December’s Guest Blogger: Catherine Myers

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Catherine is a Natchez  native currently living in Monroe, LA. Check out her post on her “Petal Paintings”. This involves preserving flowers from your wedding or special occasion in an art form!

 

 

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Being a romantic at heart, I have always dreamed of the day when I will tie the knot. Even though that day has not come for me yet, I have found my way to help with others that have.

Wedding days are filled with happy memories for everyone involved. Brides especially cherish these memories, which leads to, of course, many keepsakes. There are many things held dear to the heart from these days, but one thing that is so special to many brides are their bouquets.

Bouquets though can sometimes be tricky to handle over time though, and this is where I can help.   There are many options available to preserve these special flowers. From shadow boxes to pressing the flowers in old books in the attic, we have all seen these flowers sit there. Well why not turn them into something beautiful, unique, and of course one of a kind? Turn them into a work of art.

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Being an artist, I pride myself on the satisfaction of my clients. If they do not love their painting, I have done something wrong. And being trusted with these flowers so near and dear to people’s hearts has humbled me beyond words.

Every “Petal Painting” is unique and can be designed to be a bride’s vision of her day or just to match her house. They can be large or small, and are also budget friendly. Preserving your memories is a must, so make it fun!

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Another plus for brides are my crosses! They make the perfect hostess gift for any occasion. And with an order of ten or more, each cross is $10!

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email with any questions involving Petal Paintings or hostess gifts!

Catherine Myers — myerscc@warhawks.ulm.edu — 601-431-4813

http://www.facebook.com/CMdesigns15

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Christmas Gift Guide (For your fellow)

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The Gift of Reading:

ebooks are great! But I love giving and receiving an actual sure-enough book. What about a biography of one of his favorite political figures? Or on the lighter side, a favorite celebrity. Does your fellow have a knack in the kitchen? What about a cookbook that he would love. Try a coffee table book that is filled with his favorite interest — maybe it’s travel, cars, or fashion.

My favorite gift to give is one we can benefit from too 😉

  • Tickets to a concert, professional ballgame, or comedy show
  • Date night certificate: Complete with a gift card to your favorite restaurant and movie tickets
  • Couples Spa Day

 

The Gift of Giving:

Does your man have a charity or organization that is special to him? Make a donation in his honor.

Gifts Surrounding a Theme:

  • New tennis shoes and a Fitbit
  • Netflix or HBO subscription and pajamas
  • Mens Health magazine subscription and gym membership
  • Favorite drink and corresponding glassware; tumblers, wine glasses, pilsner glasses, etc.
  • Fabulous new tie and dress socks
  • Cologne and body wash
  • New luggage and travel scale (that 50 lb minimum is no joke)
  • Are you settling into your new home together? What about a new comfy chair dedicated to him. Add a personalized throw for an extra touch!

Artwork:

Maybe your man has a favorite artist or already has a collection of art that you can add to. Art is such a personal gift that can mean so much. Favorite art idea: Vintage poster of places you have traveled to together. Check out this Etsy shop to see what I mean: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WallArty

An Oldie but a Goodie:

New Clothes! The way to spice up this gift is by purchasing an item that isn’t your run-of-the-mill new dress shirt. This is the time to branch out and buy your man something that he doesn’t already have. Maybe a bold new shoe, or a fabulous cardigan. Even a wonderfully structured coat could do the trick ,and oh so fancy. The sky is the limit!

Favorite Stocking Stuffers:

Their fav foods, travel size cologne, fun socks, favorite movies, shaving kit, gift card to local car detailer, boot/hand warmers. Stockings are always my favorite to open!!

Last but not least:

A favorite childhood toy is always sure to bring laughs and nostalgia (action figures, cars, puzzles, an ant farm, you name it!)

 

Hope this guide gave you a little inspiration! What are some of your favorite gift ideas??

 

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Thank-You Notes

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Begin with thanking them for the gift given. 

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith,

Thank you for the beautiful platter. It is the perfect complement to our dining room.

Next as all Southern girls do, let’s gab! 

