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 liz@silvercharmevents.com and I'll hook you up) wants to set something up with people she's been talking to on www.theknot.com. 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 guide.com - is updated more regularly. The book is about $20, so you might want to start with the website.

Magazines:

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.
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