quote Ocean

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


 Logo design by Cris of Kiss My Tulle

Where do I even begin? 2011 has been the year of wonderful surprises and I can't wait to see what next year has in store. I'm writing this from my in-laws' bedroom (more on that later) and couldn't be more thankful for everything that has happened, to get me to where I am now.

January 2011 started with the launch of my event planning and design company, Ruffles & Tweed, which also led to this blog. I've been assisting other planners since 2008, mostly at Island Farm on Elihu Island and other venues along the Connecticut shoreline, and knew that, eventually, I would love to do it all on my own. So when I was asked to be the exclusive planner/designer for Island Farm starting in 2011, I knew that was my chance. Island Farm is a family-owned venue that hosts 4 weekend weddings a year and might be the most magical place I've ever been. I still remember pulling up to the entrance of the best kept secret in Connecticut for the first time (picture below). It was a beautiful day in June 2008 and I was looking forward to assisting the very talented Lucinda Wesson at a weekend wedding. I stopped my car, got out, and stared at the teeny tiny causeway wondering if I was at the right place and if I would make it across to the other side alive. Well, I made it and the rest is history.

 Image by Adrienne O'Connor
Island Farm on Elihu Island - Stonington, CT

I had the pleasure of working with 2 amazing couples this year on their Island Farm weddings (sneak peek pictures below - look out for detailed wedding reviews soon) and am pumped for the 4 I have next year.

Nicole & Rob 6.18.11

Amy & Tim 9.17.11

Although I'm still struggling with all the pains of starting a new business, from taxes and expenses, to moments of doubt and learning how to actually attract and book clients, starting Ruffles & Tweed this year has led to some other pretty awesome perks. I went to Vegas in March for the Rockstar Wedding Planner Grace & Luxury event hosted by Ciara Daykin, and after some emotionally intense days, signed up to be a part of the Community of Wedding Innovators. We meet (virtually) once a month, learn how to push our business to the next level, and complete exercises to help us get there - without this amazing group of supporters and friends, I'm not sure how I would have gotten through this year. Speaking of supporters, until I was accepted into the TWIPS (Twiter Wedding Inspirational Pals) community (such a happy, happy day that was), I felt, like many other bloggers - like I was writing to no one. This online community, made up of people in different disciplines of the wedding industry, has been that extra piece of support and inspiration I needed.

Ok, now back to the part about my in-laws' bedroom - sometime in the beginning of this year my in-laws purchased a house across the street from their own. They were planning to rent it out, but asked my husband and I if we'd be interested in it instead. It is a 90 year old house that has never been renovated, and after MUCH discussion, we decided to go for it. So this year has consisted of renovating, stopping work because the right permits weren't in place, and starting again. And due to these unexpected delays, we are now living with my husband's parents until the house is ready, since we had to be out of our apartment. Oh, and I'm in their bedroom because they moved out of it for us and are sleeping in a guest room - my amazing mother-in-law even emptied out her closet and dressers so that I wouldn't have to live out of a suitcase - seriously? How sweet is that? 

 Image by Adrienne O'Connor
The new house, pre-renovation

And thank God for my father-in-law, who is a plumber and has more energy than anyone I've ever known. The only thing that is being salvaged from this house is the foundation and the hardwood floors - the walls and ceilings are being replaced, the plumbing and electrical are being redone, the windows, siding, and roof will be new, and we're adding a small extension and some extra bathrooms. Oh, and the most amazing part of all of this is that my in-laws are fronting the bill and rolling up the expenses into our mortgage once the house is complete and we purchase the house from them. Yes, my in-laws are angels. So, for all of you who are thinking I'm crazy to move across the street from my in-laws, think again - I completely lucked out when I married my husband - not only because he is the most gentle, laid-back, supportive, loving, and funny person in the entire world, but also because his parents and sisters are all exactly the same way.

