Friday, November 30, 2007

The Bride's Diplomacy Guide is here!

My new book just arrived! I just popped open the box and pulled out the first copy, hot off the presses. I'm so proud of this book, since it's about relationships, keeping the peace with all of the people around you as you're planning your wedding. I pull no punches, either. If someone's acting up, I'll tell you how to boot her from the bridal party. But first, you'll get a collection of great, diplomatic scripts on what to say when dealing with her, with hopes that it won't get to that point. Here, you'll find solutions to 150 of the most common diplomacy problems from step-parent issues to jealous siblings, pushy guests who want to bring their kids, vendors with an attitude, and more.
No one plans a wedding alone. I wrote this book to help you deal better with the issues that other people bring to the table.
Pre-order your copy at, and if you have friends and relatives who are newly-engaged [or will soon be engaged], be sure to tell them their People Problems can be solved with this book!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First holiday in our home

It's our first holiday in our new home, and with what little energy we have while finishing up the office, we're starting to set those wonderful traditions for the life we're building together. We just ordered matching Christmas stockings from Pottery Barn ( using Joe's Aunt Chris's bridal shower gift card. We just bought a few new ornaments for our tree. We're watching the holiday specials together. Our Christmas lights have arrived. Next weekend, we attend my family Christmas party, and we attend Joe's office holiday party. And we're going to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's holiday concert. We're so lucky that we get to spend the holidays with both sides of our family, especially since my parents are feeling pretty well these days. We have a lovely holiday season ahead of us....a mix of old and new holiday traditions to blend our lives perfectly.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The top First Dance Songs

Finally! A collection of beautiful First Dance songs that's not endless or outdated!

Check out the classic and most requested First Dance Songs at

The list works double-duty as a great collection of music for your dinner hour and dessert hour. Slow-dancing is so romantic for your wedding guests!

So close we can taste it!

The office looks AMAZING! Joe pulled the edging tape off the windows and bookshelf last night, and the transformation is just incredible. We're so close to it being done that I'm putting the champagne in the refrigerator for the upcoming celebration. What a beast that room was! I look back on our Before pictures with thick tar glue on the walls from the paneling, that awful shag carpeting, a dark pall over the room...and now we have a beautiful, vibrant blue room with white contrast that has such great energy to it. We're both going to create such terrific things in our office.

The best part is that since it was such a huge challenge, a Goliath to take down, every other task our house needs is going to seem so small in comparison. Paint the bathroom? That'll take a day or two. Yes, we're exhausted. It's been a long haul, and the chaos of our boxed books and computer equipment has been a big drain. But we're almost there. Very soon, we'll be 'moving in' to the best room of the house.

Also so close we can taste it is our wedding day! We're under 5 months now, and yesterday we picked out all but one of the songs for our ceremony. We just need our recessional song, which may be an instrumental of the song from 'The Princess Bride' (you know the tune)....we're not sure yet. But Pachelbel's Canon in D and Air from Water Music are definitely on the list. It took all of 3 minutes to play some snippets on, and we have most of our songs set. Not a bad way to end a busy weekend.

And lastly, a big welcome to all the newly-engaged couples whose Thanksgiving celebrations included Popping the Question! If you're just starting your planning now, look through my posts here for my Top 5 lists, and feel free to e-mail me with any questions you have. For etiquette issues, come to my message board at iVillage Weddings (Ask the Wedding Etiquette Expert), and for my books and line of shower and wedding favors, visit me at

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kate Spade for your wedding day clutch

How beautiful is this? And check out the sale price:

Looks like we know what I'll be carrying on my wedding day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to say Thank You

