Wedding Symbolism: The Seahorse

seahorse

You all are going crazy for my reports on the symbolism of different sea animals, so let’s keep going with my new report on the symbolism of the Seahorse, so that you might consider this cute little curved guy (or gal) for your wedding themes, wedding décor, invitation motifs and sea-themed bridal showers or wedding favors.

With all things coastal and nautical being super-hot wedding trends right now, the seahorse is one of those under-the-sea motifs that’s rocking the gift world right now, which means you’ll find plenty of adorable seahorse-themed cheese spreaders and platters, party plates and even cake toppers. Seahorse motifs are big for save the dates, invitations, wedding programs, place cards, table signs and even chocolate seahorses might be your take-home favor.

etsy seahorse

This seahorse invitation available at Etsy

But let’s look into the symbolism of the seahorse so that you know a bit about what it represents:

The seahorse was thought to have mystical significance among Ancient Greeks, Romans, Asians and Europeans, with the ancient Greeks and Romans tying the seahorse in to their sea gods Neptune/Poseidon, thus attributing the symbols of strength and power to the seahorse. So, by choosing the curly seahorse as your motif, you could bring the symbols of strength and power to your partnership.

Other symbols attributed to the seahorse, and also as good luck symbols for your marriage are:

  • Good luck (Sailors have long considered seahorses to be portents of good luck, as did ancient Chinese culture)
  • Patience
  • Friendliness
  • Protection
  • Generosity/Sharing
  • Contentment

Seahorses are calm and gentle, happy with being simply ‘on their way’ to their destination, not rushing, not frantic, just enjoying the journey. On the flip side, seahorses can be known to wrap their tail around a stationary object to anchor itself when the waters get rough, which some people say is a trait of stubbornness. I say it’s a fabulous symbol of a great marriage! When the ‘waters’ get rough, the seahorse hangs onto its ‘rock’ – that would be each of you to the other – and stays safe.

Oh, and you also might have heard that it’s the male seahorse who gets impregnated by the female, carries the babies to term, and gives birth. A creative interpretation of this sealife fact could be that you’ll share the responsibilities of whatever you both may create – whether it’s babies or a business or a home – and understand each other’s positions in any discussion or hot topic, for avoidance of or a quick end to arguments.

Wedding Themes: The Dolphin and Its Magical Symbolism

Destination weddings, beach weddings and summer weddings often feature island-style motifs for invitations, décor, programs, centerpiece accents and even wedding and shower favors. You’ll see palm trees, colorful fish, sandy beach scenes, starfish and seahorses. Now, a new design has emerged as a leader in wedding décor and themes: the dolphin.

So many brides and grooms dream of swimming with dolphins, and they might just pick their honeymoon spot because it affords them the dreamy opportunity to do so, either in open ocean waters or in a dolphin-swim attraction at a zoo or aquarium. Dolphins just make us happy. They’re smart, friendly, protective, and just bring a smile to your face.

But did you know that dolphins have symbolism, just like in the Language of Flowers where a white rose means innocence and purity? Cultures long ago ascribed symbols and meanings to animals, and the dolphin has a list of enduring meanings that could make your wedding or bridal shower theme extra-special to you.

Here are the symbols and meanings most commonly associated with dolphins:

  • Community
  • Compassion
  • Contentment
  • Friendship
  • Generosity
  • Gentleness
  • Grace
  • Harmony
  • Intelligence
  • Playfulness
  • Power
  • Protection
  • Renewal
  • Transcendence
  • Vibrance

The cultures that looked upon the dolphin with symbolic messaging embraced the idea that dolphins belong to both air and water, since they swim and also leap into the air. So they look upon the dolphin as living in two worlds at once, which is a mighty symbol for marriage: you live in the realm of your marriage, and you also live in your own personal realm. Soaring or majestically gliding in both.

Dolphins have been associated with deities of Roman and Greek culture, such as Poseidon (Greek)/ Neptune (Roman) with themes of strength, freedom and protection over the sea. For Eros(Greek)/ Cupid (Roman), the meanings are love, friendliness, playfulness, sensuality, desire, exploration, curiosity, attraction and joy.

