Category Archives: Uncategorized

New York City Winter Wonderland Engagement Shoot

Just because there’s snow, it doesn’t mean that your engagement shoot has to be a no-go! This couple embraced the snow. In fact, they planned their shoot around it! And I love how they chose a destination for their photos. If you have dreams of smiling for the camera in a tropical locale, or a metropolitan destination, or even just a town away from yours, do it! Your photos will be unique and so will the the memories associated with the shoot!

New York City wedding photographer, Martha Sachser, had the cutest words to share about her couple, Daniela and Rafael, who flew from Brazil to The Big Apple just for their engagement photos! Martha, in her own words:

When I say I have the best clients in the world, I’m serious! After a long flight (with connections) from Brazil to New York and a biting cold, they dropped their bags at the hotel and went straight to our meeting spot and nothing brought their good humor down! Daniela and Rafael are such a sweet and fun couple with a good energy like I’ve never seen before! Believe me, it was cold, as in I-can’t-feel-my-toes cold. Daniela had contacted me a while ago, and we talked about their session. The one thing she really wanted was… SNOW! I was very realistic about the facts and told her that for the second year in a row, snow was rare in NYC’s winter! But she did not give up! And what a surprise that the day of their session, we had the park all covered in white! It was really fun! Facing the cold of NYC is not easy, specially in the snow. But with good humor and lots of love, we registered many (comedic) romantic moments that will remain forever in our memories!

Photos by Martha Sachser Photography

New York City Engagement Shoot

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Photos were submitted and uploaded via Two Bright Lights.

  • Dina says:

    These are great and so much fun! great post!

  • sharon says:

    I love NYC as the background. I watched an adorable engagement shoot inside Chelsea Market. The lighting, the old brickwork & the signage made for great backgrounds.

Giving Out Love to Your Out of Towners

Wedding guests who are coming from out of town must really love you! No, really, this isn’t meant to be a guilt trip, but people who take the time and spend the money to travel to be at your wedding are people who hold you near and dear to their heart. So it’s truly an honor when out-of-town guests RSVP “yes!” to your wedding and Yentas etiquette recommends you do your best to make them feel at home and accommodated while they’re visiting you on your home turf.

You want to make their stay an enjoyable and memorable experience. Group rates on hotel rooms help them make the most of their wedding travel buck. It’s easy to do: Call two to three hotels, tell them you’re expecting a ballpark figure of wedding guests, and negotiate a group rate for a block of rooms. For your own sanity — and bank account — make sure the hotel doesn’t require you to pay a minimum. Some will, some won’t. Depends on the property. Just be aware that this is policy from time-to-time and you should be fine. Once you’ve secured your room rates, send advance notice to your out-of-town guests to let them know their options and rates. Include addresses of the hotels and approximate distances from the wedding-related events they would be invited to attend. Usually there’s a hotel deadline to reserve a room at the provided rate, so don’t forget to include the book-by date as well so guests don’t miss out and blame you!

You may want to provide welcome bags to your out-of-town guests. This is not a requirement, but it is a nice gesture and a popular wedding trend. The welcome bag can include basics like water, some snacks, an extra invitation or a print-out of the dates, times, and locations of wedding-related events, a list of things to do in the area, and maybe even a novelty item. The last wedding I went to was in Chicago and I loved how the couple included iconic Chicago items in the bags: packs of Wrigley gum, Garrett’s popcorn, and yummy potato chips made by a local company. Including a thank you note for coming shows your out-of-towners that you appreciate the extra effort and expense it took to travel to your wedding.

For your reference, use this checklist to help you organize and plan for your out-of-town guests:

Hotel

  • Reserve a block of rooms
  • Confirm reservations

Transportation

  • Set up shuttle service to the ceremony
  • Set up shuttle service to the reception
  • Set up shuttle service to the hotel(s)
  • Set up shuttle service to the planned events

Meals

  • Plan a pre-wedding dinner (Shabbat dinner, rehearsal dinner, welcome cocktail hour)
  • Plan a post-wedding brunch

Information

  • Supply directions to the hotel, ceremony, and reception
  • Supply maps of the local area
  • Supply brochures of attractions in the area
  • Mail information to guests prior to their departure
  • Supply hotel with the information

