Friday, December 11, 2009

A great bridesmaid gift?

The other day my BFF, Bride Shortcake says, "What do you want as a Bridesmaids' gift?" I thought for a few minutes and really couldn't come up with squat. Then I thought of all the gifts I've already received as a Bridesmaid. So I answered the question in the negative. I don't want a tote bag monogrammed with my initials. I don't want a $20 gift certificate to an obscure boutique in Old City I will forget to use before it expires. I don't want another pair of dangly earrings-- I like jewelry A LOT, please come over and pick out a pair you like that I already own. I don't want a flask. I don't want a t-shirt that says Bridesmaid across my chest. And I don't want a pair of jazzed up old navy flip flops.

Disclaimer: If I was in your wedding and you gave me one of these items, I love it! I just don't need two.

However, now that some time has passed, I thought of something I really do want. Shortcake, I'd like to have a sleepover with you in your parents' house, in your childhood bedroom, complete with me on the trundle bed. Just the two of us. And we may have to play dress up in some of our high school clothes, or at least look at some really bad old photos.

As for a tangible gift I did come up with a few suggestions, as I'm trying to be helpful. I would wear a sturdy pair of flip flops (which happen to coordinate with our BM dresses) from say, J. Crew, at your reception. Or you could also give a useful engraved item to each Bridesmaid with a statement or rhyme that reminds you of her. It could be a key chain, letter opener, picture frame...the options are endless.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holidays, work, and blogging don't mix

I'm a delinquent. I wanted to come right out and say it. I could say that no one sent a Bridespot in for November, which is true. I could say I haven't attended any weddings this month, which is true. I could say, the weather is lousy and I don't like the cold, and it makes me cranky. BUT they would all be lame excuses. Truthfully, I have been crazy busy and my personal life and fun hobbies (like this blog) have taken a backseat to the 9 to 5 and alllllll my social commitments lately. Do you know I have to skip work to go to a florist with my best friend??? How are we that busy, really? And now as tomorrow brings December and lots of holiday parties, my schedule will only tighten. Sometimes you just need a day off. I think I'll get one around January 3rd. Ha! Just have to power through til then. I apologize for being a deliquent, I really do. I hope to get the creative juices flowing again this weekend. Love to all!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Venue of the Month - Meredith Manor

Name: Meredith Manor
Location: Pottstown, PA
Rental Fee:
Day Time: Barn;
Barn & Tent
Friday 4 hrs: $1,200; $1,500
Friday 5 hrs: $1,450; $1,825
Saturday Afternoon 4 hrs: $1,200; $1,500
Saturday Afternoon 5 hrs: $1,450; $1,825
Saturday Evening 4 hrs: NA; $2,800
Saturday Evening 5 hrs: NA; $3,400
Sunday 4 hrs: $1,400; $2,200

Exclusive Caterer: They have an exclusive caterer on site. Their food is amazing. They do not offer separate food tastings for every couple getting married at the venue, instead they have 2 open houses a year where they set up food as if for a wedding and there you can taste the food.

Main Ballroom Capacity: The minimum guest count for tent use and/ or for a Friday Evening, Saturday Afternoon, or Sunday is 100 people. The minimum guest count for tent use and/or for a Saturday evening is 125 people. For groups less than 100, the Barn facility may be used on Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons, or Sundays. Maximum Capacity is flexible as a bigger tent can be used.

Limitations/Rules: You must use 1 of their 2 pre-approved DJs and they have an in house baker for the cake which is Bakers of Buffington. They have a recommended (but not required) florist and photographer as well, if you'd like to use them.

# of events per day: 2 events per day.
Parking: plenty of outdoor parking.
Outdoor Space: there is a patio where they have the bar with gazebos and fountains nearby.
Separate Cocktail Space: cocktail hour would be held in the barn and outside on the patio.
Ceremony Site: Yes-outdoor, can be held indoors if weather is bad.
Bridal Suite: Yes.
Air conditioned: Yes.
Handicap Accessible: Yes.
Overnight accommodations: No.
Nearby accommodations: The Inn at Chester Springs, Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn, all located in Exton, PA.

Special Comments from the Bride Jenn: "The reason we picked this space is because we both absolutely love the outdoors! It's the perfect location for a summer wedding and everything is included so there really isn't much to worry about!"

