Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toast the New Year and Your Marriage

While this champagne cocktail was probably created for a New Year’s Eve party, if you’re looking for a colorful signature drink for your wedding, why not serve them during your cocktail hour.

This Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail was created by the Hostess with the Mostess, Jennifer Sbranti. Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Regifting 101

Did I ever tell you the story of the time I went to a shower for my future sister-in-law? When she was going through the gifts there was a card on a box to her and when she unpacked the crystal vase at home that night she found a smaller card inside the box. The smaller card wished Marc and Danielle all the best. My sister-in-law’s name is Adrienne and she married Daniel. It was an obvious re-gift.

Everyone has either re-gifted a present they’ve received or received an unwanted item as a re-gift at one time or another. It’s not the end of the world, especially if the present is actually something the receiver would like. I read an article this morning on “the art of re-gifting” and thought it would make a good topic for a post.

The article listed some rules of re-gifting:

  • Do not re-gift items that have been opened or used (a family heirloom, presented as such, is the exception)

  • Do not re-gift one-of-a-kind items, which will nail you, if the item is spotted

  • Examine any gift carefully for old cards (one may have been tucked into the box)

  • Do not re-gift to someone in the same social group in which you received the gift

  • Keep meticulous records of where and when you received the gift as well as who gave it to you

I don’t want to come across condoning the practice of re-gifting, but if you do feel that you have an item you don’t need or want and can’t return or exchange it, store it or sell it and re-gifting is your last option, follow the above rules and the one below from

“If you don’t plan to announce the gift as a re-gift, ask yourself if you can keep the secret. Never feel guilty about re-gifting once you’ve done it.”

Monday, December 29, 2008

Inspiration Board Basics

Are you still at a loss as to how to pick your wedding colors and theme? Many brides are following the lead of bridal bloggers and creating inspiration boards to help them pick the perfect palette.

An inspiration board is just a collage of pretty pictures that inspire you. You can make one on your computer by using Photoshop or you can cut and paste images onto a piece of oak tag. By creating an inspiration board you’ll be able to narrow down the colors for your wedding and your wedding’s theme. It will help you choose your flowers, decorate your wedding cake and pick your wedding details.

Not sure where to start? Check out some of these blogs that have beautiful inspiration boards that will give you ideas for your own inspiration board or maybe you’ll fall in love with one of them and use it as the board for your own wedding.

Elizabeth Anne Design
Ritzy Bee
Snippet & Ink
Style Me Pretty

Remember to bring your board - or a smaller version - with you when you meet with vendors to show them how you envision your wedding.

The winter wedding inspiration board above appeared on Ritzy Bee by guest blogger, Kathryn of Snippet & Ink.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Must-Have Wedding Planning Books for $5 Each

Wedding books and magazines are very important. I should know, I just did a tally and I have over 70 wedding planning books and over 100 wedding magazines. I’ve been collecting them since I got engaged in 2001.

But unfortunately a NYC apartment can’t hold both our furniture and my collection of wedding books and mags. So I decided that it’s time to find a better home for my collection.

I will be selling each of my wedding books for $5 each, plus the cost of shipping. If you live in the tri-state area you can pick it up or I can drop it off (in Bklyn/Manhattan) so you can save the shipping fee.

Because I can’t put the complete list here – it’s way too long – I’m posting the list on Craigslist. Here’s the link to the posting.

Some of the books available include:
  • The Best of Martha Stewart Living Weddings – 2 copies, originally priced at $50 each!

  • Buff Brides

  • The Anti-Bride Guide

  • Jessica Simpson I Do

  • Most of the Everything Wedding Book Series

  • Books for moms, grooms, dads and bridesmaids, including shower and bachelorette party planning
As soon as I complete the wedding magazine tally I'll post that list.  I know that I have multiple issues of every Martha Stewart Weddings from the first issue as well as several special issues.  I also have multiple copies of many of the InStyle Weddings issues.

Happy Shopping!  And if you have any questions about the books you can always email me at

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Xmas and Mazal Tov

I love Christmas. The songs. The movies. The cheery disposition everyone shares from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

As I'm sure you are, I spent the day with our families so I didn't have time to write a blog post, but I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Xmas. And to those of you who just got engaged: Mazal tov!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Win: Free Platinum Wedding Bands

How would you like to win free platinum wedding bands?

Platinum Guild International has created a Platinum Engagement Survival Kit with beauty bible, Allure magazine. The kit is filled with aspirin, stain remover, and hair spray, as well as Sparkle-Sparkle jewelry cleaner to help keep you engagement ring looking great – remember my tip from earlier this month.

All you have to do is retell the story of how he proposed with a platinum engagement ring and you could receive one of the 200 Platinum Engagement Survival Kits. Four of these winners will also receive a set of platinum wedding bands from Novell Design Studio!

