Royal Sleepover
Royal SleepoverWedding Dresses & Style

Thank You, 57Grand!

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Photo: Robin Roemer

While the world may have been buzzing last week in anticipation of Kate Middleton's wedding gown, I had my own pre-Royal Wedding dress dilemma: what to wear to our fabulous Royal Wedding Sleepover? Always a fan of 57Grand's elegant, flowy bridesmaid and bridal dresses, I reached out to co-owner Saukok Chu Tiampo for help. Their bridesmaid line has tons of great, reception-ready options, but I fell in love with their cowl neck charmeuse "Waverly" for its relaxed, glamorous pleating and amazingly soft fabric (pictured on me in Bordeaux, above). After topping it off with Malis-Henderson's gold fascinator, and I felt instantly cocktail hour chic. Visit 57Grand.com for more information, and check out our Royal Wedding Sleepover for more shots from our regal soiree.—Leigh Bond

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Our Royal Wedding Sleepover

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Photo: Robin Roemer

...is under way! Cocktails, hats (did you see our fabulous hats?), a suite at New York's Soho House, OPI manicures, delicious little nibbles, and heaps of Royal Wedding anticipation—basically, our sleepover is everything we dreamed of and more! Having your own bridal bash? Let us hear about it! And, of course, stay tuned to Aisle Say for up-to-the-minute Royal Wedding details starting at, oh, 5am. Sweet dreams until then! —Phillip B. Crook

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The Brides.com Royal Sleepover Kit

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It's not too late! We're in full-on preparation mode for our Brides.com Royal Sleepover here in New York, but if you're itching for a way to celebrate too, the good news is you still have three days to organize your own party—email blast your pals, pop by the liquor store, whip up a few baked treats, throw on your jammies, and secure your spot on the couch. For starters, download our 17-page sleepover kit for DIY guidelines on throwing a thoroughly British affair, from the cocktails to the favors to a doctor's note excusing you from work on Friday. IMPORTANT: If you do host a watching party, take pictures! We want to know all about your sleepover, so email us the details afterward at contact@brides.com.

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Royal Wedding Cookies

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Photo: Courtesy of One Tough Cookie

If you're planning on throwing your own Royal Sleepover, you'll need to serve your guests some food. And if you're anything like me, despite how tasty our suggested menu sounds, you'll be ordering take-out instead whipping up mini croques monsieur. But you can easily step-up the dessert portion of the evening by buying hand-decorated treats by One Tough Cookie. Baker Gail Dosik has created a Royal Wedding cookie pack of ten Kate and Will-themed goodies including a crest, 'sapphire' rings, bouquets and, of course, the Union Jack. Royal Wedding cookie pack, $50 + shipping, order online at One Tough Cookie. —Allison Bean

See more great party ideas on our Royal Sleepover Index page

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
What to Wear

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Photos: Courtesy of Watters (dress), Kimberly Sentner (hats)

Now that we've booked a venue, found an event designer, and created a menu and cocktail list for our royal wedding sleepover, we need to be sure that we look the part for this momentous occasion. Sure, we could just wear our PJs and call it a day, but this is a wedding after all. So we called on Elen Henderson of Malis-Henderson to supply us with a selection of whimsical hats fit for a British wedding. And our editor-in-chief, Julie, will be sporting a perennial favorite from Watters—bridesmaid dress style 7594 in a lovely grey hue (shown above)—at our pre-sleepover cocktail party.

P.S. Are you throwing your own Royal Wedding Sleepover? If so, we're looking for correspondents to share how they're planning to party around the country. If you're up for a media interview, then email us at contact@brides.com with your contact information, and we'll get in touch!

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
The Playlist


While Will and Kate are rumored to be hiring close friend and club entrepreneur Guy Pell to spin dance floor favorites from the 1980s at their reception (who knew the royal couple were ABBA and Culture Club fans?), we've compiled our own Royal Wedding Sleepover playlist to help keep you and your friends geared up (read: awake) for the early morning nuptials. Our playlist combines classic British rock with current U.K. dance faves, mixes in Will and Kate's beloved '80s tunes, and winds down with love ballads by the Cure, Spandau Ballet, and English songstress Adele. Visit our Royal Wedding Sleepover page to download the playlist and other party essentials for your own celebration. —Leigh Bond

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
The Royal Manicure by OPI

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We realized we were going to need to find a way to pass the time at our Royal Sleepover, after feasting on the food buffet and before TV coverage starts around 4 a.m. Given our staff's beauty junkie tendencies, the answer was clear: manicures. So we asked OPI's Executive VP & Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann to create a few Royal Wedding-inspired nail designs for us—and send a manicurist over to the Soho House on the 28th to recreate the looks.

