Saturday, December 27, 2008

Super savings at outlet stores

You won't believe the 50%, 60%, 70% and higher discounts that you'll find at an array of outlet stores near you, or within a short drive [which is so worth it when you find a $100 designer wedding gown or $40 designer handbags for your bridesmaids' gifts]. Check out to find out which outlet stores are near you, search by store name, and find out what's new in your area and in areas you'll be visiting (like his parents' place or your next vacation spot.) If you can't easily get to any outlet stores, now you can shop online at Happy shopping!

Money-saving DIY ideas

I LOVE Amy Palanjian's column 'Things We Make' for the terrific DIY projects and inspiration. Check it out!

I also saw on the Hallmark Magazine website a fantastic photo feature on 'recycling' the lace from your wedding gown or bouquet fabric. They're talking making a shadow box or frame to feature one carefully-cut lace design, and I think this would make an AMAZING gift to give to your mom, grandmom, daughter, the bridesmaids. Since the bouquet toss tradition started out originally, long ago, as wedding guests tearing at the bride's dress to get a little scrap of fabric and thus a bit of her luck (and sometimes it got brutal!), giving out snippets of your gown or veil lace or that from your bouquet handle is a precious gift!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I *love* Cheryl & Co's frosted cookies. Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em! These are fantastic for bridal shower desserts, as shower favors, as wedding favors (especially the fall flavors for fall weddings) and as additions to guest welcome baskets.

Check out their 30% off sale going on right now

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Green Wedding with Martha! Tune in!

(Photo credit: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)

Get behind-the-scenes access with Martha Stewart on the revealing new special "Gorgeous and Green: A Martha Stewart Wedding," premiering Saturday, December 20 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on The Style Network.

Viewers will follow Martha's assistant Liesl Menning, as she prepares to marry country music artist Kevin Haynie in Nashville, Tennessee!

Martha's team is dedicated to making this wedding not only gorgeous, but as green as possible! Liesl and Kevin want to have an environmentally conscious event but still desire all the elegance of a Martha Stewart Wedding. Darcy Miller takes the lead as planner and helps the happy couple prepare for the big day incorporating green elements such as using delicious organic items from the garden for their dinner ingredients, to finding unique and beautiful ways to decorate for the reception with recycled and natural products. They also create a registry featuring eco-friendly items.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The reward is always at the finish line

I love this viral video of the World's Smartest Mouse...just shows that with persistence and a good sense of direction, the ability to keep going without the need for immediate reward, and challenges of all sizes (including tall ones that seem insurmountable), you get to the finish line and the reward is waiting there for you. Love this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Books are the #1 budget wedding favor and gifts choice!

If you're looking for the perfect, affordable wedding favors, forget about those cheesy little silver frames and choose to get your guests great little gift books! Priced at under $7 each in most cases, these books offer your guests humor, quotes, pretty pictures, name it. It's something they'll enjoy and keep on their bookshelves for a very long time, always remembering your wonderful wedding.

For parents' and bridal party gifts, get your recipients gorgeous coffee table books featuring photos of their favorite locations (Tuscany, Paris, Egypt), their favorite artists (Monet, VanGogh, etc.), architecture, boats, whatever topic they love. Again, this gift -- signed by you with a heartfelt message of love and thanks -- stays in their home, on display, for a long, long time. That's way better than a bottle of wine and is the perfect add-on to the framed photo or album you're already planning to get them.

And if you have a Rewards system with Amazon, just think about the points and perks you'll get when you order 30 shower favor books or 100 wedding favor books! It's an additional savings on an already affordable gift idea, adding up to a very smart gift choice.

My personal favorite for bridal shower favors? A very fun choice for your married and single guests: Love Bets.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Have some FUN with your groom!

My new book is out! I thought the release date was next week, but here it is, ready for you now.

“Winner gets a neck massage.” “Loser gives winner a candlelit striptease.” “If you win, I’ll wash your car. Shirtless.”
This book brings a sense of play and friendly competition to any relationship - and the wager is the best part. The prizes range from the innocent (as in a first date’s friendly wager for a second date) to the gourmet (chocolate-covered strawberries brought to you at work) to the sexy (full body massage) to the racy (a striptease). This book suggests more than 300 romantic couples’ bets in a range of categories, focusing on different activities, such as: which team will win the football game; what family member will be the first to embarrass himself at Thanksgiving; who will come up with the most complex word during a game of Scrabble; and more! This book also includes expert tips for executing the prizes. Plus, each entry has space for recording the bet, wager, and outcome, making this book the perfect keepsake for any relationship!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The perfect items for guest welcome baskets...and for you!

I LOVE Bath and Body Works Instant Aromatherapy. They're the perfect indulgence for your guests' welcome baskets, a gift they'll keep and use for a long time, and you get to choose the 'theme' of aromatherapy you want for each recipient.

I always keep their lavender scent in my handbag for moments when I just want to chill out a little bit...stock up for you, for the Moms, for your bridesmaids and also as the perfect, affordable bridal shower favor!

Organize your wedding photo wishlist

Check out my book excerpt, a checklist of shots to be taken (or skipped) at your wedding, featured on the blog.

While you're there, cruise the site to see if you would like an account as a gift!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Williams Sonoma Wine Club

Now here's a brilliant, classy idea for a gift to request from your parents or bridal party...sign on for the Williams Sonoma wine club in order to receive your choice of vintages shipped right to you, plus amazing advice from their wine and culinary experts about food pairings.

If your parents are footing the bill for your big day, this could be a great gift to give to THEM.

Visit their site at Williams Sonoma.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wedding Wines That Give Back

Check out the fantastic, sports-centric vintages at as the perfect theme item for your wedding, rehearsal dinner, or co-ed bridal shower bar:

"Charity Wines partners with superstar athletes & celebrities to create fine wines and help raise funds for charities across the country. In the Spring of 2007 Charity Wines launched the Longball Vineyards brand, featuring wines from Boston baseball players, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield. In less than three months, following the largest single wine presale in Massachusetts' history, donations from a portion of those proceeds raised over $350,000 for the players' charities.

Following the 2007 Longball series, Charity Wines teamed with hockey legends Ray Bourque and Cam Neely and football hall-of-famer Dan Marino to produce a line of California wines. In Spring of 2008 the "Boys of Summer" returned with a line-up of 18 new baseball players from Boston, New York, Atlanta and Cincinnati as well as four baseball hall of fame legends. To date, Charity Wines has donated over $1.5 million to charities featuring these collectible Baseball Wines, Football Wines and Hockey Wines"

Joe and I did this for our own rehearsal dinner, stocking up on the Marino Estate Cabs, Merlots and Chardonnays, and our guests loved them.

It's a great way to give a little back in fine style...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Praise for my Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book!

The Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book: How to Have a Fun, Fabulous, and Memorable Party by Sharon Naylor

The list author says:
"This book is chock full of amazing ideas! What I love about it most is the idea of picking a theme and then really going for it! If you are preparing a shower for someone you love, she will be absolutely thrilled when you follow the guidelines outlined here. A creative, fun, classy offering from one of the most impressive wedding professionals out there! Bravo!"