Thanks to Bride Jenn for suggesting this venue and helping with the post!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Fall Colored Wedding

My Beautiful Friends post was just a small preview of the fun to be had at Lissa Bee and Officer Jack's Wedding. They created a lot of the things seen around the wedding themselves or with the help of friends and family. I love when couple's do this, because it makes everything so personal and special. As you can see above, fall colors were everywhere! Sister of the Bride Lil'Jess made fabulous centerpieces below for all the tables with different photos of the couple on each table attached to a pumpkin and paired with a bouquet of fall flowers.

Their cake also featured a very unique cake topper with the bride and groom poised to shoot. Lissa Bee and Officer Jack met when they both joined the Capitol Police Force about 3 years ago.

The Bride and Groom also really love them some tattoos. In fact one of the first things Lissa Bee ever told me about Jack was how beautiful his leg was because of the gorgeous tattoo on it! Here you can see some of the Bride's ink as she breaks it down on the dance floor!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beautiful Friends

Last night my friend Lissa Bee wed her true love Officer Jack. The whole day was amazing. Another friend of ours officiated and started the day off with an extremely personal ceremony. We all laughed as Lissa Bee swiftly kicked her train out of her way and tossed a grin over her shoulder. Tears were in large supply as the Bride and Groom exchanged their vows and shared their first kiss as man and wife. As they walked down the aisle, Lissa Bee raised her bouquet in victory and let out a cheer. The reception was also a rockin' time. Highlights included a garter removal not to be forgotten as the groom found a flip flop, spoon, condoms, and finally a garter hidden in Lissa's dress. I'm in the middle of taking out the red eye and sharpening the photos now, so a full post is to come later this week. It was a beautiful day with cherished friends and lots of special moments. Congrats you married lady!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bridespot - Lissa Bee

Well Miss Eliza Blu, Here is my wedding story!

The most fun part of wedding planning for me (so far) has been picking the dress, theme, colors, favors, etc. Of course the most fun will be actually getting married! It was wonderful to make things what I wanted them to be, and how I wanted to do it. I had a vision in my head and tried to create it. I wasn't ready for people to get mad at me, expect me to use their opinions, or have my wedding be how they thought it should be. Officer Jack and I have learned compromise through out this whole process, and have enjoyed it. We have had our bumps in the road with the planning of our wedding, but other than that, everything was pretty smooth. I can't believe I am getting married in 12 days. What's my biggest triumph you ask? Besides paying for most of the wedding ourselves! And besides marrying the man of my dreams! Hehe. Well that would be hand-making lots of stuff for the wedding! I handmade all my wedding favors, and I am helping make the dessert. Now, what will I do after it is all over? :-)


Bride Lissa Bee

Thanks for sharing! I can't believe you'll be a Married Lady soon. This is a very special first Bridespot as Lissa Bee has been a friend for over 10 years. She is also very modest, she printed her invites at home (you can see them featured in the DIY Invites post), homemade pumpkin butter for her favors and embellished 100s of little jars, AND she decorated her very own pair of white shoes seen in here. She is a DIY Bride Machine.

In addition, she made beautiful gifts for her bridesmaids, which I will post photos of after her wedding, as not to ruin the surprise. I can't wait to be there to see you and Officer Jack tie the knot!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Slow Down

All week this week per head costs, shower dates, stationery designs and linen colors have been like bouncing balls in my head and suddenly they all just stopped. I was proofing next week's Bridespot and WHAM, I thought to myself, "What is all this stuff? This fog of flowers, satin, and pointy shoes! How did I get here?" I used to be the girl that said all you need is love, and now I'm just as bad as those Brides I hate. The Brides who steamroll their fiances or bully their family into over spending. Only it's crazier, I'm not even a Bride. My friend Michael says I feel for people more than anyone he knows, and for the first time I really see what he means. Because I'm so blessed to have friends I love who let me help them register or dress shop, my mind gets churning, and I run away with myself. I forget what the marriage is really about. So tonight I'm slowing down.

Today I've decided, I need to stop making grand predictions. I used to think I could see it, when a couple had "it," when they were going to make it. But lately I've seen couples I would have bet my life on fail, because of lies, distrust, health disasters, other people in their way, yet until the very end they looked perfect. They looked happy. They had it all--a perfect home, friends who got along, people to support them, (seemingly) love, but it didn't work. As a single girl I occasionally ask myself, will "this" happen for me? This being the dream guy. This being the beautiful big day. This being the big break up you never see coming. I wonder do those people with the unhappy ending, do they know where it all went awry? Can they look back and say, "There! That's where the train derailed"? Or is it just as mysterious when you're in it as it is to the onlookers?

