Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.

If you get engaged tonight congratulations and don't forget to call your homeowner's insurance company to add your ring to the policy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Get the Party Started with a "Rockin' Recessional Song"

I recently became acquainted with Steve Hoffman of Good Note, a DJ in the MD, DC and VA area. He has a great blog that gives brides advice and ideas all from a DJ’s perspective.

One of the posts I came across was A Rockin’ Recessional and I thought I’d share it with you. The idea is to choose a rockin’ good song to walk up the aisle to instead of a classical song.

Dave and I walked up the aisle to Everlasting Love but since only the ceremony musicians had arrived in time for the ceremony – and not the reception band – they played the Natalie Cole song and it didn’t sound exactly how I imagined it. I recommend having jazz or reception musicians play an upbeat song for the recessional because while classical musicians will make the song sound good it won't be the upbeat sound you're looking for.

Anyway back to Steve.

Here are three of the songs Steve recommends for a recessional:

Signed Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead
Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen

He writes, and I agree, that the upbeat tempo will signal to your guests that the ceremony is over and the party is about to begin.

Here's the link to the rest of the upbeat recessional songs on Steve's list and visit to check out his work and availability for your wedding.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Parks Make Romantic Settings

I was looking up information on getting a permit to have a party in a New York City park and came across an entire section on having a wedding in one of the parks in any of the five boroughs. And while I found this link interesting, I just loved that there was a related link at the bottom of the page specifically for their picks on the most "picturesque" spots for a wedding.

The list of the most romantic parks in New York City for a wedding included multiple locations where—and I quote—you will often find New Yorkers hand-in-hand (or, sometimes, lip-to-lip).

Getting married in a park, whether in NYC or your hometown, is always a lovely setting but you need to remember that a Plan B in case of inclement weather is a must. Ask your local parks department what your options are if it rains. Some parks may have an indoor location you can use but others may not have another option for you. If they don't have a backup plan you'll have to arrange for one. Hopefully you won't have to use it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wedding Events Offer Amazing Inspiration and Planning Opportunities

One of my favorite places to get wedding inspiration and leads for great vendors in an area is at a bridal show. I know some can be cheesy, but remember it’s just as important to know what you don’t want/like as it is to know what you do like/want.

Here are two (non-cheesy) events coming up in January 2010:

The Wedding Co’s annual event in Toronto January 15 – 17 at The Carlu, 444 Yonge Street, 7th floor. Tickets cost $17 to attend if you purchase your tickets online by December 30th. After the 30th tickets are $20.

115 exhibitors will be on hand to help you choose the perfect details for your wedding, including: your dress, invitations, flowers, menu and more! For more information and to purchase tickets visit,

For brides getting hitched in the New York City area you should head over to the Wedding Crashers Event on January 9th at The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn.

The event will feature 30+ vendors including caterers, bands, florists and stationers. In addition to browsing vendor portfolios and displays, bride are also invited to attend a variety of wedding-planning seminars on everything from ceremony planning to honeymoon planning, creating a budget to invitation 101, picking original seasonal décor to 10 tips on how not to have a cookie-cutter wedding.

The final item, How Not to Have a Cookie-Cutter Wedding, will be given by me and Vane from Brooklyn Bride at 3:45.

A bunch of raffle prizes will be given away along with a fabulous goody bag for the first 50 brides to enter the event.

Tickets are on sale for $40 for the entire day or $20 in advance for each three-hour wedding-planning session -- one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Visit for additional information and to order tickets.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just a Reminder If You Get Engaged on Christmas or Xmas Eve

After sharing the news of your engagement with your parents and his leave a message on your insurance company's voicemail that you need to insure your ring.

It would be a horrible way to start off the new year (and your engagement) if your ring was lost, stolen or damaged and it wasn't covered.

And if you do get engaged tonight or tomorrow, congratulations!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What To Do If He Doesn't Propose Over the Holidays

There’s always a lot of talk around this time of year about all the engagements that take place around the holidays but even if you’re expecting a proposal on or around Christmas and New Year’s that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. (Take it from me – I thought a proposal was going to happen on many a Christmases – and I’m Jewish!)

If a little blue (or black) box is not in your stocking or under the tree or a ring isn’t "floating" in your glass of champagne on December 31st do not make a scene and freak out – especially in front of your boyfriend.

You don’t know what his plans are for an engagement. Maybe he didn’t want to propose at such an obvious time. Maybe he’s still saving money for your ring. Or maybe he’s not ready yet.

Causing a fight and making a scene will not force him on his knee. Remember what happened to Charlotte on Sex & the City when she yelled at Harry to propose? (I know they eventually did get married, but at first he broke up with her.)

So here’s my advice – and yes, I realize I’ve already said “I do” – you can hope all you want but don’t pout about not getting engaged over the holidays. When he finally does propose you’ll forget about the times you waited for a ring because it’s now on your finger and you’ll be so excited it won’t have mattered that it took longer than you would have liked. And even though 2010 is not a leap year, there’s no reason you can’t propose to him if you want to. It is the 21st century and you are a modern gal, right?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Don’t Skimp on the Food

You have to serve your guests some type of food and the type and amount of food you serve is determined by the length of time your reception is as well as the formality of your wedding.

It is perfectly acceptable to serve brunch, to offer one main option instead of three or limit the bar. You can also decide to have a cocktail food only or a dessert only reception but then you should limit your reception time from 4-6 hours to about 3 hours.

Your guests will expect to be served food and probably a full meal. A friend recently told me that she went to a wedding that was from 6pm to midnight and there was only a limited bar and some small finger foods served over the course of the six-hour wedding. Finally, out of hunger, a guest ordered pizzas and had them delivered to the wedding and he paid for them.

As for formality, the more formal your wedding the more involved your menu will be with multiple course and a cocktail hour too.

As for the type of food you serve that’s entirely up to you however I always recommend adding pigs-in-a-blanket to your cocktail hour menu.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Three Fabulous Non-Floral Centerpiece Ideas

In October I taped a segment with WEtv’s new station Wedding Central on non-floral centerpieces. I asked my good friend, and fabulous event designer, Donna O’Brien of Beautiful Blooms in Philadelphia to create three non-floral designs.

The three designs Donna and her team created were Hollywood Glam (with black feathers and pearls), Fruit/Seasonal (with acorns and a variety of autumnal fruit) and Beach (with shells and candles).

I can’t get the embed code but you can watch the video on Wedding Central’s Facebook Fan Page.

Remember that non-floral centerpieces can cost you less money than floral centerpieces but that's not always the case. Linens, candles, vessels and other details can add up so talk to your florist about all your options before finalizing your wedding tablescapes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

When Did Sweet Caroline Become a Wedding-Music Must?

I don’t know if I’ve written about this before but when did Sweet Caroline become such a popular wedding reception song? It’s nothing against Neil Diamond—I’m a fan and went to his NYC concert a year ago and this post came to mind when we were listening to my Neil Diamond playlist this morning—but I don’t quite understand when it became a standard at weddings.

I think every wedding I’ve been too in the past three years has played it and everyone sings along to the chorus – it kind of reminds me of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer as a great bar song where everyone does the “ooooh oh” chorus part.

This post is really just a commentary and question on my part wondering when Sweet Caroline joined such other wedding standards as Sunrise, Sunset, Shout and What a Wonderful World.

Here’s a related tip: When talking to your band or DJ go over their list of usually played wedding songs and see if there’s anything you want to cross off the list. And of course you should also give them your do and don’t playlists for the reception.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

After my post earlier this week on bridal blogs I learned about a few new blogs that I plan on featuring this week and next.

Merci New York is a stylish blog with great images and wonderful ideas. The blogger behind Merci also owns a gift company that specializes in chic guest room gifts, couture gifts and swag bags. I'll let you know when her retail site is live.

