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.