Posted on Monday, March 11, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

With our wedding day around the corner, we understand that brides can face all new sources of stress and anxiety!  Thoughts may run through the bride’s head including food choices or quality, the ceremony and reception venue, the guest-list, bridal party dresses, hair and make-up looks for the bridal party, etc.  It’s common today for many people to emotionally binge or turn to food during times of stress. This however is not a good habit for the bride to develop leading up to the wedding day!  Not only would a typical bride want to stay in shape and look her healthiest on her wedding day, but she should also bear in mind the importance of regular dress fittings for her wedding gown!

 

Being realistic is the first step to developing a healthy diet, exercise, and weight loss regimen.  Not everybody needs to be a size zero on their wedding day, and it is not healthy to strive for that either!  Set a goal that would be reasonable and realistic for your body type.  Also, setting benchmarks to keep you on track with your healthy eating habits could be helpful in reaching your fitness goals. Try not to focus on the number on the scale, but how you look and feel. The way your clothes fit can sometimes be a much better indication of how your weight-loss routine is working and can make you feel better about yourself regardless of what the scale says. Your body takes about four weeks to show results, so keep this in mind if you don’t see an immediate difference! Exercise is one of the best stress busters, so when you feel the wedding countdown pressure building, that’s the ideal time to hit the gym!

 

Cardio is one of the best ways a bride can get into shape. Three to four 30 minute sessions of cardio per week are adequate to maintain a healthy weight.  If weight-loss is your goal, you can up to intensity of your cardio workouts by incorporating various machines (treadmill, elliptical, stair-climber, etc.) as well as higher resistance and use of weights. These strategies not only help to melt the pounds off, but help you increase muscle tone as well!
 
Not only exclusive to brides, we ALL need to keep in mind that in order for us to stay healthy, not only do we need to exercise, but we need to eat healthy.   Staying away from greasy, fatty foods is a great start, as well as minimizing your sugar intake.  In the days/weeks/months leading up to your wedding day, make an effort to increase your daily servings of fruits and vegetables as well as healthy sources of protein and fiber such as fish, chicken, and whole grains. These simple steps can not only help you look better but feel better as well! 
 
If the bride is determined enough to get into the best shape, she needs to stick to her benchmarks and ultimate goal.  On your wedding day, the focus is on YOU!! Make sure you look and feel your best while you’re in the spotlight!
Posted on Tuesday, March 05, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: The Westwood

On Monday March 4, The Westwood welcomed the Union County Republicans for their annual convention. Our staff was honored to welcome Governor Chris Christie to our facility as the keynote speaker for the evening. Over 400 people were in attendance for last night’s event, including esteemed members of the GOP. Our Cynthia and Rose Ballrooms were transformed to accommodate the huge event, including a large backdrop and podium for the speakers. Governor Christie’s hour long speech touched on many issues that affected New Jerseyans throughout his term including taxes, health benefits, pensions, and the recent Super Storm, Hurricane Sandy. He shared the sobering statistic with the audience that at that very moment, 40,000 New Jersey families were still displaced from their homes because of the storm. Following his speech, Governor Christie exited the building and shook hands with each of our staff members in the kitchen. It was an honor to host the Governor at our facility, and we hope to welcome him back again in the near future!

Governor Chris Christie Visits The Westwood

Governor Chris Christie Visits The Westwood, Meets Cindy Williams

 

 

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Wedding Dresses

Everyone has heard the stereotype concerning bridesmaids’ dresses: that they tend to be ugly and not the most flattering. This may have been true over the years, but recently brides are making more of an effort to satisfy their bridal party and pick dresses that can be worn again for another social event in the future. Members of the bridal party are typically expected to pay for most of their wedding day attire including not only the dress but often the shoes and matching jewelry as well. Read on for some of the latest trends on the rise when shopping for bridesmaids gowns!

