Monday, August 31, 2009

Surfing the World Wide Web for Wedding Ideas

I was having trouble finding something to blog about on for tomorrow’s 5pm post. The item I had scheduled had to be moved because the company didn’t have an image of the product yet, so I went clicking through various sites – vendors, retailers, blogs – and kept clicking from one to the next and I saw so many wonderful things.

Beautiful real weddings, inspiration boards, creative products and even stuff for RB when she gets older. It was so much fun to see all these great wedding and entertaining ideas and it was hard to feature just one – especially since some of them are links to competitor sites.

Obviously you, dear reader, are a blog reader but it’s a good idea to follow links from blog rolls and within posts because you never know where they may take you and what you may find!

And when you do find something you like, bookmark it, print out the image or info or copy what you like to a word file and keep track of everything in one document. I find that when I bookmark favorite sites I don't go back to them often, but I do refer to my regular list of favorites that are typed up and tacked to my bulletin board.

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Case of Rain

My parents are going to a wedding tomorrow morning in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which does not offer a covering in case of rain (according to the weather reports it will rain all weekend). The wedding is called for 10am with cocktails (I expect it would be mimosas, bloody marys and bellinis) first and the ceremony at 11am in the park and then back to the cocktail location for the reception. I’m assuming that when my parents and the other guests arrive the hosts will announce that the ceremony will be taking place indoors at the cocktails and reception location. But we'll find out tomorrow what happened.

It is so important that you have a rain plan if you’re having an outdoor wedding. Either reserve an indoor location or put a deposit on some tents. It is not worth the risk not to have a Plan B. After months of wedding planning you don’t want to let the weather cancel the whole day. And if you get wedding insurance check your policy because I think weather comes under the heading “acts of g-d” meaning that you won’t get your money back.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thoughts on Color

I don’t remember the last time I did a post on color so forgive me if you’ve heard this one before.

When finalizing your color palette, be very specific as to how you tell your bridesmaids (if they’re shopping for their own dresses) and vendors which colors are in your palette. You need to be specific because every color can be a varying shade.

For example if you want a Tiffany blue colored wedding don’t tell your vendors and ‘maids that the color palette will be blue or even light blue. Be specific. And if you have to go to the paint store and give each vendor and ‘maid a paint chip of the exact blue you’re talking about, then do it.

Paint chips are free at Home Depot so grab as many as you need and pass them out. I'm sure you'd be mortified if on the day of your wedding each bridesmaid was wearing every shade of blue from navy to royal to sky and your cake's blue fondant clashed with the pale blue flower arrangements.

So do yourself a favor and be specific.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monograms and Your Wedding

Monograms are a very popular choice when it comes to choosing your wedding “logo.” If you and your fiancĂ© have decided that you want to add your monogram to all of your wedding details there are some “rules” you should follow.

Etiquette dictates that you don't use your married initial until after you are actually married. That means you should not use your married initial on any wedding stationery guests will see before the ceremony, including your save-the-date card and invitation. Some people will use their married monogram during the ceremony because it symbolizes two people becoming one, so while some etiquette experts will say don’t use your married monogram at all until after you’ve actually said “I do,” I don’t think the etiquette police will come after you.

Once you've tied the knot, you can use your married initial on any and every detail at your reception including your wedding favors, cake, menu cards, place and seating cards and any other items you are planning on having.

If you want to follow the rules of etiquette but still want to use a monogram on your wedding invitation, ask your stationer to create a monogram using both of your first initials. An example of this style can be seen in the invitation above, which was designed by Wiley Valentine and available at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Wedding Planning Tips From My Family

My dad joined us for dinner tonight and as I sat down to write today's post I asked him if he had a wedding planning tip I could share with you. After all the weddings he's been to he couldn't think of one besides: Use deli mustard with pigs-in-a-blanket, which of course you already know.

So, here's Dave's Teeth Whitening Tip (he's a dentist):

If you're going to whiten your teeth before your wedding make sure you do it no later than 5 days before the big day because it takes that long for the whiteness to even out and second, you shouldn't have food that can stain your shirt in that time because the same foods may stain your teeth and you'll want to enjoy food on your wedding day.

And since cousin Ally Jane (a college senior) is over cooking dinner, here's one from her: Buy your wedding dress in your size not a smaller size, because you may think you're going to lose 15 lbs but you'll probably only lose three.

Thanks Dad, Dave and Al for these great tips!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Gift Ideas

I know at I wrote about Molla Space because I told you the story of the fake proposal Dave made with a real, yet still fake, diamond. And I’ve featured some of their products as gift ideas on But I wanted to make sure that you, dear reader, knew about this fabulous site.

