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A Husband, A House, A Baby, A Mortgage, A Light Bulb Moment

  • Posted on August 31, 2012 at 7:29 am

This article is in the divorce section of the Huffington Post, but in the middle of the article is something that all bride and grooms to be must take to heart.  While you are dating be yourself.  Let your partner/lover/fiance’ see the real you.

Use this as a cautionary tale.

Robin Amos Kahn

Playwright, television writer, performer


A Husband, A House, A Mortgage, A Baby, A Light Bulb Moment

Posted: 09/01/2012 4:13 am

I had it all. I had the American dream. I lived in a beautiful loft in the heart of SoHo (okay, I know some of you want the house and the picket fence, I wanted a loft in New York City).

And I had the baby, the most wonderful daughter. And two dogs. I had everything I’d ever dreamed of and I was deeply, deeply grateful.

I had the wedding, with a beautiful dress from Paris with lace, made in the 1920’s — very much my style. I had a honeymoon at a lovely resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

We moved to New York City a few months after we got married to pursue our dreams. I was 34, not that young, but old enough to know what I was looking for. It had taken hundreds of dates, blind dates, fix-ups — there was no internet dating in those days. I’d lived with other men. It had taken hard work, but I was determined to find the love of my life and have it all. My career was in television writing and I was about to break into films. I could hear the biological clock ticking and I desperately wanted to have a baby. I had dated men in my business and I finally found someone who was an artist — intelligent, talented, articulate — and he made a living. He was a bit lonely and depressed, but I was going to rescue him and make him happy with a family and a home and everything that would answer all of his prayers — and mine — and we would live happily ever after.

And we did, for a time. It was great.

It lasted until about a week after the wedding. And then, subtly, I sensed a shift. He had been attentive and available before, and within a few months after the wedding, I felt the door close. It wasn’t obvious, but in the first year of our marriage I wrote an essay that was never published called “The Myths of Marriage.” And the funny part was, I had taken a course years before about dating and marriage and one of the main points was that we present ourselves one way when we are trying to “get” someone and then once we “have” them; we let our guard down and we show who we really are.

I knew that and yet, I acted like I really enjoyed cooking though I hated cooking. And he acted like he really enjoyed spending weekends with me, when he really wanted to work seven days a week. But we made a commitment and we worked at it and we became a family.

There are few things in life more rewarding than finding someone you love, who loves you, who knows you and over the years, through all the difficult life experiences, is your ally and your friend and your sounding board and your lover. Those kind of relationships are hard to find.

But after 23 years of marriage, we got divorced. I deserved more and he deserved to be who he was (turns out he didn’t really want to be rescued). And my beautiful lace dress from Paris? I had rented it from a costume house in Hollywood. Maybe even then I knew that you can’t hold on to some things forever, no matter how beautiful they seem at one time in your life.

Here is my suggestion: Be you. Don’t try to be anyone else.

Also, live your life with pleasure and do what you love and what is important to you. Work hard, play hard, don’t be waiting for someone to complete you. Complete yourself.

A great marriage is really a dream for most. It takes honesty — knowing and presenting who you really are. It isn’t for everyone; it takes effort and a great deal of compromise and patience. It is not the Nobel Prize of life. It is no longer even the American dream, or any dream. Perhaps you sawEric Klinenberg’s piece in The New York Times about living alone in which he reports, “More people live alone now than at any other time in history… In Manhattan and in Washington, nearly one in two households are occupied by a single person… In Paris, the city of lovers, more than half of all households contain single people.” Even in Paris — my beloved city of lights — even they had a light bulb moment: living alone, or at least unmarried, need not be stigmatized or pathetic or necessarily lonely.

I don’t know if I will ever get married again. Divorce was one of the worst experiences of my life, which led me to one of the best and most productive periods of my life. I am not waiting to meet the next man to love; I am busy, working hard, grateful for my life, dating, dancing, enjoying my daughter, my friends and a rent-stabilized loft in SoHo, which I share with a good friend. Not a man. With men, I dance. And right now, that’s working really well for me.

Dreams are for when you are asleep. Life is what happens when you are awake. It’s never what you expect. Enjoy it.

Follow Robin Amos Kahn on Twitter:

Here’s the link, so you can see the article if you like on Huffington Post::

Party Trend: Candy & Dessert Buffet

Posted on  by 


We’re loving the party trend of candy and dessert buffets!  Don’t worry – nothing will be replacing the beautiful wedding cake or themed bat & bar mitzvah or party cakes anytime soon.  Rather, the dessert table has gotten much bigger to make room for a variety of sweet treats.

