My Surprise Proposal Video | I am engaged!

It was a complete surprise to me when my boyfriend of a year, proposed to me in the middle of a Perfect Wedding Guide show that we were both working.  Below is the video from the very talented Jeffrey Stoner Video of how it all went down.  Honestly, I just wish someone would of told me to at least brush my hair…just sayin.

 

Weddings around the world: Persia

Last month, the ladies of Hot Pink attended a gorgeous wedding that incorporated elements of the bride’s Persian heritage.  A traditional Persian wedding ceremony takes place  around the “Sofreh Aghd,” or the “wedding spread.”  The spread is filled with many items of symbolic significance in Persian culture.

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1950s wedding cocktails

Inspired by our old Hollywood glamor post yesterday, we’re shaking up some classic 1950s cocktails.  According to InTheSpirit, a sense of wealth and relaxed luxury marked post-WWII America.  Gin ruled the bar, and the cocktail hour was wildly popular.  Classic martinis and Manhattans became a post-workday tradition, paired with casual conversation and jazzy lounge music.

If you’re looking for classic glamor at your wedding, serve your guests some of these favorite drinks from the ‘50s:

Tom Collins
2 drops Angostura bitters
2 measures Hendrick’s Gin
1 measure lemon juice
top up soda
0.5 measure sugar syrup

Shake first three ingredients with ice.  Strain into ice filled glass.  Add bitters and top with soda water.  Garnish with lemon.

 

Seabreeze
2 measures vodka
4 measures cranberry juice
2 measures grapefruit juice

Build over cubed ice.  Garnish with lime wedge.

 

 

 

Gimlet
2 measures Hendrick’s Gin
2 measures lime cordial
0.5 measure water

Stir with ice.  Strain into glass.

 

 

 


Sidecar

2 measures Three Barrels Brandy
1 measure Cointreau
0.5 measure lemon juice

Shake with ice.  Strain into chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a  twist of lemon zest.

 

 

 

Bikini Martini
1.5 measures Hendrick’s Gin
1 teaspoon Peach Schnapps
1.5 measures De Kuyper Blue Curacao

Shake with ice. Strain into glass.
Garnish with orange zest.

 

Mint Fizz
2 measures Hendrick’s Gin
0.25 measures De Kuyper Crème De Menthe—Green
1 measure lime juice
top up soda
0.5 measure sugar syrup

Shake first four ingredients together with ice.
Strain into ice-filled glass.  Top up with soda and stir.  Garnish with mint leaf.

 

All recipes and images courtesy of InTheSpirit.

Asia | weddings around the world

Take a peek at weddings around the world! If you’re looking for unique ideas to incorporate in your wedding, test out these traditions in Bhutan, Japan, and China. After all, who can say no to wedding sake?

Bhutan

Will and Kate weren’t the only couple to host a royal wedding in 2011. In Bhutan, a small Himalayan country, King Jigme Khesar, 31, married his commoner bride in an elaborate ceremony this past October. The young queen, Jetsun Pema, wore a gorgeous gold and crimson gown that took three years to weave.  We’re loving these rich colors and luxurious fabrics.

Elaborate dances and musical performances by Budhist monks followed a traditional ceremony. The entire country, which measures its “Gross National Happiness” every other year, was shut down for the wedding day.

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History of the honeymoon

Honeymoons are a must for most newlyweds, but where did the tradition actually come from?

The word “honeymoon” dates back to medieval 1546.  Since a month follows one full cycle of the moon, the word is based on the idea that “the first month of marriage is the sweetest.” Samuel Johnson, an English poet and essayist, called the honeymoon period “nothing but tenderness and pleasure.”

Another theory says that newlyweds of many cultures drank honeyed wine for the first month of marriage.  The mead was thought to improve the couple’s fertility.

So where does the vacation come in?  The tradition of post-wedding travel began in England in the early 1800s.  Friends and family members sometimes accompanied the newlyweds.  (Now just imagine sharing your honeymoon suite with the in-laws…)  The bridal tours often lasted for months and usually included the French Riviera and seaside resorts of Italy.

