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


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