Friday, September 25, 2009

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Hot DC Venue Idea with Lots of Celeb Connections

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What do Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, and Wyclef Jean have in common? They’ve all attended or spoken at an event at the spectacular Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C. on historic Pennsylvania Avenue -– a local venue favorite, and the perfect setting for your A-list “I Do”s.

The property has so much to offer a bride and groom in search of a one-of-a-kind location with true star appeal. Think: Dramatic sight lines, city grandeur, and expansive spaces! Host an intimate event for 50 people, or the event of the year for 800 plus; the space will accommodate any wedding style. We love the thought of exchanging vows beneath the stars with the city as your backdrop on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza. This space offers so many ways for you to wow your guests! They’ll dine on selections from a personalized menu inspired by your big-day, thanks to the Reagan Building's fabulous culinary team, which specializes in creating multi-ethnic cuisines with a contemporary twist. (Yum!) Plus, the 125 foot Atrium ceiling is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and just imagine the things you could do with such a space. (Cirque du Soleil performers have suspended from there to entertain guests before – not kidding!) The sky’s the limit girls!

Prices vary by availability and season, but note that the in-house tables, chivari chairs, linens, and Villeroy China are included in the wedding package, if you’d like to use them. We’re such big fans of the venue, we arranged for our Us Weekly dream wedding winners Van and Eric to host their celeb-inspired wedding there. Which is this weekend, by the way, so stay tuned for lots of details and our favorite photos! Click here for more info on the Ronald Reagan Building. Happy planning, brides!

Friday, August 28, 2009

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Have a Celebrity Crash Your Wedding Party? (Maybe -- Here’s How!)

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Everyone has a celebrity obsession, or two! Whether you’re a screaming fan or just a distant admirer, if you bumped into your favorite A-Lister on the street, it would probably make your day. (Go on, admit it!) What if you could have said run-in on your wedding day too. Wouldn’t it just be the icing on your (wedding) cake? Well, if you’re getting married in the New York City area this fantasy encounter might actually become your reality. New online hotel review site Oyster.com has all the dirt on where the hottest celebs stay and play in the city, and whom you might just bump into if you choose the right hotel.

For instance, if you’re a die-hard Gossip Girl fan (shut up -- adults love the show too!), throw your wedding or rehearsal dinner at The New York Palace. It’s one of the main shooting locations for the show and, and royalty, and other major celebrities are known to stay in the VIP towers there. If you’re hoping to spot the fabulous Angelina Jolie or chart-topper Cheryl Crow in the lobby, try your luck at The Essex House – one of the city’s top luxury hotels and celebrity hotspots. Sex and the City fans should head to the SoHo Grand Hotel for a potential Carrie spotting. What about TomKat you ask? The pair are said to be fans of The Carlyle (where they hosted a tea-party for daughter Suri once.)

Photos: Courtesy of Oyster.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

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A-List Wedding Venues: Is a Winery Right for You?

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This past weekend, Fergie and Josh Duhamel became the latest celebrity couple to tie the knot at a winery. Recently, it's become quite chic to say "I do" in a vineyard (just ask former Bachelor star Andrew Firestone who was married at his family's winery this past fall). So is it a good idea to commit to a winery as your wedding venue? We decided to demonstrate the pros and cons.

Pro: An outdoor venue means you can spend less on flowers Obviously, most brides and grooms are looking for ways to save money during this troubled economy, and a beautiful landscape like a winery makes it possible to cut back on floral arrangements. But, is it really worth it? Most likely, the answer is yes, specifically if you're planning on having your wedding at a vineyard in a temperate region like California's Napa Valley.

Con: You may end up spending more if your location is seasonal Of course, if you're an East Coast bride, you may discover that most wineries in the area are heavily booked from May through October (prime wedding, anniversary, and graduation months), making it difficult to find a venue on your specific date and your price range since there's so much competition.

Pro: You're guaranteed a discount on your wine purchase Most likely, you will be offered a discount on wine when you book at a vineyard venue. This discount may depend on which seasonal varieties are available at the time of your ceremony.

Con: That might be the only alcohol at your wedding Some wineries have very strict policies about letting you bring alcohol in that wasn't produced by them (meaning you could be stuck with just wine and no other alcoholic beverage on your big day). Another thing to take into consideration, is the fact that certain vineyards may require you to purchase a specific quantity of wine when you sign your venue contract.

Pro: The venue lends itself to a festive environment Having your wedding at a winery opens up the possibility of many fun learning experiences for your guests (like wine-tasting seminars, tours, and more). An afternoon ceremony is often ideal, given these are the prime operating hours of most wineries, so there will more activities available.

Con: Zoning laws might wreak havoc on your reception Keep in mind, a winery's primary business is sales, so they may not have a permit (depending on their location) to operate an event late into the evening. Before you book a vineyard, check to ensure that your reception won't be cut short by a some sort of annoying legality.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

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New York’s City Hall Gets a Major Marriage Makeover

Cwb_new_york_city_hall2_300 Up until today, if you were looking for a city hall wedding in New York City anything like the one Carrie Bradshaw shared with Mr. Big in Sex and the City The Movie you’d be hard-pressed to find an even remotely similar experience.  Thankfully, the marriage bureau now has an all new look and service list, making those dull (and sometimes even dusty) quickie “I do”s a thing of the past for the city’s residents and visitors.