Click here to enter! The contest ends on January 7, 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Save the Date and Save Some Money

A friend of mine forwarded me a save-the-date card she just received, and the couple saved a lot of money by emailing an adorable card from iomoi. I know I’ve written about iomoi before but, I just love their designs and for brides and grooms looking to cut costs, their e-stationery program is really great!

For a one-time annual fee of $15 you can send e-stationery to an unlimited amount of recipients. There are dozens of stationery designs to choose from and you can select the “handwriting” as well as the ink color too.

While I don’t recommend e-viting your friends and family to your wedding, you can use iomoi’s e-stationery program for: your rehearsal dinner invites, bridesmaid luncheon invites, post-wedding brunch, bachelorette party invites, just to say hi, moving announcements, birthday greetings and any other reason you can think of. (You cannot send e-thank you notes. Those must be handwritten.)

Find out more about iomoi e-stationery here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The #1 Travel Tip

For the past 10 years I’ve heard of more and more bridal parties planning getaway bachelor and bachelorette parties. About 10 years ago the trips were pretty simple: A long weekend in Las Vegas or Montreal, or even a few days at an all-inclusive spa.

But in the past five years I’ve heard of bachelor/ette parties in far off destinations, such as: Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Argentina. While at iVillage I hired a freelancer to write a story on some unique destinations for bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Last night someone told me a story of a college friend who planned her bachelorette party in Vegas, but because of weather conditions in her hometown the bride couldn’t get a flight out and her bridesmaids ending up celebrating her upcoming wedding without her. The bride lost money on her flight, the cost of her room (which the bridesmaids had to pick up) and tickets to a show.

I spoke with travel expert Camille Pepe Sperrazza about wedding-related travel and her #1 piece of advice: Purchase travel insurance.

“Always purchase travel insurance for any trip, including your honeymoon, a getaway bachelor/ette party, and even for a destination wedding. Anything can happen and it’s important to protect yourself in the event something unexpected occurs. The minimal cost involved can protect you if your luggage is lost, your flight is delayed or if your trip is interrupted or cancelled.
“Talk to your travel agent about the different travel insurance policies. Some cover different medical expenses in the chance you get sick before or during your trip. Rates will depend on the cost of your trip and your age.”

I also know a groom whose bachelor party in Costa Rica was shortened because of a hurricane. The poor guy and his groomsmen had to leave their rented villa early – losing the rest of the money they spent on it AND each of them had to pay an additional $1000 to get on an earlier flight back to the states. So I strongly advise listening to Camille’s expert advice and purchase travel insurance.

We used to plan trips ourselves but to be honest neither Dave nor I have the time to do the research and find the best deals. I definitely recommend working with a travel agent. If you’re looking for a great deal on your destination wedding, honeymoon or any other trip – wedding-related or not – you should check out Camille’s Web site, She can do all the research for you, and she’ll know about air and hotel deals. Camille’s site also has some great travel tools, including a currency calculator, weather info and my personal favorites – a WiFi Hotspot finder and Internet Café locator.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Re-registering Basics has reported that Fergie and Josh Duhamel have finally set a wedding date and were spotted at Crate & Barrel checking out kitchen items.

I’m assuming that the happy couple is registering for gifts, or if they registered closer to the time of their engagement (about a year ago) then they are re-registering for gifts since their wedding date has just been announced as January 10th – right around the corner.

I always recommend a couple re-register about a month before the bride’s shower and about the same time your wedding invitations are mailed. Many stores have seasonal items that may go out of stock after a few months and other items that are discontinued. You never want to be in a situation where there are no more items available on your registry and guests end up buying items you don’t need or want and worst – from stores you can’t make returns or exchanges at.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Go Ahead and Brag!

I saw this item, a Digital Bragbook on – one of my favorite gift sites – and even though it was listed under Gifts for Him, I thought this would be great for a bride to have. You can fill it with all your wedding photos and show it to friends and relatives when they ask to see pictures of the wedding. And then, when baby comes along, you can swap in pictures of the new addition to your family!

Remember that even though you’re hiring a photographer to capture your wedding day, your guests will also be snapping pics of your ceremony and reception and then email you links to see the photos they’ve taken on one of the many digital photo sites – Kodak, Snapfish, Picassa, Nikon - so you'll have plenty of wedding pictures for your wedding scrapbook.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline

I got an email from a friend today. She’s planning on getting married at the end of March and is still searching for the perfect wedding dress. She just got engaged last month so she never had a lot of time to look.

A brides should purchase her dress about six months before the big day, especially if they want something with a lot of beadwork or embroidery. The more embellished the dress the more time it will take to make it. Some bridal salons may even recommend buying a dress nine months in advance if the design of the dress is really involved or if it's made overseas.

