Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

From my family to yours….Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Before you sit down to have that wonderful meal today, take a moment to give thanks for all the good (or even not so good things) in your life. I am grateful that my family is in good health. I am forever grateful that I have a great husband and a happy, healthy, handsome son. I am also grateful for real friends. And of course, we are grateful for you......our blog readers! Thank You!

I thought I would share some instructions on how to carve a turkey:

Sit Tight
Once the bird is removed from the oven, it should stand for 20 to 35 minutes, depending on its size. This gives the proteins time to relax and allows the juices to redistribute throughout the bird, resulting in succulent slices of meat. Before you begin carving, have a warm serving platter ready.

Legs First
Arrange the turkey, breast side up, on a cutting board. Steady the turkey with a carving fork. Using a sharp knife, slice through the meat between the breast and the leg. Next, using a large knife as an aid, press the thigh outward to find the hip joint. Slice down through the joint and remove the leg. Cut between the thigh bone and drumstick bone to divide the leg into one thigh piece and one drumstick. To carve the drumstick, steady it with a carving fork and cut a thick slice of meat from one side, along the bone. Next, turn the drumstick over so that the cut side faces down. Cut off another thick slice of meat. Repeat, turning the drumstick onto a flat side and cutting off meat, carving a total of four thick slices. To slice the thigh, place it flat side down on a cutting board. Steady the thigh with a carving fork. With a knife, cut parallel to the bone and slice off the meat. Be sure to place all the cuts on the warmed serving platter as you work.

Wings Take Off
Before you carve the breast, the wings must be removed. Slice diagonally down through the edge of the breast toward the wing. Using a knife as an aid, press the wing out to find the shoulder joint; cut through the joint and remove the wing. Place the wing on the serving platter as is.

Carve the Breast

To carve the breast meat, hold the back of the carving fork against the breastbone. Starting parallel to the breastbone, slice diagonally through the meat. Lift off each slice, holding it between the knife and fork, and layer them on the warm serving platter. Continue until you have carved all the meat on one side of the breast. Carve the other side of breast in the same fashion. And let the feasting begin!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wedding Fact 101-Tie the Knot

From our friends at Wedding Zone:
Ever wonder where that phrase "tie the knot" comes from? This apparently goes back to Roman times. The bride would wear a girdle that was tied in many knots, which the groom had the duty of untying. As a side note, this also can refer to the tying of the knot in hand-fasting ceremonies, which were usually done without the benefit of clergy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DIY- Herb Boutonniere

Ever thought of using a flower alternative for your guy’s boutonnieres? Well here is a perfect solution. Why not make a boutonniere using herbs? Herbs usually have a symbolic meaning and some do have a nice smell. Rosemary and lavender are a great choice-rosemary represents remembrance and lavender represents devotion.

To try making this yourself you will need the following:
Herbs, wire cutter, ribbon, scissors, floral wire, floral tape, corsage pins, straight pin.

1. Combine sprigs of herbs. Strip the leaves away and cut them about 4 inches in length. Leave approximately 2 inches of the stem.

2. Hold the herbs together and wrap the stem with floral wire (from the leafy part of the stem to the bottom).

3. Now cover the floral wire with floral tape then wrap the tape with ribbon (any color of your choice). Secure the ribbon on the back with a straight pin.

4. Attach the boutonniere to the lapel with a corsage pin and voila!

This only takes a few minutes. You can keep the boutonnieres fresh by placing in a bag and keep in the fridge. (Credit-Image from The Knot)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

What are you looking for in wedding day shoes? Do you want sexy shoes or comfortable shoes? Sometimes it’s just not possible to find one pair that satisfy both criteria. Here are a few you may like from myglassslipper. If the heels seem a little too high you can always change into a flat pair for the reception, right?

Kate Spade

Guisseppe Zanotti


Guisseppe Zanotti

Friday, November 21, 2008

Butterfly Release

The butterfly symbolizes new beginnings and rebirths. What better way to celebrate the beginning of a new life together than with the releasing of butterflies at your wedding.There is an old Indian legend that tells the story of why the butterfly was created. It is often read at butterfly releases as the guests make a wish and release their butterflies.

Butterfly Releases are both magical and momentous. Every release is unique and special just as every wedding, every anniversary, every birthday, and every moment of our life is unique and special. Each of us has been given a beautiful gift of life that we must take the opportunity to experience and enjoy.

Butterflies can be released from the shipping envelopes they arrive in, with every guest having their own butterfly or with only the wedding party having their own release envelope.

You may also choose to have a mass release with all of the butterflies placed in one container. Either option is special depending on the effect you are trying to achieve.