Writing thank you notes can be a daunting experience. How do you word a thank you for an extra-generous gift, without saying only "Thank you for the generous gift"? How do you word a thank you note for a gift that you plan to return? What happens if a guest attended the wedding and didn't bring a gift? How do you sound like YOU? What's the one thing you should never write? I tackle all of these issues and more in my new book:
A thoroughly modern manual for expressing gratitude-quickly, painlessly, and personally!Thank-you notes are essential-but they don't have to be torturous to write and stilting to read.
With this concise guide, modern couples can make the task easy while adding essential personal touches to each note they send. Filled with information on everything about writing the perfect thank-you, including:
- Modern technology like email, DVDs, and videostreaming-to use or not to use?
- The top 15 thank-you mistakes-and how to avoid them
- A thank-you thesaurus
- How to word thank-you's for non-traditional gifts, including charitable donations and honeymoon registries
- Thanking the bridal party and other special people
- Creating unique cards with stamp art, photos, and more
- Thank-you checklists, shopping lists, and a writing timetable
I wrote this book to put the fun into writing thank-you's, so that brides and grooms can tackle the task with confidence.
Get your copy at, or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holiday shopping from a favors website?

Absolutely! These collections of beautiful favors are ideal for holiday table place settings and take-home favors, hostess gifts that are *way* better than bottles of wine, and gifts for the neighbors, teachers, babysitters and others on your your future in-laws!

Shop from my collection at Kate Aspen favors, and 20% of my profits will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
If you have recently-engaged friends or relatives, you can now request signed copies of my books at Just put 'signed copy' in the subject line of your e-mail to me. 20% of special book sales go to the LLS as well.
Happy shopping!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fall meets winter

We woke up this morning to a beautiful snowfall...with brightly-colored autumn leaves on the trees. Winter's in a rush to get here, isn't it? So as I'm priming the shelves of our office bookcases, I'm looking out the window to a gorgeous show outside. Big fluffy snowflakes drifting past orange trees...far better than usual gray of a snowfall that turns everything into a black-and-white movie. Today's a busy day as I bounce back and forth between joyous priming and optimistic pitching of my new book series. Even my errands will be dual-natured as I run to the post office with press kits and then to the lumber yard for moulding. It's such a thrill to have the office crest the top peak of a rollercoaster ride and now start zipping into a speedy ride after that long, slogging climb. The pieces are coming together, with Joe and my Dad teaming up on expert carpentry work, while I slip into the narrow storage closet to paint the interior, ready the shelves, and do a little happy dance in my paint-spotted socks because I can *see* this room the way it's going to be. I mentioned to Joe that it looks like the tea room at a five-star Caribbean resort, with bright blue walls set off by pristine white moulding and shelves. When that protective paper comes up off the hardwood floor, I may have to sit down and catch my breath a little....

We're moving into the next 'season' of our office renovation...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Slowed, but not stopped

A sinus infection can really knock you off your feet. Especially when the holiday season is here and there's so much to do. So I'm taking a sick day today to nurse myself back to full strength, delving into "Love In The Time of Cholera" in the steam of a bubble bath, sipping on pomegranate tea, and recharging the batteries for our upcoming busy weekend. Joe just called to see if I would like dinner from one of my favorite places tonight, and even in the fog of antibiotics with no appetite at all, I'm looking forward to that sandwich.....and to working on the office with Joe. We have a narrow closet that I'm going to have to climb into to prime and paint that should be quite a snapshot!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The last days of the Dream House

If you're anywhere near the tri-state area, don't miss your chance to visit the Conde Nast Dream House: Two words: swag bag. And the place is phenomenal...

Joe and I had a blast at Bed Bath & Beyond last night, armed with a great coupon and our shower gift cards. We completed our china set and picked up a bunch of other house essentials -- and we stopped in at the holiday decor aisle for kicks -- for a once-only soon-to-be-wed shopping spree. Our awesome friends and family gave us the gift of an unforgettable evening in the store...which is half the fun of registries.

And big news just in gown has arrived at the bridal boutique! First fitting is in January. What a great phone call to get today! Almost as good as chatting for an hour last night with my niece Madison. She's created the menu for our morning-after-the-wedding breakfast, and she asked 'So what are we doing for your bachelorette's party?' She's almost 13, so that wasn't a question I was expecting. What are we going to do for the bachelorette's party? I'm thinking jazz club...which is where Joe and I had our very first date....makes me sigh just remembering that night...yeah, I think that's where we'll go. No Bahama Mama's in Hoboken for me. I'm about 10 years too old for that [Joe, stop laughing!].