Remember that your dress will be ready for alterations to begin about three months before the wedding and you may need to go for two, three or more fittings. My dress – a sample sale purchase in size 8 – had to be brought in to fit my size two frame and I think I went for six or eight fittings.

It’s important to follow these timelines – buy your dress six to nine months before the big day – so you don’t incur any rush fees. Rush fees could be anywhere from $100 to several hundred dollars depending on the timeframe, where the dress is shipping from and how much detail is involved with the dress’ design.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flush Once...

I saw this item on Jezebel earlier today and just had to write about this incredibly creative way to propose to your girlfriend/boyfriend.

The What on Earth online catalog, which sells a variety of, shall we say interesting gifts, has added this bathroom item to its holiday collection. The You-Record Talking TP Roll allows the buyer to record, and re-record, a message into this motion-activated toilet paper holder. It fits standard toilet paper dispensers and requires 2 AAA batteries, which are not included.

While the item comes with some “hilarious” suggestions you may want to record, I personally liked the “will you marry me?” line with instructions to "flush once for yes!" Definitely a creative, though maybe not the most romantic proposal idea I’ve ever heard. What do you think?

And just a thought. I usually recommend bringing a camera with you when you're planning on proposing to capture the moment on film. I don't think I'm recommending that tip if this is how you're planning on proposing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Talking in Code

There are all sorts of acronyms and phrases that have been created over the last few years:
  • MOB for Mother of the Bride
  • Bridezilla and Momzilla for detailed oriented and sometimes mean brides and MOBs
  • OOT for out of town bags – though I still call them guest room gifts
This weekend I was talking to a friend and she told me that her cousin is having doubts about her upcoming wedding/marriage and doesn’t want to be a flee-ance. That’s right. A flee-ance. I don’t know if that’s the spelling but I had never heard this one before.

A flee-ance is a woman (or a man) who either cancels the wedding or leaves his/her fiancé at the altar.

After learning of this new word, I had to know if you’ve come across any other acronyms or new wedding-related terminology. I’d love to hear them!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Freezing the Top Tier of Your Wedding Cake

I went to a book event last night featuring Confetti Cakes’ owner Elisa Strauss and she spoke about her new book Confetti Cakes for Kids. During her talk the audience asked several questions on cakes and baking and there was one specific wedding cake question that I thought would interest you.

When asked about freezing cakes, Elisa said that the best thing to do is to wrap the cake in plastic wrap twice before putting it away. If you’re planning on freezing and saving the top tier of your wedding cake for your first anniversary, make sure that it has two coats of plastic wrap, is stored in a sealed tupperware container and placed in the freezer.

Also, make sure your baker or location manager who packages the top tier of your cake clearly labels the packaging. Our top tier was only labeled on one side of the box so we didn’t realize it was a cake and thought it was a wedding gift. When we went to go through the gifts the next day we opened the box and found the top tier half smashed. So we threw it in the freezer and ate it on our one-month anniversary.

For our first anniversary we baked a cake together and sliced it to the tune of the cake cutting song at our wedding.  Another idea is to ask your baker to make a top tier for your first anniversary.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Winter weddings can be really beautiful, but in certain locations they’re not always practical. There’s always the chance of a snow storm or blizzard that could come in and delay your plans or force you to go with your Plan B. Remember that you should always have a Plan B if your wedding will be in the middle of the winter, is being held outdoors or during Hurricane Season and you live in an area that tends to get hit by hurricanes every summer/fall.

If you are planning a winter wedding, you may want to let the elements of the season inspire your wedding details. Your palette can be all white, your details can focus on snowflakes or ice crystals and you can serve warm, comfort foods like a thick soup or hot cocoa with marshmallows for dessert.

I just fell in love with this snowflake-themed cake from Papillon Cakes in Toronto. I thought it was just perfect for a winter wonderland wedding and can help inspire so many other winter wedding details. And if you're looking for a baker in the Toronto or Regina, Saskatchewan areas definitely make an appointment at Papillon Cakes. Their designs are unbelievable. If you're not getting hitched in Canada, you should check out their site for cake inspiration.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ring Cleaning Solutions

I went to lunch with two friends the other day and one of them recently got engaged. She asked to see both of our rings – she was still picking a setting for the stone her fiancé bought. Elissa and I gladly showed her our engagement rings but both made a comment about how our rings were not exactly sparkling because we haven’t cleaned them in awhile.

When you first get your ring it is shiny and new and everyone will be asking to see it. You’ll want to make sure you pick up a ring cleaning solution so that you clean your ring every few weeks. Make sure that your ring is clean for your engagement party and bridal shower and of course for your wedding. You may want to take your engagement ring back to the jeweler a few days or a week before your wedding to have it professionally cleaned. Once it’s been cleaned by the jeweler leave it in its ring box until the wedding day so it’s shines like the top of the Chrysler Building. (Sorry, I saw Annie on TV last weekend.)

