Alt image
St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Wedding Advice
archive,paged,category,category-wedding-advice,category-1110,paged-3,category-paged-3,edgt-core-1.3,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,hudson-ver-3.3, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,blog_installed,hide_inital_sticky,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-7.0,vc_responsive

How to Talk Yourself Out of a Good Wedding Vendor

One thing we hear a lot from brides is “We’ve never done this before, so we don’t know what to expect”.  An awesome vendor will explain their work process so that you know how they operate.  You’ll find that the wedding industry, just like wedding planning, is very different from any experience you’ve encountered.  If you approach it in an us vs. them mentality, you could very well lose out on the best vendors for you.

Here’s how you’ll talk yourself out of a good wedding vendor:


  1. You make/demand your own terms.  More likely than not, your wedding professional has had several industry leaders and legal teams review or write their contract.  Negotiating is one thing.  Rewriting a vendor’s contract is extremely rude and sets a tone for your relationship that can be hard to overcome.  It’s like you are saying that you don’t trust the vendor or their professionalism.  The same can be said about not wanting to adhere to the vendor’s payment terms. For example, most wedding professionals will require a non-refundable retainer to hold your event date on their calendar. If you cancel, they have likely turned down other couples to work with you.  That retainer helps them recoup that loss, as well as get started on your event.  Additionally, most wedding professionals will require your final payment two to four weeks prior to your event. This allows them to prepare to assign staff, buy food, order flowers, etc.  Believe it or not, there are some shady brides out there who will attempt to pay a vendor the week of the wedding or even the day of the wedding and put a stop payment on the check or dispute the charge with their credit card on the sly.
  2. You try to make them into someone they’re not.  We know you want to do some comparative shopping in order to find the best vendor for you.  However, do not send Vendor A a copy of Vendor B’s proposal or service offering and ask them to match it or give it to you at their rate.   If you like Vendor B’s service, then hire Vendor B.  It’s the equivalent of going into Burger King with a recipe for the Big Mac and asking them to make it.  The industry is extremely close;  we know who offers what, at what rate and how they offer it.  Playing us off each other or trying to make us do someone else’s work will get you left without Vendor A or B.
  3. Do NOT ask for a discount.   I know a lot of brides learn from magazines that it doesn’t hurt to ask.  Remember when your parents would chide you for immediately asking grandma “Where’s my gift?!” or “What did you bring me!?”? This may seem odd, but discounts are like personal gifts. It is up to the discretion of the vendor to extend this courtesy to you.  Your vendor may have other ways of enhancing their service to you by providing a few freebies, but to outright expect it can be extremely annoying. While you are asking for  the 5 star service at a 3 star price, you are also asking that vendor to come up short on their mortgage, paying their staff or their little girl’s dance lessons.  You’re telling the vendor right off the bat that I value price more than your service.  It wouldn’t matter how well they do their job, because you think they shouldn’t be paid the full price for it, but you expect the full benefits.  It puts a sour taste in a vendor’s mouth.  If you have a specific budget that you need to stay in, by all means, tell your vendor.  They will help you find creative ways to get what you need, not just want you want, while keeping you within your financial comfort zone.
  4. You try to play “good cop”/”bad cop” or act like WE owe you something.  Weddings are fun, festive occasions.  To be in the industry, you really have to love what you do, have talent, work well under pressure and have the ability to work well with many different personalities.  If you play nice, but get your mom or fiancé to play enforcer or the bad guy, you are giving us what we believe to be a window into the planning process or wedding day.  If you act this way over coffee, when the weather changes on your wedding day or 5 additional people who didn’t RSVP show up, we do not want to be in your warpath.  I sat down for one consultation where a groom came in late while his fiancée and I chatted over desserts and as he nonchalantly greeted me, he asked “Several of our vendors are giving us discounts.  What are you going to do for us?”  I had another tell me he didn’t need a crucial part of a service collection that was virtually essential to the success of their wedding day and would prefer that I add some other duties that were clearly out of the scope of my service.  I politely referred them to other planners, with the understanding that I was not the planner for them.
  5. You have way too many DIY projects or “friendors”. Don’t get me wrong, here– I have seen some amazing DIY projects that have completely transformed a wedding more than anything we could have bought.  I’ve worked with friends of the couple who have mind-blowing  talents to share for the wedding.  This isn’t speaking to those instances.  This is speaking to those occurrences where couples insist on doing 50% or more of their wedding themselves: making/providing linens, doing their own flowers, an aunt who will make the cake, a friend of a friend who will DJ the wedding reception, etc.  Red flags instantly go up  because we worry about how much you are taking on and how much will actually be done efficiently.  The same can be said with friends who donate services or volunteer to help.  When a vendor has to rely on a bride or her friends to get things done, there is concern about if these things will ultimately get done in a timely and correct manner, especially when it affects their ability to provide their services.  While it’s understood that while DIY projects personalize your wedding and also a way to to save money.  In some instances, though, you end up paying more with your time or out of your pocket to pay a professional to correct any mistakes or implement your ideas.  Be up front with your vendor and they can help you come up with some contingency plans to ensure a beautiful wedding.


The Trouble with Head Tables

We’ve talked about this before— to have a head table or not to have a head table?

Increasingly we’re finding more couples looking to do head tables, but are amazed at the blow back from either their budget or from family and friends when they make this choice. I’ve seen some mothers insist things like “You two will have the rest of your life to sit alone. You should sit with your friends who paid all that money to be in your wedding.” Point taken.

Just so you know, I’m completely biased. I am Pro-Sweetheart Table.

There is some truth to the mom’s theory– you will have the rest of your life to sit together alone, and there has been a significant investment your family and friends have expended to participate in your wedding.  Yet, sitting down for the first time after being a bundle of nerves, taking a thousand pictures, making it through your ceremony and sitting down and having a moment together is equally, if not more, important. Besides, how close are you going to get to the person sitting at the end of your head table?


That’s how many hours your groomsmen’s girlfriend spends alone.

That’s the rehearsal, hanging with the guys, getting ready, pre-wedding photos, post wedding photos, etc.  She’ll spend another hour alone during dinner if she doesn’t really know those  with whom you’ve assigned her to sit.  Likewise your groomsmen may want to get back to their significant other after being primped, prodded and posed all day.  And to be fair, the same can be said about your bridesmaid’s boyfriend!

When couples opt not include their bridal party’s significant others in the head table, either by choice or dictation of the budget, it can create an awkward situation for that person.  After being alone all day, they then have to make forced conversation with, at times, people they don’t know while their better half is put on display.

I also hear some brides say “I don’t want every one staring at me” as a refusal of the sweetheart table– to which I make a note to immediately begin researching a private bunker to hold the wedding ceremony.  You’ve already been on display, everyone has already stared at you– remember that whole walking down the aisle thing?  Standing up in front of everyone trading rings? See…it’s not so bad!  Besides, you can get a quick rest, enjoy a bite to eat with your honey and then go from table to table to speak with guests and avoiding the dreadful, antiquated receiving line.

Okay. Still not convinced?

In addition to the consideration factor, also be mindful of cost and size of a head table.  You may take up precious real estate out of your wedding’s floor plan if you have 5 or more in your bridal party on both sides, plus their significant others.  This means more linens and more tables since you can only sit on one side of the table.  Additionally, you’ll also need more centerpieces/decor to perfect the appearance of the table.  Just remember to allocate for these when doing your floor plan and making your orders.  If you can’t, or choose not to have the significant others sit with you, consider having them all at their own special table.  You can even be super nice by planning an activity for them to do pre-wedding to establish a relationship so that they won’t feel so alone.

Honoring Lost Loved Ones at Your Wedding

Losing someone close to you is very hard, and at times, it can cause bittersweet moments during your wedding planning.  There are great ways to honor your lost loved ones at your ceremony and/or your reception to varying degrees according to your preference.  While not wanting to cause a mournful veil upon what should be a happy day, you should most definitely do something that feels comfortable and honorable to you, without overshadowing the festive occasion.

Mention in the Program

This is a nice acknowledgement that doesn’t call a lot of attention to your loss but memorializes those that are no longer with you.

Memorial Candle

These lovely candles can be setup on a table or altar during the ceremony.  These are also great to use during other occasions and holidays, too.

Bouquet Lockets

Locket on Bouquet for lost Loved ones

Florals by Karen Tran :: Photo by Paper White Photography

Having a beautiful locket or pin that includes the image of your lost loved one is a beautiful way to keep them close to you throughout the wedding.

Give Them A Seat

We’ve done both of these at weddings, and  they have proven to be heartfelt gestures and expression of love.  We’ve had grooms walk up the aisle with a small flower in their lapel or long stem rose in their hand to sit on an empty chair for their lost mother (even one did a cigar for his dad!).  With brides, we’ve had them carry a single bloom along with their bouquet down the aisle and leave it on the chair before they reached the altar.  Another great option is to have images of your loved ones in the seats designated for them.  We have also left a reserved seat at the table where that person would have sat, with a place card at their setting.

Memory Table

Memory tables wonderful way to showcase your loved ones as you remember them– their wedding photos, portraits, etc.  You can incorporate your wedding style in colors and textures with this table to make it a congruent part of your event.  An interesting twist on the memory table is to have it dedicated to your loved one.  One bride had images of her and her dad at various stages in her life, with a few candles, her dad’s old Navy hat and his favorite drink.

Here are some very subtle ways to honor and include your loved one:

  • Wear an item belonging to your loved one (jewelry, cufflinks, ties, shirts, etc.) One bride used her father’s silk tie to cut a heart shape out on to the back of her dress as her “something blue”
  • Use your loved one’s favorite flower in your bouquet
  • Have their favorite hymn, song, poem or bible verse performed at the ceremony
  • Serve one of their recipes or favorite dishes at the reception
  • Give their favorite snack/dessert as favors
  • Make a donation to their favorite charity or medical research organization on your guests’ behalf in lieu of favors

It’s important for me to let you know, there is no right or wrong way to honor someone.  If you felt extremely close to the person you lost, then feel free to express this in a respectful way.  If the loss is still fresh, perhaps a more subtle gesture is probably more appropriate and easier to deal with their absence at your event.  If you’d like to see this demonstrated and documented in a very loving and open way, please see Scarlett and Stephen’s wedding for some touching inclusions.


Fashion Monday: RIVINI Fall Look Book


If you are one that has been in love with Rita Vinieris’ RIVINI wedding dresses, you will absolutely adore her new accessories in the Fall/Winter collection for this year.  Introducing a Black Magic, Crystal Clear and Pearl Plus collection, these chunky, ornate pieces add a touch of vintage glam to complement any wedding dress.


Rivini Crystal Clear CollectionRivini Crystal Clear CollectionRivini Pearl Plus Collectionbridal jewelry necklace ideas

For more about RIVINI, visit the website and see all of the beautiful gowns and other bridal fashion from this talented designer.

Edible DIY Favors + Anthropologie Apron Giveaway!

Edible Favors Wedding Ideas
We’ve got another “sweet” giveaway for you this week!

Pies are trending to be the new cupcake!  They are the perfect addition to wedding dessert tables, or, served as individually wrapped Pie Pops, as edible favors for guests to enjoy on their way home. They can be customized to fit the feel and theme of any wedding—serve rustic apple flavors like Perfect Apple Pie orBrown Butter Creamy Apple Pie at a barn or outdoor reception, Grape Pie at a vineyard soiree, Peach Pie at a southern-inspired wedding or Pineapple-Lemon Layered Pie at beachside nuptials. For individual pies for guests to take home, wrap in food-safe plastic then decorate with cloth, paper, string, and/or tags that match the wedding colors for an added personal touch.

These are perfect for fall entertaining.  I can’t wait to make the Caramel Apple Pie pops for an upcoming cocktail party!

We’re clinking together with Pillsbury to give a lucky luxeling a very sweet baking for two prize pack!

The package includes materials to make 25 DIY Pie Pop favors, as well as coupons for Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust, recipes and some great bakeware and kitchen accessories to jump-start the winner’s registry, including a toile apron and a cookbook especially for newlyweds. A total retail value of $150.


