Friday, December 25, 2009

Welcome, newly-engaged brides and grooms!

Congratulations on your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day engagement! Last night, as my husband and I celebrated our second Christmas as marrieds, counting our blessings and fielding many phone calls from family and friends wishing us a joyous day, I was also thinking about you, about the fact that you're just entering the exciting world of wedding-planning, and maybe this is the best holiday ever for you. Three cheers to your groom for a fabulous marriage proposal, and I hope you're waking up this morning beaming over how much fun stuff is ahead of you.

I know that wedding information world has gotten super-crowded and noisy with a ton of wedding sites and blogs, and of course all of the well-meaning suggestions from your own family and friends (and his mom!). And I know that the best, money-saving and stress-busting information you need can get buried by all of those fun quizzes and celebrity wedding stories, thousands of articles about wedding dresses and so on and so on and so on.

Consider me your sister in the wedding business -- I have the insider secrets to planning your wedding day, and I'm also going to make you smile and lighten your mood. I'll help you word that confrontation with your pushy future mom-in-law, jealous bridesmaid, and the groom who thinks he's supposed to just sit back and let you do everything. [It's not his fault...many grooms are just trying to let you have the fun, and they don't realize it's coming across as disinterest.]

You have my 35+ wedding books here to help you plan every element of your day, and -- most importantly -- avoid and handle some of the most common wedding mistakes. Visit my website to get your copies, and also reach me to ask your wedding planning questions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Give a Bed and Breakfast gift card!

With the holidays speeding toward you, and all of your wedding plans speeding up as well, there might be some holiday shopping you've yet to do. So make it easy -- and give your guests something amazing to look forward to -- with a gift card that allows THEM to pick out WHERE they want to go, and maybe finance some extra treats while they're there! I love this gift for parents, letting them get away for a weekend, and how awesome is it to surprise your groom with a pre-honeymoon or a romantic weekend away, minus wedding talk! Here's your website to check out:! Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Megan McMorris guest blogs about the Bridesmaid Background Check!


By Megan McMorris

When you’re interviewing for a job, you provide references. When you buy a car, they check your credit. So why not dig into a friend’s background to make sure she's wedding-worthy? After all, there's nothing like a wedding to stretch friendships thin, even if you're the furthest thing from a Bridezilla, as my friend Dawn discovered years ago after getting engaged. When Dawn announced her engagement, her (soon-to-be-married) friend had her own news to share: she was dis-inviting Dawn from being a bridsemaid (!). Turns out, the bride-to-be thought that Dawn should have let her hog the spotlight until after the cake was cut. Yes, weddings can sometimes reveal an evil underbelly to those closest to you, when you least expect it. So before decide your wedding party, print out my super-scientific "bridesmaid background test" to make sure those who are standing beside you at the altar really have your back.

*she has friends from childhood: Is it just me, or is there something suspicious about someone who doesn’t retain any friends from years ago? I may be biased, since some of my great pals are those I met when I was five years old (hi, Andy and Diane!), and I don’t expect you to be besties with your entire elementary-school class, but I do think it’s important to have at least one pal who remembers when you wore braces and had sleepovers. I learned this the hard way with a certain Former Friend (F.F.). Let’s just say she made me wonder who any of her pals were before we met in our 30s. Is that a warning bell I hear?

*she isn’t afraid of one-on-ones: Invite her for a hike or Happy Hour? A true friend is one who agrees without having to turn everything into a group event. My F.F. was quick to invite her neighbors, roommates, people she met at the grocery store, stray dogs (okay, I exaggerate), to the point when I’d have to specifically ask “hey, this time I just want it to be the two of us, okay?” To my mind it’s hard to bond in a group of 10, but I’m just crazy like that.

*she doesn’t drop you for a boyfriend: I’ve always been one of them thar women who don’t change my female-friendship ways when I have a boyfriend. So imagine my surprise when F.F. cancelled plans, dropped our conversation when the phone rang, and just generally become one of “those girls” when she had a boyfriend. Ack.

*she’s there to share: When you spill the beans on your life struggles, she relates to you and shares some of her own. Unless she’s like my F.F., whose picture-perfect ways and Stepford Wife lack of emotion made you feel like a walking basket case even if your dramas were pretty average on comparison. A true friend is supposed to make you feel like you’re not alone, not try to one-up you in the game of “how perfect can we get” (ding ding! She wins!)

*she doesn’t pick and choose: The thing that always made me laugh about my F.F. was that she said (again in a Stepford Wife tone) “I like everyone!”. Hmmm, well, if you like everyone, doesn’t that cancel out your friends? I prefer my friends to want to hang out with me because they think I’m funny, cool, interesting or any of the above (just as I’m selective about my pal picks for certain criteria they bring to my life) not just because I happen to have crossed their path on the street. But that’s just how I roll.

