Monday, November 9, 2015

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If you are married (remember back to that day), about to be married, or see yourself getting married someday...and you are the person trying to secure wedding reception space, then you are more than likely the bride to be. This is going to be one of the most cherished and memorable events that will ever happen in your life. It is supposed to happen only once in your life, so you want it to be perfect in every way.

Choosing the location for your reception should be governed by some very important factors. The most important factor is how it reflects your style and vision. The venue has to work with you. If that sounds confusing think of it this way, am I the formal type, do I love a European look, am I the Country Club type?  Each of these examples conjures up a list of possible locations. When I think formal I see a ballroom with a sparkling chandelier, white table cloths and white chair covers. When I envision a European look my mind wanders to wineries and the like located all around us and when I think country club I see green lawns, trees and a golf course surrounding a one story building with a view of it all.

These three different examples describe three distinctive styles.  Whatever your style, if you can clearly describe you can find it. This is when you want to have a wedding planner. Most venues have a small staff of professionals who are available to show you their space and review their policies. With a professional wedding planner by your side you will know what questions to ask and she can help you evaluate what each venue has to offer and why that is important to you and your wedding day. Let’s say you have three places in mind that would be in the running for your reception, so you call them all up and are wanting to get preliminary information. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait a day or two for a call back. That has been my experience. At times I find myself calling back two or three times before I reach the person I want to speak to about the event.

From here you will be looking for a face to face meeting to determine who gets to have the privilege of hosting your once in a lifetime celebration. You call up the first place, second place and finally the third place and you are greeted warmly. That is immediately followed up with tactical questions relating to Dates, Space, and Rates.
It may seem that all they care about are Dates, Space, and Rates, and that is true. That's what the reception place wants to talk with you about. Why? Because they have done so many wedding receptions, meetings, banquets and so on that they become more like the robotic conveyer belt at an automobile factory than the 'trustee and true beneficiary of someone's most cherished lunch or dinner'. It may be the last time all 4 of your generations will ever be together. It is the first time Aunts and Uncles have seen each other in a dozen years. It is the first and maybe last time both families will come together as one. And the banquet facility wants to focus on dates, space and rates. And when you tell them that you are calling two more places they tell you that they hope you call them back. They will not call you back and so here again is why you want to approach this decision with a wedding planner beside you. She will keep notes and send follow up communications to keep you in their minds should you decide to hold your reception there. A wedding planner can usually get the venue to put a temporary hold on space for you while you think and look further. The venue knows that a full time professional is working on the event and that professional will be easy to reach. That makes their job much easier.  

Because they all sound the same you may think that this is the way this is supposed to go. That is not how it is supposed to go and again here is where your wedding planner steps in and gets you the attention you deserve. Did you know you can have all the help and attention you need throughout the planning process? Or you can hire help when you need it as you take on each task. Either way, when you are searching for the location of your reception you should have a professional planner by your side. Who better to give you guidance than someone who has planned many weddings as their chosen profession? Think about the job you do and your competency level. Now make the jump in your mind to accept the idea that planning your wedding should not be left to amateurs without experience.

Got a question about planning your wedding? Ready to take charge and make a major change now? Drop me an email at I will respond to your questions. Next we will talk about developing your budget so that the “food and beverage minimums” don’t stop you from having the best wedding for your dollars.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Getting Married, Get Counseling

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So what is premarital counseling and should you and your intended try it? Couples counseling is by far the best way to get your marriage on track and keep it on track. Many years ago a book was written , Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. It is a book that is relevant and therefore recommended by some premarital counselors. You can find it in the self help section of the library, the book store and of Amazon. It discusses the difference between men and women, most of the time. It is full of good information.

The average couple will be engaged for 15 months before they get married. Most of the that time is spent on planning the wedding day celebration. Few couples pay attention to what will happen after they say I DO! As you move towards that special day, your fiends and family will always ask you questions about the flowers, your dress, the ceremony and such. They almost never ask about how you envision your life as a married couple. Very few couples discuss how they will handle money once married or how they will deal with a financial set back.

The hard questions need to be addressed and answered. That is where couples counseling comes in. The main purpose is for the couple to say out loud the answers to the tough questions, so that they can hear each others responses and formulate the one that will support their happiness together.You see, there is no perfect relationship and you need to address the troublesome issues before they happen, because they do not go away. Just addressing them will improve your odds of a happy marriage.

