March 22nd is NJ Event Professionals Night and You’re Invited

It’s Industry Night and New Jersey Special Event and Wedding Professionals are invited to join us at The Suite Spot – a new private event space hidden in the alcove’s of Livingston, NJ.

Come meet the owners of the Suite Spot and get a VIP look at Livingston’s newest private event space.

You’ll also enjoy the opportunity to mix and mingle with other event and wedding professionals and experience what new products and services NJ event businesses have to offer as we feature floral designs, centerpieces, music, cuisine, sweets, and favors by some of our New Jersey industry favorites.

We will also be giving away two copies of the new release: A Practical Wedding by event planner, Meg Keene and swag bags for the first 50 guests.

RSVPs ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT.  You may register by visiting http://www.eventbrite.com/s/88Gt.

For more information, please contact Tasheea Nicholson at 215.375.2831

See you on the 22nd!

p.s: want your swag in our bag? we’re accepting submissions through March 15th. contact us for more information

‘Angry Brides’ FIGHT for a Cause

Despite being illegal since 1961, the tradition of paying dowry’s, both financial and material, to the groom’s family is still alive in well in the country of India.

It may sound romantic to some, after all, dowries were once meant to assist the new husband in making sure that his wife is taken care of.  But in 2010, India’s National Crime Records Bureau cited an alarming 8,391 dowry-related deaths.  It seems the tradition has turned ugly and husbands are now demanding dowries well after the ceremony is over.  When families don’t comply, brides may end up tortured or even worse, murdered.

Thankfully, a new online game called Angry Brides hopes to shed light on the problem of dowries and inform the world of the increasing number of crimes against women living in India.  It’s a play on the popular game Angry Birds and in order to play the user (Bride) has to strike the dodging grooms.  Each groom (there are 3 – an engineer, doctor, and pilot) starts of at a dowry value of 1.5 million rupees (~30,000 USD). Each hit decreases the total cost of the groom’s dowry and credits money back to her Anti-Dowry fund.

The game is available as a free Facebook application and can be downloaded at app.facebook.com/angrybrides.

Photo credits: facebook.com/angrybrides

Register Your Style with Deposit a Gift

I am most frequently asked by bumpies and nearlyweds how they can politely indicate their preference to receive cash as their shower or wedding gift.  And my answer has always been, “You don’t”.  Of course there are ways to sway your guests buying decisions (like registering at a certain type of store or using descriptive words like ‘lingerie party’ in your invitation description) and trust me I understand the beauty of cold hard cash, however it is impolite to enforce a gift-giving mandate upon your guests.

But what if there was a way to make cash just as much as an option as your Pier One registry?

Would that make it less taboo?

The creators of Deposit a Gift  – a cash gift registry – surely seem to think so.

Deposit a Gift is an online registry service that allows you to create a gift list for monetary contributions towards pretty much whatever your heart desires and it gives you the freedom to receive and spend your gift money where and when you want.

The concept seemed simple enough so I decided to try it out.

Registering as a new user on the site was quick and easy and once confirmed, I was all set to begin editing the details for my personal event website.  This step (like most wedding websites) requires some thought and creativity and is the lengthiest part of the entire process.  I haven’t yet completed my own sample registry but they do a really great job of providing several closed registries  that were used for a variety of reasons, including the wedding below.

You also have cool options to share event details with family and friends, post pictures and upload video.

So after a little exploration and a lot of letting go of what traditional etiquette says, I have to admit that I like Deposit a Gift as a wedding registry alternative and it just may change the future of gift giving.  Not only is it environmentally friendly but it gives you the flexibility of using the money for whatever life demands and, aside from a small service fee, it’s free!

You don’t need a reason to register your account and you can log onto to Deposit a Gift for more information.

Happy planning!

Inside My [Emergency] Wedding Kit: Invisible Ink Pen

What is It? Invisible ink pen

Headache: You’ve received a reply card for your reception or formal event but they forgot to fill in their name leaving you with the added planning pressure of trying to figure out which person that particular card belongs to.

Quick Fix: Don’t get left trying to figure out which person an anonymous reply card belongs to.  Instead, create a spreadsheet where each guest is assigned a number and write that number in the lower back corner of the corresponding reply card prior to mailing out your invitations.  Use an invisible ink pen in lieu of printing the numbers in ink pen or pencil so you don’t diminish the aesthetic of your invitation suite.  t

Buy it For: Approximately $9. AC Moore.

Missed the Memo: Love, Wedding, Marriage

I totally missed the memo that LWM made its big screen debut over the summer.  Actually it seems everyone did because this romantic comedy, overshadowed by it’s big sisters, Bridesmaids and Jumping the Broom, grossed just over $1300 nationwide and is already available on Blu-ray. And NOPE, that wasn’t a typo. So why am I blogging about this? It’s a movie about 3 of my favorite things: love, weddings, and marriage – and who knows, you might just want to add it to your collection of chic flicks.

