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

 

Freebie! Ways to Honor Family and Friends at Your Wedding — Part 4: Celebration Moments

Photo courtesy of Westminster Hotel Weddings

Photo courtesy of Westminster Hotel Weddings

We continue with freebie tips from my ebook on honoring your family and friends at your wedding. Today is all about celebration Moments:

Celebration Moments

  1. Serve some of the same menu elements that were served at your parents’ or grandparents’ weddings.
  2. Serve the same vintage of champagne that was served at your family members’ weddings.
  3. Serve family favorite recipes within your engagement party or rehearsal dinner menu, or perhaps as choices in your cocktail party or reception dinner.
  4. Include in your dessert hour the same type of dessert that was served at your parents’ wedding, such as the now-hot retro bananas flambé.
  5. Create signature cocktails, and name them after your relatives, such as ‘Stephanie’s Strawberry Margarita’ or ‘Maria’s Chocolate Martini.’
  6. At the start of your reception, perhaps even in place of your first dance, propose a toast to your parents, grandparents, relatives and guests. You can also make this toast right before you cut your cake if you don’t want to miss out on the first dance magic.
  7. Dedicate a song to your parents during the reception’s dancing hours.
  8. After your spotlight dances, surprise all sets of parents by having them dance to a song you’ve chosen for all of them (too many individual dances makes this opening to the reception drag a bit, so keep it shorter with the one song, or even a partial song that other guests are then invited to dance to.)
  9. Musically talented relatives can perform a song during your reception, perhaps during the dinner hour.
  10. If there’s a song that’s special to you and your siblings, request a song dedication to them as well. Or, request a song that all of your siblings on both sides of the family can dance to.
  11. The last song of the evening can be dedicated to your families…each and every member of them.

Fab Find! Shashi Socks for Bridesmaids’ Wedding Morning Wearing

shashi 2 shashi 3 shashi 4 good shashi 5 good

The Shashi Socks folks were kind enough to send me a collection of Shashi Socks, and the easy slip-on, traction-grip and sparkly socks struck me as a great little gift for bridesmaids, to wear on the wedding morning during those getting-ready hours. Especially if you’ll all get ready in a hotel and have seen enough of those investigative reports with their blacklight revelations. Even in the best brands of hotel, these are still not your carpets nor your bathroom tile floor, so sock-wearing may be your bridesmaids’ preference. With matching, cozy Shashi Socks, they get a keeper gift as well.

Slip resistant grippers on the bottom add stabilitiy and traction. Shashi socks are availabe in S (5.5-7.5) ,M (8-10),L (10.5-12.5) and retail from $15-$18.

www.shashionline.com

Ways to Honor Family and Friends at Your Wedding — Pt 1: Photos and Video

ellis island centerpiece

Today starts a new series on the blog — 100 Ways to Honor Your Family and Friends at Your Wedding. Yes, this is a freebie from my e-book, so enjoy!

First up is ideas for your photo and video display at your cocktail party or reception:

