Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing Writing Writing: A Bride’s Epic Battle to Address

<i>What I reverted after HOURS of addressing.</i>

What I reverted to after HOURS of addressing.

Alright, people, today I offer you my most poignant piece of advice to date… listen VERY carefully or you just may risk losing your mind (perhaps even a hand) to bridal warfare… FOR-EV-VER! 

Okay, okay, that’s an exaggeration, but writer’s cramp is no laughing matter.  I suggest any of you preparing to tackle your invites, thank you’s, etc. to tread carefully AND respectfully…  for this is not a world that you should enter into lightly.  Take for instance the tale of this poor bride-to-be, and of course by this poor bride-to-be, I mean this (points to self) bride, me:

Dear Diary,

Well, it started off well enough.  After receiving my wedding invitations weeks in advance (thank you, Aunt Madonna!), I figured I had pleeeenty of time to polish them off before dropping them by Ye Old Postal Service (Mistake # 1… of many).  However, just like everything else under the watchful eye of Father Time, “pleeeenty of time” turned into a single week… a single week turned into a couple of days… and a couple of days turned into the last few, schizophrenic hours before deadline.  Thus, my dear friend, is where I found myself last night.  Journey with me, won’t you… into a world that can only be described as the most dizzying night of aswirly twirly Mr. & Mrs. / ampersand combos in the history of mankind. 

It’s a couple hours in, and already I feel the please-let there-be-something-out-there-to-distract-me ADHD kick in.  After channeling my inner go-getter, however, I almost instantly become a methodical machine, fashioned by shorts bursts of frenzy and slow, Yoga’esque breathing.  Unfortunately, the breathing was patterned around the mantra “Inhale – you can do this, Mary (and) Exhale – you are such an idiot for waiting!”  A little less than encouraging, eh? 

Cut to six hours later… The Yoga’esque breathing is long gone and has been replaced by pierced lips and clenched teeth.  I only have myself to blame, but instead of doing the “grown up” thing and admitting defeat, I chose the classier road and began to blame everyone else.  I took on the child like persona of an eight year old girl, filled with dramatic pouts and empty threats.  Not only have I irritated everyone around me, but I’m dealing with the unmistakable misfortune of a numbing booty and a neck lingering on the verge of broken.  Awesome.

Then, after what felt like days of recalling my finest, cursive penmanship – which by the end of the night resembled something closer to heinously flailing chicken scratch -, thee old, trusty right hand began to crumple under the pressure.  Yep.  It was almost physically impossible to keep going… The brat in me considered writing left-handed, but the bride in me prevailed, and I finally finished.  Then through watery, bloodshot eyes, behind a fury of frizzy curls, underneath a pile of do-over envelopes, a question emerged from the crowd – and by crowd, I mean my Mister,”Why did you wait until tonight to do them all?”  (grrrrrrr)

… Anyone?  Buehler?

Let me answer that for you, my dear man-to-be… because I’m an idiot, (hehe, just kidding… kind of ) but you don’t have to be!  For all my lovely brides-to-be out there, please listen and head this advice: if you are lucky enough and find yourselves in a situation where you have things given to early (ie. your wedding invitation envelopes), don’t get “soooo busy” to the point where you put ANYTHING off until the last minute.  Better you do a few things here and there, than everything all at once.

Trust me and my poor, poor crippled hand.

Say “Yes!” to the World’s Most Romantic Places to Propose

The mood is just right, filled with flickering moments of intense excitement, well rehearsed preparation and unspoken anticipation.  Love is in the air, perhaps now more than ever, with an unforgettable juxtaposition of palpitated eagerness and resounding patience.  Then, it climaxes as he makes his way down to one knee and utters the same four worded question every girl longs to hear, “Will you marry me?”  (Sigh)  Proposals can pack a serious punch of romance.  So when it comes to popping the question, atmosphere is key.  Below are some of the best spots the world has to offer. 

The Pont Neuf (Paris, France):  Ay, me.  Say amour.  Paris, France: the city of lights, the city of love and most importantly the city of ahhhmazing proposals.  An effervescent cheerleader for lovers everywhere, Paris is the epicenter for idyllic romance to unfold; so, there is no surprise that its iconic structures follow suit.  Pont Neuf, ironically meaning “new bridge,” has now become the oldest bridge in France, making it a magical composition old world charm and new age love.  Available at all hours and completely void of any expense to roam, this distinctive destination overlooks the Seine River and is most striking at sunset when the city takes on an amber glow.

