Wedding Book Giveaway! My Book “Weddings Away” for Your Destination Wedding, Girls’ Getaway and All Wedding Season Celebration Trips!

Time for a Wedding Freebie! I’m Giving Away 3 signed copies of my new book Weddings Away

Weddings Away cover

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 1/15/19.

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!

Good luck!

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Freebie! Ways to Honor Family and Friends at Your Wedding, Part 2 — Florals

 

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Welcome back to Part 2 of my freebie series! I decided to make my ebook a big freebie for you, sharing tips on how you can honor your family and friends at your wedding. This time, we’re talking wedding flowers and floral décor as a way to honor departed loved ones, or just give your nearest and dearest a special wedding tribute:

caneel ring in flower

Florals

  1. If you have a departed parent, leave a chair open for them at the ceremony, and place a single white rose on it.
  2. Or, on the departed parent’s or grandparents’ chair, place their favorite type of flower.
  3. Create a grand floral tribute arrangement displayed on a pedestal by your ceremony altar or chuppah, and write in your wedding program that the arrangement is in memory of your departed loved ones, listed by name.
  4. If you’re marrying by the ocean or by a lake, set a floating floral piece in the water in memory of your departed relatives.
  5. Incorporate into your wedding bouquet some of the same flowers your mother used in hers. Kate Middleton did this, using a type of florals used in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding bouquet, so it’s definitely a trend!
  6. Decorate your wedding trellis or chuppah with some of the same flowers used in your parents’ weddings.
  7. Use your birthmonth flower in your bouquet. See the list here.
  8. Mix your birthmonth flower with your kids’ birthmonth flowers, or with your groom’s, your parents’, and so on.
  9. Use flower that’s central to your culture, or to the region where your wedding will take place to add extra personalization to your bouquet or to your floral arrangements and décor. Let guests in on the meaning with pretty signs placed on their tables, or via a note in your printed wedding program.
  10. Missing a departed relative? Use their birthmonth flower in your bouquet as a way to carry a little piece of them with you.
  11. It doesn’t have to be your departed relative whose birthmonth flower is in your bouquet. If your groom’s mother of grandmother has passed away, using their birthmonth flower is a lovely tribute to his family and will be very touching to all, especially to him.
  12. Create a small tribute floral arrangement, with a note explaining the meaning, on your family wedding photos table. Keep it subtle, so that it doesn’t come off like a funeral remembrance floral, and create a lovely sign naming the honored relatives.
  13. Re-create your mother’s wedding bouquet as a special and sentimental floral feature on your family wedding photo table. The same can be done with your grandmother’s wedding bouquet. Again, create and display small signs sharing the meaning with guests.
  14. You may have heard of the “Language of Flowers,” an age-old collection of symbolism attached to a wide variety of flowers and their colors. For instance, a white rose can mean ‘purity’ or ‘innocence.’ See the list here. Use these symbols to create pretty floral pieces for your relatives, and share the meanings with them.
  15. Or, have relatives look over the Language of Flowers list of meanings and select their own flowers according to what they wish to ‘say’ with them.
  16. Set apart the VIP chairs or pew at your ceremony by affixing pretty florals to the backs of seats where parents, grandparents, and other honored family members will sit. Spread the joy by doing this for the second or third rows where special relatives like great-aunts or godparents will sit.
  17. If you have children or are blending your families, make the kids’ chairs extra-special by affixing special floral pieces to the backs of their chairs to give them a special chair of their own.
  18. If you have a daughter or daughters, or your groom does, surprise them by giving them mini versions of your bouquet to carry, instead of a basket of flower petals.
  19. Boutonniere styles can be personalized to honored men in the family, such as to fathers, grandfathers, great-uncles, godfathers and cultural honored men in the family to set them apart.
  20. For men’s flowers, look again at the Language of Flowers to give their blooms special meanings.
  21. During your ceremony, present your parents with long-stemmed roses or other flowers as a moment of love, thanks and tribute to them. This can be a surprise element not practiced at the rehearsal to pack an emotional impact.
  22. Some cultures feature rituals of exchanging fruits, flowers and other items with parents and grandparents within the ceremony. Explore your culture’s good luck and prosperity rituals with parental involvement, and either use them as-is, or give them a modern twist. Relatives love it when you honor an ancestral rite in your modern wedding.
  23. As guests depart your ceremony, have an attendant distribute small flowers to each, that they are to tuck into a trellised décor feature that already has an arrangement of flowers in it. Instruct guests to do so while thinking good wishes for you, and then have your photographer capture that pretty floral décor structure for your wedding album.
  24. Your new family monogram letter can be spelled out in flowers on the lawn where your outdoor ceremony, cocktail party or reception will take place.
  25. If you’ll marry in a garden or sprawling grounds, have your floral designer create flower petal tributes to your relatives, such as your parents’ first initials of S + D and your groom’s parents’ initials of M + H, and so on…beautifully-done and photo-captured as soon as they’re created so that the wind doesn’t ruin the effect before photos can be taken.
  26. Kids’ initials can also be spelled out in flower petals on the grounds’ lawn as a special tribute to them as well.
  27. Florals hanging from trees can be inspired by the same flower types used at relatives’ weddings, with a note in your program saying that’s the design inspiration. Be sure the flower types work together, so that you don’t have non-seasonal or clashing flowers in this display. Work with your floral designer to perfect this unique and pretty outdoor wedding display.
  28. Floral wreaths can adorn your ceremony site’s doors, with your birthmonth flowers or family members’ wedding flowers included.
  29. Back to the table of family wedding photos or portraits: add little touches of floral prettiness with tiny sprigs attached to each frame, and the same type of flower sprinkled on the table top for a budget-friendly, super-stylish effect.

