September 26, 2014

{Gracious Destinations}

Dear Bride-to-Be: 
You always want your wedding to be in a beautiful setting: whether a large cathedral or cozy chapel; an ornate temple or a lush blue-water beach; a backyard garden or an elegant historical mansion!

There are many lovely and grand old homes around the world (some are even castles) that have been restored into "destination" wedding venues....places that seem to call forth the beauty and magic of ancient rituals. I just visited one in Mobile, Alabama: the elegant Bragg-Mitchell Mansion in all its antebellum glory, nestled among graceful live oaks and palmettos. (I was there to give my Downton Abbey costume talk and have a book signing.)

Having an intimate "sense of place" for their wedding is important to many couples...a sense that they feel "at home" yet transported to something moving, even spiritual. So wherever you choose to gather for wedding vows and deep connections with family and friendsclose to home or farawaychoose from your heart and that intimacy will guide your strong sense of place all the way "home."

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion dining table set for Morning Coffee
during my "Downton Abbey" presentation. 
[Images courtesy of Bragg-Mitchell Mansion]

September 10, 2014

{Be Exquisitely Self-Expressed}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
There's no such thing as too many musings about beautiful vintage handkerchiefs! So here's a "ps" to a recent post about my love for hankies....

I met Cynthia Brumback, author of the wondrous new book The Art of the Monogram, at a book signing in Cashiers, North Carolina last month. Of course there's more to monograms than just using on handkerchiefs and Cynthia's book covers it all exquisitely: from sterling silver and home linens to royal jewels and silk lingerie; from their etched historical beginnings to today's high-fashion runways; from grand display to intimately personal. (This book should be on your most wished-for "gift list.")

Planning a wedding, being a bride, beginning a marriage are all compelling rites-of-passage and I can't think of anything that marks their passage more memorably than to have some sort of beautifully scripted monogram to commemorate the occasion. Whether it's a vintage linen handkerchief embroidered with your initial to carry on your wedding day; or for your reception, a pair of old silver toasting goblets engraved with your new monogram, perfect for holding hand-picked wildflowers later by your bedside; or a custom-designed monogram with "his & her" initials for your wedding cake (just like William and Kate!), a design you use forever on favorite things at home.

In the spirit of honoring relationship (with yourself, with another, with your heritage), something monogramed is the perfect bit of "self-expressed" beauty to add to your life every day!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: The Art of the Monogram]