Weddings Away is FREE on Kindle Unlimited right now! Get it here.
Weddings Away is FREE on Kindle Unlimited right now! Get it here.
Time for a Wedding Giveaway! I’m Giving Away 3 signed copies of my new book Weddings Away
This one is JUST for U.S. locations; sorry, no international sends right now, but we’re working on other giveaways coming up!
All you have to do is post a comment here, even a smiley-face, then say hi on Twitter @sharonnaylorwed. No tagging friends needed. We’re making this easy as pie! Deadline is 4/15/19.
Here’s the Amazon write-up for my book:
Now that you’ve said, “I do” to having a destination wedding, it’s time to make your fairy tale getaway celebration a reality!
Whether you’re planning an island wedding, overseas nuptials, or an intimate gathering in a beloved beach house or a charming village close to home, this invaluable guide from go-to wedding expert Sharon Naylor gives you all the information you need to make your magical day meaningful, memorable, and carefree—for you, and for your guests! You’ll discover:
*How to choose the right planner—and how to get the most out of your on-site wedding professionals
* Up-to-date wedding etiquette and planning tips from celebrity wedding planners and experts
* New ways to use social media accounts, blogs and apps for info-gathering and inspiration
* Invaluable advice for when it’s a destination wedding for out-of-town guests but not for the couple
*How to plan amazing and unforgettable destination wedding weekend outings and events
*Great ideas for getaway bachelor or bachelorette parties, as well as arranging a romantic pre-wedding escape for you to reconnect with your beloved before the big day!
* Must-have tips and to-dos for your destination wedding scouting trips
From navigating travel trends and social media to benefitting from little-known freebies, this comprehensive guide to planning your wedding from afar is brimming with information you won’t easily find anywhere else. Weddings Away has everything you need to keep your happily-ever-after stress-free and smooth sailing!
What a great start to this Monday! First, I received my first copies of my newest book, (which almost spent the night out in the rain after UPS left the box outside without ringing the bell! Whew!) And now, my article “Eat, Drink, Save” is featured in the January, February ’18 issue of Bridal Guide! Check it out, and find a whole pile of realistic, smart and budget-saving steps to get more from your wedding menu, cake and desserts and bar list!
Your wedding is the perfect time to start a jewelry collection that you’ll build upon all through your marriage. The time to start a new tradition is now, so that your collection extends from the start of your marriage and lasts for all time. Not married yet? Begin your jewelry collection during your engagement season — it’s your tradition to create as you’d like!
You might decide to stick with a particular brand, such as Alex and Ani, or go with a particular type of gemstone such as Aquamarine or Blue Topaz (in earrings, necklaces, and bracelets throughout the years!) Or, choose something highly customizable, such as jewelry bought during your honeymoon and lifetime travels. Dune Jewelry (above) lets you customize jewelry with actual sand from beaches all over the world [and if they don’t have your beloved beach in their sandbank, you can send in a small vial of sand you collected, to be incorporated into your chosen jewelry design. [I don’t work for Dune Jewelry — I own a bunch of their necklaces, personalized with our favorite beach sands!]
I’ve been meaning to post about our recent stay at the charming Star Inn in Cape May, part of the Cape Resorts family of hotels and fabulous eateries. We’d walked past this hotel a number of times in the past, while staying in nearby Wildwood Crest and driving into Cape May every single night. This time, we checked in to our Carriage House room and immediately saw its potential as a Girlfriend Getaway suite with its roominess and upscale design. Not to mention its awesome kitchen and fully-stocked supplies in case you want to cook a great dinner while you’re there. Two spacious, airy bedrooms and a pull-out couch mean you can comfortably fit several friends during your fun group stay. (Ask for the upper floor suite — that view is excellent!)
It didn’t even occur to us to cook anything, since we were right across the street from Congress Hall’s fantastic restaurants. Upon suggestion by our friend Laura, we tried the stuffed French Toast at the Blue Pig Tavern’s breakfast, and it was sensational. Marscapone in the morning? Absolutely. And Joe loved his omelette so much, we went back every morning.
I spent a lot of time out on our suite’s deck overlooking the ocean, spending some time in the cozy chairs and on the swing, and although I didn’t get to order mimosas to enjoy al fresco, it’s on my list for the TWO trips we have planned this spring and summer to stay at The Star Inn again and again.
The beds were comfy, the shower spa-like, the night quiet.
Not that we were looking into our neighbor’s windows, but we did see a pretty mint color in a corner room, so we may try that room on a future visit!
