Bows and Bling! Yes Please!
Thank goodness for daddy’s! They play in the cold water when mommy does not want to. They clean out and blow up your pool. They make amazing pancakes every weekend and the yummiest smoothies for you all the time. They have dance parties with you and can make huge bubbles with their hands in the bathtub. They make up hilarious songs about nothing and put you to bed every night.
They also let mommy get in a shower, an extra half hour of sleep in the morning, an occasional happy hour or brunch with the girls!
Thank goodness for daddy’s!
White and Black and quilted, yes please! The Coco Puffs $320
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately of the “do I HAVE to XYZ?” And my answer is almost always a resounding “no, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do”. Here are a few that come up over and over again.
1. Guest Book. You do not have to have a guest book. Most certainly not the traditional white book with attached pen and an attendant to make sure that people sign it. This question is a whole post unto itself…but what are you going to do with that afterward? Are you going to take it out and look at it, EVER? No, the answer is no, you are not. If you can think of something that you don’t mind sitting around your house after your wedding, then go for it otherwise, you don’t have to have it.
2. Plus 1. Here is my rule about the plus one on invitations. If your guest has been in a serious relationship for an extended period of time they get a plus one. I don’t know how long that might be, you decide, but you know if it seems serious to you or not. Some friends might seem really serious after 3 months, some friends might not seem that serious after 6 months. It is going to be on a per person basis. Otherwise, sorry they have to fly solo. Even if they call you and have met the person of their dreams and want to bring them (and yes, they will call you and ask you). In which case your answer should be “I’m really sorry, we are paying per plate and there are people I would really have liked to have invited and didn’t get to, I’m sure you understand”. My only exception to this rule is if your guest is not going to know anyone else at your wedding. Then definitely give them a plus one so they have someone they know to talk to and can enjoy themselves.
3. Invite List. This is almost always a bone of contention. My mom wants to invite her coworkers, my fiance’s dad wants to invite his entire extended family. My advice is to control your list. You and your fiance make the list of who you would like to invite then divvy up the remaining spots to your parents. I understand this can be touchy because possibly one side is paying and feels they should get to invite whomever they please or should get more people. If you feels strongly about who is at your wedding and who isn’t, then I suggest you really prioritize how important it really is to you so that you know how firmly (and respectfully) you need to stand your ground. Remember, despite who may be paying, this day is supposed to be a celebration of your love, not a networking event or a reunion of your parents old friends. Who do you want there to celebrate with you?
4. Kids. You should feel free to have a kids free wedding. But you should know a few things first. You must put it on your invitation that it is an adult only reception. If you have a website, please put it there as well. You are still going to get phone calls asking for exceptions. You are probably going to need to make some exceptions. People who are still nursing should probably be allowed to bring their kids. They aren’t going to be running around causing a disruption, they are going to sleep in the corner, so let that one slide. Otherwise, like the guest list and the plus ones, stand your ground. Provide a babysitter on site, or offer babysitter options. Care.come is a fantastic resource for event babysitters. And if your adult only reception includes your nieces and nephews that is ok too and you needn’t feel badly about that.
5. Bridal Party. The bridal party drama starts way before any of us are even engaged. What will I do, if I have so and so then I have to have so and so and then I will have a huge party. Or my mom things I have to have my cousin or my mother in law things I should have my sister in law. There are always going to be a million people who are going to have a million opinions about what you should and shouldn’t do. Have a bridal party, don’t have a bridal party, have one person, have 10, it is up to you and your fiance. You don’t need to cave to pressure. You should have the people standing next to you who have supported you through this relationship and who you hope will continue to do so through your marriage. Not so and so because you were in their wedding or because your mom said so.
Bottom line is that marriage is going to call for you to do a good deal of standing up for yourself and your relationship. Be that with your parents or your in laws or friends. You are going to need to set boundaries and hope that people meet your expectations of standing by them. So you might as well start practicing now because guess what, they are not going to get it right on the first try and you are going to have to remind them a few times.
These make me think of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Kate Spade licorice too pump
I love a good tradition as much as anyone else, but I’m here to tell you that just because you think it is tradition, doesn’t mean you have to do it! You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do! It is your wedding! Wear a pink dress, don’t walk down an aisle (yep, had a bride do that), throw them all out the window, make your own! Here are a few major traditions that I give you permission to skip.
1. Skip the Aisle Runner! I know I’ve said this a million times and I’m about to sound like a broken record. But you do not need an aisle runner simple because you think it is the traditional thing to do. They are a tripping hazard, your heels get caught in them, they end up looking ugly and they serve no purpose. You can pretty up your aisle a million better ways.
