Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bridal Magazine Review

Last time I gave you a list of the wedding books and magazines that I think are really good. I took another look at the magazines I recommmended - "Martha Stewart Weddings" and "In Style Weddings" - and thought I'd let you know some of the cool stuff that's in them. This might be a regular feature. Or at least seasonal, since those two only come out every couple of months. Check it out:

In Style Weddings:

p. 230: kind of a neat decorating idea for the brave among us. If you're thinking about getting furniture and other decorations for your wedding or reception space, ask a local furniture store or antique shop if you can rent them, for maybe 10% of the rental cost. For the less brave, there are also places that straight out rent stuff like that. One that I'm familiar with is 20th Century Props in North Hollywood, which you can take a look at here.

Also, anyone know the difference between champagne and sparkling wine? Show of hands? The difference, basically, is that champagne is sparkling wine that's made in the Champagne area of France. So, sparkling wine is the same thing, except way cheaper. There some suggestions of which ones to try in here as well. And remember what I said about the Trader Joe's wine a while back. No one has to know.

p. 232: The post-cards-as-Date-Cards idea that I mentioned a few days ago, with lovely pictures.

Martha Stewart Weddings:

Page 25 starts a whole section on ways to use the color pink. Basically, pair them with other colors, like brown and red. Examples abound.

Page 78 has a great example of Martha's DYI spirit - a bride who had her dress made used the leftover fabric to make her groom's tie and handkerchief's for family members. Is that cool or what? Makes me wish that I had a DYI bone in my body, wich I really, really don't. That tip is on the second page of a regular section of the magazine: "What I Learned".

On page 160, there's a coupon for amazing, where you can design and send out postcards for Save-The-Date announcements and Thank You notes.

Page 234 has an idea I wish I'd had when I got married, because my husband is a huge fan: Baseball themed favors. Peanuts! Crackerjacks! Chocolate baseballs!

Plus lots of other wedding projects you can tackle,so you know, if you were wondering how to make a linen ring pillow, here's your chance.

Oh, and Bridezillas. Yeah, okay, I admit it. They're getting a little crazier.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Long time no see. Oh, and take a look at these books.

Yes, it's been awhile. I went to San Diego for my best friend's birthday, I signed a couple more clients, I'm planning weddings for a few more, I'm managing interns, and I've neglected my poor blog. Poor, poor blog.

I've been thinking about putting together a free seminar for future brides, kind of a forum where they could ask me questions, share tips and thoughts with each other, etc. Even went so far as to leave messsges with the event managers of some local bookstores, because I thought that books would be a good jumping off point. I haven't heard back from them, BUT, one of the subscribers to my monthly email list (if you're interested, email me at and I'll hook you up) wants to set something up with people she's been talking to on So hopefully, that will happen August 13 or 14th. More on that later.

But I thought that I would give you an idea of what I consider to be the best wedding books and magazines out there today, you know, while we're talking about it:

- Bridal Bargains, by Denise and Alan Fields. For my money, the best wedding bargains book on the market. Practical, reasonable ways to save money, that don't require a lot of work on your part, just the right resources and smart thinking. You CAN save money even if you don't hand-sew the favors bags yourself.

- Weddings for Dummies, by Marcy Blum. Not only takes you step by step on planning your wedding, but also gives you good tips on things like how to handle bickering in-laws. Because no one ever tells you how to handle the bickering in-laws.

There are other books with promising titles such as "How to have a wedding for under $5,000", but if you can't have the wedding at your house, or don't have a cousin whose willing to cook the food, or don't know someone who owns a barn, you're pretty much out of luck. And some of their ideas just won't work - you can have a clambake on the beach, but if it's in California, you're going to have to get a permit. And find a beach that allows an open flame. And pay for everyone's parking. And get insurance. Oh, and shut the whole thing down before 10pm because of the local noise ordinance. Etc.

- Here Comes the Guide, by Lynn Broadwell and Jan Brenner. One of the first places I look when trying to help clients find a ceremony or reception site. The book is updated every two years, but the website - herecomesthe - is updated more regularly. The book is about $20, so you might want to start with the website.


I've found that most bridal magazines are kind of...pointless. Lots of advertisements with pictures of girls in white dresses, but you have dig through them in order to find any good advice, or any helpful ideas. And in the meantime, they are so huge and bloated, you can use them as doorstops. Now, there are two that I subscribe to, that I stand-by: InStyle Weddings, and Martha Stewart Weddings. The first because even though it focuses on celebrity weddings, the articles also discuss how all the little details are put together, and many of them can be done affordably. The most recent issue, for instance, features a beach wedding at which all the guests were given flip-flops. You can get flip-flops at Target for $1 each. Starfish and seashells as placecards. Well, those are free. There's even a entire article called "Chic on a shoestring" - doable, practical, and above all, gorgeous tips. Plus, you know, you get to see what Tori Spelling's wedding looked like.

