Monday, November 30, 2009

HOT TREND: THE LITTLE BLACK BRIDESMAID DRESS!



Was reading In Style Weddings, and I loved their feature on little black bridesmaid dresses.

Not only is "the little black dress" always in style and chic, it's something bridesmaids can wear again - to a cocktail party, to another wedding, to a restaurant, whereever!

What's great, too, is that a black dress can always dress things up - so shorter dresses can work when you may not expect them to.

Just a little food for thought.

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS....

....though this picture, on this post, will only be worth a few hundred :-)



I did a post a while back about finding inspiration in every day life.

I absolutely love this photograph of Grand Central Station, and there are a lot of things to be found in here:

1) Taking architectural details from a favorite site and incorporating such details into invitations. If you love Grand Central and are having a NYC wedding, why not use that as your "theme" and incorporate its elements into your wedding?

2) Finding the unexpected in the expected. I didn't chose a standard photo of Grand Central Station, as I was drawn to this beautiful shot. Not everything has to be "the norm" or what you "should" do.

3) Use the elements around you. There's a reason that so many brides - including myself - choose to take photos at Grand Central. If you don't live in Manhattan, there are plenty of places that would make amazing backdrops for wedding/bridal party photos.

One of my favorite spots in Manhattan....which I wanted to share with you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PARADISE LOST? NOT NECESSARILY...



In this economy, it's easy to feel the pinch when it comes to budgeting a wedding and honeymoon. For those who are lucky enough to have parents or friends "gift" them a honeymoon, sometimes there is even more pressure to find a honeymoon spot that won't "break the bank" or cost too much.

A few months ago, TallGuy and I traveled to Hawaii--we almost went there for our honeymoon, so we decided to go there as our next "big" trip.

For the first part our trip, we stayed in the beautiful island of Kauai. Only in Kauai can you see something like this image, which is what we saw aerially from a Blue Hawaiian helicopter.

The B&B we stayed at was absolutely breathtaking - and surprisingly affordable (of course, relative to other luxurious honeymoon spots).

The Dilly Dally House in Kapaa (the eastern region of Kauai) overlooks beautiful mountains, is away from everything, and is a completely luxurious and fantastic retreat With home cooked breakfasts, beautiful views, and gracious husband and wife team hosting us, TallGuy and I had a fantastic time.

We stayed in the Cottage, which was separate from the main house (and had its luxurious own outdoor shower!). As the most expensive option, the Cottage was $185.00/night -- the least expensive room in the house (which looks amazing on the website) is $115.00/night.

With only 4 rooms in the entire property, this was an intimate and amazing getaway - in fact, most of the couples we met during our time there were young and on their honeymoons!

Just wanted to throw this out there for those looking for somewhere exotic that isn't over the top, price wise. As for getting to Hawaii? That may be a different story :)

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

SHOWER/BLETTE COMBOS = MAKING THINGS CONVENIENT FOR YOU AND OUT OF TOWNERS

Coordinating schedules and getting people in one place- for a shower/bachelorette party- can be a logistical nightmare.

Oftentimes, friends and family are scattered about the country (or coming in from another one!), and it's important to remember this - even when you as the bride are not planning the activities.

So what happens if a lot attendees are from out of town? My suggestion? Combine, combine, combine.

For people traveling, it's great to fly in for the bachelorette party on a Saturday night, and then go to the shower on the day following.

Alternatively - think you're b-party will be too rowdy, leaving you hungover and tired to meet your parents' friends the following day? Have your b-party on a Friday, and the shower on a Sunday. That leaves you room for down-time and hanging out w/ out of towners on Saturday.

Keep the lines of communication open with your MOH or whomever is planning the events. Don't rest on your I'm the bride" laurels!

If your friends are relaxed and not stressed about coming in for an event - the more fun they will have - and the more fun you will have, too!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

KEEPING IT REAL: NON "WEDDING BAND-Y" WEDDING BANDS



Remember the wedding band from the movie "Old School?"

So awesome. And so amazing. For a movie (not sure you want grandma listening to that band's version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart").