And now for my very last (but best) surprise of 2011. I found out in July that I'm pregnant! Yes, we are expecting a baby girl next March and couldn't be more thrilled. This baby will be the first grandchild on both sides, so everyone is ecstatic, and my mom has already purchased enough clothes for her first 2 years of life - gotta love that. Let's just hope the house is ready in time!

 Image by Paul O'Connor

So here's to 2011, the year of wonderful surprises, and to the hope that 2012 is even better. For more "One Day in December" inspiration, check out this post from yesterday about gratitude by Orly of Intimate Wedding Photography, who is also the mastermind behind this project. And, tomorrow, be sure to head over to The White Library for Sandra's post.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


What more could you ask for if Santa brings you these Chloe patent leather pumps for Christmas? The red velvet bow detail looks like a present just begging to be unwrapped. I would do just fine prancing around in these all winter long.

Image found via Focus On Style

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Image found via Unclear Destination

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Oh how I wish these were available in a size other than 10, especially since they were 50% off online today! These sparkle pumps, available at Loft, are the most perfect (and practical) holiday party shoe. Between the shape (not too round, not too pointy), the heel (4 inches, but with a 1/2 inch platform) and the subtle shimmer (in the most beautiful color I've ever seen), these are appropriate enough for the office, but fancy enough for a night out. I will be constantly stalking this site for the rest of the month just in case any other sizes become available.
Image found via Loft

Friday, December 9, 2011


I have the pleasure of being a part of TWIPS (Twitter Wedding Inspirational Pals), which is an online community made up of wedding industry folks who support, promote, and inspire each other. It has truly been a pleasure getting to “virtually” know all of these amazing people, and to make it even better, 23 of us are banding together to create “One Day in December”, an idea dreamed up by Orly of Intimate Wedding Photography

It’s all about creating days of inspiration for all of you to enjoy as we look back and reflect on 2011. I’m so excited to be a part of it, and it all starts today with Shannon of Shannon Kelley Photography. I hope you enjoy it as much as we will. The schedule is below so be sure to check back to this list each day so that you don’t miss a single minute.

Logo designed by Cris of Kiss My Tulle

12/9: Shannon {Shannon Kelly Photography}
12/10: Cris {Kiss my Tulle}
2/11: Layla {Simply Savannah Events}
12/12: Amanda {Bacidesigner}
12/13: Allie {Honey Bee Invites}
12/14: Jen {Blush Printables}
12/15: Colleen {Soundtrack to Ido}
12/16: Shaffone {Making your Event Special}
12/17: Wendy {Wendy Ramos Photography}
12/18: Louise {Bijoux Bride}
12/19: Chandra {Oh Lovely Day}
12/20: Emma {Aphrodites Weddings}
12/21: Lisshan {Wrapped Couture}
12/22: Ilse {Secret Jewel}
12/23: Jessica {Two Wedding Belles}
12/24: Krissy {Make Believen}
12/25: Alicia {The Charity Wedding}
12/26: Orly {Intimate Wedding Photography}
12/27: Adrienne {Ruffles & Tweed}
12/28: Sandra {The White Library}
12/29: Tara {Cut the Cake Designs}
12/30: Laura {Laura Lavender}
12/31: Kewain {NolaBelles Soirees}

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I’m usually hesitant to wear backless shoes for fear of completely falling out of them…but backless peep toes with an ankle strap? Now we’re talking! These black suede heels with snake-embossed metallic leather ankle straps by L.A.M.B are the perfect style meets function solution, and they are rocking my world right now.

 Image found via Shopbop

Monday, December 5, 2011


I was lucky enough to have lunch at Esprit Events last week with Tali Katz, their warm, friendly, and knowledgeable Catering & Events Sales Manager. Tali and I first met at The Wedding Salon’s luxury bridal showcase last month, so we decided to meet up again to chat more about their catering services – their kitchens are strictly kosher – and their upscale and innovative cuisine and presentation.

When I arrived, I sat down to the most beautiful plate of “sushi” I’ve ever seen. Their sushi, called “Beyond Sushi” is not only kosher and completely safe for pregnant women, but also organic and vegetarian. 

