Archive for November, 2011

Expert Forum: Inviting Kids to the Wedding

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Kids at weddings is always a hot button issue when it comes to wedding debates. The children are the future, but do they belong front and center on your big day? To get to the bottom of this highly contested argument, we gathered some of our rowdy friends for our first ever panel discussion.

kids at wedding good bad idea

These guys are harmless, right?

Many couples opt for a kid-free wedding day to help maintain the sophisticated ambiance. Others let children play a major role in the day’s festivities. Where do you stand on kids being in attendance: cool or controversial?

BRIAN LEAHY (Founder, The Groom Says)

Unpredictability is definitely IN right now, and what’s less predictable than a six-year-old at a wedding? Look — what’s the worse that can happen? He/she consumes the entire dessert table and blows chunks on the bride’s shoes … and is that so bad? Most kids will either be intrigued (i.e. listening) or utterly bored (i.e. asleep) during the ceremony. As for the reception, their inexplicable bursts of energy on the dance floor make up for all of the old folks and anti-socials who refuse to boogie. My opinion is — if you’re gonna exclude anyone from the wedding, make it the non-dancers.

HUNTER STIEBEL (President, Broke Ass Media)

Like the song says, “It’s a family afaaaaair. It’s a family afaaaaair.” So shouldn’t the whole family be there? If you don’t want certain people (or the entire wedding) to be weighed down by the kids, then arrange for someone to assist in caring/distracting the children. Now, I’m not saying everyone who has a kid should be invited to bring them, but this celebration is about welcoming one another into each others family. It seems only right that the cutest members be able to represent. If for some reason capacity doesn’t allow for kids, that’s understandable… but they are half the size of a normal guest and you don’t know the meaning of sophistication until you’ve seen a 4 year old in a tuxedo (For extra sophistication add a mustache).

MARTA BLOCK (Editorial Director, GigMasters.com)

As with most wedding questions, there’s no one answer that works for all couples. If you are having kids at the wedding make sure to consider your youngest guests when hiring entertainment. Talk to your band or DJ about ways to make sure the kids are occupied and having fun and consider hiring additional entertainment that will appeal to kids and adults alike (magician, face painter, balloon twister, photo booth). It’s perfectly alright to not include kids in your guest list, but if you don’t want kids, don’t be surprised or offended if some out of town guests don’t attend. You can offer to help out-of-town guests find childcare, but depending on the age of the kids, many parents won’t be comfortable leaving their children with sitters they don’t know.

EARL ANDERSON (Certified Cake Pimp, Fantasy Frostings)

I understand the reasoning behind a “Kid-Free” wedding. I also understand vegetarians, but I wouldn’t want to be one. A wedding is a celebration of family. The founding of a new family. To me, family means kids. Lots of kids running wild at the reception. If you want to have a quiet, solemn moment  during the ceremony, I suggest an Event Sitter. Our friend Tish at Elegant Event Sitters does a great job entertaining the kids during the quiet times. You can have it both ways.

DAVE SOLDINGER (Founder, Temple of Groom)

My wedding was “no kids allowed”.  Look, I love kids, one day I want one or two of em, but right now, I say leave them at home with the sitter.  Children are just a giant X factor.  Do you really want the most important day of your life interrupted by a screaming child having a tantrum?  The last wedding I was at a child wondered onto the dance floor during the couple’s first dance.  It was cute, and the wedding couple rolled with it, but come on do you want a kid upstaging you on your day?  We adore our puppy and wanted him to take part in our wedding, but even we had to draw the line.  No puppies, no children.  That being said, look, if the kid is YOURS, fine, he/she is allowed to come – there are exceptions I guess.  I just don’t want hate mail from angry parents about to get married!

Now we want to hear your take. How do you feel about kids at weddings? Which answer above do you agree/disagree most with? Chime in by leaving a comment below.

Old School WWF Wedding Party Entrance

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

If you’re a fan of 90′s WWF wrestling, you’ll truly appreciate this video. It features a groom & his groomsmen entering the wedding reception dressed as classic wrestlers set to old school ring-walk music. We’ve gotta hand it to the bride for going along with this. Now somebody get me a Slim Jim, ohhhh yeaah!

