Tag Archives: bridalparty

Showering Sarah

18 Apr

A few months back, if readers remember, I mentioned the idea of a couple’s bachelor(ette). After attending my own parties this past weekend, I will admit that I have grown immeasurably from the mindset of that post. I have transformed from a young (22), naïve fiancé to a still quite young (24) yet capable bride. My bridesmaids proved that although I will make a perfect Peterman, the solo Sarah will never lose her spunk:

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Since I am still pre-wedding, I can freely shout my feelings from the rooftops of Trump Soho (where I slumbered with my bridesmaids): I had the best two days of a bride-to-be’s life!

Here’s a peek into the festivities that taught me why every bride needs bridesmaids, both before and well after the wedding:

There’s no man who can replace the bond between women!

Every moment of this past weekend was filled with constant love and laughter (far too much to capture in words and pictures alone). Below, I have attempted to summarize a few of the most unforgettable highlights. These memories may serve as a guide for bridesmaids who are in the process of planning a celebratory weekend for their beloved bride. With that said, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the mother of the bride, the bridesmaids or the bride-to-be herself- the bachelorette and shower are happy occasions for all.

Here’s what you should do to make the most of each moment…

Laugh harder than you ever thought possible.

After checking into our chic downtown hotel, I was escorted to a workout class of sorts. Since I live in leggings, I was appropriately dressed for my first surprise adventure. I assumed I was attending a girly tuck session known as Pure Barre or perhaps a trendy hour of Bikram yoga. Truth be told, I was actually enrolled in a “twerk” class more commonly known as pole dancing.

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Posing amongst the poles with my girls during an incredibly silly hour of nonstop laughter and quite a bit of blushing!

The giggles were clearly contagious. One day later, at my shower, I found myself plucking undies off a clothing line right in front of my mother-in-law. Based on style and rhyming clues I was asked to guess the giver.

 

This game is a must for every bride at her shower! I love all my panties and the clever clues!

Make new memories and savor the old.

At the start of my shower I was presented with a gift that made my mascara run. One of my bridesmaids, Shonna, had asked each friend and family member to submit photos and a letter or note of love via e-mail. She spent countless hours creating a masterpiece.

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Each page was carefully crafted.

(surrounded by two of my bridesmaids, Mallory and Alexa)

The book of memories is titled, “Showering Sarah with Love,” and is unquestionably my favorite treasure from the weekend.

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The gorgeous heart behind my book of love- Shonna, my bridesmaid.

Take a moment to pause and look around.

Nearly one week later I can be found floating around my apartment in Savannah wearing my bridal sash and tiara. I can still very vividly feel the warmth and see the smiles from the women who shared in my happiness. Although I was absolutely showered in gifts, I have yet to start cooking with my food processor, blender, roasting dish and baking pan. Despite inching two months closer to the big day, I remain the same Sarah that my family and friends know too well; I’d rather use the kitchen for storage than cooking!

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Embrace the truth.

Dedicated to three incredible women who fill my life with beauty.

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Aunt Diane– Thank you from the bottom of my heart for planning the most magnificent bridal shower. Every detail was sparkling with love. I will never forget the pretzels you put on each table from the location of my engagement, Reading Terminal Market…wow!

Shonna– Thank you for putting so much time, affection and energy into a book I will adore forever.

Lisa– Thank you for showering me with sweetness, tiara’s and activities throughout the weekend. We shared some of our best laughs during these two days.

I love you all, endlessly!

Birthday Bride!

10 Apr

Yesterday, I spent my twenty-fourth birthday wearing two tiaras. After all, birthday hats never go out of style.

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a timeless accessory and a forever friend.

Bridal tiaras, however, are treasured because they are ephemeral. This was my last birthday as a single Sarah.

Aside from waking up to two-dozen pink roses on my doorstep, I opened a very special wedding themed birthday gift; My Pnina Tornai gown arrived in the mail just in time for fitting two.

My birthday was celebrated at Kleinfeld Bridal with my amazing mom and happy grandmother. Although I felt honored to return to the beloved home of Say Yes to the Dress, my appointment took more time and work than expected. Every bride-to-be approaches their second fitting with high hopes and expectations: will the dress fit a little better? How close to perfect will everything fall? Is there enough time to make dramatic changes such as adding or removing straps?

I advise brides to bring mom, bridesmaid, grandma or friend(s) to the fitting. A support team helps suppress bridezilla.

