Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Hour with AE! Wines for Dad...

In honor of Father's Day, we are bringing you wine suggestions Dad will love! 
This wine (with a sentiment Dad will appreciate) shows dried black cherry aromas accented with spicy notes of clove and a hint of sweet tobacco. Quite fruity and surprisingly luscious on the palate with velvety smooth tannins and a slightly earthy finish.  At around $12 a bottle, the price is nice, too!   Can be purchased locally at Hausfrau Haven.

JAQK High Roller
Our friends at Wine On High (formerly Vino 100) have told us that this is the most beautifully crafted wine bottle they have ever seen!  And they have seen A LOT of wine bottles!  Dad will love this Cabernet Sauvignon made from 100% Napa Valley grapes.  The grapes are harvested by hand allowing the winemaker absolute control during the crushing and fermentation process.   Aged for 2-years in french oak barrels, this wine is perfect for the wine-savvy and high-rolling Dad!  At around $70 it makes a lovely addition to any wine collection.   The poker chip detail is cool too. 

J.R. Carter Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine-maker is a friend of ours and he is a guy's guy and makes his wine drinkable for all, but especially tasty for men with good palates who want something delicious but not fussy.  Your dad will appreciate this wine as much as we do (probably more so since we tend to drink only sauvignon blanc!).  J.R. Carter Wine Cellars produces only a small amount yearly and with a 93 point rating from Wine Spectator, your dad will be glad to have this in his arsenal of fine wines.  $80 per bottle.

And of course, if Dad's not a wine drinker there is always the king of beers

Happy Father's Day to my dad, Gary Mellen and all the wonderful dad's out there.  xoxo


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Friends of AE: Wedding Dress Tips with Big Rock Little Rooster

Enjoy these tips from our "Friends of AE Guest Blogger", Kristin Cooke, Chick-In-Charge, at Big Rock Little Rooster, one of our favorite Columbus bridal boutiques.  We love visiting BRLR with our brides (or without!) not only for the beautiful dresses, but also for the warm reception and good company the ladies provide.  It's like Cheers..."Sometimes you wanna goooo....."  xx, Ady
PS - there is always champagne chilled and waiting!

Kristin says....
Picking the right wedding gown for you and your wedding can seem both fun and overwhelming! Today there are so many options in styles, fabrics, silhouettes and colors! 

Some brides have a book of inspiration and ideas that they would like to try, and others have never even looked at wedding magazines!  There is no absolute.  You know yourself best and your stylist knows her wedding gowns best… talk to your stylist about what is important to you in your wedding look.  Keep an open mind and try a few gowns that have elements that inspire you!

 Wedding gowns are beautiful and dreamy…as you are trying gowns, do not focus on only the artistic design.  Do you feel like yourself in the gown or do you feel like you are playing ‘dress up’.  Your wedding is a celebration of your love with your fiancĂ©… pick the gown that you radiate through because it enhances your confidence. 
 Details can shift as the gown is being created for you.  If you are full chested, many designer gowns can raise necklines or open the bodice to fit a d-cup.  More petite brides have wonderful options as well.  Waist line and hem lines on mermaid gowns can often be raised or lowered to better suit your build.  Need or want to have your shoulders or arms covered? Many gowns have solutions that include a strap or sleeve or matching lace or sheer bolero.
 Once you have selected the perfect gown, enjoy the process of customizing your look thru the details of accessories.  Your headpiece and jewelry pieces can tie your whole wedding vision together, or
be the piece that inspires all the other details.   

Every step of your gown and accessory process should be fun and exciting.  Enjoy every moment of your wedding planning process and congratulations!
Photography by Shannon Williams
    Hair and Makeup by Max the Salon
    Models: Brittany Schroeder and Sarah Packard

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: "and guest"

We were chatting with a dear friend's mother this weekend, who is now single and she brought up a very interesting point that we pondered until we could write today's post.  To invite guests with "a guest" or not?  She certainly understands the most common rules of invitation inviting, if you have a long-term significant other, they are invited, if you don't, rarely an "and guest" is offered.  But she did say just once, it would be nice to be given the option.  So brides and party-planners alike,  we thought we would bring this to your attention and share some thoughts and best practices! 

There are many many MANY suggestions out there as how to best handle your guest list and addressing your invitation envelopes (be careful who you listen to).  We believe that as long as courtesy is strongly considered in the decision that you make, you can't go wrong. 

Here are our recommendations:

Anyone who is in a committed relationship for more than 1-year should be invited by name:  Miss Jane Smith and Mr. John Doe on one invitation. 

If a guest is not in a relationship it is ok to invite them singly - Miss Jane Smith.  However, be sure to think through your guests carefully.  If most of your single guests are part of a larger group and will know a lot of people at your wedding, this is perfectly acceptable, however, if you find that there are invitees who may not know as many people or especially older guests, it would be quite courteous to give them the option to bring a guest.  Always, remember, as the host of your grand affair, your guests comfort level is a responsibility of yours.  If the "and guest" invite is open-ended, it should be addressed:  Miss Jane Smith and Guest

Anyone under 21 years old, does not need to be invited with a guest and in fact can be included in their parent's invitation.  For example:  The John Doe Family or Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, Sally, Susie and Tom

Follow this simple mantra:  when in doubt, consider your guest.  Will they be more comfortable being offered the option to bring a guest or will they be just fine on their own?  If you are unsure, give them the option.  Very few people actually want to bring a date to a wedding, but the option is always nice to have. 

Thank you for bringing this to our attention!  You know who you are and we love you!  xoxo

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Hour with AE: Pimm's Cup

Pimm's Cup

We just discovered this tasty little drink.  Well, actually, we knew about it, but just didn't know what it was so stayed far away for a very long time.  At a recent patio lunch at Lindey's, we got bold and decided to taste what had never been tasted before and it was DELICIOUS!   Here is a little history on Pimm's Cup and a recipe to try at home.  You won't be disappointed.  Promise!

Pimm's Cup is a long-time British favorite at warm-weather sporting events cricket, horse-racing and it's the official drink of Wimbledon!  This drink was introduced by Mr. James Pimm in the mid-1800's and boasts a gin-based concoction with a color like iced tea.  With the addition of muddled cucumber and fruit, it's as refreshing as it is light.  And being stiff as Brit's tent to sometimes be, the Pimm's Cup is only 50 proof, therefore making it a popular drink at horse-races, tennis courts and cricket matches, where court side decorum is important. 

Recipe: Pimms Cup

  • Fill a Collins glass with ice.
  • Mix 1 part Pimms Cup No. 1 with 2 parts lemonade Stir or shake.
  • Top off with club soda, or ginger beer (we prefer ginger beer)
  • Stir lightly -- but do NOT shake again.
  • Garnish with a slice of English cucumber; lemon wedge optional.
  • If no lemonade is at hand, use Sprite or 7-Up or extra ginger beer.
  • To make with ginger ale, use plenty of lemons.
  • Mint, apple and orange can be added (muddled tastes best).
  • Muddled cucumber adds a refreshing component to the drink
Note:  also looks cute served in a julep cup or vintage tumbler

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Registry Tips

The Do's and Don't of Registering. 

We consulted our wise friend, Emily Post for this one.   Read on!  

Do: Set up your registry early.
Friends and family will want to start sending gifts as soon as you announce your engagement.  Setting up your registry early will alleviate those strange gifts that people gravitate toward when they don't have a guide (one silver spoon?  Thanks Aunt Martha?!)
Don’t: Register at just one location.Two to three locations is ideal (DEFINITELY no more than 4 - it looks greedy). If possible, at least one of your choices should have a physical store in the areas where many of your guests live―just because you dig the convenience of the web doesn’t mean that Aunt Martha feels the same.

Do: Register for a wide range of gifts at various price points.  People prefer choosing from a large selection: If you have, say, 100 invited guests, you’ll need a minimum of 125 registry items.  Registering at a kitchen store (we love Williams-Sonoma), a specialty store (Pottery Barn has a great registry and you can use gift cards at both WS and PB), and a department store (Bloomingdale's is our favorite) will cover all your bases.  Be sure to register for a few heirloom pieces (items you will pass down from your wedding to your grandchildren), but be mindful of price points.  If you are questioning whether an item is too expensive, it probably is. 
Don’t:  NEVER EVER reference your registries on stationery (invitation, save the date, etc.)
You can include your registries on your wedding website, however, and it is wise to include your web address on your save the date.  If someone asks you where you are registered, you can absolutely tell them, but spreading the registry word should be the job of your bridal party and close family. 

Do: Request nontraditional items if they reflect you as a couple.  If you and your fiance are hardcore campers or fishers or wine enthusiasts, it's perfectly acceptable to register somewhere that reflects your hobbies and interests.  It is not acceptable however to register for a new Playstation or pair of Louboutin's.  Those hobbies don't count. 

Don’t: Eliminate all time-honored items.  Be careful to no have too many radical items on your registry.  People want to buy you gifts that you will have for a long-time and something that will be obsolete after a couple of years is hard to justify.  Not to mention, some people just really want to buy you that fabulous toaster oven.  Let them. 
 Do: Wait to use the presents that arrive before the wedding.  Do not use those gifts!!   If something should happen to your nuptials (heaven forbid) you MUST return all of the gifts.  It is also special to wait to use your wedding gifts for the first time as a married couple. 

Don’t: Ask for money outright.
If you are hoping for cash, the only way to do this is to no register anywhere and hope that your guests get the hint.   Bridal party and family (not you and your fiance) can politely spread the word that this is your wish, for example: "I know they are saving for a down-payment on their home and a contribution would be very helpful."   Just be prepared that you may get a few toaster ovens in the mix.   You still need to be grateful for these. 
Do: Write thoughtful, prompt thank-you notes
Emails and phone calls DO NOT COUNT.  A thank you upon receipt doesn't either.  Even if you thank someone at your shower, you must still send a note, and make sure it's personal.  People smell a "form thank you" from a mile away.   Your thank you notes should arrive within 6 weeks of gift receipt.  Be sure to keep a log of who gave what and who has received a note.  This will be helpful to reference later when you can't remember if Aunt Martha gave the ladle or the gravy boat.

Have questions??!  Contact us!  We love to help and we love registry questions!