Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Bridal blues. You heard of ‘em? After months of wedding plans, tastings, fittings & trials comes the main event and then? The honeymoon? Some brides experience a sort-of depression known as the bridal blues once their wedding is all said and done.

I think I am experiencing bridesmaid blues, if there is such a thing. I’m feeling quite melancholy. Maybe it’s because I’m left here in the rain with no exotic vacation.

I think it is simply because last weekend’s wedding was just so spectacular that I can’t believe it’s actually over! I keep remembering the delicious food and wishing I went back for just one more seafood cake or actually sampled the pasta station. Perhaps I should have had another lemony, signature cocktail affectionately named the Spanktini, a shout out to the groom. I regretfully never made it to the dessert buffet either because I just couldn’t pull myself off of the dance floor. I didn’t even taste the chocolate on chocolate 3-tier, square, monogrammed wedding cake that the bride & groom comically toasted and fed themselves instead of the messy cake smash on one another.

Bummer. It must have been a good party because I don’t miss out on chocolate for much.

The weather turned out to be just right for late March. It was the kind of early spring day that brings the deer out of the woods, the daffodils up and the geese flying…and they did. All of nature and 150 guests circled around the veranda at the Manor House to watch as my brother and sister-in-law exchanged their written vows. The ceremony was so very them. Sweet and nice injected with bits of humor. It was like watching a segment of their comical, everyday banter except they were in formal attire…and there was a photographer capturing every move.

The music was on point as well. Jason Mraz and John Mayer really can create a modern feel at an otherwise traditional outdoor ceremony. And who knew Slick Rick, Beyonce, Rolling Stones, Lil Jon, Dion, U2 & Guns ‘N Roses could be such a good time at the same time at the reception! Did I mention Guns ‘N Roses? Playing the air guitar to Sweet Child of Mine with the groom as we did as kids is definitely a fond memory. I’m just nervous to see the video. Swinging my hair around like Slash might have been cute when I was 7 but perhaps not so much as an adult in a gown. Time will tell.

Everyone looked fabulous.  Especially the bride in a stunning, rouched waste, v-neckline gown with an ornate flower in her hair.  Even my dad, with 2 left feet, had a way with his classic tuxedo. His dressy Chuck Taylor’s really put a spin on the threads that only he can.

Now that the vows have been exchanged; the toasts have been made; the feast has been had; and the newlyweds are on the beach somewhere; it’s time for this bridesmaid to shake the blues! One down, how many more to go this year?

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I mentioned the bridal shower this past weekend. Since it was the first weekend of spring, it seemed appropriate to play that into the theme when coming up with a favor for the guests. With that said, flower seeds were a welcoming token after this long winter.

I bought up all of the sunflower seeds that I could find but that wasn’t enough. We needed to personalize the packs to the occasion so I came up with the following poem…

Put on your garden gloves
and plant a seed
as we watch
the bride and groom’s
blossoming love
grow indeed

Some less tasteful rhymes that ended up on the cutting room floor…

Welcome Spring with a fling
Don’t forget to check out the bride’s ring!

Thanks for showering her with gifts
Now take an hour to plant these misfits

Soon they will tie the knot
Don’t let these seeds rot

Thanks for coming to the shower
Here’s a sunflower

-The perennial bridesmaid

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

shower tool belt

Bridal showers seem to pop up left and right on my calendar so it was no surprise when this past weekend brought one along.

The affair followed the methodical bridal shower approach of drinks, lunch, games, presents and cake.

Presents. As a member of the bridal party, I stepped up to the mountain of wrapped gifts to strategize gift opening flow. I like to keep things moving as the unofficial present-passer/re-boxer/stacker-of-unwrapped-gifts. That’s me.

I take this job very seriously. There is a strategy in the gift box stacking, un-stacking and re-stacking. It is no joke and often entails working up a sweat from the circuits of squats, lunges, hurdles and lifting. Let me tell you, I need to start bringing a few extra accessories to get the job done…
  • A weight belt for support while lifting the really heavy boxes
  • A hair clip and sweat band. Forget the blow out. It’s just got to be hair all back while doing this much impromptu strength training.
  • A mister and ice water for hydrating in between rounds.
  • Knee pads would save my knees as I crawl from pile to pile.
  • And forget a cute bridal shower-esque dress. This maid needs some yoga pants, sports bra and a beater to get down to business.
  • Might as well bring a stop watch to appropriately time the circuits.
Perhaps you’ve been there too? If not, you are probably just picturing a scary body builder type woman overtaking a formal Sunday tea.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Friday, March 19, 2010


You heard it here first. I should copyright that one.

As my brother’s wedding rapidly approaches, I have dubbed my mother a “MOGzilla”. Up until this week, she was simply the MOG but her recent behavior has escalated her to zilla status. As I threatened to blog about her if she didn’t find her Zen place, she said she’d like to do the honors as a guest blogger…

I'm Not a MOGzilla, I'm Just Misunderstood!!

Does it make me a MOGzilla because our beloved dog is having "play dates" scheduled with the couple who will be taking care of him on the wedding day just so I know he gets along with them before the big "sleepover"?

Does it make me a MOGzilla because I'm worried that I won't have enough time to get my hair and make up done AND get dressed AND be at the groom's house by 12:30 in the afternoon?

Does it make me a MOGzilla because I'm concerned that since I'm getting my hair and make up done at 9 am, the hair won't still be in place and the makeup won't still look fresh when the wedding actually begins at 6 pm?

Does it make me a MOGzilla because I told the FOG exactly how many days before the wedding he should get his hair cut so it's at the precise length that it looks best on the wedding day? And then, admittedly, I made him go back because they didn't take enough off the top the first time?

Does it make me a MOGzilla because I'm no longer happy with the dress that I spent way too much on to begin with?

Does it make me a MOGzilla because I have bought at least 5 different types of undergarments to try with said dress just so I'm sure that I will be wearing the one that looks best?

Does it make me a MOGzilla because I'm beginning to feel very sentimental and just called the groom, my son, and asked him if he was free one night before the wedding to have dinner with me, just me?

No, it just makes me a MOM. A mom who can't believe my little boy, "my momma’s boy", has grown to be such a wonderful man who is about to marry and begin a new chapter of his life with his wife.

Label me if you must but this is all new territory to me as I've never married off a child before. I know this is going to be the best day in my son's life (even ahead of the Phillies winning the 2008 World Series???) so I just want everything to be perfect. Please excuse me if I have lost my Zen but come the big day when everything falls into place, I will be the one smiling the brightest, crying the most, dancing the longest and looking damn good doing it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

made up

What is appropriate to pay for bridal make up on your wedding day? I have heard from as low as $50 to over $200! Has this gotten out of hand? Sure seems it.

Exhibit A. My friend, a bride, had a make up trial done recently. She hated it but that’s besides the point here. The ‘artist’ wanted to charge her $175 for bridal make up and all of her bridesmaids would be $75 each. That is the highest amount that I have ever heard for this service considering we are not talking about a celeb make up artist but your average cosmetics-counter-turned-independent make up artist.

In addition to the $175, this woman wanted a travel fee of about $40 AND, get this, a fee for applying false eye lashes. Another $15! ($10 if you bring your own. Ha!) If eyelashes aren’t included in $175, what is? That’s well over $200 for make up for one day. Just extreme!

And why is there a need to charge the bride $100 more than the bridesmaids anyway? Wouldn’t good business sense say to give the bride a discount for bringing all 6-8 of her bridesmaids business to her? After all, hotels usually give the bride and groom a free or discounted room for bringing them a ton of business. Shouldn’t this work the same?

I never really understood why the bride is charged more than everyone else. I suppose it is just the industry. As soon as the word “wedding” or “bridal” is attached to something, it automatically doubles. I made an appointment for a bride friend once for her make up but failed to mention that it was her wedding day. Once they found out, the price sky rocketed. For what? I still haven’t figured it out. No one can ever explain what exactly “the bridal package” includes that makes the price rise so much.

The bridal make up package seems to be made up.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Monday, March 15, 2010

do or diy

What have I been up to? Hmm, well there were 100 invitations & 100 thank yous last week for 2 separate weddings. That about sums it up. But if you want more deets, read on…

Day 1: 100 wedding invitations
Vintage looking, horizontal pocket fold #10 (legal size)
Team of 5 assembly line style. (always good to recruit your bridesmaids for DIY projects)
  • Fold pre cut 8"x9.25" blue cardstock in half.
  • Adhere pocket on bottom.
  • Adhere accent cardstock on top.
  • Stamp pocket.
  • Stamp front of invitation.
  • Save text piece for another day as details need to be ironed and laid out.
Time: 3 hours

Day 2: 100 wedding TYs
Simple but stunning 4.25"x5.5" card. We'll call it simply stunning.
Team of 2
  • Fold pre cut 8.5"x5.5" yellow cardstock in half.
  • Stamp base cardstock with background stamp.
  • Stamp thank you sentiment on ivory cardstock.
  • Punch sentiment out.
  • Adhere sentiment to stamped cardstock.
Time: 2 hours

Tip I learned the hard way:  Kinko's and Staples will cut your cardstock for you.  They can cut up to about 100 sheets for approximately $1.50 per cut.  1 cut = 2 minutes, so easy.  I learned this AFTER cutting 100 invitations by hand.  Each piece of cardstock invidually. Ouch.

I promise to post pictures some day soon to keep things interesting for ya. Yes, I am for hire as I do really enjoy designing & creating these custom invitations and thank yous.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

suits you well

Last night I went suit shopping. Yes, suit shopping, not dress shopping. I thought us ladies had a lot of options in the formalwear department but let me tell you I learned a thing or two in my brief shopping excursion.

The suits chosen were from the executive collection, not to be confused with the signature, traveler or signature-gold suits. Is this sort of like a man differentiating between tank, spaghetti & halter straps? That’s how I felt when I picked up a signature but meant to grab the executive (no pun intended).

We settled on two suits…one is charcoal (not to be confused with gray) with a fine stripe. The choice was between a white stripe or light blue stripe. We went with blue. This reminded me of a time that I was asked to help decide between a white or ivory sash for a bridesmaid dress. We pined over it and weighed the pros and cons for days. As for the stripe, it took 2 minutes to decide based on eye color. Why don’t us ladies ever use the eye color technique?

We gazed over more patterns such as glen check, houndstooth, glen plaid, tweed, glen tilt tweed…who the hell is Glen anyway? They all looked grayish or tan to me.

The second suit, let’s call it brown, looks like a “faint plaid” pattern. I was quickly corrected by the salesman. This pattern is actually called windowpane. Ahh. This does make much more sense. Clever gentlemen.

Now that the suits were selected, it was onto alterations…
For women, this is where it usually gets ugly. We stand up on a pedestal with pins sticking out of us at every angle. We’re trying to lift and tuck like there’s no tomorrow. Not for men. They’re posed with 3 questions which have nothing to do with overexposing or underexposing skin or hiding wobbly bits.

1. Half break or full break? What the heck! I wouldn’t pay for anything that comes broken. Oh let’s review the photos of how the pant falls over the shoe. Wow, these guys are more detail oriented than I give them credit for. Full break, thanks. And with that, the salesman made one mark on the pant and no one's grandma was crawling on the flooring pinning up the hem.
2. Cuff or no cuff? This was a tough decision. Maybe more difficult than the actual suit decision. No cuff. Final.
3. Permanent resin crease? Well aren’t these guys fancy!

Onto accessories…ties, pocket squares, shirts, cufflinks, belts, loafers. I never pick my jewelry, hairstyle or shoes when I decide on the dress. We’ll save this for another day.

I will say that it took me longer to write this post than it did for him to actually pick out his two suits. Men are so much simpler than women when it comes to formalwear. I wish I could walk into a dress shop, select 2 dresses in 15 minutes and alternate wearing them to 10 formal occasions over the next year. Without ever looking the same.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Monday, March 8, 2010

girls just wanna have fun

and we did.

Bachelorette party #1 of 2010 went down Saturday evening. It didn’t end ‘til the wee hours of the morning Sunday. We had a girls’ night out in the city including the 3Ds: dinner, drinks & dancing.

Days later and I’m still exhausted.

The bachelorette had a fabulous night amongst her bridesmaids and closest friends.  We did not subject her to tiara veils, bridal sashes or blinking anything. Judging by the series of pictures that are being passed around, everyone enjoyed themselves…except maybe the limo driver.

On nights like this, I wish cameras hadn’t been invented to document the turn of events & rapid decline in judgment. Cameras and the internet for that matter. Before I could say ‘bachelorette’, I was tagged in a variety of unflattering 3D pictures online (see: dinner, drinks & dancing). Through bleary eyes, I reviewed the pictures and untagged the most unflattering shots of myself. Does everyone do this at some point to preserve their cyber image?

Now I remember why these parties take place weeks, if not months, prior to the wedding! My recovery time has drastically increased in the last few years. I just can’t party for 10 hours straight anymore and bounce back. Where has my 22 year old self gone?

As I pushed through the day yesterday, I found myself in on the planning of another bachelorette party, just 2 weeks away. You think that’s comical? I opened my email today to find yet another invitation to a 3rd bachelorette party!

Soon it will be time to do it all over again. Until then, I’m on bed rest.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Friday, March 5, 2010

here goes...

If you’ve been following along, you know by now that I launched this blog to track my journey through 2010’s wedding season and all of the events and prep work that comes with it. I hope you’ve been reading along because you’re entertained by the situations I’m involved in and not just because we’re related. Heck, maybe you’ve even learned something (like country crock is not butter).

This weekend begins an intense 20 day stretch of non-stop wedding madness for my first two 2010 weddings. I am a victim of my calendar. If you didn’t make it on there, I hope to see you next month!

Here’s a preview of my commitments and appointments from March 6th to March 26th…

  • bachelorette party extravaganza
  • june wedding invitation crafting
  • march wedding thank you crafting
  • favors favors favors
  • hair trial with the MOG
  • vintage dress shopping for june wedding
  • bridal shower
  • wedding vase centerpiece assembly
  • spa mani/pedi (ahh, can’t wait)
  • wedding rehearsal followed by rehearsal dinner
  • hair & make up (I wish this one was on the list everyday)
  • finale: first wedding of 2010!

Consider this a teaser, if you will, because I expect a multitude of good stories to come from the next 3 weeks’ experiences. I can assure you that there will be some disastrous stories, if I have anything to do with it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go take a nap.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Thursday, March 4, 2010

mama said

I’m on a veil kick this week. There are just so many styles out there. I am not going to list them all in this post. I’d rather address yo’mama’s veil. Many of my friends are telling me about their mom’s dream of having their daughters wear their veil. These dreams have been in place since before these girls were even around. Fast forward 30+ years and mom’s pulling the veil out of preservation. These vintage styles tend to range from finger tip to cathedral in length. Perhaps that’s not your style. How can you let mom down (especially if you’re her ONLY daughter) and not wear the veil?

Consider using it in your bridal bouquet. Swap out the ornate florist ribbon for the tulle of your mom’s bouquet. You can wrap the stems with the veil or actually weave it amongst the flowers. The former veil will still be a feature on you during the ceremony.

One of my friends is doing just that with her mother’s veil. The veil-turned-bouquet will also coordinate with the lace huppah at the ceremony. The bonus is that the lace was an heirloom tablecloth that belonged to the bride’s great-grandmother.

Which brings me to another use for cathedral length; you can use the veil to dress the arch or the huppah that you plan to marry under. You can also incorporate it into a table runner. Are you having a sweetheart table for you and your groom? The veil may be just the right size to decorate the table.

If your mom really wants you to actually wear the veil, you might just be able to without forsaking the veil of your own dreams. Incorporate mom’s veil into your dress. The netting can be used as an overlay on the skirt or panel on the waist. Talk to your seamstress. Most are happy to make customizations when fitting the dress to you.

Think about lining a clutch purse with the netting. This is not an overt shout out to mom but you will know her veil is with you. If you’re lucky enough to have combs or floral accents on your mom’s veil, you should easily be able to accent the outside of your clutch or shoes with the flowers. Plug in that hot glue gun!

-The perennial bridesmaid

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

birdcage rage

The birdcage veil has become increasingly popular amongst brides over the last few years. Why wouldn’t it? This vintage style is stunning.

Birdcage veils made their first debut on brides in the 1930s and 40s. They traditionally cover the eyes and end at the cheek bone. Some dramatic versions go below the chin, covering the bride’s entire face. But nowadays it’s all in the angle. Consider wearing yours just draping over one eye, accenting the side of your face.

Traditionally these veils are composed of a light Russian or French tulle. Less common, but equally as fabulous, are the varieties of colors you can now find birdcage veils in for your wedding.

Black isn’t just for funerals anymore and pink isn’t reserved for the derby.

Fascinators are often used to keep the veil in place although some brides opt out of this accent all together. Be bold and think outside of the box for your fascinator such as peacock feathers, buttons, bows, silk orchids, Swarovski crystals and fabric. In some cases, all of the above will make one fabulous fascinator.

Are you are ready to rock this retro trend? Check out some of my favorites below from etsy sellers. These aren’t your grandma’s birdcage veils.

-The perennial bridesmaid


Feather Simplicity

Dotted Darling

Ivory & Crystal

Diamond White


Something Blue

Green Goddess

Precious in Pink

Rock & Roll

Monday, March 1, 2010

tasty affair

Wondering what to expect at your tasting?  Here is one couple's account from the guest blogging bride...

One of the aspects of wedding planning that excited me most about our year-and-a-half long engagement was our tasting. Most tastings I had heard about involved the bride, groom and respective parents having a meal with one or two other couples getting married at the same venue. Usually the story includes one parent complaining about something loudly. This experience sounds ok, but I think our tasting exceeded such an event. Since our wedding caterer serves multiple venues in the area, our tasting was quite epic. Basically, it was a wedding reception with no ceremony and 250+ strangers at one of the premier wedding venues in the Philadelphia area.

When we got to the venue for the tasting, there was a line out the door. We stood in the cold with other couples as everyone checked in. I immediately started stereotyping people to guess who was getting married at our venue and who was more organized than me. (Some people had their wedding binders in hand. I don't even own one thanks to my love of Google Docs) Once we made our way inside, we got nametags that indicated which venue we were hosting our wedding. This made the stereotyping even more explicit! From all my research, I have a good idea of how much these venues cost and the fancy looking couples indeed were getting married at the fancy venues. (There were a few odd exceptions that involved tattooed couples.) I smiled knowingly at couples with matching nametags to ours.

There were still parents in attendance at this type of tasting. Part of our wedding agreement included two complimentary admissions to the tasting, covering me and my fiance. Other guests had to pay a fee. The parents took their role at the tasting very seriously. They stood guard at the kitchen for the first taste of each of the passed hors d'ouevres. They strategically covered their plates with one of everything from the stations. Not being nearly as aggressive, my fiance and I tried exactly one passed hors d'ouevre (which we shared) and about three different stations' offerings. We knew we wouldn't have sushi at our wedding, so why bother waiting in line? Basically, we spent the cocktail hour having some wine and beer, checking out a binder with fabric samples for our tablecloths, and oohing and ahhing at the venue and people in general.

We then proceeded into the ballroom where we sat at a 10-top table with other couples getting married at our same venue. This was certainly the most valuable part of the event. We exchanged when we were getting married, when we got engaged, some vendor recommendations, answered each others questions and compared notes over the food. I even got everyone to write down their email addresses so I can forward them photos I've found of other weddings at our site. I'm sure if people are into it, we'll continue our dinner discussion over email.

The caterer had provided us all with a list of all the food available that evening, so we could keep track of what we were eating and make comments. The seated portion of the night involved three courses - fish, poultry and beef. Each course came with three-four different preparations of the selected meat, along with three-four different sides. (I have to be honest and say that there was a disappointing amount of carrots as sides.) It was all incredibly tasty, but overwhelming to have that much food! At least they spaced the courses out pretty well and cut the food into bite-sized portions. During the entire dinner portion, there was still an open bar too!

Then came dessert. There was a section of the ballroom near our table that had been curtained off. We deciphered that this is where the chocolate and caramel fountains would be, and sure enough, they were revealed with excitement! There was also a fresh-baked cookie station, mini milkshakes being passed around, and the cake samples. I think there were about six different cakes brought to the table in little slices. As far as the food went, the dessert was a highlight for me!

A typical question following such an extravagant event will logically be "So what did you pick for your menu?!". As comprehensive as the night was, we did not pick a single thing from the tasting to be served at our wedding. We were very attached to a specific, casual (Read: inexpensive) menu that the caterers offer, and the tasting was a chance for them to showcase their fancier items, enticing brides, grooms and well-to-do parents into selecting upgrades.

The tasting was a chance for us to be assured that our caterers handle cooking good food for large numbers of people. They proved themselves that night. Will our wedding include a sushi bar, flank steak, a signature fruit martini, or a caramel fountain? No. Will it have solid, tasty food choices made by professionals? Yes. Do I feel like I was pampered for a night? Yes! Am I excited for my wedding with corn on the cob, hamburgers and a homemade cake buffet? Even more than before!