A*cute Review: The Five-Year Engagement

by Jackie

The Five-Year Engagement Hits Theaters April 27.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that there will never be another Wedding Crashers. Ever. Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell managed to forge a new form of rom com — one that is low on the rom and heavy on the com. Since then, what-else-could-possibly-go-wrong wedding movies like The Hangover and Bridesmaids have come close to achieving Crashers status by sticking to the formula: buddy comedy in which impossible hijinks ensue when another one bites the dust and decides to get hitched. The Five-Year Engagement starring Emily Blunt (Violet) and co-screenwriter Jason Segel (Tom) wins because it adds one more element to the mix — real-life drama.

The movie starts with a fairy-tale ending, and crams the couple’s five-year journey to their on-again-off-again wedding into two hours. Tom and Violet relocate from sunny San Francisco to frigid Michigan so that Violet can pursue her career in academia. Tom, poised to become head chef of a hot new seafood bar in the Bay Area, delays his dream and works in a sandwich shop while Violet gets closer to achieving her dream, and her boss.

Viewers will appreciate the film’s departure from the typical rom com formula. Tom and Violet become more than just characters with sarcastic one-liners, they slowly morph into a reflection of a real-life couple that struggles with the complexities of two individuals trying desperately to live one life. Things quickly go from “Nothing’s perfect” to “Nothing’s right” and they are left to decide whether the storybook ending they anticipated is worth writing in the first place.

But, “Elmo thinks there is no right cookie. You just have to pick one and take a bite.”  (It’s one of those, you-had-to-be-there moments. And, trust me, you have to be there.)


NOVA Fashion Week: Elizabeth St. John Couture

by Jackie

Photography by Jenn for Almenia J. Photography

Sherria and I fell in love with Elizabeth St. John’s designs during DC Fashion Week and were too excited when she invited us to attend her runway show during NOVA Fashion Week.  After her show, we met up with the designer and asked her what inspires her eco-friendly designs.  She answered, “One word — Glamour.”  Her bridal collections are proof that going green can indeed be glamorous. 

A*cute meets Elizabeth St. John

Here are some of our favorite looks:

These bridesmaid dresses are chic and stylish -- a far cry from the tacky garb some unfortunate bridal party members are forced to wear.

Bridesmaids appreciate dresses that can be worn again. This lovely golden number doubles as a cocktail dress.

I love the one-shoulder cascading rosette detail she uses on many of her wedding dress designs:

Bridesmaid Bliss

by Jackie

After months of prepping, the big day finally arrived for my friends Kita and Phil. I couldn’t have been more excited to be a bridesmaid last Saturday, firstly because I adore this couple and secondly, because I couldn’t wait to wear  my bridesmaid dress.

I've seen some really bad bridesmaid dresses (worse than the one pictured here), so when Kita and the bridesmaids decided on twobirds, I was happy and relieved. (Photo: 27 Dresses)

My roomie/BFF Jenn modeling the twobirds dress. She also took some awesome photos of the wedding. See them here: http://bit.ly/KitaWed (Photo: AlmeniaJphotography.com)

Maba and I helping the bride get dressed. (Photo: AlmeniaJPhotography.com)

Not only do I plan on wearing the dress again, but these shoes are also a great addition to my collection. (Diba "Selma" platforms in nude) (Photo: AlmeniaJphotography.com)

The bride and groom gave each bridesmaid this pretty brooch to accessorize our dresses. (Photo: AlmeniaJPhotography.com)

Congrats Phil and Kita! Thanks for such a beautiful time! (Photo: AlmeniaJPhotography.com)

#DCFW: Bridal Collections

by Jackie

DC Fashion Week kicked off with a Bridal Collections show at the Textile Museum in Dupont.  Beautiful floral arrangements adorned the courtyard,  classic wedding music plays in the background, and grooms are set in place as bridal models walked down the runway as they would an aisle.  Armed with our notebooks and a glasses of sparkling wine, Sherria and I took in the showcase while Jennifer Tyre for Almenia J. Photography captured the designers’ work.

(Models’ hair and makeup by Aveda)

Alvin Thompson – New Couture

These classic wedding dress designs are fit for the traditional bride. A sassy bridesmaid's dress departed from the line's theme and brought a colorful and flirty twist to the collection.

Leighel Desiree

The African-inspired wedding dresses are ideal for the bride that wants to make a bold statement. Don't expect the typical "wedding white" from this collection.

Esther Huffman

This collection is perfect for the bride who pictures her wedding as a medieval fairytale and her groom as her prince. Rich fabrics and dramatic styling make this line perfect for a royal occasion.

Elizabeth St. John

The Elizabeth St. John Bridal Collection was my favorite of the evening. Classic and sophisticated designs are perfect for the modern bride who does not want to stray too far from tradition. If I were a bride-to-be, there is no doubt that I would pay this design house a visit.

More Event Photos!

A*cute's Sherria and Jackie with CEO and Founder of DC Fashion Week Ean Williams.