Love this freebie? Find out how to get more in my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.

bride's guide to freebies

 

 

Wedding Symbolism: The Peacock

 

Peacock feathers are a top wedding trend, as a motif on invitations, wedding programs and thank you notes, and some brides are working peacock feathers into their centerpieces and color schemes. Bold, dramatic blues and purples evoke the colors of the brightly-colored peacock, and you’ll even find in nature all-white peacocks with graceful fanlike tails.

With peacock themes and colors going strong in wedding world, I thought I’d continue my series on animal symbolism with the peacock. Since so many elements of a wedding have a long history of symbolism bringing luck to the marriage, here is what the peacock’s symbolism can mean to your day:

  • Integrity
  • Showing your true colors
  • Nobility
  • Holiness
  • Guidance
  • Protection
  • Watchfulness
  • Great vibrancy
  • “A walk of faith”
  • Self-esteem booster
  • Vision
  • Refinement
  • Spirituality
  • Incorruptibility (a take on that ‘forsaking all others’ line from traditional wedding vows!)

In Greco-Roman mythology, the peacock is connected to Hera/Juno who, lore says, made the peacock from Argus with his hundred eyes. Thus, that mark on the peacock’s tail feathers that looks like an eye and in some legends symbolizes the “eyes of the stars.”

In Hindu culture, the Peacock is associated with the deity Lakshmi, representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.

The peacock is also a symbol of Kwan-Yin in Asian lore, as an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, nurturing and kind-heartedness.

In Persian lore, the peacock symbolizes protection over royalty (and since you’re the queen of your wedding day….)

In Christian lore, the peacock represents the “all-seeing” church and has been connected to renewal as well as holiness.

So those are some of the top symbols of the peacock. How much do you love that for your wedding’s theme graphics or décor colors and accents now?

Wedding Registry Must: Pillows


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Pillows are the new Must-Have on wedding registries! Add some fabulous styles to your gift list so that you can add a pop of color to any room or space, indoors or outside! They’re perfect for adding that finishing touch to a room when you’re combining your His and Hers items, refreshing a space, switching your décor from season to season, and especially for outdoor entertaining, they add that home décor and design magazine flair that everyone wants! Guests love to give these as gifts, so they’re happy to see them on your list…and you’ll find fabulous pillows in big registry stores as well as in cute little gift shops that offer wedding gift registries of their own — so you can shop locally!

