May is National Strawberry Month and all across the country towns are paying tribute to the delicious and versatile fruit with festivals, contests, and lots of strawberry shortcake. You can pay tribute too by looking to the strawberry for wedding inspiration.
Whether you want a down-to-earth casual barn feel or an elevated black tie ball, the strawberry is there to help you set the mood. Just think of it: bridesmaids dressed in shades of pink and red, groomsmen in red textured ties against crisp white shirts, guests sipping on strawberry cocktails and tables adorned with little jars of homemade jams. Or maybe on the more sophisticated side a white buttercream cake with a cascade of strawberries spiraling down, martini glasses with a slice of strawberry on the side, and red roses in crystal vases at the center of every table.
Strawberries are infused with romance and love and are primed to compliment any wedding celebration, so as you and your fiancé hash out your wedding theme, consider the strawberry. Or if not, at least enjoy a few with a dollop of whipped cream.
And for a cute favor idea and a way to save a little cash check out this recipe for homemade strawberry jam brought to us by the barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten
3 pints fresh strawberries
3 cups superfine sugar
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and small-diced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Place the strawberries in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and hull the strawberries. Cut the larger berries in half or quarters and leave the small berries whole. Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot such as heavy Dutch oven and toss them with the sugar and orange-flavored liqueur.
Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add the apple and blueberries and continue to keep the mixture at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. This should take 25 to 35 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then store covered in the refrigerator. It will keep refrigerated for at least 2 weeks. To keep the jam longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Next week is New York Market when Betsy and some of the staff will be off to the big apple to check out the upcoming fall collections from all the top bridal designers. As they prepare for their trip and get ready to see the next big thing in bridal we would like to know the kinds of gowns that you are all looking for. What are the new trends you are interested in seeing examples of? Have you been searching for some element in a dress that you just can’t find? Are you trying to capture a particular mood that just doesn’t seem to be out there? Tell us what you want to see from the designers, and we will send Betsy and the staff in search of it. Send in your ideas all this week and we will post the updates from New York.
Weddings are a time for many things. They are a time to join a happy couple, to create a family, to get dressed up and look amazing. They are a time for visiting with friends, for eating good food, for telling old stories. In short they are a time to celebrate and that means a time to dance. Brides and grooms want their guests to have fun. They want them up and out of their seats and dancing until the music stops. It is a reasonable goal, but often more difficult to achieve than people expect. We’ve all been to weddings where no one danced, which means we have all been to weddings where the music was bad.
So much of the tone of the wedding depends on music and yet for a lot of couples the music is an after-thought. It is a task left solely to the band or dj, but it can actually be a great chance for the bride and groom to bond and make choices together.
Music Categories & Favorite Songs
Start with categories. Do you have a favorite genre of music that maybe not all of your guests know and enjoy? Are you country fans among city folk? Are you classic rockers at heart underneath your button up shirts? Then make a list filled with your favorite songs. Then make a list of songs everyone loves. This list is essential. You can throw in five or six songs that you might be the only one dancing to as long as you make sure there are enough favorites for your guests. This is where classics like Shout and Land of 1,000 Dances and the Locomotion come in handy. Everyone knows them and they just can’t help but dance. Don’t be afraid to play songs that are well loved even if they are a little cheesy. Then you need to make a list of slow songs. Keep this one short because the slow songs drive guests off the floor and break up the momentum, but every wedding needs a few good ones.
After you have made your categories and filled out your lists it is time to dance. Picking the music isn’t enough, you have to put it to the test. Pick a Saturday afternoon and go through each selected song and find out if you can dance to it. You might be surprised that even some of the songs you loved and that are so special to you are actually impossible to dance to.
Music Through The Decades
After the dance test comes the time test. Do you have songs that every generation can enjoy? Most weddings have three generations in attendance and the marker of a really good time is seeing all three generations on the floor at once. This can be done by relying heavily on songs from the 1960’s and songs from the 1990’s. If you have a good mix of Motown and 90’s hip hop then you can’t go wrong. You will have songs that make everyone feel nostalgic.
