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Smart Ideas: A Wedding-Day Survival Kit

Everything you need to avoid a beauty blunder on your big day.

By Valeria Boucas Photograph courtesy of Hollywood Fashion Secrets.

Every bride-to-be has a checklist of “to dos” before the day she says “I do.” But there is always something you can’t plan for. So for every unforeseen wedding-day mishap, the makers of Hollywood’s Fashion Secrets have you covered with an emergency kit full of practical items. From straws to keep your lipstick intact to stain-removing wipes to blister pads for those never-before-worn wedding shoes, all your beauty solutions come packed in a satin minaudière—in white, of course.

The kit ($24.99) is available at the following local stores; you can also find it at Ulta.

Congressional Plaza

1631 Rockville Pike


Fair City Mall

9600-U Main St.


Dulles 28

22000 Dulles Retail Center


Village at Leesburg

1606 Village Market Blvd.


Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center

15000 Potomac Town Place

Woodbridge, VA

Hunt Valley Towne Centre

118 Shawan Rd.

Hunt Valley, MD

Downtown Silver Spring

914 Ellsworth Dr.

Silver Spring

Fair Lakes Center

13048-A Fair Lakes Center


Gateway Overlook

8241 Gateway Overlook Dr.

Elkridge, MD

Bull Run Plaza

10640 Sudley Manor Dr.

Manassas, VA

The Shops at Waldorf Center

2945 Festival Way

Waldorf, MD

The Avenue at White Marsh

8165-C Honeygo Blvd.


Crossroads Center at Baileys

5860 Leesburg Pike

Falls Church

Best Buy Center

6575 Frontier Dr.


Waugh Chapel Towne Centre

1410 S. Main Chapel Way

Gambrills, MD

Frederick Crossing

7310 Guilford Dr.


Annapolis Harbour Center

2566 Solomons Island Rd.


Find Valeria Boucas on Twitter at @valeriaboucas.

Invitations and Stationery

Haute Papier Launches a Stationery Subscription Service

Paper products get a chic redux with Haute Box.

By Irina Grechko

As if we needed another reason to love Haute Papier, the Arlington-based custom stationery shop has launched a newly curated subscription service. For $80 per year (or $20 for a one-time shipment), Haute Papier will send you four goodie boxes—one every three months—with an assortment of its best-selling and newly launched writing utensils, notebooks, coasters, various greeting cards, and letterpress trinkets.

We got a peek at the first Haute Box and it featured a handful of whimsical birthday and thank-you cards, heart-print coasters, a miniature notepad and notebook, and two gold-print pencils. Think inside the box and buy a single package or a subscription for a year—we think it’s a great gift for a bride-to-be.


15 Cool Gifts for Groomsmen

Guy gifts for your men of honor.

By Irina Grechko

While the bride and groom are—and should be—the focus of the wedding day, you can’t forget the other men in the wedding party: the groomsmen and best man. Treat them to something they’ll not only appreciate but actually use, well past your first wedding anniversary. Whether your party is made up of sci-fi fans or whiskey connoisseurs, we have 15 great gifts for every personality type. 


15 Affordable Gifts for Bridesmaids

Treat your bridal party to something special with these adorable picks.

By Irina Grechko

We know how much you love your bridesmaids, but do they? Show them your gratitude and appreciation by giving them one of these pretty and personal items, most of which they’ll be able to use and cherish long after you’ve set off on your honeymoon. And best of all, they won’t break your bridal budget. From dainty jewelry to useful beauty products, check out our foolproof guide to 15 gifts that will let your ’maids know how grateful you are for them.

Wedding Registry

Designer Jonathan Adler and the Art of the Bridal Registry

Before the home design guru opens his shop in DC, he gives us the exclusive on his tips for registry success.

By Kate Bennett
A Jonathan Adler-designed living room. Photographs courtesy Jonathan Adler.
Jonathan Adler holds his "Banana" bud vase. 

Later this summer decorator, author and bon vivant Jonathan Adler will open one of his divinely delightful shops here in Washington--finally! Located in the former Gap Kids store on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, Adler's new digs will carry furniture, home accessories, bedding, and the kind of kitschy-chic products for which he's become known the world over. His spin on mod classics should be in every household, which is why we think registering at Jonathan Adler is a fabulous option; who wouldn't want an orange lacquer side table or Mr. & Mrs. salt and pepper shakers? We had a chance to chat with Adler, who is in the midst of putting the finishing touches on plans for his store, about Washington, surviving as a new couple, and how he missed the wedding gift boat.

First of all, we're thrilled you're coming to DC. Welcome! Can you tell us what made you want to open here?

Washington is groovy. I've always loved Georgetown--the architecture, the vibe, all the glamorous politicos, students, and creative types. I've been looking for the perfect spot in Georgetown for years, and I finally found it.

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Cool Gift Alert: Birchbox

Whether you’re looking for a bridesmaid present or a shower gift for a bride-to-be, this beauty subscription service has it in the bag—er, box.

By Kim Forrest

The Brides Box from Birchbox—a lovely shower gift. Photograph courtesy of Birchbox

Searching for a bridesmaid gift isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright stressful. But here’s a great gift idea for the beauty buffs in your life. We just heard about the Birchbox, a monthly subscription service that sends four or five curated oversized samples of high-end beauty products from the likes of NARS and Deborah Lippmann to your best gals. It costs $10 a month or $110 for a yearly membership.

If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and can’t decide what to get a bride-to-be for a shower gift, Birchbox just came out with a limited-edition Brides box (photo above). For $55, the bride in your life will get a sampling of on-trend products, like Automatic Apparel roll-up ballet flats, a Dr. Hauschka skincare set, and Tiny Prints thank-you cards. It’s definitely a nice idea if you’re the type that thinks just one gift isn’t enough.

Visit Birchbox’s Web site for more information.


Genius Idea: Mad Libs Guestbook Cards

Are you kind of bored with the standard guestbook well wishes? These little cards will guarantee some more creative congratulations.

By Kim Forrest

The Dandelion Patch can customize these cards to fit your theme and color scheme. Card courtesy of the Dandelion Patch and Bella Figura

Heidi Kallett from the Dandelion Patch just sent me these letterpressed Bella Figura guestbook cards and I thought they were so clever. Instead of having your guests sign a book that you’ll probably never look at again, give out these cute little Mad Libs-esque cards. Your guests can either write heartfelt sentiments, or be more playful. Then, you can have them place their cards in a box or a book for safe-keeping.

To test them out, we told our interns that we were playing a traditional game of Mad Libs, and here’s the hilarity that ensued:


We are slimy for Sarah and Peter! They are the most swanky cupcakes and we wish them nothing less than slushy dinosaurs for the rest of their lives together.

Don’t forget to always brush your teeth before you occupy and don’t count your chickens before they hatch after the tennis shoes. Peter should always meander Sarah’s lipstick and Sarah should always articulate Peter’s hamburgers. We wish you 7 years of happiness and red signage. With Love, Ernie and Bert


Well, that's some, er, interesting marriage advice.

I definitely see this as a playful ice-breaker to keep guests entertained during cocktail hour. The cards are $458 for 100; visit the Dandelion Patch’s Web site for more information.


Local Favor: Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates

They’re tasty and made nearby: delicious chocolates from this new Georgetown shop

By Kim Forrest

An example of Fleurir's favor packaging. All photographs by Christina Bernales

Edible wedding favors have been nearly de rigueur for a while now, but we’re always impressed when they’re locally-made, too. So when we got a tip about the wonderful wedding favors from Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates in Georgetown, we had to learn more.

Husband and wife chocolatier team Robert Ludlow and Ashley Hubbard actually got married in August of last year, so they know all about wedding favors. They offered their guests a box of two of their delicious ganache-filled chocolates that have a little local flair—the Lavender Shiraz flavor is made with local Maryland lavender, and the Ginger Rogers features garden-fresh mint, but there are 16 other flavors to chooes from, as well.

Another fun idea, for an out-of-town welcome basket perhaps? Chocolate-covered honeycomb made from local Virginia tupelo honey. Or, if you’re marrying in DC, but are actually from a different part of the country, give out Fleurir’s regionally-inspired chocolate bars—a chai tea bar for the Northwest, for example.

For more information, visit Fleurir’s Web site.



Bridesmaid Gift Ideas: Soothing and Spa-Themed

We asked the owners of some of the best DC-area boutiques to share their favorite wedding-party gift ideas. This week’s expert: Angela Phelps of Le Village Marche in Shirlington

By Kim Forrest

These gifts also work as favors for a spa-themed bridal shower. Photographs courtesy of Le Village Marche

Being a bridesmaid can be pretty stressful—so why not help your ‘maids take a break with a gift that will help them relax? Angela Phelps, owner of Le Village Marche, in Shirlington, selected some of her favorite ideas that are great on their own, or presented together as part of a spa-themed basket.

1. Luscious Soaps by Tokyo Milk, $11.
“These delicately perfumed triple-milled soaps are each beautifully presented in a hand-glittered wrapper with a classic image—such a wonderful gift,” says Phelps.

2. Hanger sachets by ElizabethW, $18.95
“An easy gift idea, these linen sachets help keep things fresh in your closet,” says Phelps.

3. Hobnail glass candles by Simpatico, $28
“These candles are just lovely—and made from renewable resources,” says Phelps. “The beaded glasses are gorgeous—and the candles burn for up to 100 hours!”

4. Lavender eye pillows, $22
“By the time the wedding day rolls around, everyone involved will probably need some stress relief,” says Phelps. “There’s nothing more calming than pampering tired eyes and unwinding to the soothing aroma of lavender.”

For more information, visit Le Village Marche’s Web site.

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Bloomingdale's Top 10 Registry Gifts

The most popular wedding registry items at one of Washington's favorite department stores

By Samantha Miller

Walking into a department store can feel more like being flung into a never-ending labyrinth of plush towels and stemware. So to make things a bit easier, we asked Bloomingdale's to break down the hottest gifts on every couple's wish list. Here are their ten most popular items—in no particular order.

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