Pirate lore, always a big draw for the islands, calls the dolphin as a symbol of protection, and some legends associate dolphins with mermaids. The dolphin, then, is quite a magical creature in legend, bringing with it a collection of good portents for your marriage. In modern times, we also associate dolphins with their friendliness, caring and generous spirit, even a healing presence – which you might find describes your partner and your partnership itself.

Pretty Sweet to Get This “Top Reviewer” Badge from NetGalley!

Reviews Published

And let me hold up this one, too, for launching my first 50 book reviews:

50 Book Reviews

I’m so happy to work alongside so many fabulous and generous book reviewers — and get to meet such fabulous authors! Authors can often stick to themselves or to their trusted circles, but NetGalley and all the participating publishers definitely give us a place to link up with some of the best creators out there. Glad to do my part in shining a light on amazing books, series, authors and even a stunningly-written line in a standout book!

Let’s read on. There are gems out there, waiting to be discovered.

A $2.99 Kindle #DealAlert for my novel ‘It’s My Wedding Too’

Just in time for beach-reading, my novel ‘It’s My Wedding Too‘ is on #dealalert at Kindle right now!

I had so much fun writing this one! It all started with an image of two wedding moms completely freaking out in a posh bridal gown atelier — we’re talking a rainbow of fabrics flying everywhere, while the hapless bride looks on, wondering where her own mom went and how she can ever give her fiancé’s mom a chance to be a part of her life when she’s so crazed about the wedding in general (or should I say, CHANGE in general.) I sprinkled a heart-broken, feng shui-obsessed roommate and a dependable fiancé into the mix, and here we have it.

I love that my debut novel is a fast read, light and frothy, lots of fun, and I’m so happy to see it up for $2.99 on Kindle (This won’t always be the price, so check to make sure you know what the current price is before you hit 1-Click.) Step into the world of this wedding, especially if you have wedding mama drama, and see how it all comes together.

Happy reading!

Registry Must: Holiday Dishes, Linens and Decor

My Pasture Bunny plates make me so happy every time I pull them from our credenza just as winter’s chilling out, warmer days start creating those flowery-scented breezes, and pasty arms bravely go out without a jacket. When these little guys get on the table, it usually means spring cleaning has happened, and we’re getting ready for another Easter dinner at our place.

These special plates, linens, and ancillary items like pillows and even little wooden spring signs call out the fanfare for a bright, springtime mindset with lots of texture and color, just like the scenery outside after such a long season of blah.

I’m sure your bridal registry is going to be amazing with all of those awesome kitchen gadgets (can I just tell you how much I love my cookie dough/meatball scoops?!) and I wanted to remind you before it’s too late to add into your registry some great, seasonal/holiday dish and linen sets like our super-cute Pasture Bunny pieces from Pottery Barn.

They’re just lovely, and don’t forget that wedding and shower guests are always looking for holiday-centric gifts to give you, knowing that you’ll feel just like this — always thrilled, joyful and renewed when you pull your holiday dish sets, table runners, napkins, pillows, etc. from storage, ready for party season to begin. They know how happy holiday items will make you, and maybe you’ll even be reminded of them each time you use them. That’s way better to the sentimental gift-giver than 1/8th of your bedding set. 🙂

So load up your registry with holiday items that turn a regular room into a festive, cheerful scene where so many new memories are made with family and friends. Load them on your registry, and remember to check into your registry’s completer program that could give you a nice-sized % off on any items remaining on your gift list after the wedding. And keep checking back year after year. We’re on Year 11 of our marriage and still finding cute Pasture Bunny set additions that we HAVE to have. We’ll definitely boost our tabletop adorableness with more of these fun finds — even now, they connect us to that fun season of building our gift registry and sneaking looks to see which items were disappearing from our registry as the big day approaches. New Pasture Bunny takes us back there, and it’s a springtime joy!

