Wedding Season is Upon Us

6 Apr

The Huffington Post began a recent article with a bold warning: Ladies and Gents, “Run for your (social) lives. Wedding season is here.”

Unfortunately for the ladies in the wedding party, no matter how fast they run, the bride will surely catch every one of them!

Here comes the bride…

As a bride-to-be, I am thrilled to learn that wedding season is approaching. There are less than eighty days before I walk down the aisle! Apparently guests are joining the countdown for dramatically different reasons. They are savoring the days before:

  • Forfeiting their social lives for an entire weekend
  • Arranging outfits, transportation and a hotel
  • Memorizing a corny wedding hashtag such as #meetthepetermans
  • Acknowledging that Sarah’s Pure Barre routine is working wonders!
  • Considering their own timeline (Is the engagement clock ticking?)

Truth be told: until June 20th has come and gone, my friends, family and even strangers will most likely refer to me as the bride-to-be, before Sarah. As if the title wasn’t enough, I document every bridal appointment and wedding decision with enthusiasm, not once, but twice a week.

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How my friends most likely feel.

Lucky for my guests, the day after the wedding, I’ll be off the radar for a week. Apparently, the honeymoon suite we’ve booked does not include Wi-Fi. When I return as Sarah Peterman, I will no longer be able to perch on a bridal pedestal.

Today, I’ve swapped my sparkly bridal slippers for ones that my guests might wear. The two-minute video below helps the bride understand how it feels to be in the shoes of those in the audience rather than at the altar.

Press play… it’s worth it!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/30/wedding-season-is-coming-video_n_6971082.html?utm_hp_ref=weddings&ir=Weddings

After watching, I sympathize with guests who wonder whether or not they will have to do the Macarena at the reception? Dancing in front of big groups can be intimidating.

BuzzFeed makes an interesting point: for the bride-to-be, wedding planning is pure bliss mixed with moments of self-induced stress. From the perspective of guests, however, tying the knot is frightening and potentially contagious should you be the one friend to catch the bouquet.

So, how will you prepare to handle wedding season?

Pondering programs.

1 Apr

My parents recently attended a gorgeous wedding in Palm Beach, Florida. From what I could see, my favorite detail was the big bow that cascaded down the back of the bride’s dress. I adore a bold bow! Since mom was both a guest and a wedding planner on a mission, I received a full recap of the dreamy affair with plenty of pictures. Visuals are key when planning.

With three months left until the big day, there’s not much time to spare for new inspiration. With that said, we are still debating the necessity of programs for our short, yet very sweet ceremony. The question of the week is as follows: Are programs just another piece of paper to bejewel before being tossed, or will guests be puzzled without paper?

Below is an image taken by mom just minutes before the ceremony commenced…

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Gaze across the aisle…

At first glance the romantic floating candles consumed my attention. If you look closely, however, you will spot a guest in a seafoam gown studying the program rather carefully.

Since our wedding will include an interfaith ceremony, it might be helpful to provide an explanation of blessings and rituals, both Jewish and Protestant.

The Jewish tradition of breaking the glass can definitely alarm guests if caught off guard!

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(My cousin Bryan and his beautiful bride Jamie are pictured above)

The program also included a list of people who walked down the aisle. It’s nice to introduce the entire entourage from the proud grandmas to the rambunctious best man. Stella, my two-pound Chihuahua, just might make an appearance down the aisle (escorted by the ring bearer) should I decide to include friends with paws.

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Bridesmaids come in all shapes and sizes.

The program concluded with a small note of love and gratitude from the elated couple. It expressed appreciation for those who watched the ceremony with love from either side of the aisle.

After considering the information guests may wish to know, I am excited to map out a program for our wedding.

Below I have summarized my main reasons to push a program. Hopefully, some of these thoughts resonate with other brides-to-be:

  • If guests arrive early they will have engaging reading material
  • Religious blessings/traditions can be explained
  • Honorable members of the wedding party can be properly introduced
  • Guests will feel included in the intimate moments of the ceremony such as the vows

I am no longer indecisive when it comes to pondering a program.

~Dedicated to Bryan Drew. Thank you for breaking the glass which welcomed a true beauty (inside and out) to the family!~

Just How Sweet is a Sweetheart Table?

30 Mar

There are so many details to consider when preparing the seating chart for your wedding. Who should be seated closest to the dance floor? Is it okay to mix colleagues and college friends at the same table? Although all of these questions are legitimate, I have learned that there is no perfect formula for assigning seats.

In fact, a wedding that my friend attended a few months ago made use of bar stools, rather than the traditional round tables to avoid structured seating. Seating was determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Apparently, the wedding felt like a fancy game of musical chairs. Guests simply swapped stools with those who visited the buffet or hit the dance floor. Interesting idea, right?

At the moment, the most important discussion related to seating is whether or not the groom and I will make use of a sweetheart table. If not, will we sit with our wedding party, or just with our parents and siblings? Every group seems to have their own opinion. But, what will the sweethearts decide?