Songs for Every Generation
Below are some surefire hits that go beyond the standards.
Got My Mind Set on You – George Harrison
You Got It – Roy Orbison>
Foot Stompin’ – The Flares
Tequila – The Champs
Biz Markie – Just a Friend
No Diggity – Blackstreet
Walk Like and Egyptian – The Bangles
You Can’t Hurry Love - The Supremes
Buddy Holly – Weezer
Now That We Found Love – Heavy D
As we continue to showcase the weddings of our Betsy staff we bring you the elegant union of Stephanie Faudale and Sean Connor which took place on Saturday March 23 in the presence of a large crowd of adoring friends and family members at the Hotel at Arundel Mills Preserve. Almost the entire Betsy staff was there to witness the happy union and dance the night away.
The weather again took a fortunate turn and the sun shone brightly all day. Spring and love were surely in the air. The bride looked absolutely stunning in a chic Reem Acra gown with a cathedral veil trailing gracefully behind her. The bride and groom met at an altar draped with soft pale fabric illuminated by twinkling candles and said their vows flanked by groomsmen in classic tuxes and bridesmaids in floor length chiffon charcoal Monique L’Huillier gowns.
After the ceremony guests mingled in a large lobby with an overlook of beautiful glass sculptures hanging from the ceiling. They sipped and snacked and took plenty of photographs as a string quartet played and the brand new newlyweds posed for pictures and stopped for hugs.
Back inside the ballroom guests dined at tables adorned with bunches of fresh flowers in whites and pale pinks as tea candles floated in glass votives. Fabric draped the walls in billowing swags and the tables left plenty of room for a large dance floor. The wedding cake was adorned with a cascade of flowers, the food was delicious and the music kept the floor packed until the very last dance. From there the bride and groom were sent on their merry married way blowing kisses as the stretch limo pulled away. Photographs from Wendy Hickok photography.
Forget about June, around here, March was the month for weddings. At least it is when it comes to our employees. On Saturday March 9th Lindsey WittstrucK celebrated her marriage to Matthew Satterfield in a small, sweet ceremony in Millersville, and then on Saturday March 23 Stephanie Faudale celebrated her marriage to Sean Connor in an elegant ceremony at Arundel Mills Preserve. Since we love to showcase beautiful brides wearing our beautiful dresses, it gives us great pleasure to spotlight these two weddings on our bridal blog.
The weather was surprisingly gorgeous for Lindsey's early March wedding. In fact, rumors of an impending snowstorm had the bride very nervous in the days before the wedding, but when guests filtered into the old town hall the sun was shining and it felt almost like early summer. Vintage suitcases and old typewriters lined the entryway, and inside the one-hundred-fifty year-old hall, antique glass collected from thrift stores sparkled around flickering tea lights.
Bridesmaids walked down the aisle in mismatched lace dresses on the arms of groomsmen in simple black suits. The bride and all her maids clutched beautiful bouquets of hand-knit flowers with a tissue or two tucked in just in case. The bride and groom read their own vows from strips of quilling paper as they stood on stage beneath a curtain of sparkling lights and a large paper heart. The ceremony concluded in happy tears and a string quartet version of Here Comes the Sun. Guests filed back out onto the front lawn of the hall where they mingled with the wedding party and were served appetizers.
After they re-entered the hall the celebration really began. The bride and groom started things off with a little air guitar and invited all their guests to join in their first dance as George Harrison questioned over the speakers “what is my life without your love?” A dinner of crab cakes and pesto tortellini was soon served as guests sipped on champagne and listened to friends toast the happy couple. From there guests danced non-stop as the five-hour reception roared on under dimmed chandeliers. Below is a sneak peek of some of their photographs taken by Colleen Losh of Colleen Losh Photography. Stay tuned for all the details on Stephanie’s wedding in our next post!
