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 Goodnote.com 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, theweddingco.com/events.

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 d├ęcor 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 brooklynbased.net/weddingcrashers 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, Brides.com’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.

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