You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

Well, friends, a rare opportunity has come up for me to travel to Dublin, Ireland for the week, and I’ve decided to take advantage of it.  So, I’ll be offline until Saturday, October 31.  Check back in November for some updates on our trip!

Keep your fingers crossed that I successfully figure out how to navigate to Ireland solo.  🙂  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I suspect it will be an empowering experience.

I may have a wedding dress to fit into come May, but, as all my readers know, that doesn’t mean I’m going to starve myself until our reception!  I recently came across The Hungry Bride on Slashfood and just thought her perspective was very fun and relevant to how I feel as a bride!

My mom, sister and I already have a running joke that someone needs to be in charge of making sure I eat before our ceremony.  For those that know me, you know that me skipping meals is pretty lethal for my mood.  And no one wants to walk down the aisle grumpy!  What caught my attention about The Hungry Bride was her post on the importance of making sure you eat on your big day!  Two cheers for making the day more pleasant for all involved!

For all you brides to be out there that enjoy the pleasures of food, this one’s for you!  Enjoy!

I was catching up on my Star Ledger reading yesterday, and came across an article about a bride and groom that won a dream wedding from Roman Jewelers by competing against other couple’s in an effort to support local charities.

I thought this was a really wonderful promotion to involve brides and grooms in.  As brides, we often get caught up in the “me, me, me” aspect of wedding planning, and it’s always refreshing to take a step back and realize that life is going on around you and there are still people in need.  As most of you know, I’m not a huge fan of all of the hype and money that goes into the wedding industry, and I find it refreshing that brides and grooms in the area were able to put the needs of others first as they got closer to the big day.

Sure, in the end, they win a luxury wedding, but I still admire the self-lessness that goes into particpating in something like this!!

For more information about all the contestants, visit The Roman Jewelers Wedding site.

Dove's Real Beauty Campaign

Dove's Real Beauty Campaign

Dove has long been a champion of freeing women from stereotypes that lead to low self-esteem and poor body image.  I wanted to take a second to highlight their program and some of the resources available on their site.

The goal of the campaign is to embrace all definitions of beauty through a number of different channels:

1.)  Dove’s ad campaigns

2.) Confidence building programs and tools

Dove is committed to reach 5 million women with this message through it’s Self Esteem Fund by the end of 2010.  There are a lot of great ways to get involved, and I encourage everyone to go to the site and browse all of the great resources available.

Thanks again to Dove for recognizing the need to change perceptions one image at a time!

As most brides, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about money.  So, what better blog to feature this week than a blog that speaks right to those of us that can’t pull out the plastic over any purchase:  The Budget Savvy Bride.

I love reading about how other people are using their dollars wisely for their wedding.  Whether it’s a DIY touch or the decision to cut back on things other people tell you you “must” have, it’s refreshing to know that people are able to achieve beautiful results no matter what their budget.  It’s another reminder that, as we continue to plan, we have to keep our heads in the game and remember what the day is all about!  It’s also a refreshing reminder these days that, no matter what happens job-wise, your wedding can be beautiful.

I really like how Jessica interviews other brides about their big day.  I’m a big fan of the personal stories, and interviews are just such an easy way to share information that others can use.  I find the questions she asks to be insightful, rather thant he usual, “how much did you spend, what went wrong, blah blah blah” that I’m so used to seeing on other blogs.  Love it when people keep it real with useful information!  I’m a huge fan of the transparency that Bryan and Katy shared with Budget Savvy Bride:  it’s SO HELPFUL to see a real breakdown of expenses rather than just an estimated, generic list!  A lot of the other brides Jessica talk to shared the same information, and I think it’s very useful to see the exact numbers instead ot the suggested “your dress should be 10% of the cost of the wedding” or whatever the guidelines are.  Jared and I are keeping our own list, and if he’s ok with sharing, I’ll probably post our final breakdown eventually as well!

Jessica also features a lot of fun giveaways on her site.  I don’t typically enter these types of contests, but every now and then, I think it’s fun to try your luck at winning something you can actually use!  And what’s more budget savvy than getting something for free that you can use for your wedding??

Another great feature is some of the DIY tutorials.  As all of you that really know me are aware, I’m not much of a DIY’er, so I need the step by step picture instructions to make me feel like DIY is an achievable goal for certain wedding elements :).  Also love that some of these types are shared by readers.  The collaboration element of this blog is awesome, and makes it seem more down to earth and natural.