When the bouncing stopped tonight I was reading that a Bride's greatest triumph was marrying the man she loved, the man of her dreams (not getting her dress for a steal or finding a photographer for under 4 grand). So often our relationships, romantic or otherwise, are less and less about the people we love. The relationships become about the fog. Tonight I've come through the Brigadoon, the spotlight is back where it belongs. It's on the love.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Venue of the Month - Radnor Hunt

Our first Venue of the Month comes to us from Bride Shortcake and Groom Slim Jim. Their wedding reception in June 2010 will be held at Radnor Hunt.

Name: Radnor Hunt.
Location: Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Rental Fee: $3000.
# of Hours you get for that fee: 5 (extra hours: $250/hour).
Recommended Caterer: J. Scott Catering.
Grand Main Ballroom Capacity: 220 sit down; 250+ cocktail.
Petite Ballroom Capacity: 80 sit down; 100+ cocktail.
Any Limitations/Rules: You must use their bar packages for any alcohol since they have a Liquor License. They have 2 packages: One for just Beer and Wine; another for Beer, Wine, and Liquor. Events must end by 12midnight.
Outside Caterer allowed: Yes, but with a fee.
# of events per day: One.
Parking: Yes --optional valet with added fee.
Outdoor Space: Yes --Covered and uncovered Patio space, as well as open grassy areas. Pictured above and below.
Separate Cocktail Space: Yes --The Petite Ballroom. Ceremony Site: Yes --both outdoor and indoor.
Bridal Suite: Yes.
Air conditioned: Yes.
Handicap Accessible: Ballroom and Cocktail area --Yes. Bridal Suite --No.
Overnight accommodations: No.
Nearby accommodations: The Desmond Hotel.

Grand Ballroom
Petite Ballroom/Cocktail Space

Special Comments from the Bride: "The natural light in the ballrooms at Radnor is amazing, and I love the wainscoting in the main ballroom. This Venue has true Chester County Charm!"

All photos taken by Bride Shortcake. Thanks Lady!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Calling all Brides!

I'm starting two new feature sections this month. The first will be called Venue of the Month. This series will highlight a fantastic venue in the Philadelphia area (NJ, DE, and MD borders too). So if you are getting married in the tri-state area and want to nominate your venue please email me at with VENUE in the subject line. Please include the name, location of your venue, and the name of the event contact person, and I will do the rest. This feature will run each month on the 10th.

Our first Venue of the Month will appear very soon! It comes to us from Bride-to-be Shortcake, who you may have seen around the page before (Philly Knottie Event). She is (probably, awaiting fiance approval) getting married in June 2010 at The Radnor Hunt Club in Malvern, PA.

The second feature section is called Bridespot. This will be a guest post by a current Bride-to-be or newly wed. Your post can be about anything your heart desires related to your Bridal experience! For example, you can share with the Something Blu community any of the following... What are you struggling with planning? What has been the most fun about wedding planning? What have you learned about your partner since you got engaged? What did you not expect to encounter while planning your wedding? What has been your biggest triumph?

Please submit Bridespot guest posts to with BRIDESPOT in the subject line. Accepted posts will be notified and credit will be given, not to worry.

I can't wait to hear from all of you!!
<3, Eliza Blu

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Engagement Party Hi-jinks

A few weeks ago I drove to a college friends' engagement party on Long Island. I had to wait to post this because it was a somewhat traumatic trip. The pain has since faded and I've been able to see the good, so here goes.

It's a beautiful Saturday morning, when I embark from Philadelphia, PA to Shoreham, NY. GPS programmed, Lilly dress on, overnight bag of beach gear packed, 172 miles to go. Traffic is lousy, but I'm making progress. Mile 80, my car begins to violently shake and I lose the finer nuances of steering control on the NJ turnpike. Ammmmaaaazing. It's Saturday of Labor Day weekend I'm 2 hours from home and about 2 hours from my destination, "What the heck am I gonna do?" Okay, you're right, I didn't say "heck" but this is a PG blog.

Gift from God #1, I was near an exit and the toll collector directed me to a Chevy Dealership nearby. I rattled 8 miles down the road to a little town called Avenel, NJ. I find the Chevy Dealership and think, "I'm saved!" I wander inside in my Lilly Pulitzer Dress, RL shades and white Guess heels, and ask "Is the service center open?" You should have seen the looks I received as I thought to myself, "I just had to drive up in this outfit, didn't I?" Sadly I am told the service center is closed, but a very attractive car salesman takes pity on me, takes a long look at my PA plates, and proceeds to call every mechanic in the surrounding area.

After about an hour he finds 3 places that are open and said they would "loooooook" at a car, but gave no guarantees on fixing it. One of these places is about 200 yards down the road, so I made my way down there. After nearly bursting into tears telling my story to the owner of the auto shop, he agrees to look at the car. Up goes my Impala on the lift, and moments later in comes the owner shaking his head saying, "You gotta see this." I wander into the garage (still in Lilly, mind you) to see my rear right tire is torn about 1/3 of the way around. The tire had somehow begun to shred layer by layer without losing air but significantly effecting my ride (hence the crazy shaking). Gift from God #2, the shop had a used tire in the right size and he was able to change it out quickly. I really wish I had video of me standing in an auto shop in a Lilly dress with a completely stunned look on my face. And he did all this for $26!!!! So if you are ever in Avenel, NJ and need a car fixed please see Mr. Pete San Giorgio at Avenel Auto Care Center on Rt. 1 South, and tell him I sent you! I showed my dad the new tire when I got home and he was impressed with the work done and that I was not swindled (and my dad loves that car more than he loves me).

I return to the road, Mile 89. I eventually arrive at the party, THREE HOURS LATE. Are you serious?!? I'm never late. I was mortified. My third gift from God for the day came when I gave my hostess gift to the Bride's mother and she exclaims "How did you know?!" as she opens the bottle of Relax Riesling. Apparently it's her favorite. "Whew, as least I got that right!" I think to myself.

The Bride hands me a margarita, I proceed to have a blast at the party. They even had Karaoke!!! I sang "These Boots are Made for Walking." Yea, you wish there was video of that. My college guy friends treated the crowd to their own rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and there is video! I really hope you can see this.

Aside from being egregiously late, and singing off key, the party was amazing! The Bride's family opened their home to everyone and everyone pitched in to help with the event. The Bride's uncle catered the food, and now their wedding caterer certainly has big shoes to fill! The Bride's aunt used her late grandmothers heart shaped pans to make the lovely cake you see below. The Bride's parents graciously hosted both families and lots of friends, not only for the party, but overnight in the house and in tents outside their beach side home. We all woke up with the sun and spend the day by the water laughing at the photos and videos, and getting sunburned. It truly was an amazing weekend, absolutely worth all the car trouble.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

DIY Invitations

Lately I have received more and more DIY invites to weddings. I think this can be a really wonderful way to save money and/or be more creative with your invites. There are some very beautiful, yet affordable, options out there if you shop around. Staples, Walmart and other office supply stores sell kits with invites, response cards, envelopes etc. Also sites like offer access to artists who can create silk screened invites or other hand made options. Or you can go serious DIY and buy paper, calligraphy pens, die cuts, paper cutter, ribbons and a unique hole puncher at craft stores like Michael's or Joanns. I say power to you if you start from scratch!

However, when you do it yourself there are some things to think about since you as a Bride are not a stationery professional and likely haven't done this before. Think of writing your invites like you did assignments in Elementary School-- Who, What, Where, When all need to be included. Also the How is achieved with guest information cards and perhaps a listing of your website, which would serve as a back up for all this information. It's my opinion that your website should not take the place of any event details though, unless your intention is to have a paper free wedding! (An undertaking I would love to see).

Usually a 5" x 7"ish card on heavy paper announcing your marriage. Information to be included: Parents hosting, bride and groom's names, ceremony day, date, year, time and ceremony venue including town and state. There are lots of phrasing resources on the net, so I won't duplicate those efforts here. ***Optional: You may put on the same sheet at the bottom "Reception immediately to follow" and the place of your reception, if you don't want to have a separate reception card.

Reception Card:
Traditionally Reception info is usually listed on a smaller card, approximately 4" x 5," included with the invitation. This card might say "Reception immediately to Follow" or "Dinner and Dancing" with the location information. Contrary to popular belief this is not the same as a response card. Guests will keep this card for their information.

Response Card:
This is what guests return to you with their regrets or acceptance, and perhaps their food choice. Since they are sending this back to you, it should not be the only place pertinent information is listed on their invitation, such as the the location of your reception, website, or the hotel information. I suggest discreetly numbering these cards on the back in case you can't read someone's handwriting. This way if an illegible card is returned to you, you can check the code # against your master guest list to tell you to whom you mailed the invitation with the corresponding number.

Accommodation Information Card:
Most Hotels these days have a prepared card they will give you when you reserve a block of rooms. These fit conveniently in with the rest of the invitation package. Or you could make small sheets on your computer with a small map on one side and hotel information as well as directions on the other. This would be your resources piece of your invitation. This could also be a nice place to put your website.

Inner Envelope:
All the items listed above go inside an inner envelope. Do not seal this envelope. On the outside, write the first names of the intended guest(s). This can be informal, for example your parents' could say "Mom and Dad" and your friend's could say "Liz and Guest." This is also where single unmarried guests will take their cue on whether or not you're inviting them with a date. So your single friend Liz's may just say "Liz" as well.

Some of the samples I found (like the one shown above) featured a folder instead of an inner envelope, you could write on the back of this as well.

Outer Envelope:
Now you slide that envelope into this one. On the outside you'll need neatly printed mailing addresses with formal salutations. If you have lousy handwriting like me, I recommend computer printed stick-on labels, especially the clear ones which look less obvious. Don't forget your return address in the left corner or on the back on the envelope flap, and a cute love stamp too!

P.S. The USPS now offers custom stamps! You can upload a photo of you and your fiance, your dog with a red heart in its paws, or anything your heart desires to be made into your very own custom stamps!

Photo credits: blue and red invite, Etsy - Mwilson Shop; inkjet reception card,; response card and accommodation card photographed by me and created by Bride Lissa Bee; and Best Occasions Invite Kit available at Walmart.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Best Man Speech Flow Chart

I came across this on the net. It made me laugh when I really needed to in the middle of my scheduling panic attack yesterday. Hope it instills laughter in others. I will have to think up my own flow chart for my next MOH speech, lol.

Photo credit: Click the photo to see a bigger version!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Holy mother of God. I just found out my already busy Summer 2010 wedding calendar got even more jammed. In the past 16 hours 3 of my family members announced their nuptials. Winter weddings need to come back in fashion. Oh man. I needed to vent. Somehow I will make this happen. I don't even know what to do right now. Here is my list thus far and I have a sinking feeling I'm missing some. And I already have 2 in one day, how am I ever going to pick?!

(deep breaths, deep breaths)

May 1, 2010 - South Jersey
June 12, 2010 - Philly suburbs
June 26, 2010 (2 different couples in one day) - Downtown Philly and upstate NY
July 24, 2010 - DC
September 4, 2010 - upstate NY
October 2, 2010 - South Jersey
October 8, 2010 and October 9, 2010 (hindu & christian ceremonies for 1 couple) - Manhattan

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Coworker Plus Ones?

A friend asked me for advice on giving coworkers plus ones or not after reading the "Date Dilemma" post from last month. I've read some conflicting advice on this topic. If you look on the you can find lots of helpful guest list Q&A, so I would encourage you to look it over. I think my best advice is to assess your specific group of invited coworkers. Personally I would make this decision by asking myself a few questions...

1. How crammed is my guest list already?
2. Do I (or my spouse-to-be) know my coworkers spouses, sig. others, partners etc. well?
3. Are the majority of invited coworkers married?
4. Married or not, could my work crew all attend as a group of singles and still have fun?
5. Are there other singles being invited who they could mingle with?

If my guest list is kinda tight...I would seriously assess if the work crew could all attend as singles and have a good time together and/or with other singles. Even though some may have spouses, I likely don't know them, so I think saying to your work friends, "Yes I would love for you to be a part of my special day, but due to my big family, I'm inviting people from the office to come stag," is totally acceptable. Chances are all your work friends will love to hang out as a group.

If my guest list is not super tight... I would still have the above thought (no reason to spend extra cash). However if 9 out of the 10 co workers you're inviting are married I would probably just invite all the Couples and give that one person a plus one. Seems fair.

Anytime with the singles, just decide what's best for your event, your guest list and YOUR HEART and stick with it. I think more than anything guests notice consistency when it comes to who got invited with or without dates.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Registries to Love

I love shopping for my friends wedding gifts probably a lot more than a normal person should. I get totally involved in looking at the registry and finding a gift that means something to me and to them. I also try to link things together (as evidenced by my last post). But I digress, this post is about the fabulous-ness that is Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy's.

Last night I went to BB & B to get a wedding gift, shower gift and engagement gift from three different registries for three events occurring this month and next. Because my schedule is crazy, I arrived at the store at 8pm. Expecting the wedding counter to not be staffed I went to one of the regular checkouts to ask for registries to be printed. HOWEVER, the wedding counter was still open and the sweetest gentleman nicely printed all three registries for me (and none were particularly easy to find since apparently my friends have either common names or ridiculously hard to spell names). I was totally impressed with the customer service. Then I very easily found the gifts I wanted and was even able to get gift wrap at 9 o'clock at night. It's all about the little things in life folks!

In general I love when people register at BB & B because there is a such a variety of items as well as a variety of price ranges, which I find is very important to guests of different life stages. Also ordering online is easy and fast if you can't get to the store. Both the store and website allow you to do one credit card purchase although items may be from more than one registry and they even offered to ship my in store purchase to the different Brides and Grooms for free!! I knew I could ship from the web to the couple but not from the store... I was like a kid on Christmas. Since I go to a lot of weddings and pre-wedding festivities anything that saves me time and energy is a plus. Also I like shopping, so I have fun going to the store, but many wedding guests don't like shopping, and even they could quickly purchase and ship a gift through the BB & B system. So if you're looking for somewhere to register BB & B gets my vote!

A second registry I can't get enough of is Macy's. Admittedly this is partially because their China department is my guilty pleasure, but their stores and websites are very user friendly too. I have also ordered from multiple registries in one purchase on their website and in store. (A friend recently had trouble doing it in store, but I think the clerk just wasn't versed in how to do it.) Macy's obviously has more of a selection when it comes to certain items (dishware, china, and housewares) being a larger department store. Also tends to have the fancier more exclusive things you might need as a new couple. Overall, I think the greatest invention for Macy's,
BB & B or any other registry system is the "Ship to couple" feature. If you're not attending the wedding or shower, it takes all the work out of how your gift will arrive, and even if you are attending you don't have to worry about carrying it or breaking it on the plane. So a second vote goes out to Macy's Bridal Department.

Photo is of one gift wrapped by BB & B, one by me and the third gift I shipped to the couple!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recipe Shower Part 2

So the Recipe Shower has come and gone and I have failed to post this for quite some time. My apologies. By day I work at a University, so it's a busy time of year.

In the end I chose to give my friend a recipe for my Chocolate Wacky Cake, which is my grandmother's WWII ration recipe featuring no eggs or butter. It's delicious! If you want to try it out it's super easy to make, recipe is at the bottom of this post.

As I said in the last post, I love to give a themed gift so I picked out a rectangular cake pan, spatula, and wisk to give with this recipe, since these are items you would need to bake the cake. Luckily I noticed that mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons had all already been fulfilled on her registry. The Bride loved all her gifts, and as she is an avid baker, I know she will especially appreciate a cake recipe. I have to give a shout out to the Maid of Honor! She did the sweetest thing I've seen someone do with all the recipes. She bought a photo album type book with single slots for each recipe card and collected the recipes at the shower and slid them all into place. This way the Bride's recipes are organized and kept all in one place. Bonus-they stay clean under their plastic page protectors!!! Genius. I will definitely add that to my bag of tricks for the next shower I throw.

I got some twitter traffic about how one plans a recipe shower or what exactly that meant, so here is a brief run down. For the person(s) hosting the shower, plan as you normally would. Pick a date, place, make your guest list, but when you mail invitations include an index card or printed recipe card with each invite. You can usually buy packs of recipe cards at grocery stores or kitchen supply places with pretty graphics and fun details such as notes that feature "From the Kitchen of... " or "Cook with Care Instructions." Explain to guests on the invite to fill out the card with a recipe of their choice for the Bride (and Groom) and bring it to the shower. Even guests who are unable to attend are able to contribute by mailing their recipe on the provided card to the couple.

Using this invitation to contribute a *free* recipe is also a way to steer guests away from giving a tangible gift at the Shower (if the Bride and Groom are on board with that), especially in this economy a lot of couples are saying one gift on their Wedding day is enough. You could phrase it "You're invited to a Cooking Shower! Hosted by Sarah's Bridesmaids. Instead of gifts the Bride requests of gift of your cooking skills! Please share a favorite recipe on this card and join us for good company, tea and desserts on September 19, 2009 at 2pm at the Cambridge Tea Room, West Chester, PA. Please RSVP to Eliza by September 5, 2009 at (phone or email)."

Here is the recipe: Grandma Betty's WWII Wacky Cake

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
2 teas. baking soda
2 teas. salt
2 tbs. red wine vinegar
2 teas. vanilla
2/3 c. vegetable oil
2 c. cool water

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet mixture. Pour into a lightly greased rectangular 9" x 13" pan or split between two 9" round pans for a layered cake.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Recipe Shower

One of my favorite Bridal Shower themes is Recipe or Kitchen Showers. And lucky for me, I'm attending one tomorrow!! I am currently trying to choose a recipe to share with the Bride, current front runners include, homemade salad dressing, Chocolate Wacky Cake (no eggs or butter --WWII recipe), or my famous pasta salad. Feel free to vote below!

I love this shower idea because, #1 it's interactive. It allows guests to contribute a free gift to the couple!! Who doesn't love to give something significant without spending money? #2 The Bride (and potentially the Groom) gain a recipe for something new! And who doesn't love good food? #3 It makes my decision about what gift to buy lots and lots easier! Because I can be a super nerd and buy something off the registry that they could use to make my dish. Such as a salad bowl and dressing shaker; cake pan and mixing bowl; large kettle and produce knife. Can we tell I love a themed gift?

I will report in about the shower on Sunday, and which recipe wins!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 Philly event

Last week I went to a Knottie gathering in Philadelphia. It was loads of fun: free drinks, free food, a few vendors and lots of brides! It was held in the new Chestnut Club, which has yet to open to the public. This great historic theater has been transformed into a classic ballroom incorporating the old woodwork and little nooks. The ballroom also features a floor to ceiling window overlooking Chestnut Street at one end. It would be a fabulous downtown Philly location to have a ceremony and/or reception.

Click Here to see some photos of brides telling viewers what The Knot means to them at the event.

Featured is a pic of me and my best friend, who is getting married next June. I got a special MOH guest spot in the photo. She loves The Knot because "She would be totally CLUELESS without it."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brides with Ruby Slippers

and Blue, Green, Yellow, and Purple too!!

This is a trend I have totally fallen in love with. It warms my heart to see Brides slide into colorful and sometimes sparkly shoes on their special day. As a size 9 (occasionally a 9.5), I realized long ago white shoes on me look like skis. Hence, my plan to someday make my something blue a shoe! Really ladies, what a fun way to showcase your favorite color, coordinate with your bridesmaids, or just show off your personal style when you bustle up your dress to dance at your reception. Here is a collection of my favorite brides with colored shoes. Special shout out to my friend Kaitlyn (below) whose first wedding task was to find perfect Aqua shoes and then build the rest of her wedding around them. Enjoy!

Photo Credits: Red shoes, Martha; Blue Shoes, my friend Kaitlyn (great legs huh?!) photo by Hitched Studios of Boston; Green and Yellow shoes, Brides Cafe; Purple Shoes,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Great Giveaway - Save the Dates

Click here to read about a Save the Date giveaway. You could win 100 Save the Dates just by commenting on the page or becoming a follower of her blog. These amazing designs are produced by Rachel Jasper. If you win you get to pick a design of your choice!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bridezillas, Eh?

This one is for you Erin.

Truthfully I have not encountered any true blue blooded Bridezillas in my time as a Bridesmaid or wedding guest. PTL. However, I have seen a few Brides on the edge under certain circumstances. Here are some things I've known even the most serene Brides to growl at:

1. Moms (mostly their own but occasionally the Groom's)
2. Money
3. Other people's ideas and traditions being pushed on YOUR wedding
4. Guest List Size
5. Shoes
6. Hairstyles/Veils
7. Pictures - angles, who's in them, how many, etc.
8. Bridesmaid dresses
9. Your weight/dress size
10. ???

What drove you nuts planning your wedding? Or what have you seen Brides get wacky over? Lmk I need #10

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Date Dilemma

In my wedding travels over the past few years I've noticed some inconsistencies in how Brides and Grooms decide to give out the coveted "plus ones." Being single for most of the time following college has placed me in the category of "to plus or not to plus." I find there are a few schools of thought out there...

Technique #1. All friends who live with and/or are engaged to someone are extended an "and guest." This rule is also occasionally stretched to include plus ones to friends whose significant others are known well by the Bride and Groom. All your other friends who may be actually single or in new relationships do not get the added guest--regardless of whether or not The Bride/Groom are actually better friends with the deemed Single guest or the guest living in sin (I'm kidding, but that's how my Gran says it). I find that with rare exception this technique places The Singles in a situation where they are asked to travel to a wedding alone, sit at a table of other forlorn Singles, have no dance partner for slow songs, and stay in a hotel alone.

Occasionally one gets lucky and attends a wedding with other FUN Singles (Yes, Virginia they do exist) and one does not miss having a date in the slightest and may in fact be better off without one. After all, introducing your hired escort to your 50 college friends can be tiring. Most of the time however, attending weddings as a Single is depressing, costly, and takes the spirit of love out of the experience.

I would like to say I understand that per head costs are pricey. Having been a bridesmaid a couple of times I know that your Chicken Cacciatore can cost $120 a person for no good reason. I am not minimizing that at all, instead just explaining the plight your single friends may experience if you do not extend them a plus one. Some final food for thought, female guests are likely giving 3 gifts (shower, bachelorette, and wedding) is it so much to give them the gift of a dance partner?

Technique #2. Friends of a certain age, say over 21, all get plus ones (without attention to their current relationship status). Of course this then runs over into cousins and others over the age of 21 also potentially needing dates. This obviously would multiply quickly, but it may be the most fair strategy I've come across. It's certainly objective.

Technique #3. Friends of a certain closeness with the Bride or Groom (or perhaps their Parents, if they are paying for the wedding) get plus ones regardless of personal relationship status, and friends who are your fringe friends but are nicely being included in the guest list do not get plus ones. Example: All your college girlfriends who were there when you came home from your first date with your Husband-to-be can bring a Gent of their choice. But the girl who you worked with at your latest job is invited as a Single, even though she lives with her bf.

This technique asks you then to sort your friends and single family members into most important, very important, and generally important piles and then dole out those desirable plus ones in tiers. This could help you decide to give only Bridal Party members plus ones, but not other friends. Or help you make a point to your mom that your Cousin Maggie can attend alone, since after all her parents will be there.

The White Wedding Guest Dress

Say that title 10 times fast, I dare ya...

This past Saturday I attended a wedding of two college friends and saw one of the more appalling things I have ever seen at a wedding: a female guest wearing a solid white dress. I'm going to let that sink in for a minute... Lucky for her, I did not know her or her date. Her date was a friend of the groom and she was nicely included and attended with him. I don't know about her, but where I was raised, a guest of a guest need obey even higher standards-- but alas I digress. Allow me to set the scene...

It's a sunny afternoon at a mid-size Catholic church, sitting in a pew is little me, waiting for my turn to rise for communion when I see a girl on the groom's side rise to reveal her tea length white lace dress. This dress was not unlike many I have seen Brides put on for receptions or post-wedding parties or day after brunches. It was delicate, beautiful, strapless, fitted, and white. Then suddenly I realize, "WAIT!!! The Bride is on the altar, not in a pew to my right. Who does this floosy think she is!?" At that exact moment, I hear a sharp gasp behind me, uttered by my best friend (also a bride to be next July). Knowing what she has just seen, I turn around and mouth a definitive, "I know." To which she turns, makes eyes at our other friend and so on and so forth for 3 more pews. (Obviously all 6 of us had to sit on the end to have optimal picture taking range, duh.) So as 6 perfectly coiffed hair styles turn in succession, like shiny dominoes, we begin to step into the aisle for communion. It is then that I lock eyes with the Maid of Honor, another one of my bffs, and telepathically scorn this woman with laser beams shooting out my eye balls.

Okay enough, it's too painful. Now, on to the question my boyfriend asked me when I recounted this story later in the night (he was not present for the mental stoning of this harlot), "Do people still tell their daughters you can't wear white to weddings?" So internet blogging community I ask you, "Do they?!!" Because as a little girl I distinctly remember my mother scolding me for trying to wear a white and blue sundress to a wedding, for as she said "It is not your day to wear white, your day will come." Has this respect for the Bride and her one day to symbolize innocence, virtue, possible (haha) virginity, and general spectacular center of attention-ness gone out the window?!?!

Mothers of America, please tell your daughters, there is only one day you wear white to a wedding, and that is on your own wedding day. Not some one else's.

Books hurt Trees, Blogs are Free

This afternoon my friend Kevin (who has been to nearly 300 weddings) joked that he and I could write a book about all our funny stories of attending and being attendants in various weddings. While I don't see that happening any time soon, I thought a blog about my adventures as a wedding guest and bridesmaid could be fun to write about. I have been to... hold on I'm counting...12 weddings in the past 2.5 years, involved in 3, and invited to about 10 others. Recently, I've run out of cup-cake and icing jokes to account for all the pick-up skirts a girl can stand, and I've come to peace with the realization that by the time I get married NOTHING will be original. Even my brilliant idea (from 5 years ago!!!) to wear blue shoes, but I'm not bitter, I swear.

I hope you enjoy reading it. Feel free to leave comments!