Images supplied by Esprit Events

It’s made with a variety of organic fruits and vegetables wrapped with 6 grain or black grain rice and topped off with tofu based sauces. The sauces include Tofu Miso, Carrot Ginger, Chili Mango, Jalapeno Wasabi, Teriyaki Shitake, and Toasted Cayenne – yum. I’m salivating over here just thinking about how yummy it was. And Tali is so sweet that she offered to deliver some to me whenever I crave it – I might just take her up on that! 

Be sure to contact Esprit Events for your wedding or your next social event – you will not be disappointed. They develop customized menus based on your specific needs, they pay attention to the details, and they make sure that you are beyond thrilled with the results.

Friday, December 2, 2011


So, Preston Bailey and I totally think alike - it just about made my day yesterday when I stumbled across his article in the Huffington Post about wedding design. He said "...before you start meeting with wedding designers, think long and hard about your favorite things. Take a look around your home. What does your favorite lamp look like? Your favorite painting? Your favorite blanket? Do you notice any themes? It's great to show your designer inspirational photos you've clipped from magazines and blogs, but why not bring in a few photos of your home, too?"

YES!!!! That is exactly the idea I try to portray through my "From Room To Wedding" series - and now that I know Preston feels the same way, I feel even better about it. 

Today's feature is of a gorgeously romantic, delicate, pale pink and blue living room. The space was designed by Hal Williamson and is made up of both antique and current pieces, which I love. I believe that more often than not, contrast is what makes design interesting, and the masculine style chairs draped in feminine colors and textures, along with the gold and crystal detailing throughout the room are dream-like.

 Photo by John Kernick, room design by Hal Willamson, found via House Beautiful
The wedding contrived from this little piece of heaven includes pale blue bridesmaid dresses in different styles and patterns, and an Old Hollywood style silk charmeuse gown by Catherine Deane for BHLDN. Only the most perfect pair of blush suede pumps would fit the style of the soft armchair from the room. The invitations, by Ceci New York, are letterpress wrapped in blush and gold fabric, and topped off with feathers, jewels, and rosettes - how much more feminine and textured can you get?

I choose ghost chairs for the ceremony to pick up on the Lucite side table and gold chivari chairs for the reception. The blue armoire houses pictures of family and pink peonies are everywhere, from the centerpieces to the bouquets to the boutonnieres. And who could forget about dessert? The flaky, decadent Parisian macaroons in shades of pale pink and champagne leave guests with a sweet memory as the night draws to a close.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


As November quickly draws to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to feature these comfy limited edition slip-on's by Toms. They feature the cutest little embroidered stache - much cuter than the one my husband has been attempting to grow - and proceeds from every purchase go to the Movember Foundation. For those of you who don't know, the Movember Foundation raises awareness of cancers affecting men and men grow mustaches during the month of November in support of the cause.

Image found via Toms

So, support the men in your life AND gain the perfect holiday shopping shoe - it's a win-win!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Despite the 4 1/2 inch heel, there is something about these wedge pumps by Naughty Monkey that makes me feel comfy and cozy. And at under $100 the decision to purchase is even easier. They come in black too, but I'm loving this two-toned rust color.

 Image found via Piperlime

Friday, November 18, 2011


This Friday's post is actually from a real life design inspiration excercise, using a room as inspiration to design a wedding...or in this case, just the wedding table.

When I was invited to participate in The Wedding Salon's Luxury Bridal Showcase in New York City, I was thrilled. And when they asked if I'd like to design a table, I instantly knew that it would be the perfect opportunity to take my own advice and come up with a design solely based off the inspiration of a room that spoke to me. 

So, I scoured design magazines and the Internet and eventually came across this gorgeous vintage-style bedroom on House To Home. It is full of sweet, delicate colors and patterns, rich textured fabrics, and just the right amount of bling. And it inspired me to design a modern vintage wedding dinner table with lots of textured neutrals and metallics - no color at all, just white, ivory, and silver.