Thank you for the fabulous review!

Wax on, wax off

A few weeks ago, Joe and I attended a big autograph expo, where we had the chance to meet some amazing celebrities, including Ralph Macchio who doesn't look much different from how he looked in the movie, and is an incredibly sweet person. As much as I wanted to ask him to do the famous crane pose with me for our photo, I decided not to be that fan. Just a regular photo will do, at which time I told him that he smelled fantastic. He just laughed, so I'm sure I wasn't tops on his list of strange moments that day. Across the room, Corey Haim sat there...alone...wearing what looked like a BeDazzled white jacket, talking on his cell phone because there was NO line in front of him. That's my one regret of the day: I didn't go talk to Haim. You live and learn...

Joe and I have attended tons of these fun shows, some focused on 80s TV stars, some on pro and Hall of Fame athletes, some a mish-mash of types, and it's always a blast. The take-homes are pretty phenomenal, too. We now have a framed original from Roger Kastel, the artist who created the Jaws movie posted, signed by Kastel and by the woman who played 'Chrissie,' the character chomped in the opening scenes of the film. I also have a fabulous autograph from Morgan Fairchild, who is reading my novel "It's My Wedding Too" and will hopefully star as Delilah in the movie version.

So if you're in the area and want to attend a show, check out in the spring, and see your favorite stars and semi-stars.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Don't Miss These Shows!


This Year's Extensive Lineup Features Three Brand New Specials Every Saturday at 9PM and Two New Installments of Style's "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?"
Including the Series' First Ever Million Dollar Wedding!

This December, TV viewers are invited to the biggest wedding bash of the year, as the third annual White Wedding programming event kicks off on The Style Network! Featuring a bigger, more robust slate of compelling new specials, this year's extravaganza is shaping up to be the most memorable. For anyone who loves watching the trials and tribulations behind planning the perfect nuptials, or for those who just need the best tips for throwing their own stunning event, don't miss The White Wedding Event which kicks off Saturday, December 6, only on The Style Network.

From a big pre-wedding weight loss challenge, to hilarious countdown clip shows, to informative specials featuring experts from Martha Stewart Weddings, Style once again renews its vows as the one-stop-shop for all things matrimony. Bringing together top wedding planners, specialists and real brides-to-be, viewers will be absorbed in down to the wire bridal planning, witness grand real life ceremonies, laugh at unpredictable wedding day moments and even shed a tear when couples finally say "I do." From brand new specials, to new episodes of the ever-popular series "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?," The Style Network proves it's the number one destination for celebrating the big day!

Highlights from The Style Network's White Wedding Event (in order of airdate) include:

"Fat Free Fianc├ęs" – New Special
First Episode Premieres Saturday, December 6 at 9:00PM ET/PT on Style
In a new two-part wedding weight loss special, Style takes a couple on a 90-day fat burning mission to lose weight before they walk down the aisle. Our weight loss team, including fitness trainer Tarik Tyler and nutritionist Cindy Whitmarsh, challenge couples to shed the pounds even as they stress over planning their own wedding! The team takes over their homes to create a no-excuses environment and they will be faced with three "weigh-ins" along the way. If the couple meets their weight loss goals, they will win incredible personalized rewards for their own wedding day.

In the one-hour special on December 6, Ontario, CA couple Amber and Benny are both ready to get married after four years together. But before the big day, they each want to lose 30 pounds of extra weight to look and feel their best. The weight loss team will use the couple's competitive nature to their advantage to motivate them to lose the weight. With the stress of planning their wedding, following a strict diet plan, daily workouts, and a bachelor weekend in Las Vegas for Benny, it's not going to be easy. Do they have the strength to sweat it out and still make it to the church on time? Find out on this exciting new special!

"Whose Wedding is it Anyway?: Million Dollar Wedding!" – New Special Episode
Premieres Tuesday, December 9 at 10:00PM ET/PT on Style
In the grandest nuptials ever featured on "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?," the show travels to New York City for its first million dollar wedding held at Bryant Park and the prestigious New York Public Library. Planner James Tramando is put to the test right from the start, when streets close for a Jonas Brothers concert causing all the wedding day preparations to start hours later than scheduled. Later in the episode, the million dollar couple will be paired with another New York power couple who are also having a lavish wedding. The bride-to-be is vice president for fashion designer Nicole Miller, and they are creating a couture wedding gown just for her. But her busy work schedule and means her planner Shawn Rabideau has to take the reins of the wedding during the last few weeks of planning. Will the new bride be happy with the planner's final decisions?

"Most Outrageous Weddings" – New Special
Premieres Saturday, December 13 at 9:00PM ET/PT on Style
This one-hour special features the funniest and most shocking wedding video moments from all over the world, highlighting wedding vow blunders, bouquet toss brawls, skydiving couples, newlyweds who swim with sharks and even couples who came down with some serious dance fever! From the groom that accidentally vows "IN-fidelity," to weddings that get interrupted by trains, planes and hurricanes, these wedding stories takes the cake!

"The Art of Cakes 2: A Martha Stewart Wedding Special" – New Special
Premieres Tuesday, December 16 at 9:00PM ET/PT on Style
Now more than ever, brides have license to create a wedding day tailored to who they are. Traditionally, an unlikely place to put their personal touch was on the wedding cake…but that time has passed! From the inside out, the wedding cake can be a unique centerpiece and grand finale to a magical day. In a new one hour special, the experts at Martha Stewart Weddings show Style viewers the latest trends in cake design, including a cake modeled after a bride's own wedding dress, to a floral masterpiece and even a Moroccan fantasy Lantern cake. Famous cake designers such as Sylvia Weinstock and Ron Ben Israel will also be featured.

"20 Most Outrageous Whose Wedding is it Anyway? Moments" – New Special Episode
Premieres Tuesday, December 16 at 10:00PM ET/PT on Style
Over the past 90 plus episodes, we've seen it all - from crazy themed weddings, to demanding brides-to-be, to overstressed planners. In an entertaining one-hour countdown special, relive the top 20 most outrageous "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" moments to date!

"Gorgeous and Green: A Martha Stewart Wedding" – New Special
Premieres Saturday, December 20 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on Style
With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access with Martha Stewart, we follow Martha's assistant who is getting married in Nashville, Tennessee. Martha's team is dedicated to making this wedding not only gorgeous, but as green as possible! Liesl and soon-to-be husband Kevin want to have an environmentally conscious event but still desire all the elegance of a Martha Stewart Wedding. Darcy Miller takes the lead as planner and helps the happy couple prepare for the big day incorporating green elements such as using delicious organic items from the garden for their dinner ingredients, to finding unique and beautiful ways to decorate for the reception with recycled and natural products. They also create a registry featuring eco-friendly items.

Don't miss a full two weeks of wedding bliss, when the White Wedding Event premieres Saturday, December 6, only on Style!

