Wednesday, April 07, 2010

swirlA-List Bride, Celebrity Inspirations, Wedding Beautyswirl

Saying "I Do" to Braids


Okay, so sometimes even pictures aren't enough. A few weeks ago, I went for a hair trial with my 8x10 glossies in hand. But, despite my visual representation and explanations of precisely how I want to look on my wedding day, I walked out of the salon sporting a hairstyle I can only imagine a five year old living in the eighties would request…on Easter Sunday! Pin curls and feathered locks are not exactly what I have in mind when I say 'I do'.

So it was back to the drawing board for me. And while I was researching Florida salons (slightly out of my comfort zone…and contact list!) and pouring over even more photos, I kept coming across the loose side braids that celebrities like Rebecca Romijn, Fergie, Selena Gomez and Leona Lewis have been wearing on the red carpet. Not to be mistaken with the Lauren Conrad braid of yesteryear, these braids, which are worn loosely over your shoulder on one side in one imperfect plait, are less prim and proper and more fun and free. I love the easy, slightly unkempt look. And the simplicity of a braid paired with the unique texture of this style strikes the right balance between youthful and sophisticated. It’s playful and romantic, not too contrived and perfect for my beach wedding!


I urge those of you who are searching for an alternative to the standard updo, chignon or bun to give this a try! The laissez-faire look is both contemporary and timeless, not to mention, completely unexpected! In addition to the beach, this cute coif would work perfectly for a vineyard or farm wedding or perhaps your rehearsal dinner BBQ or picnic style welcome party -- any affair that’s unfussy, earthy and cool. Braid away!

Oh and P.S. -- make time to research the salon if you're not using your go-to stylist -- and definitely get a hair trial or two!

-- Natalie Thomas, Us Weekly Editor

And don't forget to check out Natalie's fitness blog on!

Images courtesy of Getty

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

swirlA-List Bride, Celebrity Inspirationsswirl

All About the Dress


I, too, had to start where most brides do -- the pièce de résistance -- the dress, of course! What girl doesn’t dream of her ideal wedding gown? But when it comes to actually selecting one, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Cap sleeve or one shoulder? Princess or mermaid? Beading or pleating? The choices are endless. When it came time for me to go shopping, I did what I recommend all of you to do -- I turned to celebrities for inspiration.

I loved the elegance, simplicity and vintage feel of Jenna Bush’s dress. The scalloped sleeves were so feminine and unique. (I swore I wouldn’t go strapless! It looks lovely on most, but I wanted to do something different.) The beading and embroidery gave the garment a “lace look” that really appealed to me and the vision I had for my day, which was that of a down home affair. I appreciated the overall ease of the dress. I’m not a big ball gown kind of girl. For me, this was the perfect ensemble to go with the perfectly understated, barefoot beach ceremony followed by a rustic barn reception. The only problem? Jenna’s dress was an Oscar de la Renta! Slightly out of my price range...


But that’s where photos come in! I simply printed out
a picture of Jenna’s dress and brought it along with
me to dress salons to demonstrate my concept. They were thrilled that I came prepared, knew my style and exactly what I was looking for. It saved both time and confusion. Of course, I still tried on a few other dresses that I knew weren’t for me -- just for kicks! It is your dream day after all -- you should make sure to have fun along the way!

In the end, I decided on a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier that was much more affordable than Jenna’s Oscar de la Renta but still had the same look and feel of her dress. It was understated, classy and, most of all, me!

Which celeb dress best suits you?

-- Natalie Thomas, Us Weekly Editor

And don't forget to check out Natalie's fitness blog on!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

swirlA-List Bride, Celebrity Inspirations, Celebrity Weddingsswirl

Meet Us Weekly editor, Natalie Thomas!


Hello fellow brides-to-be! I’m Natalie Thomas, the deputy news editor of Us Weekly magazine and I’m getting married on May 30th. For the past ten months, I’ve been planning my nuptials and pouring over every last detail. And, I don’t know about you, but while I’ve found the process mostly fun, it’s also been frenetic at times. These days there’s so much to consider and choose from that it can be overwhelming, even tear-inducing (Trust me, I’ve been there!). Debating over what style of calligraphy to choose and how to properly word the invites and envelopes almost set me over the edge! And don’t get me started on my rehearsal dinner dress. I’ve been searching ever since I got engaged last May and still have yet to find the perfect gown.

Something that helps me immensely when meeting with vendors, going shopping and having hair and make up trials is bringing along pictures of my vision. And when I am looking for photos that represent my ideas, where do I turn? To celebrities of course! Not only are they photographed constantly but they are on top of the trends and have the best-of-the-best at their disposal. As an editor at Us, part of my job is to have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening and what’s hot in the entertainment world- so I’m here to help you with your planning.

