Announcing Pegeens Wedding of the Year

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When my son Billy was pretty small, 5th grade in fact, he and I were sitting at rehearsals for his dance show, and he announced to me in a deep sigh, “I so want to be married”.  My son, you see, was a romantic and liked having his ducks in a row.  So, while working at Disney just after graduation from business school, he met his fiancé, Juanita, although while they worked there they didn’t date.  Then Billy moved to California (sigh) to set out to conquer the world but they stayed in touch.  A few months after living there, and many calls later, they started dating. At first it was long distance as she had now finished her college internship program with “The Mouse” and moved back to Reno and with Bill in Modesto, they were just a quick drive from one another over the Rockies.  A few short months later, Billy announced he was engaged, and while we were happy for him, I knew that the picket fence was what Billy had long searched for.  Plans were for a wedding 12 months later, but after months of planning a Nevada wedding, we got a call from Billy and Juanita because, quite honestly, my son couldn’t wait to get married.  Like I said, this is something he has longed for since, oh, I don’t know, 5th grade.  So, with less than 6 weeks’ notice, we found ourselves flying to Denver for their wedding in their new home town.  We all will be celebrating as planned this summer with a reception on the original date, but even though it wasn’t as I would have planned, it was the most intimate, loving and special day for me, yep a mom in the wedding business for all of these years.

I know how Martha Stewart felt, when her daughter Alexa decided to basically run off and get married.  My son Bill did not quite do that but we were surprised when my son and fiancé decided to move their wedding from August to March.  But you know what?  Even though there were just a dozen or so guests, they pulled it off and it was the most intimate, wonderful occasion where we, his brother, dad and I – along with Juanita’s mom and her close friends – pulled off quite a number of surprises. Lucky for us, this beautiful woman, my new daughter-in-law has the same heart of gold as my son.

And, as Walt Disney himself would say, it all started with a mouse.  DETAILS OF WEDDING

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intimate wedding

Our Wedding of the Year Winner below (okay, I had to mention my son’s wedding first, right?) took place in my former home state of New Jersey. I was spellbound when I first saw Lisa’s daughter’s wedding photographs. There was this beautiful display of color although the wedding revolved around this gorgeous green setting at The Rockleigh in Rockleigh NJ and I couldn’t get over how beautiful everything fit in. Lisa and her daughter even had colors that went with the setting, for instance the lavender rug. I just loved everything, the cakes, the invitations, and oh my, the flowers. For all the images for the Wedding of the Year below, click DETAILS.

Wedding of the Year

And of course, I can never choose just one favorite, so I found myself back “visiting” Spindletop Hall in Lexington, KY for our Wedding of the Year Winner Runner Up below. It’s really not fair to have a setting so beautiful!  My husband and I used to love America’s Castles on A&E which sadly, no longer airs, however I would get up every Saturday to see each new installment. Then in 2015, we went to a family wedding in Lexington and I was in historic-loving heaven seeing Spindletop Hall.  (Naturally, we chose that wedding as a feature for our Platinum Wedding of the Year and it was featured in Bridal Guide -thank you Diane Forden!). We loved all of the rooms from the hand carved fireplace and plaster-cast ceilings, so when I received a few photographs from the bride’s mother for this 2016 wedding, I immediately spotted Spindletop. I WANTED MORE!!!! Not to disappoint, we think this wedding is worthy of each and every drool. DETAILS

Plum and Navy Wedding

I know that this feature we do this year is meant to highlight the flower girl dresses that we did for these weddings but it is SO much more than that.  Each one of these dresses were carefully designed with the input from the mom’s this year ~ including moi.  For Spindletop, we were able to meet with the mother actually at our design studio, just a mile from Disney World.  She brought her swatches with her and I am pretty sure that we never even discussed that the wedding would be held at this fine estate but Madelyn described their family farm which would be the setting for the rehearsal party and once I knew the time of the year, we both knew lots of gold should be included.  I imagined the rolling hills of Lexington in the fall and could see a vision of the dress we were about to create.

For the Wedding of the Year, to say I agonized about the dress is a total understatement.  As with most of our dresses, we carefully layer multiple layers of tulle in various colors to “paint” the perfect color.  Lisa showed me images of her daughter’s Alvina Valenta’s gown and we were able to come up with the perfect complement to the gown by layering 5 different colors of tulle as well as a special lame’ tulle I happened to find but had wanted to use somewhere.  Her flower girl was the daughter of family friends in Italy and though the little girl spoke not a word of English, her eyes lit up the moment she saw the dress we had created for her.

