Real Wedding~Puerto Rico: Chasity & John

When Chasity contacted us to help plan her wedding, we had no idea that it would end up in Puerto Rico. We were originally planning for a wedding at their family home, but the couple realized that they would rather have a once in a lifetime trip to celebrate their wedding with family!! We love to travel and we love our jobs so when she asked if we could continue planning, we answered with an excited YES!! What better combo than to get to travel to an exotic location to plan a gorgeous wedding?!! Posh Petals and Pearls planned the intimate affair at the El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico. The couple flew all of their guests down to enjoy a few days at the resort and celebrate with them on their wedding day. We LOVED getting to plan this wedding and traveling to Puerto Rico to see it come to life. Becca Price Photography did an amazing job capturing the wedding!! Can we go back?!! Happy 1 Year Anniversary, Chasity & John!! Check out our Facebook Album to see more of the gorgeous images!!

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Wedding Planning: Posh Petals and Pearls Photography: Becca Price Photography Ceremony & Reception Venue: El Conquistador Resort Florals: Calu Events & Floral Designs  Hair/Make: I Love Make Up & Hair, Too Ceremony Music: Allied Music Solutions Bridal Gown: Bleu Belle Bridal Travel Agent: Four Seasons Travel Savannah

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Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride is the closest guest to my heart.

Within weeks of my engagement my mom took on a multiple roles- mother of the bride (by birth), best friend (by choice) and stellar wedding planner (by love). The last role has been a challenge. While I do not exactly fit the criteria of a bridezilla, I am not the easiest, walk in the park type of bride. I am sometimes indecisive, lovingly laid back and quick to lose focus between all the embellished possibilities. There are too many options for invitation fonts, bridesmaids’ dresses, flower choices and bridal beauty styles. I needed mom!

To be honest, during most of my mom’s perfectly posh planning I was stuck in a bridal daydream.

Enter Ina. My mom is focused, ultra organized and incredibly invested in every detail. Since there were hearts on the programs, the MOTB ordered matching hearts for the cocktail napkins and menus. My mother knew that a flute makes all the difference during the procession. Apparently, the hospitality bags need to be packed with proper nutrition and a timeline for guests. Everything was planned with an extra touch of love and effort.

Brides often babble about bringing their bridesmaids for dress shopping, trials and various appointments. If possible, I suggest bringing along mom and cherishing the time you two have together. A mother knows her bride best.

Of course, there will be laughter, moments of stress and sporadic yet very happy tears.

Mom, remember when we picked dramatically different flowers on our first trip to the florist? Thankfully, I took your advice for the final arrangements.

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A stunning MOTB with impressive taste.

Remember when we left bridal boutique six out of seven feeling defeated? Would I ever find my dream dress?

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Despite minor frustrations, we always managed to capture the moment!

Of course, you must remember when I tried on the one? We both lit up. We had found the perfect Pnina.

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We said “Yes” to the dress!

With the big day just moments away, I will soon focus on meeting my groom at the end of the aisle. With that said, when I look back on my wedding, months and years down the road, I will remember the elegant belle behind every bow, pearl and sparkle. Thank you to my sweet mom for planning a beyond fairytale wedding. Thank you for devoting your time, heart and endless energy into our special day. Although we have shared many memories together throughout the years, wedding planning with you has been a very vivid reminder of why a mother is a girl’s best friend.

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I love you endlessly mom!

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A summer, timeless bride

On my latest trip home to the in-laws in Lancaster, PA, I had the opportunity to travel back in time as a 1920’s bride.

My journey began just beside the horse and carriages of the Amish country.

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helping me in, like a true gentlemen.

JB’s maternal grandmother surprised us with a romantic ride alongside rolling hills. I was swept off my feet and shuttled with my groom as if we had just exchanged vows. Despite my tee shirt, sneakers and messy hair, I felt the breeze and royalty of a 1920’s bride. We made a mock getaway in a “just married” all original Model T. Our speed was slow, our kisses sweet and our engine just bearable. I cherished the characteristics of the car such as the wooden floorboards and its antique, fragile structure- a crank to start.

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just like this Model T– marriage takes work!

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always, always kiss the bride!

A few hours later, I was surprised yet again by another family treasure. JB’s sweet Aunt Jane handed me a copy of The Bride’s Magazine from 1945 that belonged to her mother and was read in the summer months leading up to her big day. As a writer and a bride this gift is incredibly precious and educational. On a more sentimental note, the bride behind this magazine reminds me that I am following 68-years of marriage and sacred love. Like JB’s Mommom, I am a true summer bride.

At first glance, the magazine reads as a distant, pretty feature of the past. Weddings have certainly changed. For example, a beautiful, ruffled dress at Saks Fifth Avenue sold for approximately $250.00. Although a similar, conservative style most likely exists in the bridal department at Saks, I know the price tag comes with additional zeros.

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pages 80-81.

Price aside, the value of this magazine remains intact. As I carefully flipped through the sturdy pages of this treasure, I noticed that many of the articles address me, a June bride. Every year, before and well after 1945, summer brides take a leap of love down the aisle.

I was particularly excited about one article in the issue titled, “To you Bride of summer 1945.” Three paragraphs in, George Platt Lynes writes,

“To you —the girl who’s lost her heart but still has a head for romance… and uses it charmingly with one of the engagingly new bridal headdresses, like the ones sketched below, that outstanding American milliners are creating especially for you. None of them are bridal headdresses in the conventional sense of the word…but tempting, delicious little hats that after the wedding you’ll wear happily again minus the veil.”

Despite my quick judgments of brides from this era, I found the author’s writing edgy, flavorful and fashion forward. Apparently, women in 1945 considered headdresses that transitioned from a summer wedding to a summer soiree- “just pleasantly peasant enough to look delicious at a summer wedding, and after the wedding… pouff! it becomes a baby straw bonnet to work wonders atop a dark town sheer.”

Who would have thought that Mommom, a 1945 summer bride might recycle her wedding headdress for a night out in town?

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pages 78-79.

As much as this issue pushed barriers and pressed buttons, the conversation regarding headdresses and lingerie advertisements did not mask the domestic perception of brides. I’m glad summer brides of 2015 are encouraged to venture well beyond the kitchen.

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I suppose our current Bridal magazines still include recipes. Page 109.

I wish I could take that Model T, hop on a time traveling highway and head back to 1945. With that said, based my cooking skills, or lack thereof, I would have been a single gal. Nonetheless, I imagine a blonde, sans apron, Sarah blogging from a completely different perspective. I would incorporate poetry, fashion and wisdom from each and every decade in between Mommom’s and mine. I would mimic the charisma and charm of this 1945 bridal magazine, which promises a rosy future for all summer brides.

~Dedications~

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Thank you Grandma Yost for an unforgettable ride.

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Thank you Aunt Jane for taking me back in time to meet bridal writers, editors and elegant summer brides.

Thank you Mommom for sharing a beautiful bridal treasure. I will be thinking of you this weekend, on the warm summer night of June 20th.

Categories: Uncategorized

Packing for Two

I know certain women who always pack for their better half. They count socks, underwear and fold collared shirts with care. It just so happens that my groom has immaculate suitcase skills, while I frequently forget items and tend to take too much. Nonetheless, the title of this article reflects packing for two days, rather than two people.

Brides should fully prepare for the big day before the getaway. There’s no such thing as waltzing into a wedding. Typically, a bride will enter her suite with a week’s worth of preparation, bustling bridesmaids and some A plus assistance.

Wedding Day

Over the course of wedding planning I have accumulated a closet worth of bridal items. My everyday wardrobe has become wrinkled and cluttered, as a wedding sacrifice of sorts, while everything for the big day remains in pristine shape. It’s helpful to designate a closet or storage space where brides can congregate all items. Below is a quick look into my bridal closet. Exclamation points indicate urgency!

  1. Gown!
  2. Marriage License!
  3. Wedding bands!
  4. Ketubah/marriage contract!
  5. Garter
  6. Ring Bearer pillow
  7. Bridesmaid gifts
  8. Bridal flats/heels
  9. Bridal jewels
  10. Tiara/hair accessories
  11. Proper undergarments
  12. Something old
  13. Something new
  14. Something borrowed
  15. Something blue

As readers probably imagine my closet has been temporarily seized for the big day. Although I have done most of the collecting on my own, I did inform one lucky lady about my bridal treasures. Even the best bridal packer must have a backup plan, better known as a reliable bridesmaid. It’s likely that I will forget something of necessity just hours before the ceremony. I can already imagine my mid-makeup shriek as I remember exactly what was buried back in my bridal closet.

Honeymoon

If brides are jet setting immediately after “I Do’s,” most packing should be done in advance. I have been told that the bride is absolutely exhausted after the reception with a happy hangover. Here’s a numerical look inside my beach suitcase- a work in progress. If brides are heading somewhere less lazy and more adventurous than my island getaway, disregard the beach items listed below.

  1. Passport!
  2. Obligatory wifey tee
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Sundresses
  6. Beach reading
  7. Waterproof camera
  8. Flip flops
  9. Sun hat
  10. Something with lace
  11. Bathing Suit (x a few)!
  12. Cover Up

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My shower outfit and a honeymoon hat.

Considering the several suitcases a bride may have to pack, I suggest letting the groom grab his tux and swimsuit. With less than ten days to go, this bride is busy!