Portland, Oregon-based freelance writer and editor Megan McMorris is the editor of P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends, and she has many fabulous friends who pass this checklist. And she’s actually just kidding about giving potential friends background checks. Unless you want to, in which case let her know how your friend fared! Visit her book website at and view more of her work at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A rave review in Library Journal!

Library Journal, the authority for all libraries' new book acquisitions, has graced me with a fabulous compliment [I'm doing cartwheels] as well as a fabulous review of my book The Bride's Survival Guide.

See the review here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Crowd-pleasing sangrias

One of the smartest things you can plan for your drink menu -- for at-home parties, showers, rehearsal dinners, wedding-weekend events and other wedding parties -- is a collection of amazing sangrias for your guests to enjoy.

I've included sangria in several of my bestselling wedding budgeting books, and I thought it was about time I showed you where to get the best recipes! One pitcher of sangria is good for 6-8 guests, so there's your formula for how much you'll need.

Find amazing sangria recipes from your favorite Food Network chefs here, and stock up on great sangria cookbooks here.

It's a great idea to add sangria cookbooks -- as well as other cookbooks -- to your bridal registry, since guests LOVE to give these inexpensive, yet practical and much-loved presents to you for your future parties. From white sangrias to rich, red berry-based sangrias, even a hot sangria for those cold winter nights, the recipes are sure to please.

Monday, December 07, 2009

So thrilled to be president of NYC's Wish Upon a Wedding

This is one of the greatest honors of my long career in the wedding industry: I've been asked to serve as President of the New York City chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding!

Wish Upon a Wedding is the ONLY national organization that grants wishes for weddings and civil unions to couples who are facing a life-threatening illness. Since I spent most of the past five years caring for both of my parents during their long battles with blood cancers, and I had my own scary foray in the world of breast cancer with a Stage 0 that had to be lumpectomized and radiated away [I'm fine now!] I know how much it means to those who live in the terrifying world of medical treatments, waiting for test results, undergoing painful and exhausting procedures...and how much it takes out of loved ones and caretakers around them. So my reward for getting through all that in my own life, and since it's my soul's way to provide wonderful things for others, I am beyond thrilled to head up this terrific organization, create my board of advisors and start granting wishes left and right.

If you would like to be involved as a wedding vendor who can help grant wishes to NYC-area couples, contact me at

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mmmmm....Mushroom Risotto from Gorgeously Green

Oh, how I love my Gorgeously Green! Creating a healthier lifestyle is so easy, chic and fun with Sophie's terrific site, and her book is amazing!

Since we're focusing on foodie choices for weddings, I had to share the Mushroom Risotto recipe from the Gorgeously Green Diet -- not only is it perfect for your fall or winter weddings, it can be a fabulous part of your getting-fit-for-the-dress healthy regimen.

Here's the announcement from the Gorgeously Green site:

December is Mega-Giveaway Month at Gorgeously Green. We are giving away dozens of our favorite products that we showcased in 2009. Cosmetics, shoes, clothes, luxury skincare and more, is all for the winning. The giveaway will change every day and a new winner will also be announced daily. Simply visit Gorgeously Green, check out the Daily Giveaway and enter a short comment to WIN! And be sure to tell all your friends...

This is one of my favorite recipes for this time of year from THE GORGEOUSLY GREEN DIET. Mushrooms are in season, so go wild.

Remember when you’re making your holiday gift lists, making-your-own is the Greenest way to go. I’m crazy busy with canning, pickling and making jellies and jam. Despite a couple of mishaps, I’ve pretty much got the hang of it. Now for the fun part: labels and decorating the jars. What gifts are you making this year?

Mushroom Risotto
I love to serve this risotto with a fresh bowl of arugula leaves dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

1 package mixed dried mushrooms or 2 cups of fresh mixed mushrooms (chanterelles, porcini, and shitake are perfect).
About 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups risotto rice
2 wineglasses white wine
1 tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Put the mushrooms in a measuring glass and cover with 2 cups of hot water. Set aside.

Pour stock into a medium saucepan and heat gently. Keep warm over low heat.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the rice, turn up the heat, and stir until the rice looks translucent. Add the wine and stir until almost evaporated.

Now you are ready to add your first ladle of stock (you never leave a risotto—it needs to be nursed!). Keep stirring as you add more and more stock, waiting until each addition is absorbed until you add the next ladle. After 15 minutes, taste to see if the rice is cooked; if it needs a little more time, add a ladleful of the water that mushrooms have been soaking in. The risotto is cooked when the rice is slightly al dente. Take it off the heat and stir in the mushrooms and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste, spoon into bowls, and top with a generous dusting of cheese.

Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How much liquor to buy for your party?