"The Veil is Lifted"

One of the few things that I remember in the daze of my father's funeral is that the priest said, "The veil is lifted." He wasn't talking about weddings. He was talking about my father's journey at this point, how all is revealed, that filter that we all live by is removed and you can see what's real. There is no more truthful statement at this time.

In a time of grief, you see who has your back, who gives from the heart, who speaks words of kindness. New friends are elevated to closer friends. I'm profoundly touched by the loveliness of my new friends in the neighborhood, families we've only just met a little more than a year ago who dropped off cards and sent gifts of food, offers for green tea toasts in honor of my Dad. Joe and I are blessed to have so many wonderful people in our life, and they have all made the grief easier to bear.

There is, of course, a parallel to wedding world -- the literal lifting of the veil so that the groom sees the bride's face [in olden days, the groom was checking to make sure he was getting the right bride, not a bait-and-switch]. And in that time, you also bathe in the kindness and love of family and friends. The veil of everyday life is lifted, and you're shown how full your life is, how lucky you are to be so adored.

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Marianne Williamson helps us out today...

I wanted to share this lovely excerpt from Marianne Williamson's book, and remind you to sign on at to get daily inspirations from a master....

"Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we're peaceful, life will be peaceful. And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace. Our internal state determines our experience of our lives; our experiences do not determine our internal state.

—Excerpted from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Monday, November 10, 2008

In memory of my Dad

In memory of my Dad
Well, we knew the day was coming...last week, my Dad chose to stop chemo and come home to pass away peacefully after a 3 1/2-year battle with blood cancer. I was by his bedside for his last breath, which was merciful considering how terrifying the slow, natural death process is. While I'm grateful that my Dad's suffering is one would want a parent or any loved one to last a second longer in that state...I'm overwhelmed with sadness that he's gone.

One detail I'll share from his memorial service is that I arranged for a barbershop quartet to sing a few songs for him. Dad loved barbershop quartets, and these delightful men pulled it together at 10pm the night before the viewing. I was so glad to give my Dad this last one gift...

Now, my Mom and husband and I dig into the mountain of work in settling his estate, getting the hospital bed and oxygen out of the house, and all of that fun stuff. It's all about auto-pilot to get the work done, and then there's crying in the car to get it all out on the way home.

He was a master steel detailer, and so many important buildings stand strong because of the fine work he did. So when you see the State of Liberty's Dad did the reinforcement on that. When you see the scoreboard at Rutger's Stadium, that's my Dad's. We can all hope to leave a mark on the world, to leave it a better and more beautiful place than we found Dad certainly did that. Strength, courage, attention to detail. That's the legacy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Win a set of my wedding-planning books

I'm participating in a blog carnival, in which lots of different bloggers offer their products as contest prizes. So here's mine...

Win a copy of my books 1000 Best Wedding Bargains and 1000 Best Secrets For Your Perfect Wedding, just by going to my website and e-mailing me with 'Blog Carnival' in the subject line.

These two books will help you save thousands of dollars on your wedding plans, and personalize your Big Day. They'll also help protect you from some of the biggest wedding-planning mistakes out there.

If you're a winner, I'll autograph the books to you and send them for free.

Good luck in this drawing, and in all the others you find at the Blog Carnival.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are You "Engaged and Underaged?"



MTV News & Docs is casting for the third season of its popular documentary series “Engaged and Underage.” Let MTV tell your love story – the excitement of the engagement, the ups and downs of the planning, the fun along the way, and, of course, THE BIG DAY!!! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…

You and your future spouse should both appear to be between the ages of 18 and 22. Best case scenario: you're getting married in November/December 2008 or January 2009.


OR EMAIL US TO OBTAIN ONE AT: (Tell us when and where you are getting married and why this is important to you. Include your name, phone number, email address and a digital photo of you and your future spouse, if possible.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Catch me on MSNBC!

Check out my featured advice on MSNBC's cover of a Bride's magazine article on Giving a Great Wedding Toast, also seen at my website.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The PERFECT NJ Rehearsal Dinner site!

Did you know that one of the best Jazz Clubs in the world is right here in New Jersey? If you live nearby, you have to stop in at Shanghai Jazz in Madison for a drink, hear some live jazz, enjoy some sushi and Prosperity Fish, and scout out the place as the perfect location for your rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, even a reception site.

Joe and I had our 6-month wedding anniversary dinner here -- which was perfect, since this was also the site of our very first date! How amazing to be here again, married, looking at that spot where I first saw Joe walk in the door, and at the barstools where we sat and had our first in-person conversation. I still get butterflies thinking about it. But now, here we are with a wedding behind us, our first home, and lots of anniversaries to look forward to! All at Shanghai Jazz. Here's more information on this great place, my top pick for wedding celebration sites in the Garden State:

Welcome to Shanghai Jazz®
Named One of the "Top 100 Great Jazz Clubs in the World!"
No Cover Except Special Events
It’s 1928. The Jazz Age is beginning. Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Josephine Baker in Paris. Louis Armstrong, his Hot Fives and Hot Sevens Revolutionizing Jazz.
Now Imagine Shanghai. The Most Cosmopolitan City in the Orient. Filled with Glamour. Mystery. Intrigue. And the “Sound of the Century” is Jazz. At Shanghai Jazz, we invite you into our world.
We pride ourselves on offering Gourmet Asian-Inspired Cuisine in an elegant setting, a unique atmosphere for business dinners, corporate events and special occasions. We have received Rave Reviews for our Food and Service and Ambience in the New York Times, the Star Ledger, NJ Monthly and ZagatSurvey®. We have been named “NJ’s Top Jazz Club” and One of the “TOP 100 JAZZ CLUBS IN THE WORLD” by Downbeat Magazine.
We offer Tasting Menus, Private Party Rooms and a Long Oak Bar, perfect for enjoying our own “Shanghai Jazz Ale” or a selection from our wine list. World-Class Jazz and Warm Hospitality make Shanghai Jazz the Perfect Place to host your friends and colleagues for groups from two to 120.
At Shanghai Jazz, we are proud to have recorded a series of LIVE CDS, including the MARIAN McPARTLAND TRIO LIVE at Shanghai Jazz, JUNIOR MANCE Live at Shanghai Jazz, GROVER KEMBLE and SPECIAL GUEST JOHN PIZZARELLI Live at Shanghai Jazz and JERRY VIVINO Live at Shanghai Jazz.
At Shanghai Jazz, our philosophy is Great American Jazz and Gourmet Asian Cuisine – what more could you want out of life!
But please note we also offer Grilled Fiilet Mignon, Roast Chicken, Portobello Mushroom over Spinach, Grilled Salmon, fresh Maine Lobster and fresh Maryland Soft Shell Crabs in Season for those who prefer more American fare. And California rolls and vegetarian rolls for those who prefer sushi.
Shanghai Jazz is conveniently located in Northern New Jersey, just 23 miles west of Manhattan and 3 miles from the Short Hills Mall. We are easily accessible from Route 78 and Route 287 by car, and from Penn Station in NYC by train. Our address is 24 Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940. Tel. 973.822.2899. There is free parking in the back of the restaurant.
For more information, please email us at
or call 973.822.2899
At Shanghai Jazz, it's a "true night out on the town." -- Zagat Survey

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fabulous bridal party gifts

Forget the little silver frame, the flask and all of the other Usuals when it comes to bridal party gifts. Now, the big goal is to get your bridal party members something they'll love (which means personalized) that doesn't cost a lot (under $30 each is ideal, down from a national average of $70 just a year ago). Get 'em a sports team logo shirt, or hat, or plush throw or blanket at ESPN Shops. Whether it's their fave college or pro team, men's or women's styles, even items for kids, your bridal party gifts will thrill your group because they'll actually use them. And you can't beat the sales going on right now at ESPN -- some tees are available 2 for $19.99.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sign Andy & Angela's guestbook

We're getting ready for an unforgettable wedding at The Office! Sign the guestbook here.

