Power Plays for Brides: A Tool for Brides & Their Weddings

Kicking off the week with a fabulous post about how to make wedding planning and married life a bit easier. Sounds pretty good right? I think this is a great way to start the week, don’t you think? I am excited to share a unique approach to wedding planning and wife life.  We always hear about how to prepare best for your wedding day and the the big day, but how about the new married life following? What ways can a bride get ready for her new life as a wife? Well, don’t you sweat it because we have an incredible woman who has launched a book, Power Plays for Brides, which provides the essential tools to having a stressfree wedding day and life as a newlywed.  Oh Monday, you are not so bad after all.

What is this book all about? 
There are so many great resources on the market to assist brides in their wedding planning process. However, Power Plays for Brides is dedicated to wives in training and is setting the course for a more productive wedding planning process and a less stressful lifestyle with your soon to be husband. This dynamic book, by Shimona Mayo, helps brides plan and design their dream wedding without cracking under the “normal” pressures. Power Plays for Brides, only a seven day read, offers twenty-seven proactive action steps and countless tips that will guide today’s bride seamlessly from one phase to the next with real wedding experiences, thought provoking worksheets and proven marriage tips. It challenges brides to proactively achieve an improved lifestyle of managing, collaborating and delegating wedding tasks, which can be incorporated into marriage.

Shimona offers invaluable and practical advice in this book. For example: “The most important thing is for you to employ a system that works best for you. By doing this, you can communicate your needs more effectively, access what you need right away, and position yourself as a solid lead for your event.” She also offers brides’ financial planning advice and practical strategies to keep grooms involved, establish a healthy internal foundation, hire an event support team, get organized, and manage communication that will last well after the honeymoon is over.

Today’s (bride-to-be) needs a resource that will effectively assist in managing emotions for a stress-less wedding and marriage. Power Plays for Brides, a lifestyle for today’s bride and tomorrow’s wife, is the perfect answer!

Mayo Front Cover Art Online



About Shimona Mayo Shimona Mayo

After graduating from James Madison University in 1999, Shimona began planning corporate events for political action committees, small businesses, non-profit associations and religious organizations. Her wildly successful events included, but were not limited to galas, silent auctions, golf tournaments, college symposiums, health and wellness events, trade-shows, staff retreats, team building events, company picnics and corporate fund raisers. In 2001, Shimona began to similarly transform weddings.

Her first venture, launched in 2003, offered planning for high impact, high visibility events. Noting a need for quality, creative services to offer her brides, Shimona launched Event Design Coach in 2011, focusing on floral and event design services. Shimona’s newest venture incorporates the wealth of knowledge gained throughout her 15 year career in the event industry and will be the official starter kit for brides.

The e-book is available for purchase here, and the hard copy and kit will be available at the end of the month. So get your copy today!


BHL Vendor Hot Pick: My Simply Perfect Events

On this lovelyWedding Wednesday, I’m going to start by telling you one fabulous fact: I love a very talented, gorgeous, and amazing wedding planner all the way across the states in Atlanta, Georgia. This wedding planner has it all.  Summer Mclane of My Simply Perfect Events. Yep, and the name of her company is on the dot correct. All the weddings she plans are hands down perfect. Perfect with each and every detail from choosing a venue, to how to walk down the aisle with 17 bridesmaids and groomsmen in tow.  It is this type of amazing talent and details that has me falling more in love with the weddings that My Simply Perfect Events creates for each couple. These weddings are drop dead gorgeous! So, it is no surprise why we have added My Simply Perfect Events  to our “Vendor Hot Picks”.  Here is a peek of some of the beautiful weddings which this wedding planning company has created for couples. It is okay, you can say “WOW”, a few times when you browse. I know I did! Enjoy!image



MaiBri Photography

MaiBri Photography


Eric Little Photography

Eric Little Photography

Christi Sue Photography

Christi Sue Photography

Christi Sue Photography

Christi Sue Photography

Christi Sue Photography

Christi Sue Photography




Eric Little Photography

Eric Little Photography


Christi Sue Photography

Christi Sue Photography

deanna and ashard-383


Eric Little Photography

Eric Little Photography

About My Simply Perfect Events …

 I offer a sense of peace and calm on the wedding day.  You’ve put all of this money, time and effort into this incredible day so of course you want to be able to enjoy the day, not worry about details.

