Spring Cleaning: Accessories Edition

The weather is finally starting to behave like spring here in north Jersey, so we’re celebrating by trading in our dark winter wardrobe for a brighter and bolder one. Introducing our go-to spot, C. Wonder. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do so. We discovered it one weekend in New York during a trip to Soho, where their flagship store is located. Our lives—and accessories—haven’t been the same since. We frequent their Garden State Plaza location often whenever we need a sartorial boost. Warning: the following images will make you want to shop immediately.

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Crystal Bubble Flower Stud Earrings, $38

SquareStoneDramaNecklace

Square Stone Drama Necklace

Suede Tassel Hobo, $178

Suede Tassel Hobo, $178

Metallic Cap Toe Ballet Flat, $98
Metallic Cap Toe Ballet Flat, $98

SIlk Double Dot Scarf, $68
SIlk Double Dot Scarf, $68

Pave Initial Letter Cuff, $48
Pave Initial Letter Cuff, $48

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ASE Loves: The Original Runner Company

All brides-to-be should walk down the aisle in style; that’s Wedding Planning 101. But we feel that the aisle itself should be an extension of the couple’s wedding theme. All eyes are on you, so why not roll out the red (or any color!) carpet for your big day?

We’re fans of The Original Runner Company—creators of the world’s first non-slip fabric aisle runner. In fact, ASE’s own Carly created and ordered a gorgeous custom runner from the company for her own wedding.

Carly2You can customize your colors, designs, monograms and even add an inspirational quote or saying. A runner from the Original Runner Company will be the standout detail everyone notices. We’re not the only ones obsessed with the thought of walking down a perfect aisle—ORC has been featured on Shark Tank, The View and in Brides magazine, among others. Celebrity clients include Bethenny Frankel, Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian (we won’t comment on her short-lived marriage to Kris Humphries, but there’s no denying that the ceremony was fabulous!).

However, our favorite part of having a custom runner is that after the vows have been said and the ceremony has ended, you’ll always have a piece of your wedding to serve as a reminder of your first day together as husband and wife. One option we like is framing the monogrammed part of the runner; but the possibilities are numerous.

We proudly support this creative company located right in our neighborhood in Montclair, NJ. Check out their website, give them a call and don’t forget to tell them Allison Sargent sent you!

On Our Radar: 1920s-themed Weddings

“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Things may have not worked out for poor Gatsby, but if there’s one thing we love from the classic novel, it’s the extravagant party scenes. History repeats itself, and the 1920s are the next big wedding trend. We consulted our library and—in true 20s style—read a few books to bring you everything you need to know when planning a themed wedding.

Attire

Brides: Think straight cuts of crepe and chiffon covered in heavy beading. Veils cover more of the hair and head than modern styles. Scour vintage shops, or even upscale costume shops. If you have a specific, unique design in mind, hire a skilled dressmaker.

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Bridal Party: Instead of matching dresses, encourages your bridal party to choose a vintage dress of their choice. Just keep it in the same color family. Groomsmen should wear the same color suits, but could personalize their style with accessories like hats or bow-ties.

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Cocktails

We’ll take an elegant champagne tower any day. Other ideas: place jugs labeled “moonshine” near the bar for a speakeasy feel. Planning a non-alcoholic wedding? One word: Prohibition. Talk about sticking to a theme!

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Venue & Details

Old hotel ballrooms are especially fitting for this type of wedding theme. Other unique venues: museums and galleries. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, choose a waterfront location. Serve dinner and cocktails under a candlelit tent. The most impressive detail: renting a 1920s style car. Arrive in style!

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For more 1920s wedding tips, check out the book Everything Creative Wedding Ideas, or contact Allison to help bring your vision to life.  What other themes are your favorites? Tell us on twitter @asargentevents.

20 Often Overlooked Wedding Details

100thBlogPost

It’s our 100th blog post! To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 most overlooked details of the wedding planning process, straight from bridal expert Allison herself.

Timeline: 6-12 Months Before the Wedding

1. Bridal Party 411. Make a list of everyone in the bridal party with their cell phone numbers and email addresses to distribute to each member of the bridal party. This helps out your bridal parties when they’re planning secret operations like a bridal shower or bachelor/bachelorette party.

2. Dress up your entrance. Remember that the entrance is the first thing your guests will see, so show it some love!

3. When planning your décor and floral, remember the restrooms. Amenities baskets are a must, and even a small floral arrangement with some votive candles can really personalize this space.

4. Another décor spot you don’t want to neglect is the cake table. This table will be the focal point of many photographs throughout your special day.

5. When choosing your centerpieces, don’t choose centerpieces that are too large in height or width. Your guests won’t be able to see or hear one another.

6. Think about the kids! Make sure you have a game plan for the children at your wedding. Consider hiring a wedding nanny.