The body of the note is where we get into specific details of our gratefulness for the gift received. Below is a quote from a favorite book of mine.

“A note from a Southern girl never has a fill-in-the-blank feel. There is nothing generic about it. A Southern girl has to stop herself from gushing more than Old Faithful. If she is writing a thank-you note for a toaster, she doesn’t just say thank you. She tells you every little ‘ol thing she’s ever toasted in it or is likely to toast in it.”

Being Dead is No Excuse

by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays

Side Note: If this book isn’t a part of your life — Run, don’t walk, to your nearest book store. Seriously, this book has me belly laughing from beginning to end.

Look to the future.

We look forward to seeing you at family Christmas this year. (Or whatever occasion you will be seeing them at next)

Lastly, reaffirm your appreciation.

Thank you again for such a wonderful gift. We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness during this exciting time.

or

We felt so blessed to have you there celebrating with us on our big day. Thank you for making the trip and again, for the lovely gift.

Sincerely, — With love, — Many Thanks, (Select a closing that is most appropriate for the receiver)

Jane and Jack


A few tips:

  • It is best to mail Thank You notes within 3 months of receiving the gift. The sooner the better for the giver and receiver. (Thank you Emily Post)
  • Phone calls and emails are great, but not when it comes to Thank-You notes. A handwritten note is the way to go.
  • When thanking someone for a gift of money, rather than including the monetary amount thank them for their generosity.
  • Who receives a thank-you note?
    • Anyone who gives you a gift (Wedding, Shower, Engagement, Etc.)
    • Anyone who hosts a shower/party/get together for you (Each host or hostess should be thanked individually)
    • Anyone who has gone the extra mile. (Friends who have helped with the stuffing and mailing of invitations, assisted with out-of-town guest, helped in the planning process, assisted the day of, etc.)
    • If any vendors or people you hire exceed expectations it is quite nice to send them  a thank you as well
    • Be sure to thank your attendants for being a part of your big day and for all of their support during this special time
    • Lastly don’t forget to thank those who are hosting the wedding be it your parents or whomever. They’re rockstars!

For more information on etiquette check out Emily Post and/or Amy Vanderbilt’s books!

{Financially} Planning Your Big Day

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The Month of Thanks is here! And we are thankful for this wonderful post by this month’s Guest Blogger:

Stephanie Ferris!

Stephanie is coming all the way from Dallas with tips for your Big Day Budget! This budget savvy gal has some great advice – even if you aren’t planning a wedding we can all use financial tips! Especially with the holiday season approaching!


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It’s official—you’re engaged!

The day every girl dreams of is finally on your agenda, but first, the planning. Where do you even begin?! So many details, so little time.

Luckily, you’ve got a wealth of resources to utilize to make sure your wedding day is absolutely flawless. However, that doesn’t mean a budget should be the last thing on your to-do list. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details and lose track of the dollars when planning for any major event, especially something as important as your wedding day.

I recently discovered I’m a fairly logical shopper to the point where it can be annoying (to others and myself). Once I find something I really like, I must reason, pro-con the item, and scrutinize it completely before purchasing. If said item passes several rounds of evaluations, it’s mine. I believe my transformation into a logical shopper is a direct result of now working a full-time job and learning financial responsibility one paycheck at a time. I’ve taken my newfound respect for budgeting as motivation when developing a few tips for all you soon-to-be brides to consider! Take a look…

A few things any budget-conscious bride should consider:

  1. Remember- It’s only one day.

That’s right…it really is only one day. There, I said it. I said the statement I would dread to hear if I was the bride-to-be. Who wants to be reminded that the most perfect day is only one day? I know, sorry. I argue this point because 1) it’s the point less argued, and 2) you’ll thank me later.

Keeping in mind the fact that your wedding day is only one day of your entire life can help keep things (read: expenses) in perspective. Maybe instead of maxing the budget you and your family have agreed on, you could stay under budget and save the rest? Maybe you could use the rest of that money to go on an awesome 1st anniversary trip? To buy a new house? Maybe a new car? The possibilities are endless. Money not spent now can be money to save and spend later!

