Chicago Weddingbee Holiday Party

Back in 2006 – 2007 when I was planning my own wedding, I was thrilled to blog as Mrs.Emerald, the first Chicago “Bee” on the fabulous site, Weddingbee, which has exploded in popularity over the years. We have since expanded our numbers to include 11 Chicago-area Bees, so I decided to invite everyone over (sans significant others) for our first annual Holiday Party! To make it quick and easy, I asked everyone to bring a drink, hors d’oeuvres or dessert… and the result was an 8 foot long spread of sparking wine, quiche, shrimp puffs, sushi, bruschetta, cookies, cream puffs and cake galore! And thanks Quiche for the lovely calla lilies :)

Thanks Heather, aka Snappy, for taking the pictures below with her new DSLR!

Bee Holiday Party 10

Bee Holiday Party 12

Bee Holiday Party 8   Bee Holiday Party 13

Bee Holiday Party 7

Bee Holiday Party 2 Cutting into my Kahlua cake and topped with fresh whipped cream… so easy to make, and so deeeelicious to eat. Let me know if anyone is interested in the recipe! :)

Bee Holiday Party 15 Had to get a picture of snap-happy-Snappy!

Bee Holiday Party 14
From L-R, Powderpuff, Stiletto, Quiche, Emerald, Snapdragon, Nacho, Mascara, and Parfait
Missing from our Chicago contingent: Jasmine, Radish, and Peacock (who almost came, but instead gave birth to baby Eloise 24 hours after our party!)

Thanks ladies for a fabulous evening! It sounds crazy, but Weddingbee really changed my life, and I now have such a wonderful network of amazing women (and a few men) who I would never have met otherwise!

Peggy Post: Advice for Peaceful Planning

I am back from two intense days at my very first Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Conference! It was inspiring and invigorating, and I am SO excited to take what I learned and make 2010 one heckuva fabulous year!

One of the highlights of the conference was keynote speaker and etiquette guru, Peggy Post, great granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post, THE original etiquette expert. Peggy now serves as the spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute.

Peggy PostPhoto by Kurt Ackerman

Peggy Post Wedding Etiquette ABC Conference
She was literally 20 feet in front of me, how cool is that?!

Her topic focused on Peaceful Wedding Planning, and she really drove home a few key points (excuse me for the obvious paraphrasing below). You would think that much of this is common sense, but I’m sure we can all attest to the lack of good manners in the world these days! We’re all guilty of it too at times… and could use a reminder!

What is etiquette? Etiquette helps us figure out solutions to situations. It is more than table manners, it is what we do in life. Etiquette is simply how persons lives touch one another’s.

Etiquette is about three main principles, and how we live the principles:

– Consideration
– Respect – interest in others as they are
– Honesty – sincere, truthful and tactful

Consider these ‘guidelines’, not ‘rules’, as they are fluid and ever-changing.

Peggy’s advice to handle wedding conflict:

Compromise. Listen with an open mind and love every idea for 5 minutes as you allow others to voice their suggestions.”

I really thought this was a great tip: love every idea for 5 minutes. Haven’t we all been in the situation where two people are at odds and one person immediately shoots down the others’ idea? This is especially pertinent in the world of wedding planning when say, the bride wants one thing, and her fiance/mother/father want another thing. This could potentially lead to WWIII in some situations. Instead, Peggy suggests,

– Stay Calm
– Listen
– Stick with the facts
– Don’t get personal!
– Propose a solution
– Be willing to negotiate

And on another note… YES, in this age of technology, a hand-written THANK YOU CARD is still pertinent! Don’t just email/Facebook/Twitter your Thank You!  Because Peggy said so :)

What a great speaker! My only regret was not bringing her book for her to sign afterwards!!

Peggy Post Wedding Etiquette Book