Because They Need A Little Help, Brides Ask, “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?”

It’s so simple and so true, and even though John Lennon and Paul McCartney originally wrote and performed the song, it was Joe Cocker – and his unforgettably raspy voice – that captivated so many more with its brilliance…

Because Lord knows “With A Little Help From My Friends,” I have been able to accomplish great things, and with a little help from their friends, brides the world over have been able to accomplish the same.  For it is the love of a bridesmaid that truly displays the most exemplary, self-giving form of friendship… and that, my dear friends, can’t be substituted, exchanged or refunded for anything else.

Recently, I received a card in the mail, and because giving and receiving personal stationery is one of my life’s simplest pleasures, I ripped into it with great excitement… which only turned into greater excitement when I saw what the card contained.

Inside the hand addressed envelope was a very well executed card which had Kimmi, my beautiful cousin’s, signature style written all over it.  (You may remember Kim from the previous post All Because Two People Fell in Love: The Engagement of Ms. Kimberly Lynn.)  My amazing cousin had taken her time and “with a little help” from her Mac created a fabulous card, covered externally with pictures of her and I and the date “October 15, 2011″ and internally with photo ops of her and her love and a hand written note – first asking me to be a bridesmaid; then, giving her explanation of why it would mean so much.

The card was simple and understated – just like my amazing cousin, and it was the perfect way for her to ask.  It absolutely made my day, and because we’ll be spending the next year making sure it’s her day, I’m even more excited that she took the time to do something original.

Of course I said YES – duh! and can’t even wait to be a part of her (no doubt!) unbelievable day!

Here is her brilliant creation:

Outside of Kimmi's card :)

Inside of Kimmi's card :)

And for more “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” gifts and ideas, be sure to check out our collection of goodies

October 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm 1 comment

Google’s Gone Gaga for Katy Perry & Russell Brand… and I Like It!

For serious, how can you not love them? (photo courtesy of mtv.com)

Bells will ring!  The (uh uh uh) sun will shine!  (Woah oh oh oh!)  I’ll be his!  And he’ll be mine!  We’ll love until… the end of time!  And we’ll never be lonely any more!  Because…

(They’re allegedly) going to the Chapel (tomorrow!), and (they’re supposedly) get mare-ha-harried!

Ha!  First of all, what do you even know about that remix?  And second of all, who else could I possibly be talking about other than the sultry and often scantily clad Katy Perry and her unruly rocker of a man, Russell Brand!?!  I mean hellllooooo???  You know you’re big time when even CNN can’t resist offering all the latest gossip about your celebrity nuptials!

Tomorrow (sound horns!), the 23rd of October, is said to be the big day this celebrity power couple will say “I do” to each other in a VERY private, VERY exclusive ceremony at the Taj Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India… pause to admire, then resume below…

I know what you're thinking... what a SHANTY! Right? (photo courtesy of houseandgarden.com.au)

This – of course – being the same location they got engaged just this past New Year’s Eve.  Siiiiiiiggghhhhh, how romantic :)  And while details of the event have been kept under lock ‘n’ key, there are a few tid bits that have leaked over time.  One of which being that celebrity wedding planner to the staaahhhhs, Mindy Weiss, will be helping the couple coordinate the big day, which is fitting considering Perry allegedly wanted to channel Gwen Stefani’s bridal chic-ness, whose wedding was also planned by the lovely Ms. Weiss as well. 

photo courtesy of life.com

Another golden nugget of info is that Perry’s best friend, Rihanna, is the obvious choice for maid of honor… and I sincerely suspect Ms. RiRi will easily add some fierce beauty to the guaranteed-to-be-gorgeous wedding album!  I mean, honestly… just look at her!  Do you think Katy and Rihanna ever argue about who’s hotter?  “No, Katy, you’re so much hotter than me!”  “No way, RiRi, you’re the Caribbean Queen and sooo waaay hotter than me!”  I bet they do.