The site consists of inspiration boards, product picks and giveaways. You’re sure to fall in love with her images. The ones featured in this post are just a few samples of why Merci New York is now on my blog roll and bookmarked.

Photo's Courtesy of Merci New York

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And Guest or No & Guest

A colleague asked me today if brides and grooms must invite single guests with a date to a destination wedding. The bride in this discussion said she didn't have to invite dates if a friend was single and my friend said for a destination wedding couples should invite singles with a date - or at least she thought "and guest" was a given.

Brides and grooms are not required to invite single friends with a date. Here are the parameters you may want to follow when putting together your guest list:

1 - Married couples are both invited, even if you don't like your friend's spouse
2 - If a couple is living together they are both invited
3 - You can determine a time frame for a couple dating to decide if you want to invite them together. I suggest that if a couple has been dating for six months or longer they are both invited to the wedding

Here are some separate issues you may want to consider:

If all of your friends are in relationships except for one or two then you may want to invite them with a date so they don't feel like the odd one out.

If you are inviting a person that you know doesn't know anyone except for you or the groom, you may want to invite him or her with a date.

I suggest asking a sibling if he or she wants to bring a date even if he or she is unattached.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bridal Blogs are Great for Wedding Ideas

I had dinner with fellow bridal bloggers this evening – Vane from Brooklyn Bride, Liene from Think Splendid and Anne-Marie from Perfect Bound. The three of us talked about blogging and the upcoming B-List event in April so when I sat down to write today’s post I thought I’d write about wedding blogs and how they can help inspire and inform you as you plan your wedding.

There are dozens of wedding blogs. Some blogs are part of larger company sites, such as The Bride’s Guide on MSWeddings,’s blog Wedded Bits and even Wishpot (the registry site) has a blog about registering and gifts.

The independent bloggers, as I call them, are written by small wedding businesses and individuals who love all things weddings. Many blogs feature real weddings and beautiful wedding inspiration but each blogger has a unique point of view. And some wil even focus on a specific wedding detail such as fashion on Perfect Bound and stationery on Oh So Beautiful Paper.

I could make a list of all the blogs I read but then this post would run the length of this page, so instead I encourage you to click through my blogroll on the right and check out some of my favorite bloggers. And once you’re on their site click through their blogrolls because each of the blogs listed here link to blogs that aren't in my roll. (My favorite blogroll is on Brooklyn Bride. I usually visit Vane's site and then click over to some of the blogs she recommends.)

If you’re busy with work and wedding planning I recommend signing up for blog feeds or twitter accounts—some blog feeds link into a blogger’s twitter account—to be able to see brief summaries of the latest posts and then you can click the link to read the entire entry. That may be easier and faster than visiting all your favorites everyday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sound Story

A friend recently went to a wedding and she told me that the sound was horrible. The reception was held in a very large space that was made from stone – it was an old museum.

She said that even with a microphone you couldn’t hear the toasts and didn’t know when to clap or laugh. She didn’t tell me how the band sounded.

It’s very important to take the sound of the space into consideration, especially if it’s an old building that may not have been built with wedding receptions in mind. Don’t be afraid to question the location manager about acoustics and if they have a list of recommended vendors you can ask these vendors about their thoughts on the sound situation too.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Go Wedding Dress Shopping Until...

A friend emailed me this morning that she just got engaged – literally last night. She said she was very concerned that she was going away for a 3-week vacation and Mark Ingram would be having a Monique Lhuillier trunk show while she was away. Her concern was that when she got back in January Mark wouldn’t have any of Monique’s dresses for her to try and she really wanted to wear a Monique gown.

After alleviating her fears that Mark would have Monique gowns for her to try when she got back – though maybe not the whole collection as he would at the trunk show – I told her that it was way too early to shop for a dress.

You shouldn’t go wedding dress shopping until after you have a date and location – both will dictate the style and formality of your wedding. Also, I know Monique’s gowns are stunning but when shopping for a wedding dress you have to keep an open mind and try on a variety of styles. Wedding dresses look very different on the hanger than they do on a body and you won’t really know what’s right for your figure until you’ve tried on different silhouettes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Torey's Tip on Wedding Reception Music

My sister came over for dinner and I asked her what her #1 wedding planning tip is - she got married a few months before we did - and here's what she had to say:

Make sure you hire a band that has experience playing wedding receptions. We hired an amazing group of musicians for our ceremony and they told me they could also play at our reception so we hired them. They were less expensive than all the other bands we met with and my fiance didn't want a DJ. At the reception no one danced because every song they played sounded like elevator music.

I recommend that you hire a real wedding band and when possible go and see them perform so you know exactly what you'll get on your wedding day.

Thanks for the tip Tor!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Practice Crafting Makes Perfect

A friend of mine decided to decorate her daughter’s birthday party with the pink tissue paper pom poms from Martha Stewart Crafts. They looked great but putting them together was not as easy as the instructions made her believe.

The first few she made were not very “Martha” and in fact because tissue paper is so thin she tore some of the sheets as she made them. Fortunately for her she bought them at Wal-Mart a few weeks before the party and made them the weekend before, giving her enough time to get more to replace some of her first attempts.

If you are planning on crafting items for your ceremony or reception make sure you do a dry run a few months before so you know exactly how to create whatever it is you are creating and you have time to order more supplies if you need to.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Editing Your Details

While you’re coming up with fabulous ideas for your wedding make sure to write them down so you don’t forget them. Once you start finalizing the theme, palette and details with your vendors it’s time to edit down your list of ideas to just a few.

You don’t need to include every one of them in your wedding – in fact it may be too expensive to do that and you may not have enough time to create and implement them.

Remember your guests will only see what’s there – not what you didn’t include. Save some of the ideas you cut for other parties you'll plan in the years to come: cocktails at home with friends, family holiday parties, birthday parties for you, your new hubby and future kids.

I know it’s hard to cut your list of ideas down but in the end it’s better to put your money and efforts behind fewer of them than to put a little bit behind everything, where they’ll get lost among the group.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Protect Your Proofs

We were at my uncle’s house over the weekend and we came across a small album filled with wedding proofs from their wedding in 2006. I asked him where the formal wedding album was and he said they never got around to doing it but they had a box filled with proofs.

Wedding proofs are fun to flip through and after you select your wedding pictures for your album and frames to place around the house you should think of what you can do with the remaining proofs.

If you’re creating a scrapbook you can use them for the book. Another idea is to gift proofs of friends or relatives to them – they are perfect for small 5x7 frames.

Make sure to keep the extra proofs in an archival box to protect them over time. Maybe you don’t have a reason to use them today, but you may find one in a few years. When I came across some wedding photos from my grandparents’ wedding last month (57 years later) they were discolored and damaged, but that’s because no one knew how to protect photographs back them. Now we do.

Friday, December 04, 2009

It's Okay to Update Your Facebook Status After the Wedding

Did you see this YouTube Clip about the groom who updated his facebook status from "engaged" to "married" right after he recited his vows—while they were still standing at the altar? I think this is hysterical, though I wouldn't like to see it become a trend. At one point he gives the bride her iPhone so she can update her status too.

I think it's great for a laugh and a funny wedding moment they (and now the world) will remember but please leave your cell phone, pager, blackberry and iPhone in the bridal suite that you get ready in. Or if you are worried it may get stoles give it to a close family member or friend who is a guest at the wedding and won't be part of the processional.

If you haven't seen the video of the "facebook groom" as he will probably be called here it is below:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

How to Ensure You Get the Ring You Want

Think an engagement ring might be hiding in your stocking Christmas morning? When Dave and I were dating there were a few Xmas mornings I was hoping a diamond ring would be among the presents I would be opening—remember the diamond razor “joke”?

I knew what my ring looked like because I inherited it from my great-grandmother but most brides will be getting new rings so here are some tips on how to ensure it’s a style you like.
  1. Not a fan of yellow gold? Simply mention that you don’t like it by commenting on someone else’s jewelry or even pretend you’re allergic to gold altogether

  2. Did a friend or relative get engaged recently, or even a celebrity whose engagement ring has been in the press? Casually mention that you love or don’t like the style of her ring to your boyfriend

  3. If you’ve already had the discussion and you know he’s saving for a ring you can always tell him which cut and side stones you want or show him a photo of a ring you saw online or in a magazine

  4. Why not go ring shopping together so you both get an idea of what your style is and he can get a better idea of how much an engagement ring will cost
No matter what the style is remember that he went to a lot of effort to shop and save up for a ring for you. Yes getting engaged is exciting and wedding planning is a lot of fun, but the most important thing to remember is that you have found each other and are going to spend the rest of your live together. Don’t ever forget that!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sipping Tip

While clicking thru bridal blogs earlier today I came across Ritzy Bee’s Vintage Wednesdays post on paper straws and it reminded me of an important wedding day tip.

Once you have your makeup done and your dress on only drink beverages through a straw to prevent both spills and smudging your lipstick. You should also limit drinks at this point to clear, non-stainable drinks. Water and club soda are the safest bet. Save colored drinks till after your photos and ceremony.

You may also want to insist that anyone near your wedding dress before and after you’re in it to also follow this rule. All you need is mom’s coffee to spill on it because she’s so excited.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Vera Wang Bridal and Bridesmaid Sample Sale

Attention all ladies who have already tried on wedding dresses and know what style dress they are looking for: Vera Wang is holding a wedding gown sample sale on Saturday, December 12th from 9am to 5pm at the New Yorker hotel—481 8th Ave at 34th Street.

Gowns will be marked down 25-75% off retail prices and will include one-of-a-kind wedding dress samples as well as overstock. Shoes will also be on sale.

I shopped this sale in 2001 when I got engaged and it’s amazing! Get there early – there was a line at 7am when Allison and I showed up for it. Bring easy to remove clothes and shoes so you can get in and out of dresses with ease. You may also want to bring a boko or paper to pass the time on line.

And remember that dresses are NOT returnable so even though $2000 is better than $4000, $2000 is still a lot of money so be sure that the dress you pick is the one. Trust me you’ll know.

Here are some of my sample sale shopping tips to help you make the most of the sale:

  1. Go to a sample sale with an idea of what you are looking for—ball gown, strapless, lace. The best way to do this is to have already visited some salons and have tried on wedding dresses.

  2. Sample sale dresses are not used, but they will be need to be cleaned. Ask the salon for the name of a reputable wedding gown cleaner. Here are my favorites wedding gown cleaners.

  3. Bring your mom or a friend with you. You'll need the extra help grabbing dresses from the racks and you'll also want their opinions.

  4. Bridal salons may not offer alterations on wedding dresses sold at a sample sale, so ask the salon for the names of recommended seamstresses.

  5. Again,remember that sample sale dresses are listed as "Final Sale" so you can't bring the dress back for a refund or exchange. Make sure the dress you're interested in is really the dress.

  6. Above all, trust your instincts. If it's truly the right dress you'll know. If you're not sure, keep looking. You don't want to end up having to sell a sample dress on your own.

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Twitter Account: @aisledash

I started a new job today at AOL as editor of their new wedding site launching in the spring. I'm really excited about it and started a Twitter account to keep you updated on what I'm doing, how you can be featured on the new site, industry news and celeb wedding gossip. Follow me @aisledash.

And speaking of Twitter, while it is a great way to keep bridesmaids, family members ad guests updated on your wedding plans - though be careful about tweeting details of your dress! - it's not appropriate to tweet when you're at a wedding. Yours or someone else's.

On your wedding day or as a wedding guest put the PDA sown and and just enjoy every moment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Win in a Martha Stewart Weddings at Sandals

To celebrate the launch of the new Martha Stewart Weddings packages at Sandals resorts the MSW team at Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas will create a dream wedding for one lucky couple! The prize package will include:

  • A wedding created especially for you by Martha Stewart’s team at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas.

  • The bride and groom will receive a six-day and five-night Luxury Included stay at the resort.

  • 10 of their guests will receive a four-day and three-night Luxury Included stay at the resort.

  • Round trip airfare for the winning couple and ten guests.

  • All stays include meals, unlimited premium brand beverages, daily and nightly entertainment.

To enter visit Couples are asked to send in a 90-second video on why you and your fiance want to win a Martha Stewart Wedding at Sandals. All entries must be submitted by January 20, 2010 and a winner will be announced in February.

Good luck, and one more thing...the wedding will be featured in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine!

Destination Wedding Tip: If you are planning a destination wedding because you want to keep the guest list small then only invite those people you want to attend. Never assume that just because you are having a destination wedding people won't want to/be able to go. The general rule is that 10% of your guests won't be able to make it and that rule applies to destination weddings too. So if you want 80 guests invite 80-90 people, don't invite 180 and assume that 100 people will send their regrets.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Trend: Singing Toasts

In case you missed this week's Field Notes column in the New York Times Style Section, you missed my quotes on the latest trend in wedding toasts: performance toasts. Best men, maids-of-honor, members of the bridal party and parents are deciding to serenade the happy couple with a parody they wrote in lieu of the traditional speech.

I just love this idea and have seen it at wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and showers. If you aren't shy and have a way with words, more specifically lyrics, then you may want to think about singing a toast to the bride and groom.

Here's the link to the article, To the Happy Couple, and My You Tube Clip with links to some of the clips mentioned in the story.

If you know of or have performed a parody at a wedding or pre/post-wedding event I'd love to see the clip -- and I'm sure other readers would too!

Monday, November 23, 2009

5 Must-Read Stationery Tips from Mackenzie Sala of Kenzie Kate Invitations

Your wedding invitation is the first detail of your wedding that your guests will see. It will also set the tone for your wedding so it’s important to select an invitation that conveys the look and feel of your big day, including the formality. I asked Mackenzie Sala, owner of Kenzie Kate Invitations and author of the blog Something Old Something New to share her top five stationery tips. Here’s what she had to say:

  1. Leave time for yourself or your calligrapher to address the envelopes. Calligraphers will need at least a week or more during the busy season. Book your calligrapher around the same time you find your stationer and ask them how long they will need so that you can plan your schedule accordingly.

  2. Keep it simple. If Uncle Bob doesn't have down to the mile-marker directions from his hotel to your ceremony site, then to the reception site and back, it's ok. He can figure it out! You can trust that your guests can, and for the most part, will take care of themselves. By all means, give suggestions if you have them, but there's really no need to clutter your invitations with information that can easily be had with a quick internet search.

  3. The right wording depends on you. If you are having a very laid back, outdoor wedding, don't feel obligated to use traditional, conservative wording. If your family is big on tradition, ask your stationer to help you make sure it's by the book. Let your personality and the feel of your event guide you.

  4. Calculate correctly. If you are having a 150 person wedding, you probably don't need 150 invitations. You will need more like 75-100. Each couple gets one.

  5. Get samples. Lots of people are ordering their wedding invitations online. The selection is unbeatable, the convenience is fantastic, and you can spend as much or as little as you like. That being said, KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING. Order samples before you place your order. It takes a little extra time, but you won't be sorry you did. Knowing what you're getting for your money is totally worth it!
The above inviation suites are all samples from Kenzie Kate Inviations. To view more of Mackenzie's designs and to order your invitations visit her Web site,

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 Creative Something Blue Ideas

I was recently interviewed for WEtv's new wedding station, Wedding Central, and asked to share my favorite something blue ideas. Watch the video below to see my top five favorite something blues and where to get them!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't Forget to Register for the Little Things

When you are registering for household items you don't want to overlook the gadget section. These small, inexpensive and very useful items may not look like traditional wedding gifts but they are very important to have in your home.

