Ask the Expert: The Wedding Whisperer Jung Lee

When it comes to weddings, Jung Lee, the owner of New York City event-production firm Fête, has organized rock-climbing rehearsal dinners and reception tables the length of city blocks. So when she speaks on all things bridal, we’re bound to listen. Here, she spills her wedding-bargaining tips and why you may want to skip the last cocktail (and it has nothing to do with that grinding groomsman on the dance floor).

InStyle.com: What’s the first thing you need to know about wedding planning?

Jung Lee: Every single thing is negotiable, so never take the first price you’re quoted.

Is there an effective way to haggle with a vendor?

Tell the person how much you love his or her work and suggest a compromise. I’ve seen restaurants agree to provide only a portion of the food if the bride wants to cut costs and bring in some of her own.

What’s the key to throwing a killer at-home reception?

Focus on serving very good wine instead of going overboard with the food. Wine never goes bad, so you can save unopened bottles for your next party.

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The key to throwing an at-home reception is serving very good wine instead of going overboard with food. —@fetenyc

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Is there a chic way to set up the bar essentials?

Mix and match your tumblers, highballs, and champagne flutes atop a beautiful tray near your bar station to make it look like you have a well-curated collection of glassware. Add some peony blooms to the display: It’s the most economical flower, meaning it’s large enough that you’ll need only a few to make an impact.

What often goes unnoticed at weddings?

At most events the caterer will serve the best-quality booze during cocktail hour, then move to the less expensive bottles. Four hours into a party, you’re not going to realize what you’re drinking.

Where can you save a few bucks without your guests knowing?

Do the fake-cake trick. Get a small topper and place it on a pedestal for pictures and the cutting ceremony. Have an inexpensive sheet cake from a bulk retailer in the venue’s kitchen to actually serve to guests.

J MUCKLE

Bonus! Lee shares her favorite party-hosting accessories and under-$ 20 wine pick:

1. Glassware, from left: Marta Coolers ($ 3 each), Marta Double Old-Fashioned Glasses ($ 2 each), True Stemless Wine Glasses ($ 3 each), Cylinder Flutes ($ 2 each), Simplicity Flutes ($ 4 each), CB2; cb2.com.

2. Wood and lacquer tray, Pacific Connections, $ 205; pacificconnectionsusa.net.

3. North Coast chardonnay, Clos du Bois, $ 15; closdubois.com.

“Serve this chardonnay alone, or combine with equal parts orange, lemon and lime juices to make punch,” Lee says.

For more pros’ tips, tricks, and best-kept secrets, pick up a copy of InStyle’s July issue, on sale and available for digital download now.

Ready to throw a party? Click through our gallery for 5 summer cocktails perfect for entertaining!

Ooh La La! Go Nude with Cabaret-Inspired Lingerie

This past April the Roundabout Theatre Company’s rival of the 1966′s Cabaret opened on Broadway with Michelle Williams portraying Sally Bowles, a nightclub performer at Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub. The musical takes place in 1931, just prior to the Nazis’ rise to power, and tells the tale of the character and her love interest, a young American writer.

As with any production that revolves around a seedy nightclub, Cabaret showcases its performers in various states of undress. And when Alan Cumming, who stars in the show as the emcee, brought the Kit Kat Klub to New York’s Rockefeller Plaza on the Today show, we got to see everything—in broad daylight no less! Though the scantily clad dancers seemed wildly risqué to us at first (especially over our morning coffee), we transfixed on their second-skin underpinnings—which were titillating, yes, but demure at the same time.

Typically, nude underthings serve as necessities rather than sexy go-tos. But Cabaret made us rethink our nighttime lingerie by inspiring us to consider neutral pieces that boast pretty sheer fabrics and lace detailing. Take a look at our picks below:

Courtesy Photo (4)

From left: Belabumbum lace boyshorts, $ 33; journelle.com. Eberjey bralette and culottes, $ 44 (top) and $ 36 (bottom); anthropologie.com. Fortnight Lingerie long line bra, $ 120; journelle.com.

Courtesy Photo (3)

From left: Cosabella bra and boyshorts, $ 68 (top) and $ 33 (bottom); anthropologie.com. Calvin Klein Underwear bra, $ 40; net-a-porter.com.

