{Registries That Give Back}

February 5th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

I remember being completely paralyzed by the whole wedding gift registry process. Which color towels should I choose? Pots and pans – stainless or ceramic? Forget about china or silver. It seemed so hard to commit to something that would be so valuable and so permanent. What if I changed my mind? What if my taste changed? Almost nine years later, I know that yes, taste does change, and towels eventually have to be replaced anyway. China? You’re kind of stuck there. What seemed more appealing to me back then was the idea that in lieu of a gift, my guest could donate money to a charity in our honor. They were already spending so much money to get to the wedding, for lodging and transportation, that it felt good to know that the money they may have put aside for a gift could help someone else out.

Vintage Bride and Groom

 {Via}

In 2005 when we were married, the only organization I knew of that allowed for such exchanges was the “I do foundation.” Today, along with helping couples donate money to charities through their guests’ generosity, the foundation also aims to “change the culture of the bridal industry so that charity becomes an accepted and expected part of weddings.” Many of you may have probably attended a wedding that included a donation in your name to the couple’s favorite charity in lieu of a favor; this is a popular way to be charitable during this hectic and expensive experience. The I Do Foundation provides an extensive list of ways you can be more intentional about all aspects of your wedding – from   thinking about how the size of your guest list directly affects the amount of resources you use, to buying a used wedding dress, and using your wedding Web site to relay pertinent information rather than using the extra paper inserts in your invitation. The site also provides a list of specific vendors with a commitment to recycling and supporting local business. In short, this is an excellent resource.

As for donating to charities, your guests may choose from up to 1.5 million charities, including local and globally based organizations. You may do a blind search or use the six focus area funds: Health, Environment, Social Justice, Community Development, Education, and Children, Youth, and Families. The organization’s Facebook page also features daily updates of various charities and causes that could use support.

Bride and Groom Heart Pin

{Via}

Though I Do Foundation seems to be the largest and most notable of its kind, but it’s not the only way of achieving this goal. Philanthropy Web sites like the Ed Norton-founded CrowdRise allows engaged couples to create fundraising pages to collect donations. Though this site is not exclusively wedding-related, it does feature the couples’ photos, their fundraising goals, and a graph that shows the percentage of money raised so far. With a little digging, you’ll find many other organizations with similar purposes and missions. These organizations take a small percentage of the donations for credit card fees and other operations. If you’d rather see your guests’ donations go exclusively to the charities, you’d have to organize and distribute these on your own. Planning a wedding is already a stressful time so many couples seem to prefer to use one of these services. One final thought: when I polled a few recently married friends to see how many of them had used one of these organizations, many of them did not know it was an option, so I’d say that this type of giving is still somewhat under the radar. I imagine that with social media they will continue to grow, but it’s a great time to get on board and pay it forward as you begin to plan your future life together.

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Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La (http://lalalaliz.com/). Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s FictionTown and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{Valentine’s Day Promotion}

February 5th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

In honor of love– please use the code: BEMINE20 for 20% off*

VDay_Laughing_Doie Lounge

{Photo by: Valorie Darling Photography, Hair: Trace Henningsen, Make-Up: Parasol of Design}

*this offer cannot be combined with any other offer and can be used to purchase up to five robes. This offer expires on 2.14.14

{Choosing a Wedding Reading}

January 29th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

These days, it’s easier than ever to find a reading for your wedding. But, if you prefer something other than St. Paul’s Letter to the Apostle (about how love is patient and kind and all that), there are many different ways to find unique readings that represent you and your betrothed. The problem with Google or Bing is that you’re likely to come up with a similar list, including but not limited to readings by: Rilke, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, Rumi, a Shakespearian sonnet, and possibly Dr. Seuss. You may also encounter a Navajo or Celtic blessing, and while these authors and their texts have merit, if you’re interested in something unique, I encourage you to put down your computer and look elsewhere.

etsy 1 heart book

To start, I encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open during your engagement. When reading a book – a novel, a memoir, collections of poems – always read with a pen, and underline any passages that deal with matters of the heart. And why not revisit one of your favorite books? It’s always pleasant to reread books at different phases of life – you’ll probably pick up on something you might have missed when you were younger. If you attend any plays or movies, have a piece of paper and pen nearby. If you work with young children, pay attention while reading picture books aloud. So you see, the possibilities are endless. One other thing to keep in mind while perusing for readings is that they don’t have to be so literal. The guests at the wedding all know why they’re there – the underlying theme of the ceremony is love. Don’t be afraid to be abstract – to use passages or lines that symbolize love, devotion, and trust – without spelling it out so clearly. Let them ponder the words you read.

And if you’re one of the lucky ones who has been selected to be a reader in a wedding and it is your job to select the reading, here are few ideas. Begin with the friend or relative in mind. Are they more traditional, adventurous, literary, quirky? Or a combination of all these traits? Here are a few different ideas…

Dave Robbins Photography

{Dave Robbins Photography}

For the practical, hands-on bride who appreciates subtlety, I highly recommend poems by contemporary poets like Mary Oliver, Marge Piercy, or Billy Collins. Collins is the former National Poet Laureate and known for his accessible but deep writing. For my adventurous, courageous and independent college roommate who spent her first few post-college years in a tiny West African village performing AIDS education for the Peace Corps, I chose the following excerpt from Billy Collins’s poem, “Directions.”

“Still, let me know before you set out.

Come knock on my door

and I will walk with you as far as the garden

with one hand over your shoulder.

I will even watch after you and not turn back

to the house until you disappear

into the crowd of maple and ash,

heading up towards the hill,

piercing the ground with your stick.”

And for that passionate friend, who may allow him or herself to get caught up in drama from time to time, don’t be afraid to use excerpt from plays – classic or modern. I think this is the most overlooked of the genres for wedding readings.

From Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing

“I love love. I love having a lover and being one. The insularity of passion. I love it. I love the way it blurs the distinction between everyone who isn’t one’s lover. One two kinds of presence in the world. There’s you and there’s them. I love you so.” (43)

Etsy Heart Book 3

{via etsy}

For your literary friend who shuns the bestseller list and is happiest when she is reading, look to the classics – Henry James, Edith Wharton, Flaubert – all have a lot to say about love. Don’t turn away from Shakespeare, but look at the less well-known plays like A Winter’s Tale. Here’s a sample from Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse:

“Love had a thousand shapes. There might be lovers whose gift it was to choose out the elements of things and place them together and so, giving them a wholeness not theirs in life, make of some scene, or meeting of people (all now gone and separate), one of those globed compacted things over which thought lingers, and love plays.”

Or one of these quotes from A Room With a View by E.M. Forster

“I taught him to trust in love. I said: ‘When love comes, that is reality.’ I said ‘Passion does not blind. No. Passion is sanity, and the woman you love, she is the only person you will ever really understand.’”

“It isn’t possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”

For your friend who is a cinephile: what are the greatest movies about love? Rewatch them and look for the wonderful exchanges about love. From “Sophie’s Choice” and “Out of Africa” to “Say Anything” and the “Before Sunset” trilogy – all have beautiful monologues or dialogues about love.

Say Anything {via imdb}

For that introspective or unconventional friend who didn’t even know if she wanted a wedding or a ceremony or any of this hoopla, I recommend used prose – excerpts from novels or memoirs. In this case, you can be literal or abstract. I chose the following for a friend who loves the water and grew up spending her summers on Nantucket. Even though Didion writes about an entirely different place, the ways she describes how she and her husband used to swim together is the perfect metaphor for the vicissitudes of marriage.

From Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking

“I think about swimming with him into the cave at Portuguese Bend, about the swell of clear water, the way it changed, the swiftness and power it gained as it narrowed through the rocks at the base of the point. The tide had to be just right. We had to be in the water at the very moment the tide was right. We could only have done this a half dozen times at most during the two years we lived there but it is what I remember. Each time we did it I was afraid of missing the swell, hanging back, timing it wrong. John never was. You had to feel the swell change. You had to go with the change. He told me that. No eye is on the sparrow but he did tell me that.” (227)

My own Oprah “Ah-hah” moment came while I was attending Mary Zimmerman’s wonderful adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, with my sister a few months before my wedding. During the final myth of Baucis and Philemon – about the poor old married couple who allows Zeus and Hermes, disguised as beggars, into their home when all of their neighbors had shunned them. Baucis and Philemon give the “beggars” shelter and a feast. The true identities are revealed and the poor couple is granted one wish. Here it is:

HERMES: Old man, old woman, ask of us what you will. We shall grant whatever request you make of us.

Baucis and Philemon whisper to each other.

BAUCIS: Having spent all our lives together, we ask that you allow us to die at the same moment.

PHILEMON: I’d hate to see my wife’s grave, or have her weep at mine.

NARRATOR 2: The gods granted their wish. Arrived at a very old age together, the two stood at what had been their modest doorway and now was a grandiose facade.

ZEUS: And Baucis noticed her husband was beginning to put forth leaves, and he saw that she, too, was producing leaves and bark. They were turning into trees. They stood there, held each other, and called, before the bark closed over their mouths–

PHILEMON AND BAUCIS: Farewell.

NARRATOR: Walking down the street at night, when you’re all alone, you can still hear, stirring in the intermingled branches of the trees above, the ardent prayer of Baucis and Philemon. They whisper:

ALL: Let me die the moment my love dies.

NARRATOR: They whisper:

ALL: Let me not outlive my own capacity to love.

NARRATOR: They whisper:

ALL: Let me die still loving, and so, never die.

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Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La (http://lalalaliz.com/). Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s FictionTown and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.


{Giveaway}

January 24th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

We’ve partnered with Style Me Pretty for another giveaway! Don’t miss your chance to win a Doie Lounge robe. Enter here.

Doie Lounge Robes 10

 

{Photo Credits: Valorie Darling Photography / Hair: Trace Hennigsen / Make Up: Artistry by Danika}

{Pause For MLK}

January 20th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

MLK

{Theme Weddings}

January 16th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

My favorite weddings are the ones that veer towards originality, that show you something unique about the couple and their personalities. The kind of wedding that lingers in your mind as you begin to attend a dozen weddings a season, and they all begin to blend together. One of the great things about choosing a theme for your wedding is that when you look back on that day and at your pictures, it clearly captures who you were at that moment in time. We often see this in weddings where the bride and groom met in unique circumstances – through travel, artistic careers, or through serendipitous circumstances.

For me, eight-and-a-half years ago, I was marrying my college sweetheart, and I was teaching, reading, and seeing all things Shakespeare. Right after I got engaged, I even spent a summer studying Shakespeare at Cambridge University.  Needless to say, when it came time to plan the wedding, the Bard was very much on my mind. We knew we wanted to get married outside on a farm in Vermont, and we had to do it in the summer since I was teaching at the time. The venue we wanted was available on June 25th, which happens to be the day of the summer solstice, otherwise known as Midsummer. And so, “A Midsummer Night’s Wedding” was born.

Save The Date

Since I know I am (mostly) alone among my family and friends in my devotion to Shakespeare, I did not want to be too heavy-handed with how I incorporated this play into our wedding day. As an English teacher, I was more excited about the correspondences and readings as opposed to the cake and flowers, so this is how my theme slowly emerged. My save-the-date card was modeled after a theater playbill. On the cover of the card was a picture of the round barn and farm at which the “play” would unfold. Inside I listed the “players,” “setting,” “synopsis” and all other pertinent information. I’ve always felt like the save-the-date card is the first impression of your wedding and as such, it illustrates what can be expected.

On the wedding day, my theme was evident during the ceremony only in one of the readings, a monologue from the play. I did not have my bridesmaids come in period costume or ask my guests to recite lines (though I was tempted). I did have quotes from the play littered throughout the wedding program, and I borrowed from the language of Shakespeare whenever possible. For example, the scene read: “Waitsfield, and a Wood not far from it.” I also tried to match these quotes with the appropriate sections, so before a remembrance of family members who have passed, I included: “The best in this kind are but shadows.”