But I've heard of some major wedding band nightmares in the real world (playing the wrong songs, doing weird and random shout-outs, or generally "cheesing it up"), and I think the first and most important rule of thumb when choosing a wedding band is this:

Would YOU love this band - as a guest - if it were playing at someone else's wedding?

Wedding bands tend to live up to their name - and not in a good way.

I love wedding bands that don't sound like wedding bands. And that's what I think makes a wedding band great.

I was reading in the New York Times about The Dexter Lake Club Band, and the article was EXACTLY on point with my feelings on the subject. A band that does weddings that isn't a wedding band.

I checked out the band's website, and listened to few of the clips provided. (American Girl = Awesome. Come On Eileen = Awesome).

I have no idea how expensive this band is, but it seems well worth it.

I also love The Touch (and am partial to them since they played at my wedding :)

Just something to keep in mind as you do your search for music....

Stay tuned!

A LESSON FROM ANTM - DON'T BE THAT (UNRECOGNIZABLE) BRIDE



OK. I'll confess. I watch America's Next Top Model (ANTM) more than I'd like to admit.

There's a "Cycle 13" marathon on today - the episode I'm watching now is the "makeover" session -- a "Ty Over" is in the works for each of these wannabe models. ("Ty Over" = a Tyra Banks' makeover -what, you've never heard of this term before? :)

I understand for models that it's important to get a "signature look". (And what's more entertaining on ANTM than the make over episode)?.

As I watched, I started thinking about how many brides end up trying a new hairdo, or wearing completely different makeup, on the day of their weddings -- and end up looking completely different then, well, themselves.


I understand the importance of wanting to look absolutely beautiful and amazing on the day of your wedding. Just make sure you stay true to yourself and, well, LOOK like yourself!

Don't get carried away by the idea of having an updo because you think it's more bridal. If you don't normally wear updos, or try it out and think you don't look like yourself? Take it out. Go natural.

Which is NOT to say I don't love updos. I do. And for some brides, they totally work. For me - it totally didn't, and I went with what was comfortable.

Love that MAC makeup shade that they use at your makeup trial - but you feel like something is 'Off"? Go with your instinct.

Bottom line - have a hair/makeup session done long before the wedding, to make sure you get what you want. Or, if you are trying to save money, do your hair/makeup yourself (or have a good friend or family member do it for you).

Guests want to be able to celebrate with the real you - not the you that you think they want to see! A "signature look" may work on a reality show - or even a catwalk - but not for walking down the aisle.

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 07, 2009

GET INSPIRED - IF YOU LOVE "IT," YOUR GUESTS WILL TOO (PART I)


On this beautiful Labor Day, TallGuy and I have been lazing about, watching the US Open on television and hanging out on our apartment's roof deck.

And what better way to relax and enjoy a day off from work than to spend it with TallGuy --and a Crumbs cupcake?

I am a NYC cupcake girl. I always have been, and I always will be. Whether it's Crumbs, Magnolia Bakery, or Buttercup, I am a sucker for the pastel frosting, pretty sprinkles, and sometimes - even candy coating (like the Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcake at Crumbs).

Bottom line - cupcakes are something I love, and for our wedding, they became an accidental source of inspiration and a highlight. What have I learned and hope that brides will take with them? Passions and loves can be found in both expected and unexpected places--and sources of inspiration are everywhere. When you love something and feel strongly about including that detail or item in your wedding, your guests will feel that positive energy.

Thursday before our wedding, I found out that our wedding favor (which was to be a small bag of pastry items/cookies for each guest) fell through. Our "vendor" basically flaked out on us-- and the afternoon before the rehearsal dinner, we were "favor-less".

After a few panicked phone calls to TallGuy and, I admit, several tears, I decided to take a walk to clear my head--and grab a cupcake to console myself.

As I walked towards Crumbs to get a vanilla cupcake w/ rainbow sprinkles (my favorite), I realized that the answer was staring me in the face.

Although I felt that many brides did cupcakes as a favor, I thought to myself "This is something I love. Why shouldn't I!?"

I went home and placed a few calls to different vendors. First Crumbs. Then Magnolia. Then Buttercup.

