go to your neutral corner

Go to your Neutral Corner

Ah, engaged life. Fancy parties in your honor, a legitimate excuse to plunk down thousands for one dress, and so many more sweet activities and planning. You never expected the downside: hissing at each other in bridal registry departments and screaming matches over the wedding guest list. The engagement period can be a minefield of hot topics that can trigger huge blowouts — sometimes  chiavari chairs are not JUST chairs. How about you try and go to your neutral corner for a minute and keep in mind some important tips!
Family
Unless you are both orphans, you must expect family issues to come to the fore during the pre-wedding planning. You have to keep in mind that not only will you be sharing a bed and a house with your future husband but you will also be sharing families! As old-fashioned as it sounds, you are marrying into a family. Whether it be invitation or food arguments, be firm with your family when expressing that this is a day for the bride and groom, and to not live vicariously through each of you.

Groom Involvement
Most men are clueless when it comes to design and decor. But, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on including him, however. Find out what he is interested in and encourage him to participate in that part. Sure, picking out flowers and invitations may not be on your man’s weekend fun list, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be involved in other ways. If he doesn’t know, explain to him what his options are regarding food, photography, music, etc. And remember: Don’t make the wedding the only interest you share.

Money
Sit down with him, like two adults, and work out the finances of the wedding together. After all, it’s both your money and whether it’s spent on a blow out honeymoon or the shoes of your dreams…it’s all coming from the same pocketbook.
Bridezilla Behavior
Drop the Martha act. Your guy may have a point. If the wedding has become more important than your relationship, that’s a warning sign. Yes, you want a lovely wedding, but not at the expense of your relationship. After all, what’s the point? Keep your future in mind.

Saying thank you

Saying Thank You

saying thank you
Saying “thank you” is always in style! So don’t be ungrateful – say thanks for your wedding! Here’s how to give wedding thank you’s to all the people who’ve helped you put it together, given you gifts, or just have been a shoulder to lean on.
Wedding favors are the first thank you to your guests. So spoil them in return! It need not be anything expensive, even just a sweet, personalized thank you message on their place cards, a slice of wedding cake individually packaged, a mixed CD sharing all your favorite moments. Be clever about it: why not give away those expensive flower arrangements on the tables, by adding a little tag or bag with a message for your guests to please take them home with them. Create a sweetie or cookie bar where guests can indulge, give bottled home-made jams, cordials, ground coffee, specialty tea, olives, infused salt, cupcake mix or honey. Any small token of thanks will do, the trick is just to make it special, personal and lovely.
It may be the final piece of your wedding correspondence trousseau, but the thank you is certainly one of the most important. A beautifully written and presented thank you note is the last impression you will leave with your wedding guests — not to mention the first impression of you and your mate as a newlywed couple.
Most guests do not expect to receive a note before the wedding; they know that the couple is busy preparing for the special day. However, aim to mail your thank yous no later than three months after receiving a gift. When you return from your honeymoon, spend a concentrated 15 to 20 minutes per day on this task. Because you will need to write a thank you note for each and every gift received, writing in short periods allows for each note to remain lively and original. One way to expedite the process: Share the responsibility with your husband. (He can help by writing notes for those gifts from his family and friends.)
Many couples like the idea of matching the look, color and feel of invitations to the thank you notes. By doing so ahead of time, you can save money on design, ink and plate charges by ordering them alongside the wedding invitations. If you’d like to continue the tone set by your invitations but not match them exactly, select a similar ink color, type style and printing method that relates to your overall style. Methods for printing thank you notes are the same as for invitations—engraving, letterpress, embossing, off-set, and thermography—but if your invitations were engraved, save money by using thermography for your thank you notes to achieve the same look.
A popular trend in thank you note design is continuing the logo, pattern or motif first introduced on your invitations. Recently, a bride chose to recycle the Moroccan symbol of a hand used on her save the date cards. Another couple included the monogram used on its wedding invitations, simply tweaked with an updated color. It is this attention to detail (in addition to your heartfelt words) that will make your thank you’s more than just notes; they’ll be keepsakes for your guests.
Regardless of its design, a beautiful and graciously handwritten thank you note is a gift in itself.

saying thank you

 

Dealing With Wedding Stress

Dealing With Wedding Stress

Dealing With Wedding Stress

Let’s be honest. You will experience ebbs and flows of the wedding process. And, stress will definitely be a five letter word you will experience. You will have so many details that consume your life, it can be quite stressful. However, it’s important to “not sweat the small stuff.” It sounds a lot easier than it is.

From bad etiquette to breached contracts to drama in your wedding party….it’s possible you may experience all or some of these situations. I could say grin and bear it, but that will only make you want to tear your hair out. There are some ways that you can unwind and naturally have some breathing room.

Dealing With Wedding StressVia Story Mix Media

1. Assign roles and responsibilities to family members and bridal party

Everyone could use a little help here and there. Know your limits. If you don’t think you can handle a certain task, do not be afraid to ask your family and or bridesmaids. That is what they are there for. Remember when you asked them to stand by you on your wedding day? Well, they don’t just get to wear a pretty dress and smile. They should get their hands a little dirty too. They may not know you need help and you can’t assume someone will ask you. Don’t be a martyr.

Dealing With Wedding StressBrad Ross Photography

2. Make sure to have fun

You’re getting married! You’re not planning a funeral. This is supposed to be a happy time filled with wonderful memories not nervous breakdowns and tears. Plan regular dates with your mate, and don’t forget your friends! A wine night with girlfriends or a fun night out of dancing may just be the remedy!

Dealing With Wedding Stressvia Travis’ I-Search Blog

3. Do not let it consume your life

Don’t be obsessed with your wedding planning such that you only eat, sleep and breathe “the big day.” Remember you still have yourself, friends, and families to mingle with. Spend a day or two each month to hang out with your friends! Set aside every Friday to have a date with your prince and don’t talk about your wedding planning. Just like good old days. Free to chat about anything, except your wedding.

Dealing With Wedding Stress

4. Exercise often and regularly

Not only will this help with toning up for your day, but also give you some “me time” and clear your head. There are many benefits to being physically fit both mentally and physically.

Give Thanks To Mom

Give Thanks to Mom

Give Thanks to Mom

Weddings are a source of those kick up your heels, ice cream cones in summer feelings but they also impact each person differently. Emotions run high and low for each person contributing to the wedding – from the mother of the bride to the flower girl.

While, you as the bride, are the crowning centerpiece of the whole affair, it might be wise to take some time out and understand what your wedding means to others in your life. Take a few minutes to thank your mother for giving up so much of her time to help you plan for example. For a mother it’s that bond that seemed so unshakeable has now been fragmented and she sees her little girl moving on in life without her. Mothers of the bride are often emotional but instead of thinking of it as another thing gone wrong, try to see it as she cares for you deeply.

Give Thanks To MomKelly Hornberger Photography

Maybe it’s not a mother, perhaps it’s a father who raised you or a grandparent. As much as they’ve all tested your new husband to be, it might be worth your while to give them some reassurance during this hectic time. You’re still the same person they love and will remain that way despite the cake being chocolate when you wanted vanilla. No one will be happier for you on your big day than those who raised you to become the beautiful, elegant bride you are!

Give Thanks To Momvia The Bridal Times

As in most weddings, melt downs tend to happen at any given moment. Don’t let them ruin the day or your wedding planning. Take deep breaths and understand that marriage isn’t just one day – it is a lifetime of commitment. Those people who care about you know this and take it as a sign of good faith that they care enough to be invested. Of course, there are lines that if crossed, the bride has every right to stop the show and demand it be carried on her way!

Celebrity Wedding Advice

Celebrity Wedding Advice

Celebrity Wedding Advice

Don’t worry. You’re not the only ones still scratching your heads over the recent “ Conscious Uncoupling” of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow.  If Hollywood marriages age in dog years, then we shouldn’t be surprised that the Celeb elite are now coming up with a more chic way to say “We’re splitting up”.

Celebrity Wedding AdviceFrom Perez Hilton

So it comes as a welcome refreshing breath of air when someone in the limelight seems so unaffected by it and offers up realistic and of course, ultra stylish advice. Enter Lauren Conrad- teen reality star turned do-gooder with her lovely Kohl’s clothing line, book series, and very smart website appropriately named, www.laurenconrad.com where she appeals to the every-girl. And now that she is a bride-to-be, we love following her every move and getting to the bottom of her super sweet and fashionable tips for brides. Here are a few of our faves:

Celebrity Wedding Advice

Always do a trial run: Who doesn’t want to look insanely glamorous on their wedding day? But don’t forget that you should look like YOU. NO surprises, no new makeup or hair trends, just the best version of yourself with styles that accentuate and compliment your unique look. Lauren is a self proclaimed purist- always knowing what looks good on her. She even swears “you’ll never see her with short hair.” Reason being? While we are certain she can rock just about any look especially a super chic bob, she just doesn’t feel as confident with short hair and feels that it isn’t her best look. Instead, from time to time she opts for a faux bob by pinning her hair up loosely and playing with the look for a night. Another great tip for undecided brides who may want that look for the ceremony but want their signature long hair on display for the reception.

Celebrity Wedding Advice

Don’t ask your groom about things he doesn’t want to know about: For Lauren, she wanted her groom to see sketches of her dress. He refused and wanted a traditional reveal on their actual wedding day. “ I ask him, is it a good time?” And she very quickly gives him a rundown of the must-know details to get his thoughts. Flowers, centerpieces, and décor are left totally up to her ( since of course that is her forte!) and wedding music ( he is a musician) is the element he wanted to solely focus on.  Dividing and conquering and putting your own personal seal on the things that matter most is the best way to avoid fights and end up with  a wedding that is a perfect mix of you and your groom.

Celebrity Wedding Advicevia Instagram

 

NYFW 2014 Roundup

NYFW 2014 Roundup

It’s about this time every year where we begin to dust off our open-toed shoes and dream of warmer days ahead. But for the fashion elite, February marks the coming of Fall as they look way ahead to predict the biggest looks and trends for the most impressionable time of year. Don’t get us wrong, Spring is always a welcome showing for florals, sleeveless looks and the newly reinnovated crop top, but Fall is and has always been the big-time when it comes to high-end couture. This year was no different with the biggest names in the biz closing the shows with the most talked about trends. Here is our take and what you should start prepping for now…

NYFW 2014 RoundupSapphire Blue: By far the hottest hue seen all over the runways, this purplish-blue stole the show with major players like Calvin Klein Collection showing it in ultra sleek and modern silhouettes. The key is to let the bold color do the talking and keep things pretty minimal. Other designers went a big further with the color offering separates that made a statement but also kept this bright blue as a neutral accessory, showing off how versatile it will be this Fall.


NYFW 2014 RoundupSuiting: The obsession with the dress is over Sorry Brides, but the new menswear inspired vibe is all about suiting separates. From wide leg pants and jackets to ultra sleek suits with plunging necklines, the boy’s club is calling the shots this year with a whole new look for women. Thinking of a LWD for your wedding rehearsal? Go for a jumpsuit instead. It’s playful and sophisticated and a welcome change from the typical and often expected dress option. Ralph Lauren pretty much shut down the runway with his superior take on the look he has been perfecting his entire career. This is one trend that is also so classic and timeless we love seeing it reinterpreted this Fall.

Capes: We saw this one coming from a mile away when Gwyneth Paltrow showed up to the Oscars last year in a custom white Tom Ford dress donning and ultra modern cape. The look is actually very reminiscent of the 1960’s “Jackie O” era and it still works today. Lupita N’yongo earned our best dressed award at the Globes for her red hot Ralph Lauren cape gown and we know there are plenty more capes to come!

Fur: Fur accents and embellishments ( real and faux alike) were a key element in layered and textured looks from everyone from DVF to Altuzarra. The idea for fall is taking traditional pieces like jackets and tops to include luxe fur accents like collars, sleeves, and slim fur jackets in all kinds of bold prints.


Jenny PackhamFeathers: Formal favorites Jenny Packham and Naeem Khan stuck with their outrageously gorgeous beaded looks and added a hint of feathering for movement. The look is perfect for bridal and adds an extra dose of glam to an already perfected look. NYFW 2014 Roundup.

Naeem Khan

Valentine's Day Kissing Guide

Valentine’s Day Kissing Guide

Valentine’s Day is upon us once again, and couples all over the world are preparing to spend a romantic evening together celebrating their love. Whether or not you’re a fan of the holiday or you just go through the motions to make your significant other happy, you inevitably end the evening with a kiss.

In celebration of all things smooching-related, SimplyBridal has created an infographic that will make sure you make your Valentine’s Day kiss one to remember. From a breakdown of types of kisses, to interesting facts and some tips on proper kissing etiquette. You’ll definitely be ready to pucker up when cupid strikes! They also take a look at some of the more unique Valentine’s Day traditions around the world. For instance, in Japan, instead of men spoiling their loved ones on this lustful day, it’s the women who buy chocolate and flowers for their men to show them how much they’re appreciated. Valentine’s Day Kissing Guide.
Valentine's Day Kissing Guide

pinterest pins of the week

Pinterest Pins Of The Week

Pinterest Pins Of The Week

Big Balloons: We’ve been seeing this trend for awhile in small doses. Dessert table queen Amy Atlas wowed us with her monochromatic take on sweets with coordinating extra large balloons attached to her table. But balloons are taking over for real now with less emphasis on florals and total whimsy with these giant childhood favorites stealing the show and acting as centerpieces and focal points.  And there’s really no limit to colors and styles- AND prices! BHLDN makes some uber fancy golden and metallic ones with ultra plush add -ons, but you can also find DIY tutorials, some serious steals on ETSY and wholesale finds from sites like Event Décor Direct. Some of calling them Geronimo balloons, but in reality they are just super sized latex balloons that need lots of helium and are making a huge statement.  The coolest part? They can be customized with over the top fancy tassels and double as wedding photo props. They’re adorable and in bulk make a massive statement, literally. See ‘blackboard decor’ here.
pinterest pins of the week

chicago cotton candyCotton Candy Accessorizing: We knew earlier this week, when we covered local vendor Spin Spun, that cotton candy was definitely all the rage. But Colin Cowie took it to a whole new level on Pinterest with this dream- like presentation of cocktail hour with cotton candy glass toppers.  You can imagine our surprise when we also found this photo in the latest Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine. Try it on in small doses since it seems a bit labor intensive. We are thinking engagement party or bridal shower. Either way, the look is fabulous and sure to induce lots of chatter.

Floral Envelope Liners: Lining envelopes has long been a highly sought after trend of the upscale stationary lovers, and now the look has become even more fun and also more accessible.  For those with a big budget and even bigger imagination, you can custom line your envelopes in almost any pattern or design. We especially love the idea of a floral, almost wallpaper-inspired design for the upcoming Spring. We also adore what companies like the always whimsical Cherie Berry are doing with vintage prints and initials. And for those brides who are looking to save a few bucks? Lining your own has never been easier! Buying the paper in bulk or even printing your own on a laser jet printer can save you tons and with a little time and the right adhesive can look just as good!Modern Elegant Wedding Invitation

wedding registry

Wedding Registry Do’s and Don’ts for Modern Couples

Not Your Grandmother’s Nuptials: Wedding Registry Do’s and Don’ts for Modern Couples

wedding registryOld wisdom says to keep the registry on the down low; uncivilized talk of gifts occurs in whispers behind kitchen doors or cupped hands. Modern etiquette recognizes the practicality of the wedding registry, and a lot of things have changed since your grandmother’s wedding. In fact, it’s a recognized truth that etiquette evolves–organizations such as the Hayward Area Historical Society have even created exhibits highlighting the differences between today’s good manners and etiquette of yesteryear.

To List the Gift Registry…Or Not

Traditional etiquette experts who follow Emily Post frown on including the gift registry information on wedding invitations, although it is seen as proper form to add the registry locations on bridal shower invites. Modern couples have long ignored Ms. Post and emblazoned registry information on tasteful inserts that come with the growing package of direction sheets and response cards found inside a wedding invite. Modern etiquette experts either agree with this practice or collude to look the other way because they recognize the practicality of the measure. Guests don’t want to wait until the bride’s sister tells Aunt Sally, who can tell them, where the couple is registered. In the pace of modern living, no one has time for that.

A Registry That’s Refined and Online

Couples who want to go big and formal, who just like old traditions or who have an adamant grandmother or two on the guest list can get around the ban on registry inclusion with technology. Services such as MyWedding.com let you create free wedding websites, and you can also use blog tools including Blogger or WordPress to keep guests informed about wedding plans. List your wedding site URL in the wedding invitation or in an insert, inviting guests to share your wedding journey. You can link to your registry on the site as well as share updates, pictures and stories about the big day.

Choose Registry Carefully

There aren’t hard rules about registry item selection, and you aren’t obligated to include an entire collection of china. Modern couples tend to register a mix of traditional and contemporary items. Select things you would enjoy for your home, but keep your guests in mind. Not everyone has deep pockets, so include gift ideas in a range of prices. For those who have a tighter budget, include items such as dish towels, glasses, and utensils. For those guests who want to spend a little more, include kitchenware from your favorite designs, such as the Kate Spade line found at at Macy’s, or choose select pieces of crystal from their Waterford collection. Finally, simply asking for cash isn’t as taboo as it used to be, especially if you need assistance with a down payment for a home or other large purchase, though it’s a good idea to give gift options as well.

Something Small, Something for All

A number of department stores offer great registry options. Since individuals can also order online with these stores, you don’t have to worry about access for guests. Some couples like to support small business, but registering with a single store that is only available in limited areas places undue stress on gift buying. If you’re choosing to support a small business, consider a limited second registry with a major chain for out-of-town guests.

Check out Music By Design for more wedding registry websites.

Holiday Survival Singles

singles picHoliday Survival Singles

If you’ve been to a wedding in the last 2 years, there’s no doubt that at some point in the night ( most likely the part where the bride throws the bouquet) you have heard the new anthem for all single women , “Single Ladies”. And while we are totally sure that Beyonce had a more empowering message in mind, the song has become almost a mockery for girls without dates or better yet, no prospects while witnessing 2 other people find true, eternal love.  That’s what we love about the new photo circulating the web that gives a real depiction about what it’s like to always be the “single lady” and not the bride- especially around the holidays.

It’s the annual girls night out Holiday edition and what do you know- 3 of the gals are newly engaged! YAY! ( sigh). But for the friend counting how many weddings she will be asked to next summer, adding up the cost of bridesmaid dresses, and stopping off to pick up the token bottle of bubbly for yet another girl who had a ring put on it, it takes a toll. So when this girl posed for the special occasion, she let us all know how she really felt.

But don’t feel sorry for her yet. It’s not all about being single. For many, it’s like we said- it becomes very costly when all of your friends are getting married, especially when you are just starting out and barely making enough to cover your own living expenses. We have talked to several twenty-somethings who told us that each summer, they have to ask their parents for some extra cash just to make it through the slough of hotels, wedding gifts, and bridal shower salad spinners they must come up with just to attend. And for those standing as attendants? “Forget it” a friend recently shared. Hopefully your credit card gives you good cash back or bonus points, because you are going to need it.

image

So for any of you single girls who feel the same way as the funny gal in the photo? Keep in mind what a recent article also shared-Why it’s great to be single around the Holidays. No awkward first family meetings at major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, no gift buying for the special someone (huge money saver.) And the time to yourself to do what YOU want while you have the extra time off over the Holidays.  In any case, a New Year is right around the corner, time for you to start fresh with someone special or renew the you that’s pretty fabulous on your own!