Anyhoot, back to the soon-to-be-wed love birds!  I love both Brand and Perry for a number of obvious and unobvious reasons, but I mainly can’t get enough of these two crazy kids because even with their over the top personalities and celebrity swellings, they’ve both been very consistent about keeping their wedding day an intimate and seemingly “normal” celebration for the two of them.  They truly want it to be a special day to celebrate their love!  Russell was even quoted during a Q&A in New York on the 12th of this month saying:

“We just love each other, and we want to get married in front of our friends and family and keep it very normal.  It ain’t about selling the pictures.  It ain’t about doing no pre-nup.  It’s just a normal thing.” (Russell Brand, via CNN.com)

Ha!  Love love love this!  And even though I totally know they’re being super cautious about keeping secrets… I soooo hope they share at least a few images with the rest of us who were either A) “accidently” left off the guest list or B) couldn’t afford a plane ticket to go!  Haha!

Good luck you two!  On behalf of Marilyn’s Keepsakes and myself, I’d like to wish you both the best of luck and all the happiness in the world!  And cheers to many, MANY years of ahhhh to the mazing!  Lord knows y’all deserve it :)

October 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

Divine Destination: You Name the Price, They Do the Work

photo courtesy of hawaiiwedding.net

Brides looking to do destination weddings on a budget have one more reason to cheer… for Paradise Maui Weddings is here!  As the first “name your own price” wedding company, Paradise Maui Weddings is looking to create a once in a lifetime experience for all of their once in a lifetime brides. 

With wedding packages starting as low as $400 and ranging to as high as your budget will allow, there’s really no limit to what you can do with your destination wedding besides the ones set by yourselves.  Their packages include everything from in room hair and makeup professionals, authentic Hawaiian floral bouquet and lei arrangements, professionally edited photos and videos, as well as limousine services, pre-wedding planning, in-cred-i-ble ceremony locations and on-site assistance.

Seems pretty much perfect, right?  It’s no wonder this type of event planning is more appropriate than ever considering the number of destination weddings – even during this economic plummet – have been on the rise for the past few years.  While most couples think of destination weddings as an expensive splurge, it’s not always the case.

In fact, brides and grooms doing the destination scene more often than not report they actually save on overseas excursions!  Because both the guest list, as well as the bottom line details are often cut for destination weddings, the final pricing can be significantly lower than the more traditional, hometown honey “do’s.”  And according to “not-from-around-here” newlyweds it’s easier and more fiscally responsible to travel for nuptials than to stay at home and throw a big friends and family bash.

You know what?  I’ll take their word on it, because Maui seems like a more than ahhhmazing place to set your wedding scene!  So, if any of my beautimous brides-to-be out there are planning on diving head first into one of these destination dreams, don’t forget where you got the idea… and feel free to send said inspiration station an invite!  I love Maui!  Haha :)   

And don’t forget, here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, we have all the perfect Beach & Destination Wedding Finishing Touches to really make your day a dream come true!

October 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Roll Out the Red Carpet & Give Your Out-O-Town Guests the Very Best

photo courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com

While wedding guest lists range from very intimate to very immense, generally, there are few certainties every bride and groom can count on.  One of those certainties is out of town guests. 

More often than not, it’s customary for couples-to-be to block off a certain amount of rooms in at least a couple different hotels – pending the amount of out ‘o’ towners – near the ceremony or reception sites to alleviate some of the stress of extra travel in a foreign town.  Not only will this will help ease some of the hustle and bustle they may experience, but it will also help keep all your favorite travelers within the comforts of each other’s familiar faces.  **Be sure to check with your local hotels, as most will offer special deals for wedding parties who book… which is ideal for guests looking to save a little cheddar after travelling so far just for you :)

And even though the mileage may change and the distances travelled may differ from guest to guest, it’s important to make each and every one of them feel warm and welcome when they arrive!  After all, they’ve come a long way to celebrate your big day; so, you want to make sure to show your gratitude!   