7. To avoid a post-photo album or wedding video disaster after the big day, make sure to view portfolio samples and ask for client references before hiring the photographer and/or videographer.

8. Throughout your entire engagement and wedding process you will receive many beautiful gifts! Be sure to dedicate a notebook or document on your computer to keep track of gifts received and thank you notes that need to be sent. And remember, handwritten cards are still king.

Timeline: One Month Away

9. Don’t forget your marriage license. Make sure to pick it up from your town hall, and compile all documents to give to your officiant on the day of the wedding.

10. Get creative with your guestbook. Create an enticing guestbook that ensures your guests will want to sign it and makes a great keepsake for you after the wedding.

Timeline: The Week Before

11. Start packing for your honeymoon a week before your wedding. That way, you’ll give yourself enough time to remember anything you may have overlooked if rushing.

12. Assign someone beforehand to take care of paying the vendors on the day of so you don’t have to worry about it.

13. Create a wedding timeline. Outline a comprehensive schedule that includes precise details of your wedding day, timing and locations. Make copies for everyone in the bridal party!

14. When creating your schedule, make sure you schedule enough time into your day to take wedding photos with the bridal parties and families. You will want these photographs after the wedding is over to remember all of the special memories from that day.

15. If you have any specific instructions for leftover décor, food items, favors or family heirlooms after the wedding, make sure to give your instructions to your event planner before the big day.

Timeline: Day Of

16. Don’t forget your dancing shoes. You’re going to be on your feet all day and night so remember to pack a change of comfortable shoes for the reception.

17. Make sure your photographer captures photos of the  empty ceremony and reception sites. These make for beautiful photos of how the day looked when you first arrived.

18. Keep cash handy for any last minute drug store runs or for gratuities for the vendors at the end of the night.

19. Prep for your thank you notes. For your first task as a couple, have your new husband keep a list of all the gifts you received and who they were from while you open them.

20. Bring a wedding day emergency kit equipped with all the essentials. Here’s what we keep in ours: makeup, hair products, tide-to-go pen, headache medicine, travel toothbrush, Band-Aids, granola bars, mini sewing kit, travel deodorant, lint roller, lip balm, hair accessories, makeup remover, eye drops, Krazy glue, safety pins, tampons, tissues, disposable razors, static guard, a notepad and, most importantly, chocolate.

Let the bridal specialists at Allison Sargent Events take care of these details. We’ll handle them with organization, professionalism and keep you informed every step of the way. We believe there’s only one thing every bride should do on her wedding day—enjoy it!

Wedding Entertainment for Kids

Kids love weddings. There’s loud music to scream over, centerpieces to be knocked down, napkins to be thrown around and tables to run under. Plus there’s cake!

Jokes aside, we feel that children absolutely deserve to celebrate your wedding day with you if you so choose. However, we also know that kids sometimes have a short attention span and need to be entertained during long events. So where’s the happy medium? Enter My Fair Nanny.

My Fair Nanny is a “special occasion nanny service” founded by Kimberly Martir in October 2010 after she became engaged. While planning her own wedding, she realized she needed to keep her flower girl and ring bearer entertained the whole night. A former nanny of eight years, Kimberly thought it would be easy to find qualified sitters to watch the kids at her event. Wrong. She decided to give future brides one less thing to worry about on their wedding day by founding My Fair Nanny. Her January 2012 wedding was staffed by her very own My Fair Nannies!

My Fair Nanny founder and CEO Kimberly Martir with flower girl Hayden on her wedding day.

My Fair Nanny founder and CEO Kimberly Martir with flower girl Hayden on her wedding day.

Here’s how it works: My Fair Nanny throws an age-appropriate party for the little ones at your celebration. Kimberly’s staff of qualified professionals bring along age appropriate books, games, toys and non-messy crafts, as well as some blankets in case they have a little too much fun and need someplace to snuggle up. My Fair Nanny also employs behavioral specialists and counselors for children with special needs, enabling families who normally stay home because they can’t find a sitter to attend an event.

My Fair Nanny serves the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania areas. Stop by their website, and be sure to tell them Allison sent you!

Host an Oscar Party

We’re in the midst of award season, which means we’ve spent the last few weekends obsessing over the latest red carpet fashion and discussing who won what. But everyone knows the best part of any award show is sharing it with a few friends—we love any excuse for a party! Celebrate the Oscars this Sunday by hosting a gathering at your house. Here’s a few snapshots from a party Allison hosted during last year’s Oscars that was originally featured in the Star Ledger. Bring on the glamour!

Oscar5The invites: If you have the budget, custom invitations are a great way to set the tone for an award party. Hand-making them is also an option—incorporate red and gold to fit the Oscar theme. Take it a step further and request formal attire or a color dress code.