Categories: Uncategorized

Married to your Maiden name

Since I am just days away from becoming a “Mrs.” I’ve had to answer two questions like a broken record:

  1. Are you ready?
  2. Will you change your name?

In my mind, the first question is worthy of a quick and cheerful “yes!” I’ve been engaged for over a year. As much as I adore wedding planning, and documenting each decision, I’m completely ready to walk down the aisle. I’m even more excited and ready to reverse the runway as a married woman. The walk back with my groom means our marriage is official!

The second question, however, has required more thought and reflection. I’ve always loved being a “Drew.” I am forever proud of my grandparents who arrived at Ellis Island from Poland and courageously accepted a revised surname with the hope for a bright future. Diereczinski was far too long and complicated. From 1946 forward, my family embraced Drew as a way of life, rather than just a new name.

On June 20th, the Peterman’s will be smiling from the other side of the chuppah. Not long after I met the parents of my prince, John Benner Peterman II let me in on a little family memo. The Peterman’s are perfect and perfection is intimidating!

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Pretty soon I will be sharing everything with my groom.

But, will I choose to share his last name?

So what to do?

  1. Remain married to my maiden name…I do love Drew.
  2. Hyphenate?…Sarah Helen Drew-Peterman (a long, yet wholesome choice).
  3. Drop Drew?…The most common, conservative option, I suppose.

With nine days left and three options calling my name, I have realized that this question is worth careful consideration. Since writing is my passion, line of work and pride, I have considered the possibility of keeping Sarah Drew as my pen name. I know several women who maintain their maiden title for professional reasons, personal preferences, or a little bit of both. A last name does not define a strong, fruitful marriage.

Here’s my final thought: Don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision. Names can change, but hopefully the husband sticks.

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Learning to love last minute.

In most circumstances I avoid working up until the very last minute. I write well in advance of due dates, edit to no end and embrace excess time to make a change or two, if necessary.

Wedding planners, however, often work best up until the very last minute. With less than three weeks before our guests #meetthepetermans, I have learned to offset bridal busyness with excitement. Yet as hard as I try, I just can’t seem to dash the last minute madness. I have accepted that until our special weekend comes and goes I cannot escape e-mails from my wedding planner, modifications to the venue, flowers and procession. In order to maintain sanity, I’ve decided to embrace the rush with a plan.

A couple of last minute necessities…

Finalize songs with the band.

Two to three weeks before the wedding, the bride and groom should compile a lengthy list of songs for the band to practice. Our choices are certainly eclectic. Basically, we wouldn’t mind if Flo Rida and Frank Sinatra decided to duet. This bride-to-be believes that diverse song choice makes for an interesting night on the dance floor.

Confirm all glam appointments… 

and reconfirm.

Brides who are counting down like me should confirm all appointments at least two weeks out. Make sure both the makeup artist and hair stylist are aware of numbers. How many women need beautification? There is a big difference between four and nine. Also, check with your bridesmaids regarding preferences for hairstyles. Although beautiful, intricate updos are time consuming. Lastly, I suggest introducing your stylists in advance. The big day requires collaboration from every direction.

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Meet Carolos, the man behind my mane.

PS) it helps when your hair stylist is also a wedding guest.

Discuss the procession in great detail.

Review all aspects of the aisle well before the big day. Don’t wait for the rehearsal dinner to reveal the lineup. Some bridesmaids may have preferences regarding escorts. Grandmothers like to know the scoop before hitting the runway. It’s also important to run sweet additions such as flower girls and four legged creatures by your wedding planner.

Some may prefer an aisle sans paws.

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the real best man.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/184788390933054347/

Ultimately, the aisle needs to be well thought out from flutes to timing. Although surprising, the procession has been one of the bigger bridal pains.

~Last minute bridal madness is inevitable. Learn to love it!~

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License to Wed

About one week ago, I headed to Town Hall with my fiancé to apply for our marriage license. While I’m used to renewing my driver’s license and updating my passport, I was completely clueless about the process. To make matters worse, the lady executing our paperwork did not share my wedding jitters and casual humor. When she asked whether or not the groom was also my cousin, I could hardly keep it together.

A Polish bride and Pennsylvania Dutch groom? We were surely far from family.

Rule 1: however ridiculous, answer each question with composure. Brides, bring your serious, commitment face.

Documents to say “I Do.”

Naturally, out of pure excitement, I failed to bring all of the necessary papers to our appointment. Although hard to admit, I just may need my wedding planner for everything bridal (mom knows best)!

I advise brides to read all rules specific to their Town Hall/City Hall before skipping through the doors. The bride and groom will most likely need to gather birth certificates, passports and proof of residency, among other obscure papers. These are the types of documents usually buried deep in safekeeping.

Timing is essential. 

Pay close attention to the timeline for applying and obtaining a marriage license. For example, my town requires registering no more than thirty days before the wedding date and no less than seven.

A basic bridal equation:

No marriage license= no marriage.

Bring a buddy- AKA the witness.

