Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Engagement Season is Here!

Did you know the holidays are one of the most - if not the most - popular times for getting engaged? What a perfect gift to give and to receive...an engagement ring!...But this post is not about the engagement ring, it is about the actual act of getting engaged. When he pops the question, what do you do first? Scream, yell, cry, call your mom, call your best friend? After you do that what do you do...post it on your blog, send an email...what is a girl to do?

Here is the scoop on engagement etiquette!

Do you need to a ring to be officially engaged?
A ring or a date is not necessary for your engagement to be considered official. This is quite simply a matter of him proposing. If he asks, and you accept, you are officially engaged. However….most people (i.e. your parents) will take it more seriously if there is some sort of ring involved (Just being honest here!)

Does my fiancĂ© need to ask permission for my hand in marriage? 

For the most part, this custom is no longer applicable, but some men do still choose to follow with tradition. Ultimately you and he should really think about what your parents would prefer…it can simply be a sign of respect.

Does the ring have to have a diamond? 

Nope…anything will do, even a simple gold band. Don’t get caught up in what it is supposed to be, but rather what it means.

Does the ring really need to equal two months salary? 
First, see above question. Next, an engagement ring should not cost more than you and your future spouse can afford to spend. The price of the ring should be proportional to the size of your income.

How do we decide which set of parents to tell first? 
Traditionally the bride-to-be’s family is told first. The groom’s family is told next. Once this is done, the groom’s family contacts your parents. If your parents are divorced, his parents should call the parent who raised you, and then call the other parent later if the two of you are still close. As a side note, if one of you has children, tell them right away. You have no obligation to tell an ex-spouse right away…unless there are children involved.

My parents are divorced. Whom should I tell first?
If you still live with a parent, they should be the first to know. Otherwise, whichever parent raised you or you are the closest to should be told first. However (there is almost always a “however”) if say your parents are divorced and your Dad loves your fiancĂ©, but your mom, who raised you, doesn’t…all bets are off…I’d tell Dad first!

So, that said....do you have a good engagement story?
Who did you tell first and how did you tell them?

My hubby proposed on Christmas morning. I called all my closest friends and my husbands family first (he called them) because we were going to see my parents later in the day...they didn't expect it...I didn't expect it...and we wanted to see the looks on their faces.

So what happened...we walked in wished everyone a Merry Christmas, gave hugs, kisses, helped in the kitchen....nothing. My brother walks in looks at me, and says "Dude, there is a ring on your finger!"  My mom was speechless...in a good way!

Want to know more about etiquette....Buy the book!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everything Wedding Etiquette Book is Coming...Friday!

I won't even pretend to be shy about this one...
this post is all about blatant self promotion.
My latest book, 
comes out Friday. I am SUPER excited!

So, if you know someone who is getting married
send them over that way and
tell them to buy the book!

I will be having a giveaway in the next week or two

and maybe including my other books
and some other goodies.
Tell your friends!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Taste Never Goes Out of Style

When you plan your wedding, if you remain true to yourself,
and you embrace your style fully, the results,
no matter what your budget, will be stunning.
Ultimately the trick to having a timeless wedding
is about deciding what "trends" to follow or not,
about selecting a gown you adore,
not one that is on the pages of every bridal magazine, and most
importantly about being a happy, gracious, and stylish bride.

The photos below are not of a recent wedding,
but the results are timeless.
This wedding could easily be pulled off right now
with the same details and look just as amazing.
A true sign of  good design.

For some background, this is one of my favorite weddings.
Everyone was delightful - the parents (both sides), the attendants,
the guests, and expecially the bride and groom!
We were also fortunate to work with some of
the best wedding professionals in L.A.
(and I had the best assistant!)
The bride was very into the details.
She knew exaclty what she wanted and she knew
how to make herself, her family, and the guests happy.

The budget for this wedding was grand,
but many of these details could easily
inspire a bride with any budget.

So without any further adieu...the wedding eye candy!

A beautiful ceremony at a historic church

Ringing the bells before heading to the reception.

A grand reception at an exclusive private club
in downtown Los Angeles

As each guest entered, they picked up an escort card
(to direct them to their table).
Inside the card, the bride and/or groom had written a special note,
or bits and pieces of special memories for each guest.

The table centerpieces were individual cakes sitting on silver bowls.
These cakes were served to the guests at cake cutting time,
leaving a silver bowl full of rose petals.
Later that night, each guest took a handful of rose petals
and showered the bride and groom with them
as they danced the last dance of the evening.

A small, but grand, two-tier cake was made for
the bride and groom to cut into at cake cutting time.

A bouquet with 5+ dozen roses!

Happy Planning!

PS-These photos were scanned in by moi...
(yes pre-digital era here)
so the quality is not what it should be.
Please appreciate the ideas and not the scanning.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This One's On Me!

What's Your Question Wednesday
Got a wedding question? Need some expert advice? Drop me a line!

We do not drink, nor do our families.
Just about every wedding I have been to has served alcohol.
I would prefer not to serve alcohol,
but am thinkng we have to. Do we?

If you ask most people, a glass of wine or a signature cocktail
goes hand in hand with a wedding reception...and a jovial good time.
Of course, many venues also "encourage" a bar option,
as it adds to their bottom line. That said, no where is it written
that alcohol must be served at a wedding. It is merely your job
to provide the guests with food and beverage.

Whether that beverage is alcoholic is entirely up to you.
Of course, realize if you do not serve alcohol,
you may "hear about it" from some guests
-yes, it would be tacky for them to say anything,
but people never surprise me! -
and, let's be honest, the alcohol (usually) plays a part
in getting the dancing and party started. So as long as you realize
the minor implications of not serving alcohol,
and you are comfortable with your decision, go for it!

You may want to choose a sparkling wine,
or "memorable" beverage for the toast.
(a sparkling soda that matches the wedding colors, perhaps!)
The toast should always be special!

As a side note, if you choose to not serve alcohol,
keep it at that. I have been asked by brides if it is
OK to not offer hosted alcoholic beverages, but to offer
the guests a no-host (cash) bar if they want alcohol.
Don't do it. Respect and adhere to your decision.

Oh...before I go...if there is no alcohol,
offer the guests something special, such as a gourmet coffee bar,
a smoothie bar, signature lemonades (rosemary, strawberry, etc.),
specialty fruit juices, or sparkling Italian sodas...
there is no reason you cannot make it fun and interesting!

Happy Planning!

Keep an eye out...and tell your engaged friends -
I will be giving away one of my books very soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To Cake or Not To Cake?

What's Your Question Wednesday...

Got a question...drop me a line!

I know a wedding cake is a tradition,
but I really do not want or see the need for one.
Am I breaking some serious law of etiquette
or stepping all over tradition if I skip the wedding cake?

There is no law in wedding world that says
you must have a wedding cake.
Yes, wedding cakes are a tradition
(and when the associated tradition of smashing it
in one's face disappears, it will be none too soon...
yes, couples still do this!).
However....this is your wedding and you should do
what suits your style and the style of your wedding.

I have had a few couples skip the wedding cake...
and trust me...grandma did not understand...
in fact mom and dad had a hard time understanding.
It is simply a tradition that people have come to expect,
but that does not mean you cannot find your own just dessert!

A few alternatives to a wedding cake include...cupcakes
(which arrived on the scene at least 10 years ago are still rocking it),
mini Bundt cakes, ice cream cake, cheesecake,
donuts, or a signature dessert...
pretty much if you can dream it up (and afford it)
...it can be at your wedding.

Think about blending tradition with your savvy style...
One couple, who chose to marry at a favorite local restaurant,
decided to serve the restaurant's famous chocolate souffle
in lieu of wedding cake. Now at this wedding, many of the guests
were of a different generation, so we were a little unsure
of what they were going to think.Guess what...they loved it! 
However, the bride had visions that in 10 or 20 years
she was going to regret her "no cake" decision.
 So, to honor tradition, we ordered a small cake.
They sliced it and fed each other a piece,
just prior to dessert service.

For the record...I just love a FABULOUS wedding cake!
And by FABULOUS, I mean...
one that looks divine and tastes just as decadent. 

Happy Planning!

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