The "grooms"

The Textile Museum is a beautiful setting for a wedding ceremony.

Bridal Shower Planning: 101

The bridal party and the bride got a sexy workout at Chic Physique's pole dancing studio in Bethesda.

by Jackie

I am officially at the age when my friends are off getting married and starting families.  It’s an exciting time and I enjoy being able to be a part of the celebrations.  As bridesmaids for an upcoming wedding, my BFF/Roomie Jenn and I were charged with helping to plan a bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Along with the other bridesmaids and the maid of honor, we pulled off a fun-filled day and night that none of us will ever forget.

Bridal Shower Games Continue reading

Wedding Weekend

by Sherria

Over the past week, A*cute has provided you with the latest tips on what to wear as a guest to a wedding and how to shop on a budget for wedding gifts. In keeping with the wedding theme, I have decided to pay respect to the blushing brides-to-be. It can be a challenge trying to buy and fit into a wedding dress, let alone purchase a dress that will fit into the budget of your wedding. For a long time, I have sung along to the David’s Bridal theme song “You’ll love David’s Bridal” but I have never been in the store- probably because I will not be a bride any time soon. But I do love helping family members and friends plan for their big day. I went online to Davidsbridal.com and found some very nice dresses. The online David’s Bridal store has a variety of dresses; vintage, classy, elaborate, designer look-a-likes. So, if you are planning a wedding and have not been fitted for your wedding dress, check out some selections from David’s Bridal. You might be pleasantly surprised with their selection.

 Notable mention: Two celebrity weddings took place this weekend; Alicia Keys married producer Swizz Beatz on the French Mediterranean Coast and Chelsea Clinton married her long-time beau in New York City.

 Alicia Keys


Left: Alicia Keys’ wears a simple Vera Wang gown. Right: Modern one-shoulder pick-up gown (David’s Bridal, $624)

 For more pictures of Alicia Keys’ wedding and Grecian ivory silk Vera Wang gown, click here.

Chelsea Clinton tied the knot on Saturday in New York City.

Chelsea Clinton looks elegant in a Vera Wang gown.


The draping layers in this dress resembles the bottom portion of Hilary Clinton's Vera Wang gown. Oleg Cassini Strapless satin ball gown with beaded embroidery (David's Bridal, $950)

My favorites: 


Left: One shoulder organza gown with soft floral detail (David's Bridal, $550). Right: Satin Beaded Neckline and Beaded Tulle Skirt Style (David's Bridal, $449)

Great Bridal Expo This Expo tour offers everything you need to start planning a wedding, honeymoon, or buying a house with your honey. Exhibitors offer services for entertainment, bridal and bridesmaids dresses, financial planning, cake tasting, weddig rings, dance lessons, and more. Watch a preview video of everything you’ll see at the Great Bridal Expo. Click here for tour schedule.

Washington Bridal Showcase– produces bridal shows in D.C., Virginia, and Baltimore. You can meet the areas most trusted experts, view wedding fashion shows, receive cake and wine tastings, and much more. Click here for location calender.

Need an engagement or wedding photographer? Contact AlmeniaJ Photography at jtyre@almeniajphotography.com

Photography by: AlmeniaJ - Models: Jackeline Stewart and Travis Burgin

What to wear: Wedding Edition

by Jackie

Jackie's big day last November kicked off my wedding marathon.

My refrigerator is adorned with the happy, shiny faces of couples in love announcing their upcoming nuptuals with save-the-dates and ornately decorated invitations to much-anticipated weddings.  After I get over the initial excitement, the age old “What to wear?” question repeatedly plagues me as I mentally dig through my closet.  Last week, Sherria outlined the perfect gifts to buy for a just-wed couple.  Here are some A*cute suggestions on what you should wear to the blissful occasion:

Your best friend’s wedding

Stand out without out shining the bride in a colorful and flirty dress. Make sure to pair with nude sandals or pumps to elongate your legs and not compete with the dress. Top it off with bright accessories and you’ll be sure to catch the eye of the cute best man!

Old classmate’s wedding

Your old high school buddy is tying the knot! You’re bound to run into people that knew you back when you sported braces and didn’t quite know what to do with that hair of yours. Take it up a notch with a sexy, yet demure assymmetrical dress. By baring a shoulder, you can be sexy and classy. Again, keep your shoes neutral to elongate your legs and let the dress speak for itself.

The Usher

Sherria and I served as ushers for Jackie’s wedding last year. We kept it simple, yet elegant with black dresses and matching pashminas that coordinated with her vibrant wedding colors: hot pink, purple, and bright orange.

The bridesmaid

My roomie/BFF Jenn and I are honored to be bridesmaids in a friend’s wedding. We were so happy the bride and bridesmaids decided on Twobirds bridesmaids dresses. The dress is virtually one-size-fits-all and has a convertible top that can be worn in about 22 different styles to suit each girl’s unique body type and fit the mood of the wedding and reception.