Take a break from wedding planning with a themed beach read

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Since I’m an English teacher in the real world, a post about books was bound to surface. This one is for anyone who needs a break from endless wedding planning, but still wants to stay in the “love mode.” Whether you’re the bride, her momma, or a bridesmaid, take a break this summer with one of these wedding-themed reads:

*A Beautiful Day, Elin Hilderbrand’s latest highly readable novel for ladies. This one is centered around a Nantucket wedding.

*The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan. Some of you may have read Maine; hoping this one is as good!

*Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

*Seating Arrangments by Maggie Shipstead

*My Fake Fiance, a collection of romantic stories by Lisa Scott

*The Wedding, for all you Nicholas Sparks fans out there

*The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

*The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham

Happy reading!

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Summer is Wedding Season! Are you up on your wedding ettiquette?

I’m a huge fan of the HuffPost Weddings blog, and I loved Diane Gottsman’s recent post on wedding etiquette. Two of her points resonated with me: One, if your child’s name(s) is not included on the envelope, it was not an oversight; and two, don’t call the bride or her family to ask for an exception.

I would add the following Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to wedding etiquette:

Do reply promptly to a wedding invitation. Get up, look at the calendar, and if you’re free and want to attend, drop that response card in the mail right away. DON’T procrastinate, and don’t wait to see if something better comes along for that weekend. The bride and her family are anxiously awaiting responses so they can either begin activating the “B list,” or start thinking about seating arrangements. If the bride or her mom is contacting you AFTER the response deadline, you have really messed up!

DON’T call the bride or groom and ask for a “plus one” if this was not clearly indicated on your invitation (it would say Ms. Julie Smith and Guest). Weddings cost a lot of money, and whomever is hosting is doing plenty of numbers-crunching and hard decision-making. Don’t make it harder on them than it already is!

DO plan to send a gift if you have been invited to a wedding, even if you don’t go. It can certainly be smaller or of lesser value, but if the couple thought enough of you to include you at their wedding, it is appropriate for you to acknowledge their marriage with a gift.

And for all you brides-to-be out there, here are a few for you!
DO discuss the plus-one and children issues beforehand, and make a “policy.” For us, a plus-one was included for wedding party only, if the friend was “in a relationship.” For other guests, plus ones were extended only for couples who live together or are engaged. We had a few requests for exceptions, and stuck with our “policy.”

DON’T take it personally when friends decline. Sometimes money is an issue, especially for young people who often must prioritize among several weddings in a year.

DO consider the expense of being involved in a year’s worth of wedding festivities, and DON’T expect your friends to attend everything. Because my daughter had a big engagement party and a bachelorette weekend, we decided to let them off the hook for the bridal shower. We limited those invitations to bridal party, relatives and friends of the family.

For more do’s and don’ts, check out wedding expert Diane Gottsman’s post below:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-gottsman/wedding-etiquette-dos-and_b_3490270.html

10 things I wish someone had told me before my daughter’s wedding day

Inspired by a Huff Post Weddings blog post (see previous post), I decided to compile my own “10 things” list, with a mother-of-the-bride slant. It was surprisingly easy to think of things, and I hope some of these help other MOB’s, brides, or anyone who is planning a wedding.

1. Groomsmen, especially youngish ones, know nothing about their wedding day responsibilities. Seriously, assume nothing. They need to know that their purpose is to seat guests, not just to stand there with “don’t I look awesome in this tux” expressions. The old ladies are waiting to be seated, and that is your job, boys!

2. You really do need a wedding planner of some kind (your cousin? best friend?) on the day of the wedding, because you, momma, will be like a deer in headlights. You can do all the planning and troubleshooting in the world, but have someone else run the itinerary that day. Your daughter is getting married!

3. Rehearse. All of it. Meticulously. Our daughter’s officiant was not able to run the rehearsal, so we did. What we thought would be a quick-and-dirty run-through, turned into a realization that we needed to walk through every last detail. See #1, above (I needed to use my teacher voice with them).

4. Your new son-in-law’s family WILL irritate you, no matter how much you like them. Get a good mantra going, and stay calm. Snapping at your daughter’s new mother-in-law could cause your daughter grief for a lifetime.

5. Dance with your son-in-law!

6. Make a list ahead of time of family pictures you really would like taken both at the reception and during the more formal photo time. Insist on this, even if your daughter says “MOM. There’s not time for all that!” We made mistakes here, and are missing photos we would have cherished. Ideas include bride with cousins, aunts and uncles, godparents, neighborhood pals, etc. And if you want “table shots,” you should add them to the list, because today’s photographers don’t always do those. Again, assume nothing.