Liz_Wedding

Afterwards, during the reception I planted my theme visually around the room. At the entrance of the barn we had a large chalkboard that listed all of the characters in the play to give the guests a context. At this welcome table we also placed a few masks which guests were free to wear throughout the night or in Polaroids for our guest book, and a beautifully bound hardcover copy of the play that my bridesmaids had given me as a group gift. Since I had some extra mini chalkboards I also included a few quotes about love from the play. Each of the tables were named after one of the characters in the play – such wonderful names like Pyramus and Puck and Peaseblossom could not be overlooked. Our main table was, of course, William Shakespeare.

Other than comparing my sister, who was my maid-of-honor, to the character of Puck – as a magician who doesn’t show her tricks, during my toast, that was it for the Shakespeare theme at our wedding. I’d like to think it was subtle and nuanced. It was something my guests definitely remember about our wedding, but it did not prevent anyone from appreciating what the day was about. Of course, not all themes will be as specific as mine, and do not have to be so hard to come by. Themes can be easily attainable through venue – like sailing or nautical themed weddings held at a yacht club or somewhere on the water, or a more rural or rustic themed wedding held at a farm or even in someone’s back yard.

Puck

So to recap and few further ideas:

·      Themes can be attained simply through your correspondences – in your save-the-dates or formal invitations, in the programs for the ceremony, or in your table assignments or place cards.

·      Choose readings for your ceremony that reflect the type of wedding you’re having. Think beyond biblical passages and classical poems. Don’t be afraid to use scenes from a play or a passage from a modern novel.

·      Select appetizers, dinner, or cake that reflect your locale or your roots.

·      Scatter small but significant touches around the space to create a visual reminder of your specific theme. You can do this through the type of flowers you choose, the lighting, signage, or simple props like masks, other costume pieces, or flip-flops if you want to encourage dancing on comfortable feet.

·      Think about how you will be sent off at the end of the night. I’ve seen couples leave via horse and buggy, by sailboat, in antique cars, or simply holding hands and walking together to the after party (as we did).

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Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La (http://lalalaliz.com/). Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s FictionTown and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{Cheers to a New Year}

January 12th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Bridal Party in Doie Lounge Sadie Robe

Things are quite abuzz over here at Doie Lounge as we head into the New Year refreshed and inspired. Although the blog has been quiet for a few weeks, there has been a lot going on behind the scenes.

The New Year will bring with it some new Doie Lounge products, new gorgeous photo shoots, and a new blog contributor! I’m very excited to welcome Liz Matthews aboard!

Liz is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La. Her work has appeared in Quarterly Women’s Fiction, Town and Country magazine, and is forthcoming in Literary Mama.

Look for posts from Liz, coming in the next few weeks. Also, if there are any topics that you would like to see covered on the blog, do not hesitate to contact us via email (sara@doielounge.com) or on the Doie Lounge Facebook Page.

{Last Minute Gifts}

December 20th, 2013 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

The Doie Lounge virtual gift card is here! It’s not too late to give the gift of luxury.

doiegiftcard

{All That Glitters}

December 10th, 2013 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Maybe it’s because holiday parties are in full swing and New Years Eve is just around the corner, but I’m currently obsessed with all things sparkly. There is nothing like some (tasteful) glitter to add some glamour to an event. I hope these images will inspire you to add a shiny touch to your holiday party or New Years Eve wedding.

Blowing Glitter Glitter Bouquet Glitter Feathers Glitter Macaroons Glitter Nails Champagne GlitterGlitter CakeGlitter Girl

All images can be linked back to their original blogs, here.

 

{Deals} Cyber Monday

December 2nd, 2013 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Doie Lounge Holiday

ENJOY 20% OFF YOUR ORDER
USE CODE HOLIDAY20
NOW THROUGH MONDAY*

 

*HOLIDAY20 code cannot be combined with any other offer