One way to do this is by greeting each of your guests with a welcome basket of goodies!  Take your time to fill it up with fresh fruit, bottle waters, festive candies, luxury spa items or even some local cuisine or coupons.  Some brides and grooms opt to personalize each basket with custom items depending on the guest it’s going to, while others simply fill the goody bags with the same, “thinking of you” essentials. 

You’ll need to work with your local hotel to make sure the gift baskets get delivered correctly, and be sure to include a personalized note from you and yours welcoming their arrival and thanking them for being a part of your special day!  Because while the gesture may seem little, I promise you, it will go a long way, and all your out ‘o’ town guests will feel all the more special you remembered them!

October 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

Side ‘O’ Fries 4 That Bridal Shake: Hong Kong McDonald’s Is Now Saying I Do!

photo courtesy of ampedasia.com

That’s right, kids!  Looks like several of Hong Kong’s “Golden Arches” have upped the ante for wedding vendors everywhere!  We’re talking Happy Meal menus, Big Mac attacks and apple pie tower cakes (oh my!)!  According to msnbc.com news reports:

 If McDonald’s has its way, the traditional white wedding arch will be replaced with the golden ones.  Some of the fast-food chain’s restaurants in Hong Kong are now allowing customers to “supersize” their order to include McNuptials.  (today.msnbc.msn.com)

And all I can say is, thank GOODness my Mister and I have already taken the plunge… ’cause you already KNOW this would be all over his radar like white on rice!  Twenty-seven years old, and the man would still pick the entire McDonald’s menu over everything else.  (What this says about my cooking shall remain unmentioned… however, I’m guessing assumptions are already being made.  Eh.)

Anyhoot, the world’s most recognized restaurant – ha, there’s just something about calling Mickey D’s a “restaurant” that will always be funny to me – is officially open for wedding business and already booking January 2011 weddings!!!  Offering an appetizing spread of Happy Meal favors, apple pie tower wedding cakes, their full menu of meal deals and even party balloon dresses, Ronald and his crew have pulled out all the stops… well, and by “all the stops,” I really mean doing the same stops, mayhaps with just a few more stairs :)

What would really impress me is – however – is if they would offer different levels of packages.  Let’s say Small, Medium, Large and Supersize???  Supersize, of course, containing the option of a Ronald McDonald minister!  Yep, who’s with me!?!?! <waits for high fives>…<still waiting>… Alright, forget it!  <high fives self>  Yes!

However, there are a few things you may want to consider before booking your flights and jumping on board this dream wedding scenario.  Chief among them??  Exclusivity.  Even though Hong Kong’s Golden Arches are open for wedding business, they are not closing their doors to the rest of the world.  So tourist Two Buck Chuck and his sweet lady friend, Sideburns Susie, just may have a cameo in the wedding album while they get their order on during your vows.  Just saying…

Also, McDonald’s is a family establishment lacking a liquor license; therefore, NO ALCOHOL is allowed on the premise.  Sorry, crazy beer guzzling uncles, you’ll have to settle for strawberry shakes instead.  Other reports also suggest substituting the champagne toasts with soda… Classy!

So, if any of you are planning this for your wedded bliss, feel free to invite me!  And with all the money you’ll be saving on catering and rental equipment, you can even fly me out!  Haha… but for reals :)

October 15, 2010 at 11:58 am 2 comments

9 Alternatives 2 Think Outside The Guest Book Box

photo courtesy of theannotatedlife.wordpress.com

Because most of the wedding accessories you purchase for the big day won’t ever be seen or heard from again, it’s important to keep the ones that stick around as a true representation of your life and love.  After all, bouquets will wilt; invitations will be thrown out; food will go bad; bridesmaid dresses will be forgetten and even your dress may be “trashed,” but one item every couple puts out in the hopes of recording and creating memories is the quintessential <trumpets sound!> wedding guest book.

Traditional guest books involve your wedding guests simply signing their names along the dotted line, but this kind of keepsake leaves little for brides and grooms to reminisce about.  So, why not make this pre-ceremony tradition a little more memorable?  Here are some fun ways to renovate your typical guest book, while creating beautifully unique memories to last a lifetime.

Instant Photo Book. Test your guests’ photography skills with an instant photo guest book.  Simply place a Polaroid camera and unique guest book in a designated area at your reception and watch as your guest book transforms into a fun photo booth.  Guests can shake the photo dry, slide into a slot on the page, and leave some musings or memories.  It’ll be your most favorite picture book keepsake ever!  **Works great when paired with a Photo Booth Back Drop**

photo courtesy of stephaniewilliamsphotography.com

Envelope Book.  Fitted with lots of tiny envelopes, this book allows your family and friends leave little note cards full of their best well wishes, memories or wisdom.  Read one wish each day to savor your newly-wedded bliss, or dive right in to all of them at once.  No matter what you choose to do one thing is for certain, you’ll have priceless words and memories to treasure for eternity :)

photo courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Thumbprint Tree.  Perfect for a DIY savvy bride, these thumbprint trees are a fun activity that will help guests feel welcome.  Set up a large tree graphic that has only branches, no leaves. Your guests will then press their prints in an ink color of your choice and “leaf” their autograph.  Pun intended.  Couples are sure to frame this piece as a work of art for their abode.

photos courtesy of thesweetestoccasion.com and ultimatebridalmag.com

Autograph Frame.  Rather than just adding their signature to a long-winded list of others that came before, have guests autograph a spacious border matte that can then be placed around your favorite wedding photo.  This will serve the dual purpose of picture frame guest book.

photo courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Wishing Tree. The ultimate display of your wedding guests’ affections, this pint-sized tree will be drenched in floating wish cards by the end of the night, making it the most stylish and versatile guest book alternative… not to mention, economical and earth friendly!

photo courtesy of herecomestheguide.com

Painted Canvas.  For the most inventive guest book art, many couples are providing paints and canvases that are sectioned off into squares, as a ceremony sign in. Each guest gets the opportunity to get imaginative with their square, and the newlyweds receive unique pieces of art to remind them of their creative guests and special day.  

photo courtesy of buhdoop.blogspot.com

Time Capsule.  For twosomes willing to wait, the time capsule makes a truly thoughtful keepsake to be savored.  Guests fill out their wishes for the couple and tidbits of advice to place in a small treasure chest, along with a selection of wedding keepsakes – such as shoes, cards, toasting flutes, etc.  The box will be put away until the pair’s first wedding anniversary, where they will open their chest to find some truly valuable treasure.

photo courtesy of theunicorndiaries.com

Signature Vase.  Sure to be an essential accessory for any couple’s home décor, have guests sign a ceramic vase as a long-lasting memento of the special day.  Then, fill it with fresh flowers of your choice throughout the year, as a permanently fresh reminder of the day you said “I do.”

photos courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Vintage Typewriter.  Popular among retro inspired nuptials, vintage typewriters will complement the old-time theme of any ceremony.  Have guests type out their insight on matured paper; just make sure to leave a few simple instructions, as many of your loved ones may have never operated one before! 

photos courtesy of onestylishbride.com

October 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm 2 comments

Wedding Tested / Bride Approved: Personalized Aisle Runners 4 Your Big Day!

My dear ladies in waiting, it’s time to roll out the red carpet (literally!) on your wedding day entrance… and here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes we’re oh so happy to help!

Because weddings are transitioning more into personalized events, rather than traditional affairs, it’s key for brides and grooms everywhere to find their ideal blend of modern day style and time honored taste.  And there’s no better way to do this than by putting your own personal spin onto wedding’s most traditional accessories.

<Enter: The Aisle Runner>

As your guests all anxiously await your arrival, set the stage with a personal note and choose an aisle runner that has been made custom for your newlywed debut!  Not sure what I mean?  Well, then, let me introduce our hostess with the most’est, Ms. Fabulous herself, Adrienne, as she gives you the dish on our latest YouTube Channel video on Personalized Aisle Runners:

October 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

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