Pont-Neuf-Proposal

Overlooking the Pitons (St. Lucia):  Every girl yearns for a perfect proposal.  After all, it will be the story she retells for over and over again to anyone who will listen – or at least until it is topped by the actual big day.  Regardless, if a girl wants a ga-ga gorgeous proposal, her squeeze-to-be needn’t look any further than the ga-ga gorgeous Gros and Petit Pitons in St. Lucia.  Creating a picturesque, back drop of serenity, these volcanic wonders skyrocket over 3,000 feet from the admirably saturated blue waters below.  Definitely a more costly alternative, this proposal spot can feature everything from a helicopter ride to a dip in the therapeutic, Sulphur springs.

St.-Lucia-Proposal

Hot-Air Balloon Ride over the Masai Mara (Kenya, Africa):  Hands down, one of the most well known, well loved adventures to experience, the calming nature of a hot-air balloon ride is undeniable, and when it’s combined with the unmatched tranquility surrounding Africa’s Masai Mara, there is no question of its magic.  Sure, it can be rather expensive to accomplish, but when the outcomes are priceless results, it’s impossible to compare.

Masai-Mara-Proposal

A Sunset Sail in Bora Bora (Tahiti):  Her timbers will surely shiver when you set sail at sunset in beautiful Bora Bora.  The Le Meridien Bora Bora specializes in such proposals and can easily help any love sick pup make a perfect memory. The epitome of Polynesian perfection, these sunset sails have all the ingredients for one, outrageously quixotic “Will you marry me?” session: crystal clear waters, tropical breezes, sparkling champagne and lovers at sunset!  Bora Bora truly does offer more-a more-a.

Bora-Bora-Proposal

Central Park (New York, New York):  Providing a beacon of hope for single gals everywhere, Central Park has been the Mecca for romantic comedies the world over.  From Carrie and Big to Ross and Rachael, movie goers really connect with New York based love affairs, making Central Park a no brainer for proposal settings.  Unlike most seemingly romantic spots, Central Park doesn’t have to be warm to be to be beautiful.  It is just as magnificent – if not more so – when it’s cold… just one more perk to this already incredible park.  And for a true man with a plan (and a little extra dough), the Per Se restaurant in NYC is ideal!  Overlooking the entire park, this splurge worthy dinner for two needs to be booked at least two months in advance, but provides a nine-course menu as well as personal service to create a one of kind environment.

Central-Park-Proposal

Vertigo Restaurant (Bangkok, Thailand): One of Thailand’s most appetizing treasures, the Vertigo Restaurant – part of the Banyan Tree Hotel – provides the utmost in exotic atmosphere, but its striking appeal is only the beginning.  Where this killer of cuisine really dazzles is in its efforts to keep every proposal personal.  The concierge will work with every Prince Charming to provide sentimental touches, such as her favorite flowers or top choice wine.  Set 61 floors above the bustling city of Bangkok, this delectable dining experience makes a statement all on its own, but once it is accompanied by a man down on one knee, the results are nothing short of electric.

Vertigo-Proposal

A Love that Goes to the Moon & Back: A Tribute to my Mister on his Birthday

Falling-in-Love I – don’t get many things right the first time. / In fact, I am told that a lot. / Now, I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls… brought me here. / And where was I before the day, / that I first saw your lovely face? / Now, I see it everyday. / And I know…

That I am… I am… I am… the Luckiest.

If you’re not a fan of Ben Folds, I suggest you listen to this song, and I bet you’ll change your mind.  Somehow, he knew just the right words to help me open this tribute for my mister, Tanner Douglas.  Tanner is my favorite dude, and someday, if I’m lucky enough to make it to heaven and they ask me what my favorite thing is in all the world (so, they can fill my room with it, of course!)… I would kindly ask them to fill it with mine and Tanner’s “imperfect” love.

Sometimes, I think brides (or girls in general) get caught up in the fairy tale fantasy of love.  I, however, am not one of those girls… I’m simply too spastic for such things, which is why I’m beyond confident in saying that our life is not the fairy tale fantasy most wish for.  Tanner is by no means Prince Charming, and I am by no means Princess Cinderella.  And after nearly four years together, I can honestly say, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  We may not be the fairy tale dream come true, but we are the best, five star, “two thumbs up” romantic comedy this side of the Mississippi. 

We know it’s not just about magical pumpkins and fairy godmothers; nor is it about just loving each other in “good times… for richer… and in health.”  It’s about loving each other after the curtains close and you find yourself in “bad times… poor times… and in sickness.”  Real love can be difficult.  It is gritty and raw and unrehearsed, but if you’re lucky enough to find it, hold on… because it’s far more rewarding than any cartoon fantasy could ever be.  Cinderella needn’t worry about me.  She can keep her glass slippers, because I have my super tall Harry Burns, and he has his non-smoking Bridget Jones.

We may not be perfect, but we’re perfect for each other.  Every day isn’t filled with candy and flowers and rainbows, nor are they always the easiest.  In fact, some days can be really hard.  But, if you think for even one second that I have ever questioned the effort, you’d be mistaken.  Because every day is absolutely worth it.  Because he is absolutely worth it, and this is why:   

Tanner is my favorite part of the day.  He is funny and kind and hands down, the wittiest person I know.  He is sweet in the simplest, most unexpected ways, and he makes me feel beautiful, even on my ugliest, frumpiest days.  He is nothing more than a big kid, equipped with an even bigger heart.  His best friend is my 1 1/2 year old nephew, and hearing them laugh together is quite possibly cuter than a wagon full of puppies.  He is incredibly handsome, which makes it even easier for him to be annoyingly charming – one might even say, a little too easy, haha.  He always lets me go first, but he will never ever just let me win…  That, I have to work for, which I like.  I like to be challenged, because it makes me better.  HE makes me better. 

Tanner loves me the best way he knows how – recklessly and unapologetically, and will proudly announce it to anyone – whether they’re listening or not.  His hand is the perfect fit for mine and holding it in the car makes me look forward to even the longest drives or busiest, traffic jams.  He once told me that I was his angel, but truly, he’s mine.  He saved the girl who questioned herself and made her feel invincible.  He’s the one person who doesn’t mind when I fall, because he gets to be the one, waiting at the bottom, to catch me.  He has the kindest, most accepting eyes, and there is no one in this entire world I’d rather grow old with than him.

With him – as imperfect as we both may be – I know that I am… I am… I am… the Luckiest.  Happy birthday, buddy!  Two more months until we make it official!! 

I invite you all to share why your man makes you feel like “the Luckiest.”  If anything, you’ll make this big sap’s day :)  Or simply enjoy the cutest video ever…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYU6lbGSbxc]

Keeping Up with THIS Kardashian Would Send an Average Bride into a Tizzy

Kardashian and Odom at the <i>Whiteout</i>movie premiere

Ryan Seacrest wasn’t lying when he dubbed E!’s hit show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” back in October 2007.  Because fast forward two years later and not only is Khloe Kardashian making it difficult to “keep up,” but she’s blowing the average bride and her average timeline out of the water!  Set to wed Lamar Odom, current LA Lakers forwarding funk master, Kardashian decided to throw bridal norms to the breeze and blow right into her big day! 

While it’s not unusual for Hollywood Hunnies to do what they want when it comes to wedded bliss (and then, undo… maybe even redo again), their standards almost never seem to match up with the rest of the world’s.  For instance, most future “I do’ers” take their time courting and getting to know each another before giving the infamous “Will you marry me?” speech.  Kardashian and Odom, however, said a big fat “ppppppffffffftttt” to that and set their wedding date a mere FIVE WEEKS after they met!

You heard me.  After only twelve days of dating, they announced their engagement, and before the media had proper time to feast and recover from that winner winner chicken dinner, Kardashian and Lamar one upped ‘em again by announcing they’d already set the date… for this Sunday, September 27.  Yowsas! 

Without even batting an eyelash, Kardashian will take a couple of weeks to plan what the average bride takes 12-18 months to resurrect, proving once again, you’d need to run really fast (dare I even say, DASH?) to keep up.   And with all this celebrity rushing, it’s left the rest of us all thinking – but not talking – about the giant, pink elephant in the room… how long until these “I do’s” turn into ”I do not’s?”