Pick a witness to oversee the process, initial several forms and take an oath. I suggest choosing someone of significance. After all, acknowledging a marriage is an honor. We asked my grandmother, Gladys, to sign our papers and act as the witness. While I laughed over a few of the questions, she cried tears of joy. We struck the perfect balance.

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a necessary selfie.

Brides, don’t forget to snap a quick picture with your memorable marriage receipt. It’s certainly the best $28 I have ever spent!

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Guest before Bride

I spent Sunday evening of Memorial Day Weekend attending my cousin’s fabulous wedding. Ashley and Keith became husband and wife at the very same venue where I will marry JB in just a few short weeks. My one night role reversal from bride to guest was surprisingly liberating. It was a much-needed break from wedding planning.

Since my hair will soon be flowing like the brides, with a sparkling veil, I decided to throw it up in the highest pony possible. I wanted to rock the farthest look from that of the bride.

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Mission accomplished with a slight Mohawk.

If at all possible, I suggest brides attend at least one wedding before tying the knot. On that note, it’s better to be just another guest so that you can observe the affair with zero responsibilities. Bridesmaids are busy.

Below are a few observations from the perspective of a guest, rather than that of a bride-to-be.

Cocktail hour is social hour!

The ceremony is intimate. The reception is where family and friends surround the happy couple with song, dance and champagne filled cheers. I recently learned that the cocktail hour, however, is intended for the pleasure of the guests. It’s roughly one hour where couples, families and the string of singles begin an evening of indulgence. From this hour forward they will be eating, drinking and mingling well past midnight.

At first, I was surprised to observe that the bride and groom were out of sight for most of cocktail hour. Apparently, I will be intentionally hidden too. Perhaps someone was busy helping Ashley bustle her dress. The bride and groom most likely snacked before greeting their guests. I’ve learned that newly married couples rarely enjoy their delicious cocktail hour. They are far too busy receiving congratulatory hugs and snapping pictures. Starring in your own show is hard work.

Solidify the details of special dances.

I’m not the type of bride who can cry on cue. Although moved, I kept dry eyes throughout Keith and Ashley’s beautiful ceremony. It was during the father/daughter dance, however, where I became emotional. While a familiar version of Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately” belted from the band, I looked over at my dad and imagined our dance together.

My father has always been my dancing partner. Whether we are at a family party, wedding, work dinner or just at home in the company of two rambunctious Chihuahuas, we never waste an opportunity to share a dance.

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It’s hard to make us sit still at events.

Direct the band before your big day.

The ride home from Ashley and Keith’s wedding was spent discussing music. JB contemplated a few songs for the dance he will share with his mom; he is currently deciding between the iconic Billy Joel and the adorable Jason Mraz. The band at my cousin’s wedding drew a joyful, energetic crowd to the dance floor. The beats were popular, playful and catered perfectly to both the friends of the bride and groom and those from a (dare I say) slightly older generation.

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#AshleyandKeith2015

Dedicated to the magnificent bride Ashley and my sweet cousin Keith. You two make a magical couple. Although I will soon swap places with the bride, I know we will both share the dance floor for the entire evening!

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Married in a Month!

When reading my monthly bridal magazines, I immediately flip to the timelines. It is on these particular pages where editors advise brides based on the number of months and weeks before the wedding arrives. Six weeks before the big day, Brides Magazine suggests:

  • Confirming delivery of bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Applying for a marriage license
  • Printing the programs, menus, et cetera.

June/July 2015 issue

Instead of discussing outstanding tasks on my one-month countdown, I have decided to take a different approach. Hopefully my advice will help future brides as they inch closer to the daunting four-week mark.

Here are some thoughts that I have gathered along the way. I discussed these with my mom, a few days ago, after leaving my very last dress fitting. Although I’m not one to dwell on the past, it was interesting to note what we would have done differently had we only known.

If I could start all over (please, no) I would…

Tell a tiny bridal lie about my wedding date.

(A white lie seems most fitting for the bride.)

An extra month can go a very long way. For example, if you’re wedding is set for June 20th, tell vendors it is sometime in May. When alterations are involved, it’s better to have too much time than just enough to sew the very last seam. Some brides are golden with just two fittings, while others require four. In certain cases, like mine, veils need to be special ordered.

Ultimately, the potential for multiple alterations is too great to risk the rush. If a bride happens to finish her fittings one month early, she has an extra four weeks to admire her dress. Lucky me!

Proofread everything one too many times. 

As I writer, I never imagined that I would catch multiple errors on our simple wedding program. For example, since my groom’s name is John, I had not considered the alternate spelling of the very same name, for a very different Jon, both in personality and punctuation. Also, since our program represents an interfaith marriage, many traditions are written phonetically. I recommend that two sets of eyes aside from those of the bride and groom proofread all wedding materials such as programs, welcome notes and names of guests.