Here are some photos of The Star Inn’s rooms:
Oh, and they have excellent coffee and fresh-baked pastries in the lobby! And fantastic drinks in the Brown Room in Congress Hall. And a sweet gift shop. I could go on and on forever about how much I love The Star Inn. It’s the only place, besides our honeymoon resort, that we would (and will!) go back to again and again!
The Virginia Hotel is offering two unique Valentine’s Packages this year, featuring the historic Cape May Diamonds. Found along the pristine beaches of the Delaware Bay, the Cape May Diamond is a pure quartz crystal that appears as a frosted pebble when first discovered on the beach. Once tumbled and cut, the stone resembles that of a real diamond. These shiny treasures are found in different shapes and sizes all along Cape May’s popular Sunset Beach. Throughout the year, visitors and locals alike scan the beaches for their very own one-of-a-kind diamond to keep as a reminder of their time spent in Cape May.
Cape May Diamonds have a history that predates the birth of the United States. In the 1750s, it is said that the last chief of the Kechemeche tribe, King Nummy, presented a large Cape May Diamond to Christopher Leaming, a local whaler. The Kechemeche believed that the “diamonds” contained supernatural powers, and used them to seal bonds of peace and friendship. Today, similar bonds are created as families and couples scour the shores of Cape May Point looking for the famed rocks.
To honor the search for “the one” – that special someone and the perfect diamond, Cape May’s Virginia Hotel is bringing these local jewels to you and your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with 3 special offerings. And for those who may not know, Cape May, NJ isn’t just a wonderful summer beach-town, it’s also a romantic winter getaway. With beautiful Victorian inns, a cozy beach-town feel, fresh salty air (even in the winter!), boutique shops, and delicious restaurants, Cape May is a special place to spend Valentine’s Day – especially at the luxe, critically-acclaimed Virginia Hotel and its fine dining restaurant, The Ebbitt Room.
Your very own Cape May Diamond will be waiting for you when you book one of the following:
From Cape May With Love
Celebrate your next milestone or special occasion at The Virginia Hotel. Give a gift as unique as your love and as extraordinary as Cape May with a pair of beautiful Cape May Diamond Earrings. These precious gems are created from stones found right here in Cape May.
Cape May Promise
Diamonds and Dessert During the month of February, The Ebbitt Room will be featuring Diamonds and Dessert – a decadent dark chocolate mousse bar filled with milk chocolate and peanut butter praline made for two and topped with salted caramel sauce, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, and dark chocolate hearts. Each dessert is decorated with a one of a kind 2-carat Cape May diamond, polished and shined from the beaches of Cape May and set upon crushed graham crackers made to resemble the sandy search for the diamond.While the stones themselves have little monetary value, like real diamonds the memories and legends that are associated with Cape May Diamonds last forever in the sand of the city’s beaches.
About The Virginia Hotel
The Virginia, Cape May’s foremost luxury hotel, offers luxurious accommodations and personalized service in an immaculately restored 1879 landmark building, reopened by Curtis Bashaw of Cape Resorts Group in 1989. Featuring 24 well-appointed guestrooms, intimate public spaces like the lobby bar and enclosed sun porches, and The Ebbitt Room – the hotel’s signature restaurant, The Virginia offers its adult-only guests a flawless integration of service and style with a timeless glamour. The Ebbitt Room provides its discerning visitors with seasonal farm-to-table offerings from Beach Plum Farm, bringing the fresh food movement forward in Cape May. Acknowledged by Condé Nast Traveler in the 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards as a top hotel in the Northeast, in the 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards at #2 in their list of the Top 10 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic, and again in the 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards as one of the Top 25 Hotels in the U.S., as well as as in the magazine’s prestigious 2013 and 2014 Gold List, the hotel is nestled on Jackson Street in the heart of the famed historic district of Cape May, New Jersey, and is a mere half block from the town’s beautiful beaches.
The Virginia Hotel is located at 25 Jackson Street, Cape May, NJ 08204.
Readers are invited to learn more about The Virginia Hotel and Cape Resorts properties at www.caperesorts.com
Wow, I can’t even believe how delicious the new Cruzan Rum Premium Rum Horchata is! You have to have this as part of your engagement party, engagement party, bridal shower, wedding reception, or any other party you’re planning. It’s rich, smooth, creamy, and that cinnamon is divine. Check out the cocktails recipes here in the official release, and I’m thinking this would be a great welcome drink for a fall or winter wedding.
