Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toast the New Year and Your Marriage

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

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Regifting 101

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

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

The article listed some rules of re-gifting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Inspiration Board Basics

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

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

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

Elizabeth Anne Design
Ritzy Bee
Snippet & Ink
Style Me Pretty

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

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

Friday, December 26, 2008

Must-Have Wedding Planning Books for $5 Each

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

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

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

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

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

  • Buff Brides

  • The Anti-Bride Guide

  • Jessica Simpson I Do

  • Most of the Everything Wedding Book Series

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

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

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Xmas and Mazal Tov

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

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Win: Free Platinum Wedding Bands

How would you like to win free platinum wedding bands?

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Save the Date and Save Some Money

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

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

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

Find out more about iomoi e-stationery here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The #1 Travel Tip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2008

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Go Ahead and Brag!

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

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flush Once...

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 15, 2008

Talking in Code

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

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

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

Friday, December 12, 2008

Freezing the Top Tier of Your Wedding Cake

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ring Cleaning Solutions

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Custom Aisle Runners on Sale!

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

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

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wedding Budget Workshop for Tri-State Area Brides

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wedding Details from A to Z: Thanks Ritzy Bee!

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

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

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sample Sale 411

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

But here’s what you can do:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

April's Fool Day in December

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Top 100 Party Planning Web Sites

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

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

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

Monday, December 01, 2008

NYC Wedding-Related Sample Sales

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

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

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

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanking Vendors

After you return from your honeymoon you'll probably remember to write thank you notes to all of your guests, but it's also important to send a thank you note to your vendors too.  I'm sure the idea of writing one more note after the 100+ you've already done seems like a chore, but your wedding vendors - location manager, caterer, baker, florist, wedding planner, bridal salon, etc..  - will really appreciate it and it's the right thing to do.  You could also call them up and say thanks.

The day after my wedding as we made our way from Long Island to Brooklyn, I called each one of my vendors to tell them how lovely everything was and thanked them for their beautiful work.  I think I sent a note to each of them along with an issue of Martha Stewart Weddings that featured our wedding (Fall 2004).

Not sure what to write?  Keep it simple.  Write it to the person you worked with and mention how happy you were with their work, that you and your fiance loved everything and that your wedding was a wonderful day.

Remember it's the thought that counts.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Weddings on Holiday Weekends

Just a quick note to remind you that if you want to get married on a holiday weekend, like Thanksgiving weekend, it's important to check with your most important guests - immediate family members and closest friends - that they'll be available.

A lot of people have plans to travel to see their own families on holiday weekends, so don't assume that your best friend will be able to make it.

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Table Assignments

It's been a crazy day and I just started making the one thing I was assigned for Thanksgiving, my grandparents' spinach recipe - it's amazing and one of the few things I know how to cook.

Anyway, I saw a friend and her 4-year-old daughter for lunch and she was telling me about a wedding they recently went to.  My friend was a guest of the groom, and knew all of his college friends, but for some reason, the couple sat her at a table with the bride's friends because they all had little kids at the wedding too.

My friend ended up moving over to the table where she knew the people and her daughter had fun on the dance floor all night along.

Moral of the story:  It's always better to sit a guest with people he, she or they know, then to assume they'd be comfortable with people they don't know but in a similar situation.  For example:  If there are a group of friends who know each other and one person does not have a date, sit them with friends.  Don't sit them with strangers at the "singles table."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to Treat Your Bridesmaids

I always hear stories of brides taking advantage of their maid-of-honor and bridesmaids - asking them to act more like their wedding planner than their support system.

I recently caught the movie 27 Dresses on cable. The main character, Jane, is a bridesmaid or MOH in 27 weddings. At each one, including her sister’s, she's acting more like a wedding planner and not a bridesmaid or MOH.

So let me just say this: Your bridesmaid and MOH should not be your wedding planner – unless of course that’s what she does for a living and has offered to work with you as your wedding planner.

It is NOT fair for you to expect your ‘maids to schedule appointments with vendors for you or do any research for you, unless they offer. Of course you can bring them with you dress shopping and to meet with a vendor, but they are NOT your private army of wedding planners.

Here’s a list of the main bridesmaid and maid-of-honor responsibilities:
  • Plan and host the bridal shower and bachelorette party

  • Shop for and buy the bridesmaid dress and accessories the bride selects without complaining

  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner

  • If the bride asks – help with wrapping favors, binding programs, stuffing invitation envelopes, etc...

  • Show up on time on the wedding day with a positive attitude

  • Help the bride get ready

  • Walk down the aisle without complaining about the order or who she is paired with

  • Take part in the ceremony if the bride asks

  • Dance and have a great time at the reception

Monday, November 24, 2008

What would Giselle Do?

I caught Enchanted on TV earlier today. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a very sweet film that is not just for kids. Anyway, the main character, Giselle, wears a very large hoop skirt and has difficulty getting through doors and moving in general.

A few weeks ago, Nancy Swiezy, owner of wedding and event planning company, A Newport Affaire, and author of the blog Newport Weddings sent me a link to a video on how a bride can move gracefully throughout her wedding day.

If your wedding dress includes a hoop skirt, I highly recommend watching this clip so you don’t have any difficulty – or an embarassing situation – on your wedding day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Music Matters

It’s important to discuss your music choices with your groom and your band leader or DJ. You never want to be surprised by a song that you hate or on that reminds you of someone you’d rather not think about on your wedding day.

You’ve probably been asked to draw up a play and do not playlist and it’s very important that you do. But you also want to think about specific songs you want for specific moments.