Molla Space sells a broad range of gift items for men and women, in a wide range or price points and for pretty much every area: Kitchen, personal accessories, work, etc…

I stopped by their booth at the NY Gift Fair last week and just loved some of the new items coming out this fall.

Anyway, for those of you looking for unique, definitely will use, bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, or even for a friend’s birthday, I highly suggest you take a look at Molla Space. Here are a few images of their products. The first is a Perfume Atomizer and the second is a Teardrop iPod Water Resistant Bathroom Speaker.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finding the Perfect Spot - Part II

A commenter wrote in regarding yesterday's post and asked if I have any advice for how to find a venue that is both inexpensive and unique through other means than entering "inexpensive unique wedding venue (city)" in Google.

I think the best way to look for any venue is to talk to recent brides about places they had their wedding as well as places they looked at and decided against. You should also talk to vendors because they are always working at different locations.

Local wedding magazines and Web sites with local features are also a good source. And don't forget to look at both editorial stories and advertisements.

As for searching the Internet, you should be very specific as to what type of loaction you are looking for. The more detailed you are in your search terms the more likely you are to get more accurate results.

As for expensive vs inexpensive venues. You can influence the costs of your wedding venue simply by limiting your guest list, the style you serve your meal and what type of food you serve.

And I should mention wedding blogs. The wedding blogs feature very creative weddings so you may be able to search them for unique locations too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Finding the Perfect Spot

One of your first tasks as a bride is to find the perfect location, which will help set the tone for your wedding. When you start searching for your ceremony and reception site keep a few things in mind:

  • Your guest list. You don’t need the final list, but you should have a rough estimate of how many people you are planing on inviting.

  • Your budget. Having an idea of what your wedding budget is before you go looking will ensure that you’ll find a location you can afford. You don’t want to fall in love with a space that’s over $250 a head, if your budget will only allow $75 a head.

  • Your wedding’s look and feel. Do you want to get married outdoors? At home? In a church? By knowing what you want, you’ll be able to narrow down the spaces you schedule appointments at and won’t waste time looking at spaces you’ll never book.

Once you've decided on each of the above elements start researching and visiting locations that fit all of your requirements. Don't think you're being too picky if you visit a dozen places or more. It's a very important decision that will impact many details of your wedding so take your time and make sure you choose the right place.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thank You Note To Do

When you're opening up your wedding presents, either as they arrive before the wedding, on your wedding night or sometime after it's important to make a list of who sent you what so you can send each gift giver a thank you note.

Just take any piece of paper - we used the notepad at the hotel we were staying at the night of the wedding - and write down the gift givers name(s) and the gift. If it's money you can write down the amount but you don't have to.

Once you are ready to write your notes you'll need this list to help write each one. If it's a monetary gift simply write, "Thank you for your generous gift." You can also add what you plan on using the gift towards. If the gift is a specific item you should mention it, "Thank you for the cofee maker." Of course these are just opening sentences, you should write a few lines - maybe mention that you were glad they could come to the wedding, that you hope to see them soon, etc...

You should have everyone's address from your invitation address list, but if for some reason you can't find one don't be afraid to email him or her and ask for it.

You have two months from when you return from your honeymoon to write and mail your thank you notes. If you decide to write them on the plane, remember that you can only use US stamps to mail letters from the US. So if you're going to another country just hold onto them and mail them when you get back home.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Please Don’t Let This Happen To You

As you know I met with Juli from Garter Girl a few weeks ago and told you about her blog, which is filled with ideas for garters and how to incorporate them in your wedding without embarassing yourself.

This photo is the perfect example of why brides are shying away from the garter toss. 

I can’t imagine having Dave’s head up my skirt in front of my parents and grandparents, but maybe that’s just me.  

If you don’t want to forgo this time honored tradition but are afraid of your groom going a little too far (up your dress I mean) then tell him in advance that he is only allowed to put his hands on your leg to slide the garter off.  He shouldn’t have to use his eyes to get a closer look nor should he remove it with his teeth.

Sorry if you disagree with me.

I could just be a prude, but really? In front of grandma?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tanning Tips

I went to lunch with my sister yesterday and noticed that she had a very nice tan. I knew she hadn't been laying out in the sun so I asked her how she got such great color and she said she was using a tanning cream from Clarins.

When she got up from the table I noticed that her back was much fairer than her front. It turns out she forgot to add the cream to her back so she was half tan and half white.

If you're hoping to get a bronze-ish look for your wedding day go for an even tan. Remember that most of your guests will see you from the back - the cermeony, dancing, etc... so it's important to look good from all angles. Here are some tanning tips:

1. Test the tanning spray, bed, cream, etc.. months before your wedding so you know how your skin will react.

2. Don't lay in the sun the days before your wedding without proper sun lotion. You don't want to get a burn or sun poisoning the week of your wedding.

