Saturday, January 28, 2006
Heart + Sole
Ok, there's cute and then there's CUH-YUTE! Heart + Sole a wonderfully inventive new company that creates "shoe jewels" to help make your special day even more special, most definitely falls into the latter category.
Shoe jewels are a fantastically clever means of personalizing your day with gorgeous swarovski crystal dates, monograms and even an adorable little E+G (substitute your own initials) in a heart. These most certainly will "put the sparkle into your step." All jewels are placed on the bottom of your shoes and handy dandy instructions are included with every order. Best of all, the shoe jewels stay on permanently, ensuring that your wedding day kicks will be forever bejeweled.
Heart + Sole can come up with custom designs, and the appliques will even work on most fabrics (so you can make cool bridesmaid tees, hats or whatever you'd like).
CUH-YUTE. I heart Heart + Sole.
Friday, January 27, 2006
CNN published an article today that examines, yet again, the ever rising costs of throwing a big ole wedding and offers some tips about how to cut costs.
There aren't really any new earth shattering ideas here, but its always nice to be reminded that your wedding, most importantly, should be about you and your future husband and not about KAPOW, BOOM BAM, bells and whistles or lions and tigers and bears.
Anyway, ok we get it. Weddings are pricey. It sucks. Don't get caught up in the craziness.
Monday, January 23, 2006
There is a ton of fab stuff on the internet to help a sista out and I recently came across this site called GyMP3 which offers downloadable mp3 workouts (which can go straight to your ipod) from different celeb hollywood trainers. They have running workouts, full body workouts and even 5 minute workouts for those of us with packed schedules. You can listen to samples on the site and they seem surpisingly easy to follow. Apple also recently started offering iworkouts.
My other latest discovery is Fit TV, this awesome cable channel that is jam packed with all sorts of fantastic workout, diet and healthy lifestyle programming. I'm in love with Gilad, a former Israeli Army officer and all around ripped dude. I've been tivo-ing his exercise programs and doing them every day. DVD's are great, but I was finding I was getting bored, so through the magic of tivo, I'm able to stay fit and do new routines every single day. They have lots of other great shows too, so if you are looking for yoga, boot camp, pilates or kickboxing, just cruise through the listings and find shows that will work best for you.
Speaking of fit and fabulous, my fiance is in training for a half marathon! He's gettin up every day at 7am to run, so feeling sloth like and lazy in bed, I've been following his lead. There's nothing like mooching off of someone else's hardcore motivation!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
I read this article Marriage Proposal: Why Not Privatize? from the SF Gate paper with great interest. The basic premise of the discussion is that there is a major disconnect between the fact that the government controls what is essentially a corporate partnership among two people in a way that does not speak to the very personal religious, sexual orientation, or simple life goals that couples often hope to create by teaming up.
Here's what they set forth:
"Even greater participation could be achieved through the establishment of marital corporations (MCs), which could have hundreds or thousands of couples as shareholders, all sharing common values about marriage.
Couples getting married would subscribe to the shares of an existing marital corporation. Its charter documents would set forth the terms of the marriage to which the subscribing couples agree.
Here is where a plethora of choices would become available to prospective newlyweds.
A Catholic marital corporation would forbid its members from divorcing. Progressive marital corporations would allow gay marriage. Islamic or Mormon fundamentalist marital corporations could allow polygamy. Plain vanilla marital corporations would probably be popular among people who just want to get married without thinking about it too much. "
Even as I post this, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about all this. On one hand, I'm saddened on almost a daily basis that gay couples are still considered second class citizens by the laws of our nation and not afforded the same opportunities that I am just because they are gay. On the other, its kind of scary to think about encouraging "big brother" to waltz (no pun intended) right into our lives and set up shop on our front lawns. Is privatization the answer? It certainly is an interesting concept, doncha think?
Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program of pink chiffon, frosted cupcakes and coordinated bowties and cumberbunds.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
And the Bride wore...
For a knee slappingly hysterical look back at some bridal fashions gone bad, check out And the Bride wore.
I suppose the bride above was perhaps offering an homage to the always popular wedding item: the bathing cap?
Really folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg. My favorite, category, of course is "what were they thinking?"
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Cheapie wedding mags
I read loads of magazines, I mean A LOT and this can seriously get pricey. But I've discovered a fab online resource called discount magazines that has really saved my life...and wallet.
Most one year magazine subscriptions are only $5.95..that's for a whole year people. So for just about the price of a single copy of a magazine at Barnes & Noble, you can get 11 more. In addition to many others, they have some great wedding mags including Brides, Modern Bride, Bridal Guide and Martha Stewart Weddings (though Martha is a smidge pricier). You can also buy gift subscription for people, which is a pretty fab "congrats, I heard you're engaged gift" for a new bride-to-be.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Guest list tips
I've got the destination wedding thing going on, which adds a whole new level of trickiness. Do we have a shower? Where? Who gets invited? Do we do a bachelorette/bachelor party here or there?
The article also discusses the issue of encore weddings or second weddings and how to deal with all of that trickiness.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
HONEYMOON HELP: Luxe Hotels, Budget dollars
The article mentions a fantastic website called Bidding for Travel where users can post and share info on recent successful bids accepted on Priceline.com. Armed with this information, you can often snag yourself amazing hotel accomodations for bargain basement prices.
Friday, January 13, 2006
The I Do Foundation
You know you don't *have* to just register for things like that sexy Kitchenaid upright mixer (and yes, this is the pink version that we are currently registered for) or the overpriced place settings that sit high up on your shelves and get used once every eon or so (yep, ours are pictured above). Through the I Do Foundation you can actually set up your registry so that your guests give donations to your favorite charities.
If you don't have much in the way of pots, pans, spatulas and silver platters to call your own and don't want to give up the idea of gifts altogether, there are other options as well: You can set up a registry with their partner stores so that a portion of each purchase made is donated to a charity of your choice.
Instead of the typical "tossed in the back seat" wedding favor, you can make a donation to your favorite charity instead in honor of each guest.
Are you taking a honeymoon? If you simply book your trip through one of the foundation's partners (sandals, for example), 5% of your purchase will go to charity.
With all of the piles of cash, overpriced vendors, and whopping extravagance associated with weddings these days, its nice to see an organization like this that has come along to try to help us all remember that there are sooo many easy little things we can do to help out.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Who needs a DJ when you have an ipod?
Here's the upside: Ipods don't make cheesy announcements, wear ruffled tuxedos or do the chicken dance with your grandma. Ipods "listen" to your requests, don't make mistakes and allow you to be in total control of the "flow" of the evening. Best of all, if you already have one, ipods are cheap--a term not often associated with ANY element of wedding planning.
My fiance and I have had the eternal band vs. DJ debate (I want a DJ and he wants a band), and I eventually just relented and agreed to go the band route because...well, I'm pretty much getting my way in every other arena. But it seems like many brides and grooms are going the way of the "pod"
For some more "how to" ideas, check out this post from Metafilter.
For some music inspiration, here's a list of the top 100 par-tay songs.
Rock on brides!
Sunday, January 08, 2006
His cold feet?
His Cold Feet is a site dedicated to talking about all the ins and outs and ups and downs of why guys are scared to pop the question. There are great articles, resources and some fantastic message boards for girls to compare war stories, offer tips or just vent.
I'm oh so happy my man's feet finally warmed up after a stint in the meat locker, but I think this site is a fun resource for any of are sistas out there who have yet to get their own bling.
I'm also happy to report that I'm not a full fledged believer in the notion that good things DO come to those who wait.
A picture is worth a thousand words?
We haven't had our wedding yet, so I may not be one to be dispensing sage advice, but I have put in my time reading countless wedding magazines, talking to brides, goin' to weddings and researching the hell out of this industry. For me, the choice of our photographer is really one of the most critical and important vendor decisions I think we will make.
EVERY bride I have talked to (and I mean every last one of em') all say the same thing: the day will go by quicker than you can ever imagine. You'll feel like you are in some crazy space time warp continuium where each hour is 15 minutes instead of 60 and before you know it, bing, bam, boom, the party is over. So, aside from your dashing new hubby, what do you have left after the band has played their last song, your bridesmaid has torn her last pair of stockings and you've eaten your last crab puff? You have the pictures!
I should say right off the bat, that I hate posed pictures. And I mean HATE. You know what I'm talking about...the kind you find in your parents old wedding album-- those thick cardboard pages that show the bride and groom and every random member of their family carefully cupping each others hands, tilting their necks just so and gazing off into the camera lens looking anything but natural.
Frankly, I just don't get it. Of course there are a few posed pictures I'd like to take...and think everyone should take. But, truly, the posed pic session with our photographer at our wedding is going to last less than half an hour--really, I mean it!
The alternative, of course, is a new movement toward photojournalism--even fashion style photography. Depending upon what part of the country you live in, obviously your options will be varied, but I think everyone should check out the Wedding Photojournalist Association for some great ideas and photographer referrals.
I've researched photogs long and hard and here are a few of my FAVES:
BRIDAL PARTY GIFT: Silhoutte Portrait
This gift is so cute and fabulous I had to hold myself back from shouting about it from my rooftop (remember, I live in NYC, so I have a very available and expansive rooftop to shout from).
Artist Karl Johnson creates freehand cutout silhouette portraits (via design*sponge) that are amazingly intricate and accurate.
The silhouettes are created based upon photographs you send in and are cut out entirely by freehand! I'm amazed even as I write this. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind original piece of artwork signed by the artist. Best of all, these beauties are only $20 a pop.
Personally, I think they would make fantabulous bridal party gifts (could even work for the boys!). These would even be fab to get done of you and your soon-to-be hubby.
You can frame the silhouettes yourself or order a cutesie little antique style oval frame from the website for an extra $13/each.
'Emitation' is the sincerest form of flattery
Diamonds are a girl's best friend, fer sure. *But* if you are a girl on a budget, you likely don't have celeb jeweler Neil Lane on speed dial like Madonna does.
No worries. Just check out the fake and fabulous bling at Emitations (via SheFinds).
They really have some spectacular baubles, many of which would be PERF for a wedding. Back to my pal Neil Lane, I love these cushion cut CZ earrings that are based on a gorgeous pair Debra Messing wore. These bee-autiful diamond drop CZ earrings based on a pair Oprah Winfrey has, are not too shabby either.
I haven't decided which pair are for me yet, but as I'm going for a 3/4 sleeved dress and a v-ish neckline with my dress, I think I'm going to skip a necklace and just go for some va-va voom earrings.