In addition to the first dance and father-daughter/mother-son dances, you have to choose a song for your grand entrance – and one for the bridal party if you want them to be announced too - you should pick a song to be played while your dad, best man and maid-of-honor are called up to the microphone for their toast, and you also need to pick a song for the cake cutting, bouquet toss and garter toss, if you’re having one.

These songs are a great way to personalize your wedding, without having to craft something or spend any money. Here are some creative song choices I’ve heard recently:
  • Recessional for the couple: Everlasting Love
  • Couple entering the reception: White Wedding, Now That We Found Love
  • Bridal Party entering the reception: Twist & Shout

What are you planning on selecting for these special moments? What songs do you or don't you recommend?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Flavors & Fillings

It’s unfortunate that most guests — and brides — assume that while a wedding cake may look beautiful it will not taste good. Over the past few years amazingly talented bakers have been creating wedding cake masterpieces, that not only look gorgeous, but taste delicious too.

So here’s some wedding wisdom that will help ensure that you and your guests are pleasantly surprised at your wedding:

1. Attend wedding shows in your area, so you can taste a variety of cake flavors and fillings from different bakers, helping you narrow down the choice of bakers you want to schedule formal appointments with.

2. Realize that you can’t please everyone’s taste buds. As long as you, your groom and your parents — siblings, grandparents and best friends can have a say too (but you know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen) — think the cake is delicious don’t worry about every single guest. There is no way you will be able to please the palette of over 100 people — that goes for the wedding menu too.

3. Find out what the baker is known for. He or she may be famous for their chocolate or carrot cake recipe. It’s important to work with his or her strengths.

4. Once you’ve settled on a cake flavor, try the different fillings they offer to find the perfect combination.

The cake above is from Brooklyn-based bakery, Mark Joseph Cakes

Image courtesy of Brooklyn Bride

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Honeymoon Planning tip

When planning for your honeymoon, do your research on what type of weather conditions you can expect while you’re away. Remember that hurricane season lasts from June 1st through November so the Caribbean is probably not a safe bet.

You can find out potential weather situations online or talk to a travel agent about when is the best time to go to your chosen location. And if you want to risk it, you may want to look into travel insurance just in case your destination gets hit with a storm before you get there, or hits while you’re away, so you can get back the money you spent on airfare, accommodations and any other related expenses.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Registry Spot: The Product Gallery

I received an email last week about a new tabletop/home decor online retailer that I just know you’re going to love.

Lynn Butler, a former style editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, and a stylist at a variety of other publications, including InStyle Weddings and O, has just launched The Product Gallery, an e-commerce store specializing in home, tabletop and garden products.

In addition to shopping for yourself, The Product Gallery also has a registry so you can pick out your favorite things and your wedding guests can buy them for you!

The image above is a silver porcelain cream and sugar set that I just fell in love with. Lynn has an amazing eye for unique and beautiful things. Definitely checkout The Product Gallery as one of the places you register at. (Remember, you should register at two to three stores.)

Wedding Planning Tip: You can spread the word of where you’re registered by mouth as well as on your wedding Web site or blog. Bridesmaids will probably print the information on your shower invitation, but you should NOT include your registry information in your wedding invitation. If someone isn’t sure where you’re registered at, they’ll ask.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Embossing 101

Engraved, letterpress and thermography are almost always featured as the three printing styles for your wedding invitations and stationery details. Today I got an email from Minna Designs and fell in love with one design in particular (though they are all gorgeous) that used embossing.

The couple selected their future monogram as the decorative element at the top of their invitation, and instead of having it printed in the same style as the rest of the invitation, the designer used an embosser to raise the paper in the design of the couple’s monogram.

The great thing about having a custom embosser created is that you can use that same embosser on other wedding details: programs, menu cards, favor tags, etc…

Minna is offering a 20% discount for orders placed in December 2008 to From “I Will” to “I Do” readers, so be sure to mention that you read about her company here!

Visit the Minna Designs Web site to see more styles in the collection.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh So Beautiful Paper

While browsing wedding blogs yesterday for the weekly Wed-site Roundup on, I came across a stationery blog that’s really fabulous. Oh So Beautiful Paper is filled with daily posts on everything from personal stationery to invitations to seating cards and any and everything else writer and ephemera fan Nole can find.

I’m also a huge paper fanatic and have shoeboxes filled with beautiful stationery and cards I’ve collected over the years that I’m afraid to use because they're so pretty I hate to let 'em go.

Browsing Oh So Beautiful Paper is so much fun for paper lovers as well as brides looking for inspiration.

It was very hard to pick an image from the site to run with this post, but the one I finally picked is from a post written last week. The post features the stationery details Nole created for a recent wedding. The reason I pulled this one is because I thought I’d add a wedding planning tip to this post, so here goes:

If there are a certain number of guest – close family members and friends - who you’d like to ensure have a front row – or second or third row – seat at your ceremony make cards that read “reserved” so other guests know not to sit there. But to ensure that these VIPs take their seats, let them know either in their invitation or over the phone or via email that there are a number of reserved seats put aside especially for them. You can also ask a member of your bridal party to stand near these reserved rows to make sure no one sits there by mistake.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vintage Glam: The Blog

Our wedding was inspired by both our love of the 1934 movie It Happened One Night – specifically the movie poster – and my grandparents’ weddings from 1945 and 1952. Therefore, the wedding had a lot of retro details – matchbooks, small lamps on each table, dance cards, etc…

I just learned about a blog dedicated to all things vintage and I have to say it’s really fabulous.

Vintage Glam is filled with everything vintage: cake toppers, art deco jewelry, great retro venues, wedding dresses and any and everything else you can think of. Today’s post was on art deco fonts!

When I got engaged (2001) and married (2003) there weren’t any blogs to turn to for ideas so I had to sift through old pictures at my grandparents’ houses, I bought vintage matchbooks and stirrers on eBay ($60) and flipped through a myriad of books that reflected the styles of the time period I was trying to recreate. (Do I sound like an old lady – "When I was your age we didn’t have…")

Anyway, take advantage of blogs, Web sites as well as things offline to help inspire you. Remember to print out or copy any and everything you like and put it in your wedding organizer so you can show your vendors your vision. And you know what else: make your own inspiration board – either with Photoshop or the old-fashioned way: oak tag and glue – to help pull all of your ideas together.

And remember to have fun doing it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ceremony Traditions

When it comes to weddings there are a lot of traditions brides and grooms include in the ceremony and reception - wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue, breaking the glass and tossing the bouquet are just a few well-known ones.

While planning your wedding spend some time researching - in books or online - different secular and religious traditions and talk to your fiance about which ones you should include. You can talk to your officiant about religious traditions and your parents can tell you about family traditions. You can also explore other religious and cultural backgrounds for ideas.

You can also create your own tradition. Either add your own personal twist to something you've read about or create a brand new one that you can pass down to your children.

Here's an example of a tradition with a twist: At some Jewish weddings, the bride will walk around the groom seven times at the beginning of the ceremony. I've seen couples switch it up and have the bride walk around the groom three times and then the groom walk around the bride three times.

Remember it's your wedding day and you should customize and personalize the details to suit your personalities.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Look Good in (Your Wedding) Pictures

A few weeks back Elayne Fluker (Managing Editor at and I gave an interview to Carson Kressley of Queer Eye fame on how to look good in your wedding pictures for the Nikon series, Look Good in Pictures.

Here are our tips on how to hire a photographer and general advice on looking good in your wedding pictures: (If the video below is not working, click here.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

After Party Basics

Many brides and grooms plan on having an after party after their reception. Either the couple will hire a DJ for an hour or more after the reception ends, or the DJ they hired for the reception will switch gears and begin playing more club-like music. Some couples will even switch locations for their after party.

I’ve only been to a few weddings where there was an after party and for all of them we didn’t know there was going to be one until well into the reception. Friends, and in some instances the couple, asked if we were staying for the after party. Dave and I knew what an after party was, but we had no idea that there’d be one.

We usually ended up staying, especially if they were close friends or relatives, but it got me thinking. Did they send out a formal invite for this party and just forget to send one to us? I’m not talking about an engraved card, but an evite or an email would suffice. Did they just expect people to find out by word of mouth?

If you’re going to have an after party please let your guests – or at least those who you want to stay – know about it. They’ll need to know where it is, especially if you’re moving locations, what time you're having it and when it will end, if they should change into more casual outfits and if you’re supplying any transportation to the location.

If your guests know what to expect in advance they’re more likely to join in the fun!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Help With Your Playlist

I’m sorry I missed yesterday, but I’m still caught up in all the post-election hoopla. Dave thought after Tuesday I’d stop paying attention to politics, but I find that I’m more interested now. Anyway, back to blogging.

Do you remember that wedding we went to in Barbados in 2007? The couple hired a local DJ but the groom was so paranoid that the DJ wouldn’t play great music that as a back-up plan he downloaded hundreds of songs onto his iPod.

After the DJ came and set everything up, the groom went over to him and told him that he created a playlist for the reception and that he should just plug the iPod into the speaker system. The groom did a great job. The party went on for hours and everyone had a great time. Though the DJ looked bored sitting there all night with nothing to do.

If this is something you’re thinking of doing, you might want to hire a professional music service to create a playlist for your cocktail hour, background music during dinner and dancing. I read about a company in the NY Times earlier this week that creates playlists for consumers and business. audiostiles will work with you to create the perfect playlist for your event. Either they'll email you a list of songs for your playlist or send you a CD with all the songs on them.

For weddings, they charge $75 per hour with a 2-3 hour minimum, plus the cost of songs. You can learn more about them by visiting their Web site,

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Speak From the Heart

I was just talking to a colleague who has to write a toast for her sister’s upcoming wedding. She’s not sure what to write and while we were talking I remembered the tip I wrote on how to write a great wedding speech or toast in January of this year. I sent her the link to the post, and thought I’d share it will all of you again – especially for those who are newly engaged:

I hope you’ve all seen Wedding Crashers. It's one of the funniest movies about weddings ever. I’ve even heard that couples have actually hired “professional wedding crashers” to crash their wedding. I don’t quite understand that, but I guess if you’re going to have someone crash, you’d like to at least know who they are and what to expect from them.

Now I’m not saying that you should expect wedding crashers at your reception, or that you should hire professional ones, but there is an important lesson in this movie.

Remember the scene when Rachel McAdams’s character, Claire Cleary is talking about the speech she is about to give at her sister’s wedding, and Owen Wilson’s character, John Beckwith, tells her that her speech is, well, bad, and that she should speak from the heart?

This is so true. Whether you’re writing the speech you and your fiance are going to give at the rehearsal dinner or reception, or you are a maid-of-honor at an upcoming wedding, think about what you want to say. What emotions and feelings you want to convey. And most importantly, write your toast down.

Either write out the whole speech, or make some notes for yourself so you know what you want to say, and you remember to say it. Unless you are a professional speech writer and public speaker you don’t want to wing it.

I didn’t listen to this lesson when I was the maid-of-honor at my sister’s wedding, and I regret my speech. I wish I had really taken the time to make it more heartfelt than the three or four lines I said.

If you know you are expected to make a speech at your wedding, or at someone else’s, think about what you want to say a head of time, and if you need help ask friends or relatives for their advice, or you can hire a toast writing company to help you out.