Above are the two manicures Suzi came up with—one glam design featuring Kate Middleton's signature sapphire blue; the other, a more subtle style (that you may want to consider for your wedding). To recreate these designs at your sleepover, just follow Suzi's instructions:

Look #1: Rosy Future and Alpine Snow
Apply one coat of OPI Base Coat. Let nail dry.
Apply two thin coats of Rosy Future. Wait for nails to dry between each layer.
Apply two thin coats of Alpine Snow at the base of each nail to create a moon shape from right to left.
Wait for nails to dry, then apply one coat of OPI Top Coat.

Look #2: Glitzerland with Blue Shatter
Apply one coat of OPI Base Coat. Let nails dry.
Apply two thin coats of Glitzerland. Wait for nails to dry between each layer.
Quickly apply one thin coat of Blue Shatter over the entire nail. Use a little pressure for a more shattered look.
Wait for nails to dry, then apply one coat of OPI Top Coat.

Click here to find OPI polishes at a salon near you, and visit our Royal Sleepover page to read more about how to throw your own sleepover.

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
Favors

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If you're planning on throwing your own Royal Sleepover on April 28th, we suggest going all out with this adorable party favor idea dreamed up by our brides.com Royal Sleepover event designer, Sandra Downie. For each of your guests, create a "Royal Beauty Box" filled with Royal Wedding-inspired beauty products, complete with a personalized favor tag. Download the printable favor tags by clicking here, then print them onto white cardstock and cut them out. After filling in your guests' names, use double-sided tape to attach them to the top of a small gift box and tie it with red or blue grosgrain ribbon.

As for what to put inside, we suggest filling the boxes with:
*Rimmel London Glam'Eyes Day 2 Night mascara, $7.99; Glam'Eyes Quad Eyeshadow Palette, $5.75; and Moisture Renew Lipgloss SPF15, $6.50, all available at drugstores
*Bath & Body Works Royal PocketBac Hand Gel Sanitizers, $1.50, and Liplicious Lip Gloss, $8, both available at bathandbodyworks.com
*YBF, Your Best Friend Royal and Regal Crown Compact, $24.95, available at hsn.com

And if you're going to try and get a few hours of shuteye, throw in a sleep mask. (Or, alternatively, include lots of caffeinated candy.) Download our entire step-by-step guide to throwing your own Royal Sleepover, which includes the favor tags and beauty product recommendations, and be sure to visit our Royal Sleepover page for more information.

P.S. Are you throwing your own Royal Wedding Sleepover? If so, we're looking for correspondents to share how they're planning to party around the country. If you're up for a media interview, then email us at contact@brides.com with your contact information, and we'll get in touch!

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
Food and Cocktails



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What fun would an adult sleepover party be without delicious snacks and lots of booze? And for a Royal Sleepover, the nibbles and cocktails clearly have to be British-themed. So we pulled together a few appropriate menu suggestions courtesy of epicurious.com and chef Darren McGrady, author of Eating Royally (Thomas Nelson, 2007) and former private chef to Princess Diana. (You can download food tent cards, designed by Sandra Downie Event Designs, for your buffet by clicking here.)

CROQUES MONSIEUR

SAUSAGE ROLLS

ENGLISH PANCAKES

CHOCOLATE BISCUIT CAKE

EGGS DRUMKILBO


We also asked mixologist Josef Grznar of the Soho House New York to create a couple of Royal Sleepover signature cocktails. Cheers!



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ENGLISH ROSE COCKTAIL
Ingredients
24 oz. white grape juice
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. pear syrup
4 oz. rose water
1 1/2 cups vodka
Rose petals (for garnish)

LONDON GIN PUNCH
Ingredients
6 navel oranges, cut into quarter wheels
6 lemons, cut into quarter wheels
3 limes, cut into wheels
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pineapple, cut into one-inch cubes
1 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cup simple syrup
1 cup Massenez crème de framboise
3 cups water
750 ml. Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut
Ice block

Download our entire step-by-step guide to throwing your own Royal Sleepover, which includes the recipes above, and be sure to visit our Royal Sleepover page for more information.

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
the Décor

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After booking our venue for the Royal Sleepover, our next step was to find an event designer and start brainstorming décor ideas. But before moving forward, we first had to decide how we wanted our event to feel. Since this was going to be a sleepover (and a potentially rowdy one at that), we thought it was best to avoid anything that felt too elegant or upscale. Clearly our sleepover needed to be a lighthearted, somewhat kitschy affair with lots of playful nods to all things British.

We decided to reach out to Sandra Downie Event Designs, a boutique wedding and party design firm based in Connecticut. We'd seen the whimsical stylized dessert tables and adorable party concepts Sandra had put together for clients, and we thought her creativity and ability to walk the line between cute and stylish seemed exactly right. Sandra (pictured above) was totally game to be our official Royal Sleepover event designer, and quickly got to work establishing a more specific design concept: A color scheme of navy blue and antique gold, with pops of bright red + a custom-designed tablescape featuring British-themed food arranged on a variety of platters + simple arrangements of red tulips + red, blue, and Union Jack bunting.

Sandra and her team at the Sandra Downie Paperie Studio also designed a complete set of coordinating custom printables, including an invitation, a "Royal Sleepover in Progress" door sign, bunting, cupcake toppers, food display tent cards, drink flags, and favor labels—which you can download for free to use at your own sleepover by clicking here!

