Monday, April 5, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I'm standing tip toe at the top of the world, about to take off in a jet plane.
To Germany. To Germany? Yes to Germany...

I cannot believe it has been almost 2 years since I started working on ebay. It has been a wild and wonderful experience. And I have met so many lovely people.

Thank you to a beautiful woman, my mother, who has mentored, supported & been my working buddy. I will always treasure this time we shared together, more connected then ever.

"A mother's love for her child is like
nothing else in the world. It knows no
law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes
down remorselessly all that stands in its path. "

~ Agatha Christie

To a mother who has done exactly that...I love you.

Happy Ebaying to you and all of our "friends"

Monday, March 1, 2010

Focus on the marriage not the wedding...

When the wedding bells have stopped their ringing, its the sound of your love that fills the air.
Whether fighting or talking or loving or breathing....its you and him left there.

No one's there to help you pick out your Sunday meal, or the dress you'll wear.
Its just you and him trying to show each other you care...

It's the marriage, not the ceremony that matters most.

Don't worry about the flowers, or the dress, or even if your hair is a mess (as mine was :) Focus on the marriage...

My husband and I made a point to focus on the marriage, tried not to sweat the small stuff...and now almost 4 years later are still building the foundation of what we hope to be a very successful venture (relationship). I think I am more in love with him now then I was the day of our wedding... I didn't know him as well was a big risk...And now life would be risky without him! I am so in love!

"I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that." — Brian Andreas (Story People)

The photo above shows a loving set of cute, so young, a first date? A set up? A dance partner? Circa 1915 Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to write a formal Wedding Invitation

"Wedding Etiquette: Containing proper forms for Invitations, Announcements, Reception and At Home Cards. And Neccessary Stationary for other Social Functions connected with the Wedding"
Printed with the compliments of: Everett Waddey Company, Richmond VA.

I just happened upon this adorable little book which gives an abundant amount of information on Wedding Invitations & how to write them! The title of the book is "Wedding Etiquette" it was produced by a stationary company for purposes of selling their own stock & informing the public as to the "proper" way to write an art form that I think is now long lost...

Allow me to quote from page 3, "Fashion sways a sceptre of absolute sovereignty over the human race, and though there are times when we may defy her decree, there are occasions when her laws must be obeyed, and especially is this true in all matters pertaining to social and wedding etiquette. At such times public attention is centered upon the principals in such events and each friend and stranger is a self-constituted critic. "Simplicity and Moderation" must be observed, for an attempt at elaborate display, especially where means do not justify it, will only be met with unkind criticism."

Here are the basics of Wedding Invitations & Announcements:
1. They should be issued in the name of the parents of the bride elect (or in the name of the surviving parent or guardian if they are deceased).

2. When preparing the invitation be careful not to employ abbreviations, yet make the phraseology as concise as possible.

3. The proper form for a Single Wedding at home invitation is as follows:

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander North Strange
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Alice Greever
Mr. Charles Frankfort Madison
on Wednesday afternoon, July the sixth
at five o'clock
Five Hundred and two Boulevard Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida

4. Proper form for a Double Wedding at home (do people even do this anymore?):

Mr. and Mrs. John Roanoke Randolph
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughters

Mary Ellen

Dr. Francis Mercer Tyler
Josephine Snow

Mr. Halyburton Burgess
on the evening of Thursday, June tenth
at eight o'clock

At Home

Goochland County, Virginia

5. Parents names can be substituted for legal guardian names or relative's names, and instead of "at the marriage of their daughter" it should say "at the marriage of his sister (cousin, etc)"

6. The line "requests the pleasure of your company" can be replaced by: "requests the pleasure of your presence" "requests the honor of your presence" "requests your presence" "invites you to be present" or "desires your presence".

7. Full names should be written, as initials do not always sufficiently identify.

8. The date line must indicate morning, afternoon, or evening. The year line, however, in an Invitation is considered superfluous, but must always be stated on the Announcement.

9. The Home Address lines can be substituted for the Church, Court, Hotel, or Banquet Hall address:

Saint Bartholomew's Church
in the City of Boston

10. Apparently, you are never to use "request the pleasure of your company" in an invitation to a Church Wedding (do not ask me why, it just says so).

**Rsvp's will be covered next....till then, good luck & have fun brushing up on your wedding etiquette!**

1920s Vintage Wedding Photo Featured in my she a bride or a princess?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Announcing your Engagement

A lovely vintage wedding photo c1950s from my ebay store Catherine Simms

From the booklet entitled My Wedding circa 1952, see how times have changed:

"Announcing your Engagement
Your family is given the honor of releasing the news of your engagement to friends and the press. You may make the first announcement to friends at a social gathering-luncheon, tea or dinner-and give the information to the press the following day, or you may announce the engagement through the newspapers alone"

2010 Advice on announcing your engagement: Your engagement is one of the most spectacular pieces of information you share in your entire life. Nothing is as exhilarating as contacting someone you love and letting them know your big news! For myself, my husband and I were engaged overseas, so when it came time to tell family members most of them were in a different time zone. In this rare instance I think it is important to respect the people you call, making sure that it is not inconvenient to them, but also to call if you know they do not care to be inconvenienced. This was especially true of my parents and my husband's parents whom we woke up in the wee hours of the morning just to tell them we were engaged.