Dessert tables are another area where you can get creative, and leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Top 4 Ways to Showcase your Wedding, Mitzvah or Party Candy & Dessert Table


Pink Dessert Table

Pink Dessert Table

Silver & White Dessert Buffet

White and Silver Dessert Buffet

Pink Ombre Dessert Buffet

Ombre Dessert Table

Teal & Pink Dessert Table

Teal and Pink Dessert Table

Sources: savethedate4cupcakes.comPizzazzerieCatch My PartyDecor8

Bat & Bar Mitzvah & Jewish Wedding Venues & Vendors

2. Get Creative with your BACKDROPS

Beautiful Backdrop Dessert Table


Bright Confetti Candy & Dessert Table Backdrop

Wall Decals

Wall Decal Dessert Tables

Sources: PrettyWorldHome ConfettiInspired Style Weddings

3. Incorporate your party THEME:

Fun With Frames

Fun With Frames Dessert Buffet

Love Theme

Love Theme Dessert Table

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet

Carousel Dessert Table

Carousel Dessert Table

Sources: Love & LavenderAmy AtlasSheek ShindigsAmy Atlas

4. Highlight your unique DESSERTS:

Classic Candy Buffet Table

Classic Candy Buffet Table

Healthy: Fruit Veggie Dessert Table

Fruit Veggie Dessert Table

Sources: Wedding DatesAustin Wedding Blog

Flowers by Zenda: A Chat & Demonstration

  • Posted on May 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm


We visited the shop of Flowers by Zenda, which is located just over the Broadway bridge in the Marble Hill area of the Bronx.  Orlando Kross showed us his shop, which has been around for more than 60 years.  Orlando started in the shop as an apprentice and then bought the place, so you know you have an experienced florist when you contract him.  Orlando loves flowers and loves what he does and isn’t that someone you want arranging your flowers for your wedding day, re-affirmation, or for anything?


Flowers By Zenda, 5217 Broadway, Bronx, New York 10463                                                                                      If you do go in, mention you saw his video on my website, for 10% off.

A Tip From Our Resident Restauranteur

  • Posted on May 28, 2012 at 2:48 am

I was able to snag a tip from Restaurant, Gourmand and Chef John Colon.  Check it out:


Guest appearance on The Mack Hour Hosted by Denasia Mack

  • Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

CharLena Pearson-Fulcher                                                            

Live on WCBR, 590 AM radio on “The Mack Hour”

Click link below to take you to the radio broadcast:


Watch Out For Those Taxes.

  • Posted on April 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm

What’s taxable and what’s not?  Have you wondered what you had to include in your wedding budget per service provider, especially when it comes to taxes?  Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter or make sense who charges the tax or if it’s rolled into the total price already.  If you thought service charge was the tax, think again.  It’s really just the “service charge” and sometimes it is STILL taxable.  Confused?  Here’s help below.

Check out this article my friend Fouzia, of My Bridal Budget wrote about and you’ll have a much clearer understanding.


Service Charge- Is it taxable or not?

That is a good question to ask to your catering company or catering venue because you don’t want to miscalculate or have any surprises when you pay your final bill. Most catering venues charge 20% for service charge, which you are responsible for that cost that covers waiting staff, linens, directional/place cards, any operating venue costs, etc. In New York, tax is applied to the service charge. Most of us go out to restaurants for dinner, most of the time tax is not applied on the gratuity and service charge. However, in catering venues that have large parties, tax is applied on the service charge.
If you are the type that is organized with finances and likes to see the figures in a spreadsheet. Here is an example in how you would calculate your catering bill with taxable service charge:$9,095 ($85 x 107 adults)
$280 ($35x8vendors)
$385 ($35x11kids)
$9,760 (subtotal)
$1,952 (service charge-20% x $9,760)
$11,712 (total)
$1,010.16 (total x Tax 8.625%)
$12,722.16-Grand Total

The numbers turn out to be a big difference when tax is applied to service charge, therefore please ask the question to your venue –“Is your service charge taxable?” so, you can make sure your budget is accurate.

Below is NY tax regulations regarding to service charges-
Gratuities and service charges
Gratuities and tips that a customer leaves voluntarily for the wait staff are not taxable.
Mandatory gratuities are different because they are automatically added onto the bill given to the customer. However, a mandatory gratuity is not taxable if all of these conditions are met:
• the charge is shown separately on the bill,
• the charge is identified as a gratuity, and
• all of the money collected is given to the employees.
If any of these conditions is not met, the mandatory gratuity is taxable along with the rest of the catering bill.
Many caterers bill a service charge on banquets or on parties of more than eight or ten people. Since these charges are not specifically listed as gratuities on the bill or invoice, the service charge is always subject to sales tax.
For more details, see TSB-M-09(13)S, Sales Tax on Gratuities and Service Charges.