There, I said it.  I hate that I said it, especially because I would die to be on the list of 200 receiving an invitation this week and will keep my fingers crossed until Friday, but I said it.  I guess over the years, my little, celebrity luvin’ heart has learned to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  So, good luck Khloe and Lamar!  Here’s to proving everyone wrong :)

Don’t Have A Best Man?: Japan’s Rent-A-Friend Business Can Help

Rent-a-Friend You heard me right, kids.   According to USA Today, Ryuichi Ichinokawa of Japan started his rent-a-friend business nearly four years ago and based it on “spare(ing) clients’ blushes at social functions such as weddings and funerals.”  Seems useful enough in theory, but wouldn’t a blush be even bigger if everyone found out they were rented?  Talk about awwwkward.

According to Ichinokawa, however, in the three and half years he’s been working the scene, he has never been outed.  He is a self proclaimed master of faux best man speeches and can be all yours for a the low cost of $150… Wedding toasts and karaoke performances are extra.  (For real, people, I can’t make this stuff up.)

Now housing 30 agents, the SUPER desperate could not only rent a best man, but they could also throw in a maid of honor, crazy uncle, “oldest, dearest” friend and weird neighbor… don’t act like they’re not on your list already – hehe.   Ichinokawa lays claim that his business is very gratifying.  He’s providing a service for the otherwise un-serviceable, and after all the time consuming prep work is done, it’s Showtime.

Ahhh, yes, Showtime indeed, as Ichinokawa’s company is merely the tip of the iceberg.  There are ten other social agencies in Japan providing the same rent-a-friend services for all occasions.  And, while, I’m not sure I’ll be hiring any of them anytime soon, I do applaud their efforts and say “Bravo!” for braving what apparently, no one else could or would brave!

Indianapolis Welcomes TV’s Hottest ‘Kids Next Door’ Newlyweds: Kendra + Hank

Indiana-Welcomes-Kendra-+-Hank I know.  I know.  BAAAHHLEIVE ME, I know.  It’s for shame that I even admit this out loud; however, the best news I’ve heard all week – dare I even say all month? – is that recently famed Newlyweds Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett are coming to Indiana!  That’s right.  The former ‘Girl Next Door’ and her main squeeze are the newest members to join Indiana’s finest!!  So, at the risk of sounding like a total nerd, can I just say, “hip hip and HOORAY!” 

Lord knows, I love me some celebrity action!  And as a glorified, born and bread Midwestern Girl, I know that Indiana is not the pick of the litter when it comes to Hollywood hot spots.  Heck, it’s not even a luke warm litter; it’s probably more like “hey-I-flew-over-that-place-once” litter.  (Siiiigh)  So, imagine how pumped my little bride-to-be heart was when it came across this incredible news!!  Recently accepted as the newest member of the Indianapolis Colts, Baskett’s wide receiving skills can be held accountable for bringing this famed Mr. and Mrs. to town.  Way to be, All Star! 

After watching their well-ta-do E! Wedding Special, it’s more than safe to say that my heart grew a little fonder of these two crazy kids.  As Kendra stammered and giggled through her vows, I couldn’t help but laugh myself… which is why I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before our paths cross and we start to hang out and tailgate and exchange wedding tips and advice – no worries, I’ll totally share with all of you – and just become the best of friends!  Haha!  What?  Too much?… I knew it :)

Okay, okay, while I’ll admit my thoughts may be a smidgey bit over zealous, I will say this.  The Colts are on the road for their next two games; so, what are the odds that they’ll “conveniently” be back in town for their next home game on October 4… the same day as my bridal shower??… Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Looks like Kendra will be back just in time to join us!  Haha! 

For real though, it really is exciting to have famous “I do’ers” walking around Marilyn’s Keepsakes hometown.  So, from our house to yours, K-Dub and Mr. B, might I just say, a big, fat, hearty Welcome!  And we’ll see you on Sunday!

Ms. Manners Reports: How-to Properly Seat Your Wedding Guests

Just-Married-Bride Let’s be honest here, ladies… creating and consolidating your wedding guest list can be a real pain in the patella.  Picking and choosing who stays and who goes, who’s A List and who’s B List can leave a very “Mean Girls’esque” spot on the soul; so, when it comes to arranging those guests into specifically grouped  tables at your reception, you just may be left feeling like Lindsay Lohan… on a bad day.  Yikes! 