Each week I will present new ideas and concepts of what the celebs are doing, wearing and gifting to help inspire you. I’d also love to hear from you! I want to know what red carpet styles you are loving, what elements of the planning process you may be struggling with and, ultimately, what you choose for your own beautiful day. So take this journey with me and hopefully we can help each other along the way!

Check back next Wednesday to read my weekly celebrity inspiration and how you can fit it into your own special day!

-- Natalie Thomas, Us Weekly Editor

P.S. And dont' forget to check my blog on!

Monday, October 19, 2009

swirlCelebrity Inspirationsswirl

Alyssa Milano's Multipurpose Bridesmaid Gown Pick -- Get it For Yours Now!


Every bride promises her bridesmaids that she will pick a dress that is affordable, can be worn on multiple occasions and looks great on every body type. Sadly, very few brides every truly deliver on this promise. A beautiful exception... recent celebrity bride Alyssa Milano!

Alyssa chose twobirds Bridesmaid’s aubergine convertible gown and let her bridesmaids pick how they wanted to wear the dress. Whether twisted around the neck, spaghetti-strapped or wrapped as a halter-top, each of Alyssa’s bridesmaids created their own unique look by rearranging the top of the gown. (What could there be to complain about?) According to the team at twobirds, the ladies were thrilled when they discovered that the gown could be converted into fifteen unique looks for any occasion! Making it far more likely that they’ll wear them again.

twobirds Bridesmaid will unveil their new collection along with celebrity favorites Sylvia Weinstock, David Tutera by Faviana, and Bobbi Brown at Tatiana Byron’s Wedding Salon event on November 2nd at The Roosevelt Hotel in NYC. So be there or be square brides – I’m sure you’ll want to check these maid-pleasing gowns out up close and personal.

For promotional tickets to The Wedding Salon courtesy of Celebrity Wedding Buzz use code CWBNYP at! (You’re welcome!)

photo: courtesy of twobirds Bridesmaids

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

swirlCelebrity Inspirationsswirl

Drink Like a Celebrity at Your Wedding – Bottoms Up!


It’s no surprise that celebrities always have the best wine at their weddings. What is surprising? That you can too -- and for way less than you think (we swear!).

Cameron Hughes Wine is a company dedicated to bringing customers high-end wine at affordable prices. Co-owners Cameron Hughes and Jessica Kogan built their business model around a “spot” market, meaning they buy premium wines in bulk, perform their own blending and bottling, and then sell the wine at a major discount. Just genius! Now you and your guests can imbibe like stars without maxing out your credit cards.

The company sells wines under five labels -- Lot Series, Flying Winemaker, Hughes-Wellman, RockRidge, and Evergreen -- which can be purchased online at the company’s website. They even offer special discounts for weddings, as well as direct shipments to your venue and a buy-back policy for unopened bottles. Send an email to for more information.

-- Justine Lorelle Blanchard
swirlCelebrity Inspirationsswirl

Cheap (and Chic!) Custom Monograms for Your Wedding


The easy way to add a touch of celebrity style to your wedding is to get personal -- it’s what the stars do to make their events a one-of-a-kind experience. The easiest, and most affordable, way for we mere mortals to do so is to have a custom monogram or wedding logo designed. Take a cue from Fergie and Josh Duhamel’s wedding invites, which were sealed with monogrammed stickers. Sounds pricey right? It doesn’t have to be! Thanks to Belletristics, a Florida-based design company, personalized monograms and wedding logos are so in your price range. Get a custom design (something like what you see here) starting at $6! (Yes, you read that right!) You can thank a fellow bride for the bargain -- a talented bride named Sarah launched the company in 2008 after falling in love with weddings after planning her own DIY big day.

Visit the website to learn more, or scope out Sarah’s blog) to see her most recent designs.

-- Justine Lorelle Blanchard

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

swirlCelebrity Inspirationsswirl

Model Eva Marcille Finally Reveals Some Wedding Details: Dog Tuxedos a Must!


Model and actress Eva Marcille has finally started talking about her upcoming wedding plans with fiancé Lance Gross. sat down with the The Young and the Restless star to talk details. And, it looks like we’ll have to wait until next summer to watch these two beautiful people say “I do” -- the bride-to-be says a July 17th, 2010 wedding date has been selected, though not much else.

“I'm still looking for my planner, which is an experience in itself. I want someone who gets my style and can make it happen,” says Marcille.

The couple plan to wed in a catholic ceremony, then host an outdoor reception with a fall theme, and the bride's pooches will be VIPs on the big day.

"I love my dogs and want them to come to the reception dressed in tuxes. I'm also changing to a second dress as we get ready to party."