Today I attended the official re-opening of city hall and watched the first ever wedding take place in the new digs. Queens couple, Carlos Sanchez and Jennifer Avila, welcomed the media as guests at their intimate ceremony. The Knot magazine's editor in chief Carley Roney spoke at the opening and was on hand to congratulate the happy couple. It officially opens on Monday, and judging from my sneak peak, it’s going to be quite an upgrade for all you soon-to-be NYC brides.  Already second only to Vegas, as far as quickie weddings go, it’s clear New York is now gunning for that top spot.

Here’s a rundown of what the new (and improved) facility has to offer anyone looking to elope in New York:

Last Minute Shopping: Stop by the shop there to purchase flowers, rings,  tissues or any other last minute wedding must-have. Oh, and no need to call a photographer – you can pick up disposable cameras there too. (Look out for the $9 fake diamond rings!)

Faster and More Convenient Service: You can now handles each step of the process i one convenient place. Check in as soon as you arrive, then head to computerized kiosks for immediate service. They’ve streamlined the process, so expect fewer lines. Plus, look out for spacious and well lit lobby areas, more seating, and video monitors that keep you updated on your place in line, and your estimated wait time. You can even put a marriage license request in online -- a long overdue first! Oh, and did we mention their promise to greet you with a smile!? (Yes… they found a New Yorker that likes to smile!)

Bride-Friendly Bathrooms: They’re spacious, gorgeous, and come with full length mirrors and lots of counter space for last minute beautification.

Great Photo Opps: Say goodbye to dreary yellow walls and lighting. The new office is freshly painted, with lots of light, and an oversize photo of city hall that provides the perfect backdrop for your keepsake wedding photo. Even the lobby (shown above) is totally photo-worthy.

Room For Guests: Choose from one of two newly designed chapels (Mayor Michael Bloomberg enlisted the services of celebrity designer Jamie Drake), both of which can accommodate up to 30 guests.

Interested in eloping in the city? Visit the City Clerk’s Office for more details.

photos: Charli Penn (couple and bouquet), Spencer Tucker/Office of the Mayor

Friday, October 31, 2008

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Attention Socially-Conscious Brides: A-List Hawaii Hotel Offers Sustainable Wedding Package

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Hawai’i’s romantic Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is known for its overwhelmingly picturesque property and celebrity draw (Hilary Swank and Julia Roberts have stayed there), and they’re now announcing a new Sustainable Nuptials Package for the bride who wants to give back without sacrificing style.

The package goes for $10,050 and includes intimate one-on-one planning with a wedding expert from the resort who will help you plan a socially responsible wedding with style that fits your personality. What exactly makes the wedding package so socially conscious, you ask? Some perks include: eco-expert planner, choice of outdoor wedding location before sunset to save on electricity, carbon credit to offset travel for the bride and groom and up to 25 guests, a solo acoustic musician, and a consultation with a florist who can assist you with selecting locally grown flowers. I’ve seen a lot of so-called “eco-friendly” wedding packages come across my desk, but this is one of the first I’ve seen that gives the couple so many earth-loving options while keeping elegance and style in mind. (They even ask that, post-wedding, you let them donate your potted plants or flowers to local hospitals and elderly care centers.) Think of it as completing the circle of love people!

Visit the resort’s site for more details.

Monday, June 30, 2008

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Ellen Degeneres and Portia DeRossi Pick a Wedding Venue

Ellen_portia_hotel Ellen Degeneres and fiance Portia de Rossi continue to leak their wedding details as they move closer to "I do." The couple recently announced plans to wed at the Riviera Resort & Spa in Palm Springs sometime in October, reports New York Post's Page Six. Known as the oldest "legacy" hotel in the downtown Palm Springs area, the famous property is currently undergoing an estimated $70 million renovation that is scheduled for completion later this year.

Originally designed to have the look and feel of a Las Vegas hotspot, the Riviera opened its doors in 1959, and has since become a star in its own right, famous for its popular wheel-shaped architecture and A-list clientèle (Britney Spears is rumored to be a fan) dating back to the early 1960's.

The blond power couple have already set a date and plan to wed in the tropical gardens by the pool and hold their reception in the grand ballroom. (We're not sure, but the couple could be gunning for the first post-rebuild wedding to be held at the famed resort.) Resort representative Hal Lifson tells us that when the project is complete the resort will be home to new restaurant Circa 59, chic nightclub The Starlight Lounge, and the Bikini Bar.

For more information on booking a wedding or special event at the new and improved Riviera Spa & Resort at Palm Springs please contact Hal Lifson.



Friday, June 20, 2008

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New York City Wedding Chapel Gets Marriage Makeover

Good news for soon-to-be Big Apple bride and grooms: Thanks to recent exposure from real celebrity weddings like Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo's and fake ones like Sex and the City's Carrie and Mr. Big's, New York's famed City Hall is finally moving forward with its plan to give the Marriage Bureau an official upgrade. According to recent reports, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has even solicited his own decorator, Jamie Drake, to transform the drab, bureaucratic space into a Las Vegas-style wedding chapel.Nycityhall

Currently couples are asked to enter from the street, go through metal detectors, go to the second floor and then take a number and wait to be called. There are no bathrooms nearby and grafitti from past married couples covers the walls.

"It is dehumanizing," said the mayor during a recent press conference. "It is anything but the kind of environment you would want for a happy day for two people."

The newly revamped chapel is set to move to a different space with 6,000 square feet, and will include luxe amenities like new bathrooms and vanity rooms, marble floors, columns and a state-of-the-art security system.

According to the New York Post, New York City is now the No. 2 spot in the U.S. to get married, with over 70,000 marriage licenses issued in 2006.







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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 WeddingChannel.com 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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