Monthly Archives: May 2013

With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was important to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

Not many couples can say they have a president to thank for their marriage, but Breck and Elizabeth can. During the gas shortages in 1978, President Jimmy Carter put limits on who could buy gas for their cars on certain days. Elizabeth forgot to fill up her car and ran out of gas, so she turned to fellow law school classmate Breck for a lift to the library that night. According to Elizabeth, “If Jimmy Carter hadn’t declared odd and even gas days, we might not have gotten together!”

Instead of studying, the two spent hours in the coffee room, chatting away. But there were still a few kinks to work out early on. Both Elizabeth and Breck were recently divorced. They had been dating for a month when one of Breck’s housemates took Elizabeth aside and said he thought Breck should really be playing the field instead of getting serious so soon after his last marriage. That night on the way home, Elizabeth tried to slow things down with Breck, saying it was too soon for both of them. But Breck wasn’t having any of it. He pulled over to the side of the road and said, “Shut up, Elizabeth, I want to marry you!”

And that was that. A year and a half later, the two were married, and their friends and family all gathered to wish them well. That opinionated housemate of Breck’s? Even he got on board. Elizabeth says, “The ones who mattered to us had no problem with it.”

Breck offered Elizabeth a choice: an engagement ring or a honeymoon. She chose the latter and was pleasantly surprised when Breck planned a trip to Ireland to celebrate their wedding. Thirty-two years, two kids, and a few more dogs later, Elizabeth and Breck now enjoy traveling together, and have returned to Ireland six more times since their honeymoon!

Having both been married before, Breck and Elizabeth learned a few things before walking down the aisle again. “In my first marriage I was too quick to judge and be ready to argue about things,” says Elizabeth. Breck says, “You need someone there to be your friend. When times get bad, you’ve got friendship to lean back on.” Breck’s best trick for a happy marriage has been to maintain his sense of humor: “Even at 2am when life gets a little bit raw, you have to remember your sense of humor. You may not be able to laugh about it at the time, but you’ve got to try to set it up so you can laugh at it later.”

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
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Overlooking the Long Island Sound, Beth and Mark’s lovely July wedding incorporated classic details and personal touches – I love the morning coats as a nod to the groom’s English background!

The classic calligraphy invitations were letterpressed in pale lavender blue ink on creamy paper with rounded corners.

Says the bride, “We chose Wainwright House for its idyllic setting – a gorgeous French country manor style house with charm and style that we both loved the instant we walked in. The fact that the house opened out onto a great lawn in the back, with a backdrop of Long Island Sound, clinched the deal!”

Escort cards were nestled in a bed of lavender buds, surrounded by a moss border.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The French countryside was a big inspiration for our wedding. We brought lavender sprigs, macarons, and a specialty drink called the ‘Poire Williams’ into our theme. We also played off the fact that Mark is English, so he and his groomsmen wore traditional morning coats (full coattails!) and we had Cherry Bakewell tarts – an English favorite – as favors.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  We absolutely loved our wedding ceremony, but outside of that, there were two favorite moments: Listening to the speeches from my husband and my dad which were incredibly touching, funny, and was a moment I will never forget. We also loved that during cocktail hour we were able to escape for a few quiet minutes and have a few hors d’oeuvres on our own, looking out over the water, and marveling that we were husband and wife!

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  ‘Something old’ was my grandmother’s bracelet, ‘something new’ was the pearl necklace (and gift from my husband), ‘something borrowed’ was my mom’s pearl earrings, and ‘something blue’ was a small embroidered ribbon of my initials and wedding date that was sewn just inside my dress.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Without a doubt the best advice was to simply enjoy the day, and not stress. I also appreciated the advice to savor as many moments as I could – it all goes by so fast, and there are so many memories that you’ll want to re-live over and over.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t sweat the details – the day will turn out brilliantly and beautiful, and the guests will remember what a beaming beautiful bride you are!


See more of Beth and Mark’s traditional wedding in the gallery!

Photographer: Stefanie Kapra / Event Planner: Stacie Shea / Venue: Wainwright House in Rye, New York / Dress, Veil: Jane Wilson- Marquis / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Morning Suit: Baldwin Formals / Tie: Brooks Brothers / Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Bridesmaid Dresses, Flower Girl Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Floral Designer: Dirt / Ceremony Music: C3 Worship / Reception Band: Clark Eno Orchestra / Catering, Cake: Cornerstone Catering / Hair, Makeup: Jennie Fresa / Limousine: Morano’s Limousine / Stationery: Jessica Haley
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You might remember MyPublisher from the adorable photo guest book in this wedding feature, but did you know they also offer charming (and totally affordable!) save the date cards?

Each design has been hand-picked, resulting in a thoughtful (and stunning!) collection of save the dates that offers something for every bride, especially when you consider the customization options: over 50 fonts to choose from in an unlimited range of colors! Also, can we talk about these darling envelope liners? What a fun detail for the folks on your guest list!

The best part of MyPublisher? They offer premium quality stationery at totally affordable prices – who doesn’t love that?! Whether you’re interested in a photo save the date card or a bridal shower invitation, MyPublisher is committed to hands-on quality control – by handling every step of the process in-house, they ensure that your customized order turns out perfectly.

So cute, right?! And all of these styles are available on super thick paper, which just adds to their appeal. See lots more designer save the dates – plus photo books and bridal shower invites – over on MyPublisher.


This post sponsored by MyPublisher.

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Erin McGinn Erin McGinn

Natalia and Steven planned their intimate lighthouse civil ceremony in just three weeks, and the bride bought her dress at Bloomingdales just the day before! Says Natalia, “Not to sound cliche, but we got married because it was the most natural, easy and obvious thing to do. Even though we have been living apart and long-distance for over a year now, it felt like we have been with each other for centuries because our love was so deep, forgiving and patient and we simply wanted to be husband and wife because we knew our love has been through enough to deserve that.”

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Erin McGinn Erin McGinn

The couple’s families joined them on The Original Party Trolley of Boston.

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From Natalia: “Steven’s family is all from New England, so we chose Cape Cod and found a unique spot to get married: the Nobska Lighthouse.” Though the lighthouse grounds are available for weddings, the lighthouse itself is not generally open to the public, but because Steven is a former Marine combat veteran, and the lighthouse is managed by the Coast Guard, the couple and their handful of guests were allowed inside.

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Erin McGinn Erin McGinn
Erin McGinn Erin McGinn

Don’t you love this shot of the groom twirling his new bride after their ceremony? So sweet!

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Erin McGinn Erin McGinn

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Steven grew up in New England and we are both drawn to the ocean. The Nobska Lighthouse is on a hill right by the ocean in Cape Cod, and felt tranquil and magical to us.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Dancing and getting absolutely wild on the trolley with my whole family while “Shout!” by The Isley Brothers was playing. We were jumping up and down till the whole trolley was swaying to each side and it made me so happy to see both of our families become one large dancing family.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Don’t talk badly about your husband to anyone. People say they are just venting but others don’t forgive and forget the things you say about your husband because they don’t love him like you do. Sometimes the only way people know your husband is through you. Build him up. Always.


See more of this intimate lighthouse wedding in the gallery!

Photographer: Erin McGinn / Venue: Nobska Lighthouse in Cape Cod, Massachussetts / Dress: Bloomingdales / Shoes: Zara / Groom’s Attire:  Ted Baker / Catering: Brazilian Grill Churrascaria / Trolley: The Original Party Trolley of Boston / Hairstylist: Mirror Image Salon
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