During your wedding weekend, for the rehearsal dinner you'll host at home, for bridal showers, bridesmaid parties, crafting parties at which volunteers come help to make the favors, and even for an at-home engagement party , you'll want to be sure you have enough drinks to go with your menu. But, of course, you don't want to spend a fortune at the liquor store, over-buying the wine and alcohol and wasting money. The trick is getting just enough...

Here is a terrific tool from that I've found to be right on target in estimating how much liquor you'll need to suit your crowd of light- to heavy-drinkers.

If you're on a budget, keep in mind that a terrific champagne punch or sangrias stretch your liquor dollar and guests LOVE getting to sip on a unique drink they don't get every day. I love the drink recipes at Food Network, and I also have a fabulous Sangria recipe book that I often break out whenever we have guests or are hosting a party.

It's important to pair your drinks to your menu -- since a great app will be spoiled by a so-so vintage or a too-strong mixed drink -- so get adventurous, explore your drink options, and taste test any new drink recipes before the big party, just to be sure.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All-time favorite, easiest appetizer!

I love Alouette cheeses! On their own, as a spread for crackers or grissini, they delight the crowd, but when you take it to the next level with Alouette's recipes, you turn DIY party menu-making into an 'Is It Professional?' level that your guests will love.

Right now, I'm preparing the Alouette stuffed mushroom caps for my Thanksgiving feast, and I highly, highly encourage you to make this easy recipe for your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, the after-party and let your bridesmaids know about the Alouette site for the bridal shower.

Monday, November 16, 2009

We're going Foodie here at Sharon Naylor Weddings

Get your soup tureen ready, and get ready for some very happy engagement party, bridal shower, and at-home wedding guests when you serve my Lobster Bisque! It's filling dish, perfect for fall and winter, so you only need to set out little serving bowls or cups -- I love the new square ones at Crate & Barrel. Anytime you set out unique serving bowls or dishes, you up the Wow Factor for any dish...and also make it look like you spent more money!

This recipe will serve about 14 people with smaller servings, so make your adjustments accordingly. I like to boil frozen lobster tails to get nice, huge chunks of lobster meat, but you can also have your seafood specialitist at the grocery store steam your lobster for you. Some will even cut the tails in half for you, which really helps. You could subsititute shrimp or crab, but I find that the lobster is in a class by itself here...


2 large lobster tails, cooked and diced
1 large onion, diced
1 and ½ sticks butter
¾ cup flour
2 cans condensed chicken broth
¾ cup dry sherry
3 small containers heavy cream
1 can tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté onion in butter until soft, stir in flour to make a roux
2. Add chicken broth, stir, allow mixture to thicken and boil for one minute
3. Add lobster and sherry, cover and simmer for 20 minutes
4. Blend in cream, tomato paste, salt and pepper, stir until combined and soup is pink
5. Heat on low flame until soup is hot.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vegetarian Menu Inspiration for your wedding

Finding inspired and delectable vegetarian dishes for your cocktail party or wedding isn't a challenge at all when you work with a caterer who has experience with vegetarian or vegan menus. I'm so thrilled to share some samples from

Sides, Salads & Dolci — Mediterranean

Vegetables, Grains & Legumes

Platter of Grilled Seasonal Vegetables in light balsamic marinade
Wild Rice with broccoli, bell pepper, tarragon & toasted pecans
White Beans with tomatoes, olives, rosemary, feta, light balsamic sauce
Couscous or Tabbouleh with tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint
Israeli Couscous with julienned vegetables & light vinaigrette marinade
Persian Wedding Rice with caramelized onion, dried fruits,
saffron, cardamom, toasted nuts
Indian Dal garnished with yogurt, tomatoes, cucumber & cilantro
Sicilian Eggplant Caponata


Mixed Seasonal Greens with grilled vegetables & agrodolce dressing
Salade Niçoise with green beans, potatoes, tuna, tomatoes, eggs, olives & basil
Lebanese-style Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, onions, sumac
Orange Salad with red onions, & mint dressing, served on a bed of greens
Panzanella: Italian bread salad with roasted peppers, olives, tomatoes, basil
Fattoush: Middle Eastern bread salad with cucumbers,
tomatoes, peppers, mint, cilantro
Seasonal or Citrus Fruit Salad with orange flower water & mint


Fabulous flourless Italian Chocolate Torte with hazelnuts
Ricotta Tart with seasonal fruit or berries
Platter of Dessert Bars, including triple chocolate fudge brownies,
Slices of moist Lemon or Orange Cake, & hazelnut bars with raspberry jam
Strawberries in red wine
Tarte Tatin (upside down apple cake)