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my team.

Truthfully, ever since I stepped off the plane from Savannah to New York City, this past weekend, I have been glued to mom. Thankfully, the MOTB keeps me organized, focused and seriously busy! Although I continue to smile in every bridal picture, posh readers should be forewarned: the steps leading to the dreamy walk down the aisle are far from glamorous. Planning takes patience. Patience takes practice for every bride.

This weekend, however, I will be excused from all wedding duties; Saturday and Sunday are solely dedicated to bachelorette and shower festivities planned by my thoughtful bridesmaids. For the very first Saturday since my engagement, I will have zero decisions to contemplate.

But the pins always precede the party. My team spotted a few minor details that still require tweaking.

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Don’t peak behind the curtain…my dress is there!

(extra perk: I was placed in room 9- a lucky coincidence on my birthday, April 9th!)

Here’s my advice for fellow brides who may fear their next fitting:

  • Bring wedding shoes (make sure they are the right heel length before the tailor starts to hem!)
  • Wear Commando (visible panty lines do not flatter brides.)
  • Contemplate face coverage (finalize the length and design of your veil/headpiece, if you decide to wear one at all!)
  • Back away from the dress (after fitting two, remove everything bridal. Take a stroll around the boutique before leaving. Brides should avoid rash decisions regarding alterations.)

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Inside the box: a jeweled memory from my second fitting.

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?

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!

The Big Day Before the Big Moment

15 Mar

When I was newly engaged, I used to dream about two specific moments at my future wedding:

  1. Walking down the aisle
  2. Waltzing into the ballroom as Mr. and Mrs. Peterman

Big reality check: there is an entire DAY before the MOMENT of exchanging “I Do’s.”

My mom called me yesterday to chat after she had met with Andrew, the head of the wedding venue. They gathered in New Jersey to discuss a general timeline for the day. There are appropriate time slots for everything and anything bridal: hair, makeup, snacking, pictures, the huge reveal and so forth. Actually, when all is said and done, there is an entire day before the wedding even begins. Timing is key.

Don’t stress, brides-to-be. Luckily, the wedding planner will handle each chapter of the day in collaboration with the venue. I just heard some unexpected news: apparently, in my case, the bride does not need to attend the rehearsal before the ceremony! Please refer to the ALL CAPS line in the e-mail I have copied below:

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Evidence of my pardon (reading this feels even better than being excused from jury duty!)

The best part of this e-mail, aside from the use of caps, is the following line: “It is her time to rest and a get a snack and fix makeup or whatever.” Clearly only the mother of the bride understands that her daughter will need a break to refresh and refuel before the ceremony. She may also need time to upload her very first wedding instagram with the appropriate hashtag: #meetthepetermans.

At first, I was slightly jealous that my groom and his groomsmen will have the morning off. They will most likely stay up late after the rehearsal dinner, sleep in, and hide away in the man cave at the venue. About one hour before pictures begin they will shower, shave and appear promptly looking better than ever.

After attending my makeup trial, however, I realized that the preparations for the big day are where most memories are made. Brides shouldn’t waste one minute of the day! I can already imagine wearing my silk robe with the crystal bride logo on the morning of the wedding. All my bridesmaids will be giggling in the bridal suite, listening to music, snapping pictures of our glowing faces and basking in the beauty of the BIG day.

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Doing my duties as a bridesmaid for Lisa, the beautiful bride.

(Lisa, now that you’re my bridesmaid, I’ll ask you to secure my jewels in the bridal suite 😉

One bride- two families.

20 Feb

I am very lucky that the MOTB (mother of the bride) is also my wedding planner. Each time we chat there is another obvious detail to discuss. Since I am living in the south and “commuting” to all wedding related appointments, I am constantly calculating my next flight. I am truly blessed to have such an organized, energetic, posh planner. The line of communication from Savannah to New Jersey is one that I could not be without; although we constantly text, FaceTime and e-mail, the best interaction with my mom is exchanging long overdue hugs at the airport.

As much as I find myself chatting with the MOTB, I am also in frequent conversation with my future in-laws, the excessively excited grandma’s and bachelorette ready cousins. In the midst of wedding planning, I have learned that the bride-to-be must also orchestrate the family behind both parties.

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When preparing to marry, plan with both families in mind (Drew family above, Peterman family below) Please excuse the crazy selfies (we just can’t help it).

