Posts for "WORDS of ADVICE"

Gorgeous RingI’m hoping you took a moment to let the news settle in. You may have told close family and even gone to drinks with friends, yahoo! Guys — you are officially official. When I received my ring, even though the jeweler had my size when it was purchased, it was a touch too big. Oh, be still my heart! The sucker rotated round and round the whole time we were traveling and man was I nervous about losing my most precious treasure. Fear not, if you are in the states* and find yourself in the same pickle, we have a quick and (dare I say) easy solution! Bring on the ring guard. These tiny pieces of rubber fit around the band and make sure she stays put for a little while – you will have to part for a few days to get it done professionally.

Keeping it clean

I love a good swath of dish soap with a super soft brush as much as the next gal but to keep your diamonds sparkling, there is a great gadget called a sonic cleaner that does the trick in under two minutes in basic tap water. The one I purchased off Amazon is quick, easy and jeweler approved**. Jewelers use this type of device in-store at a commercial grade so this is a fun little way to keep your sparkler, sparkling.

Etiquette

Last but not least is etiquette! Everyone has a nosey friend or competitive colleague who may or may not know that she/he’s putting her foot in her mouth by asking how many karats your ring is. Uh…that faux pas makes me cringe. But, the truth behind etiquette is that it is far worse to call someone on their lack of decorum. This is where the sweet white lie comes in… “Gosh, I don’t know off hand, I was so surprised/excited/happy I didn’t think to ask!” Works as the perfect decoy.

*If you are abroad, especially in a place where diamond solitaires are not the tradition, you may have to wait until you’re stateside as ring guards are fairly uncommon, even at fine jewelry boutiques. If you have another ring to stack, go for that as a short-term solution. Yes, tape works too but that’s my least favorite option!

** If your ring has a tracking number or insignia (e.g.; a maple leaf is customary on diamonds bought in Canada) on your diamond, do not use a sonic cleaner frequently as it will wear off the micro-engraving overtime.

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A.

Quick answer:  “Ms.” is the way to go for any unmarried woman over the age of 18 (and whenever you find yourself in doubt!)  “Ms.” is also used if a woman is married but chooses to go by her maiden name.

Here are examples of how you would address your envelopes in both circumstances:

Ms. Clarissa Dalloway
123 Main Street
Boston, Massachusetts
02215

Ms. Elizabeth Bennett
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy
123 Main Street
Boston, Massachusetts
02215

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A.

My best advice is to get ahead of the game! Begin to think about seating when writing out your guest list. While the seating arrangement seems like a big project to untangle, it really only becomes truly difficult if left until the last minute.

When you sit down to start your invitations draw a map of your tables and jot down notes regarding who might go where. And ask that RSVPs be returned two to four weeks before the wedding date – you’ll be grateful for the extra time to prepare. Lastly, when you have your RSVPs back and are ready to finalize the seating arrangement, try using All Seated if you are tech-inclined.  It’s really simple and allows you to create and adjust seating arrangements with little hassle or stress.

But the bottom line is that seating only applies to a small portion of the evening. Guests can and will get up and move around. Don’t stress too much about it! Do the best you can and then let it go.

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A.

Good question!  While there are a lot of handy little things you can pack away in an attempt to prepare for the unexpected, these five items should definitely make the cut:

Baby Powder 

To cover and clean any spills or stains on your bridal gown.  Yes, I know you’re thinking your handy little Tide Pen will do the trick, but I’m here to warn you against it!  Regular spot treatments like Tide Pens actually go into the fabric, affecting the potential for permanent stain removal and often leaving a residue ring.  Baby powder will do the trick without impacting the long-term preservation of your gown.

Blotting Paper 

When touching up your complexion blotting papers won’t leave any noticeable dust behind like a translucent powder would.

Shoe Shine 

Again, you want everyone to look their best in your wedding photos!  Sometimes grandpa (or even dad) forgets to get a shoe shine before the big day.

Safety Pins 

In case your bustle falls over the course of the reception (you’ll be running around a lot more than you realize!) these usually do the trick.

Bobby Pins 

Great for holding hair back while quickly fixing makeup after the ceremony or for perking up a falling chignon after a rowdy dance set.  Classic fix!

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A.

I’ve been in the wedding industry for sixteen years now. And yes, I have pretty much seen it all.  But what surprises me about weddings (and even surprised me about my own wedding) is the subtle transformation that takes place in the process. One of my favorite celebrants, Deidra Gray-Breijo, has a quote in her ceremonies that touches me every single time I hear it. She says that from this day forward “You will feel a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment…a deeper sense of solidarity and security.”

I have to say that I have seen this and now feel this myself. It’s the mystery and beauty of marriage (and another reason I feel so strongly about marriage equality).

 

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A.

Yes – I would love to!  Your honeymoon is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy the perks of the “newlywed” status, so you should GO BIG and enjoy. But, in order to create an experience that is fun and relaxing, your honeymoon should be as well-planned as a wedding, especially if you’re going abroad.  And I do understand that getting started on such a project feels overwhelming, so I’ll share with you three pieces of advice I often give my couples:

First of all, once you have your wedding date confirmed, take a step back and be very realistic about what the days around and immediately after your wedding will be like. Think about the family that will be in town, how much time you may need to recover after throwing such an event, and then have a good look at your work calendars.  After all of this has been considered, then decide exactly when you’d best be able to go away for a BIG trip. Many couples plan a little mini-moon just after the wedding and then take the big trip in the following months. This may help take the pressure off the planning experience for you.

Once you have your honeymoon dates chosen, let the vacation planning serve as a little break from the wedding planning work (guest list building, contract reading, etc.) Let yourself dream big and think of your honeymoon as the dessert portion of the wedding planning!

Lastly, I often recommend couples hire a travel planner. Some travel planners offer their services free of charge (noting they earn their commissions from the hotel(s) you’ll stay at) or for a nominal fee (so that they can confirm your seriousness and commitment).  You’ll still be actively planning your honeymoon, but a travel planner can drive the work forward for you.

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A.

In the haze of planning your wedding, the bridal registry can start to feel like an unwanted chore – I completely get it. But it always makes me a little sad to see couples squander the opportunity to bring some good things into their lives. You’re going to be setting out on your first year of marriage, why not identify some nice items (or intentions) to live with during that time? I have to say that coming home to cozy new linens and towels after my wedding was something of a revelation on this topic for me.  It may sound insignificant, but that little extra luxury added an intangible something to the experience of beginning a new chapter of life with my husband.  So, my best advice for the time-crunched or shopping-adverse is to go ahead and ditch the trips to Crate & Barrel and Bloomingdales. Instead, hop on the laptop one lazy Sunday afternoon and check out these online registries:

  • MyRegistry.com is an amazing catch-all online registry. It will combine and sync your registries from all of the most popular sources as well as allow you to add items individually from anywhere.
  • Zola.com is beautifully designed, allowing you to create a unique page similar to a wedding website, and easy to use. They have a stylish collection of items and the ability to add experiences to your registry, like a cooking class!
  • If you’ve been following us long enough here, you know that we are big fans of TheGoodBeginning.com. The easy-to-use website allows you to choose up to five charities to sponsor for your wedding registry. Such a great way to start off your wedded life!

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While the bridal shower is traditionally held at the home of someone in the bridal party (and is commonly a brunch or lunch affair), there are many other fun options! When it comes to planning bridal showers, a few suggestions I like to offer are:

  • Perhaps getting out of the home and hosting a gathering at a nice restaurant in the bride’s favorite hotel.
  • Or throwing the party at your country club (if your families are affiliated).
  • Putting together an event with an activity, such as a lesson in floral design. We like Fleurish over here in Brentwood.
  • If one of you has a fabulous kitchen, hire a private chef come in and teach you all a thing or two.
  • Or, along those same lines, take everyone out for a private cooking class.

I hope these suggestions spark your imagination!  Get creative, think of what the bride and her friends enjoy, and get out there and have a little fun together!

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A.

Oh, I love this question! One of the most rewarding parts my work is helping my couples enjoy their engagement. It’s such a special time in their lives and I love knowing that I can come along, put my systems in motion, and transform a stressful process into one that will be remembered as fun!

However, as any therapist will tell you, no matter your resources, anticipating such an important milestone in your life is bound to be a little stressful and challenging. Eventually all couples begin to show subtle signs of underlying stress. So I like to advise my clients to avoid falling deep into the stress trap by putting a little extra focused time into intentionally building their relationship up during their engagement. It’s pretty simple – here are my favorite suggestions:

  1. Go ahead and schedule some mini-breaks. Get them planned and commit to going and taking the time off together.
  2. Sign up for cooking classes or dance classes. This may sound challenging, but it is team building for your little team of two! Most couples end up being surprised by how much fun they have.
  3. Lastly, and I’m warning you not to scoff here, maybe consider some pre-marriage couples therapy? It sounds awkward and uncomfortable, and, yes, it usually is for the first five or ten minutes, but what’s the harm in spending an hour in deep and open conversation about the life you want to build together?

So, to sum up my best advice: do some activities that make you feel like a team, practice being vulnerable, and take scheduled, REAL breaks from planning your celebration!

 

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A.

There are so many fun way to share your big news. But first, let me say that once you are ready to share, the best rule of thumb etiquette-wise is to call (or visit in person) the most important people in your life first. This means parents, siblings, closest friends and relations. Now let’s get to it!

  • If you are up for keeping your engagement a secret long enough you could throw a surprise engagement party. This is one of my favorite ways to create a long-lasting memory.
  • On the more formal end of the spectrum is the newspaper announcement. This is really only for memorabilia purposes and should go out two to four months before the wedding.
  • Then there’s social media. Most people use a photograph for sharing on social media and some share their professional engagement photos. There are different schools of thought around sharing engagement photos on social media, but it’s really a personal preference.
  • And once you have your professional engagement photos you may want to send your announcements out in the mail. Just keep in mind to send engagement announcements only to the people you plan on inviting to the wedding. After the wedding, you can send a marriage announcement to those people you did not invite to the wedding.

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