Friday, June 25, 2021

Tying the Knot: From Church to Cheap and Cheerful

Weddings have become so exorbitantly expensive. In a study by The Knot in 2017, it was found that the average Manhattan wedding left little change from $77,000.  In COVID times this decreased to $19,000.

While one may hope that coronavirus has been a lesson in the unnecessary expenditure, predictions for 2021 are

a)      There will be a hike in the number of weddings taking place

b)      It will be “the year of the after party” (for those who had to have a corona wedding)

c)       More people will turn to wedding planners as they won’t want to deal with the stress

d)      Contact-free and bartender-free mixology: cocktails will now be in a bottle for each person

e)      More outdoor weddings

For those who want a wonderful wedding but still want to keep the price down, there are some venues that could hit the mark. Take for example, the Sweet Hearts chapel – a new wedding space – based on Vegas-style wedding but right in New York, like an A-Z wedding.  Developed for “efficiency” during COVID-19, the couple just needs to fork out $650.  With that they will receive: one hour in the chapel (which has its own dressing area and bathroom), a ceremony, the ceremony leader – ordained ULC Ms. Guinta (they can choose to bring their own wedding officiant), chairs for up to 10 guests (think intimate) and a honeymoon bag which includes: eatery recommendations, T-shirts and Ring Pops.  If they want to pay another $500 they can hire photographer Edward Winter.

Even before coronavirus though, people were going small on their weddings without skimping on quality.  For example, on September 4, 2016 the wedding ceremony of Julie Williams and Mathieu Zarbatany took place. They invited 95 guests to a Brooklyn cocktail bar/event hall at Kinfolk 19. Close to their house, Julie and her mom walked down to the DJ playing ‘That’s How Strong My Love is.’

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Take in a Furry Friend


Now that we are getting out of lockdown, it might be time to adopt a furry friend. Although it was found that dog adoption was up (in some places the figures had doubled), living with an animal in regular times can have an extremely positive psychological impact on everyone.

Back in the day, Sigmund Freud spoke of how beneficial his dog Jofi – who later became his therapy companion – had been.  More recently a study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry undertaken on dog, cat and non-pet owners, evaluated mood and feelings of isolation during lockdown.  It found that:

Contrary to expectations, cat owners were found to be less mindful than non-owners and pet interactions did not account for levels of loneliness or levels of mindfulness. In line with our expectations, however, stress and depression positively predicted loneliness, while mindfulness and being a dog owner were protective against it. Insights from qualitative responses suggest that this might be due to the fact that dogs encourage a routine which involves getting out of the house and walking, which itself offers opportunities to socialise with other people doing the same thing…. These findings add to the emerging literature on mental well-being during a lockdown and the unique role that pets play in their owners’ experiences.

So for any locals considering this option, Advocat Rescue has some lovely cats looking for homes. There is also Foster Dogs Incorporated with canine options for those who prefer dogs.  As the weather heats up what better safe and healthy activity to engage in than dog walking?  In Brooklyn there are many wonderful parks and gardens for a nice stroll which even offer activities.  Children enjoy the  Albemarle Playground and Di Gilio and for those wanting to bring their newfound furry friends there is Parade Ground. 

Getting out and about in the fresh air is very good at all times.  Having a pal accompanying you makes it even better!