The pressure to be crafty

Guys... I have been terrible about blogging. Terrible. Per my Valentine's day post, my Puritan heritage is lashing myself for being so awful. Lots of craziness in my personal and professional life lately, so I do apologize for my absence. Trying to get back into the swing of things by getting something off my chest. Oh Happy Day, one of my favorite blogs, had a great post about what to have in stock so that you're ready to celebrate at a moment's notice, providing some great advice and ideas. It actually really ties in with this post I wrote recently, about how we quickly pulled together my Mom-in-Law's birthday celebration. All that being said, I have to respectfully disagree with the idea that you need 1 hour of crafting to prep for a party. One HOUR of crafting? For a party? The 1 hour of errands, yes. But you don't need to be crafty to party. Seriously. Like, seriously. Let's stop it with the craft pressure, ok?

I recently had two separate clients express in the MOST apologetic way (when talking about what kind of wedding reception they want) that "well, I'm... I'm not really crafty" (hung head in shame).

I got pissed. I screamed at them (in a loving way, I swear) that THEY DO NOT NEED TO BE CRAFTY TO BE BRIDES. Weddings do not need crafts to make them legitimate. Hell, they don't even need guests to be legitimate! Wedding receptions should reflect the couple who have just gotten married. Not crafty? People will be royally confused why you have hand-made burlap escort cards, a hand-made wedding cake topper, DIY-ed floral arrangements, and crafted pennant banners. Similarly, if you're not crafty then don't try and craft things for your kids birthday party, your next bbq, or the Superbowl. Let's focus on why we party and celebrate in the first place, right?

Now please don't get me wrong. My Mom is crafty. I love lots of crafty people, and if you love crafts - more power to you. They are a wonderful way to be creative and fun. And I do realize that sometimes crafting can save money (but keep in mind, it also takes time. Sometimes that time isn't worth the money saved). But this bizzarro pressure that now all weddings and celebrations need to have multiple handmade projects is absurd. So let's all take a deep breath and let this crafty DIY sh!t go with the exhale. If it's right for you, do it (and I'll help you hang the pennant banners). But if it's not, give yourself a break and realize you can and will throw an amazing, excellent celebration sans crafts.


Top 5 Lessons from Downton Abbey's wedding

I'm not ashamed to admit, I'm a big Downton Abbey fan. With the Season 3 premiere this week, I was especially thrilled because it featured the much anticipated wedding of Mary and Matthew! Not only was it entertaining, I venture to say it was educational as well. Here are the top 5 lessons from Mary and Matthew’s wedding every engaged couple should keep in mind:

1. Overlook family drama and invite everyone you want to your wedding – even if they’re an embarrassing chauffeur.

Listen, even the Dowager Countess knew it was important that Lady Sybil and her new low-class husband be at Mary’s wedding, despite the fact that they would incite gossip and really piss off the Earl of Grantham.  Weddings are a great time to unite family and bring people together. Try to overlook any past differences, drama, or incidents – especially if you truly want someone to be there for your big celebration.

2. Talk about your budget before spending a sh!t ton on your wedding – your Dad might be bankrupt.

Dudes. Even if your parents are paying for your wedding, be sure to talk and communicate with them about the budget and their expectations. You’re gonna feel like a real jerk when you find out you spent money they didn’t have and you now have to guilt your husband into helping out financially. Speaking of which…

3. Weddings are a great time to bring some joy in the midst of sorrow.

The Earl and Countess were super bummed by their financial woes. While I cannot stand her bizzarro accent, Cora brought some kick-ass American wisdom to the situation when she reminded him “I'm glad we have a wedding to celebrate. Let's make sure it's a great day...and enjoy our lovely home and the lovely people we spend our life among." Amen.

4. It’s ok to bend tradition

There was a lot of talk of tradition in the premiere episode. But my favorite (and frankly, the sexiest) moment was when Mary and Matthew learned how to honor tradition – but bend it slightly. Their eyes-closed kiss to make sure he didn’t see her before the wedding was a perfect example of how to make tradition fun.

5. Sleeves are officially in

Another gorgeous Brit, Kate Middleton, already jump-started this trend. But I officially claim this to be the year of the sleeves when it comes to bridal fashion. And thank god, might I add. Strapless dresses are lovely, but so happy to see sleeves making a comeback (some of my modern favorites, here, here, and here).

Anniversary Gifts

  My wedding anniversary is coming up tomorrow (yay!) and this past weekend we threw a surprise party for my in-laws' 40th anniversary (wrap up on that to come later this week). All these anniversaries have got me thinking about anniversary gift ideas. Last year I had the poem my sister wrote and read during her maid-of-honor speech custom designed into a poster for our home (by the amazing Alfie Cooper - checka check them out). I love walking past it and being reminded of that day - and what our relationship is all about.

This is not a new idea, by any means.  But I think it's a great (fairly inexpensive) gift idea that has emotional significance while also looking pretty dang awesome and adding some style to your home. I had fun finding other options around the internets. Enjoy!