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.