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Sunday, March 29, 2015

To Pin or Not to Pin

To Pin or Not to Pin

Some people dream about their weddings from the day they are born.  Some people have had bridal magazine subscriptions since they could read.  Some of us have never thought about what we would want in our wedding before we were engaged.  No matter which category you fall into Pinterest can be a great help to us all.

Before Pinterest, you would have to purchase bridal magazines (which are mostly ads) and dog ear pages.  Then if you were really ambitious, create a board with everything you might want, which you could share with your vendors to help see your vision.  Today no scissors, glue, tape or paper cuts are needed.

You can now peruse Pinterest and tag anything that catches your fancy.  Then when you find your vendors share your board with them.  They can see your overall choices and well as the choices that relate to their part of the event.  You will always have the info at your fingertips on your phone, tablet or laptop,  which is so much lighter to carry with you than a bulky board or binder.

When I created my board I started by looking at one item at a time, that way the choices are grouped closely to each other.  You will start to see patterns develop based on what you are pinning.  It will also leave you lasting links to things you may want to refer back to, instead of playing the what was the name of that website game.  

My wedding was 3,000 miles away from where I live so my board was a lifesaver.  Every vendor was able to take my pins and translate them into exactly what we had in mind.  Below you will see some of my pins and the pictures of what my vendors created.  They are spot on and even better than the pins in many instances.







Created by Merry & Married Meg

A couple of hints for pinning:
  • If you get a little too pin happy, go back in and take out what you may have changed your mind about.  
  • Follow Pinners who have similar ideas as you, they will then show up in your feed so you don’t have to search as long or hard for what you are looking for.
  • Remember, that not all things on Pinterest can be duplicated exactly or are feasible.  Pinterest is an idea board and not always a reality board.

I cannot stress enough how helpful it can be in visualizing your dream and making it become a reality.

Merry & Married Meg

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It's All a Matter of Money.

One of the hardest things about planning a wedding is the money.  Some of us get help from family and friends and others of us are on our own when it comes to paying for our weddings.  No matter the case, make sure that you are truly sure how much you want to spend.

Yes, it is a once in a lifetime event, but you don’t want to spend the rest of your life trying to pay it back.  When deciding your budget make sure that you will be able to afford the payments over the course of the planning.  Some of your vendors will have a payment plan which allows you to pay most of the total before the actual event.  This helps alleviate the pain on the day of the wedding.  

When working with your budget there are a few things you should keep in mind.  There will be many small incidental costs towards the end that can add up and put you over budget.  A couple hundred here and there may not seem like much at the time, but four or five of those and you can be in trouble.  

Don’t forget you will need to tip your vendors.  Those tips can be a percentage of the total spent with the company or a flat amount based on the service that is provided.  The tips  will depend on your overall budget, but no matter what, they will still have an impact.  
Tipping Chart Provided by Just Save the Date Wedding Planning

Pick the three things that are most important to you and make those your splurges.  For us the music, food and photography were the top three.  If we were going to need to make compromises they would not be in those categories.  Keep in mind the overall experience is going to be the most memorable part of the wedding, most people are not going to remember your linens or choice of chairs.
Great Events Catering - Photo by Maggie Stolzberg Photography

If you are crafty or have plenty of time you can also save money by making some things yourself.  Don’t forget if you have willing and able friends they could help your budget too.  My best friend has the most amazing handwriting, so when it came to the invites he was more than willing to help address the envelopes. He was the Man of Honor after all.  Those handmade details with their love and time will mean so much more.
Escort Card and Menu by Me - Photo by Maggie Stolzberg Photography
I feel the best thing is to set your budget below what you are actually willing to spend.  That way when things pop up you have a buffer.  Most of all remember you want to enjoy your wedding not spend the planning and day of trying to justify the money that you spent.  No one can have fun when they are stressing about funds.

Merry & Married Meg

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rings are tricky things

Rings or a version of them can be linked back to before the Egyptians.  Each time a ring is presented no matter its position in history it has meant a binding agreement between two individuals.  The diamond ring is a relatively new concept. In 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy using a ring set with diamonds in the shape of an M.  DeBeers was the company that made the idea of a diamond the gold standard, no pun intended.

There have been many conversations lately swirling around where people have been complaining about the ring their fiance gave them.  It is not the "traditional" ring they expected. This frustrates me that people are disappointed in a symbol of love.  Even "The Simpsons" broached the subject when Marge and Homer got engaged with an onion ring.  No matter what your ring may be, gold, silver, platinum, diamond, ruby or sapphire it is meant to be a representation of your love and commitment to each other.

Enough about the history and people's proclivities, let's get down to what I have learned.  My husband knows my style very well and would have had no problem picking out what would be the perfect ring without help.  

However, he and our friend who is a jeweler and whose store we frequent did a little detective work.  We wandered in one day to visit the owner and while I was there he showed me his "new" line of rings.  He pointed out his favorite to me and asked me which was my favorite.  The owner even asked me if there was somethings I would change about certain rings.  It seemed a little odd at the time but I went with the flow.  Long story short on the fateful night of our engagement my husband presented me with the ring that I liked best.  

The moral of the story is if someone, anyone asks you what you think of certain styles of rings or a particular ring you must be completely honest.  You never know who might be in on helping pick your ring.  Either way remember it is a symbol of your love and future together.

As soon as you have said yes and put the ring on make sure it fits perfect.  If it is super loose get it adjusted as soon as possible, you don't want to lose it.  If it is slightly loose, keep it that way.  When you stack rings on top of each other they tend to fit tighter.  