 

More and more often we see brides allowing bridesmaids to select dresses of the same color in different styles. This allows every member of the bridal party to choose a dress she is most comfortable in for her body type, and may allow her to wear something more complimentary to her figure. Some variations include matching color dresses in strapless styles, one shoulder dresses, and dresses with both straps or sleeves. Even the length of the dresses can vary, with some ladies more comfortable wearing shorter skirts and others preferring a tea-length or even a full gown. Ultimately the decision is the bride’s, but flexibility is important to help all of your best girlfriends feel comfortable walking with you down the aisle. It’s important to keep their thoughts and feelings in mind throughout this selection process as well.

 

A second trend we’re seeing more and more of is the ombre trend. Yes, this can be applied to your wedding theme!! Whether you incorporate it in your floral arrangements and reception décor, or your bridesmaids’ dresses, it is the hottest new thing on the wedding scene! To master this ombre theme with your bridal party, select dresses in varying shades of the same basic color, as featured below! Another variation of this trend, pictured above, is to have the maid of honor wear a darker (or lighter if the bride prefers) colored dress to stand out among the other members of the bridal party. This has become a very popular trend as well!

The season or time of year of the wedding can influence the bride’s choice of color and style to pick for the dresses. For fall and winter seasons, dark, warm colors such as arrays of red, gold, maroon, and oranges are most common. Spring and summer weddings often feature lighter color pallets including but not limited to pastel schemes, bright, vibrant aqua blues and hot pinks, and beautiful minty greens just to name a few!

 

Last but not least, while the bride should not be a control freak, she should stand up for her opinion and her vision of her special day. Although the bridal party’s thoughts and feelings should absolutely be taken into consideration, it is one of the most important days of her life and should go as she envisions it. This is a very important day and everyone in the wedding should be happy looking stylish and gorgeous while feeling comfortable in their own skin!

Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

How to Tell Dad You are EngagedIn most cases, father-daughter relationships are one of the most precious things in a young woman’s life. Your father is your first example of how a man should treat a woman. He alone is supposed to demonstrate this to you through the way he treats you, your mother, and his mother. The bond between a father and his daughter is irreplaceable. Now that Daddy’s little girl is engaged, how is the bride-to-be going to break the news that she has another very special man in her life? How will he react? Of course this can be a very emotional conversation, but here are some ways to let your Old Man down easily.


The best way to break the news would be a one-on-one, father-daughter date. This way, he will not feel like he is put on the spot in front of other family members or friends, and it can help solidify the bond by demonstrating respect and sincerity. The bride should make it a point to emphasize to her father how important his role in her life has been and will continue to be. She should also stress that no other man can ever take his place. Although he is sure to suspect something is up, the bride can still gently break the news to him. A father’s biggest fear and anxiety about his daughter getting married is that she is going to love and care for another man for the rest of her life, and he will be responsible to love and care for her. By reassuring her dad that she will always still be there, and that she knows he will always be there for her, it can make telling him a much easier task.


If the bride and groom are concerned about the father of the bride’s reaction, it may be best to break the news together among family. To make things less tense, the bride can suggest having a family get-together or dinner party at either hers or the groom’s home. When the time is right, the bride can make it seem as if she is going to propose a toast while everyone is eating and socializing around the dinner table. Instead, she can stand next to her fiancé, pull out her ring, and reveal it to her entire family thereby making their announcement. By doing this, even if the father is shocked and may not have the exact words to say, the engaged couple can still have their family there to support them both regardless of what happens.


No matter how or where the bride decides to tell her father about her engagement, she needs to go into it with a positive attitude. It is important for any bride or groom to be to demonstrate to the parents how important their happiness is to them, and how influential they will continue to be in their lives. Parents put so much time and effort into raising their young ones, so it is understandable that “passing them off” to another caretaker can be an extremely emotional time for them. It’s out of love and concern, because no matter how old you are, you will always be daddy’s little princess and mommy’s little prince. You have been their number one priority for so long, that it will be a period of adjustment for them to see you depend on someone else to take care of you. As a father and an important role model, seeing his daughter happy is the greatest gift of all!
 

Posted on Saturday, February 09, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: The Westwood

The Westwood - The Knot's 2013 Pick for Best of WeddingsWe are proud to announce that The Westwood has been rated by local brides and voted The Knot Best of Weddings 2013 Pick! We are honored that our brides have voted for us in this prestigious award as a Best of Weddings Venue for 2013! The Knot Best of Weddings 2013 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country, and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the
best-of-the-best wedding resources. We would like to sincerely thank our Westwood Brides for their nomination and votes for this year's award! We are truly grateful and appreciative for the endless support!

