Monthly Archives: January 2013

An unusual “all-inclusive” wedding package – covering everything from the ring to the reception – would you accept that proposal?

Photo of LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana taken in Philadelphia by Carol Colman

Photo of LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana taken in Philadelphia by Carol Colman

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. At least one hotel wants to prove why Philadelphia is also known as “The City That Loves You Back.”

We all know that planning a wedding can be stressful. There are so many decisions to make.

But what if you lead a busy life and you are someone who hasn’t been dreaming about the perfect wedding day since you were a small child? What if a Philadelphia hotel offered a package of services that took care of everything from the proposal (complete with ring valued at $50,000 and a photographer for the occasion), to an engagement celebration complete with champagne and in-room couples massage, to a ballroom reception with food and drink? That eliminates a lot of decisions for you.

And it may be a bargain – a value of over $100,000 for only $80,000.

That’s what you get with the Hotel Monaco’s “Diamond in the Sky” package. As reported by the Bridal Bulletin blog (from the editors of Philadelphia Wedding), “ it not only takes care of a pretty awesome engagement weekend, it also includes your big day celebration.” They reserve a private place for the question to be popped, a photographer to capture the moment, and an engagement ring worth $50,000. Then they set you up in a suite to celebrate your newly engaged status with lots of goodies for an entire weekend. Finally, they cater your wedding celebration in the historic Lafayette Ballroom for 200 of your closest friends and family.

And this package isn’t only for loving couples already in the Philadelphia area. If you get engaged as part of this package while you are visiting Philadelphia, your package includes a first-class trip home (within the continental United States). (For Philadelphia locals, you have access to the tickets for a trip at your convenience).

This may be a pretty good deal.

As reported by ABC News,” Philadelphia weddings cost $37,014 on average, not far off from the costs in other northeastern areas where wedding costs were high.” This figure came from a survey done by and of brides who were at least 18 and got married in 2011. Wedding costs in Philadelphia are higher than the average wedding cost of $27,021 for the country as a whole.

Add in the $50,000 ring and all the engagement weekend bonuses and the finances start to look good. But as we all know, weddings are are about a lot more than money (the recent “Wedding Confidential” report on 20/20 notwithstanding, but more on that at a later date).

If you haven’t thought of the City of Brotherly Love as a place to get engaged or married, maybe this package will make you take a second look.

But if this appeals to you, act now – this offer is being made for a limited time only!

So what do you think about this proposal package? Can something be both practical and romantic at the same time? If so, does this accomplish that?

Unique wedding invitations: custom songs on CDs – will these invitations rise to the top of the charts?

Shakespeare music quoteHenry Wadsworth Longfellow said “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Indeed, if you take “universal” to mean more than earthly, just think back to the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” where tones of music were used to communicate with visitors from another planet.

Sometimes, people try to communicate through songs the things they cannot say directly. As the late Jim Croce said, “Every time I try to tell you, the words just come out wrong, so I have to say I love you in a song.” And who would want to be the person Adele was sending a message to when she wrote “Someone Like You”?

Delivering messages in song has been happening since the beginning of language. In the 20th century, singing telegrams began to be offered by Western Union. Telegrams traditionally had been associated with delivering news of deaths and other tragedies. However, on July 28, 1933, Western Union was asked to send a telegram to singing star Rudy Vallee. Sensing the opportunity to change the image of telegrams, the company’s public relations director, George P. Oslin, asked an operator named Lucille Lipps (you can’t make this stuff up, people) to sing the message over the telephone. And thus was born the “gram” genre, which includes everything from kiss-a-grams to gorilla grams to strip-o-grams.

Now there is a new way to communicate a message in song. A singer/songwriter/poet and a professional vocalist have teamed up to create Singvitations™, which combine customized invitations with songs.

The Singvitation team works with you on choosing a song that fits the theme of your event, which can be anything from a milestone birthday to a save-the-date to a corporate affair. You wind up with personalized lyrics and a keepsake in a CD case – and undoubtedly a huge first impression on your guests. Visit their website to learn more – here is a link to a sample (be sure to select the “sound on” option).

I hope the company is successful even as CDs are losing ground to downloaded music files – my brand-new MacBook Pro doesn’t even have an external drive to play CDs. I worry about the same problem as people increasingly move toward electronic invitations and announcements, rather than printing them on paper. We’ll both figure it out, I’m sure.

As they point out on their website, “it all starts with the invitation.” That’s something that will never change, no matter what form the invitation takes.

What do you think about the idea of musical invitations?




Wedding ceremonies: what has eight legs and four faces? Double your pleasure when twins marry twins in double weddings

Identical twins marrying identical twins (via, courtesy

Identical twins marrying identical twins (via, courtesy

What has eight legs and four faces? That would be a “quarternary” marriage, where two sets of identical twins get married. It has been said that there are only about 250 recorded instances of twins marrying twins, so when it happens, it makes for great stories.

Take Texas natives Diane and Darlene Nettemeier, for example, who met their identical twin husbands Craig and Mark Sanders (also from Texas) at a twins convention in (no surprise) Twinsburg, Ohio. They went on a double date to Las Vegas, won big at poker, and celebrated by getting engaged on the same day with identical rings. Marrying in a double ceremony, the brides wore identical dresses.  Now the couples live next door to each other. Craig and Diane went on to add another chapter to the story by having a set of identical twin sons. Just how unusual is that? Well, the likelihood of having twins in about 3 in 1,000 births. The chance of identical twin brothers marrying identical twin sisters, with one couple having a set of identical twin sons, is one in millions.

There must be something in the water in Texas…

Identical twins sisters Ginna and Gaylen Glasscock married identical twin brothers Erich and Nicholas Schmidt after meeting during everyone’s freshman year at Abilene Christian University. After three years of dating, both pairs were engaged on the same day.

As reported by, “the Glasscock twins thought they were part of a photo shoot for a new Amarillo restaurant owned by their boyfriends’ mother, Tammy Schmidt, and her business partner. But when desserts arrived with rings attached, the real purpose became clear.”

There was a double wedding, with a few twists giving each couple the chance to be in the spotlight. Gaylen and Nicholas walked down the aisle first with bridesmaids dressed in yellow. Ginna and Erich walked down the aisle at the same church an hour-and-a-half later, with bridesmaids wearing pink. For the shared reception, one side was decorated in pink, the other in yellow.

At both of these events, I hope the photographer was able to keep everything straight! Can you imagine the double-takes when these couples go out to celebrate their anniversaries?

If you were a twin, do you think you would want to share your wedding with your sibling?

Now I’m just waiting to see the first same-sex wedding of two sets of twins – or has it already happened?


President Obama brings Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King to his inauguration: on inspiration, challenges, and the ability to move mountains

According to the Constitution, a president is sworn in by taking the oath of office on January 20 of the year following the November presidential election. This year, with January 20 falling on the Sunday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior holiday weekend, it was determined that the President Obama and Vice-President Biden would be officially sworn in on January 20th in private ceremonies, with the public celebrations taking place on the holiday honoring Dr. King.

Many have noted that President Obama appears to feel a strong kinship with the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Both have roots in Illinois; both were elected with little experience on the national level; both were renowned for their speaking skills; and both have faced extreme national crises, with resolution and determination to achieve the best possible outcome.

Obama’s success is yet to be determined. But as he takes the oath of office for the second time, he ties himself once again to Lincoln by using the same Bible used for Lincoln’s first inauguration in 1861, as Obama did for his own first inauguration. In addition, Obama will be using a second Bible at today’s ceremonies: one known as the “traveling Bible” used by Dr. King.

Through their deeds, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King moved mountains. Our country today faces many mountains. Let us hope that President Obama has the courage, determination, and wisdom to make those mountains move.  He is president of all Americans, no matter what our political persuasion, and so it is a day to rejoice in the glory and possibilities of our democracy. Let freedom ring!



Wedding inspiration – Pantone may say emerald, but does purple still reign for weddings?

Gorgeous purple floral decor at this Colin Cowie wedding

Gorgeous purple floral decor at this Colin Cowie wedding

I have been on Pinterest for almost exactly a year now. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, you probably will be soon – or you may have a spouse/best friend/coworker who is a Pinterest addict – you get the idea. It is an online site where people collect images and display them grouped into boards; it is the digital version of a bulletin board.

As a photographer, scrapbooker, and general image collector,  I knew right away that Pinterest and I were made for each other. In the beginning, I had a personal page, but have since changed it to a business page for Carol Colman Creations. Thanks to some training from the very knowledgeable Melanie Duncan, I think my boards look pretty good. I highlight some Carol Colman Creations collages for weddings and other occasions, and dedicate boards to other celebration-related categories such as fabulous invitations and wonderful wedding photographs, along with things that just interest me such as fonts, pears, and peonies. Check them out the next time you’re on Pinterest. And if you don’t already follow at least one of my boards, I hope you will find something that sparks your interest enough to follow me so that you can stay up to date on my curated content.

One of my favorite things is to get emails from Pinterest telling me when one of my images is being “repinned” – in other words, other people on Pinterest liked one of my images enough to put it on one of their boards. After a while, you see some trends – it appears that the same pins show up as being repinned frequently. Among my most repinned images are a very cool wedding invitation (428 repins), a baby hippo swimming with its mother (304 repins), an on-the-street shot of Sarah Jessica Parker (252 repins), an image of a bible verse (318 repins), and a collection of blue and white china (179 repins). Most of these pins have been on my boards for months.

However, one of my newest pins is by far the most popular: 679 repins (plus 115 likes) as of 7:30PM on January 16. What is it? The beautiful image you see from Colin Cowie of purple floral detail on a wedding aisle. 679 repins in only 10 days! (It has taken 39 weeks for my number two pin to reach 428 repins.)

And the people who are repinning this pin are pinning a lot of other pins from one of my most popular boards, All Things Purple. Lots and lots of purple wedding-related images are being repinned at a fierce rate.

Now granted, I don’t have a board for emerald weddings (Pantone’s 2013 color of the year), or for tangerine tango weddings (Pantone’s 2012 color of the year), so maybe what I am seeing is an anomaly. All I know is that for a whole lot of people, purple is a part of their wedding. It may be shades of purple, it may be purple with black and white or with a whole host of other colors, but people want their purple.

So if you are looking for purple wedding inspiration, I have made it easier for you by collecting my purple wedding images onto a new board, Purple Weddings, and I continue adding to it. I expect that in time, other colors will get their due, as they attract my eye. Orange/tangerine may be next one the list (you will notice it is a big part of my new branding – I am in love with orange, but haven’t broken up with purple yet). I actually just love color, as you can see on the board What Hits You Is The Color.

Emerald? We will have to see how that plays out. I know some wedding mavens have suggested that mint is one of the trend colors for 2013. Do you think that emerald and mint can play nicely together? We’ll have to see what shows up on Pinterest , so stay tuned.

Are you thinking about having a purple wedding? What other color would you combine with purple?