Italian Weddings in the Fall

It’s been only a month, yet, the stone streets of beautiful Italy is still on my mind. The large columns and doors stare at you from every angle. The brown and red colors of the modern architecture blended with the clouded white of the old buildings only bring out the bride that caresses the streets. 

There in both Florence and in Rome, plenty of brides were walking around. Beautiful dresses they had worn for their special day. Always a small fresh bouquet in their hands! These are some of the things I have learned chatting with them about their wedding culture, history, and likes.

All but one commented on the magnificent beauty of Renaissance Florence that provides the most unforgettable backdrop for the weddings. It is a great place for amazing shots of the city. Palazzo Corsini is a popular option for young couples. The weddings that are held here are mostly for exclusive usage. It caters up 1000 people.  It also overlooks the river, Arno. The shots that are taken from there are one in a million. On the outskirts of Florenece, there are Tuscany and Chianti, another 2 great places for weddings. The amazing castle called, Castello Vicchiomaggio, is from the 14th Century and is used for Catholic weddings. This castle is magnificent and is only 45 minutes drive from Florence.The brides complained the most about the stony streets as they are tough on their small feet. I am not sure what can be done about that but at least they all had great company with them, a group of family and friends. Best way to have a wedding an older and much wiser Italian lady told me!

Then in Rome, as I was amazed with its grace and beauty, I found plenty of pictures to take. The brides were very fashionable. Out came the fashionista brides. In Florence though the brides were all pretty, their dresses were very low key, boutique like. You gazed at the small details of the dress with a lot of lace and limited shiny stones. it seemed the dresses were well tailored just to fit the brides I have seen in various parts of the city under romantic settings. In Rome, this all changed. The wedding dresses all had statements and they were bold. The city with the beautiful fountains and piazzas that are legendary and incredibly romantic. My ultimate favorite, the Coliseum an amazing spot for a stroll around the sunset and much more. From luxurious Baroque palaces to nearby Renaissance castles, there are more options in Rome. I can even see theme wedding parties here, barlesque, and classic beach wedding of Florida coast. I was told that Rome is called the Eternal city since it was built on seven hills and it is famous for its breathtaking vistas. I am not sure if this is why Rome is called the Eternal city, but once you see it, you want to go back to it. Perhaps, one day you may go back to be the ultimate bride. (Eternal Bride in the Fall will be continued..)



Love Birds: Wedding Favor Trend Predictions – Part 1

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We’re slowly but surely inching towards Fall 2013, which means we’re delighted to start seeing new fantasy, undertones, and a layer of magic into the wedding favor ideas! First up are the handmade favors. From to, there are so many websites with many talented people and their handmade crafts. I am dazzled to see what they come up with then wonder if I can do the same.

Hello to the birds and the bees. Don’t swat away the birds and the bees. I was on a Spanish hotel website about a two weeks ago when I saw these beautiful bird shape coasters on a picture. I thought to myself how about giving these beautiful handmade ceramic birds as wedding favors. The birds are a favorite of Ayse and she had been telling me all about how birds are all around us. Now I pay more attention to these handmade figures and artwork.

The birds are cute. There is an invisible demand for the decorative pieces, the bird houses, or the bird cages in Turkey. To think about it, one can picture them incorporated into elegant centerpieces, hanging chandeliers, gathering napkins and folding up the chair ties. The bird crafts can help ties a themed wedding together. Perhaps one day a pink, orange and them the rest will follow. Your guests will always have something to remember your special day by, something that is more practical and functioning.

The birds exist all around us in different sizes and colors. We feed and tend to them even if we have no special connection.  They seem to be flying across the electric wires and singing the love wishes as the most popular wedding and birthday favor trend of Fall 2013.

Reusable Wedding Favors – Organic & Handmade

Organic Soap

As you plan and prepare for your wedding day, you’ll be running down the list of various to-dos and supplies to purchase for this momentous occasion. Wedding favors are among the various items to be budgeting and planning for as you design your ideal wedding and style vision. While wedding favors do not need to be anything extravagant, it’s a great idea to pick a wedding favor that guests can actually use and enjoy versus some dust-collecting little trinket.

