Going Local: Wedding Favors for the New York Wedding

Hosting a wedding in New York City can be an exciting and creative affair. The city has so much to offer: from rooftop weddings overlooking the Hudson to more intimate affairs in a hotel library or Central Park. With an infinite number of venues, caterers, planners, and designers, the opportunities are endless.

There is also the fear for some that it has been done before. If you choose the Big City for your wedding, there are many ways to make it unique and personal despite NewYork’s enormity. Specially curated wedding favors have been highlights of the occasion for celebrities, and what better way to showcase the emerging local culture, and stay away from the kitschy, touristy trumps than by gifting local New York products.

Here’s a list of perfect favors to give your guests, something they’ll actually want to keep.

1. Edibles.

I was inspired by Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz’s adorable sugar cookie gifts: Perfect for any season and able to match any theme. When in New York, I suggest Eleni’s cookies. Founder and Baker in Chief Eleni began in media and editorials, but, realizing her passion for baking, switched careers and I’m so glad she did. Since 1997, she’s been creating personalized treats available locally and nationwide.

For another sweet treat, check out Anarchy Jams in Brooklyn. Anarchy produces eight varieties of fresh, local spreadable edibles using old and new techniques. Founder and CEO Laena McCarthy grew up making traditional jams with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley.

And of course, it wouldn’t be summer in New York without Sigmund’s Pretzels, a New York institution at bars and late night scenes. Opened in 2009 in the East Village, they expanded in later years to a wholesale bakery, now found across the city at various venues. Get one kind or a variety and package them with a cute tag.

2. Cultural Fancies.

Jason Priestley and Naomi Lowde gifted Fortnum & Mason teas to exhibit her family’s English heritage. For gifts from local artists and craftsmen, I suggest checking out A Wincy Glass ’N Design based in Westbury, New York. Artist and owner Wincilla Edwards was propelled into the industry by her life-long love of drawing and painting, and her hand-painted champagne and wine glasses are a classy gift.

Similarly, Riles & Co. based in the East Village, NYC, creates hand-poured, all-natural soy candles with a vintage flair. Started in January 2014, by Cristina Toff, these candles make adorable gifts.

A happy alternative? TheLittleRagamuffin’s Cold Process Custom Soaps, based in Altamont, New York. All of their soaps are made the old fashioned way using the cold process method and a combination of natural and organic vegetable oils as well as organic herbs from their farm. With customizable (and oh-so-sweet) labels, you can get a bit creative as well.

Lastly, I’d suggest checking out Matchbox Wedding Favors from TeaandBecky. Their personalized wedding favor matchboxes are beautifully foil stamped with a phrase and are double sided with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date. Customizable to your own wedding colors, there are many options to choose from.

Havaianas Pop Up Has Landed

Summer has arrived in the Big Apple. This means it is time to bring out those big floppy hats, beach shorts and flip-flops! Before you purchase a pair of ultra comfy thong sandals, think Havaianas. For my summer beach bride these are especially for you.

We did not forget you gentlemen, because they also have the ultra comfy sandals for your beach nuptials! We were able to preview the Brazilian flip-flop collection at the pop-up shop in New York City at 74 Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District. The pop-up shop has been there since May and will be in business until September 3rd, featuring a grand assortment of flip-flops and rain boots for women, men and children.

Havaianas are perfect for my beach brides; the store is featuring a “Make Your Own Havaianas” station. The station is a great idea that allows guests to create their own flip-flop! The sandals are perfect for gift bags; you can switch up the straps or customize a pair with cute pins. Many celebrities such as Nicole Richie, Natalie Portman and Ke$ha have had their Havaianas customized to fit their individual styles.

For my beach bride planning a destination wedding, custom flip-flops are great gifts for bridesmaids and guests. Get your pair now before the shop disappears or go to us.havaiana.com for more information.

 

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Experiencing LUSH Spa

New York's LUSH SPA

EXPERIENCING LUSH SPA
by Victor Amos

Hidden among the skyscrapers of midtown, and tucked into the second floor of a retail shop, lies LUSH’s first U.S. spa. The natural beauty cosmetics chain, known for its extraordinary bath bombs and facial cleansers, is bringing an entirely new experience to the New York market – and their approach is very “hands-on.” LUSH has sent a team of massage therapists to train at the original LUSH Spa in England, so that you can experience their unique menu of treatments without hopping on an airplane.

 

New York's LUSH SPA

The experience begins on the ground floor of LUSH’s 2-story space on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 61st Street. You make a quick check-in at the front counter, and are promptly whisked past the whimsical sights and smells of the retail store, up the stairs, where you enter a beautifully-appointed waiting area. The waiting area of the spa is themed to look like an English countryside cottage, complete with weathered wooden cabinetry, vintage books, mason jars filled with wild flowers, and a rustic hodgepodge of wooden furniture.

 

New York's LUSH SPA

Your session starts with a meet-and-greet consultation with your massage therapist. You sit at the large kitchen table and go through a brief (but necessary) survey of your health, while also discussing what nooks and crannies you need the kinks worked out of. After a small chat, you are taken to your room … and that’s when the real magic happens!

 

New York's LUSH SPA

I chose to get a spa treatment called “The Comforter?” (yes, the question mark is part of the title). The Comforter? is not an ordinary massage, it is actually an exfoliating treatment. Exclusively for its spas, LUSH creates custom body products that can only be experienced during a treatment; they can’t be purchased. My treatment called for a chocolate body scrub (made of rhassoul mud, raw cacao paste, carob, and scrubby ground adzuki beans) to exfoliate my skin, and a rose body serum (made with illipe butter, shea butter, rose clay, and argan oil) to hydrate after the scrub.

 

New York's LUSH SPA

My treatment commenced with my undressing and sandwiching my body between a marshmallow-soft mattress and a fluffy heated duvet cover. OH. MY. GOD. Quite honestly, the treatment could have begun and ended here. I’d never been on a massage table like this one. While staring up at the constellations being projected onto the ceiling, my mind and body melted into a mush of relaxation; it was like being back in the womb again.  While the chocolate body scrub was being melted by candle, I was clearing my mind of its troubles, and focusing on the soundtrack to my treatment.

 

Now, while you may find the exclusive body products unique, there is another layer to the experience that makes it special. LUSH partnered with folk-musician Simon Emmerson to create a custom soundtrack for each spa treatment. Your entire session is colored by tranquil, yet validating tunes being gently whispered through the surround-sound speaker system above head. While listening to the custom soundtrack, I actually recognized many of the contemporary pop and soft-rock song covers … albeit a folksy, English rendition of them.

For the next 60 minutes, the expertly-trained massage therapist meticulously navigated my limbs as though she were a ballerina in a presentation of Swan Lake. Without exaggeration, the masseuse performs a rhythmically-synchronized dance, akin to the ebb and flow of an ocean shoreline, as they careen across your extremities. The sensations of pressure and release, timed to the exact stroke of the music, is a fine detail that sets this spa’s set of treatments apart from any other.

 

New York's LUSH SPA

To close out my service, I re-clothed myself and rendezvoused with my masseuse in the waiting area. I shared my never-ending ramble of thank yous and praises while she prepared a unique “mocktail” cocktail for me. My treatment came with a delicious drink consisting of sparkling water, rose water, and a fluffy piece of cotton candy, which I dissolved into the effervescent concoction.

 

New York's LUSH SPA

The full-circle moment of this experience was watching that piece of cotton candy dissolve into the fizzy pool of water. It almost made me chuckle, as I felt like all of the tension and stress that I came in with, disappeared just the same.

If you’d like to visit New York’s LUSH Spa:

LUSH Spa
783 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065

+1 (212) 207-8151

http://www.LushUSA.com/LushSpa

Victor Amos
Makeup Artist | Beauty Editor
http://www.VictorAmos.com

Calling all Grooms- Notes For When You Put a Ring On It

Walking down the down the aisle may be one of the most nerve wrecking parts of the entire wedding experience. For my grooms, the butter flies start way before the I do’s! Did you forget about the engagement  ring process?  What about the wedding band? YES it is a process. No groom wants to let his bride to be down or worse be rejected because he choose the most awful ring on the plant.

Lucky, I have complied things to consider in choosing a ring she will rant and rave over for years to come. In choosing a ring you must consider a diamond and a setting. While picking the perfect diamond consider size and quality. You must choose a shape and cut.  The cut refers to how the diamond reflects light, while the shape refers to the appearance. There are an array of shapes to consider from heart, circle, or square.

Jewelers may push you to make a decision quick. Consider the fact they are all salesmen but take your time, this is a emotional piece that will last beyond a lifetime. Deciding on a setting your bride will love will ensure you get the best for your money.  A nicer ring is far from cheap, but consider this an investment that should scream quality and value.The grid above will help you make the best decision on that special diamond.  Below you will find some amazing wedding bands!  Sapphire is becoming more popular and it is a great choice if you are on a budget.  Thanks to our good friends at Tiffany and Co. located at 727 5th  avenue. They let me try on some amazing bands and a few beautiful rocks.

