I was terrible about my blogging this week, but at least I have some interesting links for you this lovely Friday!
This post on A Practical Wedding made me way more emotional than I expected. I think it’s a gorgeously written piece that struck me because it so beautifully illustrated how the “traditional” engagement isn’t the only way to do it. It made me really feel for the first time how romantic and lovely a mutual engagement can be. I really encourage everyone to read this because rather than just talking theoretically about how “men don’t have to do a big, grand, surprise proposal to a woman” – this shows you how it could be. And hot-damn, it’s really lovely.
I had very mixed feelings about this couple who recently wed in my town of Del Ray. They had their first kiss at the altar. I think at the end of the day, I gotta say that if it works for you, good for you.
Very interesting piece on NPR about how the gender imbalance in China is impacting marriage. The scarcity of women is now giving them bargaining power when it comes to marriage. Negotiations, bride prices,… very different perspective on marriage.
Finally for some fun stuff – I loved this piece on babble about disneyland surprises gone wrong. This may seem off-topic, but I thought it really illustrated very well how important expectations are (yes, especially for kids – but for lots of adults, too). Whether it’s setting your family and friends up to have realistic expectations for what your wedding celebration will be like, talking about marriage and commitment before a surprise proposal, or just creating epic fails like these hilarious disneyland surprises, it’s always important to remember how important plans can be to some people, and how changing the plan and thereby messing with their expectations can often cause big issues. Plus, these videos are just hilarious.
Great giveaway on Spoonflower (an awesome site where you can design or buy custom fabric) – you can get a custom wedding print. The giveaway goes til May 1st, so enter now!
Finally, I had to end with my favorite random link of the day. You all know I love me some Downton, and I love me some musicals. Hilarious sneak peak at their new season - Downton’s musical episode.
This week. THIS WEEK. Good grief. It’s been a rough one for so many reasons. Monday’s bombing hit hard for me. A huge majority of my family lives in the Boston area. My mother and step-dad, my sister, many cousins, uncles and aunts. I had several friends who were both running the marathon and at the marathon. And let’s not even go into the Senate’s decision on gun control.
I really want to bring some positivity up in here.
Let’s start with a beautiful piece my cousin wrote about running with her fear. Yes, the same writer cousin who has an awesome blog you should be reading. It’s a gorgeous piece about fear, running, and good old beantown. If you don’t read any other links, please read this one.
I also really like this piece from The Atlantic about how to move forward after these terrifying acts.
Let’s also not forget that it’s springtime, people! The time for growth, renewal, and flowers! If you happen to live in the Shenandoah Valley area, check out Kinfolk’s upcoming flower potluck. Love it. Wish I lived a bit closer…
I am also recently obsessed with an awesome new blog called Advanced Style. It chronicles amazing older women and their beauty and fashion. LOVE. This post I thought was especially wonderful, this week of all weeks. Wise words from a stylish wise woman on the power of positive thinking.
And finally. Can we all please give it up for this most amazing future bride? I think it’s the most kick-ass description of a dream wedding I’ve ever read – not to mention the most succinct and rad description of why non-white wedding dresses are the sh!t. (oh, and for you old folks out there like me, MCR is “My Chemical Romance” – amaze).
Happy Friday folks. Stay positive and let’s keep on keepin’ on.
I’ve been planning a lot of anniversary parties this year. This past fall my husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law surprised our parents with a 40th anniversary party. We held it in a private room at a local restaurant and kept it on the intimate side to make sure friends and family had a chance to talk and celebrate. It was a great evening, with great food and beverage, and they were actually very surprised (as you can see….)
I’m no florist, but I put together some simple arrangements, and my sister-in-law had a caricature done of the two of them which guests then signed as a memento for the evening.
More recently, at the end of March I traveled back to NYC to help celebrate my sister’s 10 year anniversary with her partner. They, too, wanted to keep it simple and intimate – with about 40-50 people – so we again chose a private room in a local restaurant. I (yet again) played basic florist and borrowed some awesome modern bud vases from a friend to just bump up the decor ever so slightly. I also put together a little collage of photos of them and their baby in the shape of a “10” as a little surprise for them.
It was a great evening and so much fun!
Private rooms in restaurants are a great option for people looking to have smaller gatherings. They usually don’t charge you for the room/space, just for the food and drink. They also usually provide the tables, chairs, linens, and even the votives – and of course, they also provide the service. It’s a really easy, simple way to hold a small cocktail party (assuming you’re ok with paying for the food and drink). I highly recommend not forgetting restaurants when you’re thinking of venues for any gathering – even weddings!
And congrats again to all the wonderful couples in my family!
I wanted to start this Friday off with post that I think is super essential for any engaged couple to read. It is, of course, from the always wise writers that contribute to A Practical Wedding. And it stresses that your wedding isn’t your last chance to throw a party. I love this (really not very controversial or mind-blowing) notion. Frankly, I think it not only contributes to an easier wedding planning process, but also to a better, happier life. When you take a step back and realize that you can throw a big ol’ party for any reason, at any time… that can be pretty powerful. It takes the pressure off, and also reminds you to find reasons to celebrate throughout your marriage and your life. So head on over, read it, enjoy, and then tell me what your next bash is going to be. Mine is February 1, 2014 (seriously. more on that later).
It’s also cherry blossom season! Woot woot! I’ve never been in DC during the cherry blossoms so I took an afternoon off and headed over there this week to check them out. They were gorgeous and I loved it. So happy spring has sprung. What better way to celebrate the cherry blossoms than with a cherry cocktail? And my spring fever made me love this post on how to incorporate edible flowers into your wedding.
Finally, I adored this story about a VA couple that just recently got married on their 20th anniversary. Go check them out – and if you’re a same sex couple in the VA area who was legally married out-of-state and are excited about the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, check out Equality Virginia’s CookOUT and host a BBQ!
