Dear Brides, it’s Time to Stress Less & Celebrate More

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I came across an article on by Kara Wahlgren entitled, “5 Wedding Details You Can Stop Overthinking,” and this got me thinking… there are WAAAYYYY more than five!  I mean, let’s be real.

I’ve been in more than my fair share (“more” and “than” being the operative words) of weddings, and as such, I feel as though spending a decade of my life as a habitual bridesmaid, I’ve earned my stripes.  Heck, not just my stripes!  I’ve also earned my plaids, polka dots, patterns, prints and plains, as well.  Oh, you think I’m kidding?  I’m not.  Stop by any time and take a gander at the good ‘ole closet… you might be shocked at first, but you’ll soon realize, you’re looking at the real life 27 Dresses :)

And because I’ve been so closely involved in so many weddings, I’ve also been privy to so many brides.  Trust(&)Believe.  I’ve seen them all.  The Normals – those who fall somewhere between one or more of the following groups… The DIY Disasters – the ones who need help with e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  The Good Managers — which sadly, is the smallest selection.  The Freaker Outters — you know who you are :)  The cool-calm-and-collected-until-the-very- Last Minuters — guilty :)  And last, but certainly not least, the Bridezilla-er’s (haha!) — whhhhy??  Haven’t they seen the show?  Haven’t they heard the term?  Have they no shame?  Why, ladies… just why?

Now, what stinks about being involved in a wedding – be it as a ‘maid, a mom, a planner, an extra, etc. – with a Bridezilla is that the entire celebration becomes lost.  It’s no longer about the day and what they day means.  It’s all about drama of all the must-be-perfect-or-I’ll-just-die details… and the just checking in phone calls… and / or text messages… and emails… and fittings and run-throughs and “quick” trips and invitation creation sessions… ugh, you get the picture…  Everyone is haphazardly buried under and suffocated by the knowledge that everything HAS TO BE RIGHT that they lose site of and interest in the actual and awesome reason behind what started the bridezilla takeover in the first place — you’re getting married and joining your life with the man you love! I mean, hello!??!  Can I get a “Yay!”

With all that said, best advice I can give any bride must first be met with an urgently important disclaimer.  Bridezillas, you might want to make sure you’re sitting down for this…

DISCLAIMER: something – despite all the planning and hours and double / triple / Buzz Lighter to infinity and beyond checking – something WILL go wrong.

<GASPS!>  That’s right, ladies.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the sooner you accept this knowledge, the sooner you can start to relax and get back to the real reason of the day… You get to say “I do” to your #1 boo :) <SQUEE!>

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here’s the advice, which I urge you all to remember:

BEST ADVICE:  No matter what goes wrong (I know, I know – you don’t like thinking about it – sorry!), at the end of the day, you still get to be your man’s Mrs.  You get to marry him and love him and be with him for all future bumps, blessings and otherwise.  So, smile, breath, relax, and above all, love that this is the day you get to say, “I do.”

Toast to You: 5 Ways to Personalize Your Day

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Alright, ladies, if it isn’t clear to you by now, let me lay it out in the simplest English… Your.Wedding.Day.Should.Be.All.About.You+yourgroom :)

Working at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, I have the distinct pleasure of seeing how personalizing your wedding can truly make all the difference. Every couple’s love is incredibly unique; so, why, oh why, should any his and hers celebration not ooze with their own personal awesomeness?

I was totally inspired by an article I read in InStyle Weddings about how to tailor a wedding to your style and would like to share some of my favorite picks with you! Feel free to check them out, pick them up or put them down, but regardless, just be sure to live it up!