Happy registering, happy spring, and happy shopping!

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

Time for a Wedding Giveaway! 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 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!

Good luck!

“Cape May” is Here!

cape may novel

Valentine’s Day hasn’t even started yet, and I’m over the moon with the e-arrival of Cape May, by Chip Cheek, sent to me by NetGalley for review. You know how you’re not looking for the perfect book, but you wander into a honeypot of an online book club and completely lose your mind with all of the fabulous book suggestions? That happened. Ashley Spivey DM’d me an invitation to her Facebook book club, and I have been on a book-getting spree for the past week. Buying ’em, buying ’em on sale, so very gratefully getting some from NetGalley.

My love of reading is back. You might now that my mom passed away a few years ago, and after so much time selling her house, settling her estate and THEN blooming back into life (as much as you can with such a huge, huge loss,) I wasn’t able to stay with a book…until now. I tried. Couldn’t get hooked in, and now I’m a happily bookish girl. I’m happily STOPPING reading, for those books that just don’t bubble my bubbly. Don’t like it, don’t have to finish it.

Mom would love that the book I just received is Cape May. She loved going there, loved the quiet morning walks on the beach, all of our favorite restaurants, looking for dolphins. It kind of feels like she’s in on this book showing up today.

Now, I’ve read the description, and I know this is NOT a story about a mom who loves walking on the beach when it’s quiet. I hear this is a sexy story, with pulse-quickening passion, and I’m here for it.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all, and may this day bring you book scores of your dreams, a TBR pile for the gods, and some really great people with whom to book-chat. Thank you Ashley and NetGalley and thank you Celadon Books for this day’s joy.

Something New! Ayesha Curry’s “The Seasoned Life” for Your Registry

Bridal shower guests LOVE giving cookbooks as gifts! You simply can’t lose with a buzzy, beautiful cookbook that captures a celebrity chef’s sparkle and skill and whichever kind of recipes you’re hungry for now — keto, GF, quick, comforting, southern, and so on.

Here’s my pick:

blog books ayesha curry seasoned life

How lovely is Ayesha Curry? She’s got that fun-girl energy, excellence in the kitchen, family-friendly dishes, and always a mix of inspiration. I set her TV show to record even if it’s going to be all reruns all day. Don’t care. Love it that much. Recipes to die for, intros to kitchen gear, family visits, al fresco dining, and those cutie kids. All of this great energy, sparkle and great taste comes through in “The Seasoned Life,” and here are my picks for some of the best dishes in this cookbook: Smoked Salmon Scramble. Seriously. Made easy, and finished with a mastery of garnishing that creates a wish to get better at the garnish. Delish, and a fab pick for any bridal brunch or the wedding morning breakfast. Love this one.

Her Making Dinner Happen is one of the warming chapter openings, inviting you into Ayesha’s kitchen with her family, and you just have a seat at the table, or giving her in-progress recipe a taste. “Dinner is also the meal that draws in the most memories” gets you in a reminiscing mood with Ayesha, and this is a great time to look back with gratitude on all of the family dinner memories you have with your inner circle. And White Chocolate Bread Pudding at the end of this book with the desserts (many of them impressively low in sweet stature) completes the equivalent of a great meal. Fabulous finds happen everywhere in this cookbook, on so many levels and in so many categories, with helpful charts and lists like the mix-ins salad chart that’s going to send you right to the crisper. This is a good one, sure to get lots of ooohs and ahhhs if you’re among the brides who open their bridal shower gifts in front of the shower guests. (Not everyone does. We didn’t. People lived. Cake was had.)

I’m excited to open the doors of my book reccs starting with Ayesha’s gorgeous book, for your wedding registry or for a self-bought treat to stave off wedding stress. Books can always rescue you, so I’ll share more of my favorite registry books coming up here!