Some nineteenth-century naysayers disapproved of honeymoons, because the vacations focused on the bride’s (supposed) first experiences with sex.  For many couples of long ago, the honeymoon was kind of like today’s dating.  Wealthier couples were often minimally acquainted before tying the knot.  We can imagine that wedding nights were not all passion and bliss.  These long honeymoons were a chance for couples to get to know each other both physically and emotionally.

Today’s honeymoons are usually shorter and more intimate, and take place anywhere from Niagra Falls to Fiji to Iceland.  But like honeymoons of the past, they all celebrate the start of a new and beautiful marriage.

The History of the Wedding Bouquet

I have often wondered why a beautiful bride in a white wedding dress will carry a bouquet of fresh flowers on her wedding day.  What about you?  Well originally, the bridal bouquet, which was made of herbs, was considered a symbol of happiness. Each herb used in the bouquet had a meaningful definition.

Below are some common herbs used in ancient bouquets.

  • Garlic was used to cast off evil spirits.
  • Dill is the herb for lust.
  • Heather meant good luck.
  • Ivy is used for fidelity.
  • Rosemary is for remembrance.
  • Sage is the herb for wisdom.
  • Thistle stands for austerity.

Later, it became the wedding custom for the wedding bouquet to be made with all white flowers.

Today, a bride carries a bouquet of designer flowers because it is beautiful and adds special meaning to her wedding.

A wedding bouquet can be made using one type of flower, multicolored flowers, roses, dried flowers, or silk flowers.

Many brides will choose to have a bouquet made of flowers that have a special meaning to them. Such as using the same type of flower as the first flower the groom-to-be gave her.


The Evolution of the Wedding Cake

I shot a wedding about a month ago in France and instead of what I am used to seeing for the wedding cake they had a croquembouche which is the French version.  It started me thinking about how our cakes are so different and where the idea of the wedding cake started and why every wedding in the past 12 years I have ever shot has a wedding cake. So, I started to do some research and what I found was pretty freaking interesting so I thought I would share it with all you lovelies.

The history of the wedding cake goes as far back as the Roman Empire.  Did you know that they use to break the cake over the brides head?? The groom would eat part of the loaf of bread baked especially for the wedding and break the rest over his bride. It was suppose to symbolized the breaking of the bride’s virginal state. Ummm I think I am glad that tradition did not make it to today’s date but, that is why today we see the bride and groom smashing cake in each others face.

photo credit: Scobey Photography

In Medieval Europe cakes were described as breads with some sweetening. There are stories of a custom involving stacking small sweet buns in a large pile in front of the newlyweds and the couple would attempt to kiss over the pile.  This is where the stacking of the cream puffs in a pile like the modern day french wedding cake came from.  It was said if the bride and groom could successfully kiss over the pile they would produce many children.

photo credit: Tab McCausland Photography

From the 17th century to the 19th century there was a pie called the “brides” pie.  The pie was filled with sweet bread or a simple mutton pie. The  main ingredient was a ring made out of glass.  They claimed that the lady who found the ring while eating the pie would be the next to be married.  It is said that over time this custom has changed and formed into today’s version of the lady who catches the bouquet is the next to be married.

photo credit: Ever After Visuals

 

But why where wedding cakes always white?? The symbolism attached to the color white meaning “purity” is the reason that from the beginning using bread until today the preferred wedding cake color is still white.  Since the wedding cake was originally called the “brides” cake a white cake was a symbol of the brides purity. This not only highlighted the bride as the main figure of the wedding, but also created a link visually between the bride and the cake.  In 2010 81% of wedding cakes in the USA used white icing!

photo credit: Allori Photography

So why do we save the top layer of the wedding cake???  This one I found the most interesting so apparently most people got pregnant and had a baby about 10 to 11 months after they got married.  So somewhere around the early 20th century when the multi tiered wedding cake started to become popular instead of having a grand cake for your wedding and an elaborate cake for your child’s christening they would save the top layer of the wedding cake to serve at the christening.

