something borrowed…

10th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Today I was daydreaming about different and original ideas for this age-told tradition– what do you think?

Something Borrowed.

A fantastic read for your honeymoon or on the flight en route. Love + Marriage+ Something Borrowed. Check that off your list!


Something Blue:

Take your something new ((scroll down further)) and turn it over to have your bridesmaids write in BLUE something special you want to remember for years to come. It’s a creative way to cross the something blue off the list+ you have your bestie’s words of wisdom to carry with you throughout your marriage on the soles of your feet. 


Something Old:

You’ve seen the traditional broach or bracelet being placed on the bride before she walks on the aisle. Why not incorporate it into the bouquet? A broach, doily, or handkerchief. 

Image Courtesy of


Something New:

Choose a new shoe design by your favorite designer. Don’t sweat the price– you’ve worked hard to make your special day come true, splurge a little…you’ve earned it!

kate spade exclusive: image courtesy of



wedding invites, from frugal to extravagant!

9th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

I was absolutely shocked when I saw how expensive all paper products for weddings are! Who would have thought that something so tiny and thin would cost me 12 percent of my wedding budget! Here are some fanatic ideas for your wedding paper invitations regardless of your budget. There’s always something for everyone!

Note: Many people automatically assume that an e-invite would be the cheapest way to go because it’s….well, free. Don’t even think about it. This fringes on tacky! Spend the extra money to purchase some paper goods and stationery to notify guests of the occasion!

For the budget savvy bride: Clearly DIY is the way to go here. There are many kits you can purchase to DIY or purchase the materials at your local craft or paper good store. Your best inspiration for something like this would be Pinterest– type in keywords like DIY invites, DIY wedding invites, and DIY paper goods and you love what you find! Most of these give a how to as well. Invite your bridesmaids over and have an invite making day, it will be fun and inexpensive!


Image Courtesy of


For the techie bride: If you’re anything like me, you will enjoy and take advantage of all that technology has to offer frazzled brides. I purchased my save the dates from a smaller printing company with vintage and mod romantic designs (PearTreeGreetings); order over 150 and you can get your cards for as little as 53 cents each. They’re amazing designs and if you order in bulk, will save you a ton of money. Many smaller printing companies like this have templates online you can create your invites with customizable colors, shades, themes, and your own photos . ( Check out wedding paper divas too!) Once you’re done, they send you a proof to approve or deny and then you’re on your way!


Invites available at


For the non-existent budget bride: *Sigh*  Don’t we all wish we didn’t have budget constraints? I envy you ;) if you’re one of those brides who does not have a strict limit on funds, you can hire a graphic designer through a friend, freelance site, or places like and they will create your own original design based on what you want or have envisioned. It will be a one of a kind design and invitation set, created just for you! For extra money they can have them printed as well, just depends on your time frame and how busy of a bee you are. Looking for a more elaborate invite? Stick them in aged bottles for ” Message in a Bottle”,  have 3-D invites, hire a videographer to create a video story for  DVD invites, or hire  a techie for an iPhone app invite with details to location, registry info, couples stories, and a slide show of engagement photos.


Image Courtesy of







an intimate backyard wedding…

7th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Backyard Wedding Ideas


2012 Wedding Trends– it seems to be a year of going back to the basics, simplicity is key, less is more & all that jazz.
Backyard weddings are a beautiful setting for your wedding. It incorporates elegance, simplicity, and the vintage style we all love. Your backyard can serve as your ceremony and reception, and most of all– your home.


Who said your backyard can't be a wedding venue? Image Courtesy of StyleMePretty


Decor: Flowers, flowers, flowers. Utilize the florals in season (or in your backyard) and encompass them into everything–incorporate them into the hairstyles, decor, background decor, the food tables, etc.


Backyard Weddings: Simplicity & Elegance in your own backyard. Image Courtesy of the Blog



Menu:  Again, because the general tone of your backyard wedding will most likely be casual, your menu can be that as well. Take simple, casual dishes and add some flair. BBQ or smoked meats and grilled kabobs–or things like herb roasted vegetables, marinated and grilled chicken, fruit salsa, and strawberry shortcake. You can’t go wrong with these favorites!


