Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How many bottles of wine?

For your wedding, engagement parties, after-parties, showers, one of the biggest questions in planning mode is 'how many bottles of wine do we need?' And 'how much beer, hard liquor, etc.?' offers a terrific 'drink calculator' to help you estimate your shopping list. Visit it here:, and check out their helpful 'how much food willwe need?' chart, too.

Jack Canfield's Unfinished Circles

I'm reading Jack Canfield's book "The Success Principles," and I wanted to share a very profound piece of advice from that book that applies so greatly to what you're going through in wedding-planning world.

When you start something new, it's like starting to draw a circle as you progress, like the hands on a clock making their way back around to the top. When the task is complete, the circle is closed, and you get (say it with me...) closure. Your mind can put the issue away with a nice sigh of satisfaction. But when you start something new -- or LOTS of something news -- and you're in-process, those circles stall at the 1/2 mark or the 3/4 mark, catching air like a parachute being pulled behind you. Now, when you are in wedding-planning zone, you have a million things on your To-Do list, and thus a million little half-circle parachutes behind you, slowing you down, making you tired. So lighten your load by seeking completion on as many tasks as you currently have open on your To-Do list. If you've addressed only half of your Save the Dates, close the circle by getting the rest of them done. That cuts the parachute free from you, and stops sucking away at all your energy. Grab a day and dedicate it to getting as many small tasks done as possible, and don't take on another big one until you've closed some of those circles.

It's amazing the way Canfield illustrates this concept, talking about the emotional energy of unfinished business -- even the smallest things like a pile of magazines waiting to be read, or calls you have to return to friends, checkbook balancing, errands to run, even clutter in your car. Following the book's example, I made a big list of all the little unfinished circles dragging behind me, and it's amazing to see how much I'm lugging around! Lots of little things to complete, like thank you notes, press mailings, confirmations of receiving press kits and samples for the handbag story, putting in my catering order for book club at my place next month, buying birthday cards for all my friends with February birthdays, returning a dress that's too big, checking in with my friend Katie in Utah to whom I'm woefully late in responding, etc.

Where to find the time to do all this? When I discover the book that reveals the secret to getting an extra two hours in every day, I'll share that one with you. But right now, I have a few things to get done before bed.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My 'Wedding Podcast Network show is up!

Listen anytime, anywhere, to my show 'Here Come the Moms' at: -- in our first show, we talk about the emotional aspects that moms face when trying to find out their roles in the wedding plans. Times have changed, and so have the rules for the MoB and MoG. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Personalize your bridesmaids' gifts

This one is fun! Create personalized handbags for your bridesmaids, junior flowergirls, and the moms at this great site:

I'm in handbag heaven right now as I work on an article for Gift Shop magazine...

And today's the big day! My podcast "Here Come the Moms" launches at Wedding Podcast Network later today. I'll provide the direct link here and on my site as soon as it's up.

Now to find the perfect outfit for tonight's dinner out with Joe. I went from being sick-as-a-dog to work-hyper in a matter of days, so I'm treating my man to a relaxing night out and a foot massage by the fireplace afterwards. Can't wait....

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bridal party gift on a budget

I'm a big fan of truly useful bridal party gifts, so when I saw this one, I thought: "Now that's cute!" And since travel is the #1 trend category for bridal party member gifts, I recommend looking at travel totes and organizers, or this fun 'toy':

And if you live near a Blue Tulip store [GREAT personalized invitation suites done up by their in-house graphic designer), plan to shop on the weekend of 2/2 to 2/4, since a % of all profits will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Find them at, and call to confirm that the store near you is participating.

Now, back to my article on the newest handbag trends for late '07, my latest for Gift Shop magazine. Check out for more inspiration on your wedding weekend outfit accents...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The groom's bottom?

This time of year, I get flooded with releases and press kits and DVDs of the latest products and services for the bride and groom. Beyond the usual 'gotta have shoes' and creative registries and honeymoon destinations are a LOT of new things for the stylin' groom. Metrosexual has gone to new dimensions all over the country, as the salon and spa industry do their best to attract the groom. Here are some of the most amazing (and sometimes amusing) things that grooms are invited to indulge in to look their best for the big day:
* Tanning sprays
* New color contact lenses (Have his EYES be your 'something blue????')
* Back massages for them and for their groomsmen, with mimosas and caviar brunches
* Eyelash tinting
* Eyebrow waxing or threading
* Full body waxing
* Manicures and pedicures
* Tattoo removal (the ex's name has got to go, apparently!)
* Tattoo addition (the release espouses placing it in an 'intimate zone' as a gift to the bride)
* Facial peels
* Tooth whitening
* Personal stylist to pick out your honeymoon boxers and wardrobe
* And this physique approver that you just have to see for yourself. [Note: I do not endorse this product or site, but include it here for your information, amusement, sharing with bridesmaids, or all of the above]:

Have we come a long way from the days of the groom just showing up on time for the wedding? That's a big YES. Are grooms going for these services? Again, that's a Yes in surprisingly big numbers. Hmmmm, something to ponder: what does the money for this come out of in the wedding budget? 'Sorry, babe, we can't get a cake...I had to get a facial peel and a butt enhancer, and the guys and I are going for a spa day and mimosas.'