  • Let your pets strut their stuff:  Whether ring bearing down the aisle or simply joining in the festivities and smiling in photos, letting your favorite furred friends be a part of your day and have an event that includes all those you love :)

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^^^^OMG. I die at that evs time!!^^^^

  • Make your chairs fit for a king (and queen, of course!): If you love flowers, which basically includes every girl under the sun, talk with your florists about what kind of arrangements they can do with your initials. The lettered bouquets are a super chic alternative to traditional chair covers and will bring structural and modern appeal to any setting!
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  • Let your guests sip on a signature drink!  I’ve been to several events where couples concoct their favorite poison, name it after themselves and toast to its genius all night long (all night!). Even more inspiring is when brides and grooms center their witches’ brew around their décor and have them served in clear glasses. It really makes a nice, three dimensional color pop to any setting… not to mention, a great prop for photo ops!
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  • Let them feast on your favorite foods: What better way to accompany your signature drink than with gourmet cuisine, centered around your cultural, traditional or simply favorite foods? traditions? Whether there’s a certain food your families have made a tradition or one your culture tells you to grub, bringing a part of who you are into your wedding day buffet is a delicious way to add a personalized touch of you to your wedding!

courtesy of Canopy Rose Culinary Arts

  • Gain greater impact from your place card holders: Is planning a seating chart for 200+ causing you painstaking amounts of stress? Well, fear not my friend, because dreaming up cool place card holders will be your perfect cure! Because the place card will be one of the first things they seek, it’s a great place to put a piece of you!
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Forget Super Bowl XLVI: The Real Party Comes to Lucas Oil Stadium in June

Being that the Mister and I attend such a large number of friends’ and family weddings (51 & counting – boom!), I’m always leery to ever classify anything as “THE BEST.”  In lieu of not wanting to catch feelings but also because I pretty much la-LOUVRE everything anyone does, it’s never an easy thing to pick out favorites amongst friends…

However – and this is a HUGE however – a couple weeks ago, we received what is legit THE BEST Save the Date EVER!  It was super cute, super inventive and perfectly personalized with the couple’s names in mind. 

Her name: Katie Matis.  His Name: Liam Smith

Mash them together in holy matrimony and what do you get?!??

Mr. & Mrs. Smith, of course!!  So, you can imagine my delight when I opened the mailbox and found this save-the-date dream waiting for me!!  There’s nothing I love more than when a couple makes their wedding their own, and in this case… it couldn’t be more perfect!  It is just sooo them, and sets the tone for what will no doubt be an unforgettable evening of family, friends and matrimonial celebration!!

I mean can you say, genius??  Here’s the front:

And the back:

Heck, the reception is at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of this year’s Pats VS Giants Super Bowl rematch!  I mean, how can it not be amazeballs?

The wedding may be months away, but I’m 100% confident in predicting… it’ll be one for the record books :) :) :)

Penciled In Sweetness with Save the Date Genius

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So, I saw this idea on, and HAD to share it with all of you!  With weddings becoming more and more about the bride and groom and less and less about traditional wedding hullabaloo, you can gosh darn guarantee that unique ideas will be popping up all over the grid and into bridal brains everywhere! 

For obvious reasons, this kind of forward thinking makes me a very very excited little bridal-ista, because not only does it make my job a very very easy one, but very very fun one as well :)  I barely have to turn a page or open the internet, before I’m bombarded with individual bridal genius… and today, my dear friends, was no different.

Because “Save the Dates” are becoming a familiar contender in the wedding world, it was only a matter of time before fabulously creative ways to display them would also join the ranks.  Suiting up today?  Save the Date Pencils!  I mean how adorable is that?  Not to mention, the cutest pun of “pencil it in” evs!

Pending your budget, you could send them as a box set, equipped with too-cute-to-boot stationery, stickers, buttons or pictures.  Or you could simply plop them in ready to mail envelopes and let them speak for themselves… really it’s up to you!  Below is an ideal example of what one couple used for their mailing set and pencil verbiage: “Pencil It In,” “Amber & Jeff Are Getting Married,” “August 3, 2010.”  Love!

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Why Fit-in, when You were Born to Stand Out!: Decorating the Getaway Car

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The wedding send-off is becoming an increasingly personalized trend with epic photographic appeal.  No longer are couples settling for the typical getaway anymore – oh no!  With trendy weddings flying all over the 2010 Doppler radar, it’s paramount for the send-off to stand out; so, for all you Maids of Honor and Best Men out there, this decor and more post is for you!

Here are a few of the hottest getaway trends heating up nuptial exits everywhere.  Feel free to be inspired:

Riding Flirty (and yes, I took it there, hehe!) – The actual send-off vehicle itself has really taken off as a wedding statement.  The typical limousine just isn’t unique enough anymore.  Newlyweds these days are opting for all kinds of getaway cars, from classy to quirky.  Here are a few of the faves:

  • Volkswagon Vanagon.  This retro rewind is fun, whimsical and charmingly nostalgic.  Max up the charm with the brightest paint job you can find and send them back to the future or simply to their honeymoon suite in one of these peace sign pleasers.
  • Vintage Rolls Royce.  A wedding car that is quickly becoming a classic, these vehicles scream of an era full of opulence and glamour… which is totally why the Mister and I did it…. Thanks, Papa!

photo courtesy of Geoff White Photographers

  • Party Limo or Bus.  Extravagant?  Yes.  Fun for the entire bridal party?  Of course!  These party vans are a little more playful than your standard limousine, as they invite quite a crowd to their showy interiors…and more room to decorate and let’s be real, get down!

photo courtesy of

  • 1960’s Mustang. Meant for a couple who likes to let their hair down, these little speedsters are vintage sports car perfection. The redder, the better.

Trendy Transportation –  After you’ve chosen the perfect getaway car, it’s time to decide how to make it even more magical.  Traditional embellishments include “Just Married” written in soap or lipstick and attached tin can strings hanging from the back bumper.  Trendier adornments, however, suggest more personality and flair… and who couldn’t get behind these?:

  • Window Clings.  The ultimate touch of personalization, custom clings display the couple’s newly minted name together, their special date, and any other details you would want to include.  And beyond being a unique and thoughtful gift to the newlyweds, these decals will also serve as a memorable keepsake for years to come.

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  • Streamers.  The beauty of the wedding theme shouldn’t stop at the reception.  Garnish the getaway with streamers, rich in the wedding palette colors.  This creates some more wedding eye candy, and a feeling of continuity.
  • Pom Pom Strands.  Another great way to incorporate color, these DIY pomanders pay homage to the romance of real flowers without the added fuss or cost.
  • Flag Garland.  Due to their effortless assembly and charming aesthetic, “Just Married” pendant garlands and banners are one of the more popular farewell flourishes.
  • Balloons.  A classic and quieter alternative to the tin cans, these bright blow-ups will float off the back of any bumper flawlessly. Customize with the bride and groom’s names for a personal touch.

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Ultimately, the couple’s aisle style is what will determine the exit embellishments. Just keep in mind that many car rental companies have strict decoration policies, so you make sure to call ahead to see how much creative freedom is allowed.  Everyone is sure to appreciate the trimmings, but aid the brand new twosome in enjoying the interior – with a bottle of bubbly on ice.

Impress Your Guests with a Star Studded Exit

All Aboard! It's Trolley Time! (Photo Courtesy of Erin Chris Photography)

A Poem for the Getaway Girl in all of us…

It’s time for stretch limos and fancy cars to take a rest.

Because brides and grooms want to “WOW!” their guests!

And there’s no better way to leave a lasting impression,

Than an exit devised by pure imaginative obsession…

For real though, it’s all about avant-garde getaways these days.  Not only are they a super fun way to tie in your personalities to your big day, but they also create incredible photo ops and leave the guests cheering for more. 

I mean think about it, we’re a world obsessed with grand finales and happy endings; so, what better way to “exit stage right,” than with something that has “Mr. and Mrs. (Insert Your Name Here)” written all over it?  Whether you choose a customized mode of transportation or simply just try something fun… I can guarantee your guests will love sending you off with love when you leave them in style! 

Here are some of my favorites…

Tandem bike for two? Whoop-it-tee-do! (Photo Courtesy of Grazier Photography)

Newlywed nerves? No way! (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Fairy tales DO come true with carriage rides! (Photo Courtesy of An Urban Affair)

ReV up the love! (Photo Courtesy of Kurt Photography)

This is just plain hilarious! (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Saddle up your partner and ride into the sunset! (Photo Courtesy of Emily Porter Photography)

Be a motorboatin' maniac! (Photo Courtesy of Claudia Akers Photography)

Jet settin’ has never looked this good! (Photo Courtesy of Richelle Dante Photography – love her!)