Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Getting ready for the party

In the swirl of activities surrounding any pre-wedding party, make sure the focus stays on the meaning of the event....plan a toast to your partner and offer a wishing-well book or bowl where guests can write their congratulations to you. You'll flip through this happy-notes book often as the hectic planning months come at you, when you get cranky, when the plans become all Too Much. Those frustrations are fleeting when you take a look at the one you love, and all the rest falls away. It becomes about the two of you again.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The best room in the Dream House

On Saturday, I appeared at the Conde Nast Dream House along with master cake designer Sylvia Weinstock, author of "Buff Brides" Sue Fleming ( and a number of other top wedding experts to mix and mingle in the elegantly-appointed Conde Nast Dream House on West 73rd in NYC. Despite the rainy day, we had a fantastic turnout of brides and grooms, all interested in hearing about the new trends in favors from Kate Aspen. My room had the outdoor terrace, so there was a wonderful breeze -- party in Sharon's room! Among the most wonderful moments: talking with the gorgeous, willowy models about how they created their updo's, hanging out with Sylvia Weinstock and flipping through Preston Bailey's design book as Sylvia pointed out her cake masterpieces in the photo features (Sylvia has a new book coming out soon, so keep an eye out for that one!), trying chef Marc Alvarez's shrimp, couscous and pomegranate bites, and of course the Godiva room. It is possible to make a lunch out of truffles and strawberries. Cocoa is good for you, right? ;)

After the event, it was all about dressing up for a Halloween party at a local pub, and long story short...we were the only ones to show up in costume! So we turned around and headed home to watch A Haunting on TV. Perhaps we'll pull out the Halloween costumes for a party in town on Wednesday. With our couples shower coming up this weekend, there's lots to do. The menu? Oldschool Italian with sausage peppers and onions, tortellini marinara, Chicken Savoy, green salad, Sicilian pizza, antipasto, mini meatballs, and of course pigs in a blanket (gotta have that!) with an array of desserts. This is the first time my college friends and bridesmaids will all be together since we were *at* college in 1991. I couldn't be more excited to share this important celebration with our families, with friends, and with my Joe. Who, rather than enjoy a relaxing evening last night, donned his painting clothes and did the ceiling to perfection. This is a relationship of true caring and generosity of time. I can't wait for my friends to meet him....

Friday, October 26, 2007

Set a great table for fall wedding events!

For ANY wedding event where guests will be seated at tables (engagement parties, showers, rehearsal dinners, the wedding reception), pay attention to the little details for an impressive tabletop! My shipment of fall leaf placecard holders just arrived, and now I'm *really* excited for our fall bridal shower and Thanksgiving! Click on the link below to see what these gems cost us [they're in the Fall Favors section], and shop for your own adorable placecard holders and tabletop accents!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Don't miss the Dream House!

Join me on Saturday the 27th from noon to 4pm at the Conde Nast Dream House!

For the complete schedule of events, click here:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Come shop with me!

I'm thrilled to announce that my Kate Aspen favors shop is open for business! While the Kate Aspen team and I continue to work on my line of personality favors and packaging, you can shop to your heart's content at Joe and I have chosen our own wedding favors from Kate Aspen, and we think you'll agree that this is an amazing source for all your party favors. Here are just a few selections that I adore:

A percentage of sales through my Kate Aspen Shops site will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Inside the Conde Nast Dream House

One word: Wow.

Last night, Joe and I attended the launch party of the Conde Nast Dream House in New York City, and it was absolutely gorgeous. We pulled up in the limo, stepped out onto the red carpet, had our photos taken, and - after I almost fell down the stairs when my heel caught in the carpet [yeah, I can make an entrance!] - we toured the chic rooms of the townhouse. I'll be on the third floor on the 27th, so I scouted my future setting, then visited with Sarah Ryan in the beauty center where they were giving manicures to guests. It was almost a sensory overload, with so many gorgeous rooms to see, all of the sparkling details, and many displays of Kate Aspen favors everywhere. On the stairwell, I ran into editor-in-chief Millie Martini Bratten for a quick hello, and then bumped into Amy Cress, the head of the I Do Foundation (, the top charitable registry out there.

If you're in the area, be sure to get your tickets to attend any of the events at the Dream House: It's definitely something to experience first-hand!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What do you know about diamonds?