Remember, most weddings are videotaped and if your toast is a disaster, you don't want it to end up on You Tube.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I know you think about your wedding everyday, but today, Tuesday, November 4th make sure to take time out from planning to go and vote. If you think there will be lines at the polling place then bring some wedding magazines or print out some articles from wedding Web sites to read while you wait.

Today is also a very important day in my family. Some of you may have heard me say at events or read on the blog, “I swear on Aggie.” Well, Aggie has been a part of my family since 1980 and today she turns 91. Happy Birthday Aggie!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Beware of Traffic Patterns

While I’ve mentioned in the past that you should be aware of certain dates when planning your wedding – holidays, Super Bowl Sunday – you should also be aware of events happening in the community that may “interfere” with your wedding day.

Yesterday was the NYC Marathon and if your wedding was held near any of the streets that were blocked off – including the Verrazano Bridge – your guests, as well as yourself and your vendors, may have had trouble getting to the ceremony and/or reception locations.

Two years ago I got stuck on the wrong side of the NYC Marathon. I went to a yoga class in Williamsburg at 10am and when I parked the car and walked over to the class there were no barriers or crowds of people that would have tipped me off that the marathon runs thru the neighborhood. By the time I got out of the class an hour later the marathon was in full swing and running right down the street I needed to cross to get to my car. After waiting over 30 minutes I decided to make a run for it and literally jogged across the crowd to get to the other side of the street.

My point – be aware of any street festivals, parades and other events that may close off streets and disrupt normal traffic patterns. Your city or town’s chamber of commerce should have a list of upcoming events so you can notify guests of better directions.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Treats for Your Weddings

It may be too late to add lollipop Halloween-themed cookies to tonight’s Halloween party, but if you’re planning your wedding for Saturday, October 31, 2009 – yes, Halloween falls on a Saturday next year – these sweet favors or dessert buffet treats will fit the theme perfectly.

One of my favorite bakers – Elisa Strauss of Confetti Cakes in NY has just published her second book, Confetti Cakes for Kids, and I saw her on the TODAY show yesterday showing how easy it is to make these Halloween cookie pops. (The cookies shown here are similar in style but lollipop-themed, not Halloween - watch the clip below to see the Halloween-themed cookies.)

While I’m always nervous about suggesting intense DIY projects the days before your wedding, I thought this one would be great for a group of friends to do together. You can serve them at the wedding or the rehearsal dinner the night before. Or if your bridal shower will be held on the 31st of October, your bridesmaids can serve them there.

Here’s a link to the recipe for the cookies and another one to purchase the book. Click here to watch a video on how-to make these treats.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the Menu

This is probably going to sound odd but I’m at a loss as to what to have for dinner – make something, go out for Italian or Chinese? And of course since I was also thinking of a post to write, I started thinking about the menu you serve at your wedding reception.

Most people will go a “safe” route when it comes to picking the menu for their wedding – fish, chicken or beef. These traditional fares will ensure that there’s something for everyone – and vegetarian options are always available so I didn’t forget about vegetarians.

If you and your fiancé consider yourselves “foodies” and want to try something a little more - shall we say exotic? – think about your guests. If you’re having a small-ish wedding with immediate family and close friends all of whom share your love of interesting foods then go for it. Find a caterer that can create a truly unique meal that will satisfy your taste buds.

If you’re having a mix of people from each family and friends – both yours and your parents – you may want to stick with the classics. You can get a little experimental in the cocktail hour if you want to. Stations offer a great opportunity to try unique dishes as well as passing flavorful hors d’oeurves. But remember, you should also have some staples – crudite, cheese and crackers and my personal favorite, pigs-in-a-blanket – so everyone has something to eat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Perfect Something Borrowed

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the latest Bridal Scene show on the Wedding Podcast Network I posted about a week or so ago, then you've probably not heard about

This unique service allows brides to rent fine jewelry for their wedding day. The company offers earrings, bracelets, necklaces and jewelry sets for a fraction of the retail cost. You simple find something you like, check the availability and then place your order.

There are some beautiful pieces available and in addition to the bride, your mother (and his) as well as your bridesmaids can get in on the action.

And here’s another thought: Having trouble finding your something borrowed? Wouldn’t this be the perfect item to borrow?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Take a Moment For Yourselves

I gave an interview the other day on how to take a great wedding photo, and when asked what was one of my favorite wedding photos ever taken I mentioned the one featured above. If you and your fiancé are planning on seeing each other before the ceremony I really think it’s important to have a few minutes together (with a photographer there) to just enjoy this special moment. Here’s a tip from my iVillage days relating to this idea:

If you're planning on taking pictures with your groom before the ceremony make the moment you see each other for the first time very special. There’s no reason you need to rush it, even if you’re running behind.  You can ask your wedding planner, photographer, videographer or bridesmaid to make sure that you and your groom have a few minutes to enjoy this once in a lifetime moment – either in private or in front of your bridal party.

As you can see from this photo from Roseanne and Josh’s wedding, the two of them saw each other and had a few minutes to speak before formal portraits began. They looked into each other’s eyes and said, “I love you” and “you look beautiful.” Not only did they get to share the moment, but also photographers – professional and friends - as well as the videographer captured it on film. So maybe it’s not private in the traditional sense, but from the look of it, the two of them don’t even realize that they're the center of attention. They’re in their own world and about to enjoy the happiest day of their lives.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Carry All

In addition to the fact that paper and plastic bags may not be the most eco-friendly, they may also not be the sturdiest of choices to carry all of your wedding magazines, books and inspiration items. (I carried a drinking glass with a swirly pattern to my baker and a box of vintage matchbooks to my florist.)