* * *

Sides, Salads & Postres — South of the Border

Vegetables, Grains & Legumes

Platter of Grilled Seasonal Vegetables with light cilantro/lime marinade
Arroz Escarlata (scarlet rice with beets)
Spanish-style Rice with chiles, tomatoes, celery, cilantro
Pineapple Rice: a spicy rice with vegetables & fresh pinapple
Black Beans with mango, tomato, corn, avocado, lime/cilantro dressing
Lentil Stew with pineapple & banana
Zucchini & mushrooms in spicy lime marinade
Eggplant with garlic & spring onions
Quinoa with julienned vegetables, tomato & light marinade


Red, White & Green Salad with spinach, red cabbage & avocado
Orange & Radish Salad served on a bed of greens with anise dressing
Jicama & Cucumber Salad with orange lime marinade
Salad of Beets & Cabbage with candied pineapple & avocado sauce
Cactus & Jicama Salad with watercress & avocado
Cauliflower Corn Salad with orange dressing
Painted Desert Coleslaw: finely shredded cabbage & veggies in a lime marinade
Peruvian Vegetable Salad with baby vegetables, eggs, olives & thinly sliced pancetta
Mango, Tomato & Red Onion Salad
Avocado, Arugula & Citrus Salad


Citrus Fruit Salad (tangerines, blood oranges, grapefruit) with light sauce
of kumquat & orange blossom water
Platter of Fresh Fruits (melon, pineapple, strawberries)
Louisiana-style Bread Pudding with dried apricots & bourbon sauce
Jamaican Fruit Trifle (layers of cake, cream, dash of rum & tropical fruit)

Sample Menus

International Specialties

Indian Specialties
Sides, Salads & Sweets

Take your appetite on a Mediterranean adventure into tangy spices, zesty sauces, salty crunches, cooling dips and subtle sweets from Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Portugal, and Tangiers.

Our Latin menus include foods from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Cuba, and the Caribbean, where beans and rice are never ordinary!

For more information on this expert, contact:
Margaret Riesen
877-967-9848 toll free

Now accepting all Major Credit Cards

Santa Barbara • Santa Ynez Wineries • Montecito • Malibu • Santa Monica
Southern California • San Francisco Bay area

website by
Design Mine

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fabulous fall foodie favor!

I have been looking *everywhere* for a great spice bars recipe -- both because my Mom loves them, and because they make great shower, wedding and party favors! when you give your guests a luscious taste of the season, your favors are a hit.

And when you can save a LOT of money by baking your own, it's a double-hit.

I found these amazing spice bars, plus a maple cream icing that has just the right amount of sweetness, and they're going right on my fall party menu list:

Here's the recipe, from, the site for Better Homes and Gardens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My new book is a hit before it even launches!

Authors check Amazon all the time to see how our books are doing. It's exciting when a six year-old book is still selling like wild, and it's really exciting when a book that hasn't even launched yet is...well, selling like wild! I'm so proud of my new book Your Wedding, Your Way -- my idea-filled book on how to take all of the traditional wedding elements like the first dance, the cake-cutting, the bouquet toss, and give them a unique, personal spin that pays homage to your own personal love story. This book gives a spin to everything you can imagine, and it was one of the most fun books I've ever written.

And I LOVE the cover! My art team at Adams knocked it out of the park.

Here's a quick description of the book:

Wedding experts agree: Today’s bride and groom want a wedding that reflects who they are—without regard to tradition, convention, or in-laws. This guide shows you how to:
Break with tradition—on a budget!
Present nontraditional ideas to parents and grandparents
Build in time for visiting friends and family
Incorporate shared passions into the ceremony
Use elbow grease and inventiveness for a DIY wedding
Deal with vendors and suppliers
You will identify ways you can express your individuality during your wedding celebration, from rehearsal dinner to the morning-after brunch. The memories you take away will be of a ceremony celebrating your love—your uniqueness as a couple.

And here's where to get it: It's not even up on my website yet, so you're going to be among the first to get your copy when the book is released in a few weeks.

In honor of the military families who are going through so much these days, I am offering 5 free, signed copies to the first military couples who contact me through Twitter @sharonnaylorwed.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Another reason to love Envirosax

Loosk like we know who's next on the list for my Norah Awards! Envirosax is one of my favorite sources for eco-friendly wedding favors and guest welcome bags, and now they're knocking it out of the park again for their work in saving abandoned pets. Check out this press release, which I think is pretty amazing!

The Foreclosure Pet Phenomenon

There has been a disturbing rise in animals left behind to starve or fend for themselves in empty foreclosed homes. Once discovered and taken to shelters, many of these pets are in need of medical care.

Animal shelters nationwide depend on donations to cover medical costs and to provide food and shelter; however donations are dwindling and many shelters have been forced to cut holding periods from six days to three after which the animals are put down.

But there's great news and this is where you can help!