Halloween weddings

That's right, they're more popular than ever! Wedding couples who want to do something different, or those -- like us -- who just *love* the holiday can now custom-design their own pumpkin carving patterns using this great tool at Better Homes and Gardens. Or go to the home page to find their lineup of very cool pumpkin patterns (I'm thinking of doing the Drippy Face pattern on my own pumpkin this year.)

With centerpieces being so expensive (over $150 for some floral arrangements), imagine the budget victory when you find a bunch of $10 pumpkins and invite your bridal party over a day or two before the wedding to carve all kinds of creative pumpkins for your centerpieces and decor. Put on some fondue or order pizzas, make some pumpkin bread and warm up some apple cider for a great night...perhaps even an even greater night if you took everyone to a family farm for locally-grown pumpkins and gourds.

Save hundreds of dollars and have fun with this design tool to make your Halloween or fall wedding extra-special! And browse through their many galleries to get fun new ideas on accessorizing pumpkins with veggies, branches, paint, etc. Some examples are amazing and some are cheesy, but you'll certainly get some fantastic inspiration for your DIY decor plans.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My upcoming books...

...are available for pre-order on Amazon. So far, I have *three* new ones launching in the first half of the new year, so I'm just about to lap my age in published books! I think that calls for a celebration at our favorite jazz club (

Check out my new 'babies':
1001 Ways to Save Money...and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding:
In May, we celebrate the launch of my upcoming book "Home From the Honeymoon," so keep an eye out for your essential guide to what happens after the wedding!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Did J-Lo use my book?

E! reports that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas this past weekend, with just two witnesses in attendance. I wonder if they used my book Renewing Your Wedding Vows? Whether or not J-Lo and Marc-Ant were inspired by my book, they show the new, big trend in renewing your wedding vows after the babies are settled into the nursery. Late-night feedings. Diaper changes. Who's getting up in the middle of the night. The nurturing of a newborn or two definitely inspires some nurturing of your spouse. So get ready for a big Renewing Your Wedding Vows boom, as new parents take a moment to reaffirm their vows and show appreciation for one another. This is exactly why I wrote this book -- to bring couples closer -- and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

'Green' your wedding beauty preps

Going green has never been easier, especially with authors like Sophie Uliano providing us with great resources! As we prep for our weddings, we're trying out skin creams and tooth whiteners, new shampoos and conditioners...all in our attempts to look and feel our best, and some of these new products we're trying might contain insanely bad-for-you ingredients! You can't be the radiant bride if you're full of toxins! Do you really want a bad case of dandruff right before the wedding day because you're using a so-called botanical shampoo that has an unpronounceable ingredient that shreds your scalp? The answers are in this book! Download their Cheat Sheet as well, to look out for ingredients in the products you own as well as the products you're looking for to look your best.
I have to confess. I originally bought this book as a Christmas gift for my friend Jen, but I couldn't stay away from it, and now Joe and I are clearing out a lot of our toxin-filled ingredients in the ol' medicine cabinet and our shower. Let's just say we're going to be buying a LOT of Burt's Bees replacement items today.
They're not kidding when they say you look and feel good from the inside out, but slapping on creams and lotions is part of our ingrained beauty rituals! Check out this book and the book's website to 'clean up your act,' be radiant on your wedding day, and give your bridesmaids a fantastic bridal party gift in the form of this book!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not Just Any Old Day

Here's a find! Jewelry that marks a special day!
"NOT JUST ANY OLD DAY calendar charm keepsakes are a lovely new way of remembering, cherishing and celebrating a special occasion in your life. Designed to identify a significant month and day in the life of the person who wears it, the NOT JUST ANY OLD DAY solid sterling silver calendar charm (approximately ¾ inches by ¾ inches) is marked with a genuine Swarovski crystal stone on the date that holds a special meaning.NOT JUST ANY OLD DAY is designed to appeal to everyone, and with an extensive collection of necklaces, bracelets, key rings, money clips and letter openers, these charming trinkets make the perfect gift for men and women from 9 to 99. Whether it's for a birthday, anniversary, birth of a child, or any other significant date, they're wonderful for all occasions! The Not Just Any Old Day collection ranges from $98-$258 and is available at

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The most innovative photo-sharing service I've seen yet!

You HAVE to check this website out! provides a fabulous new service where all of your guests can upload their digital photos from all of your wedding events in *one organized place* for great photo-sharing opportunities. This is the most innovative program I've ever seen for photo-sharing, and I'm so pleased to have connected with them.

When Joe and I got married, we were quite fortunate to have many of our friends and family take terrific digital photos on our wedding day (our awesome professional photographer Rich was beyond superb, but one man can't be everywhere at once!). Each of our loved ones e-mailed us their photo collections, so we had a ton of separate websites to go to in order to see these snapshots. We had to sign in, create accounts, etc. With, you and your guests get to see everything in one place! And here's the kicker: the site reminds your guests before the wedding to make sure their date and time stamps are accurate on their cameras, so that you can go into the website and request to see all of the photos from the cocktail party, or from the ceremony, from the first dance, etc. This program *collates* all of the many photos coming your way! Super-organized! I *wish* we had this for our wedding!

There are a ton of other features, from themed layouts, easy 1-minute creation of a personal website, and more. So go check it out, sign up, and spread the word. This site is a fantastic timesaver, and they'll even send you a DVD or USB stick with all of your images on it! I'm very impressed, and I know you will be too!

Monday, October 06, 2008

My "Bride's Diplomacy Guide" in Martha Stewart Weddings

Having 'People Problems' with your wedding? I was interviewed, along with Karen Bussen and Peggy Post, for a fabulous roundup of etiquette questions in this month's Martha Stewart Weddings. I'm very thrilled to see my Bride's Diplomacy Guide included in the story, since good diplomacy is at the center of diffusing people problems, and I wrote this book to help you with your stickiest wedding dilemmas. Wedding coordinators and florists tell me they're recommending my book to their clients [perhaps so *they* don't have to play mediator anymore!] -- so get your copy today through my website or through the link in this Martha Stewart Weddings story.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Help with your registry choices

Do you really understand the differences between thread counts for sheets and blankets? Do you know the qualities of a *good* vacuum cleaner? Can you tell the different kinds of china apart? Check out the Product Guides at Bed, Bath & Beyond for glossaries and buyers' guides -- and yes, point-outs of their top registry items. It's Don't-Miss information for your best registry choices:

Go to the BB&B site for additional primers on china, stemware and other fun bridal shopping spree categories.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Win a trip to Fiji!