Courtesy Photo (2)

From left: Natori bra, $ 68; trueandco.com. Elle Macpherson Intimates boyleg, $ 26; journelle.com.

Get Your First Look at The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1!

Here we go! The hype for the next installment of The Hunger Games series starts now. A new trailer featuring President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Huterchson) was released today, and it’s our first real tease from Mockingjay – Part 1, out Nov. 21.

In the teaser trailer, President Snow addresses Panem in a message, titled “Together as One,” alongside a very stoic Peeta. As we know from the end of Catching Fire, he’s been taken by the Capitol, and it’s clear that he’s now being used as propaganda. What does that mean for the rebel forces in District 13 and our beloved heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)? We’ll have to wait until the next tidbit is released. Until then, watch Snow’s message below.

Also take a look back at Jennifer Lawrence’s best looks on and off the red carpet.

Beach Bunnies Take Note: The Hawaiian Trend Surfs Home

We’re filled with aloha for this season’s Hawaiian craze! Rash guards are the latest “it” bathing suits, surfer style is riding the runways, and now the trend is finding its way into home decor.

The trend embraces beachy hues and natural textures (like island-friendly linen and coconut shells) while leaving plenty of room for winking, kitchy fun (like a hula dancer table lamp). From carved cups to an artful handcrafted surfboard, we love the endless summer feeling of surfer-chic home decor.

Read on to see our picks to bring the Hawaiian trend home.

A Fang-tastic Cocktail for your True Blood Premiere Party

This Sunday we’re raising a glass and toasting to the final season of True Blood. 

That’s right: it’s time for one last trip to Bon Temps—a town infested with supernatural stuff including shape-shifters, maenads, gentlemanly vampires, werewolves and a half-fairy mind-reading waitress with a penchant for getting into trouble (a.k.a. Sookie Stackhouse).

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Fangs out, True Blood fans: @InStyle found your signature drink for the season premiere!

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In honor of the final season of our favorite guilty pleasure, we found a blood red cocktail that’s hotter than a Friday night at Merlotte’s.

Mix up a batch in anticipation of the season premiere and sip while you savor every last frame of a shirtless Eric Northman.

Sasha Gitin

Kiss of Death

Ingredients:

1 part Hornitos Plata Tequila

1 part Concord grape juice

½ part lemon juice

Directions:

Add ingredients to glass over ice and stir.

Want more delicious sips for your next party? Check out our summer cocktails gallery.

Check Out Pharrell’s Sustainable Clothing Collaboration with G-Star RAW!

From his globe-sweeping No. 1 single “Happy,” to his infamous Grammys hat, to becoming a judge on NBC’s The Voice, this is inarguably the year of Pharrell Williams. Next up on the artist’s busy schedule is his RAW for the Oceans autumn/winter 2014 clothing collection.

By teaming up with The Vortex Project and Parley for the Oceans, G-Star RAW and Williams have turned pollution into a solution. Their collection—which will include bomber jackets, trench coats, shirts, hoodies, and hats (below)—uses Bionic Yarn, an eco-friendly fabric made up of fibers that are derived from recycled plastic bottles found in our oceans.

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You’ll have to wait until September for the line to hit the racks (the collection will be available at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and G-Star stores), but in the meantime, remember to recycle your plastic bottles. They could be your next pair of jeans!

Also, take a look at the many hats Williams has worn on the red carpet.

How to Save Your Blowout in Every Sweaty Summer Situation


June 17, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

Below is an excerpt from “How to Save Your Blowout in Every Sweaty Summer Situation,” which originally appeared on POPSUGAR BEAUTY. Read the full story at popsugar.com.

The best feeling: getting a fresh salon blowout. Your hair bounces in the wind, and you love catching a glimpse of your commercial-ready strands in the mirror. The worst? When your strands prematurely melt, curl, or get mussed up because you decided to work out or walk home in the humidity. Read on for expert tips on how to preserve your blowout.

MORE FROM POPSUGAR BEAUTY:

• Rainbow Hair, Don’t Care! 19 Ultrabright Celebrity Dye Jobs

• Beautiful Buns You Need to Rock This Summer

• Introducing the Latest Braid Craze: The Center Plait

Happy 41st Birthday, Neil Patrick Harris!