I love wedding world.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

That's just awful!

Over on my Q&A forum at (click on 'Ask Sharon' from the home page), there's a controversial thread going on. A frazzled mother of the groom wrote for my help with her very spoiled, pushy FDIL who planned an insanely expensive rehearsal dinner at the restaurant of the bride's choosing. The mother is being asked to spend -- get this -- $1,300 for a dinner that includes extra friends of the bride who are not in the bridal party. I had to hold back in my response to this, since the Grabby Bride just turns my stomach. Others in the forum have chimed in with their reassuring stories, and we've all banded together to help this mom out. The prevalence of the 'MY Rehearsal Dinner' tantrum has led me to pitch an article on this to the major bridal magazines, so that we can clear this up once and for all. Brides, grooms...the rehearsal dinner is a GIFT from the groom's parents. If they're paying, they plan it. If they say, 'no extra people other than the bridal party and guests,' you listen to that and respect them. Sure, you could railroad your way, but there's a long future ahead. And this will live on in everyone's memories. So if you're planning your wedding right now, and you have an idea for where you'd like your rehearsal dinner, approach the hosts with your request. Now is the time when you're building your relationship with them, so think about the future before you try to 'win' your way.

This is why I'm sooo glad we're starting our 'Here Come the Moms' podcast at Wedding Podcast Network (the announcement is up at Bridal Scene, -- at the end of the broadcast). Moms have a LOT to handle with weddings today, and these are the kinds of problems we're going to tackle. I may not have been able to drop the gloves on that forum, given the intricacies of that Mom's situation, but we're going to give it to 'em straight on the podcast. Tune in soon for the first show.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Back on track

It seems everyone has the diabolical sinus infection right now, and both Joe and I have been leveled by it this past week. But God bless modern medicine! I'm back on my game, and working on some very fun new stuff --

Check out my articles on and in the print version if you live in the area, and visit my Wedding and Family Reunion columns at -- go to Travel Magazine. Right now, I'm working on the first of 5 monthly columns for each: Turning Your Family Reunion into a Charity Fundraiser and Doing a Theme Destination Wedding. Celebrity wedding coordinator Sasha Souza has chimed in for the second one, and I'm thrilled to have her on board.

My Wedding Podcast Network show launches next week -- they should have something about it in their newest Bridal Scene broadcast, so check out the site at You'll see that my co-authors Michelle and Henry Roth have their own podcast there as well, so get ready for some high-energy wisdom from inside the bridal fashion industry from them, plus the newest details for mothers of the bride and groom on my show with Holli Ehrlich.

That's about it for now. Day #1 of feeling better means catching up on housecleaning and laundry on this MLK day, plus taking a few moments of silent gratitude that my family has come so far in these past 2 years. This is the anniversary of a rough day in my Mom's cancer treatments, and it's a tug of war between 'be happy it's all turned out well' and 'man, why did she have to go through that?!' Adversity reveals character, they say, so that was a watershed moment for all of us. We found out what we're made of, what we're capable of, how much guidance we get, and how lucky we are with the gifts we get. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of my closest friends and family who remembered the day and sent my Mom (and me) messages of love and support. May you all be blessed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Site recommendations

In the post-holiday crush of press releases, a few stood out as ones I should pass along to you. [Note: I have no experience with some of these companies, so I'm not endorsing them per se. I just thought you'd like to check them out!] -- A registry for experiences, like dance classes, horseback riding, wine tasting, etc. -- Same as above, with hot air balloon rides and other adventures -- Yes, you already know about this one, but check out their new Legacy albums -- supersized pages (12x14), which will cost you far, far less than ordering print from your pros. -- The colored diamond association, for info and buying details on naturally colored diamonds. And check out that pic of the Jubilee Diamond -- amazing! -- Polymer clay renditions of the cake-topper bride and groom made to look like you. It's a little crafty-looking, but the concept is really fun if this is your style -- A charitable registry, with articles on how to donate your leftover wedding food to shelters and food pantries -- Terrific software for creating your own save the date cards, invitations, and all manner of printed items (check out my articles on their site for ideas!) -- Owner Dana Smith-Acosta makes gorgeous favors using silver charms -- If you'll get married away, check out the articles on this one.