 

Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: The Westwood

Want to stay on top of all the latest trends in events and weddings?? Now you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! You won’t miss a beat with daily updates including everything from the hottest wedding shoes to the cutest bridal nails for your special day! Be a trendy bride, be in the know, follow The Westwood!!

 

The Westwood on Facebook

 

The Westwood on Pinterest

 

The Westwood on Twitter

 

The Westwood on Instagram

Posted on Monday, February 04, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

Nail art is back on the list of top trends for this year!! Nail artists can design anything on your teeny tiny fingers and toes from favorite sports teams to holiday themes! Why not try out a bridal theme for your wedding day mani/pedi?? Below are some of the cutest bridal nail styles we’ve seen yet!

Wedding Nail Art Wedding Nail Art

This fashion forward take on the classic French manicure features a nude base with glitter, lace, and even rhinestones! All of these bridal elements come together for one perfectly matrimonial manicure! The best part? The ring finger serves as an accent nail! Perfection!

 

Wedding Nail Art - Glitter

Here is another modern take on the timeless French manicure! Glittered tips instead of the classic thin white line are the perfect bridal touch! The perfect design element to accent your wedding day bling, this glittery French will look absolutely stunning!

Wedding Nail Art - French Manicure

Last but not least, this is hands down our favorite look. A classic French, incorporating the ring finger accent nail we love, but this time with a mini-engagement ring design! It’s simple, classy, elegant, and totally chic at the same time! Adorable for all events leading up to your special day including an engagement party, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner!

Wedding Nail Art - French Manicure with Ring Accent 

Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Wedding Dresses

What’s the hottest wedding dress trend for 2013?? Appliqué dresses!! Never again will a bride have to decide between lace and beading! The more bling, the better! These dresses are intricately designed to incorporate various design elements giving your wedding gown depth, texture, and personality! Celebrity brides hopped on the appliqué train right away! Pictured below is Mario Lopez’ beau, Courtney Mazza, in her stunning Ines DiSanto wedding gown this past December featuring lace off-the-shoulder sleeves and intricate silver beading. So, Westwood Brides, when you’re out shopping for your dream wedding gown, don’t be afraid to mix and match design elements! Lace is a timelessly romantic addition to any gown, and a little bit of beading or bedazzling will be sure to wow your guests and most of all, your hubby to be!!

 

Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now the planning begins! The bride and groom of course should plan pretty much most of the Wedding, but what does the maid of honor need to do? Plan the bridal shower! Leave the planning to your right hand woman, because this is a rare opportunity for the bride to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.

 

Traditionally, a bridal shower is an all female event, but it can be co-ed as well depending on the bride’s preferences (siblings, close friends, etc). Not only an opportunity for family and friends to get together to celebrate this special event in the bride’s life, the shower serves as an opportunity for the bride to receive gifts that will help her and the groom start their married life together. The bride and groom would register themselves at certain stores and put together a collective wish list for invited guests of the shower and wedding to shop at. This ensures that the bride and groom receive essential items for starting their new life together (and makes it easier to shop for them! What color or thread count sheets do they need anyway??!)

 

Once you know where the engaged couple is registered, it’s time to plan a date and compile a guest list. A surprise shower would be ideal, but this is difficult to do without asking the bride-to-be what her specific availability is. Try to recruit help for this if you can. Perhaps even the fiancé can assist you in this task, as he might be able to think of better reasons or excuses to want to know certain dates and times in which his or her partner would be free. As previously mentioned, showers are typically a social gathering among women, but again, this decision can be made at the couple’s discretion. It is common for the fiancé to at least make an appearance, as he will be the recipient of these shower gifts as well. It is courteous for the fiancé to be present at least towards the end of the shower to thank the guests for their gifts and to show his appreciation. When compiling a guest list, try to narrow down the bride and groom’s guest list for the wedding to the most important or closest family members and friends (someone’s cousin twice removed does not necessarily need to be invited to the shower just because he or she has been invited to the reception). A guest list is critical to planning your budget, so try to keep the numbers relatively small. When deciding on the budget, the maid of honor should consider asking the brides maids to chip in. Sometimes the parents of the engaged couple may offer to cover certain costs as well, so don’t be afraid to ask when you begin the planning process. They also may have preferences in terms of location, venue, and dates, so it is important to take their input into consideration. Once the venue is picked and the date is set, the invitations should be sent out 4 – 6 weeks prior to the date of the shower. This will allow you enough time to receive a response from your guests and plan accordingly with your numbers.