Visit: http:www.tiffany.com

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Classic Round Diamond. $243,000

 

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Platinum Sapphire Band. $3,475.00 US Dollars

 

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Novo Half Circle Diamond Band. $26,000.00 US Dollars

Welcome the Silver Branch Collection

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The new spring collection for Shaune Leane has arrived and  delivers the most exquisite gold vermeil pieces one can imagine.

The new collection is one of 5  Shaune Leanes silver collections. What makes this collection remarkable is how it encapsulates nature.  The line uses white moonstones and pearls along with gold vermeil to create a organic structure.  The pearl necklace and Gold vermeil branch attract rays from light, which reflects the warmth from the gold and the pearls. The gold adds statement while maintaining the classic timeless look of the pearls.

Another asset to the booming collection is the highly polished Gold Branch Ring.  A beautiful Pearl sits in the center of the ring while being protected by two branches. The arrangement encompasses peace and stillness upon the wearer. To accompany the necklace comes a  branch style Earring .  The branches dance around a pear shaped stud in the center. This piece embodies the modern minimal approach of the line.

These pieces are also available in silver.

Gold Vermeil Silver Branch Multi Bracelet Gold Vermeil Silver Branch Moonstone Earrings Size 2

Gold Vermeil Silver Bracelet            Gold Vermeil Silver Bracelet 2

Silver Branch Single BraceletSilver Branch and Pearl Drop Earrings

Silver Branch Single Bracelet      Silver Branch and Pearl Drop Earing

Visit shaunleane.com for details.

Two Red Trees- Grow In London

Accessories are everything!  They should be an asset to every outfit if done correctly. Pearls and diamonds are among the wedding tradition but you don’t have to limit yourself to those options.

Two Red Trees is a shop in London that specializes in supporting local British Businesses. They sell handcrafted jewelry and home wares.  Their mission statement guarantees unique jewelry.  Instead of clicking through web pages for the perfect piece, Two Red Trees does it all for you.  From sterling silver stacking rings to ruby studs there is something for Everyone.   “Less is more” says Anna Ward founder of Two Red Trees.  Ward suggest plain jewelry if your dress is extravagant.  A statement piece is mandatory if your dress is simple. Ward also suggests to match your jewelry with your personality and to buy timeless pieces you can wear again. The type of earrings you wear depend on the neckline of your dress,  chandelier earrings  are recommended to be worn with a simple low neckline.

Sophie Harley is  jewelry designer for the shop and has been in this business 20 years.  Sophie earned the title Designer of the year at the Rental Jewelry  Awards last year.  Her most famous piece was featured in the James Bond movie Casino Royale. The infamous Alegrian Loveknot worn by actress Eva Green.  All of her pieces are created in London.  Sophie works close with he clients to ensure every piece is unique.  Many of her pieces can be  worn for your wedding, whether the pieces are from scratch or up-cycling you can be sure it is beautiful and original.

So for your big screen day you may want to click on to http://www.tworedtrees.co.uk/jewellery

WDN2Y : 18ct GoldcredSH4 : 18ct Goldloveknot : Necklaces

18 ct Gold                                        18 ct Gold                                Love Knot

WDR1W : 18ct Gold  WDR1CDY : 18ct GoldWDN6YD : 18ct Gold

18 ct Gold                                      18 ct Gold                                       18 ct Gold

Say Yes to Art Basel

Wedding’s are all about personality.  Don’t be afraid to add flare, this will help you stand out and be unique. If you love the outdoors consider having a beach wedding. If your inspired by other cultures add some of your favorite cultural foods to your menu.  Your guests will appreciate your diversity.

For my art lovers be inspired! Attending  Art  Basel in Miami Beach is a amazing opportunity to view the newest galleries and exhibits the art world has to  offer.  Art Basel provides galleries a platform for those whom appreciate art, while giving you access to international art.  You will be exposed to sculptures, paintings and other instillation to help inspire your perfect day.  Art Basel attracts those who enjoy modern and contemporary art.  This is a big event that attracts over 70,000 people a year.

Art Basel gives you 4 days of access to the most exclusive art from around the world. You will be delighted to explore these wonderful treasures. This year Art Basel will be taking place on December 4-7 2014. You can attend a exhibit such as the one captured below by photographer extraordinaire-Robert Zuckerman. From the streets of Miami to the indoor instillations your opportunities are endless. This may also be the opportunity to purchase pieces for your new life and home together, or simply allow what you see to inspire you.

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Photo Credit:Robert Zuckerman- http://www.robertzuckerman.com
Dress:Romona Keveza, suit: Hugo Boss, couple: Katherine and Jordan Niefeld