“The Forever Summer” by Jamie Brenner

A beautiful pastry and an enticing book cover.  What do they have in common?  Well, they both look delicious, delectable, perhaps too good to be true.  And often times they are.  Perhaps the gorgeous pastry was too sweet or just blah.  The book’s cover, which promised such an exquisite escape from reality, a magical page turning oblivion — didn’t.

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But this is not the case with Jamie Brenner’s new novel, The Forever Summer“.  The book delivers all that the cover promises.  A page turner…you bet ya.  Romance?  – and then some.  Tears?  A couple – but not a tear jerker.  I’m not a fan of the double hanky.

As Barnes and Noble’s website tells us:

The discovery of long-buried secrets brings three generations of women together to Cape Cod for the summer homecoming of a lifetime.

Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it’s paid off: on the cusp of thirty she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father’s hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin’s half-sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn’t even know she had.

As the summer unfolds at her grandmother’s beachside B&B, it becomes clear that her half-sister’s existence is just the first in a series of truths that will shake Marin’s beliefs–in love, and in her own identity–to the core. Filled with shocking revelations, heartfelt romance, and resilient women banding together against the most unexpected twists of fate, THE FOREVER SUMMER is an emotionally resonant page-turner, and a delicious escape for any season.

Brenner’s characters are multi-dimensional, rich and lovable.  Brenner draws you into her story and the characters’ lives from page one.  Pick a day when you have a good block of time to read, because you won’t want to put The Forever Summer down!

This is a wedding blog, you may be saying to yourself right about now.  Not a book reviewing site.  You’re right.  And while “The Forever Summer” is not wedding themed, as Brenner’s previous novel, “The Wedding Sisters” was, it still addresses important issues for a good marriage such as love, commitment, forgiveness.  This book has it all!
Would you like to order your own copy of The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner?  It’s available April 25, 2017, but you can preorder now!  Just click on either link to get more info.

Barnes and Noble – “The Forever Summer”

Amazon – “The Forever Summer”

The lovely Jamie Brenner

“The Wedding Sisters“, Brenner’s previous novel mentioned above, is every bit as entertaining as The Forever Summer.  If you’re interested in it, click on the links below.  Want more details?  Click on the link to my blog for its review.

“The Wedding Sisters” blog post by Mary P. Karnes

Barnes and Noble – The Wedding Sisters”

amazon -“The Wedding Sisters”

It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a book as much as “The Forever Summer“.  I’m a sucker for a beach read set at… a beach!  I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.

Unconventional Wedding Invitations

Do you want to shake things up a bit when you invite your guests to your wedding?  How about unconventional wedding invitations?  I highly recommend a theme for your wedding.  It ties everything together.  it appears that the bridal couple below had an island/tropical themed wedding. I just love their exotic wedding invitations.  How innovative – an invitation in a bottle!  Ok, darling, but let’s be realistic.  Not only will this be expensive, and time consuming, but think about the cost to MAIL these invites.  But hey!  Everyone has their own priorities for their wedding.  Perhaps this couple wants to use discretionary funds on their invitations instead of say, extra desserts.

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Cute and cost effective would describe the invite below.  And I bet extra postage would not be required for this invitation, as is usually the case.

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The next invitations is adorable.  Right away the guests get a sense of excitement when they receive the invite. When I look at this, I imagine the event is going to be a lot of fun.

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Love, love our next invite.  Right away, the guests are ‘invited’ to begin interacting with the bridal couple.  A puzzle is a cute way to go… but practical?  NO.  Many people like to put invitations on a cork board or the frig.  Would this puzzle be easy to mount in such a way?  I don’t think so.  Perhaps the guests could glue it onto a piece of paper?  Not always wise to expect your guests to invest in time this way.  But it IS cute…

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Talk about beautiful!  If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, etsy.com is a good place to start.  As I’ve often mentioned on my blog, I love etsy.com!   It’s a delightful, reasonably priced marketplace composed of many different vendors/artists.  My oldest daughter got her invitations on etsy.  I had a great experience, and highly recommend it.  Would the beautiful daisy invitation be cheap?  No.  And again, get your priorities straight and decide if this is how you want to spend your funds.  If the answer is “yes”, go for it!

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Spectacular Outdoor Wedding Venues Ideas

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Spectacular Outdoor Wedding Venues – If you’re brave enough to have your wedding outside – try these wonderful options!  There is something so  dramatic about this family style eating configuration.  Is it picture worthy?  Definitely.  Is is conducive to comfortable table talk and relaxation during breaks from socializing and dancing?  NO.  Think about these factors before choosing this style. If you must have it, due to either admiration of photo ops or necessity, consider additional small groupings of tables and chairs for your guests’ convenience.

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You needn’t have an outdoor ceremony or reception to grab a photo such as the one above.  Love, love it.  Hard to do?  I don’t think so.  A low hanging branch, a few strings of bulbs and an extension cord, you’re in business.  It really is a spectacular shot.  It’s always a good idea to talk to your photographer about shots that are important to you.  If you don’t convey your desires, he/she can’t make it happen.

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The photo above is beyond FAB!  Lots of work and expense, yes.  Guaranteed results, probably not. If you have your heart set on such a photo, I recommend a trial run.  There are a lot of moving parts in pulling this off.  Talk to your photographer.  Perhaps he/she can put your worries for the photo’s success at rest.

deerpearlflowers

The luminarios are gorgeous.  There is an art to making these white bags filled with sand and a light source bright enough to make an impression – both on your guests and in photos.  I’ve had a couple of my brides use these, but they were never bright enough to be of great impact.  I think the lights from the reception tend to diminish their effect.

Top Notch Resort

One of my favorite outdoor venues?  — The fabulous Topnotch Resort in Stowe, VT.  You just can’t get any better than this!  Click on the link above to be directed to their site.

Next two photos: Mary P. Karnes

The next two photos are candids from weddings I’ve done.  Sometimes, no decor is needed.  Mother Nature can be the best decorator of all.

Wedding Invitations – Are You Ready For New Social Mores?

Wedding Invitations – are you ready for the new social mores?  Remember, your wedding invitation is your guests’ first glimpse into your wedding style.  You want to do it right.  With all the new couplings, you want to make sure you address your invites properly.  The chart below is very comprehension and a good reference.

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But what about the wording of the invitation?  With blended families, divorced parents, the new trend of the groom’s family contributing to the wedding, things can get muddled.  Another helpful chart follows:

modwedding.com

And another informative chart of appropriate invitations wordings below.

21stbridal.com

But don’t just stop with your invitation.  Remember to also order your thank you cards when you order your invitations.  Do they have to match or share the theme of your invites?  NO.  But order or purchase them asap.  And try to write the thank yous as soon as the gifts come in.  A common theme I’ve seen among couples is a stand-off regarding thank you notes.  The bride puts her foot down and takes a stand.  She “Will NOT write all the thank you notes!”  Her groom is going to do half. Guess what?  Those thank yous keep getting put off, because really, no one likes to do them.  And let’s face it, someone is going to do the heavy lifting on this one.  Get it done.  It just reflects badly on both of you if you delay.  A cute idea… one of my daughters and sons-in-law wrote a few thank yous after the wedding, and included a photo of them using the wedding gift.  Talk about a hit!  The guests loved this!

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And what to say?  Check out the nice formula above.  Remember, your guests put time, thought, and generous funds into your gift.  It’s thoughtful to respond in kind.