 Photo by Tim Young, found via House To Home

I found the most perfect brocade pearl linen from Wildflower Linens, which was also used for the napkins. The place settings were from Party Rental Ltd. - I used pearl white chargers, white dinner and salad plates, and silver flatware. I chose 3 glasses per setting - clear glass white and red wine glasses, and the most beautiful white water goblets - love those!

Photo by Adrienne O'Connor

The menus were designed by the talented graphic design team - Peter and Christine of I Love Saturday, and I wrapped them in lace trim and silver ribbon (both purchased at M&J Trimming) to make them pop against the napkins. The candles were a mix of clear votives that I wrapped in lace trim, mercury glass votives from Luna Bazaar, and antique votives from Anthropologie.

 Top Left Photo by Tim Young, found via House To Home
All table design photos by Adrienne O'Connor 
Image of mercury glass votive found via Luna Bazaar
Images of glasses, plates, and flatware found via Party Rental Ltd.
Image of linen found via Wildflower Linens

And the flowers were designed by the adorable, budding florist - Deirdre of Mint & Magnolia. She used a stunning combination of garden roses, hydrangea, seeded eucalyptus, and baby's breath and paired them in 3 different sizes of the coolest mercury glass containers I've ever seen.

I had a blast pulling it all together and it was so nice to hear how much the brides loved it at the show. I'd love your feedback too - let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


These peep toes by Enzo Angiolini are the perfect "something blue" for your winter wedding - with suede, feathers, and jewels, what more could you ask for?

Image found via Piperlime

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I don't know how else to describe these shoes besides absolutely, incredibly, jaw droppingly gorgeous. The way the lace peeks out in just the right places is heavenly, and the glittery heels and striped soles are perfection. The only catch is that they might be impossible to get your hands on since British shoe designer, Georgina Goodman, has only created 11 pairs!

Image found via

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I came across these Celine moccasin-type pumps and my heart skipped a beat. The beautiful shade of blue in a perfect patent leather is gorgeous, and the chocolate brown and beige details make them so unique. Plus, the chunky heel makes it easy to stay cute AND comfy while holiday shopping.

 Image found via Beautiful Shoes

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I am all giddy with excitement after viewing so many gorgeous photos sent to me from Alexis Stein Photography that I can't even contain myself! Alexis and I met at this years' New York Magazine bridal show and I knew there was something special about her and her work from that moment.

Alexis and Keith, a professional wedding photography couple (who just got married this month!), make up Alexis Stein Photography and have over 20 years combined experience. Their work is a blend of artistic, photo-journalistic, and conceptual styles of shooting, and they love capturing the perfect images that tell the story of the day – that pretty much sums up what every couple should be after, in my opinion.

These two really go above and beyond in getting to know the people they work with and making everyone feel right at home, which is so important on your wedding day. They are relaxed, not overbearing, and get along with everyone – this is just as important as the quality of the pictures they take – no one wants to be surrounded by pushy, grumpy people on the happiest day of their life. Alexis and Keith say, “a day of shooting with Alexis Stein Photography is like a day with family” – I LOVE THIS! I could go on and on, but I’ll let their pictures speak for themselves.

Alexis and Keith shot a gorgeous wedding on Martha’s Vineyard in May 2011 for Lauren and Todd. The wedding took place at Captain Flander’s House and the atmosphere was absolutely breathtaking. Take a look at my favorite detail shots and my favorite couple shots below. Then, head over to Alexis and Keith’s blog for even more gorgeousness.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011


These black satin booties by Pura Lopez for BHLDN are perfect for a New York City night out. You may not be able to walk far in the 4.5" wrapped heel, but that's what taxis are for. And wherever you end up, you'll look like a bombshell. The best part? They come with black AND white ribbons so you can completely change your look on the fly.

 Image found via BHLDN

Monday, October 24, 2011


Friends, I'm sad to say that this is the last installment of Elke Von Freudenberg's makeup tips for all of you brave souls who plan to apply your own makeup, Kate Middleton style, on your big day. But don't worry, I'm sure we'll have a ton more beauty inspiration from Elke in the future. Today's post is all about the finishing touches and I'm loving it.