Want to make your canine companion the best dressed best dog ever? We found two sharp doggie tuxedos you'll love that won't break the bank: The Dog Tuxedo ($18.95-$26.95) and the Best Man Dog Shirt ($18-$24) from are A-list formalwear picks for your big or small dog.

Check out the happy couple's sexy engagement shoot here.

photo: Arnold Turner/WireImage/Getty Images

Friday, August 14, 2009

swirlCelebrity Inspirationsswirl

Custom Cookie Favors, Save-the-Dates, and More (Yum!)

081409cookiesWhen Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz said “I Do”, as part of their Alice in Wonderland theme they handed out custom “Eat Me” cookies to guests. A yummy cookie is usually a hit with anyone, and customizing a batch for your wedding can be a lot of fun. We’re big fans of all the bridal cookie line from The Flour Pot. Owners Margie and Abbey Greenberg (a mother-daughter team) offer brides quite a few enticing options for guests – all totally customizable. Here are my favorites:

For Your Save-the-Dates: Skip the usual stationery and ask your guests to mark the date with this awesome calendar cookie. Customize the date (and color!), and watch how many phone calls you recieve wondering what else is for dessert.

For Your Bridesmaids: Ask your special friends to be your bridesmaids in a very special (and sweet!) way with these cute custom dress, ring, or bouquet cookies.

For Your Favors: You don’t have to be from Philadelphia to be in love with the famous Love Statue. Turn it into the perfect edible favor to share the love with your guests on your big day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

swirlCelebrity Inspirationsswirl

Custom Favor Style for the Rock and Roll Bride and Groom


At a celebrity wedding, it’s not uncommon to see the bride and groom skip traditional favors and give out something unexpected instead: When Fergie married actor Josh Duhamel during a rock-star inspired ceremony at a vineyard in California this spring, the pair handed out custom black and white rubber bracelets to guests that read “Perfect Pair”, while rockers Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley gave their guests personalized guitar picks as favors (also in black and white) that read “Deryck picked Avril” and “Avril picked Deryck”. Both ideas are smart picks for the music loving husband-and-wife to be, and we found a few ways to find something similar for your weddings – for a good price.

Want to give guests some funky wrist wear as wedding memorabilia? For customizable rubber /silicone bands in all different colors and sizes, visit (some prices start as low as 15 cents a band!) And, if guitar picks were more what you had in mind, visit, or to personalize shape, color, and words.

Photos: Courtesy of,, and

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

swirlCelebrity Inspirationsswirl

Find Whimsical Cake Inspiration from a Celebrity Cake Baker


When Mariah Carey began planning her secret Bohemian wedding to now-hubby Nick Cannon she wanted her wedding cake to be both perfect and private, so she called on celebrity cake baker Margaret Braun. Braun created a stunningly beautiful white four chocolate blackout cake covered in bittersweet chocolate–toffee ganache and decorated with white sugar bows, butterflies, and gold leaves for the bride, and rumor has it Mrs. Cannon was so protective of this sugary masterpiece she actually flew to the island with it resting in the seat beside her.

Cakewalkbook_125Carey’s wedding cake was just a whimsical wonderland of beauty, and it really added something special to an otherwise simple and intimate beach wedding. Clearly Braun knows her stuff: She’s been called “A Sugar Extraordinaire” by Food and Wine, and “the Guru of Wedding Cakes” by New York Magazine. Most recently Braun created one of the cakes featured in Bride Wars, starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. Sure, booking a celebrity cake baker like her might cost more than you care to spend on your wedding cake (she’s been known to fly with her cakes when they’re delivered to her clients!), but letting her beautiful work inspire you to envision your own cake concept will only cost you about 40 bucks! I’m talking about purchasing her critically acclaimed book Cakewalk: Adventures in Sugar with Margaret Braun, which is packed from cover to cover with gorgeous photos of amazing cakes and fascinating behind the scenes insight. Use it for fantasy like cake inspirations for your wedding, then as a coffee table book after the face, since these cakes are clearly works of art. Let your mind take the journey with Braun through cake paradise, and I bet you’ll come out on the other side with a fantasy cake idea (or two!) that fits your personal or wedding style.

And, if you’re into butterflies as much as Mariah Carey is, check out these pretty (and affordable!) 5-in. Swarovski CrystalEmbellished Butterflies for your wedding cake, available in various colors for just $15 from They’re sure to instantly transform a simple cake into A-List eye-candy. We suggest setting up a faux garden on one of the tiers and letting the butterflies rest there.


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Celebrity Wedding Buzz brings you the latest celebrity wedding news -- from engagements to insider details about the wedding day -- straight from the desks of editors. With inspiration you can steal, red carpet to aisle style guides and tips from experts, we're obsessed with all things Hollywood. (Like what you're reading? Get in touch).

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