But don’t let it get you down!  While your wedding day should be planned around your taste, “your taste” more than likely, includes a concern for your guests.  After all, you want your celebration to be one that everyone looks back on fondly. So, while it’s important to consider important guests (i.e. parents, grandparents, officiant, etc.), you can’t let the fear of upsetting guests prevent you from getting the job done. Keep reminding yourself that everyone is there for you, and where they’re seated is merely secondary to the reason they’ve all gathered together.  Plus, once the dinner plates are cleared, it generally become a free for all anyways :) 

To help keep your sanity level normal, however; here are some tips to make seating your guests even easier:

  • Be sure to have your seating arrangement completed at least two weeks before the big day.  This will ensure everything can be properly coordinated with all other vendors concerned.  (ie. reception hall managers, caterers, etc.)
  • Etiquettly speaking, both your parents and the groom’s parents may be seated at the same table or separate tables depending on what works best.
  • The officiant and their spouse (if applicable) should also be seated at the host table.
  • If your parents are divorced, seat them independently from one another.  For an easy fix, one set may be seated with the groom’s parents, and the other set may be paired with the officiant and other family members.
  • Seat the rest of your guests according to family size, common interests and age.
  • Families – for the most part – should always be seated together.  If their numbers are too great, be sure to put them at side by side tables.
  • Be sure guests with strong opinions on certain topics (i.e. Religion, Politics, etc) aren’t grouped with other guests who have polar opposite views.  (Don’t act like you don’t know who I’m talking about here – hehe!)
  • Put your college friends and his college friends together for an easy match up.
  • It’s also nice to pair up family members that haven’t seen each other in awhile at the same table.  It’ll be super nice for them to catch up on old times… well, unless they’re like the aforementioned clashers.  Then, avoid this rule.
  • Also consider having a children’s table.  Feel free to fill it with coloring books, crayons and games to keep them as entertained as the older crowd.
  • If possible, try to have an even number at each table.  This will avoid having anyone feel like the “odd man out.”  Nobody likes to play that role.
  • Also, seat people who love to “shake their groove thangs!” close to the dance floor.  They’ll help transition the place into a real party.
  • Most importqantly, you know everyone the best; so, as long as you do your best to keep everyone comfortable, you’ll do just fine!   

And if all else fails, just do like me: set up a couple extra tables in your reception hall and let your guests seat themselves!  The extra tables will allow larger groups or families who arrive last the opportunity to stay together, instead of piece mealing themselves out to 6 different tables.  ‘Cause Lord knows… that could be all kinds of awkward.  Any other good tips?  Let me know!  And happ-happ-happy planning!

It’s all about the *Ooh La La: The World’s Most Fabulous Honeymoon Suites

The difference between extraordinary honeymoon hotels and ordinary newlywed nights is the little “extra” that goes along with it. Separating the ho-hum fun from the down right fabulous, over the top hotel suites are sure to give “I do” swooners memories for a lifetime… or – in some cases, as luck would have it –, debt for a lifetime. Below is a list of the most jaw-dropping, eye-popping, wallet squeezing honeymoon resorts found around the world… and I think, the Mister and me more than likely have a shot at fancying ourselves in about all of them… well, if love were money and the receptionist excepted payment in hugs.

The Westin Excelsior’s Villa Cupola (Rome, Italy): Valued as the most expensive hotel suite in the world, this pricey $29,000 (and change)/night palace gives its guest the full-on royal treatment. With the ability to present a list of “pre-arrival” preferences, freshly married folks are made to feel like celeb-utante’s. Even though the regal room is already adorned with authentic Italian frescoes, stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings, every guest has the opportunity to fill the Villa Cupola with their favorite flowers, cigars and amenities. Not to mention, the spoil splurging stay includes a private, welcome massage, a fully stocked kitchen with over 150 of the finest wines, a clandestine library, a Jacuzzi bedecked fitness and spa center and elusive cinema, complete with surround sound. *After thought: Fine, fine.  We’ll do one - haha!