  1. Think about it…is this detail really worth splurging?

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve gained a new perspective on things (things = finances). My new approach for my favorite hobby (shopping) is what I like to call—Save or Splurge? “Should I go the cheaper route and save on this so I can splurge later on something I really want?” These are thoughts streaming through my mind while on the prowl at NorthPark.

I’ve learned when saying “It’s worth it” is okay to validate a splurge and when being a little more economical is the way to go.

There are so many decisions to make regarding all the details of a wedding, yet only so much money available to spend. Taking the time to consider the areas to narrow down expenses will allow for more room to splurge on your must-haves for the big day. For example, narrowing down the guest list can be a tremendous cost-saver; you can use the money saved to splurge for the band you were dying to have instead of a DJ. Believe it or not, a destination wedding is a great way to actually stay within the budget by allowing you to create a memorable experience while sparing the expenses of a huge wedding with an overloaded guest list. And, lastly, another way to lessen expenses would be to have the ceremony and reception all at one location. By doing this, you leave room in the budget to splurge on other details…maybe those floral arrangements you just can’t live without can go from being a dream to a reality! Prioritizing your spending will allow you to maximize your budget for the things that matter most to you for your big day.

  1. Go ahead, pick your “Top 3”.

Top 3 MUST-HAVES for your wedding…what are they? Write them down. Tell your parents, your fiancé, your bridesmaids, the lady next to you at Target…everyone! Make it known. You’re more likely to stick to the Top 3 method if everyone knows those are nonnegotiable. If you make your top 3 but don’t share them (and if you’re anything like me), you’ll probably end up with the Top 10 must-haves…and then, we’ve gotten nowhere.

For the details that aren’t identified in your Top 3, there’s your chance to fully leverage the ability to save on those expenses. By sparing expenses for details not in your Top 3, you’re allowing yourself to splurge for your Top 3 if necessary.

Truly evaluate what the three most important things for your special day would be—include your fiancé in this one, too! Nothing, no matter how extravagant or how simple, will change the specialness of this day. As long as you don’t lose sight of the real significance of this day, the details are just the icing on top.

  1. Do not compare.

I saved the best tip for last. Don’t compare. Ever. Anything, really…but especially this!

Allow your time to be extraordinary. What your friends have done, what you’ve seen on Pinterest, or what you see on TLC should not be used as a standard to measure your own wedding festivities. Don’t feel like you have to max out the budget in order to have the best wedding among your friends and acquaintances. It isn’t a competition. If you plan your wedding trying to beat the competition, you’ll likely end up spending a lot more money for a lot of details that have very little meaning to you in the grand scheme of things. Make your time unique, and most importantly, make it about just the two of you. Budget your finances for the things you want at your wedding to ensure it’s perfect for you.

Coco Chanel said it best, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

Congratulations to you and your future hubby! Now, go forth and spend responsibly.

-Stephanie Ferris

Couples Shower Ideas!

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Cocktail Party:

Tell your friends to grab their best LBD. I’m thinking passed hors d’oeuvres. Champagne flutes and a string quartet. This party is best suited for those couples who like to mingle amongst friends while dressed in their finest attire.


Progressive Dinner Party:

This party is sure to be a good time. Although more logistics are involved, it will surely be worth it. Grab a party bus or party barge and hit the town. By land: Have a bus or limousine fleet pick up your guest at a designated location. It’s time to begin the journey! First stop at your favorite venue for cocktails or a hostesses house who makes a mean martini, next it’s time for an appetizer or two, and lastly head back to the original destination for the final course and dessert! By water: Friends with pontoons boats? Great! Follow along the same time line as above, but stop by lake houses instead!


Themed Shower

Do  you and your fiancé love a certain holiday? Let’s have a halloween party! Zombie Bride and Groom, is a must! Do y’all share a love for Mexican or Mediterainan food? Everyone dress in their best sombrero or dress like you’re headed to the greek isles and be ready to feast on your favorite dishes!