Buttercup Bake Shop (http://www.buttercupbakeshop.com/) had the best deal for a large assortment of cupcakes, and with their pastel, spring-like colors, I thought they would be a wonderful complement to our spring "english garden" concept.

Oh - AND they could fill an order of 100 cupcakes in 2 days!

The bake shop couldn't deliver them on a weekend, but no matter. My parents were gracious enough to offer their car, and we got them to the Yale Club on time and in one piece.

The cupcakes were a huge hit that evening. Not only did guests stuff bags with cupcakes to take home, many were munching on them while dancing to our amazing band, The Touch.

Many of my friends told me how much they loved the little detail and how "TallGuy and Wedding Fairy" they really were. I was so thrilled.

A last-minute, "gut" decision paid off. While the favor was a little bit more than I would have normally spent, I thought the few extra dollars was worth it.

Having something I absolutely loved at the wedding, even as simply a little detail, was really wonderful, because we felt as if the guests really enjoyed it.

As you plan your wedding, think about your loves and passions--and ways to incorporate them into your day. Even walking down the street can be a source of brainstorming, as the Crumbs storefront was for me.

No matter what you do - realize that when things "go wrong", there is always an answer. Remembering that can keep you as a gracious, level-headed bride, no matter what adversity you face.

Stay tuned! And have a cupcake!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

AS AN ASIDE: SOMETHING SWEET



I was looking at Martha Stewart weddings, and I came across an adorable and a little bit off-the-beaten path wedding favor.

Made out of sugar cookies. Yum yum yum.

Martha suggests stacking basic sugar cookies to look like baby wedding cakes. Icing fastens the "layers" of the cake, and all is topped off with sugar flowers. Cute packaging seals the cakes with class.

Sweet and sugary favors are always a big hit!

Click here for the recipe.

http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/portal/site/ww/menuitem.9da96f5acde0a93df8aeef105173a0a0/?vgnextoid=87b0cf06cd80f010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default

Enjoy and stay tuned!

Monday, August 31, 2009

WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING: RIDICULOUSNESS VS. GRACIOUSNESS (PART III)



This is the moment.

This is the moment I remembered so vividly before the wedding ceremony, when I realized that everyone in attendance would finally get to see "the dress".

Maybe it wasn't such a big deal to everyone else, but it was a big deal to me. After months and months of searching, I finally found "the one". While it took me 3 return visits to commit (as "the one" was a little over budget), I knew that my Oscar de la Renta ballroom gown was one of the most important elements of the wedding planning.

And, right before I walked down the aisle with my father, this was the scene. This was the moment. And I was so excited to see TallGuy down that aisle, and walk proudly down the aisle to "the one" IN "the one".

Therefore, I UNDERSTAND how stressful finding a dress really can be. All I can say it this; no matter how you get there, you'll get there. I definitely had not-so-positive bridal gown shopping experiences (at places about which I had heard nothing but amazing things).

But - you will get there. You will get to that moment. And when you walk down the aisle, you will be in "the one" which is "your one". I can promise you that.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING: RIDICULOUSNESS VS. GRACIOUSNESS (PART II)

My future sister-in-law (I'll call her BroadwayGal (for her love of Broadway shows)), my mom, and I went to Saks a few Saturdays ago, as BroadwayGal wanted to show us an amazing Vera Wang dress that she had seen at the store on her first visit.

BroadwayGal had told me that her first visit to Saks was not the most positive. In fact, the saleslady (who I call, instead of "Cruella deVille" - "Cruella de Saks") was rather rude, and questioned BroadwayGal as to why, in heavens, she had not looked at bridal magazines and clipped photographs of dresses for her visit to the store.

BroadwayGal's reaction (and I'm paraphrasing here)? "Why should I be questioned about how much "research" I've done? Why can't someone just be happy to help me and work with me, based on what I've seen or not seen?"

I don't think any bride should be made to feel as if she hasn't done her "homework" when it comes to looking at dresses. I know that I was NOT looking for a ballgown dress. Yet, I ended up buying one--regardless of the fact that I was looking for an empire waisted dress!