 

Some venues you may want to consider are restaurants that offer private dining rooms that can be rented for special occasions or larger parties. Typically the most common set-up for showers is buffet style, which allows a wider selection of food for your guests and a larger window of time for them to pick at food since it is left out for up to two hours at most venues. Many showers are scheduled in the early afternoon, so brunch seems to be the most common when selecting menus or packages. Combinations of waffles, hash browns, omelet stations, and chicken and pasta dishes are typical. Another common feature is mimosa fountains or pitchers of sangria at the guests’ tables. Some venues include a sheet cake with their shower packages (be sure to ask!!) but many parties prefer custom cakes for bridal and even baby showers to personalize the event just a little bit more!

 

Showers can range anywhere from 2 to 4 hours long. Remember, if the shower is a surprise, you need adequate time for your guests to arrive before the bride-to-be! Even the late ones! If the shower is scheduled from 12 noon to four o’clock in the afternoon, invite your guests for 12:00, but don’t arrange for the bride to arrive until at least one o’clock. An hour should be enough time for all your guests to arrive and not compromise the element of surprise for your bride-to-be! The maid of honor along with the bridal party should also make sure that the venue is nicely decorated, that place settings are done, and that there is a good amount of games and entertainment for the guests. Consider the number of people attending and try to anticipate how long it may take the bride-to-be to open her gifts. Do you want her opening them all at once (towards the end of the shower) or do you want to break it up with a game or two in between gift-opening sessions? These decisions can be made by the bridal party and maid of honor once you have a better idea of how many guests you are expecting. When discussing what games to include in the shower festivities, try to make sure they are appropriate for all those in attendance. You don’t want to frighten poor grandma with any risqué jokes or humor! Reflect on any past showers you’ve attended and ask fellow bridesmaids or family members for input as well. The internet is also a great source of ideas for everything from invitations, favors, decorations, and games!

 

This is a very special time for the bride to take just one day out of her Wedding planning and relax with her loved ones in a very happy environment, stress-free!

Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

 

Spring WeddingsWith spring just around the corner, wedding season is quickly approaching! A spring theme is perfect for this time of year with so many options for color schemes, reception décor, favor ideas, and floral arrangements!

 

Pastel colors are absolutely perfect for this time of year from blue, purple, and pinks, to shades of white and yellow. These colors are perfect to recreate a happy outdoor garden setting, even if your wedding is indoors!


When planning your wedding, consider what flowers are in season. During the spring, amaryllis, anemones, lilies, cherry blossoms, dahlias, forsythias, gardenias, orchids and tulips are just a few of the most popular seasonal blossoms for floral décor. Daises are also a great addition to bouquets or floral arrangements and can provide a great spring accent for table settings, place cards, centerpieces, and even on the wedding cake itself!


To bring out the Easter spirit in a Spring Wedding, cute centerpieces can be made incorporating Easter elements such as brightly colored eggs, baskets, bright green grass-like décor, and bright wild flowers as well. Brightly colored eggs would look beautiful and elegant if stacked in a tall, clear vase on the center of each table, and perhaps flower petals around the base of each one for an added spring feel.


No matter what the bride and groom decide to do, any of these ideas can bring out the joy of the spring season with beautiful color schemes, endless floral décor possibilities, and springtime decorations in the atmosphere!

 

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Images courtesy of: Absolute Entertainment, Black Lab Studio, Cheuk Tang Photographer, Patty’s Video & Photography, PM Studios of Edison NJ and Sharon’s Wedding Art.