Tuesday, April 02, 2013

ENOUGH ABOUT ME...

So, how about you?

I've noticed that many of you have very passionate responses to my earlier posts - I think it's great that my blog has sparked such dialogue.

The goal of my blog has NEVER been, and NEVER will be, to make ANYONE feel badly about their personal choices. I have written and re-written posts to ensure that they are reasoned, measured, and devoid of any snark or sarcasm. I admittedly haven't written in a while, so perhaps my 29 and 30 year old self was far less mature than my 34 year old one. So to anyone who feels offended, my apologies.

But the idea of Don't Be That Bride is to provide thoughts and commentary on things that I've seen. It is not a judgment on you specifically, your specific choices, or the wedding industry in general. Have I judged certain scenarios or situations or people based on MY experiences? Sure. Because I lived through those experiences and dealt with those people -- and I have seen what I deem to be really offensive and ridiculous things. Like a good friend knowing that my serious boyfriend (who is now my husband of five years) and I are re-arranging our trip to Paris to be at her wedding -- and then my serious boyfriend/now husband not being invited to the wedding (at a wedding, by the way, where I knew know no one), because she later told me he didn't fall into the category of "engaged" or "married". (As an aside, if you were wondering, this was a very lavish wedding, and did not appear to be an issue of cost).

That's what started this blog. Perhaps you disagree with me here -- but I was in this predicament, and I can tell you that it really sucked and feelings were hurt. 

If you enjoy reading my blog, that's great, and keep doing so. If you don't and think I'm offensive? That certainly isn't the intention -- but if you feel that way, then move on. People who write nasty responses to my posts, in my opinion, are doing exactly what they claim is so wrong about Don't Be That Bride (which I respectfully believe is not the case at all - but that's just one girl's opinion!) I have enough readers who have left positive comments, or written to me personally, to know that people have enjoyed this blog -- maybe not every single post (!), but the fact that I have made people happy, or smile, or think about an issue, makes me want to keep writing. So thank you guys for that.

So, here's the deal -- I am curious to hear from readers who have had positive experiences with certain concepts I've written about (whether I've "agreed" or "disagreed" with them) -- whether the sweetheart table, grand entrance, videographer, plus 1 conundrum, little black bridesmaid dress, whatever. Please send me your stories. We could all use some positivity. Constructive responses only.

If you send in a response, I'd like to post your thoughts, interwoven into an upcoming blog post -- so we ALL can learn what has worked, what hasn't, and how things can be better for others.

Thanks for staying tuned into this. I know a lot of people read this, and I so appreciate it.

I wish I could write more than I do - juggling a 2 year old, husband, and being a full time job in Manhattan (with an 1 1/2 commute each way) makes it difficult to get here. But I love when I do - and I love hearing from you all the time.

Stay tuned!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BEEN THERE/DONE THAT WITH WEDDING DISASTERS - CASTING CALL FOR L.A. COUPLES!

We've all seen a slew of wedding TV reality shows -- Bridezillas, Platinum Weddings, Bridalplasty to name a few (I actually am planning on posting separately about Bridalplasty - stay tuned!) -- and at least I can attest that they are highly addictive.

While all of these shows have an interesting twist on wedding drama, I haven't seen one yet where actual wedding disasters are featured front and center (you know, like the bridesmaid falling into the pool during the ceremony, or a major power outage during a black-tie reception).

It looks like WEtv is looking for a few good couples (Los Angeles based) who may get a chance for a "do over" wedding.

See below from my friends at WEtv:

**********

Do You Have The Ultimate Wedding Disaster Story?

Did you suffer a wedding disaster that put a damper on your big day?

Does your wedding video play like a blooper reel?

Do you wish you could do it all over again and have the wedding
you originally dreamed of?

WEtv WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU!!

WEtv is casting dynamic Los Angeles-area couples who deserve the ultimate DO
OVER…a dream wedding celebration planned by acclaimed wedding designer.

What happened to ruin your big day? Did your ex show up and object in the middle of
your ceremony? Did a storm knock out your power or prevent most of your guests from
attending? Were you forced to elope instead of having the great white wedding you
dreamed of? If you live in LA and have your disaster caught on tape, you could get a
second chance to have your dream wedding!