The Great Gatsby look is making a style resurgence. These Reem Acra gowns capture the truest sense of glamour from the romantic past along with the image brides desires today.
Come this weekend to see the beauty of these sought after dresses and enjoy the vision that can be yours.
Just one week from yesterday you will all have a whole new reason to come to Betsy’s and Say Yes to the Dress. That’s because on Wednesday March 27 from 4pm to 8pm, Randy Fenoli, renowned bridal expert and breakout star of several of TLC’s hit bridal shows, will be in store helping you pick the perfect dress. Randy has a wealth of bridal gown experience and insight, and he is an absolute delight to work with. We are so excited about this surprise experience, and you don’t want to miss the chance to have him help you utter that now famous phrase. Please call 410-484-4600 to schedule an appointment.
Guest post by Hannah Rodewald of The Pleasure of Your Company.
Every January, when new invitation albums come in and the latest new samples arrive from our designers, we always wonder which designs and trends will be the most popular with brides.
Brides are planning so many different looks for their weddings, everything from a rustic but chic wedding in a barn or vineyard with lots of burlap and lace to an ultra-sophisticated wedding with a very minimalist urban look. And the good news is that wedding designers are on top of it and creating invitations for every new look.
Visit here for some of the trends we’ve spotted:
Letterpressed invitations look better when printed on a heavier bamboo or cotton card. But even when the bride is choosing an engraved or digitally printed invitation, many want the heavier feel of a 192# or 600 gsm card.
Major wow factor in adding foil printing to the invitation to highlight the bride and groom’s names or a design element.
Brides are choosing lace wedding gowns and lacy linens for the wedding reception and then picking up that theme in their invitations. We are doing blind-embossed lace borders and motifs, and adding actual lace to the invitations which adds great texture.
All the old rules about not using more than three fonts, not mixing two scripts together, not using more than a few point sizes are out the window. The result is creative, one of a kind typesetting. Calligraphic swashes and flourishes, names running off the edges of the invitations, and poster-like blocks of text all add interest to the invitation.
Even the most formal brides and grooms are incorporating an element of fun in their wedding invitations. Folk art illustrations of the bride and groom and even their dog adorn invitations. Wedding invitations tell the couple’s love story. Destination maps and nautical charts are printed on the envelope linings. The response card can be a mad lib fill-in-the words response. The rules of etiquette have become just guidelines as brides are more creative with wording. And check out our Save the Date board at www.pinterest.com/tpoyc to see the clever photos that some couples have incorporated into their save the dates.
Invitations can be printed on diecut invitations, or you can incorporate the trend by just printing the response and insert cards on circles and other shapes.
Folk art illustrations, watercolors, hand drawn border and papercuts are some of the ways couples are adding original art to their invitations.
Many brides chose a traditional invitation printed in a neutral color on a white or ecru card, but then add just a pop of their wedding colors by painting the edges of the invitation or tying a ribbon on it. The colors we are seeing most often are coral, honeysuckle, shrimp, dusty pink, purple, eggplant, khaki, kraft, bark, natural linen and spring green.
One of the trends we are seeing everywhere but Baltimore is ombre – using graduated shades of one color. We’ve seen some very interesting work and are waiting to see if this is a trend coming later to Baltimore or skipping us entirely.
And the last trend is more of a question mark right now as we wait and see if it will catch on.
Will the smash hit, Downton Abbey, influence weddings and wedding invitations? The elegance of the English set décor, the formal way they dine and entertain, the to-die-for fashions, the mixing of prints and patterned fabrics, and the tradition of formal, written correspondence just might have us doing things in an entire new way. Everything old is new again.
Mid-January is a tough stretch of the year; Christmas is over, it’s cold and dreary, and spring seems like it will never come. Luckily, Betsy Robinsons is here to get you through the winter blues. That’s because this weekend is Watters weekend. Maybe you already know how exciting Watters weekend is, in which case you have probably already picked up the phone to make an appointment, but if you don’t then let me tell you.