Now through 17 November 2008, submit your favorite travel story using my Budget Travel’s unique Travel Journal tool and get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win roundtrip airfare and seven nights at beachfront accommodations in Fiji from Air Pacific and Sonaisali Island Resort. Journals will be rated by’s diverse online community—from the web site’s editors to your closest peers—and the Grand Prize, Fiji trip-winner will be hand-picked from the journals which score highest. In addition, the best photo and video submissions with high ratings will each win $500 gift cards. So grab a pen, camera, or camcorder and spread the word to family and friends! The more votes in your favor, the better your chances will be! To enter the contest and/or for rules and regulations, please visit

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Best Bridal Party Gifts

Find fantastic bridal party gifts at Things Remembered. If you're looking at bracelets, though, be extra-careful about the circumference when it comes to your child attendants. I bought two bracelets for my flowergirls and they were WAY too big. Ths silver lining of today's shaky economy is that you'll find really nice sales at a lot of the retail stores for essential wedding purchases. Plus, we're headed for a holiday weekend, so that means more sales out there! Shop wisely, but know that you can get far better gift items for all of your bridal party members for far less than you might expect!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When did the Tooth Fairy hit the pole?

As part of my procrastination, I'm searching online for a Tooth Fairy costume for Halloween. I had found the perfect one, but the message arrived today that it has been discontinued. Must have been too wholesome, I'm imagining, since the existing fairy costumes out there all seem to be designed for pole dancers. I may better off with a Marilyn Monroe dress and just slap on some wings. I was thinking about how to incorporate some teeth to the outfit, but somehow glue-gunning faux teeth to the sash just seems creepy. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Since one of the top ways to personalize your wedding is creating a drink and/or naming a cocktail after yourselves, visit for details on the top mixed drinks and coolers. Can't find the perfect drink to suit your shower or wedding theme? The site has an in-house Q&A expert, in their feature Ask Miss Cocktail. I featured this site in several of my books, most notably my Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book, and I highly recommend that you let your circle of party-planning friends and relatives know about it, too. Three cheers to that site for helping us pair drinks to the party decor colors.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vote for the Green Business of the Year

In wedding world, we LOVE companies with environmentally- and socially-responsible business practices. So here's your chance to vote for your favorite from among the top 10 finalists...and perhaps find the perfect resource for some of your wedding elements! Here are the finalists, and you can vote here:

Meet the Top 10 Nominees(Listed in alphabetical order.)
1. Alter Eco San Francisco, CA"They are 100 percent committed to Fair Trade, and use responsible practices throughout their company, like employing disabled workers to package products, and running a green office." --Carlota O., Dallas, TX
2. Babyworks Portland, OR "They provide a wonderful assortment of cloth diapers and organic baby clothes. They also have wonderful toys that are not made of plastic, not to mention the fantastic service that you recieve from them." --Mari W., Vancouver, WA
3. Frontier Natural Products Co-op Norway, IA"They are a cooperative committed to helping the planet and its people through renewable energy, carbon neutral shipping of their organic products, and their commitment to educating their custormers and the public through their Tall Grass Prairie Project." --Carol M., Sioux Falls, SD
4. Gaiam, Inc. Boulder, CO"This company offers responsible choices in many areas-- from cleaning products to linens to solar and wind power systems. Even their own green buildings promote responsibility to our earth." --Ellen R., Wilmington, DE
5. Kate's Caring Gifts Fremont, CA"Kate, who owns the business, is one of the most sincere and selfless people I know. She gives so much more to the community with little thought of gain to herself. I truly respect her and what she is accomplishing with her green business!"--Lin-Lin O., San Jose, CA
6. Mountain Rose Herbs Eugene, OR"All herbs are organic or ethically wildcrafted, they support students with a 10 percent discount, their products hold to the highest standard, and their customer service is amazing!" --Julie C., Madison, WI
7. Mountains of the MoonChicago, IL"Not only do they provide eco-friendly and organic hemp clothing, but it's sophisticated and wearable in the real world! I get so many compliments from non-green people, and that opens up the conversation on the benefits of going green!" --Druanne M., Elkins Park, PA
8. Pizza Fusion Fort Lauderdale, FL"They practice what they preach! As he first franchise restaurant to be totally green, they cook organic, recycle, and drive hybrids to deliver. Their slogan, 'saving the world one pizza at a time,' is right on the money." --Lisa N., Thompson Station, TN
9. We Add Up Mentor, OH"We Add Up has continued to support the green rebuilding in New Orleans, and promotes education on the everyday things that we can all do to turn the tide on climate change. Tthey are social greentrepreneurs with heart!." --Cristal W., Slidell, LA
10. West Paw Design Bozeman, MT"Great and innovative dog products using recycled/reclaimed materials. All products show great durability and design and they are made in the US with fair labor practices." --Beth F., Indianapolis, IN

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Wishpot Favorite Things list

Check out my lists of Favorite Things, Gift Ideas, Fabulous Finds and especially my Top Registry Items list at this fabulous new website!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

SO fun for personalized weddings!

My brilliant brother-in-law Adam just sent this over to me -- it's a site where you can order custom Pez dispensers and action figures in your own likeness. If Joe and I had only known about this for our wedding! Visit to check it out.

Signature cocktails at your wedding

Have a little fun with your bar menu by dreaming up your own signature cocktail for your wedding. You might name it after yourself, such as 'Renee's Rum Punch' or you could get even more creative by naming it 'Maui Sunset' or some other image that's sentimental to you. Check out this article in InStyle Weddings for a few celebrity-inspired cocktails.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Page proofs

Over the past few weeks, I've received the page proofs for two of my upcoming books. Page proofs are the layout versions of what the book pages will look like when you buy it, with any color, graphics, sidebars all put in place by the publisher. It's my first look at what the book will look like, as opposed to the basic manuscript I turned in. When you see boxed text in a book, the author probably submitted it looking something like this:

Did You Know?
The average amount spent on wedding favors is over $300.

When that is coded and placed in a book, well, you know what that turns out like. So this process is fine-tooth-combing the page proofs for any typos and cut-and-paste errors, and this is when we also chop out any extra text to fit the page number spacing. When the text is converted into the final font and sidebars are created, that takes up some pages. So out go a lot of the extras, paragraphs are cut down, segments are chopped. But in the end, we've got a perfect fit.