When you're done with your look, you may want to apply a little more blush, and then finish with a final brush of loose powder. Make sure everything is blended well. If you feel like you have a lot of makeup on, lightly mist with a soft spray of water to set. This will take away the feeling of makeup on your skin and also helps to set the makeup. If you want your skin to glow, lightly brush on a soft shimmering eye shadow or the new shimmer loose powders. To avoid over doing it, just dust across the tops of the cheekbones and collar bones. For a more over-all glow, you can even go across the forehead and chin.

Image found via Focus On Style 

Celebrity Eyebrow Expert, Elke Von Freudenberg, is considered one of the best eyebrow specialists in New York.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


These lovely little ballet flats by Marc Jacobs are perfect for a dreary NYC day like today. I can imagine myself prancing through a farmer's market showing off the sweet scalloped detail and stunning color. The color is called Licis - I've never heard of it, but I'm loving it.

Image found via Zappos Couture

Monday, October 17, 2011


Who doesn't love fake eyelashes? Today, Elke Von Freudenberg teaches us how to apply them the right way so that they look beautiful and natural. For tips on how to wake up your eyes, click here.

If you're applying false eyelashes, single eyelashes are the most natural looking. An easy way to apply them is to apply one coat of mascara, let dry. Apply a dot of glue on the tip of the lash and along the length. This is actually the part that anchors to your lashes. Then, take your tweezers, looking down, and place 2-3 single lashes on the outer 1/4 of the eye. Let the glue dry, and then another coat of mascara to seal the lashes together. False eyelashes go a long way in making your eyes dramatic and the focus of the face

Image found via real beauty 

Celebrity Eyebrow Expert, Elke Von Freudenberg, is considered one of the best eyebrow specialists in New York.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Image found via Etsy


Oh, how I love these platform oxfords by Cole Haan! The 4 1/4 inch leather wrapped heal looks surprisingly not so terrifying to walk in, and I am obsessed with this color combo - fuschia, greige (who doesn't love greige?!) and burgundy - gorgeous! There are also a ton more color combos available, so check them out.

Image found via Cole Haan


Elke Von Freudenberg's makeup tip for this week is all about the eyes. For tips on filling in your brows, click here.

A soft shimmering cream or white is beautiful on the brow bone, and the inner corners of the eyes, both above and below the lashes. This wakes up the eyes and creates a beautiful highlight. To make eyes appear larger, apply a sand or taupe in the crease of the eye. Blend so that the shadow fades well. Keep the eyes looking neutral, while the colors emphasize the cheeks and lips. Make the most dramatic part of the eye your lashes and eyeliner as this looks the best in pictures. Take a black or brown pencil and line the lashes on the outer 1/2 or 1/4 of the eye. Blend with a Q-tip. Then, take your mascara and an eyeliner brush, and lightly line the eye with your mascara. Once it's dried, smudge again, and you'll find that your eyeliner will stay on forever. If your mascara is waterproof, that's even better. And remember to curl your lashes before, not after mascara.

Image found via Michelle Montes

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I met Robert a few months ago through the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) and we talked about doing a feature on him for my blog - he came up with a great idea of featuring all the different religious and ethnic weddings he's done in New York City. I immediately jumped at the chance to be a part of this because it's one of the reasons I love New York - there are so many different people and different places to get married, that you really can't repeat the same wedding twice. So without further adieu, I give to you Robert London of Robert London Wedding Photography.

These images illustrate why being a wedding photographer in NYC is so great, I receive emails all the time from people around the world who are coming to NYC to have a destination wedding. Also there is such a depth of religions and cultures of people who reside here there are literally thousands of places of worship, I believe unequal to any place elsewhere in the world. Wedding photographers in smaller towns go to the same houses of worship and the few wedding halls in the community - that would make me crazy; it would just become too formal after some time. Here in NYC staying fresh and experiencing new cultures and venues is just  a way of life!