Finally, for my son’s wedding, I had in mind to create something really spectacular because as far as I was concerned, they were going to have to have 10 little girls walking down the aisle, right?  I still plan to create these special dresses, now for my second child’s wedding for sure (it’s a secret) once that… oh, never mind – gotta finish college first, that one.  But, because plans changed so quickly for my impish son, and since there wasn’t time to create an exclusive flower girl dress for the wedding, I chose at the last minute (really we had a day to make a dress for their wedding) a design from our Fairy Tale Collection called The Opal Fairy which was my take on Frozen because, after all, this was a Disney Wedding as far as I was concerned.  I am pretty sure we threw poor Juanita for a loop because I had only known her favorite color was Tiffany Blue so I thought “Frozen” would be perfect.  I didn’t think that she had gotten any colors for her bridesmaids because her original colors of wine and blue for her wedding likely was thrown out the window.  However, the night before the wedding, her two friends from Orlando put their heads together in her closet and I was impressed by how quickly they had pulled together what would be a spectacular balance the following day of color.  It was pretty funny however that a mere 4 hours from the wedding these two ran me into a few different stores where we got new shirts for my husband and his best-man brother and ties to coordinate because our original ideas just wouldn’t work.  Well anyhow, it was fun and theirs was a wedding I will long smile about.  It was perfect.  NOW I have to get Billy and Juanita to start producing those 10 darling daughters for the next wedding.

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Its Official: I am now a Mother-In-Law

This past week, one of my customers called me because she had her bridal shower and EEEK – she complained about her soon-to-be Mother-In-Law.  So, with my incredible sense of wisdom that comes with this business (LOL), I told her how when I was first married, my mother-in-law was such a strange thing to me. I didn’t really know how to handle her.  She was an awesome person and in fact, I knew her for years though my husband and I only dated for 5 months before getting married, but yet, being on the “inside” of their family traditions was very different indeed. It took a bit of getting used to her ways and finding that learning those traditions they held dear to them were likely pretty important to my new husband as well.  Looking back on it however, I find she was a great role model for making my new memories with my new daughter-in-law.  Sadly, we live almost 2000 miles from my son so our interactions are less frequent but I remember so many of the things Marion would do to include me in decisions.

But this new bride to be was really struggling, and crying as her shower ended up being a hot mess with the MIL really giving her a hard time about EVERYTHING.  So, I put on my newly acquired “hat” of a MIL and gave her the best advice I could give her:  Someday, she won’t be there and chances are, you will wish everyday she was.  Most importantly, I told her that it will take a bit of time to get into the groove of a relationship and know what makes her laugh, and their family traditions and so forth, but most importantly, to get along with her because after all, pleasing her will ultimately make your husband happy.  I also cautioned her however that leading up to the wedding will be hard for her because (and knowing this from experiencing the same myself) she will be losing her son.  It even goes deeper than that as well – especially when a baby is in the picture – because as sexist as this is going to sound, it’s you that usually goes to your mom about things such as where pots and pans go in the cabinet (beside the stove) and not the sink (because that’s what he thinks).  So, there won’t be the interfering as much with some of the traditional (and non-traditional) roles that you and your husband will have but experiencing what makes for good bonding is to use her as a way to learn more about your husband and family traditions as those will become important as you start your family of your own.

My mother-in-law sadly got ill while we were in our 40′s and for me, that was hard seeing my husband go through such a profound sense of loss, one which I would experience the following decade when my mother passed.  But I often think of the kindness she showed me those first few years of marriage as I try to relate to my new “daughter” which Marion was so good at making me feel like one of her own.  She showed me a deep sense of patience and kindness and acceptance although I am sure there were times she rolled her eyes about me.  So, with her wisdom, I chart a course for my future relationship and hope with patience, I develop that same with mine.with-my-mother-in-law

 

You know how your kids surprise you all the time?

Well, this guy, my oldest son gives his dad and I a call a couple of weeks ago. Asked us to not say anything until he was finished and proceeded to tell us that both he and his fiancee moved up their wedding date.  I mean BIG TIME.  To like this month!!  SO, what’s a mother to do?  Smile and say, “it’s fine”.  (Well a little pleading on my part.  I tried to make the point that his younger brother will be in the middle of mid-terms at UPenn, and with school for him, that wasn’t good news.  SO, my youngest will go to Denver for only 12 hours.  Better than not coming).

I suppose that it’s easier for them to get the wedding out of the way and heck, I’m always up for a party.  Then in August, we will have the reception in Reno.  Will be nice visiting my old Alma Mater (Denver University).  Stay tuned!!

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More Excitement for the Royals

It looks like we will all be treated to a much anticipated wedding this spring as Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of the future Queen of England, will be tying the knot! The lucky guy is James Matthews, a hedge fund manager (I did say he was a lucky guy), and a sports enthusiast, particularly, running, swimming, skiing and cycling. He has been photographed on the slopes with Pippa. No word on whether he plans on playing polo like his former classmates at Eton College, Prince William, and Prince Harry.

Reports are circulating that Pippa wants a modest, quiet ceremony at her family’s hometown village church. This may be difficult given the public’s appetite for all things concerning the extended royal family. And then we must consider the paparazzi, who will ensure that it will be anything but quiet. The anticipation is already starting to mount. What will her gown look like? Who will be the designer chosen? The Daily Mail reports that their source says “the gown will have an elegant train and a veil, just like Kate. No puffballs, but she adores lace and long sleeves”.

What will the bridesmaids wear? Kate won’t be a bridesmaid because to do so would be in opposition to British tradition that directs that bridesmaids should be unmarried and be younger than the bride. Kate and William’s children, three-year-old George and 17-month-old Charlotte, have reportedly been chosen to be the pageboy and flower girl.

Pippa was a real star at Kate’s wedding, so who will emerge as the rising star at Pippa’s? It is thought that Kate will try to remain as low key as she can to not steal the limelight from her sister on the biggest day of her life. And a big day for all of us as well. Can’t wait!

We know that tradition does dictate that British designers will be used for the bespoke clothing however, we can’t help but wonder whether some of our flower girl dresses from The Royal Collection.

wouldn’t fit the bill!!  Oh well, we can dream.

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Fun Things to Know About Valentine’s Day….

The story of Valentine’s Day began in the third century in Rome with the emperor Claudius II.   He was persecuting Christians and made it a capital crime for Romans to even associate with them. One story says that one of the Christians imprisoned was named Valentinus.

While in prison, Valentinus became friendly with his jailer, who saw that he was an educated man. The jailer asked Valentinus if he would impart some of his wisdom to his daughter, Julia, who was blind since birth.   He taught her history, science, math and told her about Christianity. She came to understand the world differently, but wanted to see it. She began to pray for sight with Valentinus’ encouragement and one day while she was visiting him in his cell there was a sudden brilliant flash of light. Julia exclaimed, “I can see!”

The night before he was to be executed, Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, asking her to continue her bond with God.   He signed it, “From your Valentine”, instituting a tradition that continues to this day. Hand-made paper cards made their first appearance in Europe during the Middle Ages on each February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day. Chaucer and Shakespeare helped raised the profile of this romantic day. Now messages of love are exchanged around the world. In 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass producing Valentines. According to the Greeting Card Association, 25% of all cards sent each year are Valentines.

Have you ever seen some of those cards?  WOW they are beautiful! “To my Valentine.” Color card, 1890.  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.:

Color card, 1890. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Then as a kid, these are the kinds I used to give out in grammar school.

Image result for valentines cards from the 1890

Some historic events that took place on Valentine’s Day:

In 1962 a young First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy showed off the White House. She wore a Valentine’s Day red dress and a triple strand of pearls for a huge nationwide television audience. She gave the country a tour of the recently refurbished White House, which she had supervised. Mrs. Kennedy displayed her knowledge of the arts as she described the presidential mansion’s historic portraits, antiques and furnishings. Her engaging efforts earned her an honorary Emmy Award and helped her further cultivate her place in the hearts of Americans.

On Valentine’s Day in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell applied for a telephone patent. As the country celebrated its 1ooth birthday, Bell just barely filed his application with the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C., before Elisha Gray filed his intention for a patent for his version of a telephone. As everyone knows, Bell was awarded the patent and his invention has been used countless times on Valentine’s Day and every other day throughout the year to convey messages of love between sweethearts all over the world.

Now that it’s the new year, I have to get going on my MOG responsibilities….

I suppose it hasn’t really hit me until just recently that my son is getting married.  It still seems strangely odd that I am actually going to go through all the motions of preparing for his big day with his lovely Juanita.  Throughout the past 5 months I have been saying “after the New Year” and remember my previous post about being the Great Procrastinator, well it is true.  I always wrap my head around something and then I am all over it.  SO I think the all-over response just clicked in.  I have been thinking about the rehearsal party that I would like to have in Lake Tahoe because it’s on many of my sibling’s bucket list to visit, and the planning responsibilities that will entail as it will be long distance.  My goal is to make this a special water day of sorts so I have been weighing the idea of boat rentals and a beach picnic of some kind SO for any of you that know what is called Inverness Village, HELP.

Rehearsal Party Invites

I also managed to find musicians for the ceremony (which is being held in Reno NV) because my family is very musical.  My son was like, ” I want some guitar or something new age”, but this is something, actually the only thing I won’t budge on, in honor of my parents that brought music into our lives.  It’s funny, when I was married some 30+ years ago, my husband came from a family of printers and while I was picking out the most beautiful invitations, my Mother-In-Law-to-be said she would only accept us using engraved invitations and honestly, I understand now.  SO for my parents, I found a wonderful string quartet. Although I am staying out of most of the wedding planning because I am just the MOG, at least I have input to the music which, if the Hyland’s know anything, it’s music.  My brother will sing “Our Father” as a tribute to my mom, a wonderful lyrical soprano who trained not only at USC but with some of the best vocal teachers in and around New York.  It is going to kill us siblings, but for us, a wedding or funeral isn’t the same unless we hear it.  And for my father, who was such a fantastic influence in all of our musical backgrounds,  I have already corresponded with and can’t wait to hear TheStringBeings.com.  For the rest of preparations, it’s okay if I don’t get a say…. after all, this is something that Juanita and her mom have dreamed about her whole life I am sure.  What is nice however is that she is a wonderful daughter-in-law to be and Jim and I couldn’t imagine better.

For the rest, well, as I start to work on the children’s wear sketches for the wedding, I will bring my ideas to them on paper.  I also said there was no limit to the number of kids in or around the wedding (cousin dressing and so forth) but I just need to know the colors.  ANYHOW – I am working on some ideas and surprises for them both.  In the meantime….

I thought this a great idea for my son’s wedding. We still haven’t designed the flower girl dresses or suits for the wedding, but they are going to be SUPER special, but I thought that we may use this idea for my nieces, should we coax the little darlings into making their first flower girl appearance.
Flower girl wagon

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I stumbled on this FANTASTIC blog today filled with great ideas for DIY

I was poking around Pinterest today (because procrastination is my middle name,) designing my dream house and was looking for some alternatives to a marble slab in the kitchen.  I saw this post and admittedly, have a new go to blog to read.  So, instead of getting out of bed, I spent a good two hours reading one post after the other….. so, get your email account ready and sign up at this fantastic blog called ClassyGlamLiving.com

And because it’s Super Bowl Sunday, I thought of the commercial with the beer vs. woman’s closet – you know the one where the ladies are squealing when they see their friend’s new closet but the guys are hollering when they see the man’s “guy’s closet full of beer.”  I’m sorry, NOTHING is better than this closet!  I recommend reading from the start to finish of all of her posts!

DIY Closet found on ClassyGlamLiving.com

ClassyGlamLiving.com

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The Inauguration and Fashion

Today we witnessed the pageantry of the Inauguration where the very best of our unique American Republic was on display. The peaceful transition of power we witness with every new administration with all three branches of government and both political parties participating is exciting to see. We are also excited to see the fashion choices of the First Ladies and former First ladies and their children over the years. Of course, we notice the children, such as the Trump grandchildren who looked adorable this time, and the Obama sisters last time and Amy Carter back in 1976.

But the First Ladies are the real stars. John F. Kennedy once said “Two years ago, I introduced myself in Paris by saying that I was the man who had accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris. I am getting somewhat that same sensation as I travel around Texas. Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear. “Everyone talked about what Jackie wore. The most fashionable of all First Ladies, Jackie Kennedy wore a cloth coat when almost all the women around her were in fur coats, standard for ladies at the time. The contrast made her stand out even more than she usually did. She remains the standard bearer for White House fashion. First Ladies in modern times have used American designers for Inauguration Day activities, which are a celebration of America.  Mrs. Obama used J Crew for the girls and chose Jason Wu, a US based label, for herself.  We always admired the fact the Royal Family, particularly the Queen and Princess Kate use British designers almost exclusively and are certain that this will be the rule with our new First Lady.