Materials to make 25 Pie Pop favors:

–          15 VIP coupons for Pillsbury pie crust

–          Recipe cards for Pie Pops, Pie Poppers and Mini Pies

–          25 craft sticks

–          25 food-safe cellophane bags

–          One round dough cutter

–          Heart-shaped cookie cutters

–          Two spools of striped cotton string

–          25 scalloped hang-tags


Bakeware and kitchen accessories:


A cookbook especially for newlyweds, The Newlywed Kitchen: Delicious Meals for Couples Cooking Together


An 3-D toile apron from Anthropologie


Le Creuset Stoneware 10-Inch Pie Dish, Cherry


Rosanna Medium 10-1/2-Inch White Pedestal Cake/Pie Stand

All you have to do is like our Facebook page and leave a comment with your favorite pie for a chance to win! (A bonus entry if you give us your favorite fall cocktail, too!)

What to Expect When You’re Planning A Wedding

When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember my sister getting me the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and I read it voraciously, zipping through chapters, giggling at the stories and anticipating the milestones ahead. I was recently thinking that brides could really use some sort of guide like that for planning their weddings, because it is not all puppies and rainbows, luxeling.

Take Whatever You Think Something Should Cost…and Multiply it By 3. Brides get sticker shock BIG TIME when it comes to things like decor and food. I have heard some say “It’s just roses” or “It’s just food”. It’s never just anything when it comes to weddings. You are paying for the product, yes; but you are also paying for your wedding professional’s time, skill and creativity. No, these aren’t your supermarket’s flowers– that cost $9 for a bouquet of roses. These are gorgeous florals that have to be processed, cut, wrapped, positioned and designed to create what you want. The same thing goes with photography! I’ve ranted on and on about why photography is so important, so I won’t carry on. But I will say this: it is so much more than someone “showing up” on your wedding day to take photos.

It’s Nothing Like What You See on TV or on the Blogs. Styled Shoots and Wedding stories on reality TV are heavily designed but also heavily comp’ed. Don’t compare your wedding to those that you see on blogs or TV and feel bad about what you’re doing with your wedding. It’s completely okay to garner inspiration from these places. Make sure you keep it into perspective and in correlation with your budget. If you find something that you absolutely must have– splurge on it, but make sure it is complementary to everything else that you have.

Be Prepared to Spend Some Money…Before Any Work is Done. Lawyers (and most wedding professionals should) call it a retainer. A retainer is a non-refundable payment to reserve space for your event on the wedding professional’s calendar. Any work done between the date you book and your next payment will be deducted from that payment. Why is that? Well, sweetling, there are only 52 weeks in a year, which all only have one Saturday. Most wedding professionals do not want to work each Saturday, so they have blackout dates, which makes their availability even more complex and crucial. Since many brides are going to be vying for the same date, typically it’s first come, first served with whomever gets their retainer into the vendor first. You need not worry about anyone running off with your money, as you are working with professionals. But you can fully expect to pay a retainer to hold your date and please don’t balk at it being non-refundable. In the event that you cancel your wedding or your services with the the vendor, they have possibly turned down other events because they have committed to yours. Your retainer helps them recoup some of those losses.

No One Is Going To Care About Your Wedding As Much As You Do. If that comes across as harsh, I don’t mean for it to come across that way. This is your wedding– the day that you have dreamed of all of your life that is special to both of your families. To some of your friends it’s just another celebration and for some of your vendors, it’s another event within the season. While we enjoy and love our clients– it’s not just the personalities that we have to take care of, it’s logistics, payments, details, budgets, and more. It is not personal that your vendors don’t get as excited about your wedding, but it is important that they are excited and look forward to putting forth an awesome event.

It’s Not Going to Always Go Your Way. Some things aren’t available in your season, some things aren’t going to be in your financial comfort zone. Vendors will not respond as quickly as you would like or say the things you would like them to say. A majority of the time, though, you will enjoy your wedding planning process if you are have a good team of professionals in your corner. Even with your bridesmaids– they may argue about the color or style of the dress, your groom may not be as involved as you want, but I promise, it will all work out. Just reevaluate your approach and if you need to express your expectations a bit better to vendors and friends, certainly do so and make sure it is something everyone can be happy with.

It’s Going to Be Beautiful. No matter what you may encounter in your engagement with your vendors and family or even little things that will happen that aren’t planned, your wedding will be beautiful. See the bigger picture and realize this is the beginning of your marriage and enjoy the small moments that make everything worthwhile.

I am sure some of my wedding planning friends and former brides will have lots to say on this subject, so please share your wisdom!

We Likey: Bridal Jewelry for Your Wedding with Forever Flowers

If you are looking for something petite, feminine and beautiful to complement your wedding day beauty, you will absolutely enjoy  these gorgeous designs from these jewelry designers. Although they are unassuming, they have a huge impact and can be worn after the wedding as a sweet reminder of the day you said “I do” and also make beautiful heirlooms.


CALEO Stelring Silver Pinch Flower Bracelet

 Dana Rebecca Designs Lindsey Elizabeth Ring - 14K Rose Gold with White Agate and Diamonds
Dana Rebecca Designs Lindsey Elizabeth Ring – 14K Rose Gold with White Agate and Diamonds $4,400.00 –

Cluster Diamond Earrings Iced Orchid Cluster Diamond Earrings – $1,462 –

Dana Rebecca Designs Karly Beth Ring - 14K Yellow Gold with Diamonds Dana Rebecca Designs Karly Beth Ring – 14K Yellow Gold with Diamonds – $4,620.00 –

 Dana Rebecca Designs Karly Beth Bracelet - 14K White Gold with Diamonds

Dana Rebecca Designs Karly Beth Bracelet – 14K White Gold with Diamonds – $9,460.00 –
 Dana Rebecca Designs Sylvie Rose Bracelet - 14K Yellow Gold with Diamonds - $1,210.00 -

Dana Rebecca Designs Sylvie Rose Bracelet – 14K Yellow Gold with Diamonds – $1,210.00 –
These dainty collections are beautiful and timeless.  Which are your favorites?

Martinis with Terrica: David Tutera of My Fair Wedding

terrica skaggs of cocktails details with party planner david tutera

Prior to the VIP Cocktail Party for the Tybee Wedding Chapel, I was able to take a moment to sit down with party planner extraordinaire, David Tutera of My Fair Wedding who was there to cut the ribbon (and the cake) for the grand opening. It was really wonderful to sit and pick his brain, hear his thoughts on this area and as well as how he uses his talents to translate his client’s passions and personalities in their events. David is extremely warm and talented– and so gracious with his thoughts and time.

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : What is your name?

: Terrica.

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : Spell it.
: T-E-R-R-I-C-A

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : T-E-R-R-I-C-A. I like that!
: Thank you! Me too. It’s French for “fabulous”.

: I’m just kidding. I’m really excited to have a chance to talk with you!

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : Well, thank you! It’s been fun.
: Tell me, David. What do you find most romantic about a Southern Wedding?

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : Oh my gosh! How they embrace families and food. It is so serious, it’s not even funny.
: It’s not a game, is it?

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : Not at all! I used to do a lot of work in Atlanta years ago, and I’ll never forget the first time I did a wedding down in Atlanta to meet the family. And I met them, the hospitality– the Southern hospitality, was so odd to me, that when I went back to New York and I’m like, “The people down here are so strange”. And then when I went back for another meeting, I was thinking “I like this!” Because it’s real.
: Well, see you had a totally different experience. I’m a Northern transplant, too. So it totally caught me off guard. My husband would be out mowing the lawn and people would ride by and honk the horn or wave. I remember thinking, “Oohhhhh no no no no no. Who is THAT waving at you?!” But the Southern hospitality is awesome.


27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg  It is. It’s very endearing. And the weddings– there are no walls, and there are no pretenses. I think, and I don’t live here, but what I’ve experienced with the weddings I do in the South, you get what you see.
: Absolutely. Absolutely. So with the return of glamour in weddings and events, how do you think that can be incorporated with a Southern wedding? You know, meshing the homespun with a little bit of the glam. Can it be done?

