Monday, October 31, 2022

Spotlight and Giveaway of Smart Wedding Planning by Edna Dratch-Parker & Jeri Solomon




My wife and I have been working in the wedding industry for well over a decade and this is by far the best wedding planning book we have come across! Wedding planning can feel like a full time job but Edna and Jeri clearly have a wealth of knowledge that will help you plan your wedding more efficiently and probably save you money as well! If I was planning my own wedding all over again the first thing I would do is start with this book as a guide, even after working in the industry for many years there were a lot of surprises when we planned our own wedding but this book seems to cover all of those things we never thought about and a lot more to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. 
Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2022
I can’t put into words how much this book has helped with my wedding planning. The authors have been doing weddings for years and you can tell. The advice is so useful. They will tell you exactly where to start, what to do first and how to deal with the stress of weddings. They have included everything you need to make big decisions. There are worksheets, lists & charts and even an email template! Beyond that, this book talks about why weddings are overwhelming (money, family, the stress of THE BIG DAY) and it teaches how to handle all that difficult stuff. It’s an amazing resource. As I was reading I could feel myself relax and finally start to get excited about my wedding!

If you are wedding planning or know someone engaged, buy this book! It’s honestly the greatest gift you can give someone (or yourself) who is planning a wedding.
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2022
Most Leveled Headed Guide I've Seen
"Guide to Smart Wedding Planning" by Jeri Solomon is an invaluable guide for any couple to start planning their wedding and follow through. I loved when near the beginning Solomon breaks down how to form your committee... and how that differs from your wedding party. Having been on multiple sides of planning a wedding (bride, sister and actual wedding planner), I believe this would have been a useful tool to have had to keep expectations/plans/budget/organization in check. I love the activities at the end of the chapter that couples are to do together -- it increases an understanding of expectations, limitations and priorities the pair have.

I have a sister who is recently engaged and have already sent her a copy to use as she and her fiance figure out what the next steps look like for them.
Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2022  
The Real Deal Wedding Insiders® Guide to Smart Wedding Planning gives you practical and actionable steps to take control of your wedding planning, make the best decisions, and keep your sanity along the way.

You’ll learn how to:

* Navigate stressful relationships
* Create a vision that represents you both
* Understand and build a realistic budget
* Choose the right venue and vendors
* Stay present and enjoy your wedding day




Being engaged is one of the most exciting times in your life, but it can cause some unexpected challenges, and at times it can get downright chaotic. So, let’s help you get organized and get into a more manageable mindset.

Your life is already busy, and now you’ve emotions and multitude of details that come with it. We know you want to make wise choices from the get-go. And that’s what we’re here to help with.

SMART Wedding Planning

A lot needs to happen in order for you to realize your ideal wedding, no matter how big or small it may be.

To get there, you’ve got to be SMART about your decisions. Your choices should be:

S – Specific to your priorities and needs
M - Manageable within your budget, time frame, and comfort zone
A - Articulated clearly communicated to family and vendors
R - Realistic of expectations
T -Timely made with enough information and with enough time to execute them

This book gives you the SMART approach to develop and refined your wedding vision, bring it to life within your particular budget and timeline, and manage your family and vendors to get the best results.

Real Deal Fact #1

Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful. There’s no other period in your life where the expenditure of time, money, and emotions churn together to create a perfect storm as much as when you’re trying to create The Most Important Day of Your Life!

SMART wedding planning includes the Three Cs of what it really takes to produce the wedding you want:

Communication, Comprehension, and Calculation

You will need to:

-Communicate with your family and partner, as well as your vendors.

- Comprehend what it takes to produce the wedding you envision.

-Calculate the real cost of your wedding.

Almost from the moment you announce, “We’re engaged!” the tension starts to mount.

Within days (or hours), the questions start coming: 

When’s the date? 

What’s your color scheme? 

Do you have a venue/photographer/dress?

Your stress level rises as to-do lists swirling in your head. Your first instinct might be to try to get a head start by making appointments to try on dresses or visit venues. 

Our advice? 

The first thing you should do is press pause.

Wedding planning requires you to look at the big picture. 

Every decision you make, from the venue you choose to the size of your guest list to the number of bridesmaids, will affect other decisions down the road. 

This road may be new to you, and it’s difficult to know what lies ahead,
so it’s important to take your time and plan your journey.

Real Deal Fact #2

If you’re going to have the wedding you envision, then shopping for your dress or finding your venue is not step one. 

These are all exciting and important aspects of planning but prioritizing, budgeting, and research need to be done before those steps are started.



