New Wedding Rule: Abandon the Rules

We’ve all been ingrained with the traditional dos and don’ts of a traditional American wedding. Since you’ve been engaged, I’m sure that even complete strangers have been giving you advice on what you should do on your wedding day. All of the rules, traditions and antiquated etiquette centered around weddings can be enough to make your head spin! Keep it all in perspective, though, this is a day to celebrate you and your husband-to-be.  Ultimately, the celebration should reflect you and who you are as a couple. There are some rules that you definitely can (and should!) break in the pursuit of wedding-day happiness and here are a few.


1)    You don’t have to wear white on your wedding day.

Over the past several seasons, there have been and endless parade of colored and even patterned wedding dresses coming down the runways at Bridal Fashion Week. You’re not confined to the white-ivory scale by the fashion world anymore, so if you want to wear a floral patterned gown, go for it! It’s all about what makes you feel like you’re glowing on your wedding day.

non-tradtional wedding gowns

Left to Right:  Modern-Trousseau, Claire Pettibone, Vera Wang, Douglas Hannant  

2)    You don’t have to choose diamonds.

There are many reasons why a bride might not want a diamond engagement ring or wedding band, from cost, to social conscience, to personal preference. When Kate Middleton became engaged to Prince William, he gave her Princess Diana’s 18-carat blue sapphire ring, ushering in a new era for engagement jewelry. If you prefer a diamond-like look without the cost, a Moissanite stone could be an option for you. If you’d like a colored stone without having to sacrifice size for a fancy colored diamond, rubies, emeralds and sapphires of all colors have become wildly popular choices that you too, can choose.  It’s a piece of jewelry that you’ll wear for the rest of your life, so follow your heart!

non-tradiitional engagement rings

Top Row Left to Right: Yellow Sapphire, Emerald Blue Nile, Garnet Blue Nile, Opal Blue Nile
Bottom: London Blue Topaz White Sapphire Blue Nile, Morganite Diamond Rose Gold Blue Nile, Aquamarine Rose Gold

3)    Not everyone gets a plus-one.

Traditionally, any guest over the age of eighteen gets a plus-one to your wedding festivities, so that they may bring a guest. With more and more brides and grooms taking on the responsibility of fully financing their own weddings, budget can be a concern. The easiest way to control your budget is to control your guest count, so the first group of people to be cut from the list are usually the plus-ones. It’s good form to invite spouses, live-in and long-time partners of your guests, but you don’t need to invite your cousin Kathy’s boyfriend of two months. This might ruffle some feathers, so be gentle, but firm.  Your guests will still have a great time sans the plus ones, I promise! 

bringing a date to a wedding

All Photos: Maggie Stolzberg Photography

4)    You can see your future spouse before you meet at the altar.

It’s widely thought to be bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding, but there are several great reasons to do it anyway.  If you have lots of family photos to take and don’t want to miss the bulk of your cocktail hour, you might want to consider a “first look” session. And, if you’re getting married at night, a first look would be the only way to get photos with your groom in natural daylight.  The photographer will capture the moment of you and your groom seeing each other for the first time, in a private setting. It’s a deeply emotional event that produces some beautiful photos! This can also eliminate any anxiety about walking down the aisle, and you can keep your hair and makeup team on hand to fix you up before your ceremony.

first look wedding photos

All Photos: Maggie Stolzberg Photography

5)    You don’t have to have bride’s side and groom’s side seating.

A wedding is all about uniting two families through matrimony, so your guests should be more concerned about picking a seat than picking a side! Not fussing over whether cousin Kathy is sitting on your side of the aisle will eliminate some stress for you and your ushers. As an added bonus, having a more open ceremony seating plan can lend itself to a unique aisle design!

unique wedding ceremony seating

Top Row Left to Right: Bridal Expo Chicago, Stylishly Ever After, Bottom Row Left to Right: Bridal Expo Chicago, One Wed

Whether you choose to stick to the wedding etiquette that brides and grooms before you have followed, or you and Ms. Emily Post just don’t see eye to eye, make sure you enjoy your wedding day and make it your own!  




  • Beth W. - I think the “take home message” is clear: do whatever makes you happy, regardless of whether or not it coincides with the social norm. The wedding is about the marriage of two lives, and if the couple chooses to say “I DO” while wearing a short dress/jeans and cowboy boots, more power to them. You don’t have to let others project their expectations and personal wedding dreams on you!ReplyCancel

Couture Wedding Gowns for less than Couture Prices

From the moment you said “yes!” to your future husband, many of you began thinking about saying “yes!” to the dress! Your dreams slowly become awash with visions of lace and tulle, boning and satin, and how perfect you’ll look for your husband on your wedding day. Trust me, you’re not alone.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, your only limitation for your wedding day is your imagination. The rest of us are faced with a harsh reality- a designer wedding gown from a bridal salon can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $30,000.

Left to Right: Reem Acra, Naji Hojeili, Galia Lahav

For those of us who must adhere to a strict budget for our upcoming nuptials,there are thankfully, other options.

1) A recently married sister, friend or relative might be gracious enough to allow you to alter and wear her gown.  2) If borrowing a gown isn’t an option, you might try buying a pre-owned gown. Sites like Once Wed and Preowned Wedding Dresses offer support and space for newlywed brides to sell their gently used gowns.  3) Renting a gown is a viable option.  It can free up a large portion of your budget to accommodate some other items on your “wedding day wish list”, but you must be extremely careful, as the dress must be returned in mint condition. Bridal gown rentals are typically done locally, but if you’re an online shopper, you might love Rent The Runway’s bridal section.  They also have an amazing selection of bridal jewelry that you can rent! Or, you can try your hand at  4) the holy grail and most coveted of all bridal sales- the Kleinfeld Bridal blow out sale.