So, not everything is as it seems when it comes to dresses and trying them on. AND, even more so, not everything is as it seems when it comes to professional and well-thought of bridal boutiques.

It seems that things could only get worse with Cruella. See below for a list of the faux pas-ness which was going on that day:

1. First, Cruella de Saks did not offer to have my mom and I sit down, while BroadwayGal was in the dressing room trying on the Vera Wang, and a few others that she wanted to show us. Cruella, after realizing we were standing for several minutes, made a half hearted attempt to find us a chair. That lasted about 5 seconds, but then she went to attend to something (or someone) else.

The "someone else" is #3 of this list, below. After about 15-20 minutes of my mom and I getting tired of standing, especially after my mom noticed an empty dressing room -- with chairs -- adjacent to the dressing room BroadwayGal was in -- my mom made the unfortunate mistake of going into the dressing room and sitting in a chair.

Cruella came dashing over (from where, who knows, since she was supposed to be attending to BroadwayGal), and basically chastised my mother for going into a room "of someone who has an appointment". The mystery woman with the appointment, shockingly, never showed up while we were there. We were absolutely amazed that Cruella had the audacity to throw us out of a dressing room that no one was in - at least for the time being - or even offer us 1 measly chair from said room! My mom and I would have shared!

Now, listen. I am NOT a high maintenance girl. I'm really not. And my mother is not a high maintenance woman. Having said that, I don't think it's unreasonable for a salesperson who is SUPPOSED TO BE doting on someone you care about- and who may spend thousands of dollars with that person - to offer basic seating - especially to a 65 year old woman.

I ended up sitting on the floor. No joke.

2. Cruella de Saks may also have been David Blaine in a woman's body- as she was really good at disappearing into the back room. BroadwayGal was inside the dressing room, struggling to get into certain of the dresses (those clips can be a bitch!), and Cruella was no where to be found. Was she watching Beverly Hills 90210? Performing some mystical ritual in the back? Playing tennis? We weren't really sure, but what we WERE sure of is that there was absolutely no attention paid to us whatsoever.

3. When Cruella DID emerge, she made the unfortunate mistake of showing us JUST how uninterested she was with being a part of BroadwayGal's experience. A mother/daughter team, which definitely did not have an appointment, showed up at Saks bridal in order to buy a veil. They were obviously well heeled, well monied, and well prepared to make a purchase - and Cruella made sure that they had a seat in the dressing room area, and were attended to by Cruella herself.

THE NERVE!

Not to be ignored or mistreated, and certainly not to have my future sister-in-law ignored or mistreated, I was "this" close to saying something.

But then I had a better plan.

After the dress appointment ended, and BroadwayGal showed us the Vera Wang she loved (which we loved too), I suggested that she call Joan from Bergdorf's, and see if Joan could order the very same dress to her store. That way, BroadwayGal could work with someone professional, poised, elegant, and EFFECTIVE - instead of giving Cruella the satisfaction of a commission which she did not earn.

BroadwayGal called Joan up, and that was that. While BroadwayGal didn't end up with the Vera Wang dress (and instead chose an even more beautiful option!), we all learned a lesson that day about the varying levels of customer service that come with wedding dress shopping.

All wedding dress stores are not created equal - and those which you think may be wonderful could, in fact, turn out to be the very opposite (and vice versa).

It's amazing how competitive and tough this industry can be. It may test even the most gracious and patient bride-to-be. But if you can get through experiences like these with a smile on your face (even while gritting your teeth!), you'll be all the more prepared for the next hurdle.

Stay tuned!

Monday, May 18, 2009

WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING: RIDICULOUSNESS VS. GRACIOUSNESS (PART I)

Based on my future sister-in-law's dress shopping experience (as well as my own), I've been reminded once again that all salespeople are NOT created equal.


Before I get to the bad, let me start with the good.

But, let me first start off by saying: I never considered myself to be a "Bergdorf's Girl."

When I was dress shopping, I had hesitated about making an appointment at the bridal salon of Bergdorf Goodman, one of the most exclusive and high-end department stores in Manhattan.

I felt as if I would receive the "Pretty Woman" treatment ("....there's nothing in here for you - PLEASE LEAVE" :).

My budget was, by NO means, within reach of most of the fluffy, beautiful dresses on the shiny, beautiful racks, in that shiny, beautiful showroom.

When I walked into Bergorf's on that first visit with my mother, I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious. I didn't have on the Tory Burch ballet flats, or the Hermes bag. I was just a regular girl, with a regular budget, hoping for the best.

And the best is, surprisingly, what I received.

When I walked into the bridal salon, it was calming. No gaggle of girls or entourages. No overbearing salespeople waiting to pounce.

Based on my experience there, I felt ashamed that I had harbored pre-conceived notions about the "Bergdorf's experience" in the first place---given how above and beyond my saleswoman, Joan, really went for me.

It took me three visits for me to finally bite the bullet and order my Oscar de la Renta dress. And not ONCE, not for one SECOND, did Joan ever make me feel pressured, or guilty, that I didn't order it. Patient, sweet, and a total DOLL, Joan became a confidante. She was an absolute PLEASURE to work with -- after I ordered the dress, and was working with her, no request was too big. Could I come in and see the dress to try on with shoes? Sure! Could she call Oscar de la Renta's contact person to see if they had shoes that went with the dress? Sure!

It was always a pleasure working with Joan, and, when my future SIL (who I will call BroadwayGal - for her love of broadway!) got engaged, I highly encouraged her (OK, and was very persistent and annoying :) that she go see Joan.

I went with BroadwayGal to Bergorf's; not only did I get to have a mini-reunion with Joan (with plenty of hugs involved!), but BroadwayGal found an amazingly beautiful Ines Di Santo dress. BroadwayGal spoke with Joan about her price points/budget, and I found out later that Joan went out of her way (according to BroadwayGal) to pick out dresses well below the high-end of the budget.

Joan picked out dresses that were absolutely gorgeous, and she LISTENED to BroadwayGal about what she liked and didn't like.

We never felt that Joan was distracted or trying to help anyone else during our appointment, and it was just a pleasure to see her again, and to see her provide the same level of service to BroadwayGal that she gave to me.

I don't know if the other salespeople at Bergdorf's are as good as Joan, or if we just got lucky. But I love the fact that the bridal showroom at Bergorf's is QUIET, PRIVATE, and by appointment only. Most of the bridal salons are by appointment only, but sometimes they will bend the rules (if they feel someone will be buying on the spot - see my next post!) -- not this place.

In any case, the bottom line is that buying a wedding dress isn't just about the dress. In my mind, it's also about the experience of buying the dress. Since brides spend so much money on "saying yes to the dress", shouldn't the experience match the high price?

As BroadwayGal and I hopped over to Saks, we quickly saw a stark comparison. BroadwayGal had been to Saks, and wanted to show me a beautiful Vera Wang that she had seen. I went with her on Saturday.

Ridiculousness soon ensued, and I was absolutely unprepared for it.

The bottom line - sometimes being a gracious bride can be trumped by a ridiculous salesperson. BroadwayGal was gracious at Saks -- I was losing it.

In my next post, I'll provide a short saga regarding snippy salespeople---and how to handle (or not, handle, as the case may be).

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 08, 2009

HELLO 30! THE WEDDING FAIRY'S "NEW WAVE" OF WEDDINGS (PART III)

Has anyone seen the movie "Bride Wars?"

I could not bring myself to watch it. I barely made it through the "Sex and the City Movie" (I had to turn it off and on about 3 separate times to make it through), so something even more superficial and trite was NOT up my alley in terms of viewership.

(by the way - Sorry to those who LOVED the SATC movie - or even liked/tolerated it. I happened to LOVE the show when it was on, but I found the dialogue in the movie, not to mention the general level of over-the-topness regarding Manolos! And Louis Vuitton! And [insert designer clothes or shoes here]!, really grating).

In any case, from what I understand, "Bride Wars" is about two best friends, who, due to a "clerical error", find out that their respective weddings at New York City's Plaza Hotel are on the same dates. (GASP!) Apparently, "hilarity" (or horrifying events, depending on whether or not you liked the movie) ensues, as both girls try to sabotage one another, I suppose, to maintain both their honor and their wedding dates.