Monday, November 12, 2007

Joe in print!

Last night, Joe showed me his first byline in a law journal, and this morning I went out and bought some steaks and other goodies for a celebratory meal. I'm so proud of that accomplishment, it's unreal. Add that to his hard work on the house, particularly our office-in-the-works, and it's time for a special dinner of appreciation. What a catch he is!

I'm so not motivated to work today, but hopefully I'll get a second wind as I dip into a fun, new article. I had a little trouble this morning with a name-dropper, and it really has me aggravated. Yes, I write the Peaceful Bride column on iVillage, so I know the tricks to bounce back into harmony. But when someone bites the hand...that can be deflating for a little while. So I'll follow my own advice and gratitude journal a bit, talk to some better people, hop on the exercise bike for a while, then delve into a fun and rewarding project. Too much great stuff going on to lose much time over someone's bad won't happen again. That's the silver lining. ;)

Friday, November 09, 2007

My new podcast is up!

On my podcast 'Here Come the Moms' at Wedding Podcast Network, my co-host Holli Ehrlich and I spoke with a bride and her mother-in-law about their harmonious wedding-planning partnership -- and I think *every* bride-to-be (and mom-in-law-to-be) would love to have the kind of respectful friendship that these two women have! So come listen in as they talk about how they worked together, learn their insights, and find out how to make this ideal arrangement work in your life, too --

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Joe tells his friends...

In all the chaos of the new house and the wedding, we've both just gotten around to contacting some of our long-distance friends about our upcoming wedding! Joe's law school buddies sent their congratulations, and that's so much fun to have these e-mails launch some great stories about their times together in school. When you hear from an old friend, those memories come alive again. Joe just beams when he talks about his great friends, and it's easy to figure out why he's so beloved by his circle. This guy lights up a room. At the shower, I found myself scanning the room for him -- as I was running glasses of wine out to the back deck for our guests, or pouring glasses of milk for the kids (to offset the sugar rush of the gigantic cookies we got them!) -- and when my eyes found him, he stood out in an almost brighter color, as if everyone else in the room was in black-and-white.

In the days after the party, and all the eyebrow-raising revelations of who said what and who did what, there's a palpable sense of contentment that I will never have to worry about Joe wanting to knock me down a peg. Ovid wrote: "If thou wouldst marry wisely, marry thy equal." It's all about values and similar beliefs about what makes up kindness. Does this person have my back? With 100% certainty, I can say Yes.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Check this site out!

This one just came to me through my affiliation with Ladies Who Launch, and what a find it is! Filled with great ideas for green living and healthy lifestyle, Vital Juice Daily is going to keep you nice and balanced throughout the wedding planning months and afterward! Sign on for their newsletter, and check out their Dictionary -- my favorite entry: 'fauxbia.'

Sharon's Top 5 Quotable Authors

When you're getting ready to write your vows and your toasts, you may want some great quotes to express how you feel, using the words of iconic authors and philosophers. In my books Your Special Wedding Vows and Your Special Wedding Toasts, I've provided hundreds of my favorite romantic quotes that really capture the essence of what love is all about. And I recommend these quotes as great 'starters' for inspiration as you write your own words for the wedding.

My top 5 quotable authors are:

1. Dr. Maya Angelou: "Only equals can be friends" and too many other gems to mention.

2. Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Make it a point to read her book 'Gift From the Sea'

3. Elizabeth Barrett Browning

4. Marianne Williamson

5. William Shakespeare

I also love Rumi, Lao Tzu, Thoreau, Emerson...and here's a great way to bring your family history into your wedding: quote a relative. Maybe your grandmother had sage advice about marriage from her 52 years with her husband. Maybe a parent always says, 'To thine own self be true.' The iconic quotes don't have to be from a PhD. or The Bard.