Themed Gifts

Do you have a passion for baking? Are you marrying a “Mr. Fix It”? Have a kitchen and tools theme party! All guest will bring an item for the bride and groom centered around this theme! Do you both love to travel? Ask guest to get you prepared for your honeymoon! I’m thinking new luggage! Do you love decorating for the holidays, but in need of new decor? Have a holiday theme — fingers crossed for a wreath for every season!


On throwing the perfect bachelorette party for the bride-to-be in your life:

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We have an exciting new post for all those looking to plan a bachelorette trip!

October’s Guest Blogger: Molly Benbrook!

Don’t miss this post on planning the perfect bachelorette trip. Molly, a sensational trip planner, has great tips for all you MOH’s and Bridesmaids!

Enjoy her post on hosting a bachelorette bash!


The main rule to remember when you are faced with the task of planning a bachelorette party is that there is no “wrong” way to do it so have fun with it! Every bride is unique so this is a chance to really get creative and plan a party (or trip) tailored to her interests and personality. The following are guidelines that I have found helpful when planning a bachelorette party.

A good place to start is getting in touch with the bride and discussing her wishes for the event. After touching base with her, it’s very important to communicate with the other bridesmaids and people attending the bachelorette party. Establishing an open pathway of communication early on allows everyone to get on the same page about scheduling and budgets. Before the location ideas get churning in full force, it’s important to pick a spot that will be special for the bride while financially feasible for all involved. If budget or scheduling is an issue, consider possibly having a night out near home rather than a weekend getaway. You could also check out Airbnb for a cheaper lodging alternative than a hotel. Additionally, you could consider a location that is driving distance rather than flying to save a few bucks on transportation costs. After location is decided upon, early commitment from all guests is encouraged in order to make booking lodging and activities in advance possible.

When considering activities, take a moment to consider some of the bride’s hobbies. Is she the ultimate foodie? Maybe consider a cooking class or a food tour. Does she love to be pampered? Take her to a spa. Does she love to put her toes in the sand? A beach trip could be a great option for this bride. Does she have a taste for wine/beer? Perhaps consider a winery/brewery tour. Like I previously mentioned, include the other guests while planning as much as possible! The bride chose those ladies for a reason and incorporating everyone’s ideas can offer a fresh perspective that you might not have considered.

The key to organizing an unforgettable bachelorette party is to give yourself plenty of time to plan. If you are planning a weekend getaway, I’d recommend at least 3 to 4 months to allow yourself a smooth planning process, leaving room for changes and any unforeseen problems. After the location, transportation, and major activity plans are confirmed, it’s time to focus on the details, such as reservations, invitations, and party accessories. It’s a good idea to make reservations at restaurants early in order to establish a secure itinerary but don’t forget to call the week before to confirm. Try to get invitations sent out at least 1 month before the event. (A website I particularly like for invitations is Zazzle).

Ultimately, it is crucial to remember that the trip is about the bride and making her feel like a queen so plan early, always keep her in mind, and pack your party pants for a memorable bachelorette party!

Best of luck!

Molly

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A few pics from my BachBash! Molly and my sweet bridesmaids sure know how to make a girl feel special!! Memories of a lifetime!!

Meaning of Name

à deux:

  1. being between two persons in an intimate relationship.

dinner à deux

  1. intimately with just two persons present.

dined by candlelight à deux


Planning weddings now more than ever requires a village. But at the end of the day the most important thing to remember is the wishes of the couple. These two people who have chosen to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of love and happiness are my center focus. Out of all the other souls on this earth they have selected one another as partners to share in the good times and the bad.

With that in mind, I began the process of selecting a name for my business. And so the thinking  began — something original. Nothing sing-songy. A name with meaning. Does it appeal visually. Something that leaves an impression.

And…

After much thought and brainstorming I came upon à deux. It met all of my criteria and I had the feeling of satisfaction when I discovered it. It gave me the “this is the right one” feeling.

My job is to ensure the couple is happy and we make the day everything that they have ever wanted. So what better name for a wedding planning business than à deux. And also it’s French, isn’t everything more romantic in French?

If you’re a recently engaged couple looking for help in planning your big day be sure to give me a call!

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