Image Courtesy of


Favors:  Backyard weddings allow you to have a lot of versatility in your wedding favors you choose to set out at the end of the night. A favorite that can be encompassed as a wedding favor AND dessert is a milk and cookie bar. There are plenty of ways to have this at your wedding– just depends on your style & taste.


Cookies & Milk Wedding Favors: Adorable favor idea for a backyard wedding. Image courtesy of



oscar inspired wedding dresses

3rd April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

The Oscars have arrived and bid us adieu, yet the 2012 Oscar trends remain. The world comes together to see the fashion, the glitz, the glamour. Here are three trends that have been inspired by the Golden Globes all around the globe for a bride’s dream gown.



Image Courtesy of


Grecian Goddess: Celebrities were spotted on this special night in one shouldered, metallic fabric floor length gowns. This embodied an air of elegance, couture, and sexiness all in one. The shimmery fabric and the one shoulder look is a popular one for all wedding seasons this year– it’s the perfectly balanced gown for a bride looking to stay in tune to the trends.

Peplum: This is a style similar to a tunic, with a greater amount of material on the top and a lengthened silhouette on the bottom. This is really a flattering style for any size bride and it’s similar style was seen on big name celebs like Tina Fey and Angelina Jolie.

Off the Shoulder: The off the shoulder dress is one that exudes pure elegance and luxury; this style has a varied style on the bottom; from a ball room bottom, A-line skirt, or mermaid type look. Regardless, it exposes the shoulders and all of their elegance while remaining modest and elegant.

What Oscar look are you sporting?



diy florals with an edge..

29th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Stumbled across this beautiful photo on Pinterest, and naturally it sparked some DIY ideas of my own. So many brides are set on using fresh florals, but what about ad libbing, being creative, and creating something that not many have done before?


Let’s take this storybook bouquet for a bride’s storybook ending. I love the meaning behind this bouquet. Love truly is a story– it has a beginning, middle, end, and a ton of chapters that are unlike any other book you’ve read. You have a unique story and I feel this conveys that point so beautifully. What do you think?

As a write, author, and journalist I’m actually considering a design like this!

Interested? Check out these DIY blogs on how to make a bouquet such as this!

Love & Tulle,

Hope A.


designer we love: reem acra

24th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Reem Acra is a well known Lebanese fashion designer who’s headquarters are located in New York, but continues to be a legend worldwide. Although she studied in Paris and New York, and her designs are loved all over the world, Reem spends most of her time and energy continuing to brand herself in the NYC area. Her designs incorporate modern elegance with a European flair, and she is most known for her bridal designs and her uncanny talent for incorporating embroidery into her designs.


Her 2012 collection included off the shoulder, both shoulder, sweetheart, and strapless designs all with embroidery and/or floral embroidered embellishments.


I’m in love.

Image Courtesy of Weddinginspiras



My Favorite Things: The One Shoulder

19th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - 2 Comments

A reoccurring trend I absolutely love is the elegant yet sexy one shouldered wedding gown. It’s been a classic favorite over the past couple years, each year presenting a new design more beautiful than the next.

A favorite bride that we remember from past years’ is Guy Sebastian’s (Australian Idol’s winner) beautiful bride, Jules Egan. The gown was designed by Master/Slave, a famous Australian designer. It’s one shoulder design encompassed a vintage floral cluster with mauve and off white ribbons on the shoulder. Guy Sebastian still talks about how fabulous his bride looked on their wedding day.

Just a quick couple update: the couple is still happily married, Sebastian just released new tracks and his wife is a happy designer after having a successful Aussie fashion week. Fashion, love, and music? This couple still has it all.


xo Hope

Photo Taken from Polka Bride via

choosing a caterer…yum!

16th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Choosing a caterer is one of the most important parts of planning your reception– it will probably be the most money spent on your wedding day so it’s important that you’re please all around with whom you choose. This is the meal that all of your guests will partake in and it is what connects and entertains your guests all night. Your caterer or catering company will be responsible for so much more than just putting a plate in front of your guests– it is here that you’ll most likely book your china, linens, hire your servers, and compile your beverage menu. With all of these tasks under one vendor, it’s someone you should be very happy with.