The GIA has launched its new website, so take a look to educate yourself on the ins and outs of diamond grading and selection: The more you know, the better your chance of finding that perfect diamond for your engagement ring or wedding bands....and for any wedding day jewelry gifts you might wish to exchange.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Best weekend ever

Have I mentioned that I'm marrying *the* most romantic and thoughtful man in the world?

Joe planned the perfect fall weekend getaway for overnight in New Hope, Pennsylvania where we stayed at a haunted hotel (and heard the ghosts in the middle of the night!), lunched at a fabulous eatery where we had spiked hot cider and cheese fondue, visited tons of great little shops, took a ferry cruise to see the wildlife (swans and herons were there, peregrine falcons had been spotted earlier in the day), did some Christmas shopping, shared ice cream cones on the avenue, then had a five-star gourmet dinner in an amazing restaurant that used to be a church at one time. I flip over the warm bread/soft butter combination, and add in butter-soft filet and the smoothest Cabernet ever...that's fine living! Better yet was the chance to walk hand-in-hand with my Joe, and have his strong arm hold me up as I teetered on my heels while walking on brick sidewalks. It doesn't get better than that!

I write often about the need for a pre-honeymoon, to just get away from it all -- all the work stress, home stress and wedding stress. Just hop in the car and get out of town. And this was the perfect pre-honeymoon. I said in the car, "I feel satisfied all the way down to my bones." That's the sign of a great pre-honeymoon

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday with Martha

Tune in to Martha Stewart Sirius Satellite Radio at 7am on Tuesday morning to listen to my segment on defining your bridal style. Here's a bit about the show:

Martha Stewart’s Morning Living with Kim Fernandez & Betsy KaretnickMonday - Friday 7 am - 11 am ET (LIVE)Description: Sharing the Good Things everyday on “Morning Living” on Martha Stewart Living Radio. “Morning Living” with Kim Fernandez kicks off Martha Stewart Living Radio programming each and every weekday morning, with the nation's most noted chefs, lively celebrity interviews and top-notch expert advice on living well. There's no better way to start your day!Recent Guests: Cynthia Rowley, Kate Spade, Chef Mario Batali, Chef Lidia Bastianich, Chef Paul Prudhomme, Chef Zarela Martinez, Barbara Kafka (James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award 2007,) Master Chef Andre Soltner, Michael Lomonaco, Patricia Volk, Barbara Damrosch, Eliot Coleman, Graham Rice, Preston Bailey, and Jane Seymour.

AIR DATE/TIME 7:15amEST on Tues, Oct 16th

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Sears Wishbook

When you were a kid, did you ever sit down with the massive Sears Wishbook in the fall, circling all the things you wanted for Christmas or Hanukkah? That and the back-to-school issue of Teen magazine were THE big things to get in the mail back then, and it made such an impact that I remember how the Sears Wishbook smelled. My parents must have laughed to see what my sister, brother and I considered 'must-haves,' just as I'm laughing now over the products they're marketing to kids. A toy Kenmore mixer I can understand, but a coffeemaker with real drip-stop capability? For 4 year olds? I'm thinking back to my own little toy kitchen, with the fake bananas and the little cereal boxes, the mini steaks and plastic lettuce and tomato slices. Now kids have parmigiana reggiano and EVOO bottles in their play kitchens. This cracks me up...

Now, my evening of flipping though catalogs has me checking off blankets and holiday decor items like little LED lights for each window of the house....hmmm....I may suggest to Joe that we each get the other a toy for Christmas...there's some fun stuff out there.

Speaking of fun stuff, some random items popped up on our bridal registry. We didn't sign up for them, and no one has our password, so I have some calls to make today.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Staying on schedule

Planning a wedding is a LOT of work. From many, many meetings with vendors to doing everything at the right time, it's a lot to keep track of. I'm often asked how Joe and I are staying on track with our wedding plans, and we're using my own book! (I couldn't have imagined when I wrote it that I'd be using it someday!) We're checking off things in The Busy Bride's Essential Wedding Checklists, and we're right on target. Mostly. Some things do have obstacles in front of them, but this is keeping things from slipping through the cracks, giving us the important reminders that we have to tackle this task or that task, and most importantly -- giving us the peace of mind in knowing that we're doing everything at the right time. There won't be last-minute scrambles or late fees or extra stress. We're on it.

The best part? We can look back over the first five months of planning checklists and see that we've already accomplished so much! It's a great feeling to know we're on top of things, and that what's left on the list isn't so overwhelming. As we work on our house and work our hectic jobs, it's good to know that we have a handle on the wedding plans. October opens up a new section of to-do's, most of which we've already done or talked about, so we're in great shape.