This can be work and not always comfortable. But it is invaluable to every couple. It can provide you with critical tools for your future together. It can also uncover any hidden fears and take you into a future without false expectations. Many times the suggestion will come from your officiant, but if it does not, take the initiative and seek couples counseling with a Marriage and Family Therapist. Frequently, your wedding planner can help you with a referral to a therapist with a good track record.

The experts offer this short list of questions and subjects to address in couples counseling.
  1. What is your vision of the future? For example, do you want to live in the city or the country? Apartment or single family home?
  2. What is your fighting style? How you argue is as important as what you argue about.
  3. How do you deal with money?
  4. What does family mean to you?
  5. What do you believe in? You maybe a person who has religious beliefs that are a big part of your culture, or not. This is a big one.
  6. Your sex life is the biggest one and the hardest to talk about. But you must. Marriage is expected to include sex and the sooner you can express your needs and expectations, the sooner you can get to a place of loving exchange and intimacy.
  7. Finally, why do you love each other? This is the questions when you get to say all the best things about each other, to each other. This when you can express your love and remember what brought you together. This is what will keep you together.
Coupes counseling should be a  part of your wedding planning. Don't overlook this step. And remember, as you travel the road of life together, when problems arise, you will be equipped to handle them. When you are not equipped, you can go back to couples counseling. Make it a part of your happily ever after!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Honeymoon in Aruba

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Sandy Beaches
Aruba is the next stop on our trip through Romantic Honeymoon Destinations. I know two couples who have been married for several years who honeymooned in Aruba and recently revisited. I will be reviewing each of their stays for you.

Meanwhile I have gathered this general information for you to help you plan your honeymoon.
Year-round warm weather with constant cooling trade winds and a location below the hurricane belt make every season a good time to visit Aruba. The most popular time to visit is from December to mid-April, when people from the north come to escape cold winters.

REAL Savings on Your Perfect Honeymoon -All Inclusive Honeymoons up to 60% off. Book Now!
high season: December to mid-April
low season: June to August
shoulder season: mid-April to May, September to November
Weather Information: Aruba's year-round temperatures average 82 degrees with cooling trade winds. Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt and rainfall is very moderate, averaging less than 20 inches per year. The warmest months are August and September.
Crowd Information: Periods of high occupancy include key events and holidays such as the main Carnival event in February, the Memorial Day weekend music festival, and the Columbus Day weekend music festival, along with the period between Christmas and New Year's.
In the last few years, low-season rates have attracted so many people that visitor numbers are actually fairly steady throughout the year.

Closure Information: There are no set times that any sites close annually. Most sites do minor renovations for upkeep during the off-season, but remain open throughout the year.
Most retail stores are closed on Sundays. Some restaurants close on Mondays.
When to Save: During the summer season prices are generally lower, and vacation packages tend to come with value-added programs.
When to Book: Typically, visitors to Aruba, especially those who have timeshare units, book about six to eight weeks in advance. However, last-minute offers are often available. Availability is tight during the high season and prior to key events.
During high season, book three months in advance for stays at beachfront hotels and resorts. For stays at small, boutique properties, it's advisable to book farther in advance as many people book their next stay up to a year ahead of time.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weddings Away

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The North End of Boston-Little Italy
Every month Bridal Guide scouts a spot that's perfect for tying the knot away from home. This month they picked Massachusetts, my home state. One of the great reasons to choose Massachusetts as your destination wedding spot is how much the area has to offer your guests. This destination wedding spot offers friends and family a vacation opportunity. Pick an interesting place and people will be even more glad that they came.

Massachusetts offers a beautiful seacoast, tranquil countryside and mountains, a fabulous city, and Cape Cod. Along the coast you can find lovely towns such as Gloucester, Cape Anne, Nahant and Hull. These rocky beaches are old seaports with a storied history. Boston is one of the original cities in this country.  The seaports are where it all began. Old warehouse buildings and commerce building have been refurbished and are now special occasion venues.

If it is countryside that you prefer, try the Seven hills Inn at the Berkshires. This mountainous area of the state is located in the western corner and has long beckoned travelers who love outdoor adventures, trees that never end, amazing fall foliage, and a little bit of culture. Tanglewood is located in the Berkshires and is the summer home for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  The Seven Hills Inn is located on 27 acres with a main building that once was a mansion of the gilded age. Wedding ceremonies at this three season resort are held on the manicured grounds or in the ornate drawing room. Receptions are held in the ballroom. They hold one event a day and you are attended to by the owner of the property.

