Real Weddings! Bright & romantic

These lovely photos by Christina Frary at Matthew David Studios capture some moments at this bright, romantic Palm Springs wedding. We love the loose, wild yet feminine bouquet. Enjoy!

When you don’t want a political party.

Tough political fights are expected this election season. How do you keep them out of the dining room come Thanksgiving? Here are some tips to keep your holiday a non-political party.

  • History repeats itself: Who’s given campaign speeches during appetizers before? Speak frankly about their behavior making family members uncomfortable.  When asked politely, most people’s bad behavior can be cut off at the pass.

    Change the subject - talk abut the floral centerpiece!

    Change the subject – talk abut the floral centerpiece!

  • Set ground rules: We think that everyone knows not to discuss politics and religion at big gatherings. Not so. Take a cue from boxing refs and make an announcement: “I want a good clean dinner! Any partisanship gets you bumped to the kids table!”
  • Shut it down: If someone does spout off, don’t just roll your eyes and go with the flow. Be firm but polite, and change the subject. This is your house.

With these tips, your holiday table can be a politics free zone! Time with family can be stressful, but remember, we also need to be grateful for these folks who drive us crazy- because we also happen to love them very much. Enjoy your family!

Be well and love well.

-Dinah

The wedding problem that’s easy to fix.

On wedding day, you want to be aware of every moment. Like the song says you don’t wanna miss a thing. There’s one distraction that’s super easy to avoid but ensnares many brides. Can you guess what it is?

Hunger.  Yes! Hunger.  Avoiding a heavy meal so you don’t bloat? Yes.  Not having anything to eat?  No. So, have a snack!  We’ve listed some ideas- mix and match! All of the below are easy to keep around while you are getting ready.

–       baby carrotsFlorist-21

–       almonds

–       string cheese

–       apple slices

Go down the aisle happy and fully in the moment, not with your brain looking for the nearest sandwich! Eat up!

 

Be well and love well.

Sad days, but happy memories.

Sending love and happy memories to our dear Gregory, Alan, Molly, Daisy, Lilly & the cats. IMG_3483 IMG_1525Butchie will be missed.

Oscar De La Renta’s wedding advice.

This past weekend the world lost iconic fashion designer Oscar De La Renta. The accolades and remembrances continue to roll in from fashion journalists and celebrities, and all share a common view of what made him a genius. His talent was in making sure the woman was the focus, not the dress.THE HEART TRUTH FASHION SHOW 02/11/10

How does that apply to weddings? Well simply put, as you plan make sure you’re the stars of the show: you and that wonderful person you’re marrying.  Your ideas for details and décor are wonderful, but make sure that the look you and your florist create doesn’t overwhelm the most special, unique feature of the event – that’s your love and happiness!  Like De La Renta’s beautiful gowns, the design should beautifully flatter, but not overtake you.  After all, you’re what everyone’s come to see.  Not the ice sculpture.

Live well and love well.

 

-Dinah

Celebrating holidays helps your relationship! Get your Halloween on!

Celebrating holidays is good for your relationship – especially if you’re planning a wedding. No excuses for not celebrating Halloween people! Here are 3 reasons why getting in the holiday spirit is good for you and your sweetie.

Holidays are built-in together-time: We discussed the “I’m too busy with my wedding to celebrate Halloween” concept in an earlier post.  Snap out of it! Take advantage of the momentum in the existing holiday and create traditions with your partner. We’re making memories people!

Holidays are great for new experiences: and it’s been scientifically proven that couples who learn and experience new things together are happier.  Take pumpkin carving classes! Learn to traditional Dia De Los Muertos dances!  Get happy!IMG_3344

Holidays are FUN! : Whether or not you’re planning a wedding, we all need a little more fun in our lives.  Making time to focus on something Halloweeny be it a spooky dinner, decorating your space or just watching The Great Pumpkin you and your honey can make this Halloween a blast.

You’ve got your (fun) work cut out for you. We’ve got Halloween first, Thanksgiving and then the winter holidays are soon upon us.  Get out there and celebrate! 

 

 

BEST WEDDING PLANNING BOOKS! A very proper choice.

Taking the words of wedding experts with a grain of salt is the only way to survive. That said, there are some great wedding planning books out there full of sage advice. This is probably my favorite.

Emily Post’s Etiquette 18th Edition

This classic guide includes not only information on weddings, but on a myriad of social situations.  Useful for the basics while planning the wedding, afterwards this becomes an invaluable resource for drafting thank you notes, how to address letters to local officials, what to wear to religious celebrations…it’s an incredible resource for any couple. The Post grandchildren carry Emily’s flag into the digital era, including email and social media issues. A must have!

Always have real flowers on a wedding cake. Except this one.

There are few occasion when a floral designer is OK with no real flowers on a cake. This is one of them (YUM!) I’m a sucker for the Wedgewood wedding cake thing – don’t try it with Limoges though – starts to look like an overdone Easter Egg. And this couple was sure to have loads of flowers everywhere else- I’d extrapolate from the decor- monochromatic- shades of white, lots of peonies. Let the cake, and the couple, be the stars of the show.

Courtesy of Brides Magazine.

Wedding planning mistakes: always read the fine print.

ALWAYS read the fine print. Great general advice, but wedding-wise, it’s extra important. So what’s the story on fine print anyway? And how does a couple make sure they don’t miss something that comes back to bite them in the budget? Read on.

Fine print refers to the tiny writing at the ends of contracts. Parts of an arrangement that might not be so favorable to a consumer hide out there, or perhaps on an extra page of  “terms and conditions.” Either way, the not in 12 point helvetica. slip in   You agree to those by signing the main agreement, so it’s your RodJeffWed_150responsibility to make sure you’ve read through the whole contract.  And, our advice is to have someone outside the happy pair read it too.  Gauzy visions of a perfect wedding can make that tiny print VERY blurry, and the terms include your filling the venue’s koi pond.

Another thing to check is that you’re booking the professional you are meeting, not one of their representatives. Paying for a professional’s services at your wedding? Make sure you sign a document that says so, not one that says he can send his assistant and go to Lake Tahoe on your dime.

You may find other surprises in your contracts, read them with eagle eyes. If you’re careful, you can avoid nasty surprises from the fine print.

Be well, and love well.

Dinah

 

Wedding to do list: florist, baker, officiant…loan officer?

It’s perfectly natural to want a more lavish wedding than you can afford.  The internet wedding and television world has raised the bar. Add the desire to have amazing photos for friends to admire on Instagram, Facebook, etc. and you have couples planning beyond their means. The finance world, ever predatory, has come up with a “solution:” wedding loans. They are a terrible idea both financially and emotionally.  Let’s explore why. wedding-loans-marry-in-style-with-collateral-free-loans-1-728

  • Financially, there’s no worse way to start your life together than by adding debt.  What a terrible wedding gift to each other! The easy solution that brings immediate happiness will be a terrible choice down the road when buying a home or car and you are still paying off loans from a party you had long, long ago.  Are you going to be glad then that you made that sacrifice to have beef instead of chicken?
  • Emotionally, the potential for fighting over money in a marriage is high. If either one of you is the slightest bit unsure about taking out a loan for the wedding, down the line that’s going to come out and be a point of contention.  And it will be a point of contention that will follow you in your relationship until you are completely out of debt! I wouldn’t want resentment over a loan floating over my marriage, that’s for sure.

So there are my reasons I am against wedding loans.  I am sure there are people who use them responsibly and find them very helpful. If you’re interested, make sure you read the terms very carefully.  For the rest of you, go make a good budget!

Be well and love well.

Dinah