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Catching last minute errors with excitement- perfection is possible!

Send Save the Dates.

Way back when, as a naïve newly engaged gal, I decided to skip save the dates all together. I figured filling in close family and friends on the exact date would suffice. Unfortunately, even the most important people don’t always remember things one year in advance. People appreciate the comforts of a tangible date. I recommend sending guests a playful magnetic reminder to decorate their fridge. I would choose something simple that sticks!

Last but not least, always listen to your wedding planner!

Whether you have the fabulous Posh Petal and Pearls team planning your wedding, or possibly your very own mother, listen up! Although the bride and groom are the stars of the show, the wedding planner sits on the highest pedestal. They provide the brains behind the wedding, while the bride provides her very best smile.

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My personal, beautiful wedding planner.

Whether brides have ten months or one month left, wedding planners get the job done!

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“I Do” and I Don’t

Clearly, I know I will be saying “I Do” on the big day. In fact, I can’t wait to voice those two words followed by an epic kiss with my groom. I imagine something like this…

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pretty perfect, right?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/295689531758281833/

Despite the definite “I Do’s” to come, it’s time to discuss the big don’ts that creep up before the wedding day. I’ve noticed a few.

Bask in the bridal shade, don’t bask in the sun!

Spoiled by Savannah’s beaches, I am often tempted to spend weekends in the sand, soaking up the southern sun. I only realized the repercussions when sunbathing was followed by dress fitting number two. From the front, I loved everything about the dress including the way it hugged my body. However, my “Say Yes to the Dress” fan club, sitting just behind me, noticed a problem. There was a thick tan line running straight across my backless dress. The tailor and my mother were equally horrified.

Burn your usual calories, don’t be an excessive bride! 

While I am a huge proponent of the bridal pure barre package, I know that every bride-to-be has a personal limit. Working out with goals to feel healthy, toned and energized is blissfully bridal. Pushing your body too far, however, will backfire on any bride. Stick to a workout routine that is challenging without being overbearing.

Be an open-minded bride, don’t be an overly adventurous one!

When I first started planning (way back in 2013) I was jazzed about every and any bridal possibility. Over time, however, I have learned how the beauty and accessory markets cater to vulnerable brides. A bride is a most desirable customer, since her budget tends to fluctuate with ease.

For example, at my initial hair consultation I was quickly convinced to purchase extensions.

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hair care is my weakness!

My makeup trial was followed by excess appointments in preparation for the big day such as a “bridal boost” facial. Apparently the vitamins and glowing results are specially crafted for brides. My limit was reached when my esthetician suggested scheduling an arm wax, spray tan, and an exfoliation to ease the “bags” just beneath my eyes.

Ultimately, every bride-to-be should remember that there’s nothing they need to change, add or “fix” before their wedding. While trying new things is exciting, none of the added glam is necessary. I think I’ll keep the blonde hair on my arms and the pale complexion of my skin as is.

As for the bags underneath my eyes, well, I don’t even see those!

Categories: Uncategorized

Beyond the Bride

Throughout the planning process, I’ve been repeatedly told, “this day is about you and JB.” After all, everyone watches the bride as she takes her graceful last few steps as a single woman. With six weeks before our wedding, I have broadened my thoughts beyond the bride and groom.

I’ve also heard classic, “you should have eloped,” comment from those who catch me buried in bridal thoughts. Every bride-to-be should know that a little bit of stress is expected. Despite all the planning, plotting and layers of white tool, I’ve learned that there’s simply no wedding without the bride and groom’s family.

These last few months have been filled with valuable memories- the best of which have been with my parents and grandmothers. They have all taught me that marrying the one you love will be the most rewarding life decision.

In previous posts, I have conveyed shortened versions of two beautiful weddings remembered by each of my grandmothers. The first was a story of finding and savoring love amidst the agony of the Holocaust. Ultimately, my grandmother Esther and her beloved Martin surpassed immeasurable hardship and thrived with a very specific mindset: they would live for all the good in the world.

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49.5 years of pure happiness!

The other story, is one of tremendous love, promises of goodnight kisses and an incredibly fruitful marriage. My grandmother Gladys and sweet Selwyn filled their marriage with constant adventures, travels around the world, romantic surprises and contagious laughter.

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53 years of excitement!

Lastly, I am aware that our wedding falls on an incredibly special, family weekend- Father’s Day. Many people have jokingly said, “This Father’s day your Dad will be giving you away.” What an unfortunate point of view! I am honored to link arms with my greatest role model as I walk toward my groom. There’s no passing of the bride from one man to another. I am lucky to know that both relationships are mine forever.

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My strongest support as Sarah Drew and as the future Sarah Peterman.