3. If you are using a spray or lotion to get the perfect tan, make sure you cover yourself evenly and ask for help for those hard to reach areas like your back.

4. Do not put any type of tanning lotion or spray on the morning of your wedding in case it can rub off on your white dress.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Shopping online is pretty common. Many of your guests will probably buy your engagement, shower and wedding gifts online rather than visit an actual store. With this in mind, it makes sense for you to complete your entire registry online, which means you’re no longer limited to big box stores.

Plenty of online retailers offer registries and I’m sure you have favorite e-shops that you’d like to get gifts from. Especially if you don’t need the traditional linens, appliances and other housewares.

Wishpot is an online service that allows you to combine all of your online registries into one convenient spot. Your guests can visit and purchase anything on your registry from every e-shop you’ve selected items from. Wishpot also allows you to register for your honeymoon. I still frown on the idea of registering for cash gifts/asking guests for cash.

Now, while pretty much everyone has access to the Internet I would still advise registering in at least one brick and mortar store for guests who prefer to shop in an actual store. And remember my tips regarding registering in general:

1. Always register in a range of prices from less than $25 all the way up to $500+. You never know what someone can afford to spend so you want to give people options.

2. Even if you don’t need the traditional housewares and linens, it’s always a good idea to register for them because some guests (especially older ones) will want to get you something for your home. You can always exchange the gift later.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Garter Girl

A few weeks ago I had coffee with Julianne Smith who designs a modern collection of garters. I had been emailing with Juli for months and was so excited when she told me she’d be in New York.

I know that many of us feel that the garter toss is a bit outdated, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo the tradition entirely. A garter can be an easy something blue or something new and it’s also a great keepsake for your wedding memory box.

Juli can design a garter in a zillion different color combinations so you’re sure to find one that works with your wedding theme and palette. You can contact her directly for a custom design if you don't find a pattern on her site. She’s also embroidering names, dates, monograms and sayings on garters so you can truly make it something personal.

For more garter ideas, check out her blog, Garter Girl. It’s filled with new designs, real brides wearing her garters as well as ideas and fun facts about garters and weddings.

Forgive the slighly blurred photo. It was taken on my blackberry and I think RB was in my other arm.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Win $500K on Deal or No Deal!

Weddings can be expensive and some couples have been known to go into debt while planning their perfect day. But if you’re in need of cash because of wedding expenses, student loans, or just because – everyone would love some extra cash, right? - now’s your chance to hit the jackpot by winning $500,000 on Deal or No Deal’s special newlywed show!

Tomorrow, August 13th, casting will be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in New York City for newlyweds to appear as a contestant on the popular NBC show. The taping will take place in Connecticut and the show will air next season.

Here’s how to enter: Email with your name, how long you’ve been married and which time you prefer.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Twittering @ Your Wedding

I read an article on today about a woman who used Twitter to update friends and family from the moment her water broke through labor and after pushing, told her followers about her beautiful baby. One of the psychiatrists asked to comment on the idea of tweeting during labor and delivery said, "One of the few rituals we have, in terms of giving each other undivided attention, is that time in a delivery room. To be spending time writing to someone else destroys the whole ritual. That's like Twittering on your wedding night. You can blog about it afterward."

"Twittering on your wedding night" is what caught my attention.

Between Twitter, personal wedding Web sites and blogs – not to mention Facebook and MySpace – there are a myriad of ways to let your friends and family know what your wedding plans are, but when it comes to the day of I think you need to put the iPhone, blackberry and computer away and just limit yourself to phone calls and SMS text messages.

If you spend time on your wedding day sharing your feelings and thoughts on Twitter or updating your status on Facebook you’ll miss the whole day. The people you are writing to are probably at your wedding celebrating with you and I hope not checking their own status and Twitter updates.

Remember that your wedding day is only one day and you won’t get that time back. Once the day is over you can share your thoughts and feelings with the world, but for that one day forget technology and enjoy the person to person interaction that we really don’t get that much these days.

Monday, August 10, 2009

With This 4-Carat Ring

So today was my first day back at and I learned about a recent poll on the Wedded Bits blog based on the Millionaire Matchmaker's recent engagement.  The new bride-to-be told Us magazine that she has a rule regarding engagement rings:  The carat size of the diamond received should go up a full carat for every year the couple dates.

Now I'm not writing this post to comment on this "rule" but to talk about engagement rings in general.

