Fall Cleaning Can Deliver Extra Wedding Money! FYIs on Heirloom and Antique Silverware

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While fall cleaning this past weekend, I found a super-tarnished silver fork. Thinking ‘this could be valuable!’ I researched it, and found out that it’s International Silver, likely something one of my great uncles brought home from Europe after WW2. Having seen Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers, I knew that these kinds of finds can bring sizeable ‘cash in the kitchen drawer’ windfalls, and while my little fork is awaiting its visit to the silversmith for weighing and ka-ching delivery, I thought I’d help you ID any family silver sets that are in your attic, or given to you as an heirloom gift prior to your wedding from an aunt or Grandma who knows that heirloom goodies can be used in wedding details.

So let’s say you have some tarnished silver, one piece or a whole set. Your first steps will likely be to find out what that piece is, to help in your research to find out if it’s something valuable. I found this site with helpful photos to help you get the name of the design, the maker, and when that piece may have been made:

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Patterns in silverplate:

Now onto the mark on the back of the silverware. Martha Stewart offers a great tutorial on what some silverware marks mean, also helping in your research.

antique silver.org

Photo by AntiqueSilver.org

If you wish to get rid of that tarnish before taking your silver pieces to a silver expert or reputable  jewelry store that buys silver and gold (yes, even forks and knives!) here are some tips on using natural ingredients to help remove those dark marks.  Be gentle when you clean, though, since you don’t want to nick that valuable silver piece. I used baking soda and water on mine, and it did the job well.

Who knows? That found silverware in your attic, kitchen drawer or in a case handed over as a gift (not a borrow!) from a relative, could net you a pretty penny, which you could use for more dream wedding details!

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Check Out My Wedding Registry Tips in This Fab Guide by Wedding Paper Divas and Best Buy!

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It’s an excellent morning here! We’re so excited to share this fabulous Wedding Registries Guide, created by Wedding Paper Divas in partnership with Best Buy. It’s filled with phenomenal gift registry tips from an array of wedding experts, and WPD included a great collection of my own wedding registry tips and trends!

Check out all the sections of their amazing wedding registry guide, and get ready for your gift registry to surpass your expectations, for your wedding guests to be really impressed by your gift list, and for each wave of wonderful gifts you receive to fully delight you both!

Thank you, WPD and Best Buy, for including me in this awesome guide!

Why Stop Taking Fabulous Photos of Your Engagement Ring and Wedding Rings?

What a tasty surprise!! 💕💍 . . . 📷 @everandeverbridal

A post shared by Stella Event Productions (@stellaeventproductions) on

Who says that taking styled photos of your engagement ring and wedding rings only happens at your wedding? This adorable image got me thinking: if our wedding photographers can place our rings inside roses — and inside this cupcake! — for Big Day ring close-up photos, so can we on any day! We love our rings even more over time, so styling fresh and fun photos like this one should be a Thing. Especially on anniversaries.

I hope you’re inspired to slide off your rings — carefully, of course! Not near a sink! — and snap some Insta-worthy images of your sparklers!

 

Fab Find! Shari’s Berries Hand-Dipped Champagne Strawberries

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Just when you thought chocolate-dipped strawberries couldn’t get any better, here are Shari’s Berries Hand-Dipped Champagne Strawberries.

How gorgeous are these beauties?! I just received my 20% off brochure in the mail from Shari’s Berries [I’ve sent chocolate-covered strawberries as gifts in the past, and ordered platters for my parties, so I know they’re delish!] and I noticed a few new items on their list: with these Champagne Strawberries standing out as the most perfect gift for bridesmaids, a stunning dessert buffet addition, and I would give out-of-town wedding guests a half-dozen of these as their welcome gift in their hotel rooms!

Here are a few details about these indulgent and upscale chocolate-dipped champagne berries in a dozen assortment (and they have lots of different assortments, so go to their page!:)

  • 12 Strawberries Dipped in White Flavored with a Hint of Champagne and Topped with Gold Shimmer Sugar*
  • 12 Strawberries Dipped in White Flavored with a Hint of Champagne and Topped with Gold Swizzles*
  • *Contains no alcohol

This is definitely a fab find! And they’ll work beautifully in any wedding season. And let me remind you to get your wedding coordinator an excellent thank you gift after your wedding – these would be perfect!