Family Photos and Video

  1. At your engagement party, set up a table filled with photos of your own courtship and engagement portraits – guests love to see those – and also display photos of your parents’, grandparents’ and siblings’ courtship and engagement photos, with a sign saying, “We come from a long history of love.”
  2. In addition to framed photos of your engagement and courtship photos, set up a digital photo frame to play a slideshow of those family photos.
  3. At your wedding, fill your family photos table with framed photos of your parents’, grandparents’ and siblings’ wedding portraits, and again set up that digital photo frame to play a slideshow of those gorgeous all-wedding pictures.
  4. Do a treasure hunt of those fabulous, old black-and-white wedding photos from your great-grandparents’ era. Ask relatives if they have any way-back wedding pictures in frames or in photo albums, and you’ll likely find some amazing treasures in the family. Take those photos, and – here’s the secret! – bring them to a professional photographer or qualified photo shop to have them digitally-restored. Marks and spots can be erased, the shade can be freshened to provide better contrast, details such as the lace of your great-grandmother’s dress will stand out. Your new and improved old-time photos go on display at your wedding, and – surprise! – you give copies of the new-and-improved photos to the relatives after the wedding.
  5. At your bridal shower, create a Lovely Ladies photo table with amazing pictures of you and your mom, grandmom, your sisters, favorite aunts, your mom with her sisters…it’s a table tribute for all the fabulous women in your life. You can also do a separate table of framed or digital photo frame slideshow images of you with your best female friends.
  6. On the family photo table, mix up framed family wedding photos with framed printouts of each relative’s wedding song lyrics or their vows. If the color scheme works, using parchment paper gives an elegant look for all the print display items, or choose a colored paper like blush blue or blush pink to coordinate with flowers that will be displayed on the table as well.
  7. Add to your family photos table framed quotes about family, love, and marriage. They might be the same quotes used in your parents’ wedding, or simply quotes that remind you of them. Visit www.quotegarden.com to get inspiration, or look for quote memes on Pinterest.
  8. Of course, if you have children, create a family photo table featuring great pictures of you with your kids, and just of the kids themselves. They might be your self-taken photos, or you might schedule a professional, styled photo shoot to take all-new family and kid photos. They might be the classic everyone-dressed-in-the-same-colors group shots on the beach, or they might be themed like a 1920s-era costumed photo shoot, even something fun and playful like all pictures at the zoo.
  9. Line an entryway wall with fun photos of your extended family, with a budget display method: suspending them at different heights from a hung rod via colorful ribbons. Be inclusive, though…line the opposite wall with photos of your friends and their spouses, or solo photos as the case may be. It’s best to ask permission from everyone, and have them submit photos they’d like shown, rather than grabbing pictures from everyone’s Facebook albums.
  10. Prior to the wedding, take photos of relatives, especially kids like your nieces, nephews or your own children, holding up DIY’d signs saying ‘Reception This Way,’ ‘Ceremony This Way,’ or ‘Welcome to the Wedding’ and then enlarge and display these photos as a great twist on the classic wedding signs that direct guests to the different locations for your celebration. Having the little ones in those photos is an adorable way to give them a spotlight in what would otherwise be just another wedding décor item.
  11. This one is more for the engagement party or for the rehearsal dinner. Send out an email asking all of your relatives to respond with the story of how they met their spouse, and send you a photo of themselves. You can then scan these to make an inexpensive photo book at Shutterfly or other budget-friendly site, and put it on display at your family-attended party…with your ‘how we met’ story right up front.
  12. I love this idea I saw on Pinterest: as aisle or pew décor, hang up pretty, 4” x 4” framed photos of your relatives, not as seating chart markers but just as pretty and personalized family-centric ceremony décor. If you wish, make them all black and white to suit your all-white floral scheme and black-and-white aisle runner, or use colorful photos in all matching frames tied on with a wide ribbon and bow.
  13. Use that digital photo frame to show family photos at the rehearsal dinner; showcasing photos of the family and best friends at this VIP event is a great tribute to them…way better than showing just photos of yourselves.
  14. Guests who cannot attend the wedding due to distance, illness, pregnancy, deployment or other situations can tape and send video greetings to you, and you can play them during the rehearsal dinner. Skyping one close relative might be an option, but keep it as a plan for just one or two close relatives. If you have a dozen, your party gets taken over by a lot of on-computer time.
  15. I love this idea! If your ancestors arrived in this country via Ellis Island, go to www.ellisisland.org to run a search on your ancestors by last name. You may find amazing views of their signatures on the arrival records or ship list, as well as a photo of the ship on which they arrived. These too can go on display on your family photo table, or as a fabulous display of its own at the cocktail party.
  16. Within family keepsake treasures, you might find your great-grandmother’s journal with an entry about her upcoming wedding, or her sweet feelings for her suitor. With family permission, you might scan and enlarge these priceless hand-written entries and display them in your entrance hallway, above the guest book, and or even at the bridal shower. It’s easy and inexpensive to take written family heirlooms, scan and process them and put them on display for your wedding celebration.
  17. Instead of a book of ‘how they met’ stories with photos, consider putting together a photo book that pairs family wedding portraits with copies of their wedding vows. It could be a scan of their original, hand-written vow notes, or you might type them up in pretty font and in a coordinated layout style for a sentimental keepsake that can be built upon in the future by other relatives and maybe your own children someday.

Wedding Flowers and Decor: The Symbolism of Herbs

rosemary

It’s not just flowers that have symbolism, as in The Language of Flowers. Since herbs are such a pretty addition to wedding bouquets, wedding centerpieces and wedding decor, it’s fascinating to know that some herbs have symbolic messages adding even deeper meaning to all of your bridal floral pieces.

Here are the symbolic meanings of some of the most popular herbs used in wedding décor and floral pieces today:

Aloe: healing, protection, grief, bitterness, affection

Angelica: inspiration, magic

Bay: glory, honour, reward

Calendula: sacred affection, joy, remembrance, grief

Chamomile: energy in adversity, patience, long life, wisdom

Chives: usefulness, why do you weep?

Dandelion: faithfulness, happiness

Dianthus: dignity, woman’s love, symbol of Mother’s Day

Dill: preservation, good spirits

Dogwood: love undiminished by adversity, durability

Elder: compassion, bad luck, zealousness

Fennel: strength, worthy of praise, flattery

Garlic: protection, strength, healing

Grass: submission, utility, usefulness

Iris: message, wisdom, faith, valour

Ivy: patience, fidelity, undying love, eternal life

Lavender: housewifely virtue, acknowledgement

Lily of the Valley: contentment, return of happiness, let’s make up

Marjoram: joy happiness

Mint: eternal refreshment, wisdom, virtue

Mugwort: be not weary, tranquillity, happiness

Mustard: faith, indifference

Nasturtium: patriotism, victory in battle

Pansy: happy thoughts, meditation

Parsley: useful knowledge, feast, joy, victory

Rose: love, victory

Rosemary: remembrance, love, loyalty, fidelity

Saffron: beware of success

Sage: wisdom, long life, esteem immortality, esteem

Sassafras: foundation, considered choices

Sunflower: haughtiness, lofty, pride, pure thoughts

Thyme: activity, bravery, courage, strength

Violet: humility, devotion, faithfulness, forgiveness

Yew: immortality, sorrow

Yucca: opportunity, fidelity

Zinnia: thoughts of missing friends

Reference:  Rigsby, Gem. 1998. Herb Seed for Thought, Spur Ridge Press, Frankston, TX.