Candelabra headdress (Shamadan) Shamadan is traditionally performed at weddings in Egypt. The candles represent light, love and prosperity. The Egyptian phrase used to describe dancing with a candelabra is Raqs Al Shamadan, commonly referred to as Shamadan. The ancient Egyptians were the first civilization to regard marriage as a legal relationship.

Korean: Notice no one smiles, and I knew this Bride - she is one of the funniest people so it was odd to see her in this character. It was my first Korean wedding so during the formals I said “okay everyone smile” and she responded “just take the picture, Korean’s don’t smile!”

One interesting belief in Korea is that if the groom smiles a lot during the ceremony, the couple's first child will be a boy!

Classical Lebanese belly dancing will often be performed at the wedding reception, symbolizing the bride's transformation into a sensual woman. If the bride steps on  a single girl's foot it is believed that it'll bring her luck and that she's going to marry soon.
 The Lion dance originated in China close to a thousand years ago. There are different variations of the lion dance in other Asian cultures.

The Guan Gong (Cantonese: Kwan Kung) lion has a red based face, black fur, with a long black beard (as he was also known as the "Duke with the Beautiful Beard"). The tail is red with black trim. He is known as the second brother and sports two coins on the collar. This Lion is known as Hsing Shih (Shing Shi) or the Awakened Lion. This lion is generally used by most.
The southern lion exhibits a wide variety of colour and has a distinctive head with large eyes, a mirror on the forehead, and a single horn at center of the head.

The lion, a symbol of power, wisdom, and good fortune, chases away evil spirits and brings hapiness, longevity, and good luck.

The Taiwanese lion is less elaborate and can be roughly divided into two categories: open-mouth lion (開口獅) and closed-mouth lion (閉口)

Orthodox Jewish
I have done many Jewish weddings of all types but a real Hasidic wedding is very unusual for a non Jewish person to work at - women and men stay in separate rooms until after the ceremony.

 Ketubah (Marriage Contract)
The ketubah outlines the chatan's various responsibilities - to provide his wife with food, shelter and clothing, and to be attentive to her emotional needs. Protecting the rights of a Jewish wife is so important that the marriage may not be solemnized until the contract has been completed.

This wedding was a mixed wedding, the Bride was not Hindu, however she and her whole family embraced the religion (at least for the day) and all dressed up in authentic Indian garments. This is a picture with her sister during the ceremony. 
A brightly colored red dress, called Ghaghra Choli, with a lot of Gold Ornaments is worn by the Bride. The Groom, on the other hand, wears the Sherwani - long designer shirt with trousers. He also wears a Pagdi (Cap) and Duppata with Sherwani. There are special shoes called Jootis/ Mojaris, which are worn along the Sherwani.

This was called 'sheerne khoran' (eating sweets) or shirin khori, Eating sweet food at celebratory events, such as an engagement ceremony, carries symbolism, such as wishing for sweetness in the couple's life.

Franciscan Friars
St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers follows the Capuchin Franciscan tradition, they have an extreme view of Christian values towards the poor, and a fashion sense also – notice the beards.

This wedding was in the east village in a nightclub, the couple combined some traditional wedding aspects (like a pro photographer) with their unconventional lifestyle.

This was at the Waldorf Astoria, you would never know that is was not taken in England.

I am not sure why, but I have done a ton of Scottish weddings. The men are always in kilts, and most say that it is the only time they ever wear them. Although unlike tuxedos here in the states, the Scots seem to always own their kilts, which makes sense since the patterns have associations to particular clans and families. (I do own my own tux)

Not sure what the fire was about and I could not find any reference, but it was funny that even at a festive party they could not hold back, and they spoke frequently of Castro.

Clinton Kelly, from What Not to Wear, was filming near by and was kind enough to come over and take some photos with the Bride. I mentioned to him that “you cannot tell the Bride that she wore the wrong dress”

Thank you, Robert, for the contribution! I feel like I learned so much about so many different types of wedding celebrations, so thank you for enlightening us with your extensive experience!