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

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

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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.

motherofthebridelargest

 

Top Tips For the Mother of the Bride

Photo courtesy of Caneel Bay Resort

Photo courtesy of Caneel Bay Resort

Congratulations, mother of the bride! You have such an exciting time ahead of you, as you help the bride and groom create the day of their dreams.

You’ve probably noticed that things are not quite the same for the mother of the bride as they were when you got married. Today’s planning team isn’t automatically the bride and her mom. You may be part of a larger team that includes the groom’s parents, or the bride and groom will be doing the majority of the planning on their own. So don’t go into this with huge expectations, or have your feelings hurt that you won’t be in charge of the cake, the flowers, the menu, the locations. Just look forward to meeting with the bride and groom to discuss how THEY’D like their team to work together. Here are some top tips to help you enjoy the wedding preparations, and make everything more special for your daughter.

* Make a promise to yourself, as a parent, that you’ll keep the wishes of the bride and groom paramount, no matter what. Since the wedding is such an important and emotional event, it’s easy to get revved up and want more of your ideas included, to ‘make things nice.’ You have no bad intentions, but you’d be surprised at how the bride may interpret your suggestions as bossing her around. So make it clear from the beginning: you want what they want for the wedding, and you’re there to help create it.

* Respond quickly and deliver completely when you’re asked to help with finding family addresses or other tasks. When you set a foundation at the start of being easy to work with, interested in their wishes, and responsible, you’ll likely be asked to do more.

Momental Designs

Momental Designs

* Let them know what you’d like to be involved with. They’re not mind-readers, so they may not know that it’s a dream of yours to go to cake tastings with them. A simple “I’d love to join you” is far better than insisting, or pouting when you hear they went last weekend.

* Let them know what your talents are. Since weddings are so expensive, couples are looking for ways to save money. If you have a talent for art or a flair for calligraphy, Web design or favor-making, they need to know about that. Again, let them make the decision.

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* Find ways to welcome the groom into the family. Get to know him better, if you haven’t already, and show your approval by including him in family dinners where it’s all about social time, not just wedding planning time.

* Be a stress-relief for the bride. Take her out for coffee or lunch, or to a day spa for manicures, and make it no-wedding-talk time to allow her to step away from wedding stress and nurture your relationship.

* Get your look together. A personal shopper at a department store can help you find a terrific gown for the wedding, as well as dresses for the rehearsal dinner and other events, and you get the same royal treatment as the bride. Personal shopper services are free at Bloomingdales and Lord and Taylor, among others…they’ll interview you for your style wishes and colors and sizes, and when you go in for your session, they have all of the outfits and accessories lined up for you.

njb kerry washington oscars dress

* Give meaningful gifts as well as practical ones from the registry. A framed photo of the bride as a little girl, together with a wonderful handwritten letter from you, is a fabulous gift on the morning of the wedding.

* Write a toast. Whether it’s for the rehearsal dinner or the morning-after breakfast, your words make a lasting memory. Or have the bride’s favorite song played for her.

* Keep your fears in line. Don’t be afraid of the change that’s coming to your family, particularly if the bride plans to move after she’s married. Have a plan to stay in touch via e-mail, Skype and visits, and welcome the good things these changes bring. I know, it’s tough to face the huge emotional changes that happen with a wedding, and this is the #1 thing that makes mothers act badly and hurts their relationships with their daughters (which causes the distancing they fear!). Just be honest with the bride and come up with a plan for the future.

* Embrace the in-laws. Find ways to include them in family holidays and dinners — the bride and groom will be sooo relieved if you make that a smooth transition and welcome their loved ones into your circle. You don’t have to be best friends. Just let the bride and groom know they’re welcome as family.

Li-Lac Chocolates

Li-Lac Chocolates

* Never inject your guest list wishes, song wishes, menu wishes, etc. with force. This is not the time for that, even if you’re sure the etiquette rules are on your side. “You have to invite them, since you were a flowergirl at their wedding 20 years ago!” doesn’t fly in today’s wedding rules of the bride and groom choosing their guest list. They know the new etiquette rules, and unless it’s a glaring omission, a must, be gentle with your guidance.

*Don’t forget that you’ll likely get to plan the morning-after breakfast, or perhaps an engagement party of after-party just for your friends, so all of your fantastic ideas can be used for the party you host!

Check out Robert's gorgeous photos!

* Think about renewing your wedding vows months after their wedding if you feel you want to plan a big party of your own. All of your great ideas the bride and groom aren’t open to…they might be better at YOUR party!

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Welcome, newly-engaged brides and grooms!

Sharon Naylor is the author of The Mother of the Bride Book and Mother of the Groom, plus 30 additional wedding books, www.sharonnaylor.net .

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!