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.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin