Thursday, January 31, 2008

Better.tv

It was an early morning ride into New York City to tape my first segment for Better.tv, and we knocked it out of the park. One take was all it took to tackle ten major wedding bargains, and I *loved* the graphic they used on the screen behind us. They do a marvelous job at Meredith!

Coming home all fired up, I solved the Great Sash Dilemma [we didn't have enough for all of my bridesmaids and flowergirls, and the shop was out of them by now]. The sashes go to the flowergirls and the junior bridesmaid only. Done!

Joe has just sent out the measurement cards to his groomsmen, in what I think is the world's record of grooms getting right on the task. :) Hopefully, the try-on tuxes will be in tonight so that Joe and I can go choose THE style, and then I'll take him for a little treat on Main Street to thank him for that You'll Do Great hug he gave me this morning before the shoot. Sigh....

Stay tuned for the launch date of my Better.tv segment....all about finding the best bargains for your wedding without sacrificing style.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Wedding Shoes!

Last night, Joe and I went shoe shopping to find THE shoes for our wedding day, and I found 'em! They're gorgeous, in the Trellis line of Nina Shoes -- check out http://www.ninashoes.com/AsSeenIn-1.html to see Nina bridal shoes featured in In Style Weddings, Elle, and more.

It had been *very* frustrating to find plain bridal shoes out there, but I guess that just means I wasn't supposed to wear *plain* bridal shoes on Our Day. These are quite spectacular, and Joe got them for me as a wedding gift. Sigh....isn't he wonderful?

We were supposed to go to the tux store for his try-ons last night, which kept me from attending a Ladies Who Launch event, but the tuxes hadn't come in yet. Which is just as well, because I'm not sure I could handle how hot he would look in a tux right now! Let me prep for a bridal show tonight and a taping of Better.tv tomorrow, and then I'll have the stamina to see my man in the tux!

Invitation addressing has begun...we're doing inner and outer envelopes by hand, so the boxes of Carlson Craft inserts are all lined up and ready to go! It's starting to become Wedding Central around here, and Joe has been fantastic about after-work mini ambushes on the bridal breakfast and such...this is such a short time of massive To-Do's, and as his mother has said often, "Joe and Sharon are a great team." Absolutely.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Want to be on TV?



Want to see YOUR wedding on TV? Now, you can apply to have your wedding featured on Get Married! Just go to www.getmarried.com and click for details!

Eat This, Not That


I LOVE this new, best-selling book that shows you the better food and drink choices at all the top fast-food places, by category in restaurants, even in the supermarket. As a super-rushed bride and groom, you're not going to feel like cooking all the time, so your wedding diet and fitness goals can stay on track with the help of this book. I give it 5-stars: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594868549/ref=nosim/theplanningsh-20

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Support Team in Training

My brother is getting ready to run a marathon as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training program, raising funds to fight the battle against blood cancers. If you'd like to do a good deed for today, I hope you'll consider a little something to sponsor his run: http://www.active.com/donate/tntnonj/tntnonjSBlahit1

Not only does LLS raise funds for blood cancer research, they also do a lot to support the family caregivers during the challenges of chemo and treatment times, and I can tell you firsthand how valuable that is. It's a great organization.

If you're getting married soon, and you'd like to make charitable giving a part of your wedding day, visit www.idofoundation.org to set up your registry.

Planning a destination wedding?

If you're planning a destination wedding, you *have* to check out http://www.destinationbride.com/ for my colleague Lisa Light's terrific details on the ins and outs of the best destinations worldwide...and her book on Destination Weddings is amazing! Don't go anywhere without first getting to know Lisa's expertise!

In my own wedding world, it's less than 3 months until the wedding, and I just purchased the Love Stamps for our invitations. Joe and I thought about getting personalized stamps such as those at http://www.mountaincow.com/ (which are really terrific), but I just really needed to get this detail off of our swelling To-Do list. We'll do the personalized stamps for our Thank You notes. I've finally made our wedding day hair appointments, and this weekend is tux shopping. Get as much done as early as possible, because there *will* be extra issues that pop up (like guest questions and delays of various types), and you don't want to be swamped the last two months before your wedding.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Favors that give back

As you might know, I'm very involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society due to my parents' 4-year battle against blood cancers. I've given donations, walked in Light the Night (http://www.lls.org/), and supported other friends and family in their walks and marathons. My wonderful friend Linda at http://www.invitations4sale.com/ donates a % of all invitation orders to the LLS....and now I have a new venture that will give 20% to fight blood cancers. I'll share a recent report from the fun wedding blog Bridella -- http://www.bridella.com/blog/2008/01/23/give-back-with-kate-aspen-favors/ -- so that you can read all about it.

Shop for your favors and gifts through the links there, or click on any Kate Aspen banner on my site http://www.sharonnaylor.net/. You're doing a great thing!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

When your vendor disappears

A major photo and video company in my area was just on the news -- they've gone bankrupt and shut their doors. Now, thousands of wedding couples are terrified that their photos and video are lost forever, and thousands more are scrambling to book new vendors.

There's absolutely no way to know ahead of time if this can happen to you, so I strongly suggest that you look into a quality wedding insurance plan that can cover you if your vendor fails to show up or deliver. It won't save your day, and it can't guarantee that you'll get your photos from the big day. But did you know that some plans will cover the costs of booking a new photographer to capture re-staging of your top wedding moments (exchanging the rings, your kiss, portraits of your bridal party and family)? Again, you have to look into the fine print of what is and isn't covered in each plan. But it is something to think about...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sharon's Top 5 List for additional special dances

You've got your First Dance as husband and wife, the father-daughter dance, and the mother-son dance. You can prevent the threat of Same-Old-Same-Old reception music from that point on -- the usual list of songs that everyone hears at every wedding -- by planning a few extra spotlight dances to add more meaning to your celebration.

1. Heritage dances -- Such as the tarantella or the hora.
2. Greatest Generation dance -- Ask your grandparents and great-uncles and great-aunts to take to the dance floor for 1940s music so that they can show off their Lindy.
3. Kids' dance -- The Hokey Pokey doesn't cut it with kids these days, so ask a 10 year-old for some song suggestions. Only kids on the dance floor for this one.
4. Parents' dance -- If your parents, like mine, do a mean cha cha, then consider giving them a spotlight dance during the dinner hour. Halfway through, the emcee can invite all the guests to join in.
5. Your Last Dance of the evening. As the last song of the night, the two of you can slow dance to your *other* favorite song, again inviting guests to join in halfway through. This is a great way to share the task of choosing 'your song.' This is something that Joe and I are going to do, since Etta James's 'At Last' was more my choice than his, although he readily agreed because he knows it means the world to me. So he gets to pick the last dance of the evening.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Julie Dubin's blog is up!

I'm so excited for my friend and colleague Julie Weingarden Dubin! She's just launched her new parenting blog at Woman's Day, and she'll have a new post each Tuesday: http://dailywd.womansday.com/blog/my_three_kids/index.html. So tell all of your friends with kids that they have a great, new blog to visit.

Julie and I go way back...there was a time when we were the youngest members of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and I remember meeting her at a conference as the only 20-somethings in the room. Now, we find ourselves years later as the mentors to the new wave of 20-somethings in the organization, with lists of accomplishments that we couldn't even dream about back then. I know Julie shares my belief that we are so lucky to get to write for a living, challenges and all. Congratulations on your new blog, Julie! I'll see you soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Catch me on GetMarried.com!

It's Episode 26 if you don't catch it today...http://www.getmarried.com/on_tv.php

And thank you to all of my colleagues, friends and family who have written about my TV segments and reviews this week!

Catch me in The New York Times

Whew! What a weekend! A great review of my book "The Bride's Diplomacy Guide" appeared in the Style section of The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/fashion/13books.html?_r=1&ref=fashion&oref=slogin, and I got to celebrate my niece's 13th birthday at a brunch in Hoboken. She lives in Tennessee, so I don't get to see her very much, but it was a thrill to have her dash across the restaurant to give me a big hug. No surly teenager stuff with her. She's a good soul, one of those gems in her generation who you know is going to do great things in this world.

Speaking of doing great things, Joe and I went out to celebrate my recent appearances on GMA and Get Married with an hibachi dinner in town, which I'm mentioning to remind you to plan date nights with your groom! With all the wedding talk swirling and your big day approaching, it's important to connect and just be a couple in love, step away from all that's going on in your world and go on A Date.

Friday, January 11, 2008

4 upcoming appearances on Get Married with David Tutera!

You can catch me on David Tutera's show "Get Married" on Lifetime Television not once, not twice, but FOUR times in the upcoming weeks. We had such a great time during the shoot that they decided to launch different portions of it as helpful segments for you. I absolutely *love* the team at Get Married, especially for brightening up this foggy day with such fun news!

My interview on Ceremony D├ęcor will air:
Jan 14th
Feb 5th
My interview on Wedding Transportation will air:
Jan 16th
Feb 11th

You'll be able to catch them all on http://www.getmarried.com/, where my first interview for Get Married -- the Bulova wedding day countdown -- can be found in Episode 24 (David has a teal shirt on).

I have a giant smile on my face right now....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Good Morning America NOW

Here's my newest segment on Good Morning America Now: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4100866&affil=wabc

To buy my books 1000 Best Wedding Bargains, 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding, The Bride's Diplomacy Guide and others, visit my site at http://www.sharonnaylor.net/.

For Bernie Robbins jewelry, go to http://www.bernierobbins.com/.

To buy the Kate Aspen favors shown on the show, plus others to suit your season and theme, visit http://www.sharonnaylor.kateaspenshops.com/

To find Papyrus cards and wedding products, visit http://www.papyrusonline.com/.