Who’s your favorite classic wrestler? Would your bride let you get away with this type of wedding entrance? Let us know in the comment section below.

Six Do’s and Don’ts for Throwing the Best Stag Party

Monday, November 14th, 2011
bachelor-party-dos-and-donts

DO: remember that the groom doesn’t pay for anything.

From the moment he pops the question, there’s one thing groom-to-be thinks about more than anything else – the bachelor party. This isn’t a new phenomenon either, as bachelor parties are rooted in ancient history. Many believe that the Spartans were the first to hold bachelor parties as a celebration of the groom’s last night as a single man. This celebration included dinner and drinks with many a toast given in the groom’s honor. The term bachelor itself, used as we do today, first appeared courtesy of Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales in the 14th century.

Bachelor parties have come a long way since then, and more importantly, they’ve become much more creative. Unfortunately, they’ve also tended to get more out of hand as well. In more recent times, bachelor party debauchery has even contributed to numerous celebrity break-ups. Paris Hilton, Mario Lopez and Ali Landry have all had relationships affected by the groom’s last night out.

From fancy five-star dinners to a Texas Holdem weekend at the casino, there are many different ways to throw a bachelor party. But regardless of your party preference, there are some basic tips and advice worth following. These bachelor party dos and don’ts can make or break the celebration – and even the groom if you’re not careful.

1. Don’t let the groom pay
No matter how generous he is, the groom shouldn’t have to pay for anything during his bachelor party. It’s his last night out as one of the guys, so take care of him. Certain exceptions can be made, especially if the celebration spans a weekend or longer: think Las Vegas. But make sure to cover him when it counts – after all, it’s his celebration, right?

2. Do something different.
If your group always hangs out at the same bar or goes to the same restaurant or club, don’t go back to that place for the bachelor party. Take the groom somewhere different – hopefully somewhere nicer too. Whether he’ll admit it or not, this is a big deal for him, so do something special. Go all out, that way there are no regrets when he looks back on the night 10 years from now.

3. Don’t let yourself get tired
This is particularly important for weekend excursions or trips to Vegas. No, we’re not talking about doing anything illegal here, but some real simple things can help make sure everyone’s energetic and enjoying the party. Sleep can be hard to come by on a bachelor party weekend, especially if a night-long US poker tournament is in the cards. So know where to find a good cup of coffee if you’re on an overnight trip. Better yet, bring one of your own coffee makers along with you. This can save you some serious money too – Starbucks gets expensive!

4. Do some advance planning
As great as it made the plot of The Hangover, don’t try to hold a bachelor party any closer than three days before the wedding. There’s just too much that can go wrong. Trust me – the bride and her family will thank you. Be sure to start planning early, as well, especially if there are a number of guys traveling for the occasion.

5. Don’t let the groom do anything he’ll regret
He’s still engaged, after all, so don’t let him get too out of control. It’s the best man’s job to make sure the groom behaves, which is actually the second most important thing he has to do – other than plan the bachelor party. Everyone else is on his own, just make sure to keep an eye on the groom. If Mario Lopez can get caught, then there’s no reason to expect that he won’t.

6. Do remember to have fun
Despite all the excitement and planning going into the bachelor party celebration, the most important thing is to just have fun. At the end of the day, it’s all your friends together celebrating an important moment in the groom’s life. Don’t lose sight of that amongst all the other craziness that may or may not be going on. And remember that at the end of the day, it’s not where you are or what you’ll do that matters – it’s who you’re with that really counts.

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Connect with post author Chris Easter on Google+, Pinterest and Facebook.

We want to hear from you. What other do’s and don’ts do you have for throwing a memorable stag party? Let us know in the comment section below.

2011 Top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Men

Friday, November 11th, 2011

For better or worse, the holiday shopping season is upon us. We know that this time of year brings countless e-newsletters and overwhelming gift guides showing off all the new gifts you should be buying. That’s why we’ve decided to take it easy on you this year by breaking down 2011′s top 10 must have holiday gift ideas for men. These are the only gifts you need to know about, and they’re all available over on The Man Registry shopping site. To learn more or purchase, just click on the product image or name.

We’re also happy to offer 10% off these items to our readers. To redeem savings, simply use the discount code summer14 while checking out over on The Man Registry site. Additionally, all orders over $149 receive free ground shipping.

bluegrass bourbon barrel

Bluegrass Bourbon Barrel

10.) Bluegrass Bourbon Barrel – We introduced you guys to this dandy creation back in August when we interviewed bourbon expert Jeff Ames. The magic of the Bluegrass Barrel is that it allows the user to learn about the aging process and perfect his/her own blend from home. There are no expensive lessons involved because the kit comes with everything you need to know to get started. It can even be engraved with the recipient’s initials. If you’re not a fan of bourbon, you can also create wine, rum and tequila in the barrel. [$69.95]

Chalkboard Beer Mug

Chalkboard Beer Mug

9.) Chalkboard Beer Mug – When it’s not moonlighting as our top selling groomsmen gift, our chalkboard mug [a TMR original] makes for an affordable and creative holiday gift. Whether you’re looking for a white elephant gift, something for your boss or just a fun mug for Uncle Frank to drink eggnog out of, we think this baby will do the trick. And yes, it does come with chalk. [$19.95] above photo credit destination wedding & honeymoon magazine

The Collegiate Sportula

The Collegiate Sportula

8.) The Collegiate Sportula – The Sportula is exactly what it sounds like. It combines team spirit with a spatula, giving tailgate grill masters a brand new toy to add to their repertoire. And that’s not even the best part! The end of the Sportula is actually a bottle opener – because what guy doesn’t like to crack open a few cold ones as he’s manning the grill? With over 80 schools available, we’re sure that you’ll be able to find the team of your choice. [$29.95]

apple holiday pack iphone cufflinks ipad case

Apple Gift Pack (iPhone Cufflinks & iPad Case)

7.) Personalized iPhone Cufflinks & iPad Case – Our Apple Gift Pack features two items that every Apple fan needs. Our iPhone Cuff Links are ideal for work or more formal affairs and come in an engraved case. The iPad Case features a stand that turns any place into a work environment. It too can be personalized on the plaque that’s attached to the front. These two items should certainly be on the wish list for any man-on-the-go. [$24.95-$36.95]

Sweetwood Cattle Co. Ranch Hand Gift Pick

Sweetwood Cattle Co. Ranch Hand Gift Pack

6.) Sweetwood Cattle Co. Ranch Hand Gift Pack – Last month, we posted our interview with Ryan Wood, the brainchild of Under Armour & founder of Sweetwood Cattle Co. Ryan’s ranch produces some of the finest beef that this writer has ever tasted. We were limited to including one Sweetwood gift pack in this guide, and we decided to go with the Ranch Hand. This pack includes two ribeyes, two flank steaks and one sausage link. Trust me, you’ve got to try this stuff to believe it. All orders are shipped in dry ice from a USDA approved facility – freshness guaranteed. [$75.00]

remote control cooler

Remote control cooler

5.)  RC Cooler – Another popular year-round gift is the Remote Control Cooler. Perfect for entertaining or showing off in his man cave, this baby is powered by one 9-volt battery and six C batteries. It will run on any surface (although faster on concrete or hardwood), features a control handle that’s shaped like a bottle cap and holds a 12 pack along with ice. Yes folks, it doesn’t get any more awesome than this! Available in blue and black. [$79.99]

Personalized drumsticks guitar pick

Personalized gifts for the music lover

4.) Personalized Drumsticks & Engraved Guitar Pick – Have a music enthusiast on your shopping list this year? Surprise him with a personalized piece of equipment that he can put to use or proudly display in his jam room. In fact, you may want to order a few backup sets for his groupies. [$21.95 - $57.95]

engraved rawlings baseball bat

Engraved Baseball Bat

3.) Engraved Rawlings Baseball Bat – As the calendar turns to a new year, baseball fans begin to get excited for the beginning of spring training. If the man in your life falls into this category, our engraved Rawlings bats makes for a perfect gift idea. With up to three lines of personalization allowed, he can proudly display the bat in his office or man cave. [$59.99]