Honeymoolah 1: The Westin Escelsior's Villa Cupola

Honeymoolah 1: The Westin Escelsior's Villa Cupola

Atlantis Paradise Hotel’s Bridge Suite (Bahamas): Newlyweds will easily be able to hob knob with the best of ‘em after staying in this über lavish, fit for the rich and famous suite. Soaring above the competition, the crown jewel of the Atlantis is suspended between its two Royal Towers and has housed some of the world’s most recognizably wealthy clientele, such as Bill Gates and Oprah. For a staggering $25,000/night, a couples’ eyes will be open to a luxurious ten room suite, featuring marble floors, a 22-karat gold chandelier, an ivory tickling grand piano in the 1,250-square foot living room, an 800 foot terrace overlooking the island and a ten foot, four poster bed.  *After thought: if Oprah is planning on putting a stay at this ditty on her infamous “Favorite Things” episode, my booty better be seated in the crowd! 

Honeymoolah 2: Atlantis Paradise Hotel’s Bridge Suite
Honeymoolah 2: Atlantis Paradise Hotel’s Bridge Suite

The InterContinental’s Terrace Suite (Hong Kong, China): As stated in its title, this glorious suite is all about its incredibly effervescent, state of the art veranda, and for a meager $14,139/night, the InterContinental will gladly open its doors to honeymooners everywhere. Fashioned with plush cushions for comfort, scented candles for ambiance, rose petals for whimsy and mosquito netting for calming convenience, this honeymoon hideaway’s balcony is truly a force to be reckoned with. Putting even Romeo to shame, the Terrace Suite makes sleeping under the stars and Jacuzzi’ing by moonlight a simple credit card charge away. After couples are welcomed with a bottle Dom Pérignon, they can easily toast to all the amenities they’ll receive, such as Rolls Royce transportation, 24/hour butler service, private spa treatments, yoga and tai chi classes, “Romance” baths and privately catered meals fit for a king.  *After thought: Do you think they have gift registry available?  Hehe.

Honeymoolah 3: The InterContinental’s Terrace Suite

Honeymoolah 3: The InterContinental’s Terrace Suite

Eagle Island Camp’s Private Suites (Okavango Delta, Botswana): Couples looking for a little more bang for their buck will delight in the unmistakable atmosphere of Eagle Island’s Private Suites.  The most cost conscious choice on the list ($2,010/night), these adventure driven abodes will provide all the excitement of a safari within the confines of luminescent luxury. Featuring outdoor plunge pools, copper tubs and showers, each sensationally secluded suite offers an enormous viewing at the heart of the Delta, giving honeymooners the up close and personal chance to catch a glimpse of the island’s inhabitants: hippos, crocodiles and elephants. (Oh my!) Not to mention, every honeymooning couple who reserves a suite also reserves the right to observe a game viewing with an experienced guide.  *After thought: I’m hoping for all the other guests’ sake that the “outdoor” showers have “indoor” privacy… because let’s be honest, no one ELSE really wants to see that.

Honeymoolah 4: Eagle Island Camp’s Private Suites

Honeymoolah 4: Eagle Island Camp’s Private Suites

Parrot Cay’s Sanctuary Villa (Turks and Caicos): Donna Karan didn’t scrimp when she collaborated on the design of this straight out of a fantasy novel, secluded sanctuary. In fact, it is easy to say she splurged. For a breezy $20,000/night the Sanctuary Villa is one of the most costly honeymoon suites, and for good reason. Privately stationed – a five minute car ride away from its parent resort – this two bedroom, Balinese bungalow features voluminous day beds, teak chic furniture and a swoon worthy 360 degree view of the island, as well as private beach access, an infinity pool and an on call personal chef and two butlers.  *After thought: Dear Donna, of course we’d love to stay with you!  Thanks so much for asking!  Love always, M & T.

Honeymoolah 5: Parrot Cay’s Sanctuary Villa

Honeymoolah 5: Parrot Cay’s Sanctuary Villa

The Palm’s Sky Villa 2 (Las Vegas, Nevada): Playboy Bunny approved, this over-the-top, $25,000/night hotel suite takes sexy to the extreme. With its virtually floating, cantilevered terrace, the Sky Villa 2’s veranda features a full sized Jacuzzi with an unmistakable view of the Vegas strip, complemented by all sorts of atmosphere, and that is just the outside! The lap of luxury continues indoors with three bedrooms – the largest of which spotlights a rotating bed – media room, private fitness center and a personal butler. And what Vegas spectacle wouldn’t be complete without its very own poker table? That’s right; this ostentatious honeymoon bungalow even has its own private gambling area. Come on, big winner!  *After Thought: Why is everytime I look at pictures of this place the Fossi number “Hey BIG SPENDER!” goes through my head?