You guests may add a gadget to another gift, give you a group of related gadgets or if you have a wishing well at your bridal shower almost all of the items (unless it's a themed well) will be from the gadget section.

It's always important to register in a range of price points to give your guests plenty of options. Not everyone can afford a $100 place setting or even a $50 appliance.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Your Reception Room Layout

When planning they layout of the reception space it’s important to think about where everyone will be seated – not their exact seats but where the tables, including the head table will be placed - and where the band/DJ will be set up and the cake displayed. Your location manager will have suggestions based on what they’ve done before.

While you’re thinking of the room’s layout think of the moments and details that will take place during the reception: toasts, special dances, other entertainment, the bar, etc...

We recently attended a wedding where the band was off to the side of the room and the head table was at the back/center of the room so all could see them. When the father of the bride and best man got up to give their speech they were facing the room and the video camera but their backs were to the bride and groom, so whenever they mentioned the couple they had to turn around to acknowledge them. Why the toastmaker didn’t stand on the opposite side of the room facing all of us and the couple I don’t know, but they were saying beautiful things about the bride and groom and didn’t get to see their reaction and the bride and groom didn’t get to see the toasters face while he was speaking.

It’s important to think of the layout in more than just where the tables will be. Don’t be afraid to ask the location manager about other options and ideas you are thinking of and listen to what he/she has to say on why those ideas will or won’t work.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Tip on Making your Entrance

If you and your groom are planning to make a grand entrance to a special song, discuss with your band what you want to do as soon as you’ve entered the room and are in the middle of the dance floor. We recently went to a wedding where the couple walked in and all of the guests were clapping in rhythm. The couple got to the middle of the room and stopped and they just started clapping along too. The band kept playing the song – I forget what it was – for a few minutes while everyone just stood there clapping and staring at each other. They obviously didn't no how to make a transition from one song to another.

Once you enter the room you can have the band introduce you for your first dance or a group dance for the bridal party or the whole room, but have a plan of action.

Also, know that you don’t have to make a grand entrance at all. You can enter the room with all of your guests and have the band either announce you for your first dance or announce a toast by a parent or member of the bridal party.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A-B-C is Easy as 1-2-3 for a Reason

Just a quick tip about your seating cards: Since every guest at your wedding will probably know the ABC’s it’s a good idea to have the seating cards placed in alphabetical order by last name. Your guests will, by instinct, search for their card by this order and you will only cause chaos at the seating card table if you arrange the cards in any other way.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bridal Market Recap on the WPN

I was interviewed, along with Julie Raimondi, editor-in-chief of, by theWedding Podcast Network on the highlights of Spring 2010 Bridal Market.

We discussed the trends, our favorites as well as wedding dress shopping tips. You can listen to this special edition of Bridal Scene on

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beware of the Roving Videographer

It’s always a good idea to be aware of the videographer’s whereabouts. He's usually easy to spot because his camera will probably have a bright spotlight glaring at or near you. If you see or sense a bright light heading your way put a smile on your face or begin talking to the person next to you to show the bride and groom that you are enjoying yourself. People almost never look good eating on camera so that’s why I didn’t suggest that you begin eating.

Remember, you don’t want to be the one person caught on the final wedding video with a look of disgust, horror or just a rather unpleasant look on your face.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sports & Weddings Example

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on sporting events and wedding dates. At the wedding Dave and I attended this weekend I caught a number of guests on their blackberries checking the NY Giants score. Including Dave.

While the football season schedule may not be as easy to predict as world championships, this image is just a reminder that you want to keep certain events in mind when selecting your wedding date.

Of course it’s better to have guests at the table checking their blackberries or iPhones rather than them in their cars listening to the radio, which was what happened at my friend’s wedding in 2001 during Mike Messina's perfect game Labor Day weekend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Champagne Toasts Tip

Many catering halls offer a champagne toast as part of their package but not everyone drinks or even likes champagne. I know it’s tradition but you can save a lot of money by forgoing the champagne toast.

If you’re not familiar with the champagne toast here’s what it is: The caterer will supply champagne for each guest at their seat. When someone makes a toast everyone lifts their glass and takes a sip, and usually that sip is all they take.

There’s nothing wrong with not giving your guests champagne and letting them toast you with whatever drink they have – alcoholic or not.

You’ll probably read on more than a few wedding planning sites and in bridal magazines that forgoing the champagne toast can save you money. And it can. Champagne is expensive. Talk to your caterer about taking money off the bill or substituting something else for the champagne toast.

Maybe you want an ice sculpture or the open bar open for an extra half hour. Don’t be afraid to ask your caterer what options you have if you remove or replace the champagne toast.

This picture was sent to me by a friend who attended a wedding a few weeks ago. The couple had a champagne toast but the location only filled the flutes up a little bit, which in my opinion looks cheap. They would have been better off using champagne saucers instead of flutes where a little bit of champagne looks like a full glass.

Monday, November 09, 2009

TVs Most Touching and Terrible Real Weddings

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Wedding inspiration can come from anywhere, even ridiculous real weddings that (sometimes) take place just for the cameras.

The Huffington Post recently posted a slide show of the most touching and terrible real weddings featured on TV and I had to share them with you.

Of course we all remember Prince Charles' wedding to Lady Di and his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles a few years back, but there are some tabloid-y/done for the ratings weddings that I had forgotten about, including the Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire couple and Christopher Knight (Peter Brady) nuptials on My Fair Brady.

Take a look and vote for the weddings that you think are terrible - okay, and touching.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Stress Relief

You've heard me stress how you should enjoy the wedding planning process and that if you're not having fun then take a break from it.

I know of brides who quit their jobs to plan their wedding, who took a semester off of school to plan their weddings and even those who got so overwhelmed they practically had a nervous breakdown. Yes wedding planning can be stressful, but it's important to realize when you are stressed and overwhelmed by it all and take a break.

There's nothing wrong with not talking or thinking about your wedding plans for a day or two or even a week. Go to a spa for a massage with a girlfriend or a couple's massage with your fiance, pick up a good book, go to the movies or go shopping for something other than wedding details. Just relax.

Once you have calmed down and let off some steam then you can go back to planning with a fresh start.

Remember wedding planning should be fun.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sneak Peek: Runway Trend Report on the WPN

Get a preview of my interview with the Wedding Podcast Network on the latest trends from October 2009 Bridal Market:


Loved working with you, Robert and Holli, can't wait to hear the complete show!

Friendly Email Reminders

We're off to a wedding this weekend and since no one including the bride and groom are from Newport, Rhode Island it is definitely a destination wedding.

The groom emailed guests about 10 days ago with a list of recommended sites and restaurants so we could make plans ahead of time and enjoy the weekend away. Since the couple didn't create a wedding Web site I thought his email was a great idea.

While I am an organizer when it comes to trips -- I like to plan the whole thing weeks before we take off -- I haven't had time to really look into happenings around Newport and it turns out it's Restaurant Week. In his email he gave us a list of his top picks and enough notice so we were sure to get a reservation at the spots we wanted to try.

Of course a wedding Web site is great to update your guests on wedding planning information, a friendly email with reminders and information doesn't hurt, and it doesn't cost anything either. I highly recommend putting information together -- especially when guests are traveling to a location -- and sending it to guests ahead of time so they can make plans for meals and activities during non-wedding activity times.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Taking Your Parents Money

In the past few weeks I’ve heard from several industry insiders that if you pay for your wedding you don’t have to listen to your parents or anyone else for that matter. And while I don’t disagree that when mom and dad are paying they have a stronger say in what your wedding looks and feels like that doesn’t mean that if you pay for the wedding on your own that you can disregard them completely.

You have to remember that your parents have been looking forward to your wedding day longer than you have and this celebration is just as much about/for them as it is about/for you and your groom.