A better idea is to get a sturdy cloth tote. You’ll be able to carry most if not all of your items in one bag – depending on the number of items you are bringing with you and the size of the bag. 

I found this cotton canvas tote at Embrace Only Love. A new line of tees and totes made from eco-friendly fabrics and a percentage of all profits go toward Vipassana Meditation Centers in North America.

The pattern is called "heart blooms" and it comes in red and blue, shown here. Very appropriate for wedding planning – hearts and something blue. The cost is $15.90 and it’s one item you’ll definitely be able to use after the wedding.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Drinking and Drinking and Drinking Some More

A friend of mine was a groomsmen at a wedding recently and he told me that the bride and groom rented a “party van” to take the bridal party to the pre-wedding photo shoot then to the ceremony, a post-ceremony photo shoot and then the reception. And of course the reason it wasn’t a regular van but a "party van" was that it was stocked with alcohol.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t drink the day of your wedding – and I’m not being a prude – but from what I understand the groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids – he doesn’t remember the bride’s status – "were wasted."

If you’re a big drinking crowd make sure you also have some food on hand. It’s never a good idea to drink without having some food in your system, especially on your wedding day.

You also may want to consider having a few designated drivers on hand after the reception to drive anyone home, or to the hotel they’re staying at, if the party van will not be taking people home after the reception.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Popping the Question Tips

While people get engaged everyday of the year, the most engagements actually take place between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. So if your fiancé is shopping for a ring and trying to think of a unique as well as romantic way to propose to you, you may want to send him to a blog I just learned about today: Marriage Proposals and Wedding Ideas.

Emily, the blog’s author, has a long list of proposal categories that can inspire him. Some include: holiday proposals, birthday proposals, really cool proposals and travel marriage proposals. In addition to proposal stories/ideas she also features ring shopping tips.

Here’s one proposal tip from me: Have a camera with you – and not just the camera in your phone. Whether you’re near people or alone, the photos you take of just you or both of you right after he pops the question are priceless, and you’ll love having them for your wedding scrapbook. I actually made a scrapbook of the 30 photos Dave took of me screaming and crying after he slipped the ring on my finger.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bridal Market: Are Pockets Necessary?

I’m not covering this week’s bridal market on the blog because we’ve been covering it for work – you can check out all the latest collections at – but I saw something at a number of shows that I thought fit in well here.
A lot of designers are adding side pockets to their dresses – ball gowns, A-lines, sheaths – and after today’s Jim Hjelm show I kept wondering, are they realistic? Are the necessary? And here are my thoughts on the subject:

The problem with pockets is that you don’t want to put too much in them. The weight of makeup, a phone and whatever else you put in a pocket may weigh down the dress – not a lot, but enough that it may look odd. It will pull on the skirt.

The only thing I would suggest putting in a pocket of your wedding dress is a handkerchief or tissue in case you get teary during any part of the day. Lipstick or gloss may open up and stain the dress – and even though the pocket may be lined, you don’t want to take a chance that the color will run on to the outside of your wedding dress.

And one more thing. Leave all your beauty touch-up items in the bridal suite you’re getting ready at, or in a small purse at the table you are sitting at for the reception. You don’t need to be carrying a makeup kit with you on your wedding day.

Photo Credit: Dan Lecca/

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First Comes Love...

I received an email today from a Chicago-based stationer, Float Paperie, who has a beautiful collection of wedding invitations and save-the-date cards.

I just love this one. It reminds of old-fashioned romance, where a beau would carve his and his love's initials in a tree.

The line features very modern as well as classic designs – and Andrea has a large portfolio of destination-themed wedding invites and save-the-date cards that you should check out if you're getting married abroad.

Since the image featured here is of a save-the-date card, here’s a save-the-date card related tip: Whoever receives a save-the-date card for your wedding must also receive a wedding invitation. So when going over your preliminary guest list, you may want to be very conservative when mailing out save-the-date cards. Stick to the absolutely, wouldn’t get married without them guests, such as: parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and the closest of friends. I’m sure grandma wants all of her bridge club friends to see your beautiful save-the-date card, but you may not be able to afford inviting all of them to your wedding.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How You Can Win a FREE Organizer

I gave an interview to the Wedding Podcast Network a few weeks ago and just got word that the show is available for downloads. In addition to my interview, the show also includes information on some great wedding Web sites.

I spoke with Robert and Holli about the launch of The Wedding Organizer I published with russell+hazel and how you can win a free one! You have to listen to the show to find out what you need to do – but there’s no cost to enter and the bride with the winning entry will receive a FREE Wedding Organizer from me and russell+hazel.

Click here to listen to the show!

Wedding Planning Tip: Remember that you can get wedding inspiration from anywhere - non-bridal magazines, a piece of furniture and even a pair of shoes could inspire your color palette. Keep an open mind and place all of your wedding inspiration in an organizer or archival box so you can easily refer to it when figuring out your wedding day details.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fashion Advice for Bridesmaids and Guests

Are you a guest at an upcoming wedding and still not sure what you should wear? Are you having trouble selecting bridesmaid dresses (especially if you’re the bridesmaid and the bride said you could pick your own dress)?

Online fashion shopping site,, just launched a Weddings section with fabulous fashions and accessories for both guests and members of the bridal party. The site is divided into the formality or type of wedding, so you can easily find a dress to fit the style of the wedding you’re going to.