Honeymoolah 6: The Palm’s Sky Villa 2

Honeymoolah 6: The Palm’s Sky Villa 2

Holiday Humdingers: How-to Take Advantage of the Holidays in Planning your Wedding

Holiday-Bride Alright, brides-to-be, with the holiday season (and the Mister and me’s wedding – hooray!) vastly approaching, it’s imperative for you to know Santa shouldn’t be the only one making a list and checking it twice.  Since I’ve lived through it, I deemed it necessary to share some of the festive advice I used while planning during “the most wonderful time of the year.”  I mean honestly, who doesn’t love the holidays?  The gathering of family and friends.  The music.  The food.  The fun.  The laughter… the extra days away from the office (wink, wink).  It really does put the world in a better – more giving – mood.

So, I implore you to use it as a time to rev your wedding planning into high gear.  Take advantage of all the small pleasures the holidays bring and use them to start checking things off your list…

  • Because the holidays create a time to gather all your loved ones in one area, you can easily get and share advice with other brides-to-be.  Ask family and friends for their top dos and don’ts; so, you know what to look for and what to avoid.
  • If you find yourself hosting a party, take this time to test out potential caterers, florists, bakers, etc.  It’s an ideal time to “try out” who will have what it takes to impress all your guests!
  • Since many people vacation during holidays, get with your bridesmaids and go dress shopping.  Not only will they provide an honest reaction to your wedding gown options, but you can also start to see what bridesmaids’ dress styles will work for them.
  • Take time to practice wedding day hair and makeup.  Whether you’re doing it yourself or getting it done, chances are it’s going to be something fancier than usual; so, what better way to show off a fabulous look than when surrounded by family and friends?
  • Even benefit from bad weather.  After the holiday shopping rush is over and snow is still on the ground, people tend to snuggle up and stay in.  I say, “Get out!”  Go exploring for interesting ceremony and reception sites, and don’t be afraid to try something new… it just might end up being your ideal location.
  • On a tight budget?  No problem!  There are innumerable post holiday sales that you can gobble up, which will surely help you get the most bang for your buck!
  • If anything, use the holiday season to get organized.  If you’re sending out holiday cards, you’ll more than likely have a list or people and addresses that you’ll need for invitations.  So keep it together now to hopefully prevent any falling apart later – hehe.

Keep this list handy and be yet another step ahead of the game!  And feel free to leave anything else you find helpful below!  Happy planning :)

We Love That You Came To Visit & Would Like To Help You Save!

Weddings are expensive (boo), which is why Marilyn’s Keepsakes makes it a point to help brides save (whoo)! 

Recently featured in Brides Magazine, our tremendously popular Wedding Dance Floor Decals are flying off the shelves (errr, sublimation stations, err, printing presses, uhh) – you get the point!  Available in 6 Designs, 10 Colors and 2 Sizes, brides and grooms everywhere are discovering just how funky their chicken can be with their very own customized floor cling! 

In order to say “thanks!” for making our new arrivals feel so welcome, we’re currently offering a 10% Storewide Savings to all our guests! 

Buuuut I decided a 10% savings simply wouldn’t do for all my fabulous Blogger Buddies – that’s right, you’re fabulous and let’s face it, the best groupies ever – sooo… I would like to offer all my brides-to-be a chance to take an ADDITIONAL 10% OFF your favorite decal design… giving you a 20% SAVINGS! 

I mean honestly, 20% off one of the bridal industry’s hottest selling item in years!!??  That’s not only fiscally responsible; it’s borderline incredible!  Can I get an “Amen!”  <Crowd responds: AAAAMMEENN!>  Wow, I apologize for the brief skit.  I just get really excited when it comes to savings :)

Simply click on the picture below, pick out your favorite design, customize it for free and let the 20% savings commence!  (Refer to Promo Code: MKBLOG at checkout)

Wedding-Coupon-Promo-Code