photo credit: Aeris Photography

 I hope you all found this as interesting as I did.  I love wedding cake and no matter what color the outside as long as it is red velvet with cream cheese icing I am IN.  :)

The origin of the Engagement Ring

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For centuries, it’s been widely received that diamonds are the universal symbol of adoration, eternal love and lifelong commitment. But how did they achieve such status and become the most popular stone of choice for engagement rings? Not only are diamonds hard to obtain and therefore incredibly precious, but they’re also strong and durable, which makes them the perfect means by which someone can symbolize their devotion and commitment to the sanctity of marriage.The tradition of wearing diamond rings on the left ‘ring finger’ stems from Greece, where it was believed that the vena amoris there provided a direct line to the wearer’s heart.

photo credit: Barbara Ann Studios

While the ‘betrothal ring’ was worn during Roman times, the concept wasn’t adopted by modern Europe until the 13th century. Some historians believe that it was Archduke Maximillian of Austria who first gave his beloved Mary of Burgundy a ring with a diamond centerpiece as a symbol of engagement prior to an official marriage ceremony.

photo credit: Elizabeth Vanderbij

 

This quickly became a fashionable tradition among the upper classes and nobility around the world, but remained limited to only the very wealthiest figures.Until, that is, several diamond mines were discovered in South Africa, after which diamonds became less scarce and more affordable, elevating diamond sales in Europe and the US alike.

photo credit: Helga Himer

 

Also popular before the introduction of the diamond engagement ring was the gimmel ring. During the Renaissance period, the parts of this ring would be worn by both parties (and sometimes even by a third), after which they would be united to form the wedding ring.

 

Interestingly, the tiniest engagement ring ever recorded was that of Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, to Dauphin of France, heir to the French throne. As was the custom at the time, many marriages were agreed upon by the bride and groom’s families, and this particular betrothal took place when the Princess was just two years old, with the baby girl being given a tiny little gold ring with a diamond set into it to seal the deal.

 

photo credit: Misty Miotto

 

The reign of Louis XVI during the mid-to-late 18th century saw an increase in popularity of the diamond cluster shaped like a long, pointed oval, after which the trend was to remain for a further 150 years.

 

Also commonly seen in the engagement rings of the 17th and 18th centuries were (often heart-shaped) rubies, which were also seen as a symbol of deep affection.

 

Colored stones remained a popular feature of engagement jewellery throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, when suitors would follow the quirky trend of spelling out messages of love with the initial letters of the names of precious stones. The word ‘dearest’, for example, would be spelled out using a diamond, anemerald, an amethyst, a ruby, another emerald, a sapphire and a topaz.

 

The most popular style of engagement ring, the Solitaire setting didn’t emerge until the 19th century.The ‘princess ring’, which was set with multiple diamonds, became popular in the US and served as the original influence for the now-popular tri-stone style during the 20th-century. This is also when platinum became extremely popular due to its durability, however white and yellow gold soon came back to replace it due to the fact that platinum was to become reserved only for military use during the WWII.

photo credit: Jonathan Ivy

 

Also just before the war in 1939, diamond sales in Europe slumped to an all-time low, spurring a shift in marketing the precious stone from Europe to the US, where diamond engagement rings were to become an increasingly widespread tradition there.

 

Diamond market domineers, De Beers, in fact, cleverly came up with and promoted the idea that a man should spend two or three months’ wages on an engagement ring for his girl.

 

Although both Europe and the US were suffering financially after the Great Depression, Americans really held on to the idea that diamonds and their value would last forever and would be the perfect investment to pass down to any future generations – and so the story continues.

 photo credit: Tab McCausland Photography

During the 1960s, De Beers yet again came up with another clever marketing ploy to offload their consignment of tiny Soviet diamonds onto unwitting consumers. This time, their marketing team came up with the idea of the ‘eternity ring‘- aimed at older married women, it was supposed to represent the continuation of marriage vows and, as De Beers clever marketing slogan put it: “She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going.”

 

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