Another great feature of this site?  Jessica actually talks about life after the wedding.  She was married in May, and has recently started sharing some of their house-buying plans/decorating ideas.  I know from experience with other brides that this is on our minds as well along with planning a wedding, so it’s nice to see some talk about that!  Sure, right now we might be more interested in what kind of invitations other brides are using, but it’s important to remember that there are a lot of bigger decisions that need to be made after those details are taken care of!

Fellow brides, make sure you bookmark Jessica’s site or subscribe to her RSS feed for the best budget-savvy advice out there!  Thanks for all the great photos and tips, Jessica!

I’m a lucky bride for many reasons.  I’ve got great in-laws and great family support to help me through the planning process without overwhelming me.  However, I consider myself the luckiest bride in the world mainly because I am in the rare camp of brides-to-be that is lucky enough to have a groom that takes a vested interest in helping with the planning.

Yes, that’s right.  I’m almost embarassed to admit that Jared has been making a lot of the phone calls, but it is nice to know that the pressure doesn’t have to be all on me.  It’s nice to have another person to bounce ideas of off that truly cares about them and shares the same vision for our big day as I do.

With that said, how do we keep everything organized?  Sure, the wedding planning Web sites are great, but Jared really has no need to log on to TheKnot.com to track our progress.  So, we’ve been using Google Docs to keep all of our documents in one place where we can both edit them.

I’ve been using Google Docs for awhile at work, and recently realized that people that aren’t in the industry might not know how awesome it is for wedding planning.  Google Docs is a feature offered through your Google Account online  that allows you to upload and share documents on line.  The best features, in my opinion, are:

  • You can upload documents from your desktop to the online account.
  • Anyone can edit the document once they have been invited to do so.
  • The files live on line, meaning you can update them from any computer, not just the computer the file is saved on.
  • Edits are made in real time, meaning that there are no worries about changes being overwritten or saved incorrectly.
  • Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents can be created straight from the platform, meaning you don’t have to create duplicate copies on your desktop

Jared and I have been using Google Docs to keep track of our Guest List, Photo combinations, and finances.  It’s saved us the trouble of working off of multiple documents and running the risk of losing information.  It’s been a great time saver, and I would recommend it to any bride who needs a little help staying organized!

There’s no denying that we’re living in stressful times.  Between financial worries and every day stressors, I’m sure all of us have come home one day to seek comfort from an old friend:

FOOD.

Maybe it’s chocolate. Perhaps it’s a slice of cake.  Or maybe it’s an entire blue box of Kraft mac and cheese.  (Raises hand).  Whatever it is, each one of us has a comfort food that we turn to in our “deepest” time of need.

I found an interesting article recently from 2003, that said that high-fat, high-carbohydrate comfort foods actually fight stress by stemming the tide of stress-related hormones that are released when people are acutely exposed to stress.  “WOOHOOO!,”  I thought, without reading any further.  “Yet another excuse to dip my hand into the chocolate chip container after a bad day!”

Obviously, there’s a catch.  Those same ingredients in our go-to comfort foods  also make us gain weight. When stress is chronic, we increase our risk for obesity by turning to our favorite foods.

Clearly, all of us know that fighting stress with Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines is not the solution.  However, how do you ignore that part of your brain that encourages you to grab the sweet stuff?

I’ve read a lot of articles regarding how to resist temptation when it comes to eating.  The most common advice is:

  • Drink water.
  • Excercise.
  • Wait 20 minutes to see if you still want to eat something.
  • Find a healthier alternative.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t say these survival strategies work for me, particularly in high stress situations.  I know this is all a game of willpower and that my problem lies with not being able to control my impulses, but none of these suggestions have ended up helping me in the long run, in spite of my using them daily.

This is something I still struggle with on a daily basis.  What does everyone do when stress strikes and you find yourself reaching for that tried and true food friend?  Any tips you’ve read that actually work?  By all means, share your comments below!

I came across The Wedding Channel this week when I was searching for a bouquet charm to tie on to my bouquet.  I think I’ve stumbled across this site before, but I definitely got sucked in this time!