7. Someone has to remember to bring the marriage license! Yes, we forgot that. It must be signed and posted immediately following the ceremony. This is a marriage, people, not just a photo op.

8. Decide ahead of time who will be dealing with packing up gifts, envelopes, and personal items from the reception. 1 a.m., after multiple cocktails, is not the time to do that. Have a plan so you know where everything is the next morning.

9. Your daughter will likely look to you to “fix” things along the way. Discourage her ahead of time from doing that, or you will look “clenched” in every photo. See #2, above. Put someone else in charge that day.

10. Once the day dawns, it’s all in motion; the weather is the weather, and what’s not done won’t be. Who cares? It’s your daughter’s wedding day!

What a certain bride wishes she had known before her wedding day

Latest blog seen on Huffpost Weddings; it’s a good one! Next from bridemomma, 10 things I wish someone had told me before my daughter’s wedding day. Thanks for the inspiration, Caci Cooper!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/louisiana-caci-cooper/10-things-i-wish-someone-had-told-me_b_3405473.html?ir=Weddings&utm_campaign=061213&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-weddings&utm_content=FullStory

Happy Father’s Day

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So, is it ALWAYS Dad who gets the honor of escorting the bride (please don’t say “giving away” the bride)? Traditionally, yes. If the bride’s dad (or stepdad) is in her life, then he should do the honors. In Jewish ceremonies (and others who simply like the idea), both parents escort the bride. In cases of no dad, the bride can select her mother, brother, or anyone she chooses to escort her.

For all you fathers out there, this moment is one of the most serene, special and meaningful moments in life– enjoy your moment!

Special gifts: Plan ahead for special moments

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A couple of weeks before my daughter’s wedding — OK, maybe a week before — I realized I wanted to give my daughter something special on the morning of her wedding day. This actually caused me about 48 hours of real angst. A photo? Ordinary. Special jewelry? Nothing really to give; we’re not historically “jewelry people.”

I pulled out the early photo albums, assembled long before the digital age, and then Megan’s baby book, hoping for divine inspiration. In a little pocket of her baby book, I found it– teeny little prints of my daughter’s thumb-sized feet inked onto an index card with the words “Baby Girl” and her birthdate and weight. I really was overcome with emotion as I thought about how far she’d come since those little prints were made. I decided to write something about that, and assembled my words and her feet into a framed gift for my daughter. Perfect! But, man, that wasn’t easy!

Advice: Think about a simple, meaningful gift to give your son or daughter on the wedding day. And think about it early enough to allow for things like framing, assembly, reproducing, or whatever you need to do to make that give “just right” for your child. I heard a story recently about a mother of a groom who had saved a precious “this is why I hate girls” poem her son had written in second grade. It became the perfect framed gift from Mom.

It is often the simple, sentimental things that make the wedding day so very special for families.

Wedding Dress Shopping: Mother may know best, but don’t tell that to the bride

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When it comes to the wedding dress, as mother of the bride, you’ll either be involved in the selection of the wedding dress, or you won’t. If you will take part, you may feel a complicated mix of joy and dread (if you’re a mother of girls, you know what I mean). I’ve seen a few cringe-worthy scenarios on “Say Yes to the Dress,” and I most certainly learned a few things from my own experience.

Here a few tips for being a helpful partner in the process:
1. Give your daughter a wide berth at the early stages when she’s combing brides magazines and the internet. Don’t burst her bubble by immediately pointing out what won’t flatter. DO give her a subscription to a bridal magazine, but do it early because it takes a couple of months before the subscription kicks in.

2. She may have more ideas about what she DOESN’T want more than what she does. My daughter said NO STRAP-LESS, but I had a feeling a strap-less gown would look stunning on her. Wait until you’re in a salon and ask the shop attendant to bring one in for her to try. Sneaky but effective, especially when the “suggestion” doesn’t come from you. P.S. she wore strap-less.

3. When you start visiting shops, make sure your daughter has good undergarments. Showing up in a ratty sports bra will sabotage a few style trials!

4. Tell her she looks beautiful. In everything. But REALLY beam when she tries the one you just know will flatter her best.

5. Don’t bring too many people along. Too many opinions is counterproductive. But if the bride has a sister, definitely bring her along. She can be brutally honest like you can’t.

6. Boost your girl’s spirits if the first day out is disappointing. It may take a few stores, but she will find her dream dress, and you’ll both know it when she does.

Above all, have fun! Soak it in, have a few laughs, and make sure you plan a stop for a yummy lunch or a glass of wine at the end of the first day.

For fun, check out the link below for today’s top wedding dress trend, courtesy of Huffington Post wedding blog.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/30/wedding-dresses_n_3353627.html?ir=Weddings&utm_campaign=053013&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-weddings&utm_content=Title