I'm thrilled to have these two books into production -- especially since one set of page proofs had been delivered to the wrong house, and we thought they were lost until a kind neighbor drove it over here! -- and focus fully on the book I'm working on now, which includes a topic I've been wanting to tackle for a long time. But first, the dishwasher needs emptying, the counter needs cleaning...all the usual distractions faced by everyone who works from a home office. At least I don't have a parade of workers ringing the doorbell this week -- we wisely requested that our township mark where our water, sewer and gas lines are under our lawn...and wouldn't you know -- our water line runs EXACTLY where we were planning to plant our new dogwood tree. THAT would have been fun. The lines are marked, the house is quiet, and I get to --- wait, there's the doorbell. The fun never ends....I'll get to writing at some point.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

Sports-themed pre-wedding parties are a top trend right now, as couples look to their shared passion for sports teams as a great foundation for their party plans. Since tonight starts the NFL season, now's the perfect time for me to suggest a sportsfan-friendly focus if you want to do something a little bit different for a co-ed bridal shower, wedding weekend event or even the rehearsal dinner. For any party that takes place during the sports season, just design your own themed invitations using the software and papers at, and let your guests know to wear blue for your Giants'-themed party, or -- if they dare -- the color of their favorite team. If you have a wide mix of sportsfans, just make it an NFL party and have guests wear their choices of pro player jerseys or team shirts. Decor is easy, tailgate party food is a breeze, microbrew beers can take the place of a keg if you're not the kegtapping types, and somebody in your circle of friends has that CD of stadium songs. Now let's say your party takes place on the weekend of a big playoff game....many of your guests will be far happier to attend your bash and not miss the action.

Of course I'm using the NFL as an example here because I'm a football fan, but you can do the same with your alma mater football team colors, baseball, basketball, whatever you'd like.

It's a fun way to put a new twist on a wedding celebration party.

Want more party theme ideas? Check out my book The Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Check out Anne Chertoff's new wedding organizer!

My colleague and friend Anne Chertoff has launched her own line of wedding organizers and workbooks through russell+hazel, so check them out here. The planning notebook would be especially helpful for moms who are helping with the planning, or planning their own pre- or post-wedding events for you.

Why am I promoting a book by another wedding author? Because that's what we do in this industry! My colleagues and fellow wedding authors have always been amazing at co-promoting each other (and me) -- David Tutera featured me on his show Get Married about 6 times. Martha Stewart's Sirius Satellite Radio Show? I've been on 3 times so far. Carley Roney at TheKnot welcomed me onto their show 'I Do!' on NBC. And Anne Chertoff, now at Brides, was instrumental in getting me my two gigs on iVillage. We all promote one another. I've found...and this is part of why I love this job...the bigger the 'name' the more helpful the celebrity wedding expert is. Sylvia Weinstock and Ron Ben Israel have given me countless quotes for my books (and I have to admit that I was a bit of nervous, giggling idiot when I met Sylvia for the first time. But that's a story for another day.) Right now, I'm just guiding you to Anne's awesome wedding organizer sure to check it out!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cool places to tie the knot

One of the tips in my bestselling book 1000 Best Secrets for Your Perfect Wedding is finding the perfect, unique location for your wedding. You might get better prices and you'll definitely get more Wow Factor when you choose a fantastic locale for your big day. Check out these jaw-dropping sites in this article and have fun dreaming about what it might be like to have your wedding at any of these places!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Catch me in Hallmark Magazine

Excitement in the mail today with the arrival of my Hallmark Magazine! Check out my wedding toast tip here.

Giving 'green' wedding gifts and favors

I've long been a fan of, so while nominating the company for an earth-friendly award, I stumbled upon this link of green-friendly gift companies and websites. It's worth a look, even though I can't personally vouch for any of these sites yet. But I will be checking them out in the near future!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The copyedit stage

As much as I love the process of writing my books, I love the copyedit stage even more. That's when it's Fine-Tooth-Comb stage, looking for every little typo or factoid that might need a second glance. On this gorgeous fall-like morning, I'm sipping my French Vanilla coffee and copyediting my new book 'Home From the Honeymoon,' which helps newlyweds create fun ways to celebrate all of the exciting Firsts of newlywed life...and handle the challenges as well. I couldn't be more proud of a manuscript -- it may be my new favorite.

As I copyedit, shortening some FYI boxes for layout space and giggling over some of the inside jokes that I always put in my books, I came across a factoid that stopped me in my tracks. Is Virginia Woolf actually Virgina Woolff? I know, I know. All you English majors out there are smacking your foreheads and thinking, "What?! Shouldn't she know that?" I can assure you that when you're in fact-check mode, the most basic tidbits can send you right to Google. So I looked up our dear departed friend Virginia, assured the correct spelling of her name, and found out that her real first name was Adeline. (Again, English majors, feel free to sigh... :) The copyedit stage always brings up some great trivia that makes this stage more of a game than a chore. In the end, we have a mistake-free manuscript for you. In my earliest days as an author, I named the wrong spouse for a distant member of England's royal family and that made it to print after sliding past two additional editors as well. Ooops. Only one royal-watcher from across the pond sent me a gentle note to correct the prince's name. In another of my books from years ago, a legitimate-at-the-time wedding resource that I included in my Resources section evolved into a phone sex line! These things happen, since change is as inevitable as the turning of the seasons. As writers, we're perfectionists, so everything gets a once-over, and it's a victory to discover an error at this stage...and you find out the coolest things when you're triple-researching something.

So that makes every stage of book-writing fun for me. The next step? Seeing this book in the front windows of bookstores during wedding season. And knowing that Virginia is happy her name is spelled correctly.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Congratulations Ellen and Portia!

The morning news is filled with stories about Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi getting married this weekend, and my InBox is filled with questions from reporters on the best advice for gay and lesbian weddings, what the new trends will be, and how weddings can be personalized. My answer: every one of my wedding books is appropriate for ALL weddings. There's no different information, since weddings are all about two people in love, uniting their lives in a very special and personal display of commitment, shared by closest loved ones, and designed to reflect the couple's idea of beauty and sentiment. All the best weddings include elements of the couple's love story, so there's my book 1000 BEST SECRETS FOR YOUR PERFECT WEDDING. On a budget? Pick up 1000 BEST WEDDING BARGAINS. Want to give a smashing toast? Read YOUR SPECIAL WEDDING TOASTS. Want your vows to have extra meaning? YOUR SPECIAL WEDDING VOWS. Want to be organized? THE BUSY BRIDE'S ESSENTIAL WEDDING CHECKLISTS. Moms need answers? THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE BOOK, MOTHER OF THE GROOM and my podcast "Here Come the Moms."
Right now, I'm marveling over Portia's beautiful gown -- she has gorgeous shoulders and that gown couldn't be more perfect.
I just read an article in Special Events Magazine saying that the term 'gay weddings' will very soon not need the qualifier, since every wedding is an opportunity to gather friends and family for a happy celebration. I'm thrilled to be in this business, helping couples in love plan their Dream Days. That's what makes each step to my computer in the morning (my 20-step commute!) a joy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Get fashion help from a J.Crew personal shopper

In several of my books, I reported on the fabulous personal shopper programs at department stores such as Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor, where stylists pre-select dresses, shoes and accessories according to your wishes and then have them all waiting for you in a dressing room for your VIP try-on session. Yes, just like in the movie "Pretty Woman." Who wouldn't want to have a FREE session with a professional stylist to choose the best new outfits for the rehearsal dinner, the morning-after breakfast, and the honeymoon?