Let all your blog followers know that this November, Envirosax is proudly donating $1 from the sale of every pouch (set of 5 bags), sold on the Envirosax website, to the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Click here to order your Envirosax pouch today and help give these abandoned pets a second chance.

Who knew Holiday Season shopping could be so rewarding?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You HAVE to get "Signature Sasha"

It's new. It's amazing. It's my dear friend and colleague Sasha Souza's phenomenal book Signature Sasha, filled with breathtaking images of her wedding designs.

Sasha is known for her amazing color artistry, and you're going to find so much inspiration in here for your own big day. It's packed. And gorgeous.

And here's another awesome perk: if you order through Sasha's site, you can get an autographed copy. So, Moms and Dads, bridesmaids and friends, this could be a great gift for the newly-engaged couple. Brides and grooms, how great would it be to get personal congrats from one of Modern Bride's Top Trendsetters and our newest addition to the circle of celebrity wedding book authors?

Check Sasha out, follow her @sparkliatti, and follow her blog. She's a different kind of celeb wedding coordinator: almost sinfully talented, yet still the cool sister or best friend you'd like to hang out with and throw back some martinis. I'm thrilled to know her, and thrilled to point you to her site so that you can get to know her, too!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Budget-Saver: Use Locally-Grown Foods in Your Menu....But What Are They?

You see the advice everywhere in articles and books on how to save money on your wedding: use locally-grown, in-season foods in your wedding menu. Importing costs extra money, after all. But how do you find out what these foods are?

As I'm researching my newest book, I came across these fabulous resources for you! Check out the following to find lists of the local foods in your region, searchable by season:
and, which is organized so beautifully! You just enter your state and the season, broken down by 'early October' and 'late October' and such, to really zero in on what's well as what's in-season in states near you. A great resource that's going to help you work so much better with your caterers!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Bring in your European heritage through flowers

I'm all about personalizing weddings, and bringing in the official flowers of your heritage is a great way to do so!

Here are the official flowers of some European countries, so that you can combine your His and Hers heritage in every floral detail:

Albania: Red and black poppy
Austria: Alpine gentian
Bulgaria: Rose
Cyprus: Cyprus cyclamen
Denmark: Red clover
Estonia: Cornflower
Finland: Lily of the valley, and the white rose
France: Fleur de lis
Germany: Cornflower
Greece: Laurel branch, and the violet
Iceland: White dryas
Ireland: Shamrock
Italy: Cyclamen
Macedonia: Poppy
Netherlands: Tulip
Norway: Heather
Portugal: Blue-white hydrangea, among others
Romania: Romanian peony
Serbia: Plum
Slovakia: Tilia cordata
Slovenia: Carnation
Spain: Carnation
Sweden: no national flower, but each province has its own flower
Switzerland: Edelweiss
Turkey: Tulip
United Kingdom: Tudor rose, and each county has its own signature flower

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Perfect flowers for Asian-themed wedding events

If your wedding -- or your cocktail party, rehearsal dinner, or bridal shower -- will have an Asian theme, bring the tone and feel of an authentic Asian wedding into your celebration beautifully by using the Official Flower of your chosen Asian region:

Bangladesh: Shapla
Bhutan: Blue poppy
Cambodia: Romdual
People's Republic of China: Peony (also the plum blossom or the chrysanthemum)
Hong Kong: Bauhinia blakeana
Macau: Lotus
Indonesia: Melati (a type of jasmine) or moth orchid
Japan: Cherry blossom or chrysanthemum
North Korea: Magnolia
South Korea: Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon)
Malaysia: Chinese hibiscus or Phalaenopsis orchid
Singapore: orchid (Vanda Miss Joaquim variety)
Taiwan: Plum blossom
Thailand: Dok Khuen
Vietnam: Red lotus

Use one, or use a combination, to pay homage to your culture, or just to your chosen style for your big wedding events.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Barbie's big wedding season

This is Barbie in a Reem Acra. Yes, that's right. Reem. Acra.

Wedding world is Barbie's world -- with the 50th anniversary of our favorite doll offering all kinds of amazing special editions, including a Barbie and Ken wedding set that I just have to have. Looking on eBay, I found a vintage Korean Barbie and Ken wedding doll set that just might kick off my new collection of all things Bridal Barbie.

I'd love for you to check out this site for links to what's new in Barbie's world, plus special Barbie editions of bridal-party perfect goodies from Dylan's Candy Bar and other hot places. I'm thinking the Barbie bridal shower --no matter what age the bride -- is quickly going to take over the bridal shower theme, since we all had such fun with our Barbie collections, the Barbie Dream House. I had the cabana, a convertible, a Winnebago, even an airplane. So we all have that Barbie DNA, making this an incredibly fun and special theme for showers and bridesmaid luncheons. The fact that it's the 50th anniversary special edition of these dolls -- a collector's item gift for the bride, too -- just makes it all the more fun.