Since we had such glorious weather on Monday, I decided to take a break from working to walk into town and run some errands. While there, I finally got a chance to check out the new store, Del Ray Variety – and let me tell you, it is awesome. I was impressed with everything they had there – but the party-planner in me was especially excited by their party supplies. For anyone in the neighborhood who is throwing any type of celebration – big, or small – this is an excellent new resource.
The first thing I was super psyched about was that it has balloons. Lots and lots of balloons. You can buy them and deal with them yourself or they can provide the helium and put them all together for you. And they had a ton of variety. From showers to birthdays, basics to holidays – they had a bit of everything. My favorites were these black and white polka dotted beauties:
They also have a ton of other party supplies. From tablecloths to utensils, napkins to favors – they have a ton of options here:
So be sure to drop by and check them out!
The Atlantic published a wisdom-filled letter-to-the-editor a couple days ago from a gentleman describing what he’d learned in four decades of marriage. I encourage you to read his letter in full, as well as the article it was in response to.
I was especially moved by his third piece of advice, “Freedom in Commitment”
“Most successful art or invention is born inside constraint. What is beautiful or functional is shaped by boundaries. They say “here, but not there.” Commitment is a sorting hat that crisply defines what belongs and what doesn’t. Those edges are a source of freedom: they declare that you don’t have to worry or consider what’s outside of them.”
I enjoyed this bit of advice for two reasons. The first is that when asked why I liked producing theatre, I’d often quote a similar line – that most successful art develops within some kind of structure and order. As producer, I enjoyed being the one to create and maintain that structure and order while the artists created their art, and I truly do think it’s an essential part of the creative process and I liked being part of that. What’s funny is that until I myself got married, I didn’t realize it also applied to marriage.
When people ask what surprised me most about marriage I always say that I was surprised by the sense of freedom. Before getting married, I feared that I’d one day feel trapped – that despite the fact that I was marrying someone amazing and perfect for me, somehow the institution of marriage would undoubtedly bound me and I’d lose my independence. But it was the complete opposite. For the first time in years and years and years I felt truly free. It’s a beautiful feeling. So though it may not ring true for everyone, I love that this writer finally described what I’ve always been unable to explain – and did it so well and so wisely.
Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
I’m very sad I’m unable to be downtown today, supporting marriage equality. But wanted to do a quick shout-out here to show my support. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love love. And in my opinion, you can’t be in the wedding industry, and love love and be anti-gay marriage. As the Onion pointed out so well today, I can’t believe we’re still dealing with and discussing this issue. So let’s do this, Supreme Court. Seriously.
I pray that by the end of the day I feel thankful for having personally witnessed a great moment in history.
And let’s not forget: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
p.s. This is also a great article my husband made me aware of. I love hearing words of support and encouragement where you least expect it.
I had a very busy week this week. Exciting new collaborations with Capitol Romance and a photo shoot with the awesome Stephen Gosling (I’ll share the pics once I have them).
But first thing’s first: Best. Officiant. EVER.
Per this week’s post on lady’s menswear, more suits here! Click through to see some lovely cream options from H&M, available April 4th. Line up, ladies.
There have been a lot of mixed reviews on the season finale of Girls. However you felt about it, this breakdown of how long it would have actually taken Adam to run to Hannah’s apartment killed me – the ex-New Yorker in me loved this. I used to live in Prospect Heights. The idea that he’d even consider traveling from Prospect Heights to Greenpoint (let alone take the G train), is absolutely insane.
Finally, I adored Off-Beat Bride’s post about one-lowsmanship & one-upsmanship this week. Read it. Now. It ties in with my post on the pressure to be crafty, and I will nod my head til it falls off to this brilliant statement: “Engaged women don’t need another voice telling them they’re failing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a voice of tradition telling them they’re wrong for wanting to have their wedding in the round, or a voice of non-tradition telling them they’re wrong for wanting to wear a white dress — brides need encouragement and support.”
**(except that I’d add “engaged women and men” but that’s nit picky)
I’m honored and so excited to be over at Capitol Romance today talking about my background in theatre producing – how it made me a better wedding planner and can help YOU be a great one, too. Part 1 is up today – tune in next Wednesday for Part deux! Hope you enjoy it! Big thanks to the amazing Bree at Capitol Romance for letting me guest blog. For those in the DC area – run, don’t walk, to her blog. It’s a great resource as well as provides a ton of inspiration for DC area couples getting hitched.
Disclaimer: this post is for the ladies.
I love me a lady in a tuxedo. I personally feel super powerful and sexy wearing them. Call it a pantsuit, call it menswear for women – whatever it is, I love it. And I especially love women that rock it on their wedding day. So I thought I’d indulge in my love for the pantsuit and share some of my favorites today.
I gotta start with my all-time favorites which are way out of my price range, but needed to be included. These two Alexander McQueen from the Resort 2013 collection are STUNNING.
I love this high-wasted tuxedo that Leelee Sobieski rocked back in ‘11
Apparently the CFDA awards in ’11 brought out the amazing tuxes cause I also adore this one Kirsten Dunst wore
These Zach Posen wide leg trousers are sadly sold out, but I love the art deco feel, and with a bit more of a feminine touch
- via Lyst
Rachel Zoe knows a thing or two about menswear for women. I love this whole look with the 70’s flare
Finally, East Side Bride had a great post about how and where ladies should shop for suits. It includes some helpful advice and the comments section had good tidbits as well.
Oh, and OffBeat Bride just featured a wedding with bridesmaids in suits. BRIDESMAIDS IN SUITS! I love it. LOVE. IT.
If you rocked a tux at your wedding, send it to me to share! I love them and it will bring me much tailored happiness!