The thing that stands out about My Simply Perfect Events is the fact that I truly care about my clients.  Most of my brides end up being friends who keep in touch with me and we’re able to continue the friendship after they walk down the aisle.

5 Ways to Calm Your Bride

Leading up to the wedding, every bride will have her moments where she is under a lot of stress. Between finding the right dress, all the plans that go into the wedding (even if you have a good planner!), and dealing with family all combines to amount to enough stress to drive anybody crazy. It’s important as the groom-to-be leading up to the big day to be there for your fiancé and make sure she is happy and as stress-free as possible. Here are five handy tips to make sure you keep your bride nice and calm!

Tip #1 : Massages. Often.

It’s medically proven that massage can be very therapeutic. It is also proven that massage also alleviates stress and prevents medical conditions that can compound stress in people. Whether it is a simple little massage of her arm, or just rubbing her shoulders while you two curl up on the couch, make sure she gets some TLC. You could really go all out and get her a bunch of sessions at a license masseuse leading up to the big day.

Tip #2 : Handle Some of the Family Stuff.

Nothing can stress out a human being like family. Sure, you love them… but you may not always like them, right? There can be some difficult squabbles to figure out and it is incredibly hard for someone to do it with their own loved ones. If possible, try to step in and take control of the situation and handle it for her. At the very least, be there for her when she needs to vent and be sure to simply let her know you are listening to her and that “yes, dealing with family sucks” is part of your responses back to her.

Tip #3 : Be Involved in the Planning… AND Execution of the Wedding

Some grooms think the whole wedding day is for the bride and that the bride takes on all the responsibility for the wedding. That’s outlandish and frankly, slightly sexist thinking. A wedding representing the bonding of two people, not just one. Be a part of the planning, be sure to give your input and constructive feedback. It will make all the difference in the world to her. And do not think that once the planning is over that your duty is then just to show up. Be sure to also be ready to assist wherever needed with the day of the wedding to make sure everything goes smooth.

Tip #4 : Hire an Experienced Planner

Out of all five  tips on this list, this is the biggest stress reliever to keep your bride calm and happy! It’s amazing that some couples think they can do it all, or just assume the venue will handle it. That is, quite simply, a recipe for disaster. Hire a professional, have that pro assist with everything from handling vendors to setup and execution of the wedding day. Have that person stress about it so all you and your bride-to-be have to do is show up and have a good time.

Tip #5 : Plan a Little Getaway Before the Wedding

This is very underrated and something to think about well in advance of the wedding day. With a few weeks to go, don’t be afraid to take a little “stay-cation” in your area and use the weekend to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries. This is a great way to take a deep breath and make sure you aren’t too strung out for your wedding.

Five Top Secrets to Wedding Planning

You’re engaged and have started planning the day you have dreamt about.   There are so many decisions to be made, details to be accounted for, and places to be.  How do you keep it all organized?  Over the years I have helped many brides plan their perfect day.  So what makes a perfect day?  What are some of the secrets to wedding planning?

Know your Budget

It is important to sit down with your fiancé and determine the budget for your wedding.  I have seen a trend where a lot of the couples pay for their own wedding and get assistance from parents, grandparents and other family members.  You will want to include all of these amounts to get your finalized number.  You don’t want a flexible budget that changes all the time because it makes it difficult to determine what type of venue and vendors to target.  During the course of your planning, you will make a lot of decisions.  Knowing your budget ahead a time will help you stay on track during the decision making time.   When asked “What’s a good budget?” I tell my clients create a reasonable budget based upon what type of wedding you want to have, but you still want to be able to live after the big day is done.

List your “Must Haves”

Create a “must have” and a “nice to have” list.  This will help if you need to make a decision about spending in one direction versus another.  Must haves should be those times which you’ve always dreamt of and can’t live without.  The nice to have list should be those things that are really not a deal breaker for you.  During my own wedding I had such a list and opted to go without chair covers because I had my heart set on a venue with hardwood floors.

Identify your Theme

What kind of bride are you?  Classic or Contemporary? Or maybe event Edgy or Chic?  It is important to identify what type of wedding you want and what overall theme you are going for.  I can imagine you’ll be looking at every bridal magazine you can get your hands on, looking at Pinterest and even going to bridal shows.  There will be so many ideas and beautiful designs floating around in your pretty little brain.  You want to be able to find the common thread in everything that you want for your wedding.  No matter what your theme is remember to always stay true to yourself.  If you’re the edgy type, go edgy with style, you won’t regret it!

Hash out the Guest List

This is one of the biggest challenges I see couples have.  Who should I or shouldn’t I invite?  I would recommend setting the number of guests you want to have at your event and then working from there.  To me, there are no hard and fast rules to this process.  Some would say not to invite someone if you haven’t talked to them in a year.  Well that would exclude that favorite teacher who’s had impacted your life and you want to invite them.  Whatever process you choose, pick the bottom line number of guest you want to have and work from there.

Pick a great Photographer and Rocking Entertainment

I often hear “that was a great reception” and “those photos are awesome.”  Photographer and Entertainment are two elements that you want to invest time in choosing.  Pictures last a lifetime.  You want to be able to look back and say, wow, I didn’t know the photographer captured that moment.  And they often say the wedding is for the couple, but I tend to think it is for the couple and the guests or else you wouldn’t have invited them, right?  You want to make sure your guests are having a good time.  Great entertainment can get the crowd moving, especially if there are times you guys want to sneak away for a photo, or just to look into each other’s eyes and say WE DID IT!

Five Ways to Share An Engagement

You’re engaged!  Congratulations and now it’s time to share the news with family and friends.  Instead of the traditional phone call, why not take this opportunity to be creative and have a little fun.  That’s what we’re here for!  Check out these five fun ways to announce your engagement.

Engagement Announcement

Family First.   This one is for the guys.  If family is of the utmost importance to you as a couple,  then why not include them in the engagement process?   Invite them to join in the moment when you ask the woman you love to become your wife.  It’s a great opportunity to surprise and show her how much you love her.

Create a Page.  The new thing for modern couples is to create your own wedding website.  There are various sites that allow you to create a couple profile and keep your guests informed on important dates.  This way your friends can track  your journey to “I do”.

A Trip to the Movies.  For you movie buffs, now is your opportunity to recreate your favorite movie poster.  Photoshop is a wonderful thing.  You can even take it a step further and recreate your favorite romantic scene from a movie to play for a group of friends.

Game Night. Get your family together for a game night.  Choose something like Pictionary or Charades that will keep your friends guessing as you act out “We’re Engaged”.  Prepare for screaming, cheering, crying and a whole lot of love.

A Personal Touch.  Announcing to the world may not be quite your style and we have the perfect solution! Take the person or people you want to tell out for Starbucks, offer to buy the drinks why he/she saves a table.  Ask the barista to write “I’m Engaged” or “I said Yes” on the cup instead of a name.  This is how I was asked to be my friend’s maid of honor, and what a surprise it was!

No matter the way you reveal your engagement it will be a time of celebration and love.  Take advantage of this special time to share the love you’ve found with family and friends in ways you will remember for years to come.

Engagement Announcement

Five Tips on How to Be Stress-Free During the Holiday Season

The holidays can be a stressful time of year.  All the shopping, holiday festivities, family visiting, and decorating can get a bit much. All of those things are fun, but sometimes there seems to be not enough time to do it all. Add in wedding planning, and then it can be really stressful. Even if you have hired yourself a wedding planner, (cheers to you by the way!), there can be some of those stressful days during the holiday season. We’ve got five tips on how to cope with stress:

  1. One of the things that you can do when you are feeling anxious is to go to the spa and get a massage. This will help to reduce the amount of knots that you have in your body so that you can maintain your flexibility and reduce the strain that you feel. This is seriously a great way to pamper yourself, while reliving all that stress. Make it a day and enjoy!
  2. You can reduce your high levels of stress by reading a book. When you read, your mind wanders into a fantasy land, where you are not troubled by the different pressures that will cause you tension. Buy a book which is really fun like a mystery novel, or pick something from the best sellers bookshelf. Just try to choose something that is not related to weddings. You will see that reading book can be quite relaxing. If the weather is nice, maybe take your book outside on the patio/backyard, beach, or park.
  3. In order to keep your stress level under control, it would be wise to try to find something along the lines of a hobby that you can engage yourself in. Maybe take a class, like a exercise class, (yoga, cycling, zumba, etc) that can really put your mind at ease. Working out is one of the best ways to get rid of stress. Another idea is to go to an art class, or cooking class, or anything that you have  a passion for.
  4. Try to get as much sleep as you possibly can during the course of the day, regardless of how much you have to work. Lack of sleep will result in increased stress levels, which can limit your productivity and hurt the way that you feel. Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night to feel your best. If you have a hard time falling asleep and dreaming of wedding planning all the time, maybe read your book in bed, or listen to soft music. The idea is to get as much rest and sleep as you can. When you are working with a lot of wedding details and decisions, sleep is your friend. Well, your wedding planner is your friend too.
  5. When you are feeling overwhelmed and are dealing with a great deal of stress, it is important to learn how to breathe. Emotions  like anger, sadness, frustration, or any negative feelings can cause stress. These types of feeling can happen during the holiday season AND if you are in the middle of planning a wedding.  When you feel any of these type of emotions,  take a moment to breathe and imagine you are breathing the emotions out of you. Awareness of what triggers stress is the first step to tackling it and breathing will ground you in the moment and make you aware of what you are feeling. Just always take a moment to take a step back, breathe, and then continue.


Hopefully these tips can be helpful during this wedding holiday season.

Five Tips for Your Dream Come True Wedding

Good morning lovelies! I know that Mondays can be a drag, but when you have some fabulous tips to help with wedding planning, then it can’t be that bad right? Weddings are a special time to exchange vows with the one you love and begin your journey together as a married couple. When the word wedding comes to mind, many people imagine being surrounded by friends and family at a big reception. Here are five tips to help you have a perfect wedding day.

  1. When having an outdoor wedding, be sure to plan for bugs. Bugs are everywhere outside and could ruin a wedding ceremony. If you are in an area that has a high number of bugs, have citronella candles or bug zappers to prevent the bugs from bothering your guests and ruining your wedding.
  2. Here’s a fun tip – practice your wedding kiss! You want to make it sincere and not sexy, not too short but not too long. NO TONGUE! Practice how you’ll hold your partner’s face, if you choose to, or where your hands will be otherwise. You only get one shot, so you’ll need LOTS of practice beforehand!
  3. You should avoid smoking or drinking beer from the bottle while at your own wedding reception. It’s just gauche and tacky to be seen doing something so pedestrian, so try to live up to the classy theme of your wedding.
  4. Creating your own invitations for your wedding can save you a lot of money. These days, it is pretty easy to make your own invitations. They can be beautiful and more personal. This way you will have more money to spend on the details such as professional photography, flowers, and food. So save where you can, and leave the rest to the professionals.
  5. For your wedding rehearsal and dinner, do not wait until the last minute to put together a “look” for your hair, makeup, attire, and accessories. This is an important and memorable part of the wedding experience, and you can create a more involved participation by using the time as a way to offer friends and loved ones, a sneak peak into the design aesthetic of your big day.

Three Tips for Planning A Winter Wedding

Winter is almost here,  and we’re excited to see all the latest trends in the wedding world. For those brides who have envisioned a fairy tale wedding in a perfect winter wonderland we have three important tips when planning your special day.


Winter weather is downright freezing in some parts of the country so remember to accommodate your guests. For larger venues, turn up the heat to a comfortable level.  In smaller venues, as the party gets going it will heat up naturally. Keep it cool but don’t let your friends freeze either.  If it rains, provide umbrellas for your guests so they can go to and from cars. Also  it is a good idea to arrange for heat lamps if the party happens outdoors.  A hot beverage option is a nice touch on a cold day, so offer your guests some hot chocolate or a warm cocktail.