Oh, and at that site, you can learn the new Barbie dance, performed to the 'Barbie Girl' song. Maybe after a few cocktails, the girls can give it a go...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pretty Pink Freshwater Pearls

Look at these! Pretty pink freshwater pearls would make the perfect gift from groom to bride if she wants a delicate pop of color to match her wedding bouquet. Who says you have to wear diamonds? Or white pearls?

These babies are so lovely -- maybe too pricy for your bridesmaids' gifts unless you're so not on a budget, but wouldn't they be GORGEOUS gifts for the Moms? If the Moms are wearing any variation of pink, taupe or silver, these would look amazing!

I'm a huge fan of freshwater pearls, and I don't believe in the whole superstition related to pearls on the wedding day [supposedly, not the best luck in the world.] To see the pink freshwater pearls above, check out the Blue Nile page...

Signing up for Martha Stewart University

Martha's done it again! What a fabulous gift idea for the bride! Martha Stewart now offers video classes that you can upload -- most for just $12.95 per course...and some of these have 14 different segments! Check it out here. If you plan to DIY anything for your wedding, invest that $12.95 and get help from Martha and Darcy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Write it, but don't send it

When someone really tweaks a nerve with you, saying something heinously insulting, or throwing a wrench into your plans, or questioning your taste in wedding plans...or your groom, you're probably going to boil up in anger and want to lash out. They do say it's better to get anger out than suppress it, right?

Well, reacting in anger isn't going to get you anywhere. You just sink to their level and make them very very happy. Because their goal was to pop your happiness bubble and make you miserable like they are.

So for now, write out the best tell-off letter you can -- by hand, so there's no file for anyone to see later -- and then toss it away. Or burn it. I just wrote out one of those babies today, and I feel a lot better. It helps so much to get that vitriol out of your mind, onto paper, and into the trash. For really bad offenders, you might find yourself scribbling out several notes over the course of some time.

Face it, anyone who's an adult is a finished project. You're not going to teach them anything by telling them a better way to handle their misery. You're not going to touch upon any sense of compassion in them, because there probably is none. So don't waste your time trying to teach a bottom feeder to become a benevolent soul. It's not going to happen.

Hang out with your benevolent soul friends, and absorb the good vibes of their input and their company. Leave your misery-soaked acquaintances to their own paths. This time is too short to let them have any effect on your fabulous life.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Following the fall foliage

Fall is almost fully here, and if your wedding takes place this fall, you're probably very interested in the colors of peak fall foliage. What a fabulous background, all of those vibrant reds, oranges, yellows and a gorgeous blue sky behind them all! I love this Weather Channel tool that shows you when and where peak fall foliage is arriving, and don't forget that this is a fabulous site to check if you'd like to plan a fall foliage pre-wedding getaway with your sweetie [think B&B, spiced cider, hayrides and apple picking!] or a fall spa getaway with your girls.

Getting out in nature is a great way to de-stress too, so maybe this map will -- in the coming weeks -- inspire you to hop in the car for a spontaneous road trip together. Just make your hotel reservations before you go, since 'leaf-peeping' is hugely popular and thus many of the more affordable hotels and B&Bs will be booked solid during peak weeks. Call ahead, book, and -- okay, so maybe it's not so spontaneous, but better to call ahead. :]

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Create your color scheme with Dessy and Pantone!

In my book What's Your Bridal Style, I talk about where to find inspiration for the perfect color choices for your bridesmaid dresses, table linens, flowers, even the icing on the cake! I'm so thrilled to share with you the newest, fun tool from Dessy and Pantone that will make your color selections fabulous!

Here's the big announcement that JUST landed in my In-Box:

Brides want their big day to perfect, but we we’ve all heard the classic wedding horror stories about missing photographers, toppled cakes and color disasters. Wouldn’t it be nice to strike one potential nightmare from the list?

To help brides plan the color-coordinated wedding of their dreams, The Dessy Group, a leading manufacturer of bridesmaid’s dresses and bridal apparel, together with color authority Pantone have announced PANTONE WEDDING, exclusively from Dessy. PANTONE WEDDING is a collection of color tools that make it easy for brides to create perfectly color-coordinated weddings – from inspiration to “I do.”

PANTONE WEDDING features paper swatch cards that can be used on their own, or in combination with Dessy’s popular fabric swatches, to coordinate wedding colors – from bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, accessories and menswear to flowers, invitations and tabletop designs. The Dessy Web site now includes a special section dedicated to PANTONE WEDDING that features inspirational Style Boards to help brides choose their wedding colors and accompanying bridal apparel. Brides can browse over 200 PANTONE WEDDING Colors, select from all Dessy bridal apparel and accessories or import wedding and inspirational images from the Web, then save or share their styleboards with friends.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Congratulations to the Envirosax contest winner!