Ugh. Movies like this really illuminate the ultimate cliche about a bride-to-be. And what I'm finding is that brides really ARE sharing with one another, and aren't competitive as this movie would suggest.

OK, I'm not necessarily talking about sharing a date/venue. However, my friend the other day was asking about the wedding band I used (The Touch), in hopes she could book them at her own affair. She will have many of the same friends at her event as were at mine - but she was more interested in making sure people had a good time, than worrying about using a band that some of her guests may have already heard, or known about.

Another dear friend (M) told me she had asked a close friend of hers (whose wedding dress she LOVED) if she would mind M trying it on - and if it fit and was "the one" for the event - if M could wear it for her own wedding. The friend happily obliged, and wasn't worried about M wearing her wedding dress. I think that's really nice.

Maybe these are small examples - but I do think that people these days are open to all ideas, and brainstorming based on being a guest at someone else's wedding is part of the process.

Competitiveness, be damned.

As I said, I don't know how "Bride Wars" ends, and maybe I should give the movie a bit more credit, considering I haven't even seen it.

However, the idea of two brides playing "tug of war" and being competitive for the sake of being competitive (if the Plaza is booked, one of the women can't find another venue? Come on), is not a bridal theory to which I subscribe.

I know that my friends who are brides-to-be don't either - and I think most women out there are just looking to plan a wonderful event, without ruining friendships or becoming nasty or competitive, whether it be about flowers, bridesmaids dresses, or anything else.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

HELLO 30! THE WEDDING FAIRY'S "NEW WAVE" OF WEDDINGS (PART II)

OK. So a lot seems to have changed since I was in the throes of wedding planning, and, before that, attending the first wave of weddings a few years ago.

It seems that short dresses are a new trend!!! How psyched (as a bridesmaid and/or wedding guest) am I?!

Obviously, for semi-formal events, shorter dresses, or tea length, has always been viewed as completely, 100% appropriate -- in fact, my future sister-in-law is choosing between some amazing frocks that are shorter in length, since their wedding is taking place on a Sunday afternoon (hence: semi-formal attire).

But, whether for a semi-formal or formal wedding, it seems that wedding attire is becoming more flexible. I LOVE being able to wear a short dress - even to a formal event. It seems a lot more comfortable, and, as a bridesmaid, I am loving the idea of being able to walk down the aisle without tripping on a long dress (which I have definitely done - albeit gracefully, thank goodness!)

At my own wedding (which was black tie), I noticed that many (if not most, at least among my friends) female guests were wearing short dresses -- all appropriate, and beautiful - but I wasn't expecting it! I loved it.

I guess the long and the short of it (haha) is that, these days, hemlines are changing, and brides--and guests--are throwing out "the rules".

I like that. It's refreshing and neat to see new trends. Just something new that I've observed, as a thirty-year old wedding fairy. :)

Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

HELLO 30! THE WEDDING FAIRY'S "NEW WAVE" OF WEDDINGS (PART I)

I just turned 30. 30?! I feel old. It's not that I really think 30 is that old. I mean, if you think about it, 65 is the new 40.

Regardless, having reached this "mini-milestone" has given me a chance to look at weddings from the point-of-view of a "thirty year old" (yikes).


Now that I am a year out from my own wedding (double yikes - where did the time go?), it's interesting to reflect on my own experiences, and see how friends and family are dealing with their own situations.


In the past 6 months, I have 3 close friends, and 1 close family member (my brother!) who have gotten engaged. More wedding planning! Yay!

I'm happy to say that I absolutely adore my brother's fiance, and I am excited to help her through the process (with anything that she may want my help WITH, that is). I also love my friend's respective fiances, so everything seems all good.

At my 30th birthday party, I was speaking with one of those friends who is getting married. We were talking about Save the Dates - and she said to me something along these lines (after I complimented her on her "STD"): "Thanks! We were excited to send them out, but we of course only sent them to those we definitely knew we could invite. We're afraid people will talk and complain if they find out they didn't happen to get a save the date - and someone they knew did - but we don't want to run into an even more awkward situation later by biting off more than we could chew."