Wedding Planning Tip: If you are a bride and have told your bridesmaids that they can choose their own dress, remember to set some ground rules for them to follow:

1 – Formality: Floor-length, tea-length or knee-length as well as ball gown, party dress or cocktail dress

2 – Coverage: Does the church or temple require that women cover their arms

3 – Color: Give your 'maids a specific shade of color to shop for. Blue can range from navy to royal to turquoise to sky. Make sure they know exactly what color or colors you are okay with

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DIY Ceremony Ideas

Many brides are looking for creative DIY ideas for both their ceremony and reception. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but I thought this photo taken by New York-based photographer Jen Huang was a great visual.

I didn’t interview the bride and groom so I’ll admit I’m making up a tip to match with this photo, but I think it works.

The chuppah used at this couple’s ceremony resembles a patchwork quilt. Some couples will send relatives and friends a piece of cloth and ask them to decorate the piece. Once each piece is returned to the couple, they’ll sew them all together, making a beautiful and meaningful chuppah.

If you’re not Jewish, you can still use this idea to make a personalized canopy to stand under for your ceremony.

To see more photos from this wedding or get inspired by the weddings Jen has photographed, visit her blog. Jen is based in NYC so if you’re still looking for a photographer for your wedding, check out her site Jen Huang Photography.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hair Styling Tip and Offer

NYC area brides: One of my favorite salons, BLOW, has just opened a second location at 843 Lexington Avenue (between 64th and 65th Streets).

Both BLOW locations (the other is at 14th Street off 9th Avenue) offer bridal packages for brides and their ‘maids (and moms) to get their hair and nails done in a fun and festive setting.

Through October 31st BLOW’s Lexington Avenue location is offering 50% off first-time customers. If you need to get your hair done for your shower or rehearsal dinner I highly recommend BLOW. Their prices can’t be beat and their stylists are great.

Here’s a wedding hair tip: Don’t forget to get a wedding hair trial a few weeks before your wedding to make sure you not only like the style, but that you feel comfortable that your stylist can create the look you want. After you agree that you like the style he or she has done, take a few photos of the front, back and both sides so that on your wedding day there is no question as to what you are expecting.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Take a Seat

I want to apologize for not writing about these fabulous chair decorations sooner. They have been in my "must blog about" pile for weeks now.

In the '80s, and for most of the '90s, many couples sat in oversized white wicker chairs decorated with tulle to make sure that you could easily spot the bride and groom while they were eating. (The big white dress wouldn’t give them away?)

Thank g-d times have changed and more tasteful chairs and chair decorations have been created. These paper signs are the perfect way to decorate the bride and groom’s chairs at the reception, and also make a great photo-op.

This chair decor set – sold for $45 – includes the "Just Married" sign set and two beautiful paper flowers. Each sign is printed in brown ink on soft textured paper with a deckled edge and are hung from the back of the chair with sheer organza ribbon or a satin ribbon in your choice of color. Each sign measures 11" wide by 5" high. The paper flower can be customized to match your color palette and are approximately 11" wide.

Each set is custom ordered and takes about two weeks for delivery. You can purchase one at khamm75's shop on

Monday, October 13, 2008

No Show Policy

I received an email today from a groom asking me what he should do – really say – to the few guests who RSVP’d yes to his wedding and then didn’t show up. They didn’t email or call and let the bride and groom know they weren’t coming – they just didn’t show. He wanted to know what he should say to them – or if he should just ignore the situation.

Since Dave and I had the same thing happen to us – and I’m sure most couples will have at least one no show – this is probably a common situation that I’m surprised hasn’t come up more often so I thought I’d address it.

Your first reaction might be anger – after all you probably spent well over $100 on food and favors and stationery items for each guest – but I don’t recommend yelling at anyone. If the person in question is someone you consider a good friend then you can confront them, but I would ask them if everything’s okay? And stress that you were worried/concerned when they didn’t show up. Don’t come right out and ask them why they didn’t come to your wedding. Take the high road.

I’m sure he or she feels guilty about not going to your wedding and there’s no real plus in yelling at him or her or making him feel bad or worse. Just know that you’re not alone in this situation and that these things happen – and they happen to almost everyone.

Think of it this way, of all the things that could possibly go wrong on your wedding day – this is a very minor item - that yes is upsetting, but not the worst thing that could happen. Did I ever tell you about the wedding where the band didn't show up? Or the rabbi didn't call that he'd be over an hour late? Or the outdoor wedding with inadequate flooring and tents? All real wedding situations that are much, much worse than one or two guests not showing up.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Must-Attend Event in NYC Tomorrow!

Hello New York! Tomorrow there is a major bridal sale going on at 125 West 21st Street between 6th and 7th avenues. I'll be there to help you choose your perfect dress and give you wedding planning advice, along with Laura Gellar makeup and wedding planner extraordinaire Marcy Blum. The sale will be held from 11AM-2PM, but make sure to show up early so you have the best chance of getting your dream dress. Part of the proceeds will benefit charity, and as if that wasn't good enough, we are hearing rumors that some other celebrities might be making appearances.

The Red Carpet Bridal Sale
125 West 21st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues
11AM - 2PM

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Apply Directly to Your Forehead

Because of the holiday I didn’t have a lot of time to think of a good post, but I do have a tip.

I’ve had a splitting headache all day and didn’t get to make it to Duane Reade to get Tylenol. My mom happened to have some Tiger Balm in the house and after rubbing some of it on my temples and forehead I felt a million times better.

Tiger Balm is similar to the product Head On. Here’s the link to so you can learn more about it and find it in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Family Emergency

Last week I wrote about a death in the family and I got to thinking more about how to handle family emergencies that may arise the week of or day of your wedding. So here’s a wedding planning for dealing with a family emergency and your wedding:

You may have a grandparent or parent who suddenly gets sick a few weeks, or sometimes days, before your wedding. Talk to your fiance, your parents and the patient (as well as his or her spouse) to determine if it’s at all possible for him or her to attend your wedding — and take part in it if they were going to.