If you're worried that if you take money from your parents they will be demanding regarding what they want or don’t want for your wedding you should have an open discussion with them before you take their check. Maybe you need to be very specific as to what their money is going toward and if you include them in choices they won't give you as hard a time than if you don't.

Here’s an idea that may work for you and your parents: You should do all the research on the vendors you want to meet with and possibly hire. Once you’ve narrowed down the vendors in a category to two or three bring your mom (and dad) with you to each vendor and have her help you and your groom make that final decision. You don’t have to do this for every vendor but by making your parents feel included in your wedding plans you may help your relationship during the entire process.

And you know what, maybe mom and dad will have some good ideas!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wedding Planning Dealbreakers

I’m watching an episode of 30 Rock and it turns out that Liz Lemon wrote a book on relationships and specifically what is a dealbreaker in relationships. Some of her dealbreakers include:
  • If he collects action figures

  • If he lives with his mom

  • If he is over 35 and wears a name tag
Now I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with any of these but it got me thinking about dealbreakers when it comes to wedding planning.

Every bride has ideas regarding what she does and doesn’t want for her wedding and when meeting with potential vendors there are certain dealbreakers that will automatically make you think, “hmmm…not hiring him.”

When you’re meeting with vendors, have an idea about what you expect from them. The services you want and need provided, their style and taste level and of course budget.

It’s very important that you know what you want from vendors when you are metting with them and especially when deciding which ones you want to hire. And of course you have to let your vendors know what your expectations are when meeting with and hiring them.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Purple Wedding Palette Inspiration

I went for lunch with some Brooklyn-based bloggers last weekend and one of them told me that my wedding cake was featured in a recent post on The Bride's Guide Blog. So of course I had to find the post and read it!

Carolyn Veith Krienke, the Martha Stewart Weddings Color and Design Expert featured an inspiration board for "A Purple Color Palette" and it included our wedding cake made by Ron Ben-Israel and our stationery suite designed by Snow & Graham.

Here's the link to the purple color palette inspiration board where you can find the details for the images included.

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings/The Bride's Guide Blog

Friday, October 30, 2009

British Planner Mark Niemierko's #1 Tip

On the first day of bridal market I met Mark Niemierko, London's top wedding planner. Mark and I discussed the dresses coming down the runway and I taped his review of market for the tweeter feed, @brides, but I also asked Mark for his top tip for brides that I could share with my From "I Will" to "I Do" readers. Here's what he had to say:

"I think my top tip to a Bride and Groom planning their wedding is to enjoy the planning process as much as the day itself. Remember it's also your engagement period - A time you'll never have again once married! Focus on the main factors of your wedding early on such as booking your venue, selecting the key vendors and then working on the details as you get through. Once your venue is booked for example a lot more comes into place, and then you can really start thinking about the details such as place settings, floral bouquets and so on." —Mark Niemierko

You can learn more about Mark and the weddings he has designed on his Web site,, and don't forget to follow him on his twitter feed, @MarkNiemierko.

Photo Credit: The Satoralist

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wedding Cake Inspiration

I’m a huge proponent of the wedding cake. To me it’s one of the staples of a wedding reception but of course some couples prefer cupcakes or pies or instead of one big cake they have a selection of smaller cakes on display.

While there is always the classic white tiered bride’s cake, wedding cakes can come in any shape, size or flavor. Don’t be afraid to ask for something you think is untraditional. Your baker will most likely enjoy working out of the box and creating something different.

The best way to get ideas is to click through online galleries of cakes on sites like Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot and, but you should also click through portfolios of bakers. Your local baker will probably have his or her gallery online but you should also look through sites of bakers who are not in your area. There is no reason why you can’t bring an image of a cake that inspires you from a baker based in California to a baker in your hometown in Ohio.

The images above are from a New York City baker, Liz Shim of Eat Cake Be Merry. Liz can create wedding cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats that both you and your guests will enjoy. You can learn more about Eat Cake Be Merry, including view their online gallery at

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Brilliant Tip from Sarah at Brilliant Event Planning

I just got home from the Lion in the Sun event—which was so much fun—and I wanted to share with you one of the tips my co-panelists brought up.

Sarah from Brilliant Event Planning mentioned that you shouldn't wait until the last minute to write and print your programs. And she's right. You probably know your bridal party members and the outline for the ceremony long before your invitations even go out. All that's left is the songs in your processional and there's no reason that the ceremony playlist has to wait until the month before the wedding to be finalized.

You should start drafting the information that will be included in your wedding program: members of the bridal party, ceremony order (with or without descriptions) a thank you to your parents and any other important information—readings, psalms or mentioning a charitable donation—about four months before the wedding so you have time to make revisions and have them printed. You also want to decide on the format: bound booklet, folded paper or printed on a fan. You can even have your program coordinate with your invitation and discuss ideas when ordering your invites. And don't forget that the more elaborate the design, the more time it will take you to put them together.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Real Wedding Inspiration and Event!

Real weddings featured in magazines and on Web sites (including blogs) off beautiful inspiration for couples still in the planning process. Brides-to-be can also learn about talented vendor in their area and in some stories you get some great planning tips.

While flipping through magazines and sites don’t forget to read the copy while you’re glancing at the photos. The couple may be able to offer some wedding wisdom that could help you with some part of your plans.

If you live in the New York area, Brooklyn specifically, you may want to check out the real wedding inspiration and tips event at Lion in the Sun tomorrow evening from 7-9pm. I’ll be on a panel with Vane from Brooklyn Bride, Sarah from Brilliant Event Planning, Xochtil from Always a Blogsmaid and Loren from Naturally Delicious.

Guests at the event will receive a 10% off coupon on their future purchase at Lion in the Sun and if you hire Naturally Delicious to cater your wedding you’ll receive 10% off your menu if you book by the end of the year.

Lion in the Sun is located at 232 7th Avenue. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 26, 2009

For the First Time, Mr & Mrs...

I recently came across an invitation for our friends' wedding from 2007. (I save almost every paper element from the weddings we've been to, don't you?) Overall I have to say it was one of the nicest weddings. The food was delicious, the music was great and we had a good time. The bride and groom made sure that their personalities were part of every detail.

The wedding was in DUMBO, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, and the theme of the wedding was New York, New York. While they didn’t name every table after a famous street (like I did at my NY, NY bat mitzvah), there were a lot of NYC elements including the ceremony which took place in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a New York City picture book served as their guest book and the last song of the night was Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, and of course all the guests formed a Rockettes-type kick line.

One of my favorite moments was the bridal party and couple’s entrance. They chose Twist & Shout and when each person was announced they did The Twist. If you’re planning on making a big entrance talk to your DJ or band leader about playing a fun and unique song that’s very you. I remember another couple we know made their entrance to White Wedding by Billy Idol.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making a Destination Wedding Legal

I was doing some research on celebrity weddings and I realized that a lot of celebs get married abroad. But in the details of the wedding it doesn’t mention that if you want to legally get married at an international destination you have to get a license – just like in the States – and that some countries have specific requirements that you must follow. When celebrities say “I do” abroad they also have to follow the law.

Remember when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got hitched in Italy? They actually had civil ceremony in California that made their wedding legal. The same thing for Bruce Willis. His Caribbean wedding wasn’t actually legal until he and his bride tied the knot in a civil ceremony after they returned from their intimate ceremony and reception abroad.

When planning an international destination wedding I recommend working with a wedding planner. In addition to helping you find quality vendors, he or she can also help you navigate getting a license.

Some countries are stricter than others when it comes to a marriage license. In France you have to be a resident for 30 days while in some Caribbean islands you only have to be there for a few days to get a license. There’s nothing wrong with getting married abroad and then making it legal in a civil (or religious) ceremony back home. And there’s no reason you need to tell anyone about your second wedding unless you want to.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quick Destination Wedding Tip

If you are planning to have a destination wedding because you want to keep the wedding small and intimate then don't invite more people than those few you want to include. Never assume that because you're having a destination people won't travel to it. They may have always wanted to go to that location and your wedding is the perfect excuse to go.