Fab Find! Kahlua Pumpkin Spice for Fall Weddings, Engagement Parties and Bridal Showers

kahlua pumpkin spice

It’s time for Pumpkin-Flavored everything — from martinis to beers to muffins, donuts, lattes, and more. And for your fall wedding, engagement party, bridal shower, or other wedding event, the magic of a pumpkin flavor in Kahlua is spectacular. Plus, these would be AMAZING gifts to put in your wedding guests’ welcome baskets (a great twist on wine!) and fab gifts for your wedding vendors. Here are the details from the Kahlua folks, along with some fabulous recipes to try!

Just in time for fall, Kahlua® Pumpkin Spice is the newest seasonally-inspired liqueur to join the Kahlua portfolio. Adding a twist of pumpkin and delicious autumnal spices to the much loved 100 percent Arabica coffee and sugarcane rum blend, Kahlua Pumpkin Spice is a must-have for any quintessential fall moment. Whether it’s shared among family at a festive gathering, given as the perfect hostess gift at any holiday party, or added as a seasonal kick to a coffee break at home, Kahlua Pumpkin Spice is sure to spice things up this autumn.

“Seasonal pumpkin editions have become a celebrated turning point to ushering in the fall. From flavored coffee drinks and baked goods, to scented candles and even hand lotions, autumn sparks the start of an unavoidable ‘pumpkin craze!,'” said Michelle Sanders, brand director for Kahlua at Pernod Ricard USA. “With this popularity of seasonal offerings and entertaining during the fall season, we’re excited for Kahlua Pumpkin Spice to become the cocktail of choice for celebrating the season.”

In addition to classic Kahlua, Kahlua Pumpkin Spice joins the other seasonally-available favorite, Kahlua® Peppermint Mocha, which are both available for a limited time from September through December 31.   Available at major retail locations, Kahlua Pumpkin Spice is 20% Alc./Vol. (40 proof) and retails for a suggested price of $16.99 per 750 ml bottle.

To add a warming, seasonal surprise to your next celebration, try our signature recipes:

KAHLUA PUMPKIN MARTINI

1 ½ parts KAHLUA PUMPKIN SPICE

1 ½ parts ABSOLUT® VODKA

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with orange zest.

KAHLUA PUMPKIN SPICE WHISKY COCKTAIL

1 part KAHLUA PUMPKIN SPICE

1 ½ parts JAMESON® Irish Whiskey

Serve in an old-fashioned glass with a large ice cube.

About Pernod Ricard USA®

Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, which employs more than 18,000 people worldwide and is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI).

The company’s leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu®, Kahlua® Liqueur, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod®, Ricard® and Avion™ Tequila (through a joint venture with Tequila Avion); such superior wines as Jacob’s Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouet® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines.

Pernod Ricard USA is based in New York, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit: www.acceptresponsibility.org.

SOURCE Pernod Ricard USA

Fab Find! Pia Gladys Perey Bridesmaids’ Dresses

pia

The limited ready-to-wear line has design aesthetics that are highly influenced by the classic Grecian drapes mixed with romantic glamour that captures the spirit of the modern woman, embracing the true female form regardless of age and shape.  Her vision is romantic and classic with a youthful, modern twist.  The draping of the gowns shapes to perfection.  Inspired by luxury and romance, her creations are beautifully fashioned with a distinct elegance.

PGP manufactures every size run possible and can make custom dresses based on consumer’s desire. Each dress ordered is made within a week giving PGP a natural advantage of personalizing each order.

About the Label

Manila based Designer Pia Gladys Perey, The woman behind the PGP label was born and raised in the country town of Tagaytay in the Philippines. As a child, Pia was exposed to fashion, sewing and pattern making through her grandmother. The PGP label debuted at the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in 2007 followed by a participation in the New Generation Shows in 2008 and Ladies’ Ready To Wear Show in 2009. In 2010, PGP launched in the USA at the Miami International Fashion Week and an off-site show at the New York Fashion Week.  This year, PGP showcased its FW13/14 collection in the brand’s first solo show at the Los Angeles Fashion Week wherein the designer received a standing ovation and rave media reviews.

PGP has been worn by Hollywood A-lists like Angelina Jolie, Gabrielle Union, and The Office’s Kate Flannery. It is also favored by stars like Kim Kardashian, Carrie Underwood, Eva Longoria, and Camilla Belle. The line is currently being sold in Sydney, Queensland, Perth, Adelaide, Dubai, Singapore, New York, Florida, Texas, and California.

Check it out at http://www.piagladysperey.net/