June 15, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

It’s a big day for Neil Patrick Harris! The How I Met Your Mother alum is not only turning 41 today, but is also celebrating Father’s Day, alongside longtime partner, David Burtka. Doting dad to son, Gideon, and daughter, Harper, the star has come a long way since his Doogie Howser days, swapping his doctor’s coat for a well-tailored suit and tie a la Barney Stinson; and most recently, a pair of 4-inch heels and fishnets for his performance in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, for which he recently won a Tony award. Harris has worn many hats throughout the years, but fatherhood may just be his favorite role. “The older they get, the more I love being a dad,” the actor tells People. So sweet!

Can’t get enough of Neil Patrick Harris? Click through our gallery to see him, and more of Hollywood’s hottest dads!

How The Fault in Our Stars Costume Designer Discovered Shailene Woodley’s Memorable Blue Dress

Due to the tears spouting from our eye sockets, it was easy for us to glaze over the fashions featured in The Fault in Our Stars. But one article of clothing was impossible to miss. For TFIOS die-hards, surely one of the most poignant scenes in the book is when Hazel, a 16-year-old with thyroid cancer and “an impressive and long-settled satellite colony” in her lungs attends an over-the-top romantic dinner with Gus, a fellow cancer patient and amputee, at a lavish restaurant in Amsterdam that overlooks the city’s canals. For the fancy occasion, Hazel dons a fittingly fancy dress.

So when John Green’s much-adored YA novel was adapted into a film, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as Hazel and Gus, one of the questions on the forefront of our mind was, of course, What would that dress look like? Would the movie stay faithful to the story and outfit Hazel in a “blue-print, flowery knee-length Forever 21 thing,” or would it defer to a stunning piece of designer garb? We reached out to costume designer Mary Claire Hannan to get the full scoop.

First off, how did you find the dress?

Just before I left for Pittsburgh to shoot the movie, I was running through the Beverly Center in West Hollywood in search of last-minute wardrobe treasures. I ran into Halston Heritage and there she was. The dress was a beautiful shade of blue—somewhere between cornflower and French.

In the book, the dress is described a bit differently. Why the change?

I knew the movie was filming in Amsterdam in October, so a sundress was never going to work. This one had a simple silhouette that felt fresh, young, and demure. It was a perfect cinematic match for what I had been looking for.

What was Shailene’s reaction when she tried it on?

It fit her like a glove. She was delighted. We camera-tested it and off we went.

Besides the dress, what were the other important wardrobe choices for the movie?

The Magritte T-shirt she wore to meet Peter Van Houten [author of the faux book An Imperial Affliction]. It was important to make sure the pipe read very well on camera and yet was not so big it overwhelmed the actress. We looked at many hues of color and size before we chose that one. Gus’s leather jacket was also an important piece—it showed he came from a privileged family and it gave him that classic James Dean–leading male look.

This story resonated with a lot of people, and it topped the box office last weekend. Why did you gravitate toward it?

I loved the script and the story—John Green is an amazing writer. I had also just lost my little brother to a similar cancer to Gus’s, so I could relate. At first I thought it would be too difficult to do, but I found making this movie was actually very therapeutic.

Want more Shailene? Check out the actress’s best red carpet looks in our gallery.

Lacquer Up for a Cause with Nailtini’s Latest Nail Polish Collection

If you love shopping for a cause as much as we do, you’ll want to make room on your vanity for Nailtini’s latest collaboration with beauty and style expert (and former InStyle contributor) Melissa Foss. Acting as July’s guest mixologist for “The Lacquer Cabinet”—the brand’s monthly nail polish delivery service—Foss generously combines her keen eye for the hottest nail trends with her passion for saving animals. To give back to her furry friends, a portions the proceeds will benefit Animal Haven, a nonprofit organization that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the tristate area. So you can stock up on summery polishes and give to a good cause at the same time.

The all-natural collection includes a trio of appropriately named shades (above), all meant to be worn alone, layered, or mixed: Adopt-apertif (creamy seafoam), Hair of the Dog (matte tangerine with gold dust), and Purr-fect Fizz (sheer pearlescent shimmer).

While the set won’t arrive to subscribers till next month, you can pre-order the collection now at tinibeaty.com.

Then, check out the best mani-pedi combos for summer in our gallery!