Periodically throughout the year designers send their best dresses all across the country in what are called trunk shows. Betsy Robinsons usually has a few trunk shows each month, which means that we get dresses, styles, and sizes that we might not have in the store normally. It’s a great way to see an extensive amount of any one particular designers work. What makes Watters weekend so great is that Watters is such a popular, beautiful and affordable brand. We will not only have wedding gowns to showcase this weekend but also bridesmaids dresses, a line of mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses, and flower girl dresses in a range of colors. Special pricing is also available during the event.
Oh, but there is still more. Maria Prince, the Vice President and Director of Design at Watters will be in the store to help brides select the perfect gown. Naturally, she knows the collection in and out and is the perfect person to answer your questions and dress you up.
But let’s say you already have your dress, what could possibly excite you about Watters weekend. Well, yes, the dress is important, but you have to remember to, as our experts like to say, finish the story. Thomas Knoell and Toni Federici are the perfect people to help you do that. Thomas Knoell, of Thomas Knoell Designs crafts jewelry and headpieces of unparalleled beauty. He will be here in person to help give you an outstanding experience. Meanwhile, Toni of Veils by Toni will be here with her soft, delicate, beautiful and nationally sought after veils. Feel free to visit their websites and familiarize yourself with some of their beautiful creations, and don’t miss the opportunity to benefit from their skill and craftsmanship.
So now you see why this weekend is so exciting and it’s time to make an appointment.
When it comes to bridal showers there are so many options to consider and so many trendy ways to keep guests excited and involved. Bridal bingo is one way to go, if you have to, but the team at Betsy’s has recently stumbled on something a whole lot sweeter.
There is no shortage of holiday spirit around the salon and so the girls got together this past week for a good old fashioned cookie swap with a brand new twist. Each participant baked up a few dozen cookies, from ginger snaps to snickerdoodles, to some delightful biscotti and brought them in to share. The break room was decked out with the bright holiday cookies, and each girl brought home her treats in a nice holiday container. It had all the usual benefits of a cookie swap, but thanks to a quick email to a Glad representative, each cookie baked resulted in a $1 donation to pediatric cancer research. Together, we raised over $700 to help kids fight cancer.
That’s just pretty sweet and it’s something for brides to keep in mind as they plan their festivities. It was easy to do and everyone walked away with a great treat.
For those interested in more information about a cookie swap of your own,
please contact Ms. Jackie Gonzalez-Feezer
In the peaceful moments between the busy bridal season and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season I and the rest of the Betsy team took the opportunity to celebrate our third annual Friendsgiving. It was another wonderful chance to be with all of the girls and their families in a setting outside of work, and reflect back on our year together. The crowd was a mix of the past and the present and dotted with those brave enough to sport their ugly Christmas sweaters once again.
Between trays of turkey and ham, bowls of mashed potatoes, and casseroles of broccoli and green beans, I got reacquainted with some of the girls and had the opportunity to get to know some of the newer additions. As dinner quickly turned into tray after tray of sweet desserts, we swapped stories about our memorable brides, our favorite dresses, and our Christmas shopping adventures.
It was a welcome reminder of how fortunate we have been here at Betsy Robinson’s that we can gather together again year after and enjoy good food, good company and a helping of good luck. We wish the same joy for all our brides as they prepare to start their new lives and their own new traditions.
In my one month tenure at Betsy Robinson’s I have learned a lot of things, chief among them that the staff is like one big, very well-dressed, family. Only a slightly less important lesson to learn is that Betsy’s patented Fall Drink, a mix of whiskey, cider and cloves, is amazing. All of these pillars of the company came together in wonderful fashion on Sunday November 24, for the third annual Friendsgiving.
I arrived a little nervous, sporting my ugly Christmas sweater that would prove to be a winner, and clutching a stew pot full of Rosemary mashed potatoes. This being my first social outing with the whole family I didn’t know what to expect. But the moment I walked in the door I was greeted with hugs and smiling faces. The Ravens game played in the background as employees past and present, some of them traveling a great distance to be there, sipped, dipped and chatted.