Oscar4Go gold: Gold spray paint, glitter glue and adhesives are your friends! Glam decor doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out a dollar store for inexpensive stem candles and votive candles.

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Use what you have: Borrow a family member’s china, pull out your fancy cloth napkins and some of your old Christmas decor. Fresh flowers are a good way to add interest to the table.

Oscar1Plan your own award ceremony: Engage your guests with games. Hand out prizes for the person who guesses the most winners or is best-dressed.

Tell us—will you be throwing an award show bash? Share your tips on Twitter @ASargentEvents.

Fireplace Friday

A nicely decorated fireplace can transform any room into a beautiful, artistic space. However, not all fireplaces are created equally. An intricately carved oversized mantle won’t suit a sleek apartment, and a modern, minimalist fireplace won’t fit in well in a charming farmhouse. But that’s the beauty of these pieces of interior eye candy; the right design will tie a room together.AeroStudiosAgedAndGilded CabbageRose ConnellInteriors Elle HomeStoriezAtoz MocoLoco ThisOldHouse

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ASE’s Top Picks for Valentine’s Day

The countdown to Valentine’s Day is on! Not prepared? No problem. We’ve gathered our top picks for favorite bakeries, chocolatiers, coffee shops and more in the northern New Jersey area.

Favorite Bakery: Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes

FP.Velvet

What’s a stuffed cupcake, you ask? Picture a fluffy, cake-exterior literally stuffed with your favorite filling—chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla mousse—topped with thick frosting. Find these miniature cakes of joy at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes in Nutley. Originally sold at the Petite Cafe on Franklin Ave., these baked goods have escalated to national fame and have been featured on the Huffington Post and O Magazine.

Favorite Chocolatier: Godiva & Chocolates With Love

We had to choose two favorites for this category because we take our chocolate very, very seriously. When it comes down to it, it’s a matter of personal taste. If your valentine has a taste for rich flavor and handsome packaging that looks kind of like this:

Godiva_Truffle

…then by all means, head straight to Godiva. We love their boutiques in the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, Garden State Plaza in Paramus, Riverside Square Mall in Hackensack, and the Short Hills Mall in Short Hills. Any chocolate-loving man, woman or child will be delighted when they receive a pick from their beautifully packaged Valentine’s Day collection.

However, if your girlfriend rolls her eyes at heart-shaped packages, or your husband claims Valentine’s Day is for the birds, consider Chocolates With Love in Ramsey. The family-owned business creates their own chocolate creations. There’s something about hand-dipped chocolate covered pretzels and every flavor fudge that name brands just can’t match. Plus, the staff at Chocolates With Love is friendly and patient. Trust us—you won’t leave the store anything less than satisfied.

Favorite Coffee Spots: Rockn’ Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro & The Fine Grind

Looking for a place to hang out with a friend, or an after-dinner cafe to chat with a new date? Try Rockn’ Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro in Caldwell. They offer a variety of coffees and have live entertainment most nights.

FineGrind

The Fine Grind in Little Fall is another ideal casual date spot. We know it’s cold outside, but we recommend the frozen hot chocolate! The coffee bar is also featuring special Valentine’s Day drinks that sound equally tasty.

Favorite American Fare: George and Martha’s American Grille

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Picking a favorite restaurant in north Jersey is impossible. There are too many to choose from. However, we just can’t get enough of George and Martha’s in Morristown. The restaurant offers a cool atmosphere—no violin serenades here. Instead, you’ll find a well-stocked bar and an affordable menu. Check out their Valentine’s Day specials.

Favorite Homemade Recipe: Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Sometimes understated is better. Less is more. A homemade dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, some breadsticks and a bottle of wine is can be more meaningful (and much less stressful!) than waiting an hour to get into your local chain restaurant for half-off appetizers while listening to terrible music. Light a few candles and try this recipe from Martha Stewart.

Favorite Date Idea: Dinner Cruise

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Board the Spirit of New Jersey on New York Harbor from Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken. Enjoy a night of dancing, sipping champagne, star-gazing while you cruise on the water while New York shines in the distance.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments!

Savory Snacks for Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is about two things: football and snacks. While our favorite team didn’t make it to the Superbowl (there’s always next year!), we’ll still be watching while munching on these savory recipes.

EIsForEat

mini deep-dish pizzas from e is for eat

TableForMore

buffalo chicken dip from table for more

HealthyGreenKitchen

guacamole from healthy green kitchen

PipAndDebby

ham and cheese pretzel bites from pip & ebby

Neurotic Kitchen

bacon jalapeno poppers from neurotic kitchen

And what’s Superbowl Sunday without a brew—or dessert? Check out these beer cupcakes from Erica’s Sweet Tooth.EricaSweetTooth

What’s your go-to Superbowl snack? Tweet us your menus at @ASargentEvents or drop a line in the comments!