Butterflies should only be released outside during daylight hours on a sunny or overcast (not rainy) day with a temperature above 60 degrees. The butterflies should be set free no later than two hours before sunset. This allows the butterflies time to eat and find a hiding place for the night. Releases should be held in areas protected from the wind or the butterflies will quickly disappear. A warm, sunny flower filled area or garden is best.

No matter how you choose to release your butterflies, a butterfly release is a beautiful, unusual, and exciting way to celebrate your new life together.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Afrocentric Traditions

The Jumping of the Broom is one of the most popular afrocentric traditions used in weddings today. Most brides are not aware of other afrocentric traditions. Here are 7 of these traditions that you may include in your wedding:

1. Knocking on the Door

Since marriage in African culture is considered the official joining of two families, a large emphasis is placed on getting family permissions and blessings before the wedding. In Ghana, the groom requests permission through the custom of "knocking on the door." Bearing gifts, he visits his potential in-laws accompanied by his own family. If his "knock" is accepted, the families celebrate and wedding planning begins. Or, simply plan an outing (like a brunch or dinner date) to bring both families together before the wedding and begin forming family bonds.

2. Jumping the Broom

This tradition most likely originated with an African ritual in which a broom is used to demonstrate that all past problems have been swept away. During slave days, African-Americans were forbidden to marry and live together, so jumping over a broom was a formal and public declaration of the couple's commitment. Today, it has become very popular for African-American couples to follow suit at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony. The broom, often handmade and beautifully decorated, can be displayed in the couple's home after the wedding. Check with local cultural institutions for broom makers and suppliers.

3. Crossing Sticks

In a lesser-known tradition that also dates back to the slavery era, African-American couples demonstrated their commitment by crossing tall wooden sticks. By crossing the sticks, which represent the power and life force within trees, the couple expresses a wish for a strong and grounded beginning. If you decide to incorporate this tradition, choose large branches from both of your families' homes or from a place meaningful to you as a couple.

4. Libation Ceremony

Many African-American couples incorporate a libation ceremony into their weddings as a way to honor their African ancestors. Holy water, or alcohol, is poured onto the ground in each of the cardinal directions as prayers are recited to the ancestral spirits, and names of those that have recently passed are called out. The libation ceremony can also be used as an opportunity to honor the elders in a family, asking them to pass on their wisdom and guidance.

5. Tying the Knot

In some African tribes, the bride and groom have their wrists tied together with cloth or braided grass to represent their marriage. To symbolize your own unity, have your officiant or a close friend tie your wrists together with a piece of kente cloth or a strand of cowrie shells (symbols of fertility and prosperity), while affirming your commitment.

6. Tasting the Four Elements

In a ritual adapted from a Yoruba tradition, the bride and groom taste four flavors that represent different emotions within a relationship. The four flavors typically used are sour (lemon), bitter (vinegar), hot (cayenne), and sweet (honey). By tasting each of the flavors, the couple symbolically demonstrates that they will be able to get through the hard times in life, and, in the end, enjoy the sweetness of marriage.

7. Kola Nuts

Kola nuts play an important role in African weddings. The nut, which is used for medicinal purposes in Africa, represents the couple's (and their families') willingness to always help heal each other. In Nigeria, the ceremony is not complete until a kola nut is shared between the couple and their parents. Among African Muslims the nut is also a symbol of fertility, and is exchanged with family members during the engagement celebration. Many African-American couples incorporate the sharing of a kola nut into their ceremonies, and then keep the nut in their home afterwards as a reminder to always work at healing any problems they encounter.

Source:The Knot

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Win your dream dress

CW11 is giving a bride the opportunity to win their dream dress.

Attention all brides-to-be! The dress of your dreams could be just a click away. Wedding Wednesday continues on the WPIX Morning News with a wedding dress giveaway...And its not you're ordinary frock...its a gown courtesy of luxury retailer Kleinfeld Bridal. However, this boutique doesn't want you to win just any dress, it wants to help you find your "dream dress." To ensure you're walking down the aisle in style, how about a $4,000 gift certificate for Kleinfeld? That's what one lucky winner walks away with.
Entries must be received by Nov. 25, 2008.
Visit for more details and see the official rules.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wedding Fact 101-Did you Know

Did you know the bridal shower tradition has its roots in the 1800s? The story is told of a poor miller who fell in love with a wealthy maiden. But, the father of the maiden was against the marriage. he refused to provide a dowry for her, and a bride could not marry without a dowry. The story goes that the bride had generous friends who "showered" her with so many gifts, the could forgo the missing dowry.
Source: Wedding Zone

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nicole & Michael's Wedding 11/14/08

I had the opportunity to be Nicole & Michael's DOC for their wonderful wedding at The Royalton Mansion. What can I say---everything was beautiful! They were so easy to please, they weren't into being traditional at all. They didn't do a garter toss, bouquet toss and no grand entrance for their huge bridal party of 26 people.
The couple had their ceremony in an outdoor heated tent which was beautifully decorated by their florist Spitz & Peck.
The band was Stages, they had the dance floor crowded all night. The couple also had a photobooth from MME Ent(which the guests loved).It was a pleasure working with their photographer Denise Chastain. My feet were aching by the end of the night, but that didnt stop the after party. Their wedding ended at 2:30 in the morning. The couple gave out cupcakes for their favors and had a candy bar for their guests at the end of the night.I wish Nicole and Michael a prosperous marriage.

The candy bar

The lobby

The bridesmaids

The happy couple

The tent

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just some info for you........

Hi Everyone

Look out for our new website! I am so excited about this. Our new website will have new colors, new images and more info for our brides. New look but same great service.

If you live in NJ (or live in NY and don't mind driving) come visit us at an Arena Style Bridal Showcase this Sunday, Nov. 16 at
Rutgers College Avenue Gym
New Brunswick, NJ
Sponsors and vendors will be giving away lots of prizes including a 7 DAY HONEYMOON

Take advantage of this GREAT OFFER-We are currently booking for 2009 events. Book with us by December 15, 2008 and you will get our 2008 rates.

A big thank you to readers of the blog. If you read, I would love to know----become a follower, will you? lol
An even bigger thank you to all past and present clients that continue to spread the word about Elite Affairs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughtful Gifts this holiday season

I have been thinking a lot about how this current economic crisis may affect the upcoming holidays. We all love the exchange of gifts around the holidays but will this crisis have an effect on how many gifts you purchase and how much you spend on each gift?
As I pondered on some of these questions I visited Martha's site and saw that she had some great ideas for "Thoughtful Gifts". There is nothing wrong with being a little frugal in times like these. These handmade ideas won't break the pocket and will be appreciated.

A Recipe Book-Give to anyone that usually likes your cooking

Bread-this is some nicely wrapped bread!

Fudge-who doesn't love some good fudge?

Monday, November 10, 2008

10 Make Up Mistakes-Do you make them?

What the experts at lifescript say:

Makeup Mistake #1: Dark lip liner and light lipstick
Along with spandex and big hair, Berg says, “this is one look that should have stayed in the ’80s.” The trend now is lip liner in a shade close to your natural lip color, she says. Line and color in your pucker, then top with sheer gloss. If you do use dark liner, like a red or berry shade, fill in your mouth completely, and then top with clear gloss, not a light lipstick.

Makeup Mistake #2: Lip liner that extends beyond the lip line
What you learned in kindergarten still holds true: Coloring outside the lines is sloppy. To fake a bigger pout, hug your lip line with the pencil. Line just the border, but not beyond. Then color in your lips and apply a lip-plumping product. Finish with a dab of clear or light gloss on the center of your lower lip; it will reflect the light and make your lips appear fuller.

Makeup Mistake #3: Drawn-in eyebrows
Women with lush, full brows should skip any added color; all they need are tweezers for stray hairs and a bit of brow gel. To plump up sparse brows, dip an angled brush into brow powder, says Ashunta Sheriff, a makeup artist for Christian Dior. Move the brush along the natural line of the brow, extending it to the edge of the eye.

If your brows are super-thin, Sheriff recommends making short, feathery strokes with a pencil, then topping brows with powder.

Makeup Mistake #4: Eyeliner drawn way past the outer corner of the top eyelid
The “cat-eye” (or Cleopatra) effect is sultry and sexy, but not if you go overboard. Use a pencil if you’re a beginner; liquid liner is more glamorous but requires skill and a steady hand.

For a perfect eye, draw a line along the root of the lashes from the inner to outer corner. At the outer edge, subtly slant the line upward. Extend the line no farther than a quarter inch past your eye (or just a tad bit farther for a more dramatic look). Use your eyebrow as a guide: Don’t take the line past its edge.

Makeup Mistake #5: Clumpy Mascara
Before you apply, wipe the mascara wand against the opening of the tube to get rid of any excess mascara. When applying, Berg explains that wiggling the wand from side to side, from the base of your lashes to the tips, is the way to avoid clumps.

Before the mascara dries, comb through your lashes with an old toothbrush or an eyelash comb to separate them and get rid of the gunk. If you want, apply a second coat, then comb through again.

Makeup Mistake #6: Obvious line of blush
Toss out the dinky brush that came in the compact. A bigger brush will distribute the color more evenly.

“After you dip the brush into the blush, knock it gently on the back of your hand to get rid of excess powder,” says Sheriff, who has worked with Alicia Keys and Hilary Duff.

Smile and apply the blush in short, upward strokes on the apples of your cheeks, blending up to the hairline and ear. “It will give you a flushed, natural glow,” Sheriff says. If you apply too much, tone down the color with a light dusting of translucent powder.

Finding your best blush color may require some experimentation… or a visit to a makeup counter. But as a rule of thumb, bright colors are a definite don’t. When in doubt, stick with a pinky/peach hue with a soft shimmer.

Makeup Mistake #7: Bright blue mascara
Teal or cerulean mascara is young, punkish and more suited for rebellious teens. Indigo and navy, on the other hand, are polished and chic for 20-somethings and beyond.

Dark blue mascara can brighten up the whites of your eyes, which is especially useful when you’re tired or your eyes are bloodshot. “It’s pretty on all eye colors and flattering to everyone,” Berg says.

If blue still seems too outrageous, you can go for a more subtle look by applying regular black mascara and just tipping the edges of your lashes with blue, Berg suggests.

Makeup Mistake #8: Caking on foundation over bad skin
Suffocating your skin with a heavy cover-up will only draw attention to the problem you’re trying to hide. Instead, try these tricks:

For fine lines: Mix in a little moisturizer with your foundation, which will prevent the formula from seeping into the lines.

For blemishes: “Mineral makeup can give great coverage for pockmarks and acne,” Berg says.
Berg also recommends gel foundations, such as those offered by cosmetic company Chantecaille: “It’s expensive, but it works. It looks like real skin.”

Makeup Mistake #9: Foundation line on jaw
To avoid a telltale foundation mask, the first step is to select the right shade. Try these tips from Rona’s book Beauty: The New Basics (Workman Publishing, 2001): Ask a salesperson at the makeup counter to pick out several shades and then test a few on your cheek. Step outside into natural light and use a hand mirror to see which shade looks best on you.

Sheriff points out that our necks are often a different color than our faces and chests, so it’s important to blend foundation down into the neck for a uniform color. Use a makeup sponge to create a seamless edge.

Makeup Mistake #10: Lining eyes only halfway
A strong, hard line all the way around your eye can make your peepers look smaller and closer together, but lining them only halfway looks silly. The solution? “A softer line can make your eyes look bigger,” Berg says.

Start lining your top and bottom lids at the inner edge of the iris and extend the liner to the outer corner of your eye. Then, gently smudge the line toward the inner corner of your eye to create a softer look.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lluiller Trunk Show

Born Diane Monique Lhuillier, Monique was raised in the southern part of the Philippines called Cebu. Her mother’s glamorous style and extensive travels were early influences.

At 15, Monique left home to attend boarding school in Lausanne, Switzerland. She moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), receiving a merit- based scholarship to attend the advanced program and focusing on eveningwear.
It was in trying to find her own wedding gown that she was inspired to design wedding gowns.

Visit her Trunk Show this weekend in NYC at Kleinfelds. Visit their website for more info.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Featured Venue-The Royalton

The Conservatory (above); The ballroom (below)

I have decided that prior to any event that I do I will do a feature on the venue. I wish I had thought of this

before.The featured venue today is The Royalton. I have the pleasure of being Nicole and Michael’s DOC next week. I am so excited about this mansion wedding.

What to expect when you visit the Royalton:

Grand Ballroom
Elegantly dressed in crystal chandeliers and sconces, etched white marble fireplaces, hand carved crown moldings, and Brazilian hard wood floors.

Mahogany Library
Floor to ceiling raised paneled mahogany walls and moldings, plush couches, arm chairs, and mahogany barrister bookshelves are reminiscent of a classic era. The original library fireplace is the focal point for cocktails and conversation.

Mahogany panels meet larger than life picture windows with a spectacular view of the English styled gardens and fountains. Coffered ceilings serve to frame out this space used for cocktails.

Foyer and Grand Stair Way
Larger than life mahogany doors, checkered charcoal grey and white marble floors, grand antique brass chandelier, all framed by a curved mahogany banister.

Ivy Court Yard
Coventry stone walls dressed in old world green ivy, and framed by a wrought iron lamppost and gate. Perfect for cocktails, or a dream wedding ceremony.

Master Bridal Suite
The original master bedroom suite of Edward Moore, serves our brides with a mahogany four post bed, gas burning fire place, and luxurious master bathroom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Diamonds Are Forever

How well do you really know your diamond? If you are one of the lucky ladies that get to choose your ring, this guide might help you.

Round Brilliant
Round Brilliant

This is the shape that has set the traditional standard for all diamond shapes.


Oval — This is a symmetrical design which is even and appeals to many small handed women seemingly elongating hands and fingers.


Marquise — This shape is elongated with pointed ends.


Pear — This cut combines the oval and marquise shapes. It is the hybrid shape that looks like a sparkling teardrop. It beautifully compliments the average size hand and fingers. It is gorgeous for pendants and earrings.


Heart — A pear shaped diamond with a cleft on the top. The extraordinary skill of the cutter determines the beauty of this cut. Look for a stone with an even shape and a well-defined outline.


Emerald — This shape is known as a step cut because its concentric broad, flat planes resemble stair steps. A rectangular shape with cut corners.


Princess — This is a square or rectangular shape with many facets. This is a relatively new cut and often finds its way into solitaire engagement rings.


Trilliant — This is the spectacular wedge shape. The shape may look like a traditional triangle with pointed corners, but more rounded shapes can be found.


Radiant — This is a square or rectangular shape. The elegance of the emerald and the brilliance of the round shape marks this cut. 70 facets maximize the effect of its color refraction.

Cushion Cut

Cushion Cut — Late 19th and early 20th style antique type shape. Remnants of the "Old Mine Cut", a deep cut with large facets.

Asscher Cut

Asscher Cut — This cut was made popular in the 1920's by the Asscher Diamond Company in Amsterdam. Its art deco feeling was very popular at the time. The company went out of business during the Depression and Asscher cuts disappeared from the market. Recently this shape has come back into style.

Yes We Can!

Whether you were a supporter of Obama or not, you have to admit that Nov 4, 2008 was a historical day. How can you ever doubt anymore that all things are possible? How can you ever doubt that USA is land of opportunity? He delivered an amazing speech and I wish him all the best in the White House. McCain fought a good fight. I still hope that both parties can work together for a better America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Go be a part of history today

Dont forget to cast your votes!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ceremony Toss

Did you know? The tossing of rice at newlyweds is an ancient tradition symbolizing abundance and fertility. But it has been said that raw rice grains are harmful to birds that ingest them or it may be slippery underfoot and difficult to clean up. So here are some alternatives:

1)Spring Ceremony Toss
Try tossing fragrant seasonal blooms instead of rice. Have bridesmaids or ushers carry baskets of them. Guests can reach in and grab handfuls to toss.

If you have an evening wedding, a festive way to close a wedding ceremony is to light sparklers as the bride and groom leave the site. These can also be used as favors for the guests at an evening wedding, where they can be given out along with printed matchboxes or matchbooks. Tape a sparkler to the back of each matchbox to keep them from sliding about, and tie with a ribbon.

3) Winter Ceremony Toss
Send a winter-wed couple off in a flurry of paper snowflakes. Use white and light-blue paper and a snowflake punch . Place handfuls of snowflakes in small glassine bags.

4)Fall Ceremony
TossFall leaves make a lovely seasonal ceremony toss, especially when hung on the back of guests' chairs. Fold a rectangular piece of grass paper (available at art-supply stores) in half crosswise, and insert leaves.

5)Hydrangea-Fill sheer fabric pouches with tiny hydrangea blooms or petals from other seasonal flowers.

6)Petal Cones-These cones are easy to make and are usually filled with roses or other petals of your choice.

These small bubble bottles are made specifically for weddings. The bubbles look beautiful floating around the bride and groom, both in person and in photographs.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Back

I hope you didn't forget to set your clocks back at 2 a.m. today!

Starting in 2007, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 lengthened daylight saving time by four weeks, starting it three weeks earlier in spring and ending it one week later in fall. Daylight saving now begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday of November.

But did you know that:

1)Hawaii has never observed daylight saving time, as its tropical latitude means its daylight hours stay fairly constant year-round. Arizona likewise has not observed daylight saving time since 1967 because the extra daylight in the summer would just mean more energy consumption to keep the desert state's residents cool.

2)Many Alaskans would like to stop observing daylight saving time because the change in daylight from summer to winter is already so extreme at their northerly latitude. A petition has even been set before the state this year to abolish the observance of daylight saving time in Alaska.

3)Florida too finds daylight saving time less useful because of it's southerly latitude. In 2008, a Florida state senator introduced a bill to abolish the practice in Florida.

4)From 1970 to 2006, most of Indiana didn't observe daylights time, but began to do so in April 2006 after eight counties in the western portion of the state switched from the Eastern to the Central Time Zone.

5)None of the U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, observe daylight saving time.

Source:Yahoo News