Thank you to Bridal Guide Magazine for the Rave Review of ‘The Bride’s Guide to Freebies!’

bride's guide to freebies
Thank you to Diane Forden, editor in chief of Bridal Guide Magazine, for this sensational review of my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.
  “This is the definitive guide for couples looking to slash their wedding budgets without sacrificing style. Sharon Naylor spells out just what “freebies” are accessible and practical and what you shouldn’t expect to get for free (and why). In today’s economy, this is a must-read for brides and grooms who not only want to have a fantastic wedding but also start their married life debt free.”
Diane Forden
Editor in Chief
Bridal Guide magazine

Wonderful Wording at the Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May

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Our recent visit to the Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May (make that two visits, since we just had to have that awesome, farm-fresh breakfast again!) revealed a wonderful inspiration: the wording on the placemats. Get this: on the bottom corner of the delightful, soft blue-toned menu says, “A report of any indifference or inattention will be appreciated as a favor by the management.” Isn’t that fantastic?! It’s such an elegant throwback to the days of propriety, to the rich history of Cape May, which brings to mind images of well-mannered families dressed for breakfast, and manners still mattering.

On my husband’s menu (and yes, I took them both home with us, so that I could get this post just right!) it says, “In the event of any item not proving entirely satisfactory, we will be favored to have Patrons direct our attention to their requirements.” I am swooning! We will be favored! I love that!

This is definitely wording you’ll want to copy for your wedding menu cards, to impress your guests with your own elegance and propriety.

Thanks, Blue Pig Tavern, for that wonderful return to the past, and for bringing a little taste of polite times to our modern era!

8 Wedding Planning Tasks the Moms REALLY Want to Work on Now

A kiss for the moms out there!

A kiss for the moms out there!

Wedding planning just got fabulous again for the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom (and step-mothers of the bride & groom!) After going through a few years of the wedding couple hip-checking the moms out of the way, so that they could plan everything and pay for everything, wise wedding couples are inviting the moms to join in the fun of planning the wedding (as well as bunches of events around the actual wedding day!)

Why is mom back in the picture? Here’s why:

* Wedding couples don’t want to miss out on the experience, and the memories, and the photos. Brides and grooms who planned without their moms, and are now among those whose moms are no longer around, or who don’t live nearby, have lots and lots of regrets on missing out on that wonderful mom-adult child bonding time.

* Moms are awesome at event planning, and are really well-connected. They may have a friend who works at Bergdorf’s and can snag you a friends and family discount, or they might work with someone whose caterer or floral designer is amazing. Or, they might rock at negotiating contracts.

* Honestly, it’s an extra wallet or two. Moms have money to spend, which adds to the budget.

* Enough time has gone by, and we now know that couples who left the moms out of the planning have often experienced long-lasting resentments, and perhaps some drama. You know, the old sigh at the holiday dinner table in which Mom talks about her friends who were ‘lucky to be invited to plan’ their daughter’s wedding. Add in another sigh. Some moms can be that way. If yours isn’t, be happy every day.

Now, here are the top wedding planning tasks that moms REALLY want to work on:

1. Picking their own designer dresses, and shoes, and accessories. Duh.

2. Planning parties. The mother of the bride wants that engagement party (which is SO back in style, by the way!) and the mother of the groom wants the morning-after breakfast…but they’re also planning welcome cocktail parties for guest arrival day on the wedding weekend, after-parties for their own friends, and — this is the big one — moms are now 100% etiquette-okay to join the bridesmaids and maid of honor in planning the bridal shower. Everyone’s so busy and cash-strapped, and many of your friends love hanging out with your mom, and the shower might turn out so much more elegantly if mom’s connections, ideas, style, and money are in it. So party-planning it is!

3. Going to tastings. If they can’t score a place at the caterer’s tasting event (as some venues limit it to just the two of you,) they want in on the cake tastings. And dessert tastings if you’re doing pies, dessert bars and other trendy things.

4. Site touring. Moms love joining in on the walk-throughs at potential reception halls, pointing out what’s excellent and what might be a challenge for guests. It always helps to have an extra set of eyes.

5. Attending your gown shopping trips. They want to be there for That Moment when you find The One. Which is why warring or icy moms and step-moms really should try to peacefully co-exist during this time, so that both can be there if you so choose, and you all avoid the taking turns plan that slows down your progress or creates a situation in which your mom wasn’t there when you found The Dress; ‘she’ was there. Drama!

6. Styling the room. They’re all over Pinterest, too, and the moms want to participate in choosing lighting effects, rentals and other things to make the place amazing. They’re not choosing your vintage marquee lights and floral halo over the dance floor. They’re just getting links sent to them from you, as you share the looks you’re finding. So this one might not be planning as much as it is getting a look!

7. Guest list etiquette. Everyone likes to be known as the one who’s ‘in the know,’ so Moms are set up as the guest list etiquette gurus: answering questions about how many kids cousin Clair has now, how to spell the kids’ names, if cousin Kate is remarried to that guy she met at speed dating, if great-uncle Ed is still alive. That kind of stuff. Oh, and titles! Like the current rank your military aunt is, and how to write it on an invitation envelope.

8. The fun stuff. Like sending an invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and baby Prince George, and checking out celebrity wedding dresses and their aisle runners. Watching reality show weddings with you, and more.

For help with wedding tasks, get my books The Mother of the Bride Book and Mother of the Groom.

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