Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Year, New Trends

Oh my Snow White, do you really inspire wedding trends? Yes, according to the interwebs you do. More on that, but do you ever notice that when you are searching for ideas when planning your wedding that the ‘new trends’ for the year tend to look remarkably like the ‘new trends’ from the prior year? ‘Outdoor weddings’ ‘personalized gifts’ ‘DIY’ ‘finger foods’ ‘old Hollywood theme’ etc. etc. I mean, yeah, we can call these trends, but can we call them new?

A few things that are a little different from years past, though, are long sleeve wedding dresses and woodsy inspired weddings. Now I am a country gal at heart, and I love little creatures great and small, but I did not spend my parent’s retirement fund on the fancy dress and expensive tiny food just to dump it all out by some oak trees and underbrush. But to each her own, and the recent trend seems to be spawned by the new Snow White and Hobbit movies. so THEY say. My advice if you are going this route: bug spray. And if a stray animal or two end up in your wedding pictures, don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

Long sleeve dresses on the other hand, that is a trend I have long wished for. Kate, you couldn’t get him to propose just a year earlier? Do you realize how many 2010 brides there are that wore sleeveless and strapless gowns under fashion duress because of you? Well, at least brides of 2012 do not have to suffer. Long sleeves are huge this year, in all kinds of styles. I say this is a trend to definitely follow. Sleeves are always more flattering and add so much character and elegance to a gown.  Just be conscious of proportions. Large or tight sleeves need to compliment the volume of your dress. Always remember, you wear the dress, the dress does not wear you. No matter what the interweb says is the new trend

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“I’m Married!....Just Kidding, Just Kidding, Just Kidding!”

…..that is what I imagine Kim Kardashian is saying to her sisters right now as they laugh and laugh and rifle through overpriced Prada and Gucci that no normal human can afford without the assistance of a reality show. No, I am not exactly colored surprised by this turn of events. I mean, they got married on TV, for Oprah’s sake! It is the equivalent of watching the Bachelor, but with less hair pulling. So let’s not act all shocked that 72 days later, she is rushing back to the single’s bar.  But I am shocked by the mockery this has made of this sacred institution.  

So why bother to write about it? Well, because this is a wedding blog, and I write to help ease some of the torture of planning for that big day, or at least amuse, so that every bride can have the most special day possible. I feel really passionate about this, and the sanctity of marriage, because my special day was almost ruined. But that is another story. What we are talking about today is Miss K’s total disregard for this institution. I feel like a lot of women, such as myself, have taken this personally. The flippant disregard that she seems to have taken for a day that many people worked so hard to manifest, is nothing short of selfish.

No, marriages do not always work and I do not think that someone should stay in an unhealthy marriage because people expect them to. But I do think it takes longer than 72 days to find all that out. 72 days after my husband and I got married we were still gushing over wedding pictures and talking about our honeymoon. Hell, we were doing that 6 months afterwards! And I daresay that the reality stars do not have to worry about the things that normal brides do, like finances and their careers and family. All these things really don’t become a reality until after the honeymoon…….and I don’t mean the trip you take, either!

Marriage is a sacred institution that should not be taken lightly. It is not about big dresses and fancy food, it is about making the decision to share your life and your family, with another person.  It is about loving that person more than yourself. I think if Kim and Kris really felt committed to doing those things, it would take a lot longer than 72 days to figure out that they are not capable of them. Now, let’s turn off that reality TV and get back to planning celebrations for real love stories, shall we?  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Perfect Winter Party

We are fast approaching the holidays, and whether it is almost your engagement party, shower, wedding, or some other festivity, there are sure to be parties a plenty to go to! Typically my husband and I throw a Christmas party at our home, complete with kitschy decorations and party food. But this year, we are anticipating the arrival of a new family member, and to celebrate that, my wish is that we could give back to families in need this holiday season by throwing a party and having our guests bring toys to be donated to local charities here in Austin,Tx.

A perfect venue for this type of party would be this cool little club downtown call the Swan Dive. It is a little Oasis of jazz and swing inspired décor and entertainment, complete with an entirely white interior, perfect for a Winter Ball. There is hardly need for much décor, given the splendid lighting and furnishings already adorning the club, but to enhance the holiday spirit, I would decorate with green and white Christmas trees, scattered throughout the space, adorned with snowflakes and white lights, giving the illusion of a snowy forest in winter. Soft candlelight would be nestled in greenery on each table. The attire for the event should be white and black formal wear. Food for this event would be anything but vanilla, though. Hot toddies of buttered rum and spiced wine along with cider and hot chocolate for those not imbibing. Decadent hors d’oeuvres would be scattered throughout the winter wonderland, with dishes such as brie with walnuts and honey, smoked salmon crudités, bacon wrapped shrimp, fig and gorgonzola appetizers, mini holiday pecan pie bites, chocolate truffles, and of course, roasted chestnuts, amongst others. The night would be a beautiful romantic celebration with the entertainment from my favorite Big Band, the Vendetta Big Band, crooning out holiday carols and all your favorite standards. And the best part is, at the end of the night, we will have toys to deliver to the kiddos for Christmas! Celebrating and giving back, what could be better than that?

This party will be a wonderful opportunity to do both of those things. Austinites rarely if ever, see a white Christmas, and it would nice to give friends and family and community a small taste of that. But the Holiday season is not just about spending time with friends, it is also about remembering others and reaching out to them, especially our children. To make this night happen would be so special not only to our guests, but also to a lot of families in our community. Now that is a reason to celebrate.

This blog is part of the Win Your Perfect Party contest sponsored by GigMasters. To find out how to enter visit Life of the Party.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are All Wedding Blogs Just Vacuous Hype?

So here is the question, are all wedding blogs just empty shells decorated with vendor advertisements? Recently a photographer posted a blog in regards to the hype surrounding wedding blogs, and how most seem to cater to overly trendy, elaborate weddings with pictures of only pretty and/or super skinny brides. As a wedding blogger, this is something I would like to address.

First of all, those were my sentiments as well when I started this blog. I do like some of the trends, but I feel like there was no attention paid to the 'average' bride. More accurately, the real bride. I, nor my family, had the money to recreate some childhood princess fantasy of mine.  I also am not a swimsuit model, or terribly trendy. And I am grateful for those things everyday. Because I love who I am and who I have become because I am NOT those things. So why was I bombarded by expensive trends and runway models in wedding dresses when I started to plan my wedding? Why is this the face of marriage in our country?

The truth is, it's not. It is just like any magazine publication. They display the most expensive, trendy, extreme styles. That is what sells. But does it? I have found that even in my teen years I started buying magazines that showcased clothing that I could actually afford. And I have always appreciated the articles about petite actresses with quirky faces over long legged models.  I don't think I'm the only woman in America that can relate to this, either.

So where is the wedding magazine or blog that is the equivalent of a Lucky magazine? Someone should clue them in that real brides do not want cookie cutter style beyond their budget and means. All anyone really wants is to feel special.  We want to feel beautiful, but part of feeling beautiful is feeling uniquely beautiful. Wearing feathers in my hair and decorating a field for my ceremony just like the cover of the latest and greatest won't necessarily do that. Wearing a dress that is within my budget and hugs my curves in all the right places, will. I know we need a baseline for fashion, and everyone wants to know the latest trends, but how about focusing on the attainable ones?  I think the truly gifted writer or photographer can find beauty and originality in the small things. If they cannot do that, then maybe we should find talented writers and photographers that can. It is my job as a writer to captivate you with material you can relate to, and if I am not doing that job, then someone needs to tell me. You are the bride, and this is your day, don't let someone else tell you what it is supposed to be.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


So my husband and I watched Bridesmaids last night, and it was surprisingly funny. Not that Kristen Wiig is ever NOT funny, but sometimes or all the time, Rom Coms tend to be irritatingly formulaic. Overall, the story line centered around one maid-of-honor's struggle to compete with the bride's new friend that continually sought to upstage her. Also, it's a love story, so there's a guy, and stuff happens, and they end up together in the end, duh. But the overall theme centered around how difficult it is to arrange all these activities for a wedding. Especially when you are strapped for cash.

This is something to take into consideration when forming your bridal party. Who might need financial help with travel, their dress, etc.? This can be a sensitive subject, so it should take some serious thought prior to calling all your besties and booking flights to Vegas. Also, who works well together, and who has the time and ability to host all the necessary functions, like showers, parties, etc.?  Not everyone does this, but they are traditional, and most people expect a bridal shower, lingerie shower, and/or bachelorette party. They also anticipate that the maid-of-honor and other bridesmaids will play a part in organizing and gathering the bride on the wedding day. I didn't expect this, but my bridesmaids were like a small army, I could not have asked for more competent and caring friends. I swear it is like they read a handbook before. NO, don't give your bridesmaids a handbook! There is a huge chance you could risk becoming a Bridezilla if you give your bridesmaids any direction.  All you need to do is find their dress and accessories (if that, some are picking out their own these days), make sure they are invited to all parties, have details about the wedding, and most likely host them a small brunch to be topped off with a gift. Afterall, they shelled out the cash to be in your wedding, buy you presents, and throw you a party.  It is the least you can do.

In the end of the movie, the bride realizes that everything is about to change, and she remembers the importance of her friendship with her best friend. None of the parties and presents matter as much as that friendship.  So keep this in mind. Sure, it is an important and special time for you, but your friendships are forever. Try not to let a misplaced bouquet or boring bridal shower overshadow them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pin A Rose On Your Nose

Flowers! You must have flowers at your wedding!....right? Not really. And as fall and winter approach, there are a lot of alternatives to the usual rose and baby's breath (please don't do this. seriously. It's just not right.)  I love the creative arrangements of pumpkins and gourds mixed with wispy tree branches, or fall leaves and seasonal fruits.  Your color scheme will be predetermined using these elements, yes, but a lot of flower alternatives such as these are are less expensive and easier to decorate with, so it is worth some consideration.  If you are not interested in a fall festival for your wedding, no big deal, traditional flowers it is!  But I want to stay on point with the purpose of this blog, and give you some quick and easy advice and/or suggestions to make the process of picking them out easy and quick.

First of all, there are probably seventy billion florists in your town. They all want to do your wedding. For a price.  Google which are the top florists in your area and ask a few friends that were recently married what their favorites were/are before picking one. Again, you made your budget, so go in and indicate that first so they know what to work with.  Everyone will to up sell you; it is their job. But stick to your guns.  You can still get what you want at the budget you want if you are reasonable and flexible.  So price, check.  Now, you want a cascade of pink and lavender roses as the centerpiece for all 20 tables at your reception. Gorgeous, what a fantastic idea!  But that is likely to be pricey, so know that going in.  Now to decide on all the other places that need flowers to bring your pink and lavender garden dream into reality. This is the part I had a hard time with, so here is a list of things to account for when going into the florist:

1.  Decor for alter/archway/etc. during the ceremony
2.  Aisle decor for ceremony
3.  Reception table decor
4.  Food table decor
5.  Sign in book table decor
6.  Your bouquet!
7.  Your bridesmaid's bouquets
8.  Boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen
9.  Boutonnieres or wristlets for parents and grandparents
10.  Any additional arrangements you want in the bathrooms, outside the venue, on stairways, on your car or carriage, etc.

If you do not know this already, they are going to ask you, and then you will spend an hour sitting at the florist trying to remember every nook and cranny of your venue and how it should be properly drenched in flowers.

Now, you have figured all that stuff out, they know your budget and have given you your options.  I suggest candles anywhere you need to fit in some proper decor, but puddles of flowers are out of price range.  They are just simply elegant and romantic and will always dress up a table.  Why else would they deck the table of every romantic dinner!  Ok, we are almost home.  So specifics about flowers:  roses are hands down my favorite.  They are easy to procure for florists year round and are fairly durable.  I know, I know, so bore-ing.  Peonies ar gorgeous, and really plump up a bouquet or table arrangement.  Calla lilies are also very popular, although remember miniature callas tend to be a bit more expensive. BUT you can get them in an array of colors, and they are so elegant!  Being a southern gal, I love love love gardenias, but also keep the price tag in mind.  Hydrangeas are often popular, but will wilt quickly.  Tulips are also popular, but these fellas will open up in no time flat, so also be careful with those guys.  And orchids were the missing element at my wedding, beautiful and unusually hardy; these guys can be real stunners in a bouquet.

There!  Now you have all your flowers picked out and ordered!  Do not be overwhelmed or get caught up in the semantics of arrangements, let the florist do that. Pick out your favorite flowers, give them an idea of your color schemes and any particulars (like all white bouquets and all purple boutonnieres) and let them handle the rest. It is, after all, their job.  Now that you are all done with the decorations for your wedding, how about congratulating yourself on a job well done with a little spa treatment and a nice glass of wine! And don't forget to invite me along ; )

Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Your Mother's Wedding

So it's FRIDAY, hooray!!! Today I just wanted to ruminate for a moment on some of the quirky places and ways that people have gotten married. I always wonder what the driving force is behind these unusual engagements. Do you get married under water in scuba gear because you just love scuba diving, or because you want to be on the front page of your local paper? Or is it something so unique and special to your groom that you couldn't do it any other way? Whatever your venue, your wedding is YOUR wedding, and you deserve to have it wherever and however you like. Below I've put together a fun list of the most unique places I could come up with to get married:

1. A graveyard
2. Riding camels
3. On a pirate ship
4. On top of the Sears Tower
5. At the zoo!
6. In the mall
7. At the DMV
8. while having surgery
9. In a hot air balloon
10. In the middle of a play, either as an additional act or during the intermission....hmmm.....

So these are ones that I came up with. Did you or are you getting married in some unusual way or at an unconventional place? Let me know, I would love to hear about your adventurous wedding! Happy Friday, all!