As the RSVP’s continue to arrive, I check off each “yes” with growing excitement and gratitude. Although I love hearing stories about couples that have successfully eloped under the Eiffel tower or the starry skies of isolated beaches, I can’t imagine saying “I Do” without my family.

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Honeymoon Registry

Since our wedding is just forty days away, I haven’t had the time to daydream about our honeymoon. However, just one day after the chaos comes to a bittersweet close, our first adventure as newlyweds will begin. This seven-day affair requires little makeup and far less people. I will leave my ball gown at home.

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Adios!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/177610779024518818/ 

We will be honeymooning in the Bahamas. Good news: At our resort, with the luxury of a quick shuttle, we can access the waterslides at the Atlantis without any babysitting commitments.

When we revealed our sunny location, a few family members and friends mentioned two honeymoon sites that provide guests with an alternative option for wedding gifts. Both websites titled Wanderable and Honeyfund allow the bride and groom to customize a list of desired activities such as spa treatments, scuba diving, dinner with an ocean view and even a night at a preferred hotel.

At first, I was very hesitant to create a website that essentially asks for vacation perks. With that said, it’s nice to provide guests with another option aside from the traditional wedding registries. I’ve received so many wonderful cooking supplies that I am beginning to feel guilty for completely avoiding the kitchen. Aside from my cookbook titled I Don’t Know How to Cook, I am finally motivated to learn the dials on our oven. Luckily, JB enjoys playing with many of our new gadgets such as the food processor and high tech mixer, while I keep busy arranging our incoming collection of frames.

I suppose, in some ways, I am already prepared for our honeymoon. At my bridal shower, just a few weeks ago, I unwrapped a collection of beachwear from my fashion forward cousins. I received an adorable crop top, fringe shorts and a beach hat. Packing will be easy.

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honeymoon shopping from Topshop.

While I don’t believe creating a honeyfund of sorts is a necessity, I do like the concept.

Below are two sites for honeymooning with a little help:

https://www.wanderable.com

http://www.honeyfund.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Table Etiquette

In the world of weddings, seating arrangements are taken seriously. At this point, most if not all RSVP’s are in, and it’s time to seat parents, cousins, friends, friends of friends and everyone in between. For the upcoming Drew/Peterman wedding, we have over two hundred and fifty guests to successfully seat.

Thankfully mom, my wedding planner, is extremely organized and has a thoughtful process for accomplishing every task. The clever MOTB used paper plates and an enlarged version of our wedding list to help place guests. After all names were cut, the slips of paper were clipped to each plate based on tables of ten. Apparently, there are methods to certain aspects of wedding madness.

I’m a bride from the generation of Mean Girls. Don’t misunderstand me- I’ve never been and will never become a mean girl; it’s far from a coveted title. It is, however, a famous movie. If brides-to-be haven’t seen this film by now, don’t bother. However, there’s one line that remains popular and is consistently modified to fit just about every trend.

“You can’t sit with us.”

For example, at Pure Barre some say, “You can’t tuck with us.”

I must admit, although terrible, this phrase applies to weddings. Table etiquette is today’s discussion.

Some seating thoughts for consideration…

Can the bride and groom mix friends with family?

Absolutely. It’s challenging to make separate tables of ten for every category of loved ones attending. We have friends from different walks of life such as high school, college, work and Savannah! Some have met my cousins throughout the years, while others wouldn’t know Betty from Barbara if they guessed.

Just remember: weddings are happy occasions where mingling is encouraged. Making new friends by the end of the evening is a plus.

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my feelings exactly.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/562457440932881258/

How strict are seating cards anyway? Is it acceptable for guests to switch tables?

Aside from the ceremony, weddings are loud, wild and unpredictable! Table cards simply help the rush from cocktail hour to the ballroom appear organized. Seating assignments should not be enforced. I encourage our friends and family members to table-hop. Guests who spend too much time sitting, miss the life of the party on the dance floor.

At our wedding, guests can and will sit with us. In fact, I will be

seated with my groom at a big table of friends instead of waving from a far off sweetheart table.

Categories: Uncategorized

DIY Brides

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Not your typical Bridal Salon.

I recently discovered a popular section of NYC known as the garment district. M&J is a shop in this area that sells trims, buttons and fabrics with a specialty bridal department.

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It’s rare to waltz into a NYC bridal salon without an appointment!

On the day of my visit I stepped into a fabulous sample sale showcasing bridal accessories such as Gatsby inspired hats and other vintage pieces. Take a peek at a few of my favorites.

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1920’s themed wedding, anyone?

By now, I am sure Brides-to-be are asking what M&J and trimming has to do with the big day?

Perhaps brides would like to border their aisle with pearls? They may even wish to drape fabric over the chairs at the ceremony. I also like the idea of embellishing tablecloths in the ballroom with a delicate lace trim.

I entered the trimming store for inspiration. The sash on my bridesmaids’ dresses could use a touch of sparkle. Although excited for my city adventure, I was wildly unprepared for M&J’s floor to ceiling walls of trimming.

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Just half of one wall. Overwhelming, right?

Without realizing, I had become a DIY, “do it yourself,” kind of bride. I have always admired women who craft their own bridal decor, flower by flower. The mother of my dear friend Jamie designed and created a beautiful installation to sweeten and personalize her daughter’s wedding day.

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A magnificent hand crafted focal point for the reception.

~Kristin Vining Photography~

The flowers were made of silk dupioni fabric sewn in “tubes,” stuffed with old newspaper and coiled into the shape of petals. The flowers were then pinned to insulation boards and covered in white fabric. Jamie and her husband, Drew, chose neutral, soft colors for both their ceremony and reception. For this statement piece, Jamie’s mom utilized a romantic combination of champagne, cream, silver and blush pink fabrics.

After constructing the installation, Jamie and her mother placed pins and brooches throughout the boards. The bride vividly remembers spending most of Thanksgiving, one week before her March wedding, assembling the entire piece with the help of mom and bridesmaids. Although this project was an enormous undertaking, it was a labor of love well worth every petal.

Before leaving the city, I decided to purchase a few yards of a rhinestone trim from M&J.

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My choice is hidden somewhere on this wall!

I plan to sew the beaded fabric on each sash to create four belts that shimmer down the aisle. Truthfully, I may save the sewing for a professional. Although I’m far from creating a complex flower installation, my visit to M&J does bring in a “do it yourself” aspect to my wedding planning.

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~Dedicated to my Southern sister, Jamie. You have made Savannah feel like home. I can’t wait to see you and Drew at the wedding! ~

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Vows

A few months ago, I popped into Anthropologie in Washington, D.C. to browse the elaborate wedding section. I ended up purchasing vow books for our ceremony. One is ballerina pink, while the other is boyishly blue.

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his and hers.

http://www.bhldn.com/shop-decor-ceremony/

Flash forward to mid-April. While JB packed for a work trip, I spotted the vow book tucked safely inside his bag. I wondered, “Is he really working on his vows?” If so, how many pages of the book has he filled? Surely not all of them.

I immediately withdrew my pink vows from my panty drawer. All this time I had been carefully hiding a collection of blank pages. Was I planning to begin just a few days before our biggest day?

As a writer, I assumed my half of the vows would be simple. Words of love would flow from heart to paper with little effort. Despite these assumptions, writing my vows has been one of my hardest wedding assignments yet. It doesn’t help that there is an approaching, hard deadline of June 20th!

Here’s why:

Emotions can run too high:

When I visited JB’s home this past December, I spoke to his mother about reciting our future vows. There was a vivid warning: Don’t make them excessively sentimental. Supposedly, at a wedding Mrs. Peterman attended, the bride divulged intimate vows such as the promise to kiss her groom each night before bed. My future mother-in-law was stuck in the audience somewhere between a smile and a cringe.

Keep vows PG, please.

Remember the purpose: 

Ideally, I’d like to fill my pink pages with lighthearted promises:

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Unfortunately, these vows won’t cut it under the chuppah.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/475411304385629167/

I’ve learned that vows are not the appropriate time to unveil a love story. Inside jokes, personal details and entertaining promises are best reserved for speeches. I plan to keep my vows concise and thoughtful. Although the bride and groom are speaking to one another, the ears and hearts of those in the audience should be considered.

Just remember: vows are lifelong, public promises.

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The Rehearsal Dinner

The night before my cousin Lisa’s gorgeous wedding, the bridesmaids and groomsmen took a joyful walk down a flowerless aisle.

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practice makes perfect!

We spent about forty-five minutes reviewing the ceremony. People were everywhere, decorations were nowhere and the excitement for the upcoming day was palpable.

The next evening, when my cousin Jason and I received the cue, we walked arm in arm to our assigned spots just beside the beautiful chuppah. We were paving the way for a magnificent bride.

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What a difference from the night before!

Nearly four years later, and two months closer to walking down my own aisle, another rehearsal dinner is coming together. Much to my surprise, our dinner will not make use of a rehearsal. The wedding party will review all details of the aisle on the big day, rather than the night before. Apparently, I’m excused from the madness.

Our rehearsal dinner will take place at the hotel where our guests will stay, as opposed to the chateau. The short yet sweet evening will be filled with food, laughter and toasts. There will be no learning to line up. Leaving all instructions until an hour or so before the ceremony is a bit risky, right? I thought so too.

A couple things for brides to consider when planning a pre-wedding dinner:

Don’t make your wedding party rehearse speeches. 

I’ve learned that the rehearsal dinner is purposefully casual. However, the menu certainly requires careful selection. Perhaps there will be small flower arrangements on each table. When all planning is done, don’t be the bride who bosses the bridal party. They’ve been through enough. You’ve probably picked their dresses, hairstyles and seating arrangements. Let them live a little at this dinner. It’s their time to spill embarrassing stories without remorse. Essentially, the rehearsal dinner is a free pass.

Don’t overthink your glam plan.

Rehearsal dinners are intimate and calm. The wedding day is grand and pleasantly chaotic. Therefore, I have reconsidered wearing heels to the gathering. I may have my hair (professionally) thrown up with minimal makeup. While I still want to look like the bride, there is something special about saving the glitz for the white dress. The wow factor should be reserved for the wedding day.

Lastly, the bride has a bedtime.

When the final bite of dessert has been consumed, it’s the bride’s cue to say goodnight. Most likely, the groomsmen will just be beginning their night. It’s almost like a second bachelor party for the men. The bride, however, needs to prioritize beauty sleep over anything else remotely tempting.

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Rehearsal dinner = rest for the bride.

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/479422322805352490/

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Showering Sarah

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!

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The Value of a Veil

The majority of my second dress fitting was spent selecting a veil for the ceremony. The options were plentiful. Aside from choosing the length, I also considered design, fit and sparkle. I ended up ordering a medium length veil with rhinestones that will be woven into the fabric to compliment my dress. Kleinfeld Bridal is the queen of custom.

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Lace? Pearls? Sparkles? Kleinfeld has just as many veils as dresses!

The very next day, I had the pleasure of visiting Cantor Lee Coopersmith who will officiate our wedding alongside a Pastor. I have known the Cantor of my congregation for most of my life. In fact, Cantor Lee was my teacher and mentor in preparation for my Bat Mitzvah (the ceremony where I officially entered adulthood).

It was incredibly meaningful to sit down with my Cantor, ten years later, as I prepare to take the vows of marriage. Our meeting was spent exchanging memories, reviewing the program, and discussing the progression of blessings. At one point, Cantor Lee mentioned the veiling ceremony known in the Judaism as Bedeken. Before I walk down the aisle, JB will cover me with the veil as a confirmation that I am the right bride!

In the Biblical story, Jacob unintentionally marries his bride’s sister, Leah, who was wearing a veil. Only after the wedding ceremony was performed, did Jacob notice the gravity of his mistake.

I will gladly participate in the veiling ceremony…

© Casey Fatchett Photography - www.fatchett.com

After all, I am the one and only bride for JB. No tricks please!

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/216735800791124568/

After meeting with the Cantor, I assigned a new value to my veil that had everything to do with marriage and nothing to do with sparkles.

~Dedicated to Cantor Lee Coopersmith. Thank you for always providing an important perspective to major milestones. Your kind words, vast knowledge of religion, open mind and heart have filled me with a profound appreciation for Judaism and Christianity. I am confident that both faiths will unite us as one.~

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Birthday Bride!

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.

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“Happiness (is) only real when shared.”

Christopher McCandless from Into the Wild

Last Saturday, I spent two hours in traffic devoted to wedding planning instead of reflecting on the purpose of my destination: to celebrate Passover in the company of fifty plus family members.

Passover commemorates the liberation of Israelites from Egyptian slavery…

In other words, it’s not the appropriate time or place for wedding worries.

Apparently, the swatch for the bridesmaid dresses went missing. After giving the green light to send our invitation list to print, the mother of the bride caught several mistakes. Lastly, a specific flower that I have been admiring for the ballroom will be out of season come June. Three strikes?

And so, regretfully, I entered my annual Seder with wedding woes on the mind. Thankfully, hours later, with a full belly and a restored appreciation for the holiday, my exit appeared far less dramatic.

Since this past weekend was devoted to Passover and Easter celebrations, I thought it fitting to shift the focus from the bride to her family. Color coordination is ideal when walking down the aisle. Flawless invitations are well received. Beautiful flowers are picturesque. But what’s the wedding without the family?

Fortunately, religious gatherings serve as a reality check for every bride who has been distracted by wedding planning. This past Saturday was a sincere reminder that despite months of endless preparation, the wedding day will come and go. Family is forever.

Snapped on Saturday night:

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Four Generations of Drew’s- we are happiest when together.

Wedding traditions such as wearing “something blue” are exciting to embrace. Family traditions, however, are invaluable. I urge every bride to stop overthinking trivial details and instead, treasure those who will share in the happiness of the big day.

~Dedicated to my amazing Aunt Zindy. Thank you for always cooking the most delicious egg noodles and soup on Passover. Your warm heart and commitment to family traditions is admirable.~

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Aunt Zindy:

Queen of family feasts and fashion (what a fabulous combo)!

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Wedding Season is Upon Us

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?

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Pondering programs.

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!~

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Just How Sweet is a Sweetheart Table?

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!

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Embrace the Mistakes?

…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?

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.

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NAVIGATION