January 21, 2013

{Thank You Notes}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
"Gratitude is the memory of the heart" a wise French teacher once said. And being grateful expresses the tenderest parts of ourselves. So what about those wedding "Thank You" notes? No excuses like "you're too busy" or "they're old-fashioned" -- writing thank-you notes for gifts and favors and assistance you've received are as essential to your wedding planning duties as ordering the invitations, selecting the cake, or finding the perfect dress!

The editors of Martha Stewart Weddings devoted an entire section to "How to Write a Thank-You Note" ... and here's what they said about getting started:

In the afterglow of a wedding, it can be a joy to write thank-you notes expressing heartfelt gratitude for the gifts you've received. But no matter how genuine your feelings, keeping the sentiment meaningful from one note to the next takes focus and creativity. Plus, you need to be somewhat organized to get the messages completed in a timely fashion.
Continuing with tips about "getting organized," "keeping track," and "what should the notes look like," the magazine editors also remind you that "feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it!"
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia
[Top quote from Jean Baptiste Massieu, bottom quote from William Arthur Ward; images from Martha Stewart Weddings.]

January 7, 2013

{Downton Abbey Inspiration}

Dear Bride-to-Be: If you're a Downton Abbey fan and thinking about an elegant vintage vibe for your weddingthen inspiration is at hand!  In the long-awaited third season we get to see how both the "upstairs and downstairs" plan two grand family weddings in this British period drama where the splendidly sumptuous costumes are the stars of the show!

Here's an excerpt from an upcoming article of mine, "The Wedding Season on Downton Abbey," soon to be published in a fashionable social-scene magazine:

It’s post-war 1920 and the three aristocratic Crawley sisters dress in the stylish fashion of the budding “modern woman.” The restrictive corsets are gone as are waistlines, high-necks and sweeping hemlines. So as a woman’s figure was freed—with hair cut and crimped—lighter and more diaphanous fabrics became popular for a delicately draped silhouette.
 Since this is before the Jazz Age flapper girl, the Downton Abbey wedding fashion is softly feminine and romantic, floaty and full-length, even goddess-like. And it followed Vogue’s directives of the time: “No matter what hour the wedding is held, there must be no exaggerated d├ęcolletage.” Both Ladies Mary and Edith’s elegant wedding gowns—modest, yes, but oozing femininity—“offer a wealth of inspiration for modern brides hoping to channel a hint of vintage glamour,” writes Elle UK magazine.
Wherever you look for inspiration for your wedding, look into your heart first, then everything else will follow exquisitely along!
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: I'll let you know when my Downton Abbey article is published so you can read the whole thing to get the full vintage inspiration!
pps: I have put together a new Power Point presentation that's become a real hit—"Downton Abbey: Here Come the Brides!" If you know of a group that needs a guest speaker, let me know—everyone seems to enjoy these entertaining "history lessons" told through stories about fashion, folklore and society (and why we do the crazy things we do!)