The general rule is that you are safe to assume that 10% of your invited guests will send their regrets, but when it comes to a destination wedding I recommend you only send invites to those must-haves and not take a chance on inviting others who you don't really want there but feel that you have to invite them.

The good thing about a destination wedding and guest lists is that your family and friends will probably assume you are only inviting a limited number and won't be insulted when they don't receive an invite in the mail.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making Your Exit Memorable

If your ceremony and reception are at two different locations a simple idea is to supply guests with flower petals, birdseed, bubbles, flags or sparklers as you and your groom leave your ceremony site and head for the car taking you to your reception.

If you’re planning on having your ceremony and reception at the same location, you can supply these items to toss or wave as you walk up the aisle, as you enter your reception or as you leave at the end of the night.

I know it’s hard to leave before your guests. Every bride wants to savor every moment till the very end, but I’m telling you from experience you’ll have a better memory of saying good-bye and then running through a crowd of cheers. I found it a little sad to be the last ones to leave the ballroom, all dressed up and holding a box with the top tier of my cake in it. All the tables had already been stripped, the band gone and the dim lights switched on to full power. I think the last shot on my wedding video is me sitting on the dance floor in my dress with my groom next to me.

I was so into the party that I never wanted it to end. I didn’t think of how it would feel to be alone in that bare room without our guests and music playing.

So when you’re planning your wedding details think about your wedding timeline and talk to your groom about making an exit – similar to the entrance you made at the beginning of your reception. It will be a great memory and a fabulous photo-op.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weddings and the World Series

The playoffs are on and that means the World Series is just around the corner. When I got engaged my dad said you can choose any date except weekends in October. Why? Because if the Yankees were in the World Series he’d have a conflict.

Now I don’t think my dad would actually skip the wedding for tickets to the game, but I do think that he would have had a pocket radio in his jacket to listen in. If there was a TV at the bar he would have been at the bar, along with many other guests I’m sure.

Many years ago my parents went to a wedding on Labor Day weekend and while there was no major sporting event scheduled, a perfect game was taking place on the Yankees’ pitching mound. My dad called me several times for updates – he also spent time in the car tuning in. He told me most of the men at the wedding were doing the same thing.

Now while Jamie couldn’t have forseen the possibility of a perfect game – which fell apart in the 9th – you can forsee a possible World Series in the future of your home team.

If you’re not baseball fans, maybe you’re hockey or basketball fans and the same tip applies: Try not to book your wedding during a time frame when your immediate families and most important invited guests may not be able to make it. This also applies to major holidays.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Market Mania and a Tip from Anna Post

Market has been a whirlwind and there are still 2 days to go! I'm sorry but I just got in from the MSW 15th Anniversary party - I worked there for 3 years so I felt I needed to celebrate too - and just too tired to write a post.

I've become a twitpic queen if I do say so myself, and you can follow all the looks and commentary on twitter @brides.

Actually here's a quick tip: Twittering is not allowed at wedding says Anna Post, who I saw earlier today. Why would you twitter the details to people who weren't invited, right? So no tweets at weddings people.

Thanks Anna!

Friday, October 16, 2009

In Honor of Bridal Market: A Wedding Dress Tip

Trains are gorgeous but they don’t look so good with people’s shoe prints on them. Before your ceremony ask one of your bridesmaids to carry your train for you if you can’t hold it up yourself. If you are taking formal portraits before the wedding you’ll want to make sure that your train is clean so while you’re walking around and when you’re not posing keep it lifted.

To prevent wrinkles pack a mini-steamer in your emergency kit to steam out any creases that were created during your pre-wedding photo session. Remember that during the ceremony you will have your back to your guests and you want to hear sniffles at the romance of the moment, not chuckles at the big black shoe print someone left in the middle of your train.

Once the ceremony is over, and before cocktails begin, have your train bustled. You should have brought a friend or relative with you to one of your final fittings to learn how your train should be bustled. And please don’t have this be your mom. She shouldn’t have to get on her knees and wrinkle her dress.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Martha Stewart Weddings + Sandals = A Match Made in Wedding Heaven

I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch and an announcement from Martha Stewart Weddings and Sandals on the Lady Sandals yacht yesterday afternoon. MSWeddings has partnered with Sandals and Beaches resorts in the Caribbean to create Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart.

At the press announcement we got to see the six (6) wedding designs brides and grooms can choose from. Of course they were all unbelievably gorgeous and one feature I liked was that you can choose to serve a traditional wedding cake or cupcakes at your reception.

The wedding themes start at $1500 and include a personal wedding consultant, officiant and a myriad of wedding details to choose from in a coordinated color palette. Each package starts with a different base price.

The packages include Flutter of Romance (shown below), Beautiful Beginnings, Chic & Natural, Vision in White, Seaside Serenade (shown above) and Island Paradise.

You can begin browsing the weddings at and Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart can be reserved now for weddings any time after January 1, 2010. There are 18 Luxury Included Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean for couples to choose from.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wedding Registry Tip from Jorge Perez

I was at the Wedgwood/Waterford showroom yesterday for tabletop market and Cari and I got a tour of the Spring 2010 collection. (You can see our four favorite picks at

We were lucky enough to get a personal tour from the company’s national spokesperson, Jorge Perez. I think Jorge is my favorite person in the registry world. He has some amazing tips and what a personality.

One of his registry tips to brides and grooms is: Don’t forget to register for rimmed soup bowls. In addition to soup, they’re great for serving pastas and salads.

Not all of the four and five piece place settings will come with a rimmed soup bowl but you can add it to your registry along with matching platters, creamer and sugar bowl.

You can meet Jorge at a Bloomingdale’s event tomorrow night at 59th Street in NYC. The Event is at 6pm on the 5th floor. I’ll be there along with Ron Ben-Israel (and his cakes!) and the Countess from Real Housewives of NYC. The Countess will be discussing her new social etiquette book. Click here to get more details. I wrote a post on Wedded Bits with the event details.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two Blogs to Add to Your Favorites List

I received two emails this week about two new blogs – well actually they are new looks not new new blogs – and they look fabulous!

Ruffled was formerly known as Vintage Wedding Glam. The new site has some great new features including a photo gallery, navigation bar and free (and exclusive) downloads. The site is sure to be a must-visit Web site for brides looking for wedding inspiration.

The Sweetest Occasion also re-launched this week and offers readers beautiful inspiration for all types of parties, including weddings, birthdays, casual dinners and any other event Cyd can think of. She’ll also offer detailed DIY projects so you can recreate some of her exquisite party details at your own soirees.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Waiting Game

Cousins of mine went to a wedding this weekend and told me the guests were locked out of the reception site - for a limited time.

The ceremony was held at a nearby church and the couple provided transportation to their reception venue, but when the bus pulled up with their guests they were told that they had to wait outside.

My cousin said they all arrived at 8pm and were not allowed in until 8:15. She said the only reason they were upset about the wait was that it was freezing outside and not everyone had a coat over their tuxedos and evening gowns. The busses dropped everyone off and left before the guests realized the doors were locked.

I don’t know why there was a wait but if your guests will be arriving at your wedding venue – for the ceremony or reception – you should make sure that there is someone there ahead of time – your wedding planner, or someone from her team, or a relative or friend (not mom) who gets there a little ahead of schedule to make sure everything is in order.

After this snafu my cousins say that the wedding was a blast and they had a great time.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Real Quick Tip

When working with your florist, instead of naming the few flowers that you like, why not name the few flowers that you don't like. By eliminating the ones you don't like and not limiting your florist to the several that you do, you are giving your florist more options to be creative.