Assuming that some of you are still waiting to get engaged - I know I started dreaming and planning my wedding before the ring was actually on my finger - there's no reason to just hope for a certain ring.  You should feel comfortable explaining to your soon-to-be fiance what type of ring you want: stone, cut, setting.  I would stay away from dictating carat size because if his budget won't allow a 4-carat ring then you are probably not going to get one and you should never say anything to make him feel uncomfortable about what he can or cannot afford.

If you don't want to just come out one day and say, "I want a brilliant cut diamond with baguette side stones on a platinum band", then you can show him rings that you like, or don't like, by commenting on rings you see in magazine, online and even on your friends hands.

Of course going shopping together is probably the safest bet to ensure that the ring you get is the ring you want, but if he does surprise you and you accept his proposal and you don't like the ring, just smile and enjoy the moment and even the next few days with this ring on your left hand.  If after a few days you still don't like the ring style you can bring up the idea of changing it but I'd give it a chance.  You don't want to hurt his feelings.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Beating the Heat

I had lunch with a fried who told me about a wedding she and her family (including 2 little kids) attended earlier this summer. It was held outdoors on a sunny (and hot) day and the ceremony was over an hour long.

While some religious ceremonies can last longer than 20-30 minutes it is important to think about your guests when planning it. I'm not talking about editing the ceremony itself, but if you are getting married on a summer day you should provide seating, shade and cool beverages for your guests.

I remember a wedding in Puerto Rico I worked when I was at Martha Stewart Weddings and it was hot as hell and the ceremony was held on a putting green so the editors arranged for iced beverages to be passed before the ceremony started and parisols were available for the guests too.

The wedding my friend attended did not offer iced beverages or cover from the hot sun. There were a number of older guests as well as kids at the wedding who became very uncomfortable as the ceremony went on (and on).

If you're planning to get married outdoors on what could possibly be a hot day, think about having a tent available to shade your guests or if the cermeony won't be too long offer fans and parisols. I'm sure you've seen fans with the program printed on it so you can combine two details into one.

Talk to your caterer about offering passed beverages - alcoholic or not - before the ceremony begins or having a bar next to the ceremony site for guests to grab a drink before taking their seats. And don't forget my post last week about seating. Always have seats available for elder, disabled and pregnant guests and of course kids.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


During the Wedding Inspirations 2009 event in Philadelphia I got a chance to see Beautiful Blooms' new store. The shop was filled with gorgeous flowers, gift items and a wall of colored vessels to hold Donna's beautiful arrangements.

I asked Donna to email me a few pictures of arrangments she has created using her colored vessels to show my readers that they don't have to use clear glass vessels or silver reverie bowls for their centerpieces.

After you've selected your wedding's color palette you have to decide where in your details these colors will be used. Bridesmaid dresses, invitations, the cake, bouquets and centerpiece flowers are the most common ways to incorporate your palette but here are a few more ideas: linens, cocktail napkins, signature drinks, favors and their packaging, table decor other than flowers, matchbooks, programs, table numbers, seating and place cards and linens. And I'm sure you can think of a few more on your own. The list really could go on and on.

The point of creating a color palette is to help you use color in your details so talk to your florist about some innovative ideas to really make the room pop.

Below are two more floral examples using coloed vessels and one shot of a wall of blue vessels so you can see that they come in a range of sizes and shapes. To get more fabulous flower ideas for your wedding visit the Beautiful Blooms blog and if you're getting hithced in or around Philly, make an appointment to stop by Donna's shop in Liberties Walk.

Photo Credit: Marie Labbancz

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Gimme a Break

This is my last week on maternity leave so I'm a little unorganized with this week's posts. There are a few on my edit list but with getting everything together before I go back to work I've been unable to find time to write them. Please forgive me.

I finally got a few minutes to myself and wanted to write something today so here's a simple tip: Don't sweat the small stuff.

Your wedding is a huge event. There are dozens of guests and a variety of vendors to work with. Something is bound to go wrong either during the planning process or on the day of. Now if on the day of the band forgets to show up on time (which happened to a friend of ours) that's a big thing to worry about. But if the band is on time and everyone is on the dance floor and they play a song on your do not playlist but everyone's still dancing, let it go.

You'll make yourself crazy nitpicking every detail so don't waste your time and energy focusing on it. Look at the big picture and if the ceremony was meaningful and everyone had a great time at the reception that's all that matters.

And even though my wedding was six years ago, I can say this looking back, there were things that came up during the planning process that freaked me out. Now I think to myself, why was I so upset about that? I look back and laugh, but I remember how I felt then. And trust me, it wasn't worth the arguments and stress. Planning should be fun. If it's not: stop planning and take a break and then go back to it with a clear mind and a fresh perspective.

PS - That's me and my girl enjoying a day in the park. If I don't give Dave a photo credit he'll say something. Photo Credit: Dave


Blog Widget by LinkWithin