Here are some instructions I found online on how to clean a diamond ring, but I recommend asking your jeweler to recommend a cleaning solution.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Custom Aisle Runners on Sale!

I just got an email about a huge sale at The Original Runner Company. If you’re not familiar with the company, they make the best non-slip aisle runners. The designs include solid colors, printed floral patterns and of course custom designs.

All aisle runner orders placed before December 15th will receive a 15% discount – even on custom orders! – just remember to use the promotional code: annsale08.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wedding Budget Workshop for Tri-State Area Brides

This coming Saturday, December 13th, you are invited to attend A Bridal “How To” Series on How to Get the Most for Your Money. The event is being hosted by the New York Wedding Workshop and will be held at The Yale Club of New York City (50 Vanderbilt Avenue at 44th Street) from 10am to 12:30pm.

Whether your wedding budget is $25,000 or $500,000, you still want to get the best value for your dollar. Wedding planner Lindsay Landman will show you the tricks of the trade starting with making a realistic budget, deciphering vendor pricing and negotiating a favorable contract.

The workshop is $50 and includes a light meal and a fabulous goody bag. But, you can get a free ticket by simply writing a comment below. There’s no contest. The first 4 brides – not vendors/businesses – who write a comment (just tell me when and where your wedding will be) below will get a complimentary ticket to the event!

To learn more about this event, and other upcoming workshops, visit the company’s Web site:

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wedding Details from A to Z: Thanks Ritzy Bee!

As I was searching bridal blogs for my weekly Wed-site Roundup post on’s blog Wedded Bits, I came across the most fabulous series on Ritzy Bee. Back in November the blog began featuring their favorite wedding details from a to z. Gathering images from vendors as well as wedding magazines and Web sites, brides-to-be were treated to a twice daily dose of amazing and creative wedding inspiration.

Here’s the link to the first post in the series, but if you click through the last month you’ll find the others. Remember to print out your favorite images and store them in your Wedding Organizer!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sample Sale 411

Unfortunately, I don’t always learn about sample sales outside NYC. I received an email from a bride the other day asking if I knew of any sample sales in her home state, but unless I get an email from a salon telling me about a sale, there really isn’t any way for me to know about a sale.

But here’s what you can do:

Call your local bridal salon and ask them if they are having an upcoming sample sale. They may not advertise them, but they’ll know if something is coming up. The next best thing is a trunk show. Wedding gown designers as well as bridal salons will list their trunk show schedules on their Web sites, and stores will usually offer a 10% (or more) discount on gowns bought at a trunk show.

If you're looking for a deal online, be careful. Always double check the return policy in case it doesn’t fit. and if a deal seems to good to be true, it might be.

I know I’ve written about sample sale shopping tips multiple times on this blog, but I just posted some on’s blog, Wedded Bits.

PS - If you hear of a sample sale in your area, please email me the information and I'd be happy to post it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

April's Fool Day in December

Do you remember the post I wrote last year about the mean joke Dave pulled on me? He knew I wanted to get engaged so he told me he got me a diamond for Xmas and instead of a diamond ring, he gave me a “diamond” Schick razor?

I came across this "diamond" necklace and thought of that story and wanted to share it with all of you. I think last time I mentioned the diamond ring mug at, which I don’t think is available anymore.

Anyway, I thought this was a fun item. You could tell your fiancé that you bought yourself a diamond necklace and didn’t care about the cost when you bought it. After all, it’s only $20.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Top 100 Party Planning Web Sites

I received an email this morning with a list of 100 Web sites to help you plan a party. And while the story is not focused on weddings, there are still a lot of great sites that you may want to check out for your engagement party, shower, rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch and any other party you might be planning.

The list includes sites on music, party games and favors, invites, etiquette and any and everything else you’ll need for your party to-do list.

Click here for the complete list of 100 Web Tools to Plan the Party of the Year from Your Cube.

Monday, December 01, 2008

NYC Wedding-Related Sample Sales

There are two sample sales this week that NYC brides-to-be should add to their to-do list:

First, for your wedding day, wedding night and every other day, stop by the Hanky Panky sale at 260 Fifth Avenue between 28th and 29th Streets. The sale includes their popular lacy thongs, low-riders, boy shorts and loungewear at unbelievable prices. Sale starts tomorrow December 2nd and runs through the end of the week (December 5th). Hours vary: Tues. & Wed., 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thurs., 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

If you’re honeymooning in a tropical location – or any spot with a pool or beach – you must stop by the J Rosen Showroom for their semi-annual designer swim sale. The designer lines deeply discounted include: Vix, Lisa Curran and Havaianas flip-flops. Bathing suits, cover-ups, sandals and jewelry are marked down upto 50% off retail prices. J Rosen is located at 250 W. 39th Street between Seventh & Eighth Aves, ste. 510. This one’s cash only.


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