Sometimes you can rearrange things:

Have a wheelchair for someone who won’t be able to walk down the aisle

Order specific food if a dietary restriction has been prescribed - low sodium, non-dairy, etc...

Arrange for a rest area in private – at my sister’s wedding we brought a lounge chair into the bridal suite so my ill grandfather could lay down and rest when he needed to

Only you and your family can make the decision to cancel or postpone the wedding, but think about all of your options before making that decision.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Assigning Roles

I was just talking to someone a few weeks ago and he told me that he wasn’t sure if he was a groomsman in an upcoming wedding. He said one night at a bar when he and the groom were drinking, the groom mentioned that he wanted his friend to be a groomsman at his upcoming wedding. And that was it. About six months went by and the guy heard nothing about the wedding – what to order or rent, when to save-the-date for the rehearsal – nothing.

Then an invitation to the bachelor party – a destination trip – came up and he was invited, but still no mention of being a groomsman.

About 2 weeks after the bachelor party and two weeks before the wedding he gets an email with the details of the tuxedo he needs to rent for the wedding. My friend rented the tux, attended the rehearsal and dinner and on the day of the wedding stood for formal portraits and at the altar as a dutifully groomsman, but I kept wondering if this is a common situation.

Shouldn’t the bride and groom make it crystal clear – when they’re sober – that they want a friend or relative in their bridal party? There’s some responsibility and a lot of expenses that going into this role and it’s not the type of thing you want to learn about at the last minute.

So my advice to brides and grooms: Make it very clear who you are asking to be in your bridal party and mention it several times over the course of your engagement. Even if you mention it in passing or in an email, it’s important to make sure there are no questions about them being included or not. You don’t want to risk a bridesmaid or groomsmen assuming they’re out because they haven’t heard from you in awhile and decide to make plans to go away on the weekend of your wedding.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to...

Sorry about yesterday, but it was my birthday and I was running around getting ready for my b'day party and didn't have time to write a post.

I remember that our wedding day was also my brother-in-law's birthday, so we decided to get him a cake at the rehearsal dinner and have everyone sing "Happy Birthday."

If you know that a close family member or friend is celebrating their anniversary or birthday on your wedding day you may want to mention it in your wedding toast/speech, but you don’t have to. And having everyone sing “Happy Birthday” is optional as well.

I think that if you’re having a rehearsal dinner and the birthday boy or girl will be there it would be a nice gesture for you to put a candle in his or her dessert and have everyone sing.

I’m not saying you have to sing or mention anything, but if it’s a close relative or friend - especially someone in the bridal party – it would be a nice gesture.

I’m off to Chicago for bridal market so I may miss Monday’s post. I’ve never covered the Chicago shows, but I hope I’ll get lots of good ideas. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Last Minute Cancellations and Your Final Headcount

Sorry about yesterday – time just got away from me.

I’m dealing with a real life situation that I think can be applied to wedding planning. Tomorrow I’m having a small dinner party with my immediate family and friends and we just got news last night that my grandmother’s brother, our hilarious Uncle Joe passed away.

So similar to the post I wrote when my Grandma Ruthie died, we are dealing with a little bit of a problem because the funeral is tomorrow afternoon outside Washington, DC and my party is in New York City.

Of course I completely understand that my grandmother and parents have to go to the funeral – Dave and I would go too if we weren’t hosting something – but if they can’t get back to NYC by 8pm then we have to pay for three dinners because the final headcount at the restaurant was due yesterday afternoon.

So where is my wedding planning tip in all of this? Here it is:

Make sure to find out from your caterer – in writing – what the last day is that you can change your headcount without incurring any costs. I’m sorry if I sound cheap or heartless, but I thought this was a great tip.

In our situation – which is not a wedding – we have to have a guarantee of 16 guests and now we may be short two if my parents can’t make it back in time. (Grammy is staying for the weekend, which I totally understand.)

So remember, it’s important to get everything in writing and if this situation happens to you be very understanding – which I am being – and just tell those guests who have to cancel at the last minute that while you’re upset they won’t be able to celebrate with you, you completely understand that they have to do whatever it is they have to do.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Date Game

I had lunch with a friend the other day and she told me that she was invited to a wedding held at 3pm on a Friday afternoon on a non-holiday weekend. The wedding was also held about 2-3 hours from New York City where a lot of the guests were coming from, so many of them had to take the day off of work.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Friday night weddings and even weekday weddings, but a middle of the day weekday wedding is unusual – especially if the weekday is not a holiday (4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day).

When you’re picking your wedding date you have to consider your guests. Not every single one of them, but talk to you key group – immediate family on both sides and close friends. If everyone lives in the same city/town you’re getting married in then a weekday wedding shouldn’t be a real problem – and it can save you money – but a middle of the day weekday wedding can be difficult for people to get to.

So before booking a ceremony and reception site think carefully about what will work for you and your guests. And one more thing: Even though Super Bowl Sunday is on a weekend, you shouldn’t pick it as your wedding date, unless you don’t mind that more than half of your guests will be running to the bar to catch the game.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Out Damn Spot!

I couldn’t find the clip online but there was a sketch on Saturday Night Live this weekend I wanted to share with you. The skit was a used wedding dress store where the dresses were used – 2, 3, 4, even 36 times – and stained – coffee, bird poop and soup were a few of the stains mentioned.

To be completely honest, the segment wasn’t one of the funniest ones I’ve ever seen, but it got me thinking… If a bride does buy a “used” dress either on eBay, at a consignment store or even at a sample or charity sale there’s no guarantee that the dress will be in pristine condition.

