10 Wedding Etiquettes You Should Break

By Charlene Lazewski

1. Brides Must Wear White On Their Wedding Day
With so many beautiful fabric, texture, and color options in dresses today, wearing a white gown on your wedding day is a tradition that can be cancelled out. In fact, before Queen Victoria of England, brides wore whatever color dress they wanted on their wedding day. Queen Victoria simply decided white would be her color of choice for her wedding gown, and for some reason, everyone followed after. So, really there isn’t, nor ever was a rule for a wedding gown having to be white. Pick YOUR color. Whatever color suits your skin tones/ hair color best.

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.27.29 PM

2. You Must Invite Out-of-town guests to your rehearsal dinner
This is like the “political correct” of the wedding world. It used to be that for your rehearsal dinner, you only invite your wedding party. But, now it has become the norm to also invite any out-of-town guests coming to your wedding. So, basically what used to be a “rehearsal dinner” is now a second wedding. Which means, M-O-N-E-Y. Like, you haven’t spent enough already, right? Instead of breaking the bank, keep your rehearsal dinner intimate, just for the wedding party. And, for your out-of-town guests, instead provide them with a well curated list of restaurants in the area they can go to. That way, you are still going out of your way to set them up with a little perk for traveling for your wedding, and you don’t go under the A-hole slot for not inviting them to the rehearsal dinner : ) Another option is to plan a little cocktail party after your rehearsal dinner, where you invite your out-of-town wedding guests. It’s fun, more low key, and best of all, a lot less money than having them at your rehearsal dinner!

3. You Must Invite Everyone With A Guest
You know how they say that the real work in wedding planning is the guest list? Well, that’s because it’s the most annoying task. Why? Because, it’s where you will either make family and friends love you for the rest of their lives or hate you. You will basically make or break relationships depending on who you include or leave out on the list. But, when the guest list grows, so does your wedding bill. And, let’s face it…. you can’t make everyone happy. It’s impossible. Always remember while creating a wedding guest list, this is YOUR day. Not your co-worker’s girlfriend’s day, or your boss’s daughter’s day. If people get offended that you haven’t invited their girlfriend or boyfriend of a month, so be it. Move on, and enjoy YOUR wedding day!

4. Your Registry Should Only Include Houseware Items
It’s your wedding day. You deserve whatever your little heart desires as gifts. It used to be the norm to register for all houseware items for you wedding registry. But, now people are registering for basically anything and everything. You can register for a honeymoon, sporting equipments, hobby supplies, the list goes on. Especially, in an age where many couples live together before marriage, they end up having a lot of household essentials already. So, why register for more household items. Break the norm, and register for what you really need/want.

5. The Bride’s Dress Should Be Long
With all that dieting and exercise you do to get ready for your big day, why shouldn’t you show off your nice legs?! Makes no sense to wear a long dress, right? Show those legs off in a short wedding dress instead. No need to workout, and then not show it off, right?

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.27.41 PM

6. You Should See Your Bride/Groom For The First Time On Your Wedding Day, At Ceremony
They say that if you see your groom before the ceremony on the day of the wedding, it brings on bad luck. But, does it really? More couples today are leaving the superstition behind them, and seeing one another before their ceremonies begin. Instead of catching the first glimpse of your bride or groom, in front of all your wedding guests, you can have this highly emotional moment in private. Photographers and videographers are more than happy to capture this special moment, so you can treasure it always.

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.27.51 PM

7. Seating At Your Wedding Should Be Divided By Groom And Bride Sides
Here’s why the whole “Bride side” and “Groom side” seating plan at a wedding ceremony, is pointless. The bride’s family might be huge, and the groom’s family may be small. So, what bride wants to walk in with a nice full side, and a sad empty side. Kinda depressing, right? But, if you let your guests sit wherever their little hearts desire, you’ll have nice full, and even sides to walk into. That sounds nicer, right? So, instead of having a designated bride and groom side at your ceremony, just let guests sit freely. Easier for you, easier for them. Sounds good!

8. You Must Walk Down The Aisle
Do you think that all brides must walk down the aisle? Most would answer ‘yes’ to that question. But, the truth is, you can just skip that long (sometimes even awkward) walk, and just meet up with your groom. Faster, and more simple…which means a win/win.

9.You Have To Leave For Your Honeymoon Right After Your Reception
This one is very old school. It was once the norm for married couples to leave for their honeymoons right after their reception. Anyone that has already gone through a wedding day, can tell you how exhausting THAT is alone. Imagine also having to travel after a super tiring and hectic day. Plus, having the thought in your head that you still have to travel after the wedding is done, can prevent you from truly taking your special day fully in. So, no doubt the best thing you can do is take your honeymoon a few days, weeks, even months after your wedding. You’ll be more relaxed, and able to really enjoy your romantic vacation with your new husband or wife.

10. The Bridal Party Must All Match
The majority of brides have their bridesmaids match in regards to dresses. Many grooms also have their groomsmen’s suits match. But, a trend has recently started where bridal parties don’t necessarily match exactly. Instead, brides and/grooms select a certain color or pattern, and then allow each bridesmaid and groomsmen to wear any dress/suit that fits into that scheme. And, in all honesty, it looks even more beautiful in pictures and in person to have everyone in different attire. It’s also a breath of fresh air for your bridal party, because not everyone can fit or look right into only one style dress or suit. We’re all fabulous, but we all come in different shapes, and sizes 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.28.03 PM

Mommy: Party of One, And That’s OK

By Charlene Lazewski

mom-party-one-feature

Do you remember your high school days? The days of cliques, bullying, and unnecessary drama. Well, if you think those days are behind you, you’re wrong. Because, guess what? As moms, we are faced with a wave of mommy cliques, and indirect bullying. And, it’s even worse because these are grown up cliques. So, they’re no longer pups in the pack. They are wolves in the pack.

When I drop off my son at school (elementary school), the huddles of moms critiquing a certain teacher’s style of teaching, or complaining about the new grading scales, form all over the parking lot. It seems they don’t even come up for air. It’s just complaint after complaint. Most of them dressed still in their PJs, or sweats every single day. So, don’t give me the “oh well, maybe it was just a rough morning,” crap. For some of the wolf pack mommies, it’s a rough day every day….or so they say. You know because brushing your hair out, washing your face, and putting on a little BB cream and lip gloss is extremely time consuming to do in the morning.

So, what happens to moms who are just minding their own business, are in a nice outfit, accessorized, with full make up on, and they walk by these packs? They get stared down…down to the ground. Essentially, they get judged for no good reason at all. They get judged because some of these mommies that travel in packs, lose track of who they are as just women. They lose track of that desire to look as stunning as they can for themselves and for their husbands/partners. They become so indulged in all things mommy, that they just begin to look down and outcast the moms that do the mom thing, but still have a great grip on themselves as women.

Forget sexy date nights with the hubby. Wolf pack moms would much rather do play dates, wine nights with each other, and craft days with each other while their kids are at school. It’s 24-7 mom life, mom life, mom life. Heck, they invented #momlife.

Call me crazy, and I’ll probably be criticized by some crazy mom about this, but I hate play dates. If they happen, it has to be because I truly like the other mom. I don’t want to force a friendship just because our kids are friends. Sometimes moms don’t click, and that’s okay. I don’t want to do wine night with moms that sit around in circles, talking about what went on at the last PTA meeting. I don’t want to waste my time crafting, when I could be taking a nice relaxing bath, and then go out to Target and get the same reclaimed wood sign that the local mom wolf pack spent 3 hours making the night before. And most importantly, I don’t want to huddle around with other adult women, in front of my kids, judging other moms, critiquing teachers, and complaining about everything under the sun. What example is that for my child?

These mommy wolf packs are growing more and more by the minute, and it’s because parenting society has established this corny expectation about what “mom life” today, should be like. Well, guess what…I’d rather be a “party of one” mom. I’d rather show my kids how to be courageous, independent, understanding, and open minded. I’d rather show my kids that family fun, comes before friend fun. I’d rather show my husband on a free weekend how much he means to me with dinner, movies, and of course some sexy time. I’d rather be practical, and use my time for things that truly matter. I’d rather spend time with people who are genuine, sincere, and positive about our childrens’ education. I’m a party of one mom, it’s okay, and I love it.

 

I’m Better Than You: The Narcissistic New Year’s Facebook Status

By Charlene Lazewski

narcissitic-new-year-feature

My journey through my social media escapades consisted of a lot of eye rolls, questioning where humble personalities have gone, and acknowledging that humility is just dead overall.

My entire news feed was full of statuses where people didn’t just generally wish everyone a happy new year, full of joy and health. Instead people, made their new year’s wish status about themselves. They listed each specific great thing that happened to them in 2016. From, “we bought our first home, traveled here and there” to “I got my dream job, got the promotion I wanted”.

Okay…great, wonderful! I’m glad that in this world where such horrible things have been happening to innocent people, you are doing so fantastic. But, do you really have to plaster it on Facebook? What does that do for the people you are friends with on Facebook, really? Call me old school, but I’ve always been under assumption that the holiday season, including new year’s is about putting yourself last, and doing more for others, spreading cheer, and most of all kindness. There are people out there that are reading your self indulged statuses, while they’ve suffered a lot of hardships in the past year. So, your status is most definitely not spreading holiday cheer. It’s unnecessary, selfish, conceded, and just makes you come out as narcissistic.

And, I know what some of you are thinking, “oh, well people are just thankful for all the good that happened to them in 2016.” THAT in itself is wonderful. It’s the specific listing of all the good, that’s the problem. That’s just throwing it in people’s faces. Where is the humility in that? Some people had a year of struggles, and your status is not making it any better. Forget about yourself for a second. Stop using social media platforms as tools to prove to people that your life is better than theirs’, and instead use it to inspire people, to spread joy, kindness, and wisdom. People will appreciate a person who manifests a humble and generous personality, more than a person who is a walking, talking, posting billboard for themselves. In the end, if you have to advertise yourself and your life so much on social media, than you’re just proving to be insecure. Confidence glows more with humility and silence.

Let’s stay grounded this 2017, and help one another prosper and succeed. In the end, that’s what a good year is all about.

Why Calligraphy Is The Only Wow Factor You Need At Your Wedding…

By Charlene Lazewski

modern-calig-1

In an age where texting has become one of the most popular forms of communication, we’ve also lost the true significance and essence of communicating with one another. We are no longer people hand-writing personal notes that hold so much meaning. We are now robots with fast typing fingers, that press “send” 200 times a day.
Think about how much more special a message was, during the times where the only way you could communicate with your loved ones, was verbally or in your own writing. It has a romantic appeal, doesn’t it? That is exactly what Janet, from Bella Grafia Calligraphy , thinks too. The principle behind her company is that sometimes the vintage way of creating art, is the best.
Janet was trained by the very best calligraphers in the world. Some include calligraphers that have written for The White House, and the Vatican. She is beyond passionate for this art. Although, it’s her career, she does it every day feeling like she’s doing a hobby instead. It doesn’t feel like work to her, because calligraphy is so deeply rooted in her heart.
Now, she is featured on some of the most popular wedding blogs in the world, consistently. And, also works with very famous companies based in New York City, and Los Angeles. She also does work for famous events around the country. Although, her company is based in the Houston area, she is well-known, and respected in big cities around the country.
Los Angeles holds a special spot in Janet’s heart because it has fueled her business with so many reputable clients and events, alike. She’s identified well with the Los Angeles culture so much, that she considers herself a Los Angeles Calligrapher, the majority of the time. As a planted Los Angeles Calligrapher, she has ben able to work for Chanel, Neiman Marcus, Beringer, Excelsior Wines, Franis Ford Coppola Winery, Martell Cognac, and many more. The list just goes on. And her business just continues to grow in regards to skills, and in turn, be able to offer more services than other Los Angeles Calligraphers. Or any other calligrapher for that matter.
Janet specializes in two very classic and elegant styles of calligraphy – Spencerian and Madarasz style. She considers herself to a be a cultured woman, who loves eclectic but soulful music. She hopes to speak fluent Spanish one day. But, most of all, she enjoys thinking outside the box when it comes to her calligraphy art. You will always see her using materials that may not be the norm in calligraphy, but that’s what makes it so unique, special, and stand out from the rest. Also, this exploration of non-traditional materials and tools, allows her to spark more curiosity within herself. Hence, giving birth to new art forms for the wedding and events industry.
For some, calligraphy may be a very “one-way street”. But, that stereotype most definitely does not apply to Bella Grafia Calligraphy. This is a business that has taken the ancient, but very special and elegant art of calligraphy to a whole new level, and fast. It’s owner, Janet, has made it her duty, not chore, to master her art and skills. And, that’s what makes her calligraphy, completely timeless.

How To Empower Your Home Decor With Metallics

By Charlene Lazewski

metallic-accents-1

Metallics are a very powerful accent theme trending in modern home decor. The best thing about metallic accent pieces, is that you can use them with many kinds of decor….traditional, shabby chic, contemporary, avant garde, country chic, etc. The options are endless. They are very versatile, and help blend your decor together. They create a sense of cohesion when placed around your home. In the end, they tie your entire look together. They also refresh your look because of their glam appeal. If you use it sparingly, you can achieve the perfect appearance and feel in your rooms.

Another plus about metallics is that with so many wonderful and cheap metallic spray paints, paints, and glazes, you can take so many of your current accents and quickly convert them to metallic. Which means you don’t have to go out and break the bank shopping for brand new accents for your entire home. Go in your basements and bring up older items, spruce them up for just a couple cents with some paint! Or you can even go to the dollar store, and buy different shaped glass vases, candle holders, plastic plates (to hand on your walls), etc….add some metallic paint….and you have brand new accents that look expensive….but only you will know the sweet and satisfying truth :) It’s that easy!

Here is some inspiration for you! Happy Decorating!

b3624bb756d05e460170b0aa81f88afd

metallic-accents-2

metallic-3

 

Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Don’t Knock Me Down If I’m A Doll

knock-down-doll-800x509

Since I was a pre-teen, I have loved getting dolled up in makeup. Of course, back then it was just a little bit of make up. Very natural looking makeup. Perhaps a little eyeshadow, some powder, and a pale lip gloss. As I got older, I liked to experiment with beauty products. Bolder colors, different styles, different techniques, etc. Now, here’s the problem. There are women who criticize or judge women like me. I have had other women come to my home on a weekday morning, weeks after I gave birth to my baby, and ask how and why I am wearing makeup and a cute outfit, when I JUST had a baby. Um, well because I care about myself. I love myself. And I WANT to ALWAYS look my best. I mean, in the end, I AM who represents myself at ALL times. No one else. So, why wouldn’t I want to look my absolute best. It makes me happy. It most definitely makes my husband happy. So, it’s a win win.

The way I see it, when I open my eyes up in the morning, it’s the beginning of a celebration. It’s another day I have been blessed with. Another day I get to kiss and hold my children. Another day I get to hug my husband and tell him how much I love him. Overall, another day I get to celebrate the life I have created for myself. Keyword: self. It starts with me, this little thing called life. And well, I want to get all dolled up for it all the time! I’m not saying, I’m going to look like I’m going to the Oscars every day. But, I WILL put on full makeup (usually something very natural looking, sometimes something a little bolder and daring – all depending where I am going that given day), every day. Other women have insinuated I like to wear makeup every day because I think I am ugly. The answer is absolutely NOT. I think I am beautiful without makeup. So, why not accentuate that beauty even more with some makeup every day?

Do other women who attack women like me, do it out of jealousy? Or are they frustrated because their views and my views don’t match? Whatever the case may be, women should just live their lives and rock whatever they are passionate about. If they think looking their best is wearing sweatpants every single day, putting their hair up in a ponytail, and wearing no makeup, so be it. That’s what makes them feel their best. That’s what gets them through their days, with a smile on their faces. That is how they celebrate their life. I am different, and I know that’s okay. Every woman is different, and I wish the women that were different, didn’t attack women like me.

I love makeup. I love fashion. I love looking beautiful. I love keeping my husband on his toes with a new hair do, a new outfit, etc. I love it when he looks at me like he did when we first fell in love, and it’s been 12 years together. But, more importantly, I love inspiring other women to experiment with their natural beauty. Sometimes, we women get so wrapped up in our busy lives, that we forget to really take time for ourselves. It doesn’t take long. Give yourselves 20 minutes every morning, and aim to look your best. Get dolled up. Play around with clothing you already own, create an outfit. Accentuate your natural beauty even more, with a little makeup. And finally, don’t forget the most important part of being beautiful….be humble and kind inside. Don’t attack women that aren’t like you. In the end, that is what actually makes a woman ugly.

Hey Moms…Quit The Wine-ing And Just Smile, Love It, Cherish It

stopwining-edit

As a mom of two little boys, I know parenting is not easy. All those parenting/mommy books….toss them. Every parent is entitled to their own style of parenting. After all, we’re all different….different personalities, likes, morals, views, etc. And, so are our kids. No child is the same. But, one thing I DO think all moms should do is stop with the “wine-ing”. When I was a child, moms wouldn’t talk of “vodka in the coffee mugs” or “mommy juice” meaning wine, in order to survive the parenting challenge. Mothers embraced their duties with their kids, dealt with it, lived it, and loved it. Now, I feel that moms are having babies, and then they’re complaining about it. It’s a tough job. The toughest job you will ever have. But, most moms chose this path. So, even when times get frustrating with the little ones, you should love it, and smile. Because, one day you’ll be wishing for those “pulling your hair out” moments with your kids. They grow so ridiculously fast. Each day they learn more, and let go of you a little bit more. Each day that you’re yearning for that time alone, and a glass of wine, their becoming more independent. They’re becoming their OWN person.

Yesterday, when I walked my 4 year old son into school, along with my 1 year old son, the police officer directing the school’s parking lot traffic, said something to me that really made me proud and accomplished as a mother. As, he gave me the green light to cross the street, he said, “you always have that genuine smile on your face…it never misses a day”. And, I thought to myself, “yeah…I guess I am always smiling when I’m doing things with my boys, and around other moms/parents”. I see moms daily, basically shoving their kids into school so they can finally go to the gym, or go have their coffee/gossip sessions with other moms. I hear the cliques of moms that hangout in corners of the school parking lot, complaining that they never can’t wait to open a bottle of wine, because their kids have driven them totally crazy this week.” Me, I listen, don’t say anything, and drive myself home to work (I work full time from home), but, not before I play with my 1 year old, and cuddle with him, and kiss him, and tell him how in love I am with him. Sure, he may not completely understand me yet. But, I don’t care. I want him to only feel love and happiness from me. Not bitterness and frustration. He and his brother are my sacred blessings. There are only one of each of these boys in the world. They are mine. So, that’s why I am happy every day with them. That’s why I VERY rarely open up bottles of wine in my home. In fact, the other day I had to dust the bottles I have in my dining room. That’s how long they just sit there. I don’t need them. I too, have my challenging moments with my kids, but I always make it a point to pause, and realize that I have been given the honor to be these kids’ mother. And, instead of yelling at them, I take them, speak to them with a normal tone, and explain to them what they did wrong, how to make it right, and I finish it off with a big “I Love You”, and a kiss.

My final thoughts are, you don’t need alcohol, gossip, and cliques to de-stress. Be thankful for your kids, stop complaining, kill it with kindness. Smile more, stop rushing life and your kids so much. Kids grow fast enough. So, take a moment, re-evaluate, and enjoy. It’s an extremely beautiful life.