Welcome Gifts

  • Prepare welcome bags
  • Prepare welcome letters
  • Prepare schedule of events
  • Deliver welcome gifts to the hotel(s) to be handed out at guests’ check-in

From the Expert: Vintage Wedding Gowns

It’s so exciting to have an expert in the house! Personally, I’ve always loved antiques and historical items. I may not be a mathematician (when I hear “pi” I think pumpkin and apple), but I do know this: vintage styles + wedding = gorgeous! Today, Mill Crest Vintage is on board to help us all out in a Q&A series all about how to shop and wear vintage wedding styles. Paula Cooperman, owner of Mill Crest Vintage, has spent three decades hand selecting each piece to add to her amazing collection of vintage bridal wear for both the traditional and non traditional bride. She has an amazing eye for detail and a great passion for finding what makes a woman feel the most beautiful on her wedding day. Offering personal and private bridal consultations in her Lambertville, NJ bridal salon, Paula has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of brides, gaining both experience and expertise in what goes into selecting a vintage wedding dress.

The Wedding Yentas: First thing’s first. We’ve got to know: What does “vintage” really mean? The term is “vintage” is thrown around a lot, but let’s get technical about it.Mill Crest Vintage: For something to truly be considered vintage, it would have to be made between 1920 and 1980. Anything made prior to the 1920s, such as garments from the Edwardian or Victorian era, is often referred to as antique.

TWY: I’ve never really shopped for anything that wasn’t brand new and it’s overwhelming to stray from what’s familiar. So, what’s the best way to shop for a vintage wedding dress?
MCV: The journey to finding the perfect vintage wedding dress often begins with a clear vision of the look and feel of the wedding day and a little bit of inspiration. Brides considering vintage, typically have an idea of what sort of look they want for their wedding and are looking for the dress to set the tone for the rest of the day. They often look to old movies, magazines and books to find inspiration and taking into consideration their own body type, venue and time of year, the hunt commences for the perfect vintage wedding dress.

TWY: What about measurements? If something is already made, how can it be tailored to a bride’s body?
MCV: This is my favorite question and one that I am asked often. One of the very best things about vintage is that nearly every piece can be altered to achieve a customized fit. We all know that a dress can be made smaller. However, what many don’t realize is that a dress can also be made bigger! A professional seamstress, like the one we have on staff at Mill Crest Vintage, can make the appropriate alterations. To keep the integrity of the dress, we recommend the use of vintage fabrics and whenever possible, use fabric from the dress itself. With the extra fabric, gussets can be added under the arm to allow for additional room in the bust. In some instances, it is necessary to think a bit outside of the box to achieve the desired fit. By changing the cut of style of the back of a dress, the shoulder line or the neckline, additional room can be achieved. The most important thing to remember is that it is always best to work with someone who is familiar with bridal or better yet, someone familiar with vintage textiles.

TWY: When I think about vintage dresses, I think about old and delicate materials that were handmade. Is a vintage dress more fragile? How can a bride let loose, dance, and enjoy her day in a vintage dress without having tsuris that her dress won’t fall apart?
MCV: Fragility really depends upon the age of the dress and the quality of design. Most vintage dresses have stood the “test of time” due to their sturdiness of construction and the quality of the materials used. With that said, there are a few types of materials that are a bit more fragile than others. Lace is the perfect example of a fabric known for its fragility, especially if it is hand lace. To add strength to a dress, we recommend starting with the foundation. Adding a lining can fortify a dress. Having a professional seamstress strengthen the construction by adding some stitching to the seams is also a good idea. The most important thing to remember is to choose the right dress for the venue and allow for a bit of wiggle room in the fit of the dress so the seams do not endure too much stress.

TWY: What kinds of materials would a bride most likely see in a vintage dress?
MCV: What a vintage dress is made of will largely depend upon in what era the dress was created, as nearly every decade carries its own distinction. For instance, dresses from the 20′s are typically done in silk velvets, tape lace (also known as Battenberg lace) and needle lace, while vintage dresses from the 30′s are typically done in organza, organdy, cotton eyelet and liquid silk satins. Dresses from the 50’s tend to be done in silk, organza, lace, tulle and voile. In some cases, dresses from the 50’s have a paper lining and the bodices are layered and boned for added structure.