In general the protocol is as follows:
1. Contact close friends and family members first, preferably in person or over the phone. Failure to follow this protocol can result in hurt feelings if they hear third person. Also, texting can be an impersonal way to communicate something of this magnitude, but understandably it may be the only option and is therefore better than nothing.

2. Surprise family members & friends at a social gathering, dinner, or event. Again, just make sure that if any close family members or friendsthat they are not in attendance are contacted before third party "extras" tell them via Twitter, Facebook, or any other impersonal means.

3. Make your announcement via your favored social network, a special blog post, a unique Twitter message, a Facebook quote on love, or an email with a photo of you and your fiancee. (Please do not only send/post a photo of your bling bling as people find this rude and oftentimes very showy) It is, however, appropriate to post a photo of your engagement ring only after you have already posted a photo of yourself and your soon to be husband or wife. Make sure to put the emphasis on your relationship, and not the size of your diamond.

4. Post an engagement announcement in your local paper. Please note that unlike the 1950s suggestion, most newspapers post these monthly or at most biweekly. So, it is not always the most efficient way of communicating your engagement. Also, unfortunately many people do not read local papers. Make sure that you contact them within 40 days of your actual wedding to acquire an announcement. Be prepared to pay a fee for both an engagement announcement and a wedding announcement. And, if you think that it may not be worth it for you, take my advice, you will have wished you did. (I did not even think of it, I assumed our family would do this, and now wish I would have remembered this fun detail, even if it would have only been treasured in the pages of my scrapbook.)

5. Finally, when you have a date in mind and have officially booked a location send out postcards, notes, magnets, or anything your heart can think up to announce the date of your wedding to those you will invite. Please make sure to send out "SAVE THE DATES" only to those you will be inviting. I know that may seem fairly obvious, but I know many brides who have made this fatal mistake. (They thought they could invite so and so, but then paired down their number of guests. "Ouch" to the person who still has the magnet on their fridge but who was not invited to the event!)

*Good Luck and I hope this helps!*

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Bride 1

Bride 2

Bride 3

Bride 4

Bride 5

Bride 6

Bride 7

Bride 8

Bride 9

Bride 10

All of these are funky Vintage Wedding Photos c1940s
I feature them on my eBay Store Catherine Simms...I just thought it'd be fun to take a poll as to which is the ugliest!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

1950s Wedding Etiquette

Recently I happened upon a wedding booklet specifically geared towards women in the 1950s. It gives helpful suggestions on engagement, announcements, choosing colors & proper attire for a wedding. I cannot help but share quotations from this booklet and comment on what I think is appropriate for our day and age.

After reading through it I began to wonder if the themes and traditions of the 1950s are too outdated or if they are still appropriate for modern brides. I believe that as a bride, one must embrace both tradition and freedom of expression. Strike a compromise between two worlds. The world of yesterday and the world of today. This blog is intended to help young brides, mothers of the bride, helpful friends, or those who are simply interested in the process. I also intend to post vintage wedding photos here on a regular basis to provide a visual picture of the "ideal bride"....

Do not get me wrong. I believe that weddings are not always ideal. But they do provide one with a glimpse into our traditions, fashion, and customs.

Below is a quote directly out of a booklet entitled "My Wedding" copyright 1952 from Brown & Bigelow Publishing, St. Paul Minnesota. It was put together by Foster and Little, Inc. A bridal consultant business in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

It begins with an explanation of how to use this little booklet, it encourages the bride to use this booklet faithfully through all the weeks of planning. On page 3 it begins, of course, with wedding etiquette. For those not familiar with the word etiquette, as it has become increasingly uncommon in 2010:

Etiquette (noun) [refers to] conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion. *According to

As quoted from page 3 of My Wedding, 1952

"Wedding Etiquette...
Don't Struggle With Tradition
Wedding Customs are founded on traditions almost as old as civilization itself. They have continued to develop and change through the centuries and are now well defined. The protocol of modern marriage allows little innovation. You may choose almost any kind of wedding, at whatever budget you can afford, but once your basic decisions are made, you are pretty much circumscribed by the rules of etiquette. It is easy to abide by the conventions, though, and correct procedure enables everyone to play his part in the affair without embarrassing mistakes oversights or explanations.

You may run into the problem of conflict between wedding etiquette as laid down by recognized national authorities and the customs of your community, racial group or religion. Deciding which to follow can be very difficult and the choice can be made by you alone. It is usually best, however, to follow the customs of your own people."

I disagree that the "protocols of marriage allow little innovation." Todays weddings are all about innovation, marriages under the sea, destination weddings, courthouse marriages, "post it note" weddings (Thanks to Grey's Anatomy's couple McDreamy & Doctor Grey). The art of a wedding is that we have the freedom now to be innovative, different & nontraditional!! In some ways I wish that we were more strongly ruled by the rules of etiquette...but I am a rule follower, and I appreciate the structure that etiquette brings. Then again, I do not know if I even considered the role of "the rules of etiquette" at my wedding. So, I would say that in 2010 we are not "circumscribed by the rules" as much as we are circumscribed by our own childhood wedding dreams.

Feel free to let me know what you think, and if you "Struggle with Tradition" More to come next time.....Jjay

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Love is....

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
-St. Augustine