Remember that when you buy a dress at a sample sale, charity sale or  consignment shop – or even if you're planning on wearing you mother’s, grandmother’s or a friend’s dress - the first thing you should do is get it cleaned. And don’t just drop it off at your local dry cleaner. Ask the retailer where you bought the dress to recommend a gown cleaner/preservationist or call one of the three companies I recommend and ask them about pick-up/delivery, pricing and how long it will take to clean. Make sure you tell the company that you only want the dress cleaned, not preserved, and then once you get the clean dress back take it for alterations.

*If the dress you are wearing is a vintage dress – mom’s or grandma’s – take it to a seamstress first to see if you can wear it and what alterations are needed, then get it cleaned before alterations begin.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Speech! Speech!

I haven't been asked to make a toast/speech at a wedding in quite a few years. I'm not nervous in front of a crowd, I’m more anxious about making sure I say everything I want to say. My problem is that I don't like to write things down. I prefer to wing it, and so far I haven’t heard any complaints.

But if you're nervous about making a speech or toast at an upcoming wedding, or worried about a toast someone will be making at yours, here are a few toasting tips:

1 - If you have no idea what to say either write out the whole speech or a few points you want to make sure your say.

2 - Practice your toast/speech if you're not comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. Even if you know all of the guests, you'll be more comfortable if you rehearse a few times in the days before the wedding.

3 – Keep the dirty jokes and inappropriate comments for the bachelor and bachlorette parties.

4 – Remember to make it sweet and simple. No bride was ever upset because the toast maker wished the couple a happy life together.

5 – And keep it short. The guests are there to mingle and dance so keep your speech or toast to less than 2 minutes. Longer speeches can be said at the rehearsal dinner the night before.

If you want a few more tips, watch this clip on how to make a wedding toast.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sweet Memories

Maybe it’s because I just came back from Paris, but I love these Eiffel Tower cookies at You know I’m a huge fan of edible favors, and cookies are always a sweet treat for guests. Themed cookies are really the best of both – personalization and food.

You can find cookies that fit almost any theme. (I had tooth shaped cookies made for Dave’s graduation party last year.) Think about the icon you are using on your invitation, the decor on your cake or even mimicking the theme of your tables. If you are naming your tables instead of numbering them you can easily find a cookie shape to match the theme. Travel themes are very popular with couples naming their tables, so these Eiffel Tower cookies would definitely work if Paris is on your seating chart. has a large variety of other cookie themes, including: gift boxes, champagne bottles and snowflakes.

You can serve cookies with your dessert course or wrap them in glassine bags with favor tags and have guests take one (or two) as they leave.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(Non-)Wedding Blog: Ruby Press

Ruby Press is one of my favorite PR companies. Melissa always reps the most amazing clients – iomoi, viv&ingrid, Ladybug Art and Rosenow Floral Design - to name a few. A few months back Melissa started the Ruby Press Blog and I just love checking in every now and then to see what amazing products she’s come across.

The items she writes about include food, fashion, home items, events and everything in between. This image here is promoting the Vintage Fashion Expo that took place in San Francisco last weekend. Now unfortunately, I missed it, but I love this photo and I’m adding it to my inspiration board.

Remember, you never know where you’ll find inspiration for your wedding, so you should definitely look outside traditional bridal sites, magazines and blogs. Tear what you find out of magazines. Bookmark and print out items you find online. Keep all of your tear sheets and printouts in your wedding organizer or special inspiration folder and bring them with you when you’re meeting with your vendors to show them exactly what you like/want.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Registry Tips from Design Expert Michael Graves

Registering for wedding gifts is one of the wedding planning to-dos that you should "drag" your fiancé to. After all, the gifts you’ll be getting for your engagement, shower and wedding will be for him too, right?

I asked Michael Graves, designer of the Michael Graves Design line at Target for his top three registry tips. Here’s what he had to say:

Tip 1: Essential Kitchen Gadgets for All
When considering what kitchen gadgets to register for, couples should start with a few key essentials such as cutlery, food storage containers, blender, smooth-edge can opener, angled measuring cups, remote cooking thermometer, silicone oven mitts, apple corer and slicer, potato ricer, garlic press, cheese grater and vegetable peeler.

Also consider gadgets that you use everyday such as the toaster oven, microwave, coffee pot, salt and pepper mills, paper towel holder and napkin holder.

Tip 2: Customize your Kitchen Gadget Assortment
With the popularity of food cooking shows, magazines and Web sites, more and more couples are venturing into the kitchen. Depending on one’s experience and passion for cooking, there’s a wide variety of gadgets available for cooks of any skill level.

Discuss what your food habits are and register for kitchen gadgets that make the most sense for your individual needs. Don’t end up with a large kitchen gadget that stays in the box hidden away in a cabinet for months or even years.

Once you’ve covered your basic gear, build your registry according to your unique cooking needs and skill level. Some specialty items to consider include a hand mixer, food processor, spice rack, kitchen tool set, mandoline slicer, wine rack, roasting oven, Panini press, bread maker, rice cooker, deep fryer and food processor.

Tip 3: Don’t Forget About Design
Keep in mind that kitchen gear doesn’t have to be solely utilitarian. I designed my collection for Target with a modern aesthetic in mind that will add an interesting look to any kitchen décor. Have fun with your kitchen design and use counter-top appliances as the show pieces of your décor.

Find the universal essence of your kitchen needs and infuse them with products that add a dash of whimsy and familiarity yet enhance your life by bringing a smile to your face everyday.

Personal Note: I have a Michael Graves dust pan that I use all the time. It's great because once you sweep the dust in it doesn't fall out. It gets caught in a lip built into the design. I couldn't find it on the Target Web site, but I know it's still in stores.


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