This announcement just came across my desk, with J.Crew now offering personal shopper services, plus a 20% discount, so I thought I'd pass this along to you! Enjoy your VIP style session!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For Asian wedding elements

If you'd like to incorporate any Asian-inspired decor elements into your wedding plans, check out this terrific site with decor tips, item resources and neat symbolism FYI's of many types of flowers, colors, greenery and earth elements:

Friday, August 08, 2008

08/08/08 Weddings

Congratulations to the many brides and grooms who booked today, 08/08/08, as the lucky date for their weddings! Weddings have been focused on superstition for many ages, with brides and grooms over many centuries wanting good luck, abundance, fertility, and health for their partnerships and their partners. Most of the rituals we celebrate today have their roots in ancient good-luck superstitions -- the veil was supposed to shield the bride from evil spirits (and later, rival tribes, clans and families) who might steal her away from her happily ever after. The cake -- before its iced incarnation -- was once a pile of breads meant to symbolize abundance for the bride and groom. Somewhere along the line, someone said, "I think I'll frost it" and thus was born the wedding cake as we know it today. It may look different, but it holds the same magic for modern couples that the pile of wheat rolls held for their ancestors long ago. We all want luck, so it's no wonder that 08/08/08 was quickly snapped up as THE big wedding date -- and several national wedding contests take place today as well -- just like we saw in 07/07/07. I'm a fan of Perfect 10, as are many people, so what will 10/10/10 in two years be like for the wedding industry? Believe it or not, couples getting engaged this summer might just be looking at their 2010 calendars to book their big day -- with the new trend of Weekday Weddings at 1/3 the price of weekend weddings, it doesn't even *matter* if 10/10/10 doesn't fall on a weekend.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Is your toast ready?

It's wedding season, and if you're like most people, you have at least a few weddings to attend in the coming weeks -- and perhaps a few bachelorette parties. Since I've always said Words Make the Wedding, why not prepare a special toast in honor of the bride and groom? If you're not the Maid of Honor or Best Man, those who are slated to speak at the reception, you can propose a toast at another occasion such as a shower or even in the couple's honor at a regular 'ol family dinner. Check out my book Your Special Wedding Toasts for the top tips on toast-writing and -giving, hundreds of classic and contemporary quotes to build your toast around, and warnings about the top mistakes you don't want to make. Cheers!

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Police concert

Last night, Joe and I escaped to take in The Police concert -- we had seen them before on this same tour in New York City, and last night they came to the Garden State as they wind down their tour. We chanced upon a corner of the lawn seats that is designated as family-friendly and put us within a hundred yards of the stage, and it was a beautiful night to sit under the stars and listen to so many of the songs we had played at our this first concert we attended *since* the weddding. (Gotta celebrate all the fun Firsts of newlywed life! Speaking of which, I have a book coming out on exactly this topic!) I always love it when I can *see* how much an artist loves what he does, as evidenced by the expressions on Sting's face, and the joy he and the band get when the crowd sings their lyrics en masse. As writers and musicians, that has to be an amazing thing for them. I'm sure it never gets old. It was a great night...and now it's back to working on the two books that are closing in on deadline.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Find the perfect colors for your wedding

In our book "What's Your Bridal Style?", my co-author Casey Cooper and I help you find the perfect style definitions for your wedding theme and decisions, and we tell you to go to Home Depot or Lowes to look at the paint color strips to collect different combinations of hues for inspiration. Well, you don't have to go to the store anymore! Visit the website for Benjamin Moore to look at their color strips online, and you might just discover the most beautiful color combo together! I love this site's color wheel lessons as well, so spend some time checking out their interactive tool for 'trying out' color combos in a room, as well.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Check me out in this month's New Jersey Bride!

My latest article is featured in the Fall-Winter '08 issue of New Jersey Bride, so if you're thinking about having a stylish and sentimental, or flashy and formal, at-home wedding -- even if you don't live in New Jersey -- read all the details right here.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catch me on NBC's show "I Do!"

A little advance notice here...the August 2nd episode of "I Do!" on NBC features me and The Knot's Anja Winnika talking about wedding etiquette...all the while sitting in front of the most amazing cupcakes I've ever seen. Yes, close to 4pm as I'm writing this, and I'm having a sugar crash, so perhaps that's why I'm thinking about those cupcakes right now. Check out the show at, and look for your local NBC airing schedule to catch the program.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great news for your feet!

Ooo, here's a great one for you...every bride wants to look her best from head to toe, and especially if you're planning to wear fabulous shoes on your wedding day, you want them to 1). Look great, 2). Be comfortable, and 3). Stay ON your feet for a long, long time so that you're not in agony halfway through your reception, kicking those designer shoes off.

Check this kit out:

Foot Petals...a world of sexy sole-utionz!” The Runaway Bride gift set gives you all (even spa socks!) that you need to achieve this once-impossible feat of comfortable and sexy style!
Style #RUN1006
The ultimate shoe solution bridal gift set includes:
· Killer Kushionz-shoe insoles, provide foot support
· Tip Toes-ball of foot cushions, stop feet from sliding
· Heavenly Heelz-heel cushions, keep feet secure in shoes
· Strappy Strips-thin strips, add comfort to any shoe
· *Sole Stopperz-non-slip, patch protects soles from wear
· Petal Plusheez-comfort your stressed out feet
· All products are one size, one pair per pack
· *Two pairs per pack

Find these at Bare Necessities, and get your feet ready for well as the new trend photographers are practicing all over the country -- getting closeup shots of you wearing your amazing shoes!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rachael Ray's new charity line of dogfood

In the 'Good to Know' category, Rachael Ray has expanded her line to include nutritious pet foods, and the profits go to animal charities! Since we have a lot of pet-parents among us (you'll love the link I'm about to share!), I thought I'd do my part to spread the word. Perhaps a bowl of Nutrish under your sweetheart table to feed your tux-wearing pooch? Find out more here:, and check out the videos on the right. No, I'm not in them...just looking out for my brides and grooms who want to include their pets in their Big Days.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Have you had your juice today?

I love this site -- and its terrific newsletter -- for the latest on easy, healthy practices to incorporate into your life, nutrition reminders, their picks for the top fitness moves and products, and just general 'take care of you!' messages...which you really need now, during this time of stress and added activity that can deplete your energy levels. Visit them today, and sign up for that newsletter at

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Looking for a Calligrapher?

As I'm updating my book 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding, I thought to expand my list of professional calligraphers, and I hit the jackpot when I found the Association for the Calligraphic Arts: Here are some possible leads for your own calligrapher search -- just be sure to ask about their specialties and see samples of their work!