Congratulations to Rachel S. of Chicago, the winner of my green weddings contest! Rachel shared some terrific ways that she plans to incorporate eco-friendly elements in her big day, and she has won 8 gorgeous eco-friendly bags from Envirosax. Rachel like the Mikado styles. Which are your favorites?

Monday, September 07, 2009

My novel is a hit on Kindle! Reviewed as 'laugh out loud' and 'fun, fun, fun!'

I have to agree with the reviewers! My novel It's My Wedding Too *is* laugh out loud and fun, fun, fun! I had such a blast creating these characters -- my uptight, upper-crust romance novelist Delilah and her attempts to take over her daughter's wedding. My Earth-mother Carmela who is having a really hard time accepting that her son has cut the apron strings. And we have a male dancer named The Hawk [pronounced 'Da Hawk in true Bostonian pitch] and a feng shui-obsessed, heartbroken bridesmaid who finds love at the end of the novel...only it's not with a man. Nor a pair of shoes. You're going to LOVE how her love story evolves. Throw in a fake, cheesy bridal shower just to stun Delilah and an unforgettable backstory for Carmela (heart-wrenching!!), and you know you're so going to read this novel now, right?

Check out It's My Wedding Too here on Kindle.

Or get your paperback copy here at Amazon.

Get ready to laugh out loud, and please do leave me a great review on Amazon!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Forget fireworks...plan for Shooting Stars

Who wants the hassle of finding a fireworks company, getting permits, worrying about drought conditions that mean you can't set off those dramatic post-reception fireworks? Get a light show overhead that's FREE from Mother Nature by checking out this terrific site's schedule of expected Meteor Showers.

The night sky could be filled with dozens of meteors per hour -- in some regions, at peak meteor shower times, and with a clear sky, that number could soar to the hundreds! You and all of your guests get to make wishes on each of them.

How fabulous would this nighttime light show be for your wedding plans? And for marriage proposal plans! So guys, if you're looking for the perfect place and time, with a gorgeous scenic view, and want to propose under the stars, there's no better and more romantic way to get your sweetheart to join you for a night of stargazing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Massage For the Cure -- Help Fight Breast Cancer on Sept 15th

We can all use a great massage, and I'm thrilled to help Massage Envy partner with the Susan G. Komen group to battle breast cancer with their special event: Massage For the Cure. On September 15th, you can get a $35 massage -- and they are INCREDIBLE! -- with $10 donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

As a grateful beneficiary of the research and early detection of breast cancers -- my pre-cancer was found, cut out and radiated before turning into something horrible -- I encourage you to join in the fight in a very pleasant, calming and relaxing way...with a great massage on September 15th. Find out more here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some wedding lore makes me laugh...

While double-checking the symbolism of certain wedding flowers, I stumbled upon this very funny Old-World rhyme about the color of a wedding dress. Way long ago, white wedding dresses were a sign of being fabulously wealthy, and not every woman could get her hands on a white dress. At the Morris Museum, where I recently gave a lecture, their historical wedding gowns on display showed bright emerald green dresses from the 1800s, sapphire blue dresses...and even today's bride might choose a dress with a touch of color to it. Top-name designers are showing pink dresses, sage green dresses for organic weddings, lilac dresses, metallics and brights. With modern fashion trends in mind, how funny is it to see a poem like this one:

Married in white, you have chosen alright.
Married in green, ashamed to be seen.
Married in red, You will wish yourself dead.
Married in blue, you will always be true
Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow.
Married in black, you will wish yourself back.
Married in pink, of you he'll think.

Of course, we know that cultural weddings often call for gorgeous red wedding dresses, and it would be a bit dramatic to think a bride is wishing herself dead!

It's quite funny to look back on the role that superstition and 'what's proper' played in weddings of olde, and aren't we lucky that we can choose a gown of color if we want to?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Catch me on Bridal Guide's homepage EVERY DAY!

Starting you off with : 153 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding, and encouraging you to check out my daily Recession-Buster tips on the Bridal Guide home page -- we launch a fresh tip every day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Celebrity-studded bachelorette parties!

It's the new, hot trend in replacing the drunkfest bachelor and bachelorette parties: going to a fanfest convention, such as the hot ticket TwiTour Twilight convention. Yes, it's Twilight, and all of our favorites will be there -- Ashley Greene included. This event has been sold out for months, and imagine the excitement of everyone from your flowergirls to your junior bridesmaids, all the way up to the Moms who love their Twilight when you announce that this is going to be your pre-wedding celebration! Everyone gets to sit in on a Q&A session, you may get to have brunch with the stars, meet the director of the movie, and shop like crazy -- money far better spent on Edward keepsakes than on shots of tequila!