For David's Bridal gowns like the ones shown on the segment, visit http://www.davidsbridal.com/.

For Ann Taylor Celebrations dresses, go to http://www.anntaylor.com/.

And for Victoria's Secret gifts for bridesmaids, visit http://www.victoriassecret.com/ .

Writing the wedding ceremony

Joe and I wrote our wedding ceremony last night, everything from the traditional vows we'll take to 'mystery spots' we're leaving open so that we can write our own wording for the ring exchange. That, of course, led to much joking about how the first thing I checked out on him during our first date was his hands and some possibilities of what we could say while exchanging rings...If you're smiling and laughing while writing your wedding vows, that's the right frame of mind. We flipped through one of my books for readings and poems to add, deciding on the Apache Wedding Blessing along with "The Art of Marriage." Now, we just have to decide on a color of paper for our programs, get the size cards from the groomsmen, and start collecting relatives' addresses for invitation-writing that starts next month!

Today, I'm keeping an eye on the website for Good Morning America Now (http://www.goodmorningamerica.com/), awaiting the launch of my segment on finding great wedding bargains during the month of January. I'll be back soon with the link for you...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Good Morning America

I spent this morning in the green room at Good Morning America Now, the third hour shown on their site, and observation #1: they have a Wii system in the green room. And the coffee was fantastic. I met up with Stacey Seiden from Bernie Robbins jewelers (http://www.bernierobbins.com/), who was so generous with her time to bring a dozen gorgeous pieces of jewelry for the segment I was to shoot -- "January is the best time to shop for your wedding." [I'll post a link when it's ready to air.] $150 for a five-strand pink pearl bracelet for bridesmaids....or for the bride...or for moms. That's a HUGE bargain and one of the pieces I was delighted to show during the spot.

Tune in to the show to see the other amazing bargain luxuries I brought to the set. They'll have all of the buying info and links on their site.

Observation #2: the new modeling reality show with Niki Taylor and Tyson Beckford was shooting right outside the GMA window, so I got to see the parade of beautiful people...Stacey tells me that during my shoot, they all walked past the window in boxing robes, so if you're going to watch that show, there may just be a supermodel boxing match to look forward to ;)

The taping went beautifully, although I wasn't allowed to include the selection of Victoria's Secret honeymoon-wear, wedding night corsets and bridesmaid gift items that they gave me to showcase [we ran out of time], so I urge you to visit http://www.victoriassecret.com/ for their 50%-off sale going on right now. Pajamas for $29, amazing lingerie [you'll want all new stuff for your honeymoon!] and the cutest thing I picked up: cami-panty sets in an ice cream cone shape. It broke my heart that I couldn't show that on the air today! Check out the beauty and perfume sets for under $15 to really spoil your bridesmaids and not break the bank. I'm headed over to the site right now to pick up a few things, further supporting the concept that NOW is the best time to buy clothing, spawear, lingerie, undergarments for your wedding day, and comfy pajama sets for yourself and for your favorite people.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sharon's Top 5 Pre-Wedding Beauty Preps

I'm back with my Top 5 lists for the New Year! And since it's only 4 months to go to my own wedding, I'm starting to think about beauty preps for the Big Day. I'm calling today to make the hair appointments for my girls on the wedding morning, so that leads to Tip #1:

Tip #1: Make an appointment for your trial hairstyle session. Go to your beauty salon now and ask who does up-do's. Most salons have 'specialists' who do wedding hairstyles, and they often have portfolios filled with photos of the styles they've done, and styles they can do. Even months ahead of the wedding, it's a fun day at the salon to have your hair trial-styled and perhaps even colored now while it's safe enough to try something new.

Tip #2: Get those teeth whitened. You don't have to spend a fortune at the dentist getting lasered. I'm a big fan of the Aquafresh White Trays (www.aquafresh.com). They're a bit pricy, but they WORK. After just 3 days, I saw a big difference. Love these things!

Tip #3: Work on your skincare...all over. Bring out those products you own and love but haven't had the time to turn into a ritual each night. I'm using the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty line (www.meaningfulbeauty.com), and the masque is incredible. Also, get a good exfoliant scrub and use it on your upper arms if you get little bumps on those.

Tip #4: Hydrate. Your skin, hair and nails will thank you, and it keeps bloating down.

Tip #5: Get good tools. See if a flat iron works wonders on your hair. At the salon, ask for tips on how to use it. Don't be afraid to ask your stylist basic questions about tools and brushes. They love it when you ask for their expertise. I have a gas-powered curling iron for ringlets and a *thin* ceramic flat iron, which I bought to replace the thicker one that wasn't doing it for my hair. Just a simple little switch, and I've found what works best for me.

And as an extra tip, get your brows professionally-shaped. A waxer can give your arches the perfect peak, and the result can make your eyes look bigger and brighter. Now's the time to upgrade your beauty preps...enjoy!