TWY: How do you complete a vintage ensemble? What kinds of shoes and accessories would a bride wear to finish the look?
MCV: Depending upon what look and feel the bride is trying to achieve, really anything goes. Vintage really does allow for the freedom of self expression. Fabulous head pieces from nearly all eras are available. Lovely clutches, shoes, jewelry and veils are also a great way to accessories and complete the overall look.

TWY: Okay, let’s take this to the next level that some Yentas readers might wonder about. For a bride who’s having a very traditional Jewish wedding, how would you suggest she cover her shoulders?
MCV: For the Jewish bride that wishes to cover her arms for the ceremony, but would like to bunk tradition for her reception, she might consider wearing a fabulous cashmere sweater with beading or a simple shrug during her ceremony that can be shed for the reception. Faux fur wraps and caplets are another wonderful option. For the bride who wishes to have full coverage for the entire affair, sleeves can be added to just about any style of dress.

TWY: Covering the shoulders is one thing. There are plenty of options there. But when you’re wearing a vintage dress, don’t you have fewer options? What kinds of shoulder coverings would look appropriate with a vintage dress?
MCV: The appropriate shoulder covering for any vintage dress will largely depend upon the style and silhouette of the dress itself. For instance, a 60s style sheath style wedding dress would look fabulous with a longer cardigan style lace jacket, while an A-line 50s style vintage wedding dress would pair well with a bolero or cropped cashmere and beaded sweater or faux fur stole.

TWY: Oooo! Cashmere! Yum. So stylistically speaking, is it okay to mix and match vintage with modern pieces?
MCV: Absolutely! Have fun with fashion, even on your wedding day!

TWY: Okay, I’m loving the vintage dress idea. So, if I got to have a do-over and I came to you for my vintage wedding ensemble, tell me what the shopping experience is like when exploring vintage dresses at Mill Crest Vintage?
MCV: Being a bride is truly special and nothing is more important, except for the person she will marry, than choosing the perfect dress for one of the most special days in her life. With that in mind, we offer personalized private bridal consultations on Mondays and Tuesdays, when the boutique is closed to the public and we can focus all of our attention on each individual bride. Each appointment is set for 2-3 hours in our fabulous bridal salon.

Upon setting an appointment, we like get to know our brides a little bit prior to meeting each of them in person. We ask about each bride’s vision for her special day. Style, color and measurements are also discussed, so that we are sure to pull the best selection of dresses from our vast collection, which will best fit the style and flatter the figure. During the consultation, we work closely with each bride, as we narrow down the selection and find “the one”. Shoes, hats and other bridal accessories are also available to complete the ensemble. An appointment is then set up with our professional vintage costume restoration specialist for fittings, when needed.

TWY: Wow. Very thorough. I don’t think most brides get that kind of attention at corporate-y stores and salons. What about alterations? And can you ship anywhere?
MCV: We are proud to have an in house vintage costume restoration specialist who is available for fittings and alterations on Saturday by appointment in our bridal salon. We do ship throughout the US and to Canada, the EU, Australia and Japan, but alterations are only offered in our Lambertville boutique.

TWY: Does Mill Crest Vintage carry shoulder coverings, hair pieces, shoes, jewelry, and handbags?
MCV: Our vintage bridal collection includes a wonderful array of bridal accessories and shoulder coverings from nearly every era to complete the ensemble.

TWY: Wearing things that have belonged to other people can be concerning. When shopping vintage, how does a bride know if the dress and other ensemble pieces are clean and in good condition from its previous life?
MCV: To ensure that we bring only the finest in authentic vintage fashion to our clientele, each individual piece is hand selected and scrutinized with exquisite attention placed on every detail from the cut and fabrication of the item to its overall design. We also take great care in offering a full and accurate description of each piece. An explanation of our rating system is provided on our website and we also are available to answer any questions.

TWY: Since you’re the pro of all things vintage, you’ve got to share! What is your favorite vintage look and era?
MCV: My favorite would have to be the strong, sultry and sexy look of 30’s/40’s. I find that dresses from those eras really celebrate a woman’s curves, while offering an aura of strength and confidence. I think it is all in the cut of the fabric used in both eras, especially the bias cut liquid silk satin and the strength pulled from Victorian influences in the design that brings it all together.

  • Paula says:

    Fabulous post! Fun interview. Thanks so much!!