Martha Stewart Weddings? Well, she's Martha Stewart. First of all, she's organized as all hell - every issue features an 8-page wedding organizer smack dab in the middle of it: Timeline and Checklist, Guest list worksheets, flowers, music, everything you need that you can photocopy as many times as you want. And, of course, there's the DIY aspect of it, from how to cut fabric trim for your wedding cake to the best way to pose for pictures. Plus, the mag is just beautiful.

I'm also growing fond of Inside Weddings, which a client recently turned me on to. Filled with tons of pictures that made me think, "Ooh, I wanna do that!" Lots of beautiful, original ideas.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wednesday already?

How the heck did that happen? Went to Palos Verdes for a site visit and brought the girls. I've been to a couple of hillside mansions in my time, but my lovely interns were awed. I was all, right, where are we putting the band, and they were all, wow, look at the view! Is that really the ocean? Ah, the broadening of young minds.

And then we had to run away from a fire. Well, not so much run away as drive in the opposite direction of. A fire broke out in the hills, which was bad for me because I'd gotten lost about three times getting up there in the first place. Embarassing, and the exact reason I always trying to get someplace far at least an hour ahead of time. But Yahoo maps completely screwed me over and sent me to the other side of the mountain. I checked! It wasn't me, I swear!

Now, calling the groom-to-be "Josh" instead of by his real name "Joe"? That was totally me.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Musings on Orange County

I used to live there, actually, between the ages of 10 and 13, in Los Alamitos. The biggest draw at the time was that it was only a few miles down Katella from Disneyland. My wedding on Saturday was decidely far from there, in Mission Viejo. Everything went great, my interns were wonderful. Did what they were told, asked helpful, inciteful questions, asked if they could do more, and were very, very cool. From know on, I'm always gonna get magnet students for interns! I asked them what they learned, and Kristine said: "There's a lot to keep track of, and everything goes really fast, and sometimes people are mean for no reason." Sounds a lot like life, if you ask me. The groom is japanese-american, his parents used to live in Brazil, and he met his bride while teaching english in Japan. His mother was shocked that I knew that there is a large japanese population in Brazil. I know stuff.

The odd thing about hanging out in Orange County is that I saw not one, not two, but three teenagers with rings through their lower lips. THREE. All within an hour of each other, none of them together. Boredom still runs supreme in the OC, I see. Rest assured, I implored Kim and Kristine to get out of there for college. UCLA or Berkeley, or out of state or something. Anything. Just go. 'Cause you can always come back if you want.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My precious puppy, the murderer

Hailey is the sweetest dog in the world. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body...unless you're a bird.
She caught a sparrow in mid-fly this afternoon, while she and The Boy were playing in the front yard. MID. FLY. And then just kinda looked at it, which is better than what happened the last time she killed a bird, when she put it on Zane's pillow ("But that was good! That was a sign of respect!" No, Zane, it's just ewww...). She also catches flies in mid-air, but she generally eats those.


In other news, I've got a wedding in Orange County this weekend, which will be the first for my lovely interns, Kim and Kristine. They make me feel old, but they rock, even if they didn't think I knew what AIM was. Or a cell phone. And, you know, I've been running into that a lot lately. I was in Best Buy looking for a case for my Treo - my TREO, mind, you - and was telling a young clerk that I'd also seen some online, but..."Oh," he says to me, "Are you afraid to shop online?" Uh, What? Dude. I'm Gen X. We invented AIM. We invented cell phones. And the internet. AND ONLINE SHOPPING. I'm not afraid to shop online, I just don't have the patience to wait for the darn thing to get here.

Also, a tip for all of you out there who need to bring in alcohol for your weddings - try Trader Joe's. They have a merlot and chardonnay- Bear's Lair - that a friend of mine has been giving me as a gift for years. $3.95 a bottle, $48 for the case. It's one of my favorite labels, and even though it's impossibly cheap, no one will ever be able to tell. Well, unless they read my blog. It's $3.95 a bottle. Go and try it for yourself. You've got my client Robbin to thank for that tip - she reminded me of something I already knew. Gotta love it when that happens.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Holiday weekend

Tip of the, uh, week: If you're having an outdoor wedding or reception, decide if you're going to transport the chairs from the ceremony site to the reception site, or get twice as many chairs. It's that old fight between frugality and convenience.