Joe and I are just back from a *wonderful* weekend attending our cousins' post-destination-wedding reception. They did an amazing job planning, the details were perfection, and their deejay kept the dance floor packed. It was a great celebration, made all the better by my husband's brilliant idea that we spend a few days at the beach. (After the hell we've been through the past few weeks, we needed it!) We explored a neat boutique hotel in Spring Lake that I'll be reporting on soon, and found the most charming little breakfast spot. Now we're back and jumping right on our work...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Catch me on NBC News!

After a tough day, I needed a little boost, so it was a thrill to see my podcast "Here Come the Moms" featured on NBC News. Watch the video to find out some of the top, helpful wedding websites.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A cover with...connotation?

Many people ask me if I get to design the covers of my books. No, I leave that up to the talented designers at my publishing houses, and I've never been dissastisfied. Speaking of which...we're getting ready to release the 3rd edition of the very first book I ever wrote: 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding. My editor Sarah Pelz just sent me the cover graphic for this edition, with a question about a certain phrase featured on the cover: "Over 150,000 satisfied brides." The design team mentioned that the term 'satisfied' had a certain...connotation, so we've decided to change the cover to "Over 150,000 happy brides." While finding ways to save money on wedding planning is always exciting, we don't want anyone thinking it's that satisfying. (Although it might be if you find a Vera Wang dress on sale for almost nothing!) ;)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wanna win $500?

Sharing an announcement I received the other day... Creates the "I Did" It This Way Contest for Brides to Share their Best Planning Ideas.

People are still shamelessly interested in other people's business, and brides are people too. wanted to create a forum for brides to share their most fabulous wedding planning ideas. The "I Did" It This Way video contest was born, with a reward of $500.00 going to the bride with the most inspirational idea. presents the "I Did" It This Way video contest for brides searching for inspiration while planning for their wedding. Brides will be asked to share their best planning ideas through videotape. The entries will feature an example of the idea itself or an explanation of the plan to be. This will allow brides the opportunity to scan other entries and get the inside scoop on what other brides are doing.The winner will be selected by the viewing public. The entrant with the most inspirational idea and highest number of votes will win $500.00. In today's economy, a chance at trimming a little off of the wedding budget is never a bad idea. The contest is currently underway and will run through August 14th, 2008. Visit for contest details and submission instructions.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer book club time!

Several years ago, I founded the first-ever bridal book club featuring wedding-themed novels. With summer beach-reads on everyone's minds, I thought I'd provide you with the discussion points for my own wedding-themed novel "It's My Wedding Too," in which a mother of the bride battles with the mother of the groom, and all of the happy endings are happy...but might just not be what you expect!

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the novel yet, stop right here and print these questions out for when you and your book club finish reading. I'd hate to spoil my own big plot twists ;)

Discussion Questions
For your own Bridal Book Club Meetings

Book Club Questions for:

“It’s My Wedding Too” A Novel

Visit the ongoing book club discussion at
5 Visitors win a copy of my novel each month, so please do join us
in talking about my comedic
Mother of the Bride vs. Mother of the Groom battle…
And the bride who has to stay sane through it all!

Question 1:
Why do you think that Emilie and Anthony were able to keep their relationship so strong during all of this stressful interference by the mothers? Emilie called Anthony a 'reformed mama's boy,' so how much of their relationship strength comes from the fact that he loves his mom, but he has an adult level of separation from her and a great loyalty to Emilie? [In most chick lit novels, the conflict is that the couple splits and reconsiders marrying. I wanted to stay away from the usual plot point and keep the couple strong so that it's all about the relationships with their moms.]
Question 2:
What would have happened if he was still too close with his clingy mother?

Question 3:
What was the most outrageous thing the mothers did, and were you ever mad at them for Emilie's sake? We know that both mothers had issues from their past, but what do you think they were really trying to accomplish?

Question 4:
Emilie diagnosed Leah as practicing feng shui and magical thinking for something she wasn't yet ready to get (a new love). Why do you think Leah was simultaneously wishing for a man -- and throwing oranges in a superstition that would attract him -- and also pushing real men away? If she knew she wasn't ready, why was she still throwing oranges? Was it more about a wish for herself to be ready, to find something within herself that would allow her to be open? Discuss Leah's character and influence in the book.

Question 5:
Do you agree that eloping was the right thing for Emilie and Anthony to do? And how would you feel if your groom 'surprised' you with a private, secret elopement when you thought you were going on vacation?

Question 6:
What was the funniest scene in the novel? Did it remind you of something that happened to you, or something you WISH you could say to someone?

Question 7:
Share your stories of how your mom or FMIL are like Delilah or Carmela, or how they are even worse...

Question 8:
Did you expect Vic to come back to Carmela? [This was the hardest scene for me to write, and I actually had to walk away from it a few times. It was a complete surprise to me that my character had had enough, that he was done, and that was it. I never expected to have subplots that include NOT getting the guy, or that a happy ending could mean the END of a relationship. What do you think about their decision to split? How is it better for Carmela? For Vic?

Question 9:
What did you think about Leah’s ‘love story’ ending? Were you satisfied or dissatisfied in the form her True Love took?

Question 10:
If this novel were turned into a movie, who would you want to see playing these characters?

Monday, June 23, 2008

My TV segment on "I Do!" on NBC

Last week, I enjoyed the pleasure and honor of taping an etiquette segment for the new NBC upscale wedding show "I Do!" in partnership with TheKnot. It's always such a thrill to tape a big TV segment, and this one delivered me to Chelsea Market in New York City, which is a cavernous foodie mecca and the headquarters of The Food Network. So before my shoot, I explored the cheese store, a tea emporium, and a fantastic wine store as well as the cookie spectacle Eleni's where we shot the segment. TheKnot editor Anja Winnika is a delight, and the production team was top-notch, so I know this segment is going to be amazing. We covered the top etiquette hotspots including guest list hassles, destination weddings, thank you notes, and more, so look for me in July on "I Do!" on NBC, and check out the show's site to catch up on segments you may have missed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

$9.99 bridesmaids' gifts!!

Since the average amount spent on a bridesmaid gift is in the range of $40 to $70 nationwide, I *had* to let you know about the limited-time-offer at Check out these very cute bridesmaid and junior bridesmaid gifts for just $9.99! Engraving is extra, of course, but this is a great start!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NEW! Pictures on M&Ms!

Joe just pointed this out to me -- you can now get your PHOTO on custom-designed M&Ms! Since edible favors are all the rage for showers and weddings, why not add a little kick of personalization with fun photos of the two of you on these brilliant incarnations of a favorite candy? They have 22 colors for you to choose from, five of which are too dark for photo impressions, and you can also include personal messages on the M&Ms. Visit their website to place your order [and since it's summertime, have your order delivered to a relative or neighbor who will be home, or to your office if that's allowed. You don't want your chocolates to melt in the sun!]