When friends in Savannah see how involved both sides of the family are regarding wedding preparation they often react with facial expressions of astonishment. People wonder whether I am a potentially bombarded bride? The truth is, I’m just a long distance bride with a very, very loving family. The constant communication between myself and the wedding party has been one of the most exciting aspects of planning. I have realized that despite the temporary distance I am surrounded by an enormous wave of love, support and celebration.

Here’s a pretty regular day in the life of bridal bliss (characters do vary by day of the week- except for mom, she’s on call 24/7):

  • Wake up with weddings on the mind- more fuel for Posh Petal and Pearls!
  • MOTB calls to confirm florist appointment which is coming up next week (finally)!
  • While at the office my cousin texts me a playful “hint” about my bachelorette (don’t worry, it was PG).
  • After returning home, I check my mailbox and receive a fan letter from one of my beautiful bridesmaids, Alexa.

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Reminder: the bride must keep calm and carry (her groom) on.

  • My phone buzzes with a picture of my mom visiting a garden in California- she writes, “flower inspiration for the wedding?”

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A posh mom among the petals.

  • My television remote seems to automatically locate episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” (a great way to end the day).

I can’t help but wonder what will happen when the big day has come and gone. While the planning, plotting and partying are all incredibly memorable, I know that I will be perfectly content when it’s just me and my husband wearing shiny wedding bands and processing it all. We will, of course, relive the happy memories of our big day and the relentless planning led by my amazing mother. Also, for the first time in months, I will experience the loss of cell reception (one of the many benefits of honeymooning).

But there’s plenty to do first. Posh Petal and Pearl brides should stay tuned: next week I will be heading home for a makeup trial, florist appointment, bridesmaid dress fitting, shoe shopping and much more…!

Wedding Etiquette- Tone down the Toasts

19 Dec

Every wedding I have attended has been sweet, loving and full of heartfelt expressions from enthusiastic guests. Of course, sometimes there are trivial comments from certain attendees, and the only one I’ve ever made was to shorten the toasts!

Although I enjoy tearing up from the emotional parents of the bride and groom and perhaps one or two from the wedding party, when everyone and anyone makes a toast there’s less time to enjoy the reception and hit the dance floor. Sometimes it becomes harder to participate in the wedding when you don’t have hold of the microphone. And most times, it’s better if you think twice before taking the microphone.

Here are some tips from a bride-to-be who has listened to one too many painful wedding speeches that have unintentionally bored the crowd. For our wedding, which is quickly approaching (less than 200 days away), I am suggesting that our friends and family tone down the toasts.

Speak from the heart…with a notecard

Although I happen to love impromptu thoughts and good wishes, sometimes having a few key words or perhaps a phrase written on a notecard can save the speech from taking an embarrassing turn. With that said, notecards are lightweight, expected and understood as a helpful resource when the spotlight is suddenly shining on a timid bridesmaid in front of three-hundred guests.

Here’s a big one: keep your iPad out of sight. I once went to a wedding where the best man actually read his toast from his tablet. Although I’m not one to criticize technology, considering I take my phone just about everywhere, I do believe that paper is always more proper than staring at a screen.

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If I had to do it over again, I would use a smaller notecard (big paper fail)!

Save the inside jokes for another occasion:

If the majority of the wedding party cannot relate to your speech some level, save the story for a personal card. While writing this post I thought back to one of my favorite films, Bridesmaids, where Annie and Helen engaged in a comedic duel over who knew the bride the best.

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It’s not hard to genuinely regret your wedding toast.

Photo credit: http://www.vh1.com/celebrity/2011-05-18/we-all-liked-bridesmaids-right/

Here’s my suggestion: pop into a library or bookstore to explore old love sonnets and wedding poetry in preparation for your speech. Begin or conclude your toast with wisdom from famous poets and authors whose graceful words will capture what you truly intended to say. Even if you despised Shakespeare in college, he just might rescue you in front of an intimidating audience.

I have seen brides who restrict certain people from speaking. That’s not my style. If I chose someone to be a member of my wedding party, they share a piece of my heart and their words are truly appreciated and welcomed. However, in an effort to avoid lengthy toasts and draining the excitement out of other wedding guests, I am suggesting splitting up the speeches between the rehearsal dinner and reception.

Are brides-to-be in agreement with my plan?

I believe that toasts are essential to weddings, if and only if they can be toned down!