Director: Dermot Mulroney
Writer: Anouska Chydzik (screenplay), Caprice Crane (screenplay)
Genre: Romantic comedy
Runtime: 90 minutes
Cast: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz and Jessica Szohr.
Language: English
MPAA: Rated PG-13.

Mandy Moore is a marriage counselor whose life as a newly wed married to Kellan Lutz is turned upside down when she discovers her parents’ happy marriage is unexpectedly headed for divorce. Determined to reconcile her parents for their 30th anniversary surprise party she stops at nothing plunging from one compromising situation to another. Will she destroy her own marriage and her professional life in her attempt to get her parents back together?

EXPOSED: Natt Taylor of DESTINI

It only takes one conversation with NJ native, now Atlanta resident, and designer, Natt Taylor to know that fashion is truly her passion. And you need only attend one trunk show to know that this dynamic woman knows her stuff — and that you want to wear it all! At least, that’s how I felt after attending her Summer trunk show in Englewood, NJ.  Lights shone upon brightly colored fabrics, delicately feminine embellishments and flirty pleats and just about every woman in the room looked like she had just arrived at ready-to-wear custom-design heaven.  And then when I learned of her company name, I knew she had to be EXPOSED.  So without further adieu, please meet the very fashionable Ms. Natt Taylor.


General Information

  • What is your company name and when were you established? DESTINI by Natt Taylor, established in 2004
  • Why did you select your chosen company name: It actually chose me. It was my nickname on a step team in high school so when I decided to start my line…it seemed like the perfect fit. This is God’s plan for me, it’s my destiny.
  • What is your main line of business?  I design a ready to wear women’s line. I also offer custom services for proms and weddings.
  • What is the inspiration behind DESTINI? I’m inspired by life. Before I entered college, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, so, I allowed God to lead me and now I’m doing something that I absolutely love. I’ve always been in tune with my creative, but I never imagined being a clothing designer.
  • Explain the day in your life as a business owner: On a typical day, I’m up 5:45a heading into my studio. I respond to emails, source fabrics, check in with my interns, sketch, sew, meet, etc. My mind is constantly on overload with new concepts and ideas. I try to squeeze in food & sleep when I can. :-/
  • What is the best business advice you’ve ever received? If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

 

Reflections

  • Hometown: Irvington, NJ
  • School Creds: Irvington High School c/o 1996 and Morris Brown College c/o 2001
  • First Job: Working in my Uncle’s bookstore in NY Port Authority
  • What keeps you up at night? Ideas…I’ll get up in the middle of the night to sketch or jot down new business ideas
  • What are some wise words that you live by? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • What was/is your best career decision?: Obtaining a degree in Accounting. Fashion is 80% business, 20% creative…having knowledge and experience in Accounting helps business run a lot smoother

Diversions

  • Reading now: W, Elle, Glamour, Nylon, etc…the usual fashion mags
  • Reading next: The Help…saw the movie, now I can’t wait to read the book
  • Last fun purchase: My last fun purchase was a really cute fabric I picked up in NY.
  • When you’re not working you can be found doing what? When I’m not working, I’m thinking about what I could be working on

Playing Favorites

  • Hotel: Borgata / Atlantic City
  • Getaway: Hawaii
  • Entrée: I LOVE Pasta!
  • Drink: Bailey’s
  • Guilty pleasure: Strawberry Cheesecake

Fantasies Become Reality

  • Who is your dream client? Halle Berry
  • What is your dream break-out opportunity: Dressing Halle for the Oscars Red Carpet


On the Net

P.S:  You are cordially invited to check out the Fall Destini designs and meet Natt Taylor on November 19th at the DLUX Boutique located at 21A North Dean St in Englewood, NJ 07631.  The fun starts and 4pm and I hope we’ll see you there!

The Wedding You Want, with No Drama! by George James, LMFT

The summer is a time for warm weather, vacation, family reunions and weddings.  Many couples plan their wedding during the summer and fall months.  Planning a wedding can bring a lot of stress and drama to the couple.  From deciding when and where to get married, to working on the guest list and to figuring out how you will pay for the wedding.  Stress and drama can also come from what other people want for your wedding and from handling major conflicts such as faith, money or where to live after the wedding.  It is possible to get the wedding you want and not have any drama, even with all the possibilities leading up to the wedding.

Here are 5 steps to getting the Wedding you want with no Drama.  For more on each step, check out my interview on how to have a Perfect Wedding, No Drama.

1)      Design the Wedding Together – Discuss with your fiancé what you want and what he or she wants in a wedding.  Before you bring other people in the discussion, talk it over with your partner.  Get an understanding of what you both are looking for, design how you plan to make it happen and go after your vision.

2)      Define and Discuss Boundaries – Once you know what type of wedding you both want, you can now discuss potential pitfalls and set boundaries.  A pitfall could be people who can’t make it to the wedding who you want to be there, the overall cost, or family traditions that you like and dislike.  Setting boundaries together helps to set limits on what will and will not happen in your wedding and in the process of planning the wedding.

3)      Keep your Autonomy & Include your Family – Family members, especially parents, are excited and want to be a part of the wedding planning process.  At times, family members want the wedding to be their vision and not your vision.  It’s important that you keep your autonomy by sticking to your vision.  You can make adjustments, include suggestions, but at the end of the day it should still be the vision you and your partner came up with.

4)      Work through Major Conflicts – Major conflicts will come up, how you handle them can determine if you have drama or not.  One major conflict could be around money, such as does giving money equal influence.  If your parents are contributing to the wedding does that mean they get the final say on the guest list or style of the wedding?  What role will faith play in the ceremony, especially if you are not of the same faith as your parents or partner?

5)      Develop Healthy Ways to Handle Stress – Are you still having fun, going on dates or even smiling?  What are you doing to handle your stress?  Having someone you can talk to as a couple can be helpful in handling the many stressors of the process.  Pre-marital counseling can be helpful with navigating the stress of the planning process as well as equip you with the skills necessary for a healthy marriage.

 

George James is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and CEO of George Talks, LLC.  For more on this and other topics, please visit www.GeorgeTalks.com

Twitter: @GeorgeTalksLLC 

Email: GeorgeTalksLLC@gmail.com

Stay Connected by George James, LMFT

All relationships can be very difficult at times. They can bring struggles, emotional pain and disappointments. But they can also bring great joy, comfort, excitement and can be a source of encouragement and peace. We can’t avoid relationships because we constantly interact with people, whether they be our parents, siblings, friends, significant others, or colleagues. But how do we overcome the difficult times in our relationships – those times of struggle and emotional pain. The answer is both simple and complex at the same time. It is to “Stay Connected.”

Staying connected does not mean that you should stick around if your partner is abusing you or taking advantage of you. Staying connected means that if you want joy and happiness from any relationship, you must be willing to stay connected to get there. When relationships become difficult, one of the first things we say to ourselves is “I don’t need him”, or, “why am I with her?” “Why was I born into this family”, or “I just won’t call my siblings this week because they are getting on my nerves.” We use distance as a pacifier for pain, hurt, fear or anything else that we don’t like. But what we fail to realize is that distance cannot heal or help you to work out the situation, and will not allow you to develop new understanding within the relationship. Creating distance may feel good, may feel safe, but in the long-run it damages your relationship.

We say that we want the benefits of relationship. We desire close relationships with our mother or with our brother, but are we really willing to work for it? Often we are not willing to work through the difficulties, and in our effort to find an easy way out, we choose distance. Now, choosing distance is completely human. Our natural human process of fight or flight is what we use in emotional situations. As humans, we biologically assess situations that increase our anxiety or fear, and are usually faced with two options: Stay Connected and fight through it, or turn to what we think is safety and run away.

Photo credit: funny-stuffers.blogspot.com

So let me explain what “staying connected” really means. Difficulty in a relationship of any kind can bring heaviness. Sometimes, you can get into an argument or dispute with someone over petty things, like disagreeing over the meaning of one particular word. As you continue to argue, however, you may realize that you are both trying to say the same thing but describing it differently. And, as you both try to explain your side, you start to take what the other person is saying personally. You then become offended or hurt and try to defend yourself. One word – one disagreement – just took you through a roller coaster of emotions. At that moment, you are left with a choice. You can press your way through and try to come to an understanding, or you can give up and leave it unresolved. Unfortunately, we often give up and leave the matter unresolved, saying to ourselves, “I don’t feel like going through it right now,” or “she always wants to talk, why can’t we leave it alone” or “he never listens to me, so why bother?”

It is through these crucial moments that it is imperative that we stay connected (and I do realize this is easier said than done). Yes, staying connected could possibly mean a half-hour conversation. Staying connected could mean arguing or debating before you reach an agreement or understanding. Staying connected takes practice, growth, willingness to press on, and ever-increasing communication skills. And I can promise you – it is worth it in the long run. Staying connected is hard and sometimes contrary to our human process and natural defenses. But it can be done.

When we stay connected, we resolve issues now instead of never. We work out the recurring problem with our parents, siblings, friends, and partners, instead of allowing it to become overbearing. We tear down the walls that surround our hearts, instead of building new walls to keep the people we love away.

George James, Jr., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who works extensively with adolescent and adult men on various issues. He also specializes in helping couples improve the quality of their relationship, reconcile conflicts and overcome intense situations such as affairs, parenting struggles and loss of a loved one. Mr. James’ clinical expertise includes religion/spirituality concerns, affairs, sex therapy, improving communication in relationships, vulnerability, conflict, loss/grief and enhancing intimacy.  He is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Association of Christian Counselors and the Philadelphia Association of Clinical Psychologists.

If you have specific questions or topics of interest you’d like George to cover, leave a comment below or email us at behindtheveil@socialbfly.com