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : I’ll give you a perfect example: here we are sitting in the Tybee Wedding Chapel. Someone just asked me earlier, “Can you embrace uniqueness to this space?” And I say, yes! You know what, just because you are in this space, you don’t have to have a Southern style wedding. Can you imagine a wedding with two long tables in here– done up in high glam?
: Oh, gosh that would be awesome. Estate tables…that would be fabulous!

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : Yeah! But you wouldn’t expect that in here. And then if you came to that and left here, you’d think, “Oh my God”…
: “What just happened!?”


27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : That, to me, is what makes great celebrations.
: Well, I know you are all about “Dreaming Bigger”…

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : Thank you…
: and brides going for the absolute best, and I really appreciate that. So if a bride had to splurge on one thing– what should it be?

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : Well. It’s going to be one of three things…


27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : It’s gonna be either food, music or decor.
: Oh my gosh, yes!

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg:  And since none of those things can happen all at once, so if we had to splurge on one of them…Just because I am a designer I would say decor. I’d have to say that–because that’s my roots. It would have to make sense to who you are and what the bride wishes for the most. You can always make the energy happen with music, and not spend a lot of money. That’s not necessarily true with decor.
: That’s true. Really create the experience. Now, I have to ask this– are you finding that you are drawing a lot from what you learned from your grandfather into what you do?

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg: I come from [pause]… You’re the first person to ask me these questions. I come from a very close family. My grandfather had no money. My parents had no money. I learned everything I could with the simplest of things. I’m grateful for that because it gave me such a strong ability to put up with people that have a lot of money. I don’t find myself of that class to fit in, I found myself comfortable enough to step into it to execute a wedding and then go back into the life that I am comfortable in. And it really make me appreciate the simple things.

: That is awesome. I think any client would really appreciate that… That you bring something different to the table.

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg: I’m not sure that clients knew that as much. It came more focused in my world when I began hosting “My Fair Wedding”. Because the brides on My Fair Wedding are really just like people I grew up with. And I thought, “Oh, full circle”. 25 years later, but…

: *Laughter* It happens! It happens! Ok. Another real talk moment. What wedding trend would you absolutely see die? I mean like right now..I’ll get the crime scene tape out of my truck…


27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg: The.freaking.garter.belt! As far as I am concerned, it is dead.

: I don’t even see the point anymore.

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg: It’s not the time or place to do that in front of a bunch of people. So that’s what I’m hoping disappears.

: I know from the Grammys to the parties that you do for social clients…how do you bring out an event’s personality? How do you make it different?

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg: Listen. You listen. People can’t actually explain what they want. And you ask questions that are non-related to the ceremony or to the event. Like I would ask you– you told me you were from Baltimore, you told me a couple of things. From the sense of what I see– I would do something high glam and you probably like a little sparkle. I have a really great knack of getting to know someone fast and getting into their heads.

: Are you finding it’s more of what people “don’t” say, too– and you learn from that too?

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg: Or it’s what they say that they think that they’re understanding that they’re not. I like to ask a lot of important fact finding– just like you are with me. I do the same in return.

: Well, thank you so much for spending time with me, David!

27526_110011899029859_5329_q.jpg : You are very, very, very, very welcome! Thanks, sweetie!


David was so gracious and warm! Everything that you see on TV– he truly is in real life!  Be sure to check out his show, My Fair Wedding, on the We Channel each week and also get his MUST HAVE book for wedding planning, The Big White Book of Weddings: A How-to Guide for the Savvy, Stylish Bride
available in Hardcover and for the Kindle!

A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle: The Guy’s Ultimate Guide to Wedding Day Etiquette



This book has been dubbed as “The Guy’s Ultimate Guide to Wedding Day Etiquette”, we call it pure genius.
A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle: A Complete Guide to the Perfect Wedding Day (available both in Hardcover and on the Kindle, so your man has absolutely no excuse for not reading it!) is the perfect gift for your new husband to be. More grooms are ditching the “I just have to show up” approach and are taking active roles in wedding planning.  John Bridges, the ultimate etiquette expert, releases the next title in the popular GentleManners series of books to address this very important issue.