Download our entire step-by-step guide to throwing your own Royal Sleepover, and keep visiting Aisle Say for more updates (next up: food and cocktail ideas). Be sure to visit our Royal Sleepover page to read more.

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover: Are you throwing your own?

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We're busy planning our Brides.com Royal Sleepover, and we're curious—are you throwing your own Royal Wedding Sleepover? If so, we're looking for correspondents to share how they're planning to party around the country. Email us at contact@brides.com with your contact information, and we'll get in touch! And stay tuned to Aisle Say for more details on how to throw your own Royal Wedding Sleepover, including décor, menu, favor, and playlist ideas.

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
Take the Day Off

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Kate and Will's wedding day has been declared an official holiday over in England, so Brits get to spend a work-free April 29th watching the Royal Wedding festivities. (Well, most of them, anyway.) But we're not as lucky over here in America. And if you're going to be staying up all night to throw your own Royal Sleepover and catch the Royal Wedding when it airs live in the wee hours of the morning, then you're not going to want to head into work Friday morning.

Here at Brides.com, our editor-in-chief Julie obviously understands her staff's need to take the day off—but we're thinking your boss probably won't be as sympathetic. So Julie's drawn up an "official" excuse note that you can hand to your boss. (Hey, it's worth a try!) Download your Brides.com-approved excuse note here, and stay tuned for more ideas on how to throw your own Royal Sleepover. (And don't forget to visit our Royal Wedding page for more on Kate and Will's upcoming nuptials.)

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Brides.com Royal Sleepover:
The Venue

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We're in the midst of planning our Royal Sleepover party, and we've realized that this process is not unlike planning a wedding. Especially when it comes to the first critical planning step: Finding a venue that's available, within your budget, and that has an aesthetic that suits your theme or style. And, of course, you want the folks who work there to seem just as excited about your event as you are.

So for our Royal Sleepover, we were looking for a venue in New York City that fit our budget, could host a staff of 12 overnight, and was available the night of April 28. And since our "theme" was, obviously, all things British, we ideally wanted a venue that had some kind of connection to London. The Soho House, a private members' club and hotel in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, immediately came to mind. Not only do they have some roomy, incredibly chic penthouse suites (pictured, top) for our all-nighter, they also have several event areas and bars (pictured, bottom) that we thought would be perfect for our pre-viewing editors' cocktail party. Plus, the Soho House's original location is in London's Soho neighborhood—there's our British connection! Luckily, the Soho House was available, and they loved the idea of hosting our Royal Sleepover (after we promised to keep it classy). We couldn't be more excited. And FYI: If you're in the New York City area and want to host your own viewing party at the Soho House, they still have rooms available that night (no membership required). Call 646-253-6122 for reservations.

Our next step: Book an event designer and start brainstorming style ideas. Stay tuned to see what we come up with, and visit our Royal Wedding page for more on Kate and Will's upcoming nuptials.

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Save the Date for the Brides.com Royal Sleepover

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So here it is, everybody. Our official Royal Wedding Sleepover announcement. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, we are planning a through-the-night viewing party for the wedding of the decade of the century. We think it's a great excuse to leave husbands and fiancés behind, throw a slightly absurdist party with your funniest friends, and wear some outrageous hats. We'll be planning our party over the coming weeks and sharing the ideas along the way so you can throw your own event. So stay tuned, and visit our Royal Wedding page for lots more on Kate and Will's impending nuptials. —Julie Raimondi

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Brides Royal Sleepover

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Photo: Amber Harris

While discussing plans for The Royal Wedding, the editors and I realized that to watch the ceremony live as a group, we would have to get together on April 29th at around 4 a.m.

Um, no.

But a sleepover the night before? That we could do.

Perhaps you think a group of professionals—some with husbands and/or children—may be too mature for such an event. But you'd be wrong. We plan to make a night of it, starting with a staff-wide sleepover at a hotel here in New York City. Chances are there won't be much sleeping—more likely lots of gossip, fashion critiquing, and general trash-talk. In other words, it will be a lot like the sleepovers we remember. And chances are someone's bra will end up in the fridge. (Knowing this crowd, it's likely to be mine.)

I've requested hats for us to wear with our pajamas, some cool décor from an event designer, and a customized British-themed menu, along with goofy activities to keep ourselves occupied through the prattle of on-the-scene broadcasters. Yes, it's a school night, but we're not going to work on April 29th and I hereby grant you the day off to watch the Royal Wedding. (Now, I may not have that kind of jurisdiction, so you should probably check with your boss.)

So as we plan our Brides Royal Sleepover, we'll share the ideas we come up with, in case you want to do the same.

We will be, as always, connected via twitter, facebook, and here on brides.com. We'd love for you to join the party or make one of your own, and we'll soon provide details on how.

Happy Wed-Watching!
—Julie Raimondi, editor in chief, brides.com

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