Kleinfeld Bridal

Kleinfeld Bridal

Kleinfeld Bridal has been in business for 60 years in the heart of New York City.  It has been featured on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” for several years. Brides flock to shop there due to their extensive bridal inventory, some of which is exclusive to Kleinfeld.

The Kleinfeld blow out sale happens 3-4 times a year, and the next sale is right around the corner! On August 6th, from 3-7pm, Kleinfeld will deeply discount couture wedding gowns to be sold as-is. There are no appointments necessary during the blow out sale, so make a day of it! Grab a couple of girlfriends and make an overnight trip into the city. They were with you when you met the man of your dreams, and now it’s time to ask them to help you choose the dress of your dreams… on sale! 





Kiss the Planner Introduces Junior Planner, Kayli Shlomi

All wedding professionals dream of finding that true blue assistant is not only there for you when you need her, but one that also treats her clients as well as she does. And fortunately for me, I found her! 

Allow me to introduce you to Kayli.  Kayli Shlomi is a consummate professional and part of my wedding team. She can usually be found with Starbucks in tow, a copy of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style under her arm,  and a hilarious story to tell about her latest obsession.  I can always count on Kayli for the up-to-date report on the latest wedding trend, some youthful words of wisdom, and to brighten my otherwise ordinary day. One day she will strengthen her wings and I will proudly watch her fly, but for now I will keep bringing her worms and watch her grow.  

Tomorrow, look for her new post on her favorite topic, wedding gowns! 



Kiss the Planner

florida wedding planner breakers palm beach photos



Wedding Style; Who you are Reflected in your Wedding

With Google, Pinterest and the dozens of other viable ways to explore wedding design ideas, When it comes to wedding style, I think it has become much easier to replicate, than originate. Don’t get me wrong, these amazing sites are in my toolbox and I refer to them on a regular basis.  But the idea is to be inspired by what you see and find out what you identify with.  Here’s a quote I love.

You were born an original.  Don’t die a copy.  ~John Mason

Or maybe it was Dr. Suess who said it best.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.  ~Dr. Seuss

Be Yourself

If you have been known to eat breakfast for dinner and ice cream for breakfast, wear mismatched socks and your taste in music ranges from New Age to the Old Bee Gees, you probably march to the beat of a different drummer. And your wedding should be no different.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  ~e.e. cummings

Need help identifying your style?  Here are some questions to ask yourself:  Which foods can’t you live without? If you could be doing anything right now, what would you be doing? Which magazine commands your undying devotion? Does a great flea market find incite heavy breathing or is it the mall that makes you weak at the knees? And which activities get your heart beating almost as fast as your fiancé does? Would your favorite vacation find you, daiquiri in hand, soaking up the sun on a lounge chair or fearlessly catching the surf?  Or would you more likely be soaking up the culture and spending countless hours at the museum?

Whether you’d describe yourself as Granola Girl, Glamour Girl or something in between, just make sure your wedding is a reflection of who you are. 

Top Left to Right: Bridal Musings, Maggie Stolzberg, Concrete and Honey
Bottom Left to Right: Gonzalo Villota, axioo Photography, Renee Bowen

Whatever you decide your wedding plans will be, just make it yours.  It is so easy to get caught up in all the infinite examples of what everyone else did and worrying about making everything look picture perfect.  There are plenty of ways to include tradition in your day without following a cookie-cutter plan for what a wedding “should be”.  It should be whatever you want it to be. I know the process can be overwhelming at times but don’t let that get the best of you.

Follow your heart and you can’t go wrong. In the end, chances are that the two of you will fall as deeply in love with your wedding day, as much as you did each other.







Wedding Veils; the Current Show-Stopper

Show-Stopping Wedding Veils; Trending Thursday

While the trend in recent years has been to forego the veil, or minimize it at best, both celebrity brides like Anne Hathaway and Natalie Portman as well as couture brides everywhere are reviving the art of the show-stopping veil. 

Left to Right: Temperley London, Pinterest, Want that Wedding

Enter the statement headpieces. If the Oscar de la Renta 2014 Bridal Collection has proven one thing, it’s that the au-natural leanings of yesterday’s weddings are on their way out. In their place, bold and couture looks have taken center stage….floral wreaths (yes leaves and all), feathered birdcages, or a modern Juliet cap. As long as the headpiece complements the style of the gown, go ahead and be bold. Claire Pettibone brought us the all-floral crowns and Reem Acra brought us the parasol veil.  

Left to Right: Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra, Claire Pettibone

Jeweled headbands, you say? More high-class glamour than girly, these decorative bands are your something special, enhancing both an up- or a down-do. An embellished band will add instant sparkle and are especially stunning with a gown that has an understated silhouette or with minimal jewelry. Consider which colors will stand out best against your hair. Lighter stones, such as crystals make a striking statement against dark locks, while jewel tones, like emerald or ruby, perfectly accent blonde hair.

Left to Right: Enchanted Atelier, Pronovias, Renee Pawele Bride (photo by Emma and Josh)

Still love lace? trust me, you are not alone. So does Oscar, Carolina and Vera. Whether it’s simply an embellishment on the edge of a fingertip veil, or an all-lace cathedral veil, romance never goes out of style. 

Left to Right: Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang

From dramatic cathedral veils to bold floral wreaths and jeweled headbands, what 2014 brides need is a stylish veil to complete their look.



Kiss the Planner