Here are my current pros and cons of sitting pretty as a couple:

PRO: the sweetheart table will truly compliment the purpose of the affair…

to celebrate the bride and groom!

At my cousins wedding, a few years back, I loved how the bride and groom shared a sweetheart table at the edge of the dance floor. Side note: They barely sat during the wedding. The Drew family takes dancing very seriously. However, when my cousin Lisa and her lovely groom, Todd, sat down to enjoy their champagne and heartfelt speeches, every guest could see their emotional faces.

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Lisa and Todd embracing the sweetness.

The sweetheart table definitely enhances the spotlight for the bride and groom. It is certainly wonderful to highlight the happy couple in the presence of their family and friends.

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A beautiful sweetheart table courtesy of Posh Petal and Pearls

CON: I’ve heard it’s possible to feel disconnected from your guests…

What couple would volunteer to be isolated at their wedding?

Plenty of people have said it: you have your entire married life to spend in the company of your spouse. Why invite three hundred guests if you plan to sit far from them?

With that said, I believe a sweetheart table can work well and look quite charming in an intimate dinner setting. Our wedding, however, may prove too big to make use of this seating arrangement. On the other hand, if the room is grand and the guests are plentiful, wouldn’t it make sense to have a special area for the bride and groom? We can be easily located for a congratulatory hug!

Here are some questions to consider before deciding whether to sit sweetly or not:

  • How big is your wedding?
  • What shape and size is the dance floor?
  • Are you planning to sit pretty for multiple speeches?

In conclusion, here’s a thoughtful compromise to a sweetheart table: my future mother-in-law recently purchased antique “Mr.” and “Mrs.” hand-painted signs that are intended to hang behind our chairs. We will be able to make a statement as the bride and groom of the party while still sitting nice and close to our loved ones.

For now, these beauties separate my side of the closet from his…

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Soon, however, they will be placed on the back of our chairs at the wedding!

Posh Petit

25 Mar

Yes, we absolutely LOVE to plan weddings, but Posh Petit, a division of Posh Petals and Pearls, also loves to create memories through all of life’s other events!! From proposal planning to your child’s birthday, to your parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party, Posh Petit will be there to help you create magical memories for your family. We also have the capabilities to help your corporation, business, or community organization plan, design, and organize all the logistical details of your next event. Below are just a few of the parties that Posh Petit has designed!

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Photography Credit:

Erin Rene Photography

Kelli Boyd Photography

Embrace the Mistakes?

24 Mar

…maybe.

On my most recent flight home I spent much of the ride confiding in Leslie, a fellow bride who tied the knot a few months ago. She entertained my to-do list for the takeoff, before providing a piece of advice that no bride ever wants to hear. Apparently, the best thing a bride can do on the big day is maintain a smile, look pretty and “embrace the mistakes.” As my facial expressions suddenly shifted from happiness to horrified, Leslie chuckled and said, “You will thank me come June.”

Hold on posh brides-to-be. I’m the exception, right? I have spent countless hours carefully planning with the mother of the bride to ensure that every plan has a thoughtful back up. The stylists will be on call in case my hair wilts and my eye makeup runs. Even waterproof mascara has its flaws. Also, if the clouds do not cooperate, the ceremony will be moved into the ballroom. I’ve heard that exchanging “I do’s” on a rainy day is lucky. I’d prefer a charm bracelet or something.

Here’s what really happened to my plane buddy. On the day of Leslie’s wedding, one of her bubbly bridesmaids commented on the interesting choice of flower arrangements. A clash was evident. Unfortunately another wedding on the same day, which was already in progress, had swapped flowers. Leslie’s bridesmaids wore  red dresses while carrying bright yellow roses down the aisle. On the upside, the mishap was a conversation starter for guests during the reception!

Flash-forward about one hour: after the big reveal, as the groom approached the bride for intimate pictures, he caught his finger on the corner of a rustic, antique chair. A speck of red landed on the train of Leslie’s dress. Luckily the groom had nine other fingers. The bride made a semi-valid point: there’s just one dress.

As the flight attendants prepared the cabin for landing, I gazed across the aisle with envy. A part of me wished I had been seated one row up, next to an adorable elderly lady. I bet she would have loved the video of my proposal and the pictures from my most recent dress fitting. (I find myself sharing photos of gown with complete strangers. Do other brides-to-be do the same?) #bridalproblems

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Since I can’t show readers my dress (yet), here’s a picture from the shopping excursion.

Although Leslie had no filter, it was slightly refreshing to hear a dose of bridal reality. Here’s the moral: before, during and after the wedding there will be curveballs thrown at the bride. Imperfections are inevitable. Hopefully my florist will take note of multiple weddings on the same day. Since I am marrying my love on the longest the year, hopefully the sun will shine at its brightest and longest. However, if certain things do not go as planned, I will take Leslie’s advice and embrace the “mistakes.” Despite the trivial flower mishap and barely stained dress, Leslie is happily married and still feels as if she is on her honeymoon.