Hey, as always, thanks for following me here on the blog, and on my social media spots. Many of you know that I’ve been dancing with grief the past few years, and no one tells you that it’s going to take a long time to not just get back to normalcy but to see some slivers of color in the clouds where new joys are coming through. I haven’t really enjoyed a book club novel for years, understandably. I’ve started a few, then put them down, picked them up, then put them down and fired up Netflix. I just couldn’t connect, just couldn’t be there. Then I chanced upon Ashley Spivey’s Book Club and a DM from Ashley led me to her bubbly, energetic, kind, and generous circle of readers. It was exactly what I needed. Exactly exactly. So I am re-reading those sputter-stop novels (Tea Girl?! Really?! I couldn’t get into Tea Girl?!) and jumping into the big names of now (Where the Crawdads Sing, etc.) with my love of reading — and reviewing and recommending — all shined up with a vibrance even my husband has noticed. I’m sure there’s some kind of article out there somewhere on how reading fulfills the soul, in part helping to add extra light to a relationship. Don’t need an article on that. It’s just true.

So if you’re hurting in your wedding planning season, or any other kind of straining season, grab a great novel, crack open a cookbook and some farm-fresh eggs, and just breathe in all that new energy. That’s what I’m going to be doing here on the blog for a while. I published by 38th wedding planning book, I’m turning 50 in about 3 months (!!!) and I’m navigating a post-grief life. Book titles are popping up in my mind, and I’m editing my next novel, so this is a coasting with sea air blowing my hair around after a loooong pedal up that hill.

Happy reading, and hugs to you and yours!

Fab Find! Trista Sutter’s Book is a Must-Read for Brides and Grooms

 

I’ve been starstruck by two people recently: Colin Cowie (I giggled and walked away when he said he owned my books) and Trista Sutter, who just Tweeted me to thank me for Tweeting about her new book, Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart.

I LOVED this book and it’s my new Fab Find, a Must-Read for any brides and grooms preparing for life after the wedding (and you’ll be MUCH happier if you put Trista’s wisdom into practice before the wedding.

We tend to romanticize couples whose love stories contain lots of flash and sparkle, especially when a TV network douses them in glitter, sets up really expensive dream dates, puts a hot tub in the middle of field, and gets celebrity performers to serenade them. I look at Trista’s book as a worthy message that she gets it! She knows a spell was cast about her courtship, and that couples need a reminder that close partnerships take work…and sometimes it’s messy.

You
‘ll read this one with the benefit of knowing Trista’s voice (and Ryan’s,) and you’ll take notes on how to apply some of their magic that coupled them even in a field of contenders to your own marriage.

Sound good?

Here’s the description from Amazon:

Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures and the most unassuming things that can have the greatest effects. Trista is often asked her secret to being one of the rare reality-TV relationships to make it to the altar and beyond. In this heartfelt book, she shares the simple yet profound keys to finding everyday happiness: gratitude and grace. From the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments we have with our kids, our spouses, our pets, or even strangers, to the more obvious lessons we pick up from reading the news or hearing an inspirational story, knowing how to recognize, accept, and be grateful for all of our daily blessings is truly what “happily ever after” means.

Ten years later, the first Bachelorette talks of marriage, family, friendship, and how powerfully gratitude can transform your life.

Happily ever after isn’t always glamorous. It has nothing to do with whether you can afford or fit into a dress right off the runway. It isn’t based on how many times you’ve had your hair and makeup done, what you get paid (or not) to do with your time, [or] how many square feet your house is . . . The universe has taught me so much, and undoubtedly will continue to do so. The main thing I’ve learned about what makes for a happy life, right up there with good health and lots of love, is gratitude.

My intent here is to share not only the lessons I’ve learned, but also those of my friends and family, those of strangers, and even teachings of some of the world’s most enlightened authors, philosophers, poets, and educators. I will never claim to be an expert, but you won’t have to take it from only me; there is plenty of research out there to back up the benefits of a grateful heart.

Wedding Registry Must: Pillows


pillowFuschiaPillows-alt

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!

pillowChevronTangerine4to5[16024]pillowChevronTurquoise4to5[16031]pillowFloral-Crewel-Turq-White-pillow

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