The Wedding Channel seems to have a partnership with Macy’s, so after we registered there, I believe I became registered on this site as a result.  The main benefit of this site, in my opinion, is the option for The Wedding Channel to make a donation to your favorite charity every time someone purchases from your registry through the site.  All the bride and groom have to do is “claim” their registry through The Wedding Channel and encourage people to visit the site to purchase items from their registry.  While I am very attracted to the idea of our registry doing some good, I don’t really think it’s convenient to have people go to an outside site to take advantage of this.  I’m not sure the majority of people would order gifts online, and I think they would likely find it confusing to go to a site that is not Macys or Crate and Barrel.  Oh well.  Something to think about regardless.

So far, I’ve spent the most time reading through posts on the message boards.  As you know, these are features that I have used occassionally on TheKnot and Brides.com.  The message boards on The Wedding Channel are easy to read through and search.  I particularly enjoy the sharing of person stories in the Wedding Drama section.  What can I say..it’s nice to know other people have it way worse in the planning process!  🙂

The wedding tools on this site are very similar to the tools we’ve already talked about on TheKnot and Brides.com. If you’ve seen one too, you’ve likely seen them all!  I did think the budget breakdown was the most helpful, though.  Put things in perspective.  I also might play around with the seating manager at some point.  Should be oodles of fun.

I’ve been doing a lot of online shopping lately, so I did check out the Wedding Channel store in detail.  The interface is MUCH easier than TheKnot, and overall the store has a more legitimate look to it.  The prices are pretty decent, and they seem to have more variety than TheKnot, although, it almost looks like it’s all tied in together.  Nonetheless, still a great resource for ideas for gifts and other fun wedding items.

Like all wedding Web sites, the Ideas & Advice section on The Wedding Channel is chock full of photos.  The photos are easier to browse than The Knot and Brides.com, and there seem to be a lot of options for galleries.  Yet again another way for brides to waste time while planning the perfect wedding 🙂

Overall, another great site for planning and ideas.  If you’re registered at Macy’s and comfortable directing guests here to order gifts, it’s a great way to give back while still receiving items you may need to build a home together!

Tossing the Bouquet on Modern Bride

Subscribe no more!

I’m very sad to hear that the latest round of Conde Nast magazine cut backs includes Modern Bride.  This was, hands down, one of the most helpful bridal magazines I purchased.

I always joke about this, but I wish I could single-handedly keep the magazine business IN business.  I’m obviously very Web savvy and very engrossed in all of the tools available online for brides, but part of me still prefers being able to cut pictures out of a magazine to show to vendors.  Also, I’m a big sucker for the pull out check lists that I can hang in the office to track our progress.

I can see how these types of magazines would not be relevant anymore, especially given that most of these tools are online and most brides choose not to subscribe to the magazine since wedding planning is temporary.  Still, though, very sad to see one of the only magazines that provided real content instead of just pages and pages of ads be put on the chopping block.

Farewell, Modern Bride!  You will certainly be missed.

I was drying my hair in my mom’s bathroom this morning, and found myself staring at the scale she had in her bathroom.  Since today is Tuesday, it got me thinking about that love-hate relationship we all have with that little machine in our bathrooms.

When I was in college and struggling with an eating disorder, I remember the nurses and doctors would make me stand on the scale backwards so I could not see the number.  I would try to take a peek at my chart to see if I could see what number they had recorded, but they were always very sneaky about hiding it from me.

When I think about it, what would it have mattered if I saw the number?  I wouldn’t have been happy either way.  Any number would have been “too high” in my opinion.

Isn’t that still the case?  I’ve read that you should weigh yourself at the same time of day every day.  In order to not become obsessed with the number, I weigh myself every Monday before I get in the shower for work.  And as I continue to see the numbers move between the same 5 digits, I have to wonder the value of going through this ritual.

There are all sorts of articles regarding the accuracy of digital scales.  While I think it’s important to know your “number” on average, I like the commercials that tell you to measure your progress by seeing how your clothes fit.  After all, health is not just a number:  it’s a lifestyle!  You can weight 120 pounds and be healthy, but you can also weigh 120 pounds and not be able to complete a 5 mile brisk walk.  Let’s make sure we’re focused more on how we feel than on what the scale says!  I just hope I can remember this today when I try on my wedding dress for the first time since I ordered it!!

How do you make sure you’re looking beyond the number?