Contact us today with your story!

Rachel Reiss
Casting AP
212-377-3850
IshTVCasting.Rachel@gmail.com

*******************

I would look forward to watching this show, as it would be really nice to see brides and grooms get a "re-do" on such an important moment in their lives -- and hopefully, their guests would have the opportunity to be a part of the action!

I know most of you are in the process of planning your weddings, but if you have friends or family members who may fall into this category, have them contact Rachel! They may just have a chance for a second chance!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR! TOP 11 WEDDING TRENDS FROM THE KNOT...




My friends at the Knot have an interesting forecast I wanted to share with you - their top 11 Wedding Trends for 2011!

The Knot paragraphs are in quotes. My thoughts are in bold! I think brides-to-be can draw a lot of inspiration from these ideas.

"1. Prohibition-Era Elegance: So long, Mad Men—the most stylish new show is Boardwalk Empire and brides are noticing. From dusty nudes and lace dresses for the ladies to wing-tip shoes for the men, couples are falling in love with the dapper fashion of the 1920s. And it wouldn’t feel like Prohibition without alcohol. To reinterpret the boozy nights of the Roaring ’20s, couples are serving up “moonshine” and Prohibition “bathtub gin” in their very own speakeasy bar, all while guests dance the night away—to jazz, naturally."

Just the other night, I was watching Boardwalk Empire (on HBO) and thinking about the AMAZING fashions of that era (especially Margaret's dresses after she starts seeing Nucky!) The flapper style was so elegant, and it deserves a comeback - in a big way!



"2. The Redefined Princess: With a royal wedding around the corner, you can bet Kate Middleton’s going to alter what princess style is all about. Put away the ball-gown skirt because the new princess silhouette will be body-skimming but with a bold train. Add statement-making headwear like tasteful tiaras (seriously!) and cathedral-length veils. And you can count on sophisticated sequins and beading showing up on everything from the wedding dress to the floral arrangements and the wedding cake."

For further style inspiration, check out actress Grace Kelly's wedding gown when she wed the Prince of Monaco in 1956. Probably one of the most elegant royal wedding dresses EVER.


"3. Sultry Ballerina Style: From feathered headpieces and shredded fabrics to airy plumes and pale pinks paired with black, the look of the season is all about Black Swan, right down to an ambience where everything happens after 8 p.m. One idea we love? Romantic ceremonies by candlelight."

I have always LOVED ballerina style - the magic of ballerina beauty has never been more evident to me as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. Just looking at images of ballerinas can give any bride-to-be inspiration. See also this awesome photo from the Knot (photo credit The Knot.com/Clark + Walker Studio)

"4. Ivy League Chic: From Fair Isle sweaters to Vineyard Vines ties and Tommy Hilfiger blazers, preppy chic is back in a big way, and weddings aren’t immune. Brides will be channeling their inner Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl or Ali MacGraw from Love Story and incorporating Ivy League-chic details like plaids and stripes for the perfect remix of retro, preppy sensibility."

Ahhh -- the preppy chic of Love Story!! For anyone who does not know that movie, rent it on Netflix ASAP! If for no other reason than to see an amazingly handsome Ryan O'Neal!


"5. Exotic Indian Inspiration: From Katy Perry’s Indian wedding and Eat, Pray, Love to Nicole Richie’s exotic elephant as a wedding greeter, India will definitely be the “it” country for wedding inspiration. Think vibrant color palettes like purples, reds and golds, lavish d├ęcor elements such as beading and rich drapery, and exotic, spicy dishes."

Rich colors are a wonderful way to paint a blank canvas -- i.e. a loft space that needs major dressing up.


"6. Wedding Man Caves: Blackjack tables, brandy bars, PlayStations and stogies. The man cave has officially moved from the home to the wedding, so don’t be surprised if you see all the male wedding guests in the new “groom’s corner” at the reception."

I like the idea of a brandy bar - a cigar bar may sound like a logical extension, but since cigars are stinky and bad for you, stick to alcohol or video games :)



"7. Prewedding PJ Parties: This isn’t Bachelorette Party, Part Two. Before the big day, brides will be planning a night of pampering and bonding via JHS-style slumber parties, complete with matching pj’s of course."