This doesn't mean that you can't use the flowers that you like, but there are a zillion flowers that your florist is familiar with, when face it maybe you can name a dozen or two. And by eliminating the ones you don't like, your florist can design arrangments using your faves as well as other beautiful blooms you didn't even know of.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Oh So Suite

The reason you choose a color palette and theme for your wedding is so that every element of your wedding compliments each other.

When it comes to your wedding stationery you want to do the same thing. Work with your stationer to create a complete stationery suite. The suite includes all of your paper elements: Invitation, reply card, program, menu cards, seating and place cards, favor tags and any other paper detail you are planning on including.

It’s important that you bring your stationer your wedding inspiration and ideas. You can even bring a swatch and photo of your dress, the design of your cake and other finalized details to help them start designing.

The stationery suites shown here were designed by Kate Capone, owner of Oh So Suite, a design company specializing in custom invitations and complementary event essentials. Oh So Suite offers a variety of services, including: graphic design (creating monograms, stationery suites), Web site design (Wed-sites) and gift and favor design and production. They also offer letterpress, silkscreen, offset and digital printing options. In addition to designing stationery suites, the company also provides a “go-to” service where Kate can help brides and event professionals source items they are looking for. Visit to see Kate's complete portfolio and talk to her about creating your stationery suite.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

DIY Centerpieces, Bouquets and Other Details

If you're planning to create your own centerpieces, bouquets, bouts, favors and other wedding details it's a good idea to do a dry run first. A dry run will give you an idea of how much each item will cost and how long it will take for you to complete one item, then you can multiply the cost and time needed by the number you need to make.

You have to decide if you really have the time to create all of these items or if it's worth the expense of hiring a vendor or buying the products. Remember that time is money and you may be saving on the cost of each item but you may also be spending 10 hours a day for a few days putting them together.

And when it comes to flowers, remember that they need to be watered and should be refrigerated. They will start to wilt in a few days so you can't make them that far in advance. When you do a dry run on anything flower related, make sure to note how long they look fresh - 1 day, 2, 3, etc...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Crazy (and Sad) But True Story

My aunt came to town last weekend and told me this story. She was talking to a vendor who was creating a slide show presentation for my cousin’s wedding:

Vendor: You know your photographer is gone?

Aunt Jill: Gone. Where did he go?

Vendor: I think Heaven.

Unfortunately, the photographer was in an accident and passed away and no one at his company let his clients know. I know this is tragic and I’m not making light of the situation but Jill was in need of help and I thought if anyone else is in a similar situation they should know what I told Jill and Kimmy.

Jill had paid 50% of the photographer’s fee upfront – the wedding is a few months away – and she paid it in cash. Thank g-d she got a receipt but she’s now working with his staff on getting her deposit back and since the photographer didn’t have another shooter working with him they are shopping for a new photog.

Here’s where the wedding planning tip comes in: Always get a receipt, even if you pay in cash! While of course this is a very unusual and rare circumstance these things do happen. If you pay with a credit card your credit card company will probably be able to help you get your money back but cash is different. The vendor you are working with may have a backup for you so you can still work with them but if not, you are entitled to get your money back and if the company refuses you can make a claim against the estate, but you should consult with an attorney if it comes to that. You may not need the lawyer to file the actual claim but you should confirm what the laws in your state are before filing.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Wedding Dress Shopping Tip

I just got back from working the National Bridal Market in Chicago and I'm exhaused. Dozens of wedding dress, bridesmaid dress and accessory designers are all there to show editors and buyers their latest collections. The dresses and accessories we saw are for Spring 2010 and will be in stores starting in January.

Since your dress will be ordered to fit you and there will be a 4-6-8-12+ week wait time for it to arrive, I suggest you buy your dress six months before the wedding day to ensure delivery and time for alterations.

If you're getting married next spring you may not be able to wait to see these new dresses and will have to make a decision soon. If your wedding is after May 2010 I think you'd be safe to wait till these collections being shown to editors and buyers are in stores.

Remember that the more details on your dress the longer it will take for it to arrive and you should estimate 4-8 weeks for alterations. Of course your dress can be rush deilvered and rushed through alterations but you'll pay rush charges for it.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Cute with a Capital C

I was clicking through Amy Atlas' blog earlier today and came across her post referencing a post on Bakerella and just had to share it! Lollipop Workshop created two lolli dolls and a mini-Amy Atlas dessert buffet as a gift.

It is the CUTEST thing I've ever seen.

After clicking over to learn more about Lollipop Workshop on etsy I came across their custom wedding cake toppers. How fabulous are these:

They are priced at $135 and are completely customizable.

While I'm not getting married, I think I have to order the kid birthday toppers for RB's birthday!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

To See or Not To See

I met a friend at Kleinfeld this evening for her fitting. She kept taking on and off her glasses and made a comment that she should have worn her contacts.

Even though I took a picture of her with her glasses on and off for this post she asked me not to run the pics until after her wedding.

Anyway, her comment makes a great tip for brides who wear glasses or contacts. You want to see what you'll look like in your wedding dress sans glasses but if you don't have your contacts in you don't get a great image. It's like shopping for a new pair of eyeglasses. You have to squint to see the new frames on your face because without your glasses on you can't see very well. At least this is the problem I have.

Thank you so much Stella for this great piece of advice. I know I had that problem during my fittings.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wedding Cake Advice from Sylvia Weinstock

1. Always use a reputable baker, board of health approved, with a good track record for professionalism.

2. Ask for a tasting and design session. Be sure you get what you like. Be aware that some guests will have food allergies (i.e. nuts and nut products).

3. Bring with you some ideas that you want incorporated in the design of your cake (i.e. colors, floral species, pictures of your gown, architectural elements, etc.).

4. Be aware of weather, refrigeration, air conditioning, and make sure you have a sturdy table for the cake.

Visit to see her amazing cakes!

Thanks Sylvia!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Selling Your Wedding Dress

So at the family function this past weekend my cousin told me that she wants to sell her wedding dress. I asked her what she was asking for it and where she listed it.

She bought a Pnina Tornai at Kleinfeld three or four years ago for $4,800 plus alterations and shipping so I think the final total was in the $6-7K range. She wore it once and then had it cleaned. She listed it for $4500 about six months back on Bravo Bride and I think she also said Craigslist. She just lowered her price to $3900.

So what did I tell her? That she was asking way too much money for a used wedding dress –- even if it was only used once. I suggested that she lower her price to $2000 and see if she gets any nibbles and reach out to more Web sites that sell used and sample gowns. I also suggested she reach out to brick and mortar stores, like Vows in Newton, MA that sell used wedding dresses.

A bride looking to buy a used or sample dress for a lower price will probably not want to spend more than $1-3K on a dress and the higher end is only if it’s designer –- like Vera, Monique or Reem. If you can afford to spend $4K on a wedding dress you’d probably shop for a new one, not a used one.

Here’s a listing of some resources for reselling or buying used/sample wedding dresses and if you’re interested in my cousin’s dress, which is gorgeous, feel free to email me. Her dress looks like the one featured in this post without the decoration on the waist and neckline and it’s in white.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Engagement Ring Reminder

I went to a family event on Saturday and my aunt announced that she was engaged and showed off her gorgeous engagement ring. She said she had just gotten the ring that week. After wishing her all the best and telling her how beautiful the ring is - which it is - I asked her if she had gotten it insured.

Her answer: not yet.

I reminded her what happened to two members of the family: her mom and my sister who didn't have insurance on their engagement rings and how that was a big mistake. Grandma's center stone fell out and I think the story goes that it went down the drain and my sister's apartment was robbed and hers was stolen.

So I reminded Aunt Beth: After you get engaged you tell your parents, your friends and then your insurance salesman.

So congratulations Aunt Beth and Tony! I know you read the blog so please remember to call your insurance man today.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Guest Blogging on The Dish

Sorry for the short post but I'm running out the door to meet mom and RB for dinner.

Wanted to share a guest post I wrote for New York caterer Great Performances' blog: The Dish. I was told that I could write about anything wedding related and since it's a caterer's blog I wrote about my #1 wedding food. That's right! Pigs-in-a-blanket. You can read my post here.

Thanks Lonnie for asking me to guest blog!

Have a great weekend and a good fast on Monday!

PS - The wedding at the Plaza I wrote about in April was caterered by Great Performances and I have to say that the food was amazing! And they did serve PIBs. Thanks Dave and Haley for adding them to the menu.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Signature Drink 101

When planning your cocktail hour think about the fun things you would want there:

• An ethnic/regional band – klezmer, Dixieland
• Fun food – pigs-in-a-blanket, mini-egg rolls, popcorn shrimp, potato bar
• Creative décor – bright colors, cocktail napkins with a phrase instead of just your names
• Activities – photo booth, crafting station for guest book

For cocktails, you can have an open bar and still highlight a selection of drinks or a drink that you and your fiance want to have as your signature drink. How do you pick a drink or group of drinks for your wedding? Here are some tips:

1. If your wedding has a theme, look for drinks that fit the theme. For example, my wedding was 1930s retro inspired so we had a martini bar.

2. Color. Can you find drinks that fit your wedding palette? The colors of our wedding were pink, pale green, white/ivory and lavender so I only served martinis that fit that color scheme – Cosmopolitans, Green Apple Martinis, Classic Martini, etc… I ended up buying about six bar/martini recipe books and visited a few bars to make sure the colors worked, but I do realize I was an insanely detail oriented bride.

3. Location. Let your locale help pick your signature drink. Getting hitched in Puerto Rico? Find a cocktail with rum in it. Mexico? Tequila. California? Choose a variety of wines made in Napa Valley.

4. Culture. Where are you and your fiance from? Is there a special drink that fits? Are you French? Maybe you want to only serve a selection of French wines or champagne.

5. Or just choose your favorite cocktail. It doesn’t have to match anything. You can just have it because you like it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Honor vs Honour and other Invitation Grammar Tips

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you’ve probably noticed that my spelling and grammar skills aren’t topnotch. So, to help me get better at writing I listen to Grammar Girl podcasts and bought her book last summer. I remembered that a few years back she gave a lesson on the proper way to write dates and I thought I'd repost the link to that podcast.

A groom called in to ask how he should have the year (2008) printed on their wedding invitation as well as the use of British English (honour) vs. American English (honor) on invites.

The general explanation is that we – the American public – tend to think of British English as a more formal language and therefore it is appropriate to use the British English spellings and year on an invitation, when you want to give the feeling of a more formal setting than say an invitaiton to a backyard barbeque.

Click here to read, or hear, what Grammar Girl had to say about correct grammar for wedding invitations. You can download the podcast for free.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Ceremony Toss

It's common to toss petals, birdseed or blow bubbles as the newlyweds leave the ceremony. Many of you may remember that rice was originally tossed, a traditional symbol of prosperity, but since learning that rice is harmful to birds, many couples provide birdseed for guests to toss instead.

When deciding what you want your guests to toss, think about the season or theme of your wedding. For a spring wedding have guests toss petals or flower heads with the stems cut off. In the summertime hand out sparklers and matches. Colorful autumn leaves are perfect for a fall ceremony, and you can make your own (paper) snowflakes for a winter wedding.

In lieu of a traditional toss, you can supply small bells for guests to ring, bubbles to blow or streamers and flags for them to wave. Whatever you decide to use, place them in paper cones or glassine envelopes, and have them distributed to guests as they enter the ceremony site.

You can personalize the toss holder by sealing them with a monogrammed sticker or write a note explaining to guests what they should do with the package - to toss them while you make your way up the aisle or hold onto them until you leave the ceremony site.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bridal Shower Product Poems

My sister is planning a shower for next weekend and just email me for product poems for showers. Why she didn’t just go to Google I don’t know, but I did and one of the first links to pop up was an old post I write for iVillage Weddings. So I sent her that link and then realized she’s probably not the only one looking for these types of poems so here are some links to a few different versions of bridal shower product poems:

Remember that there are a lot of versions of each poem and you can customize them to fit the bride. If her name, or the groom's name, is the same as a product you can try to add it or if you have trouble finding a specific product just remove the line. For example, my brother-in-law's name is Scott so we added Scott toilet paper to the cleaning products poem. We couldn't find one of the candies mentioned so we just read the line without showing the product.

If you have a good poem please post it in the comments section or post the link to one that you like.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Anne’s Big Wedding Registry Don’t – Follow Up

A commenter on yesterday’s post left a few questions so I thought I’d answer them with a follow up to the topic of registering for cash. I’m assuming if one bride has questions others do too.

I’m torn on the topic of honeymoon registries because in some cases the registries actually send the couple a check even though guests think they are actually sending a gift such as a spa treatment or dinner at a local restaurant. I’ll make this your call as the bride and groom – making your decision based on the service you are thinking of registering with.

My feeling is that as long as you are legitimately getting gifts a honeymoon registry is fine. I think it’s nice that your great aunt Tilly is getting you a romantic dinner and cousin Bob is treating you to tickets to an activity at your honeymoon destination. I just dont' like the idea that your guest thinks he's sending you to a spa or activity while you are away but you're actually getting cash and not the gift he thinks he is giving.

Even with a honeymoon registry you should still register for traditional items for those guests who would prefer to send something for your home. And as for which stores to register at, you can select as many different stores as you like, though I recommend limiting it to three stores total – and that could be one honeymoon registry and two different retailers. And these retailers don't have to be home stores. You can register at any store that offers a registry, or check out which lets you register for any and everything available for sale on the Internet.

Feel free to email me or post a question if you have specific questions relating to your circumstance.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anne's Big Wedding Registry Don't

Sorry this is such a short post but I really don't feel the need to defend my opinion on this one.  I was talking to someone today about their friend's registry - a honeymoon registry, which I think is fine - but then she mentioned cash registries and my flat out, not going to change my mind on this one is:  No way, no how.

There is absolutely no proper way to ask for cash gifts through a registry.  In my opinion it is wrong.  I've seen treasure chests on wedding Web sites that link to paypal accounts, I've heard of people not registering at retail stores because they thought that would encourage cash or checks at the wedding.

Look:  You're going to get gifts that your guests want to give you.  There's nothing you can do about it.  But please do not register for cash.  I know there are new sites that let you do that but it's tacky and it implies that you're greedy and in it for the money.

So just don't do it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Love Stamps

My family thinks I'm crazy because I announced that I wanted to host Thanksgiving this year and I need everyone's address so I can send them a formal invitation.  I wanted to send an invite because I need an excuse to use these fabulous Thanksgiving Day Parade stamps just release from the US Postal Service.  Aren't they cool!

I love stamps.  I don't collect them but I think they add a touch of thoughtfulness to an invite.  It's like you really took the time to think of every detail.  I'm sure I told you how I actually called the main office of the postal service in Washington, DC two months before my wedding because they pushed the release date of the lavender-hued Audrey Hepburn stamp that I wanted to use for our wedding.  I asked them to connect me to the Hepburn estate so I could get their permission to have the stamps released in time for me to use them for our wedding.  They didn't and we used Cary Grant in a tux.  My dad's high school friend actually called me to tell me how much he liked the stamp - true story.  We used Audrey on our thank you notes.

Anyway, while most of your guests won't give the stamp a second glance, you may want to consider selecting a stamp that matches your wedding theme, colors or something wedding-y without being the typical wedding-themed stamp.  Right now I'm loving the King and Queen of Hearts as a wedding stamp.

Because of the recent stamp fare hike the USPS has recently issued new stamps at the new rate:  44 cents.  I thought these stamps might work for a wedding.  You can also go to and to customize a stamp with a photograph, monogram or other imagery.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin