Monday, August 30, 2010

black is back

Remember a few years ago when everyone was saying “ohmigod, green is the new black” and then “pink is totally the new black”. Every color was suddenly the new black meaning you could wear it with anything. I never really knew what happened to black. Where did it go?

Well, guess what… Black is back!

Thank god. It is slimming. It is elegant. It is also versatile.

This past Saturday I logged in a full day of bridesmaid dress shopping for a March wedding. We tried on short, long, strapless, wide straps, one straps, cocktail dresses, gowns, sheaths, sacks, you name it. It was exhausting!

It came down to the very last one we tried on. It wasn’t what we thought we were out to get but sure enough it looked great on everyone. The bride was happy with it and even the groom gave the thumbs up. We found the dress at Priscilla of Boston. It is a sweetheart cut, long chiffon dress in classic black. The idea of wearing black to a formal, evening wedding just makes sense to me.

I have noticed that black bridesmaid dresses have been popping up at a few of the weddings I have attended lately. I love it! It couldn’t look better than trying to put several girls with different skin tones in watermelon, teal or sage. And you can totally wear black again, ha!

Black is black and its back. Alleluia!

-The perennial bridesmaid

Thursday, August 26, 2010

the nerve

A close friend asked for my advice the other day on how to politely decline the request to use her house to host a bridal shower. This sounds like a tough one but it actually isn’t. Once you hear more details, you too will agree that she needs to say no.

Let’s call my friend Sally.

Sally was recently married. She chose her family members as her bridesmaids. They threw her a lovely bridal shower. (Not totally relevant to this story.) One of these family members is now engaged and chose to have mostly friends for bridesmaids and did not include Sally. She was fine with this decision. Less responsibility for her, right?


The harem of bridesmaids decided that the shower should be held at a family member’s house so they asked Sally to host! Sweet Sally was put on the spot and quickly agreed. Only a few days passed when she realized that she didn’t really WANT this responsibility nor was her husband too happy with it. After all, she wasn’t asked to be a bridesmaid so why take this huge task on?

My advice? I told her that she needs to tell these girls that she is not able to host the shower at her house. Period. It’s not her responsibility!

The kicker is that some of these other girls have houses where they can hold the shower. Of course, there are other options like having it out somewhere if their budget allows.

The bottom line is that the bridesmaids are responsible for hosting the bridal shower (and the mothers of the bride or groom, if they so choose). That is exactly why a bride choses bridesmaids.  They are essentially friends and family chosen to host events and help the bride throughout the wedding process. 

-The perennial bridesmaid

bridal shower invitation by yours truly
note it says: Hosted by the Bridesmaids

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

pooch of honor

You may have noticed my absence the last few days. My lack of posts is a direct result of my new buddy, Wilson. He is an adorable beagle/basset hound mix that we adopted on Monday. Some good folks found him running loose on the highway and rescued him from traffic. So sad…but now he is happy in his new home!

I am quickly becoming one of those crazy dog people. I want to dress him up, take his picture and show him off all day long. I’ve already seriously considered his Halloween costume options. I’m not kidding and they are available in stores.

So I now realize why so many people want their pooch to be in their wedding. There are lots of creative ways to get your pup involved. I took to etsy to find a few good options.

Ring Bearer by designsbybam

Bridesmaid by ProperPuppy

Ok so maybe Fido won’t cooperate long enough to participate in the actual ceremony. You can still represent him or her in the wedding...

Cake Topper by dandelionland

Favor by Thecookiecouture

Invitation by leahfelicity

omigod! I’ve totaled crossed over.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Friday, August 20, 2010

writer's block

Why is it that I rarely have a problem coming up with strong words to write here but when it comes time to write something meaningful, I’m stumped?

Where am I going with this?

I have the honor of giving a speech at my friend’s wedding in a few weeks. There are so many things I could say. So many directions I could take it. The hard part is articulating it into a speech (and not one of my crazy blog posts) that makes sense to a broad audience of friends and family.

Funny because I actually thought the hard part would be delivering it but I seem to be less worried about that aspect. I suppose all of the past wedding reading experiences have prepared me for this opportunity. Wedding reading should be a pre-requisite to toast giving. Just a thought…

I already had an idea of how to open the speech and close it thanks to the public speaking class that was required in college. They did promise me that I would need those skills in my adult life. So in case you’re wondering, the standard structure in this case is to open with a shout out to everyone who made this possible and close with a toast to the couple. What’s in between is usually heartfelt and hopefully comical as well.

As I tried to organize my thoughts, I googled wedding speeches. There are actually sites dedicated to free wedding toasts. I recommend you do this for fun some time. I don’t recommend using the free speeches though. The sappy poems and metaphors are kind of funny but not what I had in mind.

May your winters be full of twinkling white lights,
may your springs be full of freshly picked flowers,
may your summers be full of bright blue oceans and
may your autumns be full of warm cups of tea.

Ha. Really!?

Stay tuned for the results!

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The bride has just made her way down the aisle and is standing next to her groom. The officiate is a stately man with a strong voice and forced sense of humor. He is standing right in front of the couple with his broad back to the audience.

My clever and naively humorous boyfriend says in what he thinks is a whisper but I perceive as a stage whisper, “The priest looks like he is going to spit on them. Is that why she wears a veil?”

What? No that is not why she wears a veil! My immediate “I’ll explain later!” hushed him for the moment.

But it occurred to me that I never did explain why a bride wears a veil.

Where did the tradition come from?

The olden days of course. These wedding traditions all came for centuries prior. Some of them don’t make sense anymore but we still carry them out anyway.

Most, if not all, marriages were arranged back in the day. Arranged to the point that the man hadn’t even seen his bride until they were getting married. Unfortunately, women back then were treated as property so typically their father was getting something in return for his daughter. Perhaps land or animals. If the man’s daughter was not attractive, he had to literally hide that fact under a veil. No sense in sending the groom running or the whole business deal could fall apart. Nauseating.

But even the attractive ancient brides wore a veil because it was considered bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other on their wedding day, even during the exchange of vows. To an extent, that tradition stands true today. At the end of the ceremony, the man would lift the veil to show that the woman was his subordinate.

And that is where this great tradition of wearing a bridal veil comes from. Romantic isn’t it? Kind of makes you want to rethink your veil. Oh and if you think that is bad, stay tuned for why bride’s traditionally carry flowers. It is even more romantic.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I went to a tasty wedding this weekend. It was at Rivercrest Golf Club in Phoenixville, PA. I had heard a ton of mixed reviews about the food at this place so I was anxious to experience it. Let me tell you, all the food was phenomenal. Turns out they got a new chef and he did them good!

Boy, was I full when I left there.

It started out with the cocktail hour. Well it actually started with the nuptials poolside which was really very lovely.  The bride looked beautiful with her birdcage veil and Maggie Sottero dress. Now onto food... Cocktail hour had the norm ample cheese table. Beyond that there were enough stations to make a meal out of. There was the oh-so-trendy mashed potato bar. Have you seen this yet? They served 3 kinds of mashed into a martini glass. Your choice. Then you go to town with toppings. I’m not sure who started this trend. It is popping up at many cocktail hours. It’s cool but heavy for so early in the evening. I totally filled up on it anyway.

Moving over to the scallop station, yes scallops & shrimp! They were being cooked right in front of us. If given the choice when planning a wedding between scallop station & mashed potato bar, I would go scallops all the way. But that’s just me!

What else? 2 bars at either end. A string quartet. More hot food stations with the old standards like m favorite pigs in a blanket. A Chinese food station with wontons, dumplings, egg rolls. Mmm. Needless to say, I tried it all! By the time we sat down for dinner, I could barely eat the filet and crab cakes that were cooked to perfection.

Enough about the food, the wedding itself was a classic affair. The color scheme was black and white with hints of damask patterns and hot pink. Even the cake had a damask pattern iced on it. The cake was great and made onsite. Oops, I brought it back to food!

-The perennial bridesmaid/ foodie

Friday, August 13, 2010

what's in your pocket

Everybody wants a pocket on their wedding invitation these days.  It's currently all the rage.  The pocket stores the response card & envelope, hotel info, directions and whatever other info accompanies the actual invite portion of the invitation.

What did we do before the evolution of the pocket?

Anyway, here's an example of a pocketfold invitation that we put together earlier this year.  It is a 5x7 horizontal layout with the pocket on the bottom.  We went with a modern template.  The script is right aligned and the complementary scroll image is on the left which we hand stamped.  The color scheme matches the colors of the wedding - navy, yellow & ivory.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I know this is a wedding blog and all but once in awhile I like to deviate to what comes post wedding…life, birthdays, family but I’m still talking parties! Where am I going with this?


A couple of years ago we threw a sneaky surprise birthday party for my pops. We pulled out all of the stops at his retro bowling themed party. If you could make it, I hope you liked it! This was a fun one to plan.

Back to the cake.

It was a magnificent, enormous Chuck Taylor sneaker! My father has worn these shoes day in and day out for as long as I’ve known him and well beyond that. It was only right to include this in his grand birthday. By the way, he only wears the ivory converses.

With no further ado, the cake…

Bringing it back to weddings…this is an excellent option for a groom’s cake at your wedding. Especially if your groom is anything like my dad. And if he is, good luck!

-The perennial bridesmaid

Monday, August 9, 2010


It feels a little bit like January 2nd today. I woke up still sleep deprived, slightly dehydrated and sad that the festivities are over. But it’s Monday so here I am, attempting to work and stop relishing in the fun of what went down this weekend. Clearly I am failing at that attempt so here is the recap.

