Let’s Catch Up With Nova McLaren

It’s time to catch up with the brilliant wedding dress designer Nova McLaren.  Olivia, the artist behind the label, has been hard at work this wedding season.  I don’t know how she does it, and with such creative perfection too!

Olivia’s July weddings for this year, as always, are something special.  One in particular strikes me. The bride is from the mid-west; the groom’s roots are from India.  For the ceremony, as a surprise for her groom, the bride has commissioned a beautiful lace sari to drape over her wedding gown.  It will sport a gold belt, and traditional Indian gold jewelry she has had specially made.  This will be removed for the reception and then her groom and their guests will see her exquisite french lace ‘off the shoulder’ gown.   The look for this dress will focus on pearls, both on the gown, and as accessories.  Olivia confides they are two completely different looks, but beautiful none the less. (if you’d like to read a blog post about “Two in One Wedding Gowns”, clink on the link.)

While I can’t show you photos in progress, due to the “top secret” status, I can show you some lace samples — exquisite!

The photo below gives a brief glimpse of the time consuming bead work Olivia does.  I am in awe of her talent.

Wonder what’s in the photo below?  I did also at first!  They are lace covered buttons; covered by hand!  Olivia works with the precision of a surgeon.  A wedding dress designer is not just a seamstress, but an artist.  One must truly love this work, and it’s apparent that Olivia does.

Are these gowns out of most brides’ price range?  No.  While not inexpensive, when one takes into account that all alterations are included in the price of the dress, the value is exceptional.  I still have two daughters to marry off…I will definitely be knocking on Olivia’s door to at least see what our options would be…Kudos Nova McLaren. (Link to website below)  And don’t worry…there will be another installment about this brilliant designer soon…  🙂

Nova McLaren

“War and Peach”- Book Review: A Murder and a Wedding!

A murder and a wedding…this there any better combination?


Ok…I’m going to share a little personal information: an attribute and a flaw.  The attribute…I can almost ALWAYS figure out who the murderer is in a “Who Done IT”.  The flaw…I almost always skip ahead in a book.  I can not stay focused long enough to read the book from beginning to end without cheating.

There was an exception this past week.  I had the pleasure of reading Susan Furlong’s latest cozy in the ‘Georgia Peach Mystery’ series, “War and Peach”.

Barnes and Noble gives us a nice overview:

“Nola Mae Harper is too busy restocking the jars of preserves and chutney flying off the shelves of her shop, Peachy Keen, to keep up with all the gossip about the upcoming mayoral election, but she does know the debate is sure to be a real barn burner.

Local farmer Clem Rogers claims he has a bombshell that could take small business owner Margie Price out of the running. But before Clem can reveal his juicy secret at the debate, his actual barn goes up in flames—with him inside of it. The town casts its vote against Margie, but Nola isn’t convinced the hardworking woman is capable of murder. Now to clear Margie’s name Nola will have to work fast under pressure, before Margie gets taken in by the fuzz…


“War and Peach” is the third book in the ‘Georgia Peach Mystery’ series, and I have to say, my favorite!  Not only did I NOT skip ahead, I didn’t figure who the murder was.  And it wasn’t because he/she was so random no one  could come to a reasonable conclusion.  Furlong so creatively crafted her story, all the clues were there, but one had to be on his toes.  I LOVED this book.  Furlong kept true to her comforting small town style with interesting stories and southern culture, while keeping the tale germain to all our lives.

A personal favorite novelty of Susan’s books?  I adore the “Southern Girl Secrets” at the beginning of each chapter.  They’re cute, at times funny, but always words of wisdom.  Below is the lovely author, Susan Furlong.

Now on to the book’s wedding…There’s so much you can do with peaches as a focal point; cocktails, dressing on the cake, (see top photo), color scheme, decorations.  Love the ideas in the photo below.

yes bride.com

The wedding in “War and Peach”, and this is a spoiler alert… is what many of us should aspire to.  The bride and groom have chosen to make their marriage the main event with their wedding a delicious appetizer.  Anxious to know more?  Well, you’ll just have to read the book!  I’ve included links to  Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Just click on either link to be directed to obtain your very own copy!  Hey!  Want to WIN an author signed copy of “War And Peach”?  All you need to do to enter the contest is register as a blog user. I will randomly choose a winner next week.  Good luck!

And really…don’t you just want to take a bite out of one of the glorious peaches below?

the knot.com


Wouldn’t either photo, above and below, be the perfect venue for a “peach farm” centered wedding?


Wedding Venues – Lots of Options!

Wedding venues – lots of options!


When completing the biggest task on your wedding list, that of choosing your venue, remember to consider all options.  Sometimes, we do not see the forest for the trees! What?  What I mean is, often we get so used to seeing a particular landmark in our lives that we don’t even think it could be a possible wedding venue.


For those living in Mystic, Connecticut, that could very well be the case with the Inn at Mystic.  What a charming little local inn!  But what a bang up job they do on events!  My associate, Debbie, attended a business meeting there, and thought it would be an ideal wedding venue.  Apparently, so do the owners, and they offer fabulous wedding packages.


The city of Mystic offers views such as the one above. Gorgeous!



The wedding tent, pictured above in two photos, easily converts into an spectacular venue for business events or weddings.  You can see where the tent is connected by one side to the main Inn.  I think this is wise, as you waste no space.  The tent area moves easily into the main building, creating a nice flow.


The photo above showcases the tent area waiting to be dressed for a wedding.  I love the chandelier in this photo.  Surprising, isn’t it, that such elegance is available in a tent environment?  It works, though.  Your take away from this post?  Look at all possibilities in  your community.  You may be surprised that a location you have previously overlooked would be PERFECT for your event. In fact, it may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Photos 1-4 Stock Photos

Photo #5 Debbie Stauble

Wedding Charitable Donations

Wedding Charitable Donations  – Want to do something to make your wedding not “All About You”? There are actually many options.  A family member who lives in the city, (NYC), recently told me about a wedding couple he had heard about.  The couple LOVED pizza. In fact they loved it so much, they decided to have a pizza truck cater their reception.  Such a cute idea.  They chose the three hour package, but then took a step back.  They wanted to do something to “give back” on this most special of days. So they called the pizza truck company back and booked it for two more hours – but with a twist.  They told the company after their three hour reception stop to drive to a nearby soup kitchen, and serve those in need of a meal for two hours.  How terrific is this???


Scarlet Leigh.com



Another wedding I heard about supplied “Live Strong” bracelets for the wedding guests as favors. Each bracelet purchased has a percentage go to the the “Live Strong” charity.  Love this, and the guests did too!

Another thoughtful idea was showcased at a recent wedding I worked.  The bride and groom chose to make a sizable contribution to “Juvenile Diabetes” research in lieu guest favors. What a brilliant idea. Guest favors are just fluff, really, and the wedding guests could walk away and feel good about their “contribution”.  If you’re viewing this on a mobil phone or tablet and the photo below is sideways, by apologies.  Sometimes this happens when creating a post on a desk top.



If you’re interested in supporting one of these worthwhile charities, either at your wedding, or in anther fashion, fantastic!  Just go on-line and google one.  Every charity has a website, and can be of assistance on how to go about a large contribution.

Photos # 3 and #4, Mary P. Karnes