Cute and inexpensive idea - maybe an alternative to the actual bachelorette party!


"8. Food Truck Fun: Waffles, tacos and dumplings, oh my! People’s hunger for gourmet food trucks has seeped into weddings, and brides will be embracing it wholeheartedly by requesting makeshift sidewalk carts during the cocktail hour or food trucks for the wedding after-party."

Yum, food trucks! They are all over Manhattan, and a hot commodity these days. To bring them to your wedding will make everyone happy!


"9. Haute Desserts: Blame it on the popularity of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Amazing Cakes and Cake Boss, but desserts and wedding cakes will be taking center stage with gourmet flavor and haute style. Chocolate tart with a dash of sea salt, anyone?"

I watched Top Chef Just Desserts - and there were definitely some amazing things that can inspire a girl on that show! However, I will say there were a few of those chefs that I would NOT hire, based on personality alone :)



"10. Video Guest Books: Building on the popularity of “wedding photo booths”, wedding guests can expect confessional-style video booths and even iPads dressed up as guest books as the newest way to “write” well wishes to the happy couple. Bonus? Postwedding, couples can easily share their guest book online via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Vimeo."

Very cute idea - I like this better than the glare of the camera lights as the videographer goes from table to table. That always seems very intrusive. This is a good way to get people involved, in a less instrusive way.


"11. Surprise Honeymoons: Couples will be taking a cue from Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and have the groom plan a surprise honeymoon."

This certainly would be a nice surprise, wouldn't it ladies? Maybe get your hints in as early as possible. :)

Thanks to my friends at The Knot for sharing these fab ideas! Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A GOOD TIME TO BE A 'DIVA'....



So I know I normally don't advocate being "that bride" (a/k/a a "Diva"), but I am impressed with Wedding Paper Divas, a seemingly easy and (relatively) cost-effective way to design save the dates and wedding invitations.

I was actually looking for birth announcements through Tiny Prints (www.tinyprints.com), and I noticed they also had a link to wedding invitations -- which brought me to the Wedding Paper Divas website.

I love the layout of the WPD website, and the ability to search by color, theme, and even signature or letterpress invitations. Makes for an easier way to find what you want.

How is this related to avoiding being "that bride", you may ask? :) Not quite sure, really.... but when I see a good site, I like to pass it along for the benefit of all brides-to-be.

In a future post, I am going to revisit certain "do's" and "don'ts" of wedding invitation etiquette. Some of the things I've seen lately have been pretty interesting learning lessons for those in the planning process.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

AN INTERESTING THOUGHT ON POLITICS AND WEDDING FASHION...

What do you think of this critique of Chelsea Clinton's Vera Wang choice?

It certainly inspires provocative discussion.

For the record, I happen to think that Chelsea's gown was beautiful. She looked understated and elegant, and I didn't expect any less from her. Classic and classy.

Anyway, just a little food for thought reading. Enjoy.

Stay tuned!

Friday, July 30, 2010

$$$ AND SENSE: SAVING YOUR GUESTS SOME MUCH-NEEDED CASH

Hi guys!

Having just started a new job and being 5 months pregnant (with a little girl!), I have been extremely MIA for a while, and I do apologize for that!

I wanted to get back into the swing of things and talk about finances, as I think that saving money for a wedding isn't just about saving money as the bride and groom-to-be. As a gracious bride, I always ask people to think about how they can keep their guests in mind as they plan.

It may not be as funny and witty as Letterman's Top 10 List, but I do want to give you guys a "Top" list of my own -- the "Top 5 Ways To Save Your Guests Money - And Help Them Maintain Sanity".

5. Choose your Location with Care. If you decide to get married in Tuscany (and most of your friends and family are in the United States, specifically, New York), you can't expect 100% of your guests to be (a) attending or (b) psyched to be attending. A destination wedding can cost at LOT of money for people, between airfare, hotels, and other travel expenditures. So when choosing your wedding location, choose with care. People are likely not able to afford a lavish trip, and doing your wedding more locally - while maybe not quite as exotic as the vineyards in Italy - will certainly save your guests some dough. Not necessarily a reason not to choose that destination, you say? Be my guest - just don't expect all your potential guests to be your guests!

