The Mother of the Bride Book, 2nd Edition is Available Now! And 2 copies are up for Giveaways!

Mother of the Bride Updated cover

I am SO excited! The 2nd edition of my Mother of the Bride Book is available now! And I’m giving away TWO copies on 12/9 for #WeddingWednesday, so post a comment here or use #weddingmoms on Wednesday to be entered for our random, computer-choice giveaway!

It’s been such a long time since my publisher and I began work to update my book, which has long been one of my bestsellers, but badly needed a refreshing. And now, here it is, all shiny and new, and featuring some of my favorite wedding experts’ top tips for the mother of the bride (and step-mother of the bride!)

I’ve added some new features, such as the top trends in what the mothers are working on for the wedding plans, how they’re bringing so much more valuable stuff to the table than moms of decades ago, my favorite apps, and celebrity fashion designer tips for the moms’ wedding day dresses.

Order your Kindle copy here, and if you’d like a paperback version, Barnes and Noble has it here. (Amazon is fixing the link for the paperback right now!)

And if you’re a wedding pro who wants multiple copies or wants to sell the book in your shop, just contact me via Twitter @sharonnaylorwed, and my sales team at Random House will set you up!

Want a signed copy of the paperback for your mom? I’ll soon be able to sign and send your copy to you!

Thank you so much for taking a look at my book’s ‘makeover,’ and for all your great reviews and support of my books over the past *21* years! I’m entirely grateful to you!

Ariel Winter’s Golden Globes Look: Perfect for Your Junior Bridesmaid? What’s Your Vote?

Image: Styleite.com

Image: Styleite.com

The ladies of Modern Family can do no wrong fashion-wise lately, and Sarah Hyland has always been an age-appropriate inspiration for Junior Bridesmaid fashion, so I was very excited to see what ‘little sis’ Ariel Winter would wear to the 2013 Golden Globes. Her purple dress last year opened the door to her Junior Bridesmaid Fashion Icon status, and now I’d love to know what you think about her neon embroidered Valentino dress for the 70th annual Golden Globes. Fashionista blog www.styleite.com called it very age-appropriate, but does that mean it’s a trend-setter for Junior Bridesmaid dress picks? Do you love the embroidery? Is it too ‘young,’ even for Ariel? What do you think of the sparkly silver headband and shoes with the neon accent dress? Is a blingy headband perfect for the Junior Bridesmaid? Share your thoughts here, and win a copy of my new book Bridesmaid on a Budget! www.sharonnaylor.net/books.htm

My take on it? Love the dress, and especially love the sparkly shoes. Now that’s a fun trend for Junior Bridesmaids!

Fabulous Wedding Toasts! Who Can Make Them, and How to Make Them Unforgettable

What could be more wonderful than an amazing wedding toast? Lots of them! It’s those amazing words and wishes proposed to you that add so much heart to your wedding celebration, and there are so many opportunities all through your wedding season and wedding weekend for fabulous words to be spoken.

[My book Your Special Wedding Toasts is available now on Kindle, so get my tips, sample toasts, questionnaires to help you write your toast and other ideas now!]

Yes, it’s tradition that the Best Man makes the first toast at the reception, with the Maid of Honor speaking immediately after him, but great speeches may be added to many wonderfully worded moments that take place at all of your wedding-related celebrations.

Today’s brides and grooms are letting their best man and maid of honor know that they’d like them to speak at the reception, and they are also asking the parental hosts of the rehearsal dinner and even the morning-after breakfast if they’d like to make the ‘official toast’ of the event. When parents are hosting these important celebrations, it’s a big Don’t for anyone but them to give the first toast, so keep that in mind before you clink your fork against your glass to stand up and speak. Many couples have been stunned to find their parents fuming about their big moment being ruined.

Toasts are yours to make at events you’re hosting, such as a luncheon with your bridesmaids, and the wedding morning breakfast, and others in which you have the big spotlight.

So how many toasts are too many? Stick with one to two toasts per non-wedding event, two toasts at the rehearsal dinner (the first by the hosts, the second by you), and three or four toasts spread out over the course of the reception – the first being the best man’s and maid of honor’s, a later one made by or to the parents, and the last one made by the two of you as your celebration closes.