The evening ended with cookies, pies, sweet victory and a heartfelt speech from Allen Robinson. It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season and the perfect welcome to a company that cares as much for its employees as it does for its growing collection of brides.
A few of the Essence of Australia gowns arrived today and the girls at the shop decided to try some on so you could get a sneak peek of just how gorgeous these gowns are!
The styles are elegant and timeless, yet modern and sophisticated. The fabrics are luxurious and the embellishments will make you feel like royalty as you walk down the aisle.
These gowns will make a lasting impression on you so hurry up and make an appointment to see them in person! Call 410-484-4600 for an appointment today!
We always like to celebrate when we come back from the New York Bridal Market. And this weekend we're pulling out all the stops!
First we've got gorgeous Watters & WToo bridal and bridesmaids gowns straight off the runway! With vice president and Director of Design, Maria Prince to help you select the perfect gown!
Then we have the always charming Thomas Knoell with his breathtaking collection of elegant and timeless jewelry and accessories which will add the perfect touch to any gown.
And for fun we've got Perskie Photographers, photo booth which holds up to 8 – not just 2-3 little heads, they carry a spare camera, printer & computer –many others don’t. If you are interested in renting one for your wedding their rentals from $589 for 3 hours [Some dates from $439], plus they offer FREE use of props, FREE name and date on photos, 5 different backgrounds choices and a Cheerful Attendant to help your guests. Check it out at our store on SATURDAY ONLY.
To top it all off, Charm City Cakes will also be here on Saturday, showing off their utterly amazing, not to mention delicious, creations!
As if the gowns and jewels alone weren't enough to make you want to visit ;)
If you'd like to come by, please be sure to book an appointment by calling 410-484-4600.
Dr. Dean and Lauri Kane from the Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Medi-Spa will be at Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection this Saturday, March 10th.
This Saturday, March 10th, Dr. Dean and Lauri Kane and their staff from the Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Medi-Spa will be available at the Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection to offer plastic surgery consultations and answer of any of your cosmetic questions. Dr. Dean and Lauri Kane can talk to you about the latest advances in Skin Care, non-surgical approaches to Facial Rejuvenation with Botox, Dysport and Fillers, the newest in Face Lifting procedures, as well addressing the most up to date plastic surgery procedures for the breast including breast augmentations and breast lifts and body contouring including tummy tucks, liposuction, arm and thigh lifts.
Skin care gifts will be given to those individuals who would like to meet with the Kanes. They will also provide a 50% off introductory special pricing for Botox/Dysport, select Laser Hair Removal packages and Select Facials. The Kane’s have created a beautiful setting at the Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Medi-Spa where your bridal party can enjoy special Bridal Spa Packages. The Center is located just around the corner from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection in Pikesville.
You can view all their services at www.DrDeanKane.com. They will be available from 9:30 to 5:00 all day Saturday at Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection. For anyone who meets with them this Saturday they will provide a Free more formal consultation at their Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Medi-Spa at 1 Reservoir Circle, Pikesville, MD 21208, 410-602-3322.
We are excited to be participating in this luxury bridal experience! Tonight from 6 to 9:30pm, right in Harbor East.
Secure your tickets here.
See the fabulous new 5-star Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore! Mix and mingle, sip and sample, and experience the best of the best of Baltimore's finest wedding vendors and services. A night to remember! Begin your wedding planning in style and visit Engaged! at the Four Seasons Baltimore!
Ball gown, A-Line, Mermaid, Fit and Flare.....
These are just a few of the wedding gown styles available for your selection. What are they and why chose one over the other?
We'll give you a little information today, and then come visit us this weekend while Randy Fenoli of "Say Yes to The Dress" is in store and let him help you decide which style is best for your special day!