I attended my second wedding menu tasting last week because while I had a great first tasting with another caterer, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the service, all they had to offer, and the pricepoint. I was more than pleased in attending my second tasting and my fiancee and I will be going with this particular vendor.

Here are some questions to ask your caterer before attending your menu tasting:

1. Have they catered a wedding at the reception venue you chose?

2. What is included in their catering quote ?

3. Are they willing to include all rentals and menu choices for a certain price point?

4. How are dietary concerns met? Allergies, low fat, diabetics, etc.

5. What is the timeline from the arrival of the caterer to serving?

6. What serving options are available– i.e. buffet, plated, family style, etc.

7. Are the willing to create a menu on your specific choices, family recipes, cultural desires, etc?


Happy Tasting!

A Mediterranean menu tasting for my upcoming wedding!

cake time…sweet decisions.

15th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Last week I finally got to attend my first cake tasting. I’ve emailed various bakers back and forth, had a couple phone conferences and exchanged business cards with a few bakeries at bridal shows. With so many different vendors to pick from, it’s hard to hone in on just one! Here’s some tips when choosing your baker:


1.Price. Know your cake budget before going into the meeting– find out the price difference between fondant and buttercream, edible flowers and decorations, and cake vs. cupcakes, etc. What are you willing to spend, and what can you do without?

2. Cleanliness. It’s important to see the facility of a bakery– I encourage you to go to the actual location of where the cakes are made so you can get a good idea of how clean and neat this particular baker is.

3. Reputation. It’s a wise idea to go with a baker that has built a reputation with other brides in the area. Ask to see previous wedding cakes and cupcakes, ask to be referred to their review Facebook page or feedback, know your baker and how they operate their business before you sign any contract or put down a deposit.

4. Ask Questions. You are paying your baker to give you what on your special day– so make sure that they are professional, give you what you’re looking for and will be able to create and deliver it within the time frame you need. Regardless if it’s just a matter of wanting a different shape flower, a different colored ribbon, or a food allergy– speak up and ask questions, give specifics of what you’re looking for.


Two of my possible cupcake designs from my chosen baker here in Grand Rapids.

endure the curveballs…

15th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Hello to our fabulous readers–  

Hope Alcocer here, Marketplace Weddings’ In-House blogger. I hope that this blog post finds you well on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon. The lovely Lia has asked me to blog a bit more on here, get to you know all, and write on all things weddings as a weekly contributor. I’m honored!

I’m a bride to be myself,I got engaged on October 14th, 2011 and have been planning a September 8th, 2012 wedding. It’s been a crazy and stressful time yet so enjoyable to plan my dream wedding. My fiancee is in the military, so we’ve been comparing color swatches and honeymoon planning via Skype and email…it’s challenging, difficult and makes me assume I’ll start sprouting grey hairs sooner than later, but it’s worth it. I remember the real reason I’m getting married; it’s not because of the unique bouquets I chose, it’s not the designer dress or the one-of-a-kind menu- it’s because I want to spend the rest of my life married to my best friend, my other half, my soulmate.

This past weekend Evan and I endured another curve ball and due to military hangups we will need to postpone our wedding day. All of the time, work, and money going into a September 8th 2012 wedding is now put on pause until we figure out a better time where I know my fiancee can be home. My first reaction was to get upset and stress, then I was remembered that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a date. If it was meant to be on September 8th, that would have happened; until then, I’ll wait to set a new date and look forward to it. I’m learning not to stress the small stuff. One might not consider a wedding date ” small stuff” but I am choosing to look at it like that. If we can endure distance and still love through a time of difficulty and war, we can surely weather any storm that comes our way.


My advice to you today– breathe. Take each “hiccup” as it comes. Love more, and stress less. Five years from now after you’ve had your wedding day you will look back and realize that these hangups did not matter- it will just matter that you’re happy & love the one you’re with. 






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