4. No Cash Bars. I cannot speak more plainly. Just don't do them. If you can't afford alcohol, I sincerely believe it's better not to serve any liquor or beer at all. Enough said.

3. Black Tie Optional (Very Optional). A lot of men don't own tuxes. Whenever TallGuy hears that a wedding we'll be attending is NOT black tie, he breathes a little sigh of relief. Even though he has a tux, it's oftentimes crumpled in a ball in his closet, and to have to spend the time and money getting the entire thing cleaned is pricey and annoying. For those *without* tuxes, having to go out and rent one is a major expense. Cocktail attire, or even black-tie optional, on an invitation, gives guests a nice "out" - when a tux is not required, it is oftentimes provides financial relief to your guests.

2. Hotel Blocks or Other Hotel-Related Savings. If your guests will be traveling, definitely make sure that you have done room blocks at several different hotels in the area, in order to make sure guests will be getting discounted rates. And if you know of any good offers or savings your guests can take advantage of, send them along! That's what email is for, and conveying that information informally to your guests is always appreciated.

And, without further ado, the #1 Way to Save Your Guests Money:

1. Don't Overload Your Bridesmaids. There are SOOOOO many financial obligations that come with being a bridesmaid: (1) buying the bridesmaid's dress; (2) pitching in for the bachelorette party; (3) pitching in for the shower preparations; (4) buying the shower gift; (5) paying for extras like hair, makeup, and accessories for the big day.... the list goes on. Bridesmaids are asked to spend a LOT of time and a LOT of money for your wedding. My feeling is that a bride must do whatever she can --- i.e. buying her guests their bridesmaid dresses as their gift, or having a hand in suggesting cheaper alternatives for a bachelorette party -- in order to make finances a bit easier on the wallet.

I hope this list has been helpful and provided some food for thought. I know the pressures of keeping a budget in place for a wedding, so it's often difficult to think about what pressures your guests are feeling. But if you try to keep them in mind, you will also reap the rewards - by having a fun wedding that everyone truly enjoys!

Stay tuned!

Monday, April 19, 2010

TEA AT THE PLAZA, JUST LIKE ELOISE....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyuCwCN78lA

Remember that scene in Sex and the City, when Carrie, after the engagement party outside of the Plaza, says her proverbial goodbye to Big? ("Your girl is lovely, Hubbell....")

Ever see North by Northwest? (CLASSIC). Or even Bride Wars? (CLASSICALLY HORRIBLE).

There are so many reasons why the Plaza is a classic piece of New York City's history, and part of its lore. Little girls dream of getting married here, or even getting to have tea here.

Today is my 31st birthday, and that's what my mom and I did. We had tea in the Palm Court. Although the Plaza now looks different and is under new ownership, the magic of the Palm Court remains. The beautiful cathedral ceilings and the stained glass windows remain, and so does the sense of the tradition. Today, there was still that little girl in her party dress, sitting and having tea with her father--reminding me much of the fictional Eloise.

I bring up the Plaza because I think it's such a quintessential part of the "NYC Experience" - both for non-New Yorkers and New Yorkers alike.

For those of us who cannot afford to have a dream NYC wedding here, there are other ways to be a part of the history. I was thinking that a wedding shower would be absolutely LOVELY to have here -- the room is so huge, it's not as if one would have to rent it out (and pay ridiculous rental fees to boot), and the prices--at least for light lunch/dessert/tea--were reasonable, per person. Again, I'm not sure if pricing would change for a larger party -- but it seemed to me a doable arrangement. Plus, the staff is extremely accommodating, so I imagine they would be a pleasure to deal with.

Just food for thought (literally). It was a really special birthday for me to spend with my mom (I am in between jobs, so am off work this week - a nice day to be off, for sure!) I think for any little girl who dreams to have her wedding in New York City, the Plaza is a sure bet for wonderful memories. Having a shower here, in my opinion, would be a wonderful way to experience quintessential New York at its best. And I'm SURE guests would be absolutely thrilled to partake!

Stay tuned!