Next task on our list: sit down with the caterer to share the list of menu items that we've picked out, and show him our wedding cake design. And then it's on to writing our vows...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Conde Nast Dream House

Don't miss your chance to hang out in a chic Manhattan townhouse with Sylvia Weinstock, David Tutera, Sasha Souza, and...wait, who is that on the list? Appearing on Saturday the 27th at the same time as Sylvia Weinstock, from noon to 4pm? That would be me. :)

Come visit me on the 3rd floor to hear me talk about defining your reception style and choosing the perfect wedding favors: And be sure to check out the calendar of events to see who else will be speaking and mingling at the various seminars and cocktail parties. It's a monthlong event, so there's plenty to see and do!

The Top 5 Conversations to Have Before You Get Married

Hopefully, you're having lots of conversations about the wedding plans! But right now, I want to get you thinking about something bigger than the wedding. The Marriage. In all of my wedding books and articles and during my TV interviews, I emphasize that it's all about the marriage, not just the wedding. You're building a life together, so set down the best foundation for it by taking some time to share your deepest values and beliefs about the following:

1. How you'll spend holidays. It's only fair to spend even time with both families, so figure out how you'll divide your time, or if it works best for you to host the holidays at your place this year, your siblings' place the next year, etc. It's of the utmost importance to the health of your marriage that you have a solid plan and realistic expectations about sharing important time with both of your families equally. Talk about what you both expect of the other and how you'd like it all to go.

2. How you'll handle money. Do you want to keep your separate accounts, and then get a joint account to share? How important is it to you that you have an emergency fund, and how much do you want in it? What are your wishes about investing any cash wedding gifts? You both have to be on the same page on this topic, because it's a big one...a leading cause of arguments. But you can neutralize it by chatting on this topic now, and putting that Compromise tool to work.

3. Where you want to live. Stay in the apartment, or buy a house after the wedding? Who needs to be closest to their job? Do you love the city, or do you want the suburbs? Even if you're years away from relocating, now is the time to really understand what your future spouse envisions for the future.

4. How you'll have each other's backs. In times of conflict with others, how would you like your partner to support you? Some of us just need to be heard and not hear suggestions on how to solve the issue. Some of us want to joke about the problem, while that's the last thing others want in a time of conflict. So talk it out now..."how can I best support you when you need me?"

5. Who handles the housework? "I'll take the dishes and the laundry." "I'll take care of the lawn and the dusting." "We'll alternate with the food shopping." Since you both have jobs, your second job of maintaining a home together is one that's equally important to both of you, so custom-create your responsibilities list, so that no one is fuming that all of the housework falls on them. It's a silly fight, one that can be so easily prevented. Just make sure to agree on a flexibility program...if one of you is jammed with work or studying for exams, the other will pick up the slack and handle the laundry, etc.

Talking it out now can prevent problems later. So schedule a few chat sessions over a relaxing dinner and really have your whole focus on each discussion. And don't plan a marathon future-planning-session where you talk about all of this at once. Break it into easier chunks of time, and call it an investment in your future happiness.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Office fights back

We've had about enough of the home improvement challenges posed by our home office. Yes, when you undertake a renovation project, you have to expect problems and delays, but every time we think we're set to start painting as the final step before we can 'move in' (and I can stop working on our bedroom end table via laptop), some little snafu stops us in our tracks. This time, it's a few of the electrical outlets being ungrounded. So we pause again until the electrician can get out here for a 1-2-3 grounding job. Not a monumental delay, but still enough to frustrate.

We are MILES from where we started...the room used to be dark wood paneled with orange shag carpet, with weird locks and alarm strips on all the windows. It looked like a VFW hall rigged as a maximum security prison. Not the style we had in mind. Now, it has beautiful cherry birch hardwood floors, gorgeous mouldings around all the doors, fresh sheetrock that's just waiting for its coats of Caribbean Blue paint...Joe put it perfectly when he said 'the worst room in the house is going to be the best room in the house.' In just a short while...

Now for those of you who have written me about our wedding plans, I have no updates for you right now. We're all about the office. But thanks for your messages of excitement, your questions and your wishes for a beautiful wedding. I'm marrying the best guy on earth. That's all I care about...well, that and getting an electrician out here today ;)