Personalized Storus 2-in-1 money clip card holder

Personalized Storus 2-in-1 Money Clip/Card Holder

2.) Personalized Storus 2-in-1 Money Clip/Card Holder – From the leading name in money clips, comes our top-selling Storus cash and card holder. Take it from a guy, we don’t like carrying a big chunky wallet around in our pocket. It’s much more comfortable (and stylish) to use a slick money clip. Constructed from stainless steel and top grain leather, this beauty is available in black, brown and red. [$42.95]

engraved-barware

Engraved Barware Collection

1.) Engraved Glass Pitcher & Beer Tankards – If you’re shopping for an amateur bartender or just a good ‘ol fashion beer lover, you can’t do much better than these two pieces of personalized glassware. Our 60oz. glass pitcher and set of four tankards can each be engraved with one initial. They’ll bit a hit the next time you’re hosting poker night or having the family over for a holiday dinner. [$34.95-$64.95]

Connect with post author Chris Easter on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

Which gift suggestion is your favorite? What other items make great gifts for men? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Cheers!

Latest Celebrity Engagement Ring Styles: Get the Look Within Your Budget

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

By Michael O’Connor, Jewelry & Style Expert

Just like photos from red carpet events, when a celebrity gets engaged, we anxiously await a close-up photo of their engagement ring. After all, celebrities set engagement ring trends. Whether it’s Reese Witherspoon’s Ashoka cut diamond on a micro-pavé band, or Emily Blunt’s vintage ring, I’m noticing that celebrity brides are consistently choosing platinum. Why? Platinum is a great choice for engagement rings because it won’t change color or fade. It symbolizes a relationship that will endure. Since most of us can’t afford to spend hundreds of thousands (or millions!) on an engagement ring, I wanted to share my tips on how you can still get one of the latest platinum ring styles without breaking the bank:

Diamond Solitaire from Gelin Abaci. Diamond in the Rough from Micro-Pavé

Diamond solitaire set in platinum from Gelin Abaci (L), Micro pave diamond engagement ring set in platinum from Diamond In The Rough (R)

1. Diamond Solitaire: Carrie-Ann Inaba received a princess cut diamond on a solid platinum band. This design draws attention to the center diamond, and since platinum is naturally white, it makes the diamond sparkle even brighter and appear larger, regardless of the size! Solitaire styles are the perfect choice for women who know their style is going to evolve and mature, or change over time. A platinum set solitaire style will work with everything and is easily given a fresh appearance simply by changing out the bands that you put with it. Solitaires can also be extremely “budget-friendly” since it’s easy to find a diamond in a size and quality to fit almost any budget.

Custom Designed Engagement Ring from Gemvara

Custom designed platinum engagement ring from Gemvara.com

2. Customized Design: While a celebrity might choose a large center gemstone, it’s the customized design of a ring that truly makes it a platinum sparkler. Julie Benz received a one-of-a-kind platinum and cushion cut diamond engagement ring complete with a diamond frame and milgrain edge band. You can also inscribe a personal message or symbol and date onto the inside of your ring. This secret message sits next to the skin and is a constant reminder of the love and special moments a couple has shared. Personalization adds a huge emotional value to your ring regardless of how much you decide to spend. Having your message engraved in platinum will ensure that it lasts a lifetime.

3. Micro-Pavé Diamond Collar: Natalie Portman and Molly Sims chose the elegance of a micro-pavé or thin diamond collar to surround their center diamond. Diamond collars are the newest trend capturing the imaginations of Hollywood, providing an extra ring of sparkle and scintillation around the center diamond. This extra ring is not only dazzling, but it also creates the illusion of making a smaller diamond appear even larger and giving it extra life – the look you want at a price you can live with.

To view photos of the latest engagement ring styles within your price range, visit PreciousPlatinum.com/EngagementRings.

Michael O’Connor is one of America’s leading voices on jewelry, style and accessories and has become the “go-to” resource for editors and producers seeking information on current trends and celebrity information. O’Connor as been involved in the luxury, jewelry and fashion industries in a career that spans over 25 years. Connect with Michael on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Grooms: have you considered any of the above styles for the ring you’ll be giving your future bride? Brides: which ring above stands out to you and why? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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