CRUZAN® RUM LAUNCHES PREMIUM RUM HORCHATA
Pioneer of the Flavored Rum Category Shakes Up the Rum Cream Market with
Cruzan® Velvet Cinn™
Deerfield, Ill. (August 1, 2013) – Cruzan® Rum unveils its latest innovation, Cruzan® Velvet Cinn™, to fill the need for a premium rum option in the rapidly growing rum horchata market. Now available nationally, Cruzan Velvet Cinn features fine Cruzan Rum with the addition of rich, sweet dairy cream and a smooth cinnamon flavor.
Cruzan Rum is made from tropical rainwater and high-‐quality molasses and is distilled to be the cleanest-‐tasting rum on the market. Crafted by Cruzan Master Distiller Gary Nelthropp, whose family has been making rum on the island of St. Croix for generations, Cruzan Velvet Cinn stands out among other horchatas. In addition to containing Cruzan Rum, it combines the flavors of bakery cinnamon and rich dairy for a smooth and creamy combination reminiscent of cinnamon toast. Velvet Cinn also has a higher proof than others in the category.
“As rum horchatas gain in popularity and presence, Cruzan Rum saw the opportunity in the marketplace to develop a premium rum horchata option. Velvet Cinn makes an excellent addition to our exceptional portfolio and fills a need in the marketplace for a premium cream rum liqueur,” said Nabil Wanna, Senior Brand Manager of Rum at Beam Inc. “It fits right in with our expansion of flavors and provides rum horchata lovers with a high-‐quality alternative.”
Horchata is a milky drink that originates from Mexico and is especially popular when mixed with rum. Cruzan Velvet Cinn takes the naturally sweet flavor a step further by adding a robust and lingering taste of cinnamon. Cruzan Velvet Cinn can be enjoyed on its own, mixed in a shot or in a cocktail. Jesse Card, Cruzan’s Master Mixologist, created the following recipes to introduce the new flavor:
Cruzan® Cinnful Cherry
3/4 parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum
1/2 parts Cruzan Black Cherry Rum
Method: Combine all over ice, stir, pour into shot glass.
Cruzan® Cinnful Martini
1 ½ parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum
1 parts Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
½ parts DeKuyper® Blood Orange Liqueur Float DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur Flamed Orange zest
Method: Combine Cruzan Velvet Cinn, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum & Blood Orange Liqueur in a tumbler over
ice & stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Float a small amount of DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur on top & finish with a flamed orange zest.
Cruzan Velvet Cinn is now available with a suggested retail price of $19.99 per 750ml bottle. It joins the Cruzan portfolio of rums that include of Cruzan Aged Light Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, Cruzan 151 Proof Rum, Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum and 13 other flavored rums infused with natural flavors, such as vanilla, coconut, key lime, passion fruit, mango and strawberry. For more information, please visit www.CruzanRum.com, www.YouTube.com/CruzanRum, like us on Facebook.com/CruzanRum or follow us on Twitter @CruzanRum.
About Cruzan® Rum
Named for the people of St. Croix (Crucians), Cruzan® Rum is synonymous with the spirit of the island whose unpretentious and authentic lifestyle proves that life – like our rum – is more enjoyable when you embrace the “Don’t Hurry” and sit back, relax and take things one sip at a time. The Nelthropp family, who has called St. Croix home for eight generations and runs the distillery to this day, crafts each of its rums with natural ingredients and a five-‐column distillation process. Cruzan® also touts one of the cleanest-‐tasting rums in the industry – a characteristic derived from crafting a spirit with low levels of fusel oils, a by-‐product of the distillation process which, if not removed, can taint the smell and taste of the rum.
Cruzan® Velvet Cinn™, Rum, Cream, Natural and Artificial Flavors, 15% Alc./Vol. ©2013 CRUZAN International, Deerfield, IL USA All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
In order to create your dream wedding with your wedding professionals, you have to speak their language. They’ve had 30+ years in the bridal industry, and you’re ultra-new to this world that’s far more detailed than you ever imagined. When you learn the lingo, you can share your vision with your wedding pros and understand their comments and questions sent to you.
Grooms? They definitely need Speak Wedding cards to help them communicate with your wedding pros, and with you as you plan the big day.
Helping you speak your wedding pros’ language, is Speak Wedding, the new beginner-level flashcards developed by award-winning, trend-setting wedding expert Annie Lee of Daughter of Design® with artwork from celebrity wedding invitation designer Ceci New York.