Here’s a list of the top events that invite special toasts made to the two of you – and perhaps also made by the two of you, as you thank your parents, bridal party, guests and perhaps even your kids:

–Your engagement party

–The first planned meeting between your parents

–A luncheon or get-together when you invite your friends to be your bridesmaids

–The luncheon that precedes your first gown-shopping expedition with your bridesmaids, maid of honor and the moms

–WEDDING showers

–Planning lunches or brunches with your bridal party members (thanking them again for doing such a great job for you!)

–Bachelor’s and bachelorette’s parties

–Any wedding weekend MEALS, such as brunches, barbecues or dinners at home

–The rehearsal dinner, again with the hosts speaking first, as a rule

–The after-party

–The morning-after breakfast, again with the hosts speaking first, and you then making the next toast

Don’t forget the hot new trend of the bride and groom taking the microphone right before they cut the cake, to thank everyone, from their parents to their guests, who came so far to share in their day, even to the staff of the reception hall and the wedding coordinator who’s right there taking care of everything.

And don’t forget the romance and sweetness of proposing a toast to your groom at any of these events. He may do the same for you.

The Bride’s Guide to Freebies! My new book is almost here!

Wedding costs are sky-high, with the average wedding costing over $20,000 right now. That’s led a lot of brides and grooms to seek out ways to plan their weddings for less…and I noticed that too many wedding couples were taking dangerous shortcuts in their wedding budgets and wedding planning. Especially looking for free wedding elements…and thinking they can save money by not hiring wedding experts. That’s NOT the way to do it! Wedding experts on your team can save you money while still getting you quality products and services, and wedding experts are the best source of wedding freebies! So to help you avoid any wedding nightmares, I’ve written a new book on the right way to get wedding freebies!

In this book, which will be out in December, you’ll find out how to ask for freebies from your vendors, in a way that’s going to be productive, not insulting.

You’ll find out about the freebies that many vendors often offer on a regular day, and how and when to negotiate for additional ones.

You’ll find out how to borrow essential wedding items, getting them for free, how to ask for them, how to avoid post-borrow disasters, and how to make the most of them.

You’ll find out how to win cash and free wedding services and details from my favorite sources, and perhaps get your honeymoon, gown and other pricy things for free.

You’ll find out how to DIY some wedding elements for free.

You’ll find out freebie info for your bridesmaids, parents and for guests, saving them lots of money, too.

And a lot more…

Visit my site for more details on my upcoming book, and find the links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble to get your copy!

Wedding Planning First Step: Your FREE Excerpt of “Your Wedding Your Way”

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It’s time for another free excerpt of one of my top new wedding books! This time, using this freebie from my book Your Wedding Your Way, you and your groom will talk about the basics for your Big Day, just to get your style set, and combine your wishes.

 

Chapter 2

How to Decide What You Both Want for Your Wedding Day

 You both have to be in agreement on the various ways you will create your wedding your way. The best way to get in agreement is to talk about everything. Here’s a little quiz to get the discussion started. Take this quiz together, and use different-colored pens to check off your answers and make additional notes. Don’t worry if you’re not in total agreement right now—few wedding couples are at this stage. You’ve already gone through the checklist in the introduction about why you’d like to have a nontraditional wedding, and now you’re getting in a little deeper.

 

1.         How comfortable are you when you’re at formal celebrations, such as black-tie weddings and dress-up events?

            a.         Very comfortable. I love getting dressed up, looking my best, and enjoying “the good life” at formal weddings.

            b.         Somewhat comfortable. Being in high heels or a suit is fine for the first few hours, but then I’d rather be home in pajamas, watching television.

            c.         I hate it. Nothing’s worse than being forced to wear high heels or a suit just because someone wants everyone to look good in their pictures.

2.         What’s the best location for your wedding?

            a.         Right here in our hometown, which is going to be gorgeous at the time of year we’re getting married, and it’s close for all our guests to get to.

            b.         It would be dreamy if we could get married at our favorite vacation destination that we go to every year, get married on the beach at sunset, and have foods from our favorite restaurants there.

            c.         Someplace we’ve never been before, like our dream destination ofHawaii. And to bring everyone else with us? That would be amazing.

            d.         Someplace not in our hometown, but also not a five-hour flight away, either.