As I walked off the plane, my new acquaintance bid me farewell with the following thought, “Don’t worry, Sarah. Things could always be worse. Remember when Big left Carrie at the altar?”

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I’ll take yellow flowers over this disaster.

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“I Do” at Downton, anyone?

20 Mar

Brides Magazine frequently shares a few special details from completely over the top weddings.

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Brides will be one of my favorite magazines long after my wedding. #1weddingmagazine

At the conclusion of the April/May issue, Brides explores the extravagant union of two New Yorkers who chose a destination wedding at the Hampshire estate. The venue is more commonly known as the grounds of Downtown Abbey. Certain elements of this feature wedding seem far-fetched to most readers like myself. Truthfully, this article lost me at castle, not to mention the stunning cover page, which introduced the happy couple.

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I can only imagine what their wedding album looks like!

Below are the few tips I was able to extrapolate from a real fairytale wedding. Let’s see how these might apply to fellow posh brides-to-be:

Fall in love with one designer.

Lacey Booth, the beautiful bride, committed to one designer from head to toe. The chosen legend was, of course, Alexander McQueen (fitting for a princess bride, not unlike Kate Middleton, who also wore McQueen for her royal affair).

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These runway heels match Lacey’s dress and the character of the venue.

Here’s my favorite detail: Lacey had initially fallen in love with her dress in black. The gown was later custom ordered in white with the same-jeweled turtleneck. I love that Lacey’s dress was not traditionally bridal, but rather converted to fit the affair. I wonder what the media might have commented if the bride was inspired to wear the gown in black, as originally designed?

Regardless of the color, not many brides can wear full-length sleeves with such elegance. Quick flashback to my episode of Say Yes to the Dress: when I slipped on gowns with three-quarter sleeves I felt overwhelmed by the amount of material. There was simply too much dress. Lacey, on the other hand, was truly styled to be married in a castle.

Compliment the venue.

After finishing the short, yet detailed recap, I had a hard time remaining convinced that the couple was actually from New York. Every aspect of the wedding (as much as I could see) appeared true to the charm of English royalty. My favorite detail was the way in which the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Chaus played with the elaborate decor of the castle. The white flowers were placed at the perfect angles, allowing the soft petals to compliment, rather than conflict with the elegant art. Nothing brought in by the florist and wedding planner dared to compete with the antique beauty of the castle.

At the end of the evening, as guests headed to the after-party, sparklers illuminated the castle grounds. “We wanted to honor English tradition with a grand party worthy of the venue” said the bride, Lacey.

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An epic ending.

I don’t know about other Posh brides-to-be, but I would surely say “I Do” at Downton.

Brides who Pure Barre

18 Mar

Over the last few months I’ve been overly committed to the gym with one specific objective in mind: I should be sweating for the wedding. Although I am definitely noticing results, it’s difficult to feel accomplished when working out solo. For a while, it was simply me against myself, the bride-to-be (the latter represents a stronger version of the future Sarah Peterman). Despite the many perks of my morning routine such as uplifting tunes, pink Gatorade and Nike kicks, I craved something social and challenging to shake up my workout habits.

Enter Paige: the ultimate friend every bride-to-be needs well before the big day and happily ever after. She’s super inspiring and bubbly. Oh, I forget to mention: she’s also a total knockout; we all have that one friend who turns heads just by stepping into a room. Thankfully, Paige introduced me to Pure Barre, my personal wedding trainer.

Enter Pure Barre: a fifty-five minute workout that challenges the abdominals, arms, and tush- the three target areas for every bride-to-be, single and married woman. The environment is warm and welcoming. For those who are very ambitious, Barre trainers recommend three to four classes per week.

I was considerably impressed with my stamina during session one; I left barre with newfound confidence and a trendy workout wardrobe (somehow, I convinced myself that hot pink pants would help me complete the last set of crunches).

Here are a couple of Pure Barre tips for brides-to-be who are new to the scene, like me:

  1. Don’t wear all black (too boring for Barre)
  2. Come early with water and time to stretch (you will thank me later)
  3. Take pictures to document before/after (proof of progress!)
  4. “Tuck*” is a Pure Barre must (when in doubt, always tuck)
  5. Bring your best attitude (when the leader of the class says, “only ten more ladies”… don’t give up)
  6. Pure Barre is the only time it’s acceptable to be a follower and not a leader (if you don’t know what you’re doing, look to the locals for help)
  7. Barre is about fitness…and fashion (check out the Pure Barre boutique)

*Truthfully, I am still learning what “tuck” really entails. So far, I know it’s about engaging the core.

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These @emijayinc shirts are all necessary, particularly, “See you at the Barre.”

Clearly, I wasn’t prepared for the agony of walking the next day. My muscles ached in a way that only professional athletes dare brag about. Although in pain and slightly moody from twitching muscles (known to Barre fanatics as the successful “shakes”), I have decided to dwell on the positive: results are inevitable. I’m hopeful that my honeymoon bikini body will thank me.

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Class 2 with Paige. Unlimited classes to go. Hashtag: #sweatingforthewedding