Winter is unpredictable by nature so it is VERY important to plan for the worst case scenario.  What will you do if it rains? Snows? Wind? Think about a back up plan for these types of situations.  Alleviate a ton of stress by prepping back up plans early that way if something changes unexpectedly you are prepared.


Quite a few holidays happen in the winter that make planning a wedding slightly more difficult.  Keep in mind that some of your guests may not be able to attend if the wedding falls to close to a holiday.  Travel also gets more expensive during the holiday season.  You might want to save your friends some money by setting a date before or after the holidays.  Also, your decor may be limited if the venue is already decorated for Christmas, so be sure to check it out!

Keep these three tips in mind as you plan your special day and you are sure to have the perfect winter wedding. Happy Planning!

Five DIY Wedding Secrets: You Can Do It Too

The whirl of engagement excitement is settling and now the reality of wedding planning is sinking in. There are so many different aspects to consider that weddings have the potential to get overwhelming really fast.  Not all of us have the $50,000 dollar budget we see on wedding shows, but it is very possible to have a wedding just as beautiful on half the budget.  The great thing about weddings is the Do-it-yourself or DIY options available to cut costs dramatically.  Here are five DIY tips for your dream wedding.


It’s never too early to start gathering ideas for your wedding.  When you’ve selected a date create a Pinterest account just for your wedding.  If you see something you like PIN it and make final decisions later.  Also, decide on a theme.  This will make adding details much easier and give the ceremony and reception a more cohesive look.  Finally, create a budget and a timeline to keep your various projects on track and your stress level down.


DIY wedding projects are a perfect opportunity to bond with family, friends and your future husband.  Get your bridal party together and make a party out of a DIY project.  This is a great time for everyone to get to know each other before the big day.  You can also create a special memory with both your mom and future mother-in-law.  DIY projects don’t have to be stressful at all.  You can do them in front of the TV with your fiance a few nights a week.  You’ll get tons of work done before you know it!


Although it is totally possible, taking on the entire wedding process by yourself can be a daunting task.  If you don’t have the desire or the budget to hire a wedding coordinator for the entire process, consider contracting one for the wedding day only.  This way you are able to take care of all the arrangements yourself and on the wedding day have someone who will ensure the smooth facilitation of the ceremony and reception.  ENJOY YOUR DAY!


There are many opportunities for DIY at your wedding. Here are a few things you can make yourself to add character to your event:

Invites: You can make custom invites and menus for a fraction of professional costs.

Centerpieces: The great thing about centerpieces… they don’t have to include flowers!  Vintage bottles, candles, photos or anything that fits the theme of your wedding can be a centerpiece.  It also adds a personal touch if you include items you love or have significant meaning to you as a couple.

Bouquet: Making your own bouquet is an option for those who want a smaller bunch of flowers.  Since tradition mandates the bouquet toss during the reception, some may want to allocate that budget elsewhere.  Make the bouquet the day before to  maintain freshness.

Favors: Have some fun here, the options are endless!  This is your opportunity to really let your personality as a couple shine.

Place Settings: You can buy place settings at wholesale to save costs.  You also don’t have to have an extensive number of knifes, forks, plates, glasses, etc.  Simplicity is elegant as well.


Yes, you can technically make your entire wedding DIY but there are a few things that are better left to the professionals if only to help you keep your sanity.

Food: Attempting to make enough food for 100 guests can get messy fast. You will save some major headaches by leaving this detail to the professionals.  The good thing about food is that you can have a tasting session before your day to make sure it is up to your taste bud standards.

Photography:  Photography is of the utmost importance on your wedding day.  All your hard work and planning culminates on this one day so making sure you have a photographer who knows what he/she is doing is invaluable.  A professional will know what shots to take and when so you can be confident that your day will be well documented.

Flowers: Due to the delicate nature of florals it might be best to leave this one to the professionals.  True, flowers can get pricey but try choosing flowers that are in season.  You can cut costs dramatically this way and tie the ceremony together in a subtle way.

In many ways DIY projects are more fun than letting a professional plan everything for you.  You can still have that professional touch while incorporating the personal details that DIY allows.  Weigh your options and really look at your budget, see where DIY might be the better route. Remember, the most important thing about your wedding is to have fun and make it your own.