3.         How do you feel about an outdoor wedding?

            a.         It’s perfect! Nothing says “wedding” more than gorgeous scenery, everyone in the gardens, surrounded by flowers.

            b.         I’d be too worried about the weather and bugs ruining the day.

            c.         I’m all for it if the place we book has an indoor ballroom we could move into if it rains.

            d.         I’ve always hated outdoor parties. Who wants to bring sunblock to a wedding and sweat through her dress?

4.         What is the worst part of a traditional wedding?

            a.         Having the same old food.

            b.         Having the same old music.

            c.         It’s expensive no matter how you plan it.

            d.         Having to go by the rules of a church or reception hall.

5.         How important is it for you to invite everyone you know to the wedding?

            a.         Very important. It wouldn’t be a wedding without all our relatives and their kids, and all our friends there.

            b.         Not too important. I’d be happy with just a small circle of close relatives and friends.

            c.         I really don’t care, as long as we get married.

6.         How do you feel about a wedding being funny, having laugh-out-loud moments?

            a.         That makes it great! Our guests would love it, so we’re going to insert some humor in the ceremony and in the emcee’s wording at the reception.

            b.         That would offend our parents and other relatives.

            c.         I think weddings should be solemn and serious—funny toasts and the like should be done at the rehearsal dinner only.

            d.         We’re all for it if any toast-makers want to be funny, but we’re not going to plan special comedy moments for our big day.

 

You’ve just discussed some basic, fundamental issues as you co-create your personalized wedding day. These questions may have even sent you off on tangents, discussing your thoughts and suggestions for your dream-wedding day, planned your way! Notice there’s no “scoring,” no “if you circled mostly B, then . . .” rules. This exercise was just to get the discussion on the table. Take notes on every inspiration that arises as you work through this section. Some ideas will work and some won’t, but that’s the creative process.

 

The most amazing wedding auction EVER! Support Wish Upon a Wedding with your bids!

Score amazing deals on everything needed to plan an exquisite wedding or event, by visiting  Bid Your Wish for Wedded Bliss. The largest online charity wedding auction of its kind offers over 300 items, many starting as low as $50. Even if you aren’t planning a wedding there is something there for you.

How about Cocktails with Randy Fenoli? A one on one session with industry great and celebrity planner Preston Bailey? A culinary experience at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris? A vacation for two in Hawaii? An internship with the talented David Beahm? A unique learning experience and fun lunch with celebrity designer Donnie Brown? An all access pass to Engage 12?

Win my prize collection: I donated a one-hour consultation with me for personalized help with your wedding vows, toasts and plans, plus some of my newest wedding books, including Bridesmaid on a Budget, It’s My Wedding Too, and The Mother of the Bride Book  — plus 5 Kodak one-time-use cameras and an Envirosax celebrity-fave water bottle.

Those auction items and so much more can be yours with a simple the click of a mouse.

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world’s first nonprofit organization that provides weddings & vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness and other serious life-altering situations, regardless of sexual orientation. With over 20 chapters across the country, the organization has granted 30 wishes since launching in January of 2010.

From September 15th til October 31st, auction doors will be open to bidders across the nation in the largest charity wedding event of its kind!  —  and we hope to help Wish Upon a Wedding raise funds to enhance their current programming.

The best part? All winning bids are donations to Wish Upon a Wedding.  Your participation will help the organization make wedding wishes come true for terminally ill individuals across the nation.

Featuring hundreds of high-end and unique experiences from the industry’s finest, Bid Your Wish for Wedded Bliss has previously been hailed as  a luxury shopping experience like no other, drawing thousands of savvy bidders from coast to coast.

With many items starting at just $50, hundreds of amazing wedding deals await the lucky couples who visit the auction.

Thank you!

We want to thank you for your support and for believing in our mission!  Have fun bidding in the auctions, and be sure to pick up something fun for your loved ones, too!