I thought that was so interesting. As the Wedding Fairy of a few months ago, I may have been overly worried about the "what if I offend a potential guest" thing -- but, I realize that my friend is 100% right -- I mean, what can you do? There are things that are just out of your control, and at some point, you just have to LET THINGS GO.

I guess that's something, upon looking back at my own wedding planning (and looking back at writing these posts), that I may not have kept in mind as much as I should have. SOMETIMES THINGS ARE BEYOND YOUR CONTROL.

It's important to remember that - why? Because it's not worth the stress and agita during your wedding planning if you feel like you need to walk on eggshells lest you offend someone.

I never believe I have advocated that before (i.e. the "walking on eggshells" approach), and I certainly don't now. BUT, I think now, being older (and probably not any wiser, but for sake of cliche, I'll say wiser too :), I realize that letting things go is a good way to live. Whether at work or at home. I used to stress out all the time at work about the silliest, littlest things. And guess what? Nothing bad would ever happen.

Bottom line - it's important to let go in life, no matter what element (wedding planning or work).


In any case, it was fun to hear about my friend's planning--and to receive her save the dates!

I'm looking forward to getting back into the throes of wedding planning -- or at least, living vicariously through my friends and family.

Planning my wedding to TallGuy was one of the most fun things I've ever done in my 30 years (though obviously, the wedding was more fun, which was the point of all of that hard work!).


As you read, please remember to relax and enjoy the process...I can only hope I can help even a teeny tiny bit along the way.


Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GIRL, YOU BETTER WORK! (PART II)

Continuing with the "graciousness" thread, I started thinking about how being a "good bride" isn't just about being a good hostess to your guests.

ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING, brides (and grooms) should take the time to thank--I mean, really thank--any vendor contacts who are at the event. In addition, after the wedding, it's important to relay this information in the form of a thank you note or a phone call, if you are particularly happy with the results.

I know it seems so obvious of a point, but between circulating with your guests, trying to eat, and simply attempting to "take it all in", people may easily forget about those who have really made the day possible.

Although my amazing florist wasn't at the actual event itself, I made sure to find him before the ceremony, as he was working, to thank him profusely for his work. During the reception, I was able to chat a bit with our wedding coordinator, and let her know how much we appreciated her help through the process. Same with the "captain" who was running the actual dinner timing.

I sent thank you notes to all three of those individuals, as well as an email to the band coordinator, to let them all know how fantastic their services were.

When you are that happy with a vendor, you need to show it! Be over-the-top. It's OK.

Obviously, if you aren't thrilled with your results, then that's something you will need to work through with that particular vendor, even if it falls on the day of your wedding. If your vendor is rude or unhelpful, I am certainly not advocating gushing all over them. But, being pleasant is always a key to getting what you want, so just remember that, as you go through the process (a yelling bride-to-be is likely to get railroaded, versus a probably-annoyed-but-calm bride to be who isnt' 100% satisfied).

I was lucky in that I loved all my vendor's results. The bottom line? Keep it real, but on the day of (and after that!), try your best to be as gracious to your vendors as you are to your guests. If you aren't 100% happy, talk to them about it. Don't freak out. Don't scream. Working through it will get you a long way.

So, bottom line - work it. Work it with your vendors. Thank them for their services, especially on the day of. Good karma is important!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

GIRL, YOU BETTER WORK!

I love Ru Paul. Not going to lie -that ridiculous song, "Supermodel" - has always put a smile on my face.

I received a thoughtful comment a few weeks back about my own experiences at the wedding, with respect to "working the room", and greeting guests during the reception.

As cheesy as it sounds, my advice is this: "Girl, You Better Work!" (And Sashay and Chantay while you do it!)

In all seriousness, it's really important to say "thank you" to those who have made it out to your soiree. It doesn't have to be a 5 minute "thank you" by any means -- but going around to your tables (during dinner, if you are having one), is a great way to say hello to your random third cousin, or your husband's family friend, who you may not have had the chance to see during cocktail hour or the reception. Guests don't forget things like this.

