“The Wedding Sisters” A Book Review

As a wedding blogger, I occasionally get the opportunity to review books about weddings.  Could my job be more fun?

“The Wedding Sisters”, a delightful book by Jamie Brenner, is not to be missed.  If you like weddings, you’ll LOVE this book.  The story invites us into the lives of the four main characters, Meryl, the matriarch of the family, and her three daughters: Meg, Amy and Jo.  I was personally drawn to the book’s premise – three sisters planning their weddings… at the same time!  With four daughters of my own, I found it accurate, funny and poignant.  Brenner hits just the right cord of sisterhood.  The mix of love, competitiveness,  and a touch of pettiness, rings true.  Brenner must have sisters!


“The Wedding Sisters” never lost my attention.   The writing is fast paced, but still allows the reader to connect properly with the characters. I felt I personally knew all four women in no time.  Their careers are exciting, problems current, their struggles timeless; a perfect trifecta.   And just like in any family, the sisters are quite different.  I sometimes wonder, when I look at my own daughters, how four women from the same home and identical parents, can be polar opposites.  But similar to “The Wedding Sisters”, family always brings them together.  As Meryl, the mother in the story, thinks to herself: ‘There was the overwhelming sense…of time marching on…of the continuum of family.  Of being part of something greater than herself.”


I hope you enjoy the little montage of photos of my own daughters shown throughout their lives. Let me introduce you in order of age: KK, (believe it or not), a wedding/event planner like her mother; Maggie, a newly minted registered nurse recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania; Tess, a college sophomore; and Julia, a high school senior.  It really is true…Sisters make the best bridesmaids.  If you’d like to read a former post addressing that, click on the link!  Sisters, the best bridesmaids




Interested in purchasing “The Wedding Sisters” by Jamie Brenner?  Just click on the link to either Barnes and Noble, or Amazon and you’ll be directed right to the book.  Easy peezy!  🙂

More good news?  Jamie Brenner has a new book coming out April 25, 2017, “The Forever Summer” set in Cape Cod, (one of my favorite ‘beach read’ settings), about what else…three generations of women.  Can’t wait! (You can even preorder!) “The Forever Summer” at Barnes and Noble or amazon  is available in Hardcover, e-book or audio.  Just click on either link to be directed.





#1 Barnesandnoble.com

# 2 EB Taylor

# 3 EB Taylor

# 4 Matt Stauble Media

# 5 Barnesandnoble.com

# 6 Hannah Colt

Wedding Favors and Games – Make Your Wedding Fun!

Wedding favors and games, a sure fire way to make your wedding FUN!  Think you’ve seen the latest favors and games out there?  Think again.  Someone is constantly thinking of new ways to wow you and make you smile.  Weddings are a never ending cycle of “the moment”.



The latest craze is fun, not particularly expensive, favors and innovative games.  Love the scratchers above.  I’m not sure how they work, but I’m guessing certain phrases scratched off the cards win prizes.  We used lotto scratchers as favors at one of my daughter’s weddings, and they were a HUGE hit.



What about the bride/groom quiz jar above?  This could double as a game AND a centerpiece.  My vision is that the whole table collaborates on the jar quiz and then receives a prize if they win. I think it would have to be a self-correcting quiz for time efficiency.  Perhaps the winning table gets to go first in the buffet line?



One must be committed, AND have room for the game above.  Love the idea, though.  I’m not sure what’s all involved in the construction of this unit, but it seems pretty involved.



Love, LOVE the favor above! I imagine it’s more of a bridal shower favor, than a wedding reception favor, but it sure is cute.  While I’m sure it would take some time to assemble, I can’t believe it’s TOO labor intensive.



Like the cookies above, but aren’t the best baker?  Never fear!  You can order a customized version on-line!  Just click on the link above if interested.  This could go either way, a great favor for either a bridal shower OR a wedding reception.


I actually laughed out loud when I saw the above photo, a pamphlet designed to entertain waiting wedding ceremony guests.  Not sure what’s inside, but click on the link for some clues.  And you can always create your own, personalized funny sheet.

Have fun with your wedding!



Engagement Party

You’re engaged!  Will you have a party to commemorate this milestone?  An Engagement Party used to be de rigor, not now, not so much.  Most couples do like to celebrate their new status in some fashion, however.


Above, you see my daughter, Kathleen, and her then finance, Tyler, holding their marriage license.  Thank you, Janice, Tyler’s mom, for capturing this sweet moment.

Did we celebrate with a party when my two daughters announced their engagements?  You bet we did.  We chose to make the parties intimate with family only, but they couldn’t have been more festive.  Big or small, what makes a good engagement party?  Well, it’s just a party, after all, but there are a few guidelines that should be followed with any party to ensure all flows smoothly.

1 — If you choose to hold the party in your home, consult either a caterer for proper refreshment qualities, or a chart such as the one below.  Nothing puts a damper on an event more than not having enough food.




2 — Plan some sort of activity.  It need not be the expense of a DJ or band for dancing, but SOMETHING to ‘get the party’ going.  Depending on the size, it can be something as simple as a dice or card game.

3 — Decorate.  Hey!  This is a good opportunity to practice those DIY projects for the ‘Main Event’!  Love the wine bottles!  And the project appears easy enough for even ME to try…


onestopparty.com – photo above and below

The door decoration below just says “Wedding” to me.  Love the play on a bouquet, and ‘veil’.


4 — Do Something Fun With Your Bar

It’s a party!  Go out on a limb, whether you cater your party or do it yourself.  Festive equals fun.  Love the “bubbly” bar in the photo below.  You may be surprised at the cocktail options available to you when champagne is used as your base alcohol.  Give it a try!



Wedding Wisdom from the Hair Salon

Wedding Wisdom from the Hair Salon?  That’s right…wherever women gather, that’s the best place to glean knowledge.  What better locale than a hair salon?


I was relaxing at my most recent hair appointment, enjoying chatting with the young stylist who was new to me.  Sadly, my regular stylist moved and I to find another.  Ladies, you know this isn’t fun.  Luckily, Kayla was a delight, and was pretty handy with the scissors.  I admit…I’m a little bit of an eaves dropper…  And when I heard the stylist and her client next to us start talking about weddings, I had to jump in!  The talk had gone to the best wedding of the season – typical wedding season is April to October.  The stylist does a lot of wedding hair at her salon, in fact she did both my daughters’.  And apparently the client attended many weddings this season.

So, I jumped in, and asked, “So what makes a wedding a good one?  What makes it fun/a success?”

What they both answered surprised me.  I thought they may say extravagance, fabulous food and drink, over the top decorations and favors.  No.  Both ladies answered they wanted to get the party started.  They wanted to dance as soon as possible.  As soon as cocktail hour was over, and the bridal party announced, THE WANTED TO DANCE.




So I am modifying the timeline I have historically recommended to my brides.  As soon as cocktail hour is over, begin your first dance as bride and groom, and then invite your guests to join you on the dance floor.  Then take a little break and hold the toasts. KEEP THE TOASTS SHORT.  Yes, I realize you don’t have much control over this, but plead with your toasters and ask them keep their speeches to 2-3 minutes.  Limit the number of people you ask to speak also.  Father of the bride, best man, and maid/matron on honor at the most.




Then, dance!  Brief break again, and dance your “Special Dances” Father/Bride and Mother/Groom.  I suggest either sharing the dance floor for one song, (although I realize this is NOT an option for most), or dance to a truncated version of each song.


Then DANCE!  Lastly, cut your cake, and keep it brief.


Then you can get back to what the guests say they really want to do, dance, enjoy cocktails and visit with friends.  Hopefully you will get a few photos like the ones below…






Photo 1 – Pinterest

Photos – 2, 4, 5, 8 – Patty Cloherty

Photo – 3, 6, 7, 10 – Hannah Colt

Photo 9 – Stage 6 – Media