Christopher Columbus Park, Boston
The city of Boston is the best place to have your destination Massachusetts wedding. There is so much to do, it would take me all day to describe it..There are parks that ready for you and beautiful hotels if you prefer an indoor setting. Boston is known for its narrow, winding, cobblestone streets, land marked historical buildings that date back to the beginnings of America, the site of the Boston Tea Party and many upscale hotels. The Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center is located in the waterfront district and offers couples a choice of ballrooms with adjacent canopied decks that can accommodate as many as 190 guests. Your guests who travel to Boston  for your special day and stay in the waterfront district of the city will have plenty to do when the wedding is over.Here is a city that you can see on foot, via subway or by boat.

I have to make mention of the romantic and lovely Cape Cod area. Bridal Guide loves the Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster Massachusetts. This sprawling resort offers guests multiple pools, tennis courts, four restaurants and a newly revamped golf course. The accommodations are spread out among the historic mansion, and villages of 1,2 and 3 bedroom villas. On the property there are a variety of places for your wedding day party. There is the new Linx Pavilion, set on the golf course at the 18th hole for you and 300 guests. For a smaller group try the romantic Carriage House or the Ocean Terrace if you prefer  a view of Cape Cod Bay.

Rocky shore and historic lighthouses
When you choose a place with the character of Massachusetts you will find wonderful fun traditions to add to your wedding events, like a walk on The Freedom Trail, a traditional lobster/clam bake on the beach, or a private cruise and picnic for you and your guests. The list is endless.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Five Ways to Reduce Your Wedding Planning Stress

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If you are in the process of planning a wedding, then you know how very stressful it can be. There seems to be a million things that must be taken care of at once and often there are snags that crop up and get in the way of your original plans. Remaining flexible and finding ways to deal with and work through the stress are important if you are to succeed in planning a beautiful wedding. Below are six simple ways that you can reduce stress when making all the plans for your big day.
Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help
The first thing you should keep in mind is that you can't be afraid to ask for help. This an mean asking for help from your friends and family or maybe even acknowledging the fact that you might need the help of a professional planner. Chances are that others will be eager to help you plan the wedding and a lot of the stressful tasks can be taken off your hands.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Trying to cram too many tasks into a short amount of time can make for a particularly stressful situation. Giving yourself plenty of time to get all the planning done and not procrastinating are important if you want to remain relatively stress free. Six months is the minimum amount of time you should try to cram your wedding planning tasks into and even then, you may find yourself pressed for time.

Stay Organized
Organization is the key to planning a wedding. Getting a binder with all of the important information, numbers and confirmation numbers can help eliminate the stress of trying to remember everything in your head. By staying organized, you know what tasks are done and which ones still remain.
Take a Break
It is not a bad idea to take a break from planning for a day or two if you are feeling stressed out or unsure of a decision. While you do not want to put things off until the last minute, delaying a decision for a day or two may give you time to calm down and put your choices into perspective.
Do Something Fun
When you feel yourself start to turn into Bridezilla, it is important to remember why you are getting married in the first place. Take a step back to cool down and have some fun with your fiancé or your friends. Going out to dinner or hitting the club with the girls can really help you get back on the planning track.

You can find plenty of help with Bridal Fashion at Maria Miranda Bridal conveniently located at the Hillside Village Shopping Plaza in Torrance, CA.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Don’t Want A Strapless Gown?

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Many brides today love the way the sweetheart neckline looks on their body. But it is a neckline that is strapless. It does highlight your shoulders and the line of your chin and therefore  has become very popular with todays brides because of how pretty it looks.  The neckline dips in the middle and forms the shape of heart.  What could be more romantic? Still, many brides want to cover their shoulders and this neckline lends it self to the addition of cap sleeves, ¾ length and long sleeves, as well as a removable a bolero jacket  No longer exclusive to traditional celebrations, long-sleeved dresses can make a serious style statement for the modern bride. From quiet and conservative to whimsical and romantic  the fiercely modern bride has seen on the runways  the past few seasons collections that include long sleeves. Sleeves can be just as sexy as strapless, with even more skin-bearing details.

When you are shopping for your dress, keep in mind that a talented seamstress or dress designer can transform the look of your dress by adding sleeves. Not all dresses can accommodate the addition of sleeves so we recommend that before you buy, you ask the seamstress if it can be done. The better bridal shops today will offer you as part of their service, a seamstress who is a specialist in bridal alterations.

Opting for sleeves also gives you more room to play with your own personal style and show off intricate design details. To balance out the extra fabric, a simple up do hair style and minimal jewelry will provide the perfect complements to a long sleeve gown. Still feel like you're missing a wow-factor? Select a dress with a daring low or open back or create a sultry illusion neckline. The illusion neckline is a neckline the features shear fabric or lace along the top of the bodice creating sexy coverage while maintaining the look of strapless.

