Wedding Etiquette and a Book Review

Weddings…does any one event conjure up more questions about etiquette?  The first thing my mother did when I became engaged was buy a wedding book about the “Do’s” and “Do Nots”.  I did the same for both of my daughters.

Why then, is today’s first featured photo of the delightful new cozy mystery “Waiting for the Detectives”, (available May 23, 2017), by the lovely Julie Mulhern? (Pictured below)


Well…let me back-peddle a little… I recently saw several ads for Julie’s “Country Club Mysteries”.  Each book looked like a fun read, so I ordered the first in the series, “The Deep End”.  I was hooked.  By the time I had read 50 pages, I just had to order the second in the series, “Guaranteed  to Bleed”.  What was it that made the books so enticing?  Many things.  They’re funny, (at times laugh-out-loud!), well-written, never drag, and…set in the ’70’s!  I love that era, partly because I grew up then.  I think perhaps I was born in the wrong time.  I think I would have fit right into Ellison Russell’s, (our heroine), world.  She’s beautiful, chic, rich, and most importantly, a strong woman.  And yes, the country club scene is a big part of Ellison’s life.  And don’t do messing with etiquette in Ellison or her mother, Frances’, orbit!

I would love to plan Ellison’s wedding, (of course she is tangled in a love triangle!), but she would need no help.  I imagine it would be something classic and old-fashioned like the photo above (which just happens to be of my daughter and son-in-law 🙂 ).

Here’s a little blurb from Barnes and Noble about “Watching the Detectives”

“Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’s new partner considers Ellison a suspect? With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.”

Did I like this latest in the “Country Club Mystery” series?  No…I LOVED it…  Click on any of the links above if you’d like more info on obtaining your own copy of one of these great reads.  AND if you’d like a chance to win an AUTHOR  SIGNED copy…leave a comment on this post.  🙂

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

The Beautiful Photography of Claudia and George Photographers

Ah…the beautiful photography of George and Claudia.  If you’re planning a wedding anywhere in the Northeast, seriously consider their services.  Your wedding photos are the single most important component of your wedding.  It’s how your guests will remember your special day, and more importantly, how you will.  Don’t scrimp.  Only settle for the best.

Click on the link to be directed to their website.  George and Claudia Photography You’re in for a treat.  I’ve included some of their delightful shots for your viewing pleasured a cute question and answer session by the lovely Claudia.  Not only is she talented, but beautiful too…

How did you get involved with weddings and events?

“One day, I just quit my full-time job because I wasn’t happy, purchased a camera and decided to be a wedding photographer. I took a few photography classes in college so I knew it was something I could do. A few days later, I had the opportunity to shoot a wedding as a second photographer and loved it.”

 How long have you been a wedding photographer?

“8 years.” 

What tips do you have for brides just starting to plan their wedding?
“Be realistic with your wedding timeline/schedule when planning your day. Everything usually takes longer than what you think and always leave a little extra time here and then just in case.”

 What are your favorite wedding trends this year?

“I love handwritten notes and gifts so one of my favorite trends its boudoir. Brides give a little black book album with sexy images of themselves to the groom the day of the wedding. I just love this and love their reaction more!”

 What do you feel is the most challenging thing about weddings?

Family photos. When family members weren’t told to be there for pictures.   

What’s a typical work-day looks like?

“Wake up, drink coffee while enjoying some time with my husband, emails/editing/shooting most week-days. After 3pm I get my kids from school, work is all done.”

Weekends are for my family unless I shoot weddings.

 Favorite 3 wedding venues?

“The Waterview, Monroe

The Society Room, Hartford

The Marquee, Hartford”


 If you could have lunch with anyone who is famous who would it be?

“Channing Tatum ;)”

Favorite TV show: 

 “Homeland and The Gilmore Girls”

 Favorite way to spend your Sunday

“Coffee shops and shopping with friends/family”

 Dream vacation?

“Skopelos Island”


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.

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.

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.

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…

Talk about beautiful!  If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, is a good place to start.  As I’ve often mentioned on my blog, I love!   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!