2. Skip the program. Unless you are having a complicated ceremony and people need to understand what is going on, they end up being thrown away and barely glanced at.
3. Skip the introductions. You do not have to introduce your entire wedding party and your parents. Especially if you have a particularly large party – people want to eat and party, don’t hold them up from doing just that!
4. Skip the garter, the bouquet toss and the garter toss. If you don’t have a lot of single friends it is almost weird.
5. Skip the organized dances (this includes the YMCA and the dollar dance. Some people don’t have a mom or dad to dance with. Some people just don’t like to dance. Whatever it is, nobody is going to mind one single bit if they get to skip watching you dance and get to just do it themselves!
6. Skip the cake cutting (but please DO have cake! ). You can cut your cake without drawing attention to it if you wish. Some people want to just get married and however possible cut down on being the center of attention all day (impossible). But you can still limit the number of times you say “hey look at me”.
The bottom line is skip whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t make you happy or you don’t want to do. Just because every wedding you’ve ever gone to has done it “that” way doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. Or just because your mother thinks that is the only way to do it doesn’t mean that is the case either (sorry moms). Regardless of who is paying, you need to be happy with your day at the end of it. And while I am always the first to say if you are married at the end of the day it was a success, I will also be the first to say push back a little on those traditions. Think “why is it that I think I need to follow them?” and then once you’ve answered that question decide if it is a good enough reason to follow them or not. Be happy!
I can’t decide if this is the perfect moment or not at all the right mindset to be writing a mother’s day post. As I attempt to write this my daughter is in her crib singing “bye bye bye bye” over and over and over again because she refuses to nap and I am at my whits end and about to pull my hair out. So that being said I’m in the perfect frame of mind to remind you to be nice to your mom and mother of your children!
I’m certain I don’t have many male or young readers, but just incase there are a few out there looking for a mother’s day idea, here are a few I wouldn’t mind.
A Day Off. Period, just that. Requires me to post no lovely pictures and you to spend not a dime. Only that you allow us to sleep in and then pretend like we are young carefree girls again for one entire day and night.
Spa Day. She can use this on her day off! Or a gift card to where she gets her hair done, because when is the last time mommy had time to get a hair cut kids?
Tablet. The only way I get any reading or emailing done is on my ipad when I’m trying to get the baby to sleep. I would accomplish half as much if I couldn’t read over a sleeping baby’s head!
Jewelry. You can’t go wrong with jewelry or Kate Spade. And how cute is this little bangle?!
DIY. A “thank you”, a hug, a drawing, a card. Just show mom the love and that she is appreciated. That is all she really wants (ok that and the day off).
Jimmy Choo + Pink + Bows = Perfection!
Sometimes when you’ve been doing your job for so long, you forget that people may not always know how to do something that you do so often you assume that everyone knows how to do it. Opps! Securing a room block is one of those things that I do so often that I often forget it isn’t second nature to everyone. So, here are a few tips on securing your own room block.
1. Yes, you can get a cheaper rate at hotels for your guests by booking a certain number of rooms in advance.
2. No, these are not the same rates you are going to find online.
3. Call the hotel where you wish to book rooms (I suggest that it be as close to your venue as possible) and ask to speak with someone in group sales.
4. When you speak to the sales person tell them you need a wedding room block (yes, it is ok to say the word wedding, 16th birthday, wedding, bar mitzvah, it doesn’t matter, I promise!) check in date X, check out date X for X number of rooms.
5. They are likely not going to give you more than 20 rooms tops
6. Book at least two hotels if not 3 in order to give your guests a range of prices and in order to get the number of rooms you need if necessary
7. DO NOT PAY ATTRITION! This is a big one! THE biggest one. Make sure, ask, if this is a courtesy block. If it is not, then simply say no thank you. Attrition means that you will be charged a percentage of the rooms that you do not fill. There are plenty of hotels out there that will offer you a courtesy block, you need not pay attrition.
8. They may ask you if you are looking at other hotels. Tell them! Tell them that the hotel down the street is offering you a courtesy block for X and can they beat that price? They very well may try.
9. You still need to sign a contract even though you are not paying, it just locks in your room rate.
10. Ask them if they will give you a free suite for the bride and groom or at least a discount if you fill a certain number of rooms.
11. If you fill your rooms, make sure that they will give you more at the same rate (assuming they have them of course).
12. Ask if there is any leniency for guests checking in a day early or staying a day late. Can they extend the room block rate to them?
You will be pleasantly surprised how lovely many hotels are to work with and how easy they make things for you. Now that you have the tools, go out there and get a good rate!