Coffee's ready, so my day begins now...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2 minutes....

That's how long it took for the fire department to get to my house. I got out of work early and came home to find my entire place fumed up with gas, so it was a quick 911 call and a dash for fresh air. Had I not gotten out of a meeting an hour early, my place might be embers right now. Turns out, the dial on my stove was slightly turned, knocked out of the lock possibly by my putting my coat on this morning, and it did a slow leak for 2 1/2 hours. So now I will be faithfully checking that all of my burners are off and in the locked position. The silver lining -- knowing that the emergency squads and fire department in my town are ON IT. And that they only mocked me a little bit. ;) Bring it on...I can take it.

We're getting a ton of great engagement stories through our contest at, and the entrants' excitement reminds me to give you this message: Spend a lot of time planning for the future, not just the wedding. How are you going to handle holidays? How will you handle your own bank accounts and the joint bank account for household expenses? What's your need for private time, couple time, time with friends? THAT'S a big one, since most people crave one or more of these categories. Pre-cana classes and other premarital classes are a benefit, in my opinion, and there are lots of books out there on questions both partners should discuss before they tie the knot. So if you're in the huge wave of newly-engaged couples just exploring the world of wedding planning, take my word for it...plan for the daily details of your future together, be honest about your personal needs, and watch your relationship grow even closer during the planning process -- rather than farther apart, like all the Bridezilla and Groomzilla couples who focused only on the wedding.

Tonight I'm putting some deep conditioner in my hair and sitting down to start on Couples' Bets, my newest book project of tame, romantic and racy wagers that couples can make with one another. And since I've reached a 10 pound weight loss, I get a treat -- I'm allowed to open the box with my new aqua blue Diesel sneakers. I may have found a diet motivation plan that's newsworthy -- buy a bunch of shoes and don't let yourself wear them until you reach your goal. That's way better than chocolate. ;)

Oh, and for my friends who are sure to remember way back into my fireman-admiration days (we all had a thing for firemen), let me tell you...Nada. Zip. Nothing. Couldn't even tell you what anyone looked like, because all I was thinking was: 1. Is my house going to blow up?; 2. Please tell me I put away the new batch of Victoria's Secret panties I had on my kitchen table last night; 3. I don't even remotely notice other men anymore. I can hear my friend Jen right now -- "If Shar's not noticing firemen, she must be REALLY in love." 10-month anniversary last night, salmon and steak dinner, the comfortable quiet of not feeling like you have to fill up every second with conversation, sharing bites off each other's dishes, holding hands across the table, and the best table in the house (it's not location, it's the company). And Joe brought home a bridal magazine he thought might be useful to me....(blush). Ladies, if we clone him now......

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

This was the best New Year's that I have ever had, and it's all thanks to my Joe. He makes everything amazing...

Since we were in the Superbowl of our fantasy football league, we watched the numbers closely the entire day. We started off 34 points up, but it dwindled...and dwindled...and while we came in 2nd, our true victory was in eliminating the 1st place guy (the cheater) from the championship. A good man won, though. So congratulations to Tom, the winner of the FF league this year. (We'll get you next year, Tom!)

Joe fulfilled one of my biggest wishes, which was to go to my favorite sports bar to watch the first half of a game. It felt like a homecoming, I hadn't been there in so long. Great bar food, a great drink, seeing old friends, and we were off to get the makin's for our New Year's dinner. And I unfortunately made eye contact with the lobster before they went into the steamer ;) Dinner was in front of the fireplace (ahhhh! Snapshot moment!): lobster, mashed potatoes, salad, green beans, bread, great wine...and football on TV. It doesn't get better than that. We rang in New Year's Eve all snuggled up by the fire. Perfection. How did I get so lucky?

Now that the holiday season is behind us, work kicked up like wild. My book 'Renewing Your Wedding Vows' is out and doing marvelously well, we're getting hundreds of entries in the 'most romantic proposal' contest, and I'm organizing a new wedding workshop series at Blue Tulip, where I organize events and charity fundraisers ( My friend Jill and I made up our professional goals for '07 lists, and I am so enthusiastic about the year ahead. I don't make New Year's Resolutions, but rather start the year off with a list of goals -- professional, personal, health, etc. It just works better for me to have a To Do list rather than a You Can't list ;)

So, this is the start of a fresh page....a new year with promises of great things to come. This is going to be a good one...