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  • Posted on November 19, 2012 at 2:39 am
This button and the one on the cd/books page are still in test mode.  It will be up soon, so you can then purchase via PayPal or credit cards for my book directly from this website, very soon.

Before and After the Ring

  • Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm
Don’t you just love lists?  They say so much in just the right amount of time.  I am bringing you two I discovered on the internet as I surfing along via Twitter.  Two points of view of the same coin.
The woman’s POV is first and credits follow each article.
Fisrt posted on SEP 4 2012

you want to show him off to your family and friends and throw dinner parties.  and you want him to be the guest of honor

your life is easier because of him.  no, we are not talking just about money here. he is there when you need someone.  we have all had those relationships where we were always on the phone crying to our friends and mom (most of us anyway).  this doesn’t happen with him.

he isn’t threatened, insecure or wants you to be a stay at home mommy (unless that is what you want).  he supports your dreams and goals.

this is a huge one


we all know “those guys” – who wants to be married to one of “those guys”.

we feel that humor is sometimes the only thing that gets us through life.

he takes you out. he wines and dines you. he makes you feel special.

he checks in with you.


Editor’s Note:  We did a little reverse psychology here.  If your guy doesn’t do all of the above – it is time to reassess your relationship.  You deserve better.  We all do.


Ten Signs She Is The One


Happy Couple

Somebody who cares for you wants to you succeed…even if it means tough love.

Another douchey post from me in response to

  1. Your life is better when she’s around. Things start to click. You land that new job. She helps you get your stuff organized. You start cooking again. You start really reducing that debt. She just makes you want to be a better person.
  2. Your close buddies and family can’t help but be charmed by her. Maybe you don’t care what other people think, and that’s fine. Isn’t it nice, though, when your family and friends are just as enamoured with your girlfriend as you are? When you can all hang out and she holds her own? When she can tell dick jokes and listen to grandma talk about Jeopardy?
  3. She’s motivated and handles her business. Motivation is a huge turn-on for me. Somebody who can handle her business (whether that means working hard at her job, or juggling clients as a freelancer, or planning her future) is somebody who you can rely on. Boo co-dependency!
  4. She has your back. Ah, Michelle Obama…what a woman! It means so much to know that your partner is in your corner and you owe it to her to be in hers. When you feel supported, it makes a world of difference.
  5. She calls you on your shit. The flip side. Somebody who cares for you wants to you succeed, and she will help you, even if it means tough love. I’m not talking about nagging (which is THE WORST). I’m talking about somebody who keeps it real when you need her to. She gives you honest feedback on your writing. She plays devil’s advocate. She calls out your messy room. Yeah, I’m mad at first, but I appreciate it later.
  6. You trust her, but you are still a bit jealous. I used to brag that I was never jealous about my girlfriend. Now I realize that a little bit of jealousy is not a bad thing. I like the thought that I have to work to keep my relationship going, and I like knowing that people out there think my girlfriend is hot. At the same time, I don’t want her to actually cheat on me….I just like the idea that she is desired, but I’m enough of a stud that she is gonna stick around. It’s an ego game, I guess. But I think a bit of jealousy (note: I’m not talking insane, angry jealousy here…) shows you care.
  7. She is funny. This is so important. Dating somebody without a sense of humour, or even a wildly different sense of humour, is torture. If she laughs at your jokes, and you at hers, she is probably a keeper. Humour = hot.
  8. She is in the same place as you. In my experience, timing and location can impact relationships more than just about anything else. Does she want to travel the world? Is she stable? Does she just want something casual? Is she interested in having kids? Is she religious? A lot of these questions can be deal-breakers, and the more you have in common (“oh, I just want a casual, no kids relationship where we travel the world and pray to our God the Giant Spaghetti Monster too!”), the better.
  9. You have sexual chemistry. This is critical. She isn’t your friend, she’s your romantic partner. If the sex isn’t happening, and it can’t be saved with therapy and lots of talking, then you may need to DTMF (Dump The MotherF***er — all credit to Dan Savage). To further steal from Mr. Savage, it helps if both of you are GGG (Good, Giving, and Game for just about anything in the bedroom).
  10. She makes you feel…like a natural man. I’m not naturally a terrifically manly man. I play basketball and keep in shape, and I’m (pretty much) straight. Also, I look good in a suit. In a lot of ways, however, I can be pretty effete and/or childlike. Consequently, it is important to me to be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t constantly emasculate me. Even the most liberal, bicycle-riding, hippy-dippy, skinny-jeans wearing, bi-curious dandy likes to feel like a high-status man sometimes.


Also read Josh Bowman’s Ten Signs She Might NOT Be The One


Image of Happy Senior Couple courtesy of Shutterstock.

Cake?  Who Said Taste Cake?

As you know the October Wedding Cake Taste-Off was cancelled as was the attached seminar.  Stay tuned for our next event, which will be held in Manhattan.  See you soon.


Who’s on the wedding industry professional dais for questions and answers?

Fouzia Elidrissi – My Bridal Budget

Bridgette Bartlette – Black Bridal Bliss

JoAnn Baylor – Make My Cake

Pauline Stoute – P’s Baking & Catering, Inc.

Other possibilities:

OrlandoFlowers by Zenda

Rose JeffriesHouse of La Blanche Couture

Rev. Louis Olivieri or RevDeb (Nardozzi) – Interfaith Ministers



Judges for Wedding Cake Taste-Off:

Ms. JoAnn Baylor, Pastry Chef – Make My Cake

Ms. Bridgette Bartlett, Journalist – Black Bridal Bliss

Ms. Sondra Peeden Esq, Assistant Deputy Council-SE Queens

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wedding photojournalism - 5th avenue socialPreparing a shot list for your wedding day? Keep in mind that a top photographer already knows to capture all the tried-and-true key moments, family members, candids, and personal details for you and works best when given the creative freedom to do his or her best job.  However, if there are any not-so-typical shots you’d like to have, it’s a good idea to meet with your photographer to discuss them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Your college roommates
  • Dad and his four sisters
  • You and your babysitter
  • Mom and her tennis buddies

Be sure to point out anything unusual that the photographer might not expect. If there are divorces in the bridal party, or members with disabilities or special needs, you’ll want to be conscientious in apprising your photographer so that shots can be scheduled with this in mind.

Discussing your personal shot list with your photographer is a guaranteed way of not missing a single beautiful moment of your wedding day.


How to Hire the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Originally posted on July11th, 2012 by  | Share Blog


Wedding PhotographyOf all the planning and preparation that go into creating the perfect wedding, the most important may be choosing the right wedding photographer.  After the cake has been eaten and the guests have gone home, your photographs are all you will have left to remind you of the day. Here are a few tips that will simplify your search and help you locate the perfect photographer for you.

Get Your Thoughts Together

Set the wedding date and lock down the locations for your wedding ceremony and reception.  Like popular wedding and reception venues, good photographers are in demand, so you will need to book as far in advance as possible, preferably 6 to 9 months ahead and perhaps even more if you are planning your wedding for June or early fall, the most sought-after months.

wedding photographersKnow your budget and the type of photographs you prefer (traditional posed shots, candids, photojournalistic shots that tell the story of your wedding—or a mix).  Also, consider whether you would like engagement shots taken.  Besides giving your photographer a chance to figure out your best smiles and angles, engagement photos also let you see how he or she works and whether you are comfortable with your choice.  If taken at a place that is meaningful to you, engagement photos really let you have fun and be creative, and they’re great for engagement announcements.

Compile a List of Photographers in Your Area

There is an abundance of photographers out there. Nothing beats asking friends and family, event planners and other venue reps for recommendations. Before researching further, though, know your space and needs.  If planning an indoor wedding, make sure to get a photographer who thoroughly understands lighting—photographing you next to a fireplace in the St. Regis Hotel is very different from photographing you outdoors and requires serious expertise.  Do not make a selection based on viewing only outdoor shots.

engagement photographywedding photographers

Freelance photographers, though inexpensive, often do not have anyone to back them up in case they are sick on your wedding day.  This is an easy catastrophe to avoid: look for photographers who do provide backup.  In addition, knowing the types of photos you like will help you get a realistic idea of whether someone else’s photographer may be worth a call. When you have your referrals, go online to check out their work, but remember:  once you narrow your choices to the final contenders, it is important to view their photos off the web as well in order to truly judge their quality.

Collect Basic Information

Ask about basic packages and prices, including the availability of and cost for additional photographers, depending on the size of your wedding.  Make note of the cancellation policy, any additional expenses, coverage if the chosen photographer were to fall ill, and repercussions of either you or the photographer canceling.  You will also need to ask questions about post-production and delivery, such as how soon and in what format the photographs will be delivered, and who holds the negatives and for how long.

5th Avenue DigitalPhotographers charge anywhere from nothing to $25,000. Those who charge nothing or modest fees typically have little or no experience and are looking to use your wedding to build their portfolio. Consider what you are getting and the risk of getting stuck with pictures you hate and no option of ever redoing them.  The way in which photographers arrive at their pricing structure will vary, and one may seem more attractive because of lower prices, but in the long run, you may be sacrificing quality and peace of mind.  It is better to spend a little more to get better quality and service.

Interview Your Top Choices

Keep it consistent: ask the same questions of all candidates, beginning with whether they are available on the date you’ve chosen. Ask to see samples of their best work, and put personality at the very top of your list. This person will be working closely with and around you and your guests at arguably the most important event of your life. He or she should bring out the best in everyone, be nothing less than a joy to work with and someone whom you feel completely understands you and knows exactly what you are looking for.  Accept nothing less.

Check Reputation

It goes without saying that you must verify that the photographers you are seriously considering are reputable.   Request three references from each photographer and check them all. Refusal to provide references is a red flag.  Always check with the Better Business Bureau or any of the online forums on weddings, but in the end, good reviews prevail.

5th Avenue Digital


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.