Thanks Fouzia for enlightening us on what to do and how to keep within our budget.

A New NYC Wedding Price High

  • Posted on March 25, 2012 at 6:51 am

Check this article out and keep in mind that just because this has been spent and is the new top price for weddings in the New York City area, you are not stuck paying this amount.  Not now or ever.  You can have your New York City wedding for less than $15,000 quite easily and elegantly.  As you read through the following article, it’s going to feel like an impossibility, but it is not.  Read the article, but keep in mind that all is beautiful on your wedding day no matter the cost up or down per plate.  Just keep in mind that or rather who counts is the person at the other end of the aisle.  What’s important is not to spend all of your money, but to richly realize the importances of your new life with your new spouse.  Do not use up ALL the money that is yours and your fiance’s or parents to throw this shindig.  Certainly not all the money for a wedding?  Remember what I say: Save some money for your house downpayment or at least the start of your house downpayment bank.

Wedding Price.  Too High?



Looking at the number, it doesn’t seem possible does it to have your wedding in NYC for well under what you have in your bank account or on your credit card.  Don’t try to keep up the with wedding Joneses, they might have more resources readily available to them.  But all is still not lost; your wedding, doesn’t have to cost that much.  Nowhere does it say you have spend $450 or $196 or $107/guest.  It’s your wedding (yours and you fiances’).  The $450 versus the $27000 versus the $15K.  Going from outrageous to the sublime is probably just the kick in the pants you might need.  Notice the price differential per person (140 people in attendance) according to the three different budgets:  Several hundred over $67K, or over $27K or even down to a respectful, even relaxing amount under $15K.  Breathe, then stick to your budget and receive:


EVERYthing your heart desires to make your wedding beautiful.   In other words treat yourself  and demand to be treated like a Queen (or King), but also demand that the coffers not be raided, either.

Riverside’s Wedding Open House

  • Posted on March 14, 2012 at 5:11 am
  • Article originally Posted on February 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm


This year, I somehow missed the event entirely. I had it in my calendar at a completely different time than it was in reality. I showed up two hours later than the event. Forgive me for giving you a re-run of the event, however I believe the information is relevant.  The picture above is after this year’s event.

A Parent: Where does the wedding party begin?

Ms. Gregory: I am the first stop, for which you can schedule an appointment and we talk in depth about what you might want, the budget, and the number of guests.  You may also either email me, (best) or call me.  If you are ready to book, then definitely set up an appointment, and I will get you started in the process including your reservation of a room, along with the deposit.   Additionally, if you want your reception here, I can let our catering service, PashaEvents, know that you are booked and ready to have them (the Caterers) contact you.  You (The reservers) may also do that on your own, as well.

Bride: Can secular music be played during the ceremony?

Ms. Gregory: During the ceremony, you may only use sacred music, which you make the decision on what it is.  This is a sacred space and we are strict with having only sacred music played during the wedding ceremony.  At the reception it is your choice of musical style.  You may hire an outside entertainer, or band.

Bride: How long is the ceremony?  How long before the reception begins?  How long is the minimum time for the reception?

Ms. Gregory: The wedding ceremony is typically 30 minutes.  The reception can be scheduled to start immediately or within the half hour of your ceremony’s end.  Typically any place you speak to about receptions will measure their price by the time needed.  We schedule you for an hour cocktail, and four hours for the reception and if you would like dancing as well, that includes more than enough time.

Groom: How much is the reception?

Ms. Gregory: Our pricing is competitive with other venues of our caliber, so our price per plate/person is between $105 -$155.

Groom: Can there be two ministers side by side performing the ceremony, one in English and the other minister in another language?

Ms. Gregory: We have several ministers on staff from which the bridal party can choose.  If their choice is not available, we go down to the next minister who is available.  Often there are requests for a minister, who is not a member of the Riverside clergy staff, who can perform weddings at Riverside Church, then they are allowed to do the homily, and liturgy.  Having another minister duplicate verbatim what the English-speaking minister will say lengthens the ceremony by two, possibly three times as much. and that is why they may join the service, with their specific part or feature, but only be one or two parts, not the whole ceremony, usually the homily and liturgy.

There were many more questions which you may hear on my radio show: All Things About Weddings: Elegant and Affordable. If you are in the midst of or haven’t yet booked your wedding venue, I invite you to take a look a Riverside Church of New York.  And if you get the opportunity to go in February to go to their Open House, I would say, definitely go next year and maybe I’ll be there, too.

Ms. Gregory will also be at the GLBT Expo this at the Javits on March 17 & 18.

To Contact Ms. Gregory: 212 870 6763 or via email


Looking to read something that I have written check out my wedding cake Special Report: