Monday, April 20, 2015

Four Romantic books for Pre-Wedding Inspiration

Doctor Zhivago Book Cover
As you prepare for your wedding, take some time to immerse yourself in romance and really get into the spirit of your upcoming nuptials. Reading thoughts on love from the great writers of the ages is a wonderful way to get into the mindset. Here are a few of the most wonderful works about love that we know; complete with an excerpt to get you started.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince is a lovely and strange little book, with plenty of astute observations about youth, old age, humanity, and the nature of imagination and creativity. There are plenty of enlightening thoughts about love in the mix as well.


“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

BrontĂ«’s titular heroine suffers much throughout the course of her novel, but by the end she finds comfort in the arms of the only man she ever truly loved: the dark and brooding Rochester. By the end of the novel, the two have been happily married for ten years.


“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak

It’s difficult to sum up Pasternak’s sprawling epic--just a summary of the events involved could run over a thousand words. But central to the plot is Dr. Zhivago’s love for Lara, a spark that burns when they first meet, and drives them to be together when they meet again years later.


““They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the "blaze of passion" often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet.”

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

There is plenty of loss and yearning in Love in the Time of Cholera; it’s composed mainly of the main character’s aching after the woman he loves but can never be with. He waits fifty years to be with her, until finally they have a chance to find happiness together. Make sure you keep the tissues handy when you get to the final chapter.


“Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness, and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was time when they both loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other moral trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

4 Great TV Wedding Episodes

Turk and Carla Wedding from Scrubs
On the night before your wedding, as you’re fighting the last of the pre-nuptial jitters and trying to sleep, you’ll want something to take your mind off the big day to come. That’s when it’s time to watch some classic wedding episodes of your favorite TV shows. TV weddings tend to be the climax to years’ worth of build-up, and they frequently feature ceremonies where everything goes wrong but it turns out alright in the end. Which is a good thing to keep in mind as your ceremony starts--no matter how many little things go awry during your wedding, it can end up being as romantic as these.

Lily and Marshall, How I Met Your Mother (Se02Ep21)

Marshall and Lily are the steadfast, in-it-for-the-long-haul couple on How I Met Your Mother. It’s surprising it took them two full seasons to get to the altar. When they do finally hold their nuptials, their storybook wedding plan goes south pretty quickly: Marshall has a freak-out and shaves a patch of his hair; the florist doesn’t show; the photographer is replaced by a camera phone. Despite all the setbacks, Lily and Marshall manage to have both the small intimate wedding and the grandiose ceremony they each wanted.

Phoebe and Mike, Friends (Se10Ep12)

We always knew that Phoebe’s wedding to the equally quirky Mike would never be anything but unconventional. This episode doesn’t skimp on the whimsy--prevented from getting to their wedding venue by a blizzard, Phoebe and Mike end up celebrating their nuptials on the sidewalk in front of Central Perk, with a dog for a groomsman and Joey standing in for the officiant. It’s off-kilter and strange, but sweet--much like Phoebe herself.

Alex and Izzie/Meredith and Derek, Grey’s Anatomy (Se5Ep21)

Grey’s anatomy gives us two romantic tales for the price of one: terminally ill Izzie is planning Meredith and Derek’s wedding to be the fairy-tale extravaganza she always wanted, while Meredith and Derek secretly conspire to have Izzie walk down the aisle with Alex. While Izzie and Alex get their elaborate wedding, Derek and Meredith exchange vows on Post-It notes. Everyone gets what they want--at least temporarily--which is rare for Grey’s Anatomy’s usual melodrama.

Turk and Carla, Scrubs, (Se03Ep22)

Fans of Scrubs always knew that Turk would get married--but they had assumed it would be to J.D., his “bro-mantic” partner of three seasons. But Turk and J.D. were not to be--their friendship transcends a mere marriage--instead, Turk walked down the aisle with girlfriend Carla. This episode is memorable for having the groom completely miss the wedding, because he’s doing an appendectomy and complications with the procedure make him late to the church. Fortunately, his patient is a priest, and marries Turk and Carla after the reception and before the honeymoon.

There are plenty of other great wedding episodes out there if you’re still feeling those jitters after these four. Every show from Boy Meets World to Sex and the City to Full House feature weddings to make you laugh, cry, and be glad that yours is likely to go far more smoothly than its televised counterparts.

Monday, April 6, 2015

8 Slow Songs for Late in the Reception

Journey Record Cover
Wedding receptions tend to go through stages as the party progresses--there’s the slow filling of the dance floor, the peak dance phase where even the toddlers are jumping around, the “woo” phase when everyone’s feeling the three or four drinks they’ve had. These songs are for the tail end of the reception, when couples want to snuggle up and pretend it’s Senior Prom all over again. Here are some great slow jams to keep them swaying.

“Faithfully,” Journey
Sure, Journey’s cheesy. But they’re also kind of awesome. Early in the reception you can get everyone singing along to “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but Journey won’t desert you when it’s time to slow dance. Either this one or “Open Arms” has all the soaring balladry your guests need to keep on dancing.

“I’ll Stand By You,” The Pretenders
There’s a lot to say for the honesty and simplicity of these lyrics--”even though you suck sometimes, we’re in this together,” is a good theme for a wedding dance. This is one of those great rock ballads that just keeps building and building until people are singing along wiping away tears.

“What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
By this stage of the festivities, your guests should be feeling drained, tired, and blissfully happy. It’s a great time to throw on this simple, beautiful tune about the wonderful world we live in.

“Come Away with Me,” Norah Jones
There’s something inviting and entrancing about Norah Jones’s sleepy-sultry sound, and it’s in full effect on this tune. Perfect for hugging your significant other close and whispering in their ear.

“My Life,” The Beatles
You can’t go wrong with the Beatles at a multi-generational gathering like a wedding. This song has a sense of sweet nostalgia for the good times that have passed, but it also has the perfect wedding sentiment for a new couple.

“Such Great Heights,” Iron & Wine
The original by the Postal Service is an upbeat, electronica-tinged tune that might be a good way to get the dance floor filled at the beginning of the evening. This cover, though, keeps the adorably romantic lyrics but turns the energy down to an acoustic, half-speed, quiet and contemplative mood.

“I’ll Be,” Edwin McCain
This one was overplayed when it came out in the late ‘90’s, but it’s aged well. There’s a nice twist to the lyrics that keep them from sounding generic, and McCain’s voice has enough whiskey-tinged soul in it to keep the song from sounding too slick.

“Like Real People Do,” Hozier
The lyrics have an appealing darkness to them, and Hozier’s got pipes to spare, but he holds it in check for this quiet, intimate tune. The chorus’s “we should just kiss like real people do” should inspire some smooches out on the dance floor.

When the hour grows late and the party settles into a mellower vibe, make sure your DJ is equipped with slow-song suggestions to get couples hugging each other on the dance floor. A little sentiment and a little cheesiness is more than okay at this stage--everyone’s bound to be feeling a little sentimental after celebrating your special day. So give them a chance to hold each other and sway.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Where to Buy Wedding Sparklers in Maine

Where to Buy Wedding Sparklers in Maine
Though it may not be the very first place that pops into mind when you think of places to get married, Maine is both popular and breathtaking if you book the right venue at the right time of year. Remember, there are millions of well-off city slickers just a few hours south of Maine in cities like New York, Boston, and Newark, and many of them jump at the chance to get out of the city for a little fresh country air; especially when it’s for their wedding! On top of that, Maine is very wedding-friendly by offering a wide variety of accessories to legally be used including wedding sparklers and other small fireworks. This has led many couples to wonder where to buy wedding sparklers in Maine, and it can be a little trickier than you might anticipate.

The biggest obstacle is that most fireworks shops only sell for a few weeks out of the year. Running a year-round fireworks store isn’t very profitable since demand sharply drops after the most obvious holidays have come and gone, so what is a bride and groom to do? If you find yourself struggling in your search of where to buy wedding sparklers in Maine, you can always do a little shopping online. Having a full box of beautiful wedding sparklers shipped right to your door only takes a few days, so this can be a real life saver if you’re on a time crunch.

However, knowing where to buy wedding sparklers in Maine is only half the battle; you’ll still need to get it approved by your venue. Most of the best wedding venues in Maine are outdoors on rock cliff beaches and near lighthouses, so you shouldn’t get too much resistance from the vast majority of wedding venues. However, it is still important that you call ahead to make sure so you don’t waste your money on a full case of wedding sparklers only to find out that they can never be lit.

Additionally, thought the state completely allows their use, some regions may have different laws. Most towns and cities follow the Maine fireworks laws precisely, but they always have the option to add restrictions such as when fireworks can be used and if you need to get special permits or insurance in case of an incident. Chances are you won’t have any strange hoops to jump through in order to use sparklers at your Maine wedding, but it’s always better to lean on the side of safety instead of chancing it and receiving a possibly sizeable fine or even jail time.

By knowing that you want to use wedding sparklers before you choose your wedding venue in Maine, you stand the best chance of pulling it off. You’ll be able to ask all the right questions from the start and can change the time of year for your wedding based on when they are consider acceptable to use. Most venues will allow you to use wedding sparklers all year and you won’t have and friction, but there are a few exceptions so you need to make sure you do the legwork and everything will be fantastic.