I love these shows, for the creativity of the sets, the excited vibe in the showrooms, the chance to speak to artists and creators who are big in the news, and the thrill of getting to say, "I was there!" The same-old bachelorette party doesn't give you this kind of fun and excitement for your entire group, young and old!

For your local tour dates and the Creation Entertainment lineup of upcoming tour dates, visit their website today and get your tickets now!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I love these tee shirts!

How cute are these?! I admit it...I was looking through for Twilight tee give to my Mom....for Christmas, and I stumbled upon these fantastic tees that would be the most adorable bridesmaid gifts or bridal shower favors. And if you're a stressed-out bride, maybe your bridesmaids are going to give one or two of these to you as a gift. As in, Take the Hint.
You can find these, and other designs, right now at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tax-free shopping!!

It's true: some states have designated a tax-free shopping weekend on a wide range of items designated for back-to-school supplies, but many of the item categories apply to your wedding shopping too!! Ask any parent of school-age children, and you'll find out that they have a certain weekend blocked off for back-to-school shopping, and you'll find out that it's all about the paper supplies, pens, craft items, tote bags, even clothing and shoes! Computer software is often on the list!

This is big news in today's economy and can save you a fortune! Many of these shopping weekends take place soon, so don't miss yours!

Here's a story to check out, and I've also included a list of the states that were on record as planning tax-free shopping weekends. Check them out through your own Google search!

States That Offer A Tax Free Week or Tax Free Weekend:

New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina
Washington D.C.
West Virginia

If you find that your state offers a tax-free spree and is not on my list here, just let me know so that I can add it!

For more money-saving tips, check out my book 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding

Monday, August 10, 2009

Say It The Right Way

In any wedding season, you're going to have to word things...gently with some people. Diplomacy is a key to success in any stage of life, but when there's a wedding afoot, it seems like everyone's emotions get magnified a thousand times over. And there you are, wanting to respond to a cruel message with an equally icy retort, or facing a manipulator who's trying to weasel her picks into your day (or her date onto the guest list). And the fireworks are all around YOU, waiting to blow skyhigh if you say the wrong thing.

But wait a minute...if you're just responding to something rude that THEY said, doesn't that exempt you? Sadly, no. In some freaky loophole of human behavior, the real dangers lie in how you respond. People, it seems, can say or do whatever they'd like to you if they have no sense of decency [and they don't lose sleep over it when they do!], but when you strike back, all of a sudden you're the center of gossip, you're getting lectures, and all around you the Hypocrite Olympics are going on. How could it be that your response could set off such drama?

Because the troublemakers were waiting to bring you down. According to them , you're 'all up there on your high horse,' being decent, and having things going pretty well in your life. So if they can hit a nerve with you, if they can make you lose your cool, if they can get you to respond in anger, if they can get you to gossip, you're in the Game.

Save yourself from this! Save yourself from the petty games of people, the gossip, the wounding that lasts long after the wedding, the hurt feelings, the sleepless nights, the things you wish you didn't say, the terror of sending an angry e-mail and then not being able to recall it...pick up your copy of The Bride's Diplomacy Guide today. Now available in Kindle edition at discount price!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Something Blue: The New Pool Hues

Something Blue has long been a part of wedding lore, and now we're seeing the blue stone -- tourmaline and aquamarine, especially -- quickly becoming the new hot hue for spring and summer wedding jewelry...for the bride, the bridesmaids and the moms!

Take a look at the above pieces, which I found on just to give you an example of what's hot [not as an endorsement of Zales in particular, but hey, if you're a Zales fan, go for it!]

While brides of past years didn't look beyond the diamond necklace, or the pearl pendant, today's style-chic bride is wearing the pool blue stone with her wedding gown, as her Something Blue. And if you have blue eyes, the effect is dazzling!

On a personal note, I'm thinking about the tourmaline earrings I saw on St. John during our second honeymoon, and I'm kicking myself for not buying them! My husband offered, but I said I'd think on it. Silly me! Those babies are long gone. So if blue is for you, don't let a good one get away!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Win stylish eco-friendly guest welcome bags!

It's time for my newest contest! You can win 5 eco-friendly Envirosax bags for your stylish guest welcome bags! Justin Timberlake was recently spotted carrying his Envirosax bag, and now it's your turn to WIN a collection of your own!

Here's how to enter: just e-mail me at with your name and what you're incorporating into your wedding to be a little friendlier to the earth. Are you supporting a 3rd world artisan co-op? Did you create a charitable registry? Did you use recycled paper for your invitations? Share your story with me, and you could win!

The winner gets to pick out his or her favorite design from Envirosax, and we'll ship your 5 bags right to you, along with a copy of my newest book! Which newest book? YOU get to choose from my website.

The deadline for this contest is August 31st, and you only need to enter once. Tell your friends!