So add a bunch of pillows to your gift list now!

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The pillows shown above are found at Seasons Home & Gifts!

Symbolism of Gemstones: Amethyst


Amethyst is a crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac or deep mauve, and according to the American Gem Trade Association, great thinkers in history (like Leonardo DaVinci) believed that amethyst could dissipate evil thoughts and boost intelligence.

Funnily enough, amethyst symbolism also includes “guarding against drunkenness,” since the word ‘amethyst’ comes from a Greek term meaning “without drunkenness.” Not that you can wear an amethyst necklace or bracelet and drink all throughout your reception without getting buzzed – or completely wasted – but it’s an amusing symbolism attributed to this stone.

Here are some other symbolic meanings for this purple gem:

  • Guard against fearful feelings
  • Guard against guilty feelings
  • Guard against self-deception
  • Humilty
  • Piety
  • Spiritual wisdom
  • Focused energy
  • Calmness
  • Royal (purple is traditionally the color of royalty!)

Symbolism of Gemstones: Ruby

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Ruby has been considered by many cultures throughout time to be the most powerful gem in the universe. I know, you’re thinking of the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz right now, and when you read through the list of symbols attributed to the ruby, you’ll get a new look at what those magical, powerful slippers offered Dorothy. And you’ll also see all the positive, empowering symbolism that you can bring to yourself if you select wedding rings or wedding day jewelry with a ruby (or lots of tiny rubies!) in the design!

First, here are some fun FYIs about rubies:

  • If you place a ruby under your pillow, you may ward off bad dreams
  • Rubies should be worn on the left hand to get the most life force out of them, and experience greater protection.
  • Rubies help sexual love to be more passionate
  • Rubies are said to give you courage to reach your higher potential
  • Some cultures warn against wearing a ruby necklace too close to the solar plexus, to raise yours up a bit!
  • If your ruby looks more pink than red, it may actually be a pink sapphire. What you want is the gemological description of ‘pigeon’s blood’ that’s red with a blue undertone for a real ruby tone. Too purple, and you’ve likely got a violet sapphire.
  • Many rubies come from Burma and Thailand.
  • Rubies are commonly exposed to high heat to bring out the deepest, richest red color possible.
  • Beryllium-infused rubies will be on the market sometime soon, perhaps at a lower price point!

Okay, enough with the FYIs. What’s the symbolism of the ruby, all of those good portents you’ll attract by wearing and owning them?

  • Passion
  • Smoldering desire
  • Inextinguishable inner fire
  • Courage
  • Power
  • Friendship and love, when given as a gift
  • Vitality
  • Royalty

Symbolism of Gemstones: Sapphire

“In ancient times, a gift of a sapphire was a pledge of trust and loyalty. It is from this tradition that sapphire has long been a popular choice for engagement rings.” The American Gem Trade Association’s fabulous booklet on gemstone meanings and color enhancement shares this fantastic FYI.

And sapphire symbolism includes:

  • Perception
  • Financial rewards
  • Mental clarity
  • Heaven and devotion to God
  • Truth
  • Loyalty
  • Devotion
  • Faithfulness
  • Protection from harm

Legend has it that the sapphire is a symbol of fidelity, and that the stone will not shine if the wearer has been unfaithful.

“Ancient Persians believed the earth rested on a giant Sapphire and that the blue sky was a reflection of the Sapphire,” says the AGTA booklet.

Practical FYIS:

  • Like rubies the sapphire has a hardness of 9 on the mohs scale, which makes them ideal for daily wear.
  • Sapphires come in a wide variety colors, such as blue, pink, padparascha (pink orange), yellow, white, green, purple, and other colors.

Visit www.sharonnaylor.net for more wedding FYIs and free worksheets.