Monday, September 15, 2008

The Newest Soon-To-Be Chocolate Bride! congratulates Jennifer Hudson!

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — Jennifer Hudson got a big surprise on her 27th birthday: an engagement ring.
Hudson's beau, David Otunga, popped the question while celebrating the actress-singer's big day in Los Angeles on Friday, her publicist, Jessica Kolstad, said Monday.
The couple have not yet set a wedding date, Kolstad said.
Hudson won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2007 for her role in "Dreamgirls." Her film credits also include "Sex and the City" and the upcoming "The Secret Life of Bees." The "American Idol" alum will release her debut solo album Sept. 30.
Otunga appeared as a contestant nicknamed "Punk" on the VH1 reality dating show "I Love New York 2."
Congratulations Jennifer and David! Can't wait to see how beautiful of a CB you're destined to be!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Best Friend's Wedding, and my other best friend, and my other best friend, and my other best friend....

What do you do when you have too many friends? I posed this question myself when I first joined, about four years ago. Traditionally, a woman had a maid of honor, a matron of honor, and then the rest were your cousins and other family members who your mother said you had to include. No one really got touchy abuot not getting an honor title because they knew that spot was reserved for your best bud or sister. But nowadays, through all of our different ways to make and maintain friendships, (your work best friends, your online best friends, your church best friends, etc), how do you construct your BP without making someone feel low on your totem pole?

1. Who ever said you HAD to have honor attendants? If you feel bad about not having an honor title for all of your friends, try dropping the whole notion. Having a good, solid crew of bridesmaids is not defined by having a MOH to boss everyone around. Let your girls work the shower, bachelorette party, etc., together!

2. Give them ALL a title. For my wedding, my husband and I gave each member of our bridal party an "Element of Marriage". We used all the things we thought were important ingredients in a strong marriage and allowed each of them to take on taht role. This worked out great because it helped me feel that everyone had a part to play, and no one would feel beneath anyone else. You can also personalize this system to suit your own bp and theme!
Here's my list if you need an example!

Element of Youthfulness
Element of Love
Element of Respect
Element of Friendship
Element of Prayer
Element of Grace
Element of Strength
Element of Humility
Element of Loyalty
Element of Devotion
Element of Faith
Element of Valor
Element of Trust
Element of Character
Element of Humor
Element of Dignity
Element of Hope
Element of Protection
Element of Honor
Element of Romance

3. Get creative. There's more than just maid of honor or matron. These days there are "Men of honor", "Maiden of honors", "Armor Bearers", etc.

4. Take away the titles and let them each contribute during the ceremony to mark their equal place in your life! Try having each bridesmaid enter, light a candle, and sit on the first pew of the church. Note in your programs that each person is responsible for creating the light in your heart. Or anything sweet and sentimental like that will do!

5. Give each of those special groups in your life, something different to be responsible for, and note them all in the programs. Ask your online buddies to honor you with being your hostesses at the reception. Allow your work best friends to coordinate your bachelorette party or girls' night out. Leave your bridal shower to your bff's. Or rearrange any of these to suit your needs!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From Shabby to Chic
Have you ever wondered how you could really make that open space look more elegant than anyone could imagine?

Well one of our very own CB'ers has posted how to dramatically change a room for pennies.

Blank Room:

Decorated Room:

Basically what you're seeing is pipe & drape, swags in the ceiling & golden uplighting for all that soft ambiance. Then the table settings are circular & retangular tables w/ linens + bustled overlay. Chiavari chairs, dark charger, envelope fold linen napkin, custom menu tucked in napkin, crystal, table number in center, scattered votives, some tables have low ivory rose rounds as centerpieces, others seem to have tall rose clusters, other tall birch apparently.

Another option...

Blank Room:

Decorated Room:

So this one's simpler w/ no ceiling swags. They did gathered swags on the wall w/ simple white uplights, 10 seater round tables w/ white linens and white Chiavari chairs. Can't tell but looks like simple white linens on the tablecloth w/ no overlay, all white on the table except pink linen napkins in a upright fan fold.

And another option....

Blank Room:

Decorated Room:

O.k. this one was a doozy! This started with wall and ceiling swags. They also have downlighting above the swags. The added custom silk light fixture covers in the side room (see the 2 bottom pictures)...those covered ugly chandeliers. Slapped down a checkerboard dance floor and small band stage and that was pretty much all for the backbone. Decor wise you're seeing rectangular tables with alternating tall and short centerpiece arrangements. Each table also had long individual candles and a couple table number cards in holders. There were silver chargers @ each place setting, white dishes, crystal stemware, i forget what color napkins :headscrat, custom menus, silvery purple linens w/ a pattern on them, silver Chiavari chairs. This was the most CROWDED table setting i'd ever done but lawd it was beauteous!

All this to say, that any room can be transformed into a beautiful arena, all on different budgets. Just as long as you have the right tools and the right company, you can do anything. Have fun!