Most importantly, they don't forget when a bride/groom completely forgets to see them at all during the evening. I had that happen (see one of my previous posts regarding "Significant Others"), and I thought it was not very gracious. Remember - you are the bride, and it is "your day" - but you are also the hostess - and a gracious hostess means a fun party that everyone enjoys!

Obviously, meeting and greeting guests during dinner means giving up a lot of other things during your wedding -- EATING being one of them. I have stressed in the past how important it is to eat during your wedding. It may sound ridiculous and so obvious, but somehow, brides often "forget" (i.e. don't have time) to eat. Brides need energy during the ceremony in order to talk to so many people, so I don't advocate mingling to the point of not having moments for you and your honey to chill and take a few minutes to yourself.

The key is balance. What TallGuy and I did was spend the first part of dinner going from table to table. Just to say 'hi, thanks so much for coming'. And then we moved on. If we got into discussion, we tried to keep moving as graciously as possible (without cutting off any conversation, of course), and then we got to as many tables as we could. If you are doing a sweetheart table, I think it's especially important to do the "meet and greet" during dinner. Sometimes, guests may be intimidated to come up to the bride and groom who are sitting alone.

No matter where you are sitting for dinner (whether at a sweetheart table, or a table with siblings, etc.), getting to guests' tables puts everyone at ease, and makes everyone feel important.

Ideally, you want to get to every table possible. If you're having a 300 person wedding, however, I know that this will be a challenge! I would make sure that you try and see as many people as possible during cocktail hour, and do the table mingling during dinner. But if you have 40 tables of folks, you have to make a decision about who you go to--and who you don't. If you have a table of close friends, skip them. You'll see them during dancing, etc. If you have a table of your father's work colleagues and clients, go see them. Those are the people you most likely will NOT see the rest of the night.

The goal, in my opinion (no matter whether you have dinner/dancing, a Sunday brunch wedding, or anything in between), is to make all guests feel welcome and important. Saying hello and thanking them is the best way to do that.

Timing-wise, I think TallGuy and I missed about 3-4 tables (out of 15 maybe?). We tried to see those people after dinner, to the extent we could. Did we do perfectly? No way. But we tried - and that is also one of the important things about being a gracious hostess. You can't please everyone, but you can certainly try.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KNOT IN MY STOMACH.....

For the past few months, despite having a wonderful beginning to my marriage with my wonderful TallGuy, I've had a knot in my stomach.

There has been so much hardship happening in our country, and so much uncertainty, that, despite my personal happiness (and sense of contentedness), the sad state of the economy-- and those affected by it--was beginning to take its toll.

I would constantly have a knot in my stomach -- I was getting nervous over work, whether we could pay our mortgage, if things will turn out OK because of all of the joblessness issues in this country. While TallGuy and I are OK in these times, it's difficult not to wonder if any of the economic disasters will hit home--or close to home. It's already affected some of my dear friends.

The worry and anxiousness was beginning to really get to me, despite my general happiness.

I began to think about the things in my life that make me really happy, in an effort to try and bring back the sense of calm. I thought about my writing. I thought about what I had forsaken. And I thought about how much my writing made me happy--because it seemed to make others happy, too.

Writing this blog has always been an amazingly creative outlet for me. Whether readers agree or disagree with my ideas, I always have found (with the exception of a few) that people have enjoyed the discussions about etiquette and how not to be "that bride". I love that. I love that I can have such an outlet and actually provide my thoughts and feelings--and hopefully help people think about things in a different way--every now and then.

With all of the economic issues in the world, I realize that planning a wedding right now, for some, is a really tough challenge. Others who aren't struggling economically may still be thinking about how to have an "appropriate" wedding in these difficult times. These are all important issues.

My writing has always been a constant source of happiness. I realize that, in an effort to mentally cope with all of the other issues going on in the world, I actually had, inadvertently, forsaken one of the things that has always made me so happy.

I cannot promise to write every day, but I promise to try and write as often as I can. Writing this blog is helping me "un knot" the knot in my stomach -- and I hope that it will provide some amusement and fun for those of you planning your wedding, or just looking for something to read.

Stay tuned!

PS--Thank you, Miss Ready, for your sweet thought. I am back!!!