The square or straight strapless neckline and  the sweetheart neckline  are easily adapted to sleeves without robbing you of glamor and beauty.  At Maria Miranda Bridal, your bridal alterations professional can help you to design and add this feature to your dress. The same sweetheart strapless and straight across strapless can be altered  to a one shoulder adding the glamor of a Grecian style gown and give you the look of a Goddess. This modern neckline is  also known as an asymmetrical neckline and is a feature that will help draw the eye up the body and give the illusion of height and length to your torso. Working with the straight or sweetheart strapless dress you can add a tiny sleeve of lace or shear fabric to create an off the shoulder look.  This is a very romantic style. This neckline shows off the collarbone by featuring light material that hits the arms below the shoulders. Still another choice is the addition of spaghetti straps. Sometimes even the thinnest line of soft fabric over your shoulders will change the look of the dress. Spaghetti straps are sexy! This design feature. although simple, changes the look of the dress by anchoring the neckline and drawing attention to the bodice.
Finally, lets take the sweetheart neckline and add a higher collar in the back, cap sleeves on your shoulders and V neck in the front to create a lace bolero jacket in the style of a Queen Anne Gown.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedding Veil Buying Guide

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ABC of Veil Buying Guide

Find a beautiful Bride veil to complete your bridal look.

Veil Lengths

You’ll have lots of options when it comes to the length of your veil. Start with Veil Length basics:
  • Short veils are veils that measure up to 26”. Short veils are usually worn with gowns that don’t have trains. They go best with short dresses, gowns with full skirts, or dresses that have detailing at the waist.
  • Elbow length veils are about 27” to 38” long. They are very versatile, pairing well with dresses of different lengths and styles.
  • Fingertip veils measure about 40” to 52” long. They are meant to skim the fingertips, and create an elegant, elongated bridal silhouette. Fingertip veils can be worn with any style full length gown.
  • Cathedral length and chapel length veils are long veils that are usually worn for formal weddings, with dresses that have trains. Cathedral and chapel length veils can be as long as you like, but usually work best if they’re about a foot longer than the train of your gown.
  • Birdcage veils are made of netted material and are very short, covering only the bride’s face. They are often worn with vintage bridal looks, but can be also be combined with more traditional style dresses.
  • Fascinators are hair clips or headpieces that are made of feathers, flowers or other decorative items. A fascinator may be worn on its own or with a veil attached. Many birdcage and vintage-style veils are anchored by a fascinator.
Which veil length is right for you? You’ll need to know what dress you’re wearing, then follow these guidelines:
  • What’s the focal point of your dress? Your veil’s edge shouldn’t fall in this area. Instead, it should be just above or below the main point of interest on your dress. For example, if you have an embellished sash on your gown, don’t choose a veil that ends right at your waistline: go for a shoulder length or cathedral/chapel length veil instead.
  • Does your dress have a train? If so, you can match it with a dramatic, formal cathedral length veil. Your veil should be at least six inches longer than your train.
  • Where on your head will you wear your veil? Consider the placement of the veil when choosing the right length. If you plan to wear it at the crown (top) of your head, be sure to measure from there for proper length. You can also wear your veil low, toward the back of your head, and should measure accordingly.


Blushers and Tiers

What is a blusher? A blusher is the part of a veil used to cover the face. It’s usually worn during the wedding ceremony, then flipped back or removed.
  • One-tier veils do not have a blusher. These veils are simple, modern and less formal. They are a nice choice for the bride who wants to wear her veil in the back of the head.
  • Two-tier Veils and Multi-Layer Veils do have blushers. They are suited for nearly all dresses, but go especially well with a semi-formal or formal gown. Two-tier veils will flatter your face and create a more traditional bridal look.


All whites are not created equal. Veils come in as many shades and tones as wedding dresses do. Your dress and veil don't need to match perfectly, but it’s better to choose a veil that’s a shade lighter (versus a shade darker) than your gown.
  • White - This a bright, stark white color. If your gown is called “white,” this is the veil color you need to select.
  • Diamond White or Silk White - This color is just barely off-white. It goes with white gowns that are made of silk or satin, and is also the best choice for “candlelight” or “antique white” gowns.
  • Ivory veils are softer than whites, with subtle beige undertones.
  • Champagne colored veils have a blushy or subtle brown tone to match champagne or dark ivory wedding dresses.