This is the dress of fairy tales; it has a fitted bodice and a full skirt. The necklines and dress length can vary and the gowns can be made of a variety of fabrics. This gown can even be made of a separate top and skirt and be made more full with the use of crinolines.
These dresses are cut close to the shape of and follow the lines of the body. Many times these dresses are cut on the bias, allowing the fabric to really embrace the curves. Sheath dresses can have a modern feel to them and are very contoured. Different fabrics can be used, but the softer the fabric the better the drape.
This gown is fitted at the bodice and flows out in an A Shape from the waist to the hemline. The A Line can have a variety of necklines and be constructed using a variety of fabrics. It is classic a true classic and can change appearances based on the fullness of the skirt and the materials used.
Fit and Flare
Mermaid and Trumpet
These dresses are fitted through the waist and then flare out at or around the knee. These dresses emphasize the curves of a woman's figure and are are sophisticated in design. Many fabrics can be used and the necklines can vary.
There are three main waistlines, natural, empire, and drop waist. The empire waist begins just below the bust, the natural waist is at the belly button and the drop waist is around the hip level.
Each one can dramatically transform the look of a gown and highlight different features.
We hope this helps you find your gown and we look forward to helping you at the salon!
With a new Year come new events! Congratulations to all recently engaged women, celebrate this joyous occasion with some special events at Betsy Robinsons Bridal Salon.
Today through Sunday we're hosting our largest designer sample sale EVER! There are more than 200 gowns available at up to 80% off of their retail prices!
Gowns that were originally $800 to $6,500 are now 40% to 80% off!! And we've got shoes for $25 a pair!
Monique Lhullier, Reem Acra, Watters, Maggie Sottero, Amsale, Kenneth Poole, Essence of Australia and many more designer sample gowns available!
This is a great opportunity to find a designer gown on a budget!
And later this month be sure to attend Aisle Style presented by Charm City Cakes.
For more information and to purchase tickets please visit the Aisle Style Website.
Tags: Watters, reem acra, Essence of Australia, Kenneth Poole, Amsale, Maggie Sottero, reem acra, Monique Lhullier, Sample Sale, Aisle Style
Last year all the girls – the lovely ladies who work at our salon – decided to get together the Sunday after Thanksgiving and have our version Thanksgiving. It was enjoyed so much we decided to make it an annual event. We even gave it a special name, Friendsgiving.
This year’s Friendsgiving was eagerly awaited. The menu on the Break Room door rivaled that of many banquets. Excitement reached a fever pitch when we decided to have the “Ugliest Holiday Sweater Contest.” Well, that event is a story for another day.
Our salon has been honored this year, as in years past, with many great accolades and awards. Sitting quietly with Allen observing the girls laughing, dancing, embracing one another, and sharing family moments was equally and deeply rewarding. We have been blessed for many years with outstanding staff members, and each time we feel we could not hope for better, along came another fabulous individual to the family.
Moments like this truly make life worth living. That is what we do every day, help to make joyous memories for everyone we are privileged to meet. While all the pomp and circumstance in planning such a wonderful event as a wedding takes an exciting life of its own, it will always be those quiet stolen moments when one looks around to see those they deeply care about sharing and creating beautiful life long memories.
Here is our personal wish for a Happy Holiday Season and encouraging all to have their very own Friendsgiving any time of the year!
Betsy and Allen Robinson
This morning’s Washington Business Journal is reporting that Bozzuto homes is now offering a Bridal Registry. Engaged couples can add funds or request that funds be added toward the purchase of a new home and Bozzuto will match up to $15,000.
There are other unique Bridal Registries available these days as well. You can register for your honeymoon or even register for stocks and mutual funds.
And with superstores like Target, even with a more traditional registery, you can stray from the norm. There’s nothing to prevent brides and grooms from registering for everything from iPads and computers to clothes, shoes, and accessories.
It used to be that registries were for china, crystal and silver, but over the years it’s expanded to include pretty much anything you want.
What do you think about this change? Have you registered for anything unique? Would you register for a new home?