Melania Trump looked stunning during the day in a sky-blue outfit designed by Ralph Lauren. She may be the only First Lady before or since to come anywhere close to the fashion icon status enjoyed by Jackie Kennedy, although we think she will never be eclipsed. Melania struck an equally outstanding figure in her gorgeous evening gown for the Inauguration Balls. High fashion on a day of high pageantry.  At the Inaugural ball, Mrs. Trump wore a gown by Herve Pierre who was a former designer and creative director for companies like Vera Wang and most recently, Carolina Herrera.  We are looking forward to seeing what designers she uses in the future and with luck, is there a future White House Wedding?  (Hello, Tiffany Trump, you and my son both attended the University of Pennsylvania, President Trump’s and Pop Pop Hyland’s alma-mater (both Wharton) as well.  Pegeen Flower girls look great at a wedding!)

Made in America

American designers such as Pegeen.com are known for their attention to detail.

American designers, such as Pegeen.com, are part of the new revolution that has been set by the former and current 1st Ladies.  The newest slogan we love  “Buy American, Hire American”.

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Design Shop | Pegeen ~ Located 1 mile from Disney World, Selling online and shipping worldwide. Call us for design help! 407-928-2377

Pegeen.com Weekend Design Studio

Pegeen.com Weekend Design Studio

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Kirk Douglas, American Icon Celebrates His 100th

Screen legend Kirk Douglas celebrated his 100th birthday last month with his family, including his wife of more than 60 years, Anne. I can’t decide which is more remarkable, the fact that Mr. Douglas made it to his 100th birthday or the fact that a Hollywood marriage could last for over 60 years. I can count on one hand the instances I can remember of both.

“I was lucky enough to find my soulmate 63 years ago, and I believe our wonderful marriage and our nightly ‘golden hour’ chats have helped me survive all things,” he writes in celebrity magazine Closer Weekly. Douglas has survived his share of tragedies, including the death of his son from an overdose of drugs and alcohol, a midair crash between his helicopter and a plane, and a stroke which has left him with a severely curtailed ability to speak. His wife, Anne, his faith, his family and his rise from poverty and subsequent hard work during a stellar career, which included three Oscar nominations for best actor, gave him the strength to rise above these challenges. His son Michael, also an actor, wrote: “I think his stamina and tenacity are the qualities that stand out for me. He has taught me always to give it your best shot at whatever you take on. He’s the full package.”

Since the stroke limited his acting roles, he and his wife turned their attention to philanthropic work, mostly feeding the homeless and repairing and refurbishing playgrounds in Los Angeles. They say keeping busy will keep you young and they make a strong case for that axiom.  I think it is beautiful in the world of Hollywood that such a long and lasting marriage shows their deep love and commitment.

And yes, I am also one who has outlasted many of my friends, and my wife’s friends, marriages.  I can hardly believe that we have been married over 30 years, (almost 32 this year) and work together every day, 24/7, as partners in our business, Pegeen.com. Some people would consider that fact to be remarkable, but even more remarkable might be that this was not the career path either of us imagined when we were in college but I know I can’t imagine my life any other way.  I don’t have words of wisdom, just that both of us give in, a lot, to each other.  And plenty of wine.

Celebrating 30+ Years

The Army – Navy Game is Much More Than Just a Football Game

The Army – Navy Game is Much More Than Just a Football Game

“On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other fields and other days will bring forth victory.”

General Douglas MacArthur

Every year in early December the Cadets of Army meet the Midshipmen of Navy for a football game where the very best America has produced is on display. These young men on the field are cheered on by the entire Corp of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen, men and women who are committed to serving their country for five years after their four year stint at the service academies. Upon graduation, many of them go straight to the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq as Second Lieutenants or Ensigns in a commanding role.

They are well prepared for their roles after stringent training at the academies which is augmented by the teamwork and discipline exercised on the gridiron. Game plans formulated and executed on the playing field are analogous to battle plans. The camaraderie and the bond forged during the football season by those who wear the Army and Navy football uniform are like that enjoyed by those who wear the country’s uniform. Both bonds usually last a lifetime.

The game can also create bonds of a different nature. My father, who had a lifelong love of West Point, took me to many Army football games as a child and the pageantry and spirit on display made such an impression on me that I applied for admission. Only a fractured spine from an accident kept me from realizing my dream of attending, but I still watched every Army-Navy game with my father since 1964. Today was the first time I watched the game without him as he passed away this summer. The game was something special that we shared and it was strange to experience it without him. What made it even more difficult for me was that today would have been my father’s 90th birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

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