With a combined 30 years and hundreds of weddings produced, Edna Dratch-Parker, founder, and creative director of EFD Creative—Event Planning & Design, and Jeri Solomon, owner of Jeri Solomon Floral Design, bring their depth of knowledge and real-life experiences to help couples avoid common mistakes, reduce stress, and truly enjoy the wedding planning process.







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Mailbox Monday - 10/31/2022



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.


Warning:  Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at  MAILBOX MONDAY.


Here is a shout out to the administrators:

Emma @ Word and Peace

Serena @ Savvy Verse and Wit

Martha @ Reviews By Martha’s Bookshelf


THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive.



I hope you had a good mailbox.


On Wednesday, October 26, I received:

1.  ONCE WE WERE HOME by Jennifer Rosner, courtesy of the author and Book Browse.


On Thursday, October 27, I received:

1.  THE BOOKSHOP BY THE BAY by Pamela Kelley, courtesy of Kejana Ayala of St. Martin's. 

On Friday, October 28, I received:
1.  CODE NAME SAPPHIRE by Pam Jenoff, courtesy of Harlequin Trade Publishing, Park Row, and NetGalley.

It's Monday!! What Are YOU Reading? - 10/31/2022

I hope you had a great reading week.
This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOK DATE!

Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.
Books Completed:
ALL THE DANGEROUS THINGS by Stacy Willingham - review will be on January 10, 2023.
Don't miss this one - dragged a bit, but it is worth the wait for a brilliant, clever ending.
EYES TURNED SKYWARD by Alena Dillon - review will be on November 16.
Not a bad read.
THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SALZBURG by Renee Ryan - review will be on December 27.
MARVELOUS, MARVELOUS, not miss this one.
A MOTHER WOULD KNOW by Amber Garza - review will be on December 13.
Disappointed...surprises and a great ending, but very confusing.  I have enjoyed other books by Ms. Garza.
THE OPPORTUNIST by Elyse Friedman - review will be on December 7.
Despicable characters but a very surprise ending.
THE DRESSMAKERS OF PROSPECT HEIGHTS - review will be on December 6.
THE SECRET OF MATTERDALE HALL by Marianne Ratcliffe - review will be on December 1. 
A Gothic thriller that keeps you turning the pages.
SECLUDED CABIN SLEEPS SIX by Lisa Unger - review will be on November 11.
Didn't enjoy it...confusing and too many characters.
THE PERSONAL ASSISTANT by Kimberly Belle - review will be on November 29.
Another Kimberly Belle book you won't want to miss.
THE LAST PARTY by Clare Mackintosh - review will be on November 10.
Not a favorite...dragged on for me.  Disappointed because I always have enjoyed her books.
CRAZY TO LEAVE YOU by Marilyn Simon Rothstein - review is in the book's title.
A fun, light read.
THE ITALIAN DAUGHTER by Soraya Lane - review is in the book's title.
A lovely, lovely read...don't miss it.
THE LINDBERGH NANNY by Mariah Fredericks - review will be on November 15.
Very well done.
THE WIDOW by Kaira Rouda - review will be on December 2.
Not a favorite.

DEAD AND GONDOLA by Ann Claire - review will be on November 3.
THE PRISONER by B. A. Paris - review will be on November 2.
THE FORGOTTEN BOOKSHOP IN PARIS by Daisy Wood - review is in the book's title.

LOVED this book,.
Book Currently Reading:
THE NIGHT TRAVELERS by Armando Lucas Correa - review will be on January 11, 2023.
Books Up Next:

REEF ROAD by Deborah Goodrich - review will be on January 12, 2023.
JUST THE NICEST COUPLE by Mary Kubica - review will be January 13, 2023.
KILLER STORY by Matt Witten - review will be January 17, 2023.
LOOKING FOR JANE by Heather Marshall - review will be on February 2.
CODE NAME SAPPHIRE by Pam Jenoff - review will be on February 8, 2023.
THE WRITING RETREAT by Julia Bartz - review will be on February 21, 2023.
WHEN THE MOON TURNS BLUE by Pamela Terry - review will be on February 22, 2023.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE by Alex Finlay - review will be on March 7.
ONCE WE WERE HOME by Jennifer Rosner - review will be on March 14.
HANG THE MOON BY JEANNETTE WALLS - review will be on March 28, 2023.
THE SOULMATE by Sally Hepworth - review will be on April 4, 2023.
WHERE COYOTES HOWL by Sandra Dallas - review will be on April 18, 2023.

ONLY THE BEAUTIFUL by Susan Meissner - review will be on April 19.
THE COLLECTED REGRETS OF CLOVER by Mikki Brammer - review will be on May 9, 2023.
THE PARIS DAUGHTER by Kristin Harmel - review will be on June 6.
THE BOOKSHOP BY THE BAY by Pamela Kelley - review will be on June 7, 2023.