Call your home owners or renters insurance right away.  You fiancĂ© doesn't have to tell you how much was spent on the ring but it definitely needs to be revealed to your  insurance agent.  This will protect you in case of loss or theft.  Not the most exciting part of being engaged but very, very important.

Lastly, no matter how weird it feels to give someone your hand when they ask to see the ring do not take it off and hand it to the person wishing to see it.  At a dinner party once a guest asked to see my ring.  Since we were sitting across the table from each other I handed it to her.  She proceeded to wear it for a half hour.  It was probably one of the most uncomfortable half hours of my life.  

I know that was a lot of information for one post, but I believe it can be helpful in many different ways.  Engagement and everything that goes with it can feel like walking a tight rope at times, but it is absolutely worth it.

Merry & Married Meg

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

You're Engaged . . . Now What?

Getting engaged is a roller coaster of emotions.  There is the feeling of surprise, the giddiness of saying yes, and then the adrenaline that follows.  You are ecstatic and want to tell the world,  but WAIT!

Surprised, yes!
I was totally underdressed for the fancy restaurant but,
hey I had no idea what was going to happen.
I thought the staff was just super friendly.
My Sutro Tower t-shirt will forever remind me of that night.

The moment you say yes you will want to shout it from the rooftops, but are you ready for the barrage of questions that will follow?  Here are the most asked questions I ran into:

  • How did he ask?
  • Did you know he was going to ask?
  • What does the ring look like?
  • Do you know what kind of dress you want?
  • When is the wedding?
Yes, you read that last one correctly.  WHEN IS THE WEDDING?  Hello, I just got engaged how am I supposed to know!

Believe it of not that was the most asked question I encountered.  There really is no way to answer that.  Not many people out there have a venue lined up before the question is popped, so not many people can answer that ridiculousness. 

I think people ask these kinds of questions because after you say congratulations it is hard to keep the conversation going in that same vain.  Your friends and family are happy for you, but they are at a loss for words.  When things start to head in the manner of an interrogation, explain that you are glad that you got to share the news with them and you have other people that you would like to tell so you will call back again soon when more of the details are settled.  By explaining that you will check back you give yourself and the person you are sharing with have an out.

The greatest advice I can give for the newly engaged is take at least a couple hours to enjoy yourselves and the love that you share.  Appreciate your relationship and revel in each other's company before you pick up that phone.

Make sure you are ready to share and answer many, many questions before you open the flood gates.  Not only will questions follow but so will opinions and advice.  Some things people tell you will be helpful and others will not, so take everyone's advice and use what YOU think will help you.  

Merry & Married Meg

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just Married

So the world's most inconsistent blogger is back again.  My love of San Francisco and my now husband have kept me quite occupied since the last time I wrote.  I think it might be just about time to start the blog up again.  Why you might ask?

Well, planning a wedding is stressful and I learned a lot along the way.  When I got engaged my mind started to spiral and I felt as if there wasn't much help out there.  There are tons of websites trying to sell you the things you "need" for you wedding but not much advice.  So I am going to start the blog that I wish was out there a year and a half ago.  I am hoping to write in chronological order, but if I forget something important I will add it in when I remember.

Along the way you I will introduce you to sites, my vendors, and even private looks at bits and pieces of my wedding.  Whether you are engaged, married or single I am sure there will be something for everyone after all a wedding is a giant party.


Married & Merry Meg

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Miss R's Amazing Adventures

I know I have not written much lately.  That is because things will be changing very soon.  This blogger is moving from one coast to the other.

I am currently working on a blog for my students called Miss R's Amazing Adventures.  It will chronicle everything that a move of that magnitude entails.  There are even fish at the top of the page that kids can feed by clicking in the pond.

I will post here more of an adult version of what it great in the states that I visit.  Stay tuned for more posts.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Team Sparkle Pony

This is the second time that Team Sparkle Pony will be walking in the San Francisco AIDS walk.  Since our fundraising has begun we have been in the top 25 and were asked to write a biography of the team.  Below is what we submitted.  If the story touches you, please donate at the link here.

Team Sparkle Pony is small but powerful.  It is compromised of three friends: Jordan, Megan and Mike.  The team formed the same week that we all became mutual friends.

Last April, on my annual spring break trip to San Francisco from New Jersey the idea to participate in the San Francisco AIDS walk came to fruition.  Jordan and I were meeting for coffee when we commented on the AIDS walk banners flying overhead. 
One of us said, “We should do that this year.” The other responded, “Yeah, we should.”  Of course over coffee we started thinking of names and fundraising ideas.  With us, when the ball gets rolling there is no stopping it!

We mentioned the idea to our new friend Mike and he jumped right in.  We set the lofty goal of raising $1,000 a piece and came within $25 of our team goal.  The money was raised in many different ways.

Each of us e-mailed every one we knew and sent reminders when ever we could.  We also used facebook to bombard the internet with our support requests.  Personal thanks were e-mailed and hand written for every donation made.  Our perseverance paid off, we started to see the temperature go up on all of our thermometers.  Friends, friends of friends, students and their families, and people we did not even know began to donate.  Every day this team of three got stronger and sparklier.

For our final push to reach our goal we hosted a fundraising event with a raffle of locally donated gift certificates.  We had the support of the event’s location, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and a radio station.  Other walkers came out to help us at our fundraiser even though they were fundraising on their own.  We even sold our team t-shirts off our backs. 

This year we are going to reach that goal of $3,000 or more.  Even though our team is located on two coasts, we won’t give up.  We don’t raise money for anyone in particular, but for all of mankind.  We each know someone who has been battling this disease and want them to have all the support that we can give. 

Team Sparkle Pony is stronger and sparklier than ever.  A great team name and t-shirt can get you far but amazing teammates get you ever further.

Team Captain of Sparkle Pony