Here’s a bit about the cards:
Wedding vernacular seems foreign to those new to nuptials, but with these beginner-level flashcards, anyone can speak Wedding with confidence. Each of these stylish 50 cards developed by wedding expert, Annie Lee of Daughter of Design ® with artwork by Ceci New York, teaches common terminology, abbreviations, and other wedding vocabulary to help familiarize novices with wedding culture and have them sounding like natives in no time. Not only do the cards teach necessary wedding lingo, they also act as a great tool to start conversations on topics like what the Mother of the Groom will wear to the wedding and if the Bride and Groom will want to see each other before the ceremony. Read the wedding term on the front of these two-sided flashcards then flip the card onto its backside for a full explanation, correct usage, pronunciation, and other helpful tips. It’s the perfect gift for a newly engaged couple and a fun new bridal shower trivia game!
Here’s where you can get your Speak Wedding boxed sets: http://www.speakwedding.com/about/
It’s time for another FREE chapter of one of my wedding books! This time, it’s my newest, “The Bride’s Guide to Freebies,” which is all about getting freebies the RIGHT way, and working WITH your fabulous vendors to score budget-saving items and services for your big day. As I always say, you’v got to hire great wedding vendors. They know where fantastic freebies are and can help you get them!
Chapter 2: What’s Realistic to Ask For
You’ll have far more success in securing freebies if you stick to realistic requests. Wedding experts have to buy everything that’s needed for your wedding, and the time they spend pre-, during- and post-wedding to fulfill your wishes is valuable. So asking for $10,000 in free catering isn’t going to be received very well. Asking the videographer to edit your video for free will make him laugh. Video editing is very time-consuming, often taking dozens of hours more than the time he spent filming your wedding to get just right.
To keep from insulting your vendors, or from looking like you’re completely naïve about how much food, liquor, flowers, fabrics and other items cost, stick with these rules to help improve your odds of getting a Yes when you ask for a freebie:
What’s not realistic to ask for:
More time that the vendor can comfortably spend on your wedding. This is important. When you book a coordinator, he or she gauges the scope of your wedding, how much work will go into your plans, and then how many other weddings he or she can book for that same time. If you start expanding your plans and being the Headache Client, you’re not likely to get freebies.
Get it at Barnes and Noble in paperback or NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-brides-guide-to-freebies-sharon-naylor/1111267553?ean=9780762780013
Get it at Amazon in paperback or Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/The-Brides-Guide-Freebies-Enhancing/dp/0762780010/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367504654&sr=8-1&keywords=bride%27s+guide+to+freebies
Madeleines are IN as a top treat for weddings! We’re talking elegant additions to your wedding brunch or wedding morning, or morning-after breakfast, additions to guest welcome baskets, features on your wedding dessert buffet table and of course delectable gifts for your wedding vendors and parents!
The wonderful folks at DonSueMor sent me a collection of madeleines, plus their biscotti and French Almond Cakes, and I wanted to be sure you knew how delicious these little cookies are, how budget-friendly, and how crowd-pleasing they are. They’re my Fab Find for the week, and I encourage you to treat yourself to a sampler or box, or just dive in and order your entire wedding collection at once – at this time, they’re offering free shipping for your $100+ order, which is pretty sweet.
Thanks, DonSueMor, for these delicious treats that are so In, so reminiscent of what the ladyships would snack on during high tea at Downton Abbey. Count me as a big fan!
Here are my top Madeleines picks:
These adorable, round shell-shaped madeleines are baked with real lemon zest. Moist and delicious, our Lemon Zest Madeleines are truly refreshing.
Contains 54 Lemon Zest Madeleines wrapped in packages of 3.
An assortment of madeleines in a medley of flavors – Traditional, Chocolate, Lemon Zest, and Dipped,
Contains 44 individually wrapped madeleines: 11 Traditional, 11 Lemon Zest, 11 Chocolate, and 11 Dipped.
Our soft and moist Traditional Madeleines dipped in a chocolate coating. Savor the contrast in texture and taste.
Contains 40 individually wrapped Dipped Madeleines.
Indulge in our truly yummy chocolate madeleines made to satisfy the cravings of all chocolate lovers. Our creamy, moist little cakes are a special blend of imported cocoa powders and chocolate.
Contains 60 Chocolate Madeleines wrapped in packages of 3.
Visit www.donsuemor.com to see what else they have in store…the French Almond Cakes are sublime, and the regular and chocolate-dipped biscotti would make for a fabulous station all on their own, set by your coffee bar.