John’s guide will help the groom-to-be understand how important his role really is. With this comprehensive handbook, the groom can add to the joy, rather than the jitters, as the big day approaches.

Key Points include:
• 10 Wedding day disasters and how to avoid them.
• How to propose.
• Who should cover the financial costs involved with the big day?
• Dressing for the day – what to wear, when to wear it, and how to wear it.
• Duties of the father of the bride and father of the groom.
• Rules for the best man, groomsmen, and ushers.
• The role of a Gentleman who’s been invited to a wedding.

This book is extremely valuable for the groom himself, the fathers of the bride and groom, the best man, the groom’s other attendants, and even the gentleman who participates in the celebration merely as a guest. This book explains what to do, where to stand, what to wear, and what to say. So even if you are married, it makes a great gift for any guy in your life.



john bridges gentlemanners

John Bridges is the ultimate etiquette expert– especially for the modern man who wants to know how to behave himself, every day, and even in the most challenging situations. He is the coauthor, with Bryan Curtis, of the Gentle Manners series, which includes the bestselling book, How To Be A Gentleman, today’s most popular guide to etiquette for the modern man. He is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs, always championing gentlemanly behavior in modern society. Bridges has appeared on the Today Show, the Discovery Channel, and CBS Sunday Morning, and has been profiled in People magazine and the New York Times. The GentleManners series is a worldwide publishing phenomenon, having sold more than 1.25 million volumes and translated into more than 20 foreign languages. More information on John Bridges can be found at

Fashion Monday: Dressing the Man

Vanity Fair Cover


I’ve been told that women have it “easy” when it comes to finding something to wear.  There are so many stores that cater to us, shapes, sizes and complexions. I will admit, it’s not always the same when it comes to men.  If you remember my pointed question, Why Is Your Groomsman Wearing an “Extra Medium”, men can have it rough if their “in” shape as much as being out of shape.  Here are some tips to help you and your honey decide on what to choose for your male wedding participants:


  • Choose something that is stylish, let timeless.  As we’ve given advice to brides regarding bridesmaids in letting their ladies choose either complementary styles and colors for their dresses, the same can be said for the groomsmen.  If you do not want to go the tuxedo route, every well dressed man has a black suit in their arsenal– and more likely than not, they’ve already had it tailored so that it looks its very best on them.  As a gift, you can give them matching shirts with their initials embroidered on it.
  • Don’t be afraid of color!  Adding a pop of color is a sure way to keep your men looking vibrant and attractive.
  • Relaxing is okay…it’s also gorgeous.  If you are having a low-key beachside affair, quality khakis and a loose shirt can look absolutely STUNNING where as a upbraided tux can look completely unnatural and out of place.  For less than the cost of a tuxedo rental, your groomsmen get to keep some stylish items to add to their wardrobe. If that goes too far for you, allow your guys to skip the ties with an open collar– this allows a sense of style while still maintaining a sense of decorum with a jacket.  Or you can skip the jacket and allow your guys to wear sleek vests which can be paired with dress pants or class up a pair of jeans for later.
  • Personality is a must!  Let every guy bring his own style to the table.  Your groomsmen are not toy soldiers, backdrops or stand-ins.  You chose them to be in your wedding because their place in your life and who they are to you. Allow them to showcase that– it could be with their choice of jewelry, footwear, boutonniere, skinny tie, bow tie or what you can agree on. Don’t think it will work?  Check out how the men of Hollywood rocked out that Vanity Fair shoot above.

Want some eye candy inspiration?  Here you go:

black tie and black shirt no tie

Black Suit for a wedding

vest and pants for wedding

Black dress shirt bowtie


monochromatic suit for weddings

I have to end with Diddy.  I am huge fan of his music, business acumen and style.  It takes a strong and confident man to show up anywhere with Jennifer Lopez looking like this.  But he pulls it off in his own right in this layered monochromatic ensemble. He complements her instead of competing with her, and even if we saw him alone we would still think he was striking. This is the exact cue your honey should take as well– showcase his style, look fabulous in his own right and forever, both in life and looks, complement his beautiful bride.