Here's where you can find my books:, and also see the Love Quote of the day, which is new every day. Today's quote is "Love is a great beautifier," by Louisa May visit often for even more terrific love quotes.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Best party EVER!

Joe and I really know how to throw a party. It helps to have some know-how from being in the celebrations industry myself, but the soiree was even more fantastic because Joe was so involved with all the decisions, choosing the menu, keeping things running smoothly, circulating between the natural groups of guests, and he made an amazing Planter's Punch that everyone loved. It was one of those very important personal touches to the day.

Now just in case you think nothing goes wrong at a wedding expert's pre-wedding party, here's a little inside scoop. The caterer wasn't open yesterday, so we picked up the trays on Saturday with detailed instructions for re-heating. First batch went into the oven, and as I wrapped the mini hot dogs in dough, I looked up and there was about a foot of smoke covering the kitchen ceiling. Drips on the bottom of the oven were burning off. An hour before guests would arrive, and we had about 15 more trays that had to go into the oven. So all windows were open, all doors, and we just kept going with the heating up! I can look back and laugh about it now, but it was quite the shocker. A short while later, with the drips burned off, we were back in business and the entire catering menu was a were the dishes that some of our close friends and family so generously brought to add extra special meaning to our day.

It meant the world to us that we had our friends and family gathered together, and especially to see my parents feeling well and laughing with their loved ones. We haven't had a big celebration in my parent's place since before the cancer years, so this was a monumentally important day for all of us. What matters most is always the people you have around you. We're blessed beyond belief.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What's your dream honeymoon destination?

I just received this from Honeymooner's Review Guide ( and thought I'd share their survey results with you...the site has user reviews of honeymoon locales and resorts, so it would be a good addition to your research as you consider where YOU want to go for the vacation of a lifetime....

Honeymooner's Review Guide just completed a poll for couples in the process of planning their honeymoons and expressing where they would "like" to go for their honeymoon. The Fiji islands were the top choice for the dream honeymoon destination with 19% of the votes. It squeezed out the Hawaiian Islands with 18% and French Polynesia with 15%.

Michelle McKenzie, Vice-President of Honeymooner's Review Guide, noted that, "This poll does not necessarily indicate where they ended up going for their honeymoon, but where they would prefer to go. Often budgetary issues limit the final destination of honeymoon couples. Actually, the Hawaiian Islands are the number one final destination of those who complete our post-honeymoon survey."

The results of their latest poll are revealed here from highest to lowest as follows:
Top Honeymoon "Dream" Destinations

Fiji....................................................................... 19%Hawaii...................................................................18%
French Polynesia...................................................15%Europe..................................................................15%Thailand................................................................11%
Jamaica................................................................ 9%

So why are these honeymoon destinations so alluring? Fiji has 330 islands, some with private resorts and others totally deserted. When imagining a place with white sandy beaches, palm trees, beautiful coral reefs and seclusion, Fiji fits the profile perfectly. Along with this ambiance comes some of the best island hospitality. The Fijian people are always friendly, saying "Bula" (hello) at every turn, going out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable.

A honeymoon in Hawaii offers dramatic coastlines; volcanoes; lush, green forests; native Hawaiian culture; tropical breezes; white sand beaches; picture perfect sunsets and spectacular resorts. This is the magic that keeps bringing honeymooners to the Hawaiian Islands. Not only are the Hawaiian Islands a tropical paradise, but each is unique in its own beauty. Hawaii honeymoon destinations offer everything couples could want for the perfect tropical honeymoon.

French Polynesia is engraved in our minds with the exotic over-the-water bungalows that are a dream to most couples. Tahiti is the main island in French Polynesia, but the most popular islands to visit include Bora Bora and Moorea. For the best in luxury and exotic accommodations, French Polynesia is a top pick.

Top Honeymoon Resorts for these and other destinations are available on the website.