We love the idea of wedding favors that can serve as not only a wedding favor, but useable for your guests’ homes, kitchen , or bath are thoughtful and wonderful ideas that guests will love. Wedding favors like organic soaps, Turkish herbs, and fruit oils are just a few of the great ideas from Ay Ben favors.

Organic soaps are a fantastic wedding favor idea; you can customize the color and scent based on your wedding colors, style, and theme to match accordingly. Going organic is not only trendy, but is a thoughtful idea for your guests as organic products are far better than generic soaps.  Scents like lavender and chamomile are relaxing and calming, while others that are more citrus based such as orange and lemon awaken the senses and are great for focus.

Fruit oils are another great favor idea for wedding favor inspiration. Olive oil infused with enticing fragrances or citrus oils are usable for a variety of recipes and home uses and last a long time. Additional popular scents and fragrances include pomegranate, cherry flower, and mandarin.  You can customize the packaging and display of all of theses oils as well to best serve your wedding theme and style you’re looking to create.

Lastly, Turkish herbs are widely used for a variety of recipes and home uses. Herbs such as rosemary and lemon grass can be used for not only culinary purposes but also making the home smell lovely and homey.

These wedding favor ideas are great for weddings of all seasons and styles. Your guests will appreciate the versatility and variety of uses for each of these ideas. Customize the display and presentation of any or each of these to best match your wedding vision and inspiration. Happy planning!

Handmade Incense

Handmade IncenseIncense is hand rolled – who knew? Those mini cones of different scent in a small cone to deliver quality natural scent of fruits, tea blends, and flowers. Oh yes, some roots as well! Some essential oils are used in the making of this incense.  After all, who can pass a great stick of Sage or Lemon grass!

Incense is freshly hand rolled and sun baked for elemental energy. In the history, there is also a ritualistic image of incense. The ritualistic incense was developed in China, which then transmitted to Korea, Japan, and Philippines. This incense has an invaluable role in the Buddhist ceremonies and rites as well as the Taoist of China and Shinto shrines of Japanese. A network of maritime routes linked the incense routes and ports of South Arabia and Somalia with ports in the Persian Gulf and India in the east, and to ports on the Red Sea, from which goods like incense was transported overland to the Nile and then to Alexandria. The network of routes said to be served as a channel for trading of Indian, Arabian, African, and East Asian goods. The incense trade flourished from South Arabia to the Mediterranean between roughly the Third Century and the Second Century. In the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, it is very common to see the Antique Turkish Ottoman Empire Brass Incense Burners in Antiques Selections.

Myrrh, a reddish-brown resinous material collected from the dried sap of certain trees, was a product traded along the Incense Route. The original myrrh species is Commiphora myrrh, which is native to Yemen and the eastern parts of Ethiopia. The related Commiphora Gileadensis, native to Israel, Palestine and Yemen is now accepted as an alternate source of Myrrh. Myrrh has been traditionally used by many cultures as a perfume, incense, medication, or embalming ointment. Myrrh originated from the Arabian Peninsula, where the gum resins were first collected. It was also used to fumigate wine jars before bottling, and as a luxurious flavoring for wine.

In actually incense is used because it creates spiritual atmosphere to mask unpleasant odors.  The word “incense” originated from the Latin word “incendere” which means, “to burn”. The composition is of gum resins from aromatic trees, which are imported from the Arabian and Somali coats. Some of the incense, you can find as favors are: Jasmine, Aloe, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Chocolate, Strawberry, Apple, Violet, Lavender, Green Tea, White Tea, Roobius Chai, Vanilla, Bamboo, Tullip, Rose, Amber, Sandalwood


Ceramic Magnets as Wedding Favors

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As an engaged couple or bride-to-be, you’ve probably discovered what a variety of wedding  favors there are to be used for your special day. It of course depends on your wedding theme, style, vision and budget; all things to take … Continue reading