The long planned and awaited baseball bachelorette party took place on Saturday. Fortunately, we had a warm and sunny August afternoon that called for, what else, but barbecue and beer? We claimed a rare shady, grassy knoll in the concrete jungle that surrounds Citizens Bank Park as our own. We set up what I like to think of as a gourmet tailgate spread complete with a fruit tray, olives, champagne, baked goods, dips, chocolate and veggie burgers.

This obviously wasn’t your boyfriend’s tailgate. It was a bachelorette party.

I do have to admit that the boys make putting a tailgate party together look quite easy. Schlepping cases of beer, keeping things cold, remembering all appropriate cooking utensils and actually grilling on the pavement can be more laborious than I ever imagined. We managed though and the fun was well worth it.

True to baseball form, we had our own 25 man roster. It was the largest bachelorette party that I’ve ever planned or attended but this goes to show the character of the bachelorette. Friends travelled up and down the east coast to make the event and some even flew cross country. In addition, all 25 had a uniform of matching tees with funny baseball puns custom designed by our resident graphic designer and assembled by another great friend of the bride. The bachelorette got to wear a special white Phillies cap donned with the inevitable tulle veil. That was the worst of the bachelorette swag.

Or perhaps the garter was.

The goal of the game was to make an appearance on the jumbotron. (Actually that is my goal at every Phillies game.) Some of our party managed to make an appearance sans the bachelorette. How bitter sweet!

Oh well, the impromptu hoola hoop dance party was fun anyway.

It truly took a team to pull off this event. The Phillies lost but the bride won everyone over!

-The perennial bridesmaid

photo courtesy: nadine friedman

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I sure am behind schedule this week as round 2 of wedding season picks up in full swing. Today a bachelorette party. Next week a wedding. Yesterday bridesmaid dress shopping. Here we go again! Stay tuned for details.

The surface of my refrigerator is beginning to fill up with more wedding & shower invitations, save the dates, thank yous and other cute announcements for this season’s events. Today I wanted to feature a DIY save the date.

It is a 5x7 brushed gold one sided card. The personalization is 2-fold. First, actual engagement photos of the couple are centered up top.  Real pictures! From my understanding, different photos were used on each card. The photographs were taken by Lorraine Daley and her sidekick Greg. The engaged couple chose Ridley Creek State Park in Delaware County, PA. They were lucky enough to get a rare low humidity, cool summer day which as we know ladies, leads to a good hair day!

The couple is working the lovebird theme with the birdcage stamp. In addition, they had a custom stamp made with their deets by Love To Create Stamps. Good choice. I can imagine the endless possibilities on future DIY projects for that stamp.

For a girl’s first wedding DIY project, she did a-okay! I like the lack of mass-produced feel this save the date evokes. Judge for yourself…

-The perennial bridesmaid

Thursday, August 5, 2010

icing on the cake

In an era when reality televison and cooking shows have combined to produce offspring such as Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes, it is no wonder that wedding cakes are huge again. Pun intended. Cakes don’t seem to be an area where couples cut corners, layers or tiers for that matter.

By now you have probably heard about Chelsea Clinton’s lavish wedding last weekend. Her wedding cake alone was allegedly nine tiers, 500 pounds and 4 feet tall. It took 9 people to put it together! Did I mention that it was gluten free?

My friend is having a wedding cake buffet at her September reception. This entails about a dozen friends all putting their best cake forward to offer a tasty variety for dessert. Each cake will be displayed on its own cake stand and will be neatly labeled with the type of cake and any necessary dietary info. Yum! I will be sure to sample and follow up on that cake buffet.

Another cake I’d like to feature was one that we had thought up for a bridal shower a couple of years ago. The bride was wearing a cherished pair of blue Manolo Blahnik shoes on her wedding day. (Carrie was actually wearing these in white when she married Big for you Sex & the City fans.) To make a long story short, the shoes were hard to find in the right shade of blue and size that the bride wanted. The bridal party all knew what the shoes meant to her so we decided to preview them at her shower…in cake form. She loved it! A very skilled baker put this together.

Now I’m hungry.

-The perennial bridesmaid

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

shameless plug

The title says it all. 

If you didn't already get the idea, I like to make things.  Wedding DIY projects usually entail invitations, thank yous, announcements, etc.  I've talked about a few projects here and there are others that I will post one of these days.  In the meantime, I have a new, ahem product line, if you will.  Call them bridesmaid cards or whatever you'd like. 

Newly engaged ladies are always so excited about asking their friends and family to be their bridesmaids.  Many times they send a card stating the obvious question.  Customizable bridesmaid cards are available on my etsy shop. 

-The perennial bridesmaid