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What to Do About a Reluctant Ring Bearer

Posted by: Christa

Aren’t kids in weddings just too cute? We can all agree on that. Ring bearers and flower girls – the more the merrier! They’re especially cute when they aren’t pitching a fit at the foot of the aisle because they’ve suddenly found themselves staring out into a sea of grown up strangers. How often does that really happen? Often enough to make being prepared a smart move. Here’s how you can help a reluctant ring bearer (or flower girl) have a great day:

1. Avoid reluctant ring bearers altogether by choosing one that is outgoing and polite, and old enough to understand what he’s being asked to do. Books like 10 Cool Things About Being a Ring Bearer and The Best Ever Ring Bearer can help you give your future ring bearer a taste of the role. Does he seem interested? Enthusiastic? Unsure? Make sure he knows (and his parents know) he can opt out.

2. Don’t expect the moon from any ring bearer – especially if you’ve chosen a really young ring bearer or one who can sometimes be a little shy. Walking down an aisle with lots of strangers on either side? Easy for most adults. Utterly terrifying for some children. If your reluctant ring bearer makes it from point A to point B without bawling, flopping down on the aisle runner, or making a break for the door, consider it a job well done.

ring bearer inspiration

3. Practice makes perfect. One rehearsal is enough for most adults, but if at all possible, have your ring bearer’s parents bring him to your ceremony venue and show him where he’ll be and what he’ll be doing during the wedding. A reluctant ring bearer may simply not understand what’s expected of him. Kids don’t have the experience to think, oh yes, a wedding with chairs and an aisle and a ceremony then cake. The wedding itself may be this mysterious thing in your little man’s mind, and nothing is as scary as the unknown.

4. Assign a ring bearer shepherd, preferably one who is well known to the child. Walking down an aisle flanked by tall grownups becomes a lot less frightening when you have your tiny hand firmly settled in papa’s big one. If this feels too much like you’re asking the parent to participate in your wedding – which you kind of are no matter what since they have to buy junior’s babytux – you can give your reluctant ring bearer the confidence to go it alone by having him escorted to the foot of the aisle by mama, who sets him on his path, and caught by papa, waiting for him by the couple in the first row.

5. Finally, say “It’s okay, you don’t have to be in the wedding if you don’t want to or are afraid.” Some adults are easily offended by children’s whims, but in so many cases, a child’s choices don’t have malicious intent behind them. Maybe your chosen ring bearer started out enthusiastic and has grown increasingly reluctant as the wedding draws nearer. If he says he’d rather not participate, don’t force it. His fears or impulses aren’t anything like logical, but children aren’t logical creatures. Better to go ring bearer-less than to have a sulking little boy in all your wedding photos.

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

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USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
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Wedding Planning 101: When Opting Out Is A-OK

Posted by: Christa

Every now and then, a planner working with an offbeat couple will suggest some alternative bridal accessory or wedding venue, and one or two (or more) well-meaning people will chime in to express the opinion that tradition ought to be kept in the traditional wedding for tradition’s sake. Or to ensure that no one is offended or confused. Or because that is simply how things are done.

When it comes to tradition for tradition’s sake, I would no more argue that there’s anything wrong with wanting a traditional wedding than I can argue that there’s anything wrong with untraditional weddings. And when it comes to “how things are done,” I can’t argue that, either.

alternative wedding ideas

What I can dispute is that straying from the traditional wedding format or wearing alternative bridal garb or serving a macrobiotic reception dinner a la Gwen P. is less than etiquette friendly because it will potentially offend or confuse someone, somewhere.

There’s a difference between what is truly offensive and what will simply offend certain people who are probably easily offended. Add to that the fact that what is offensive to some people/cultures/societies — e.g., anything from religious iconography to phallic statuary — will not always be offensive to all people/cultures/societies… and what you get is a lot of confused brides-to-be.

The good news is that the majority of the confusion I see (here, on forums, and in real life) involves relatively benign issues that at worst will cause temporary hurt feelings and at best won’t offend anyone at all. In fact, the answer to the question “What if I don’t follow this particular tradition/hire this type of vendor/wear this piece of clothing?” is often “Nothing at all!”

The most common opt-outs I see on wedding message boards are, in no particular order:

  • Not exchanging (or wearing) wedding rings
  • Saying no to being given away
  • Not having the parent-child dances
  • Not serving cake/alcohol/meat/etc. at the reception
  • Wearing anything other than a white or cream wedding gown
  • Choosing a non-religious ceremony
  • Spending less than the average for the locale
  • Forgoing best men, maids-of-honor, bridesmaids, and groomsmen
  • Not hiring a wedding band or wedding DJ
  • DIYing everything from arch to cake

What it comes down to is this: If your choices aren’t hurting anyone, aren’t in some way discourteous or overtly offensive, aren’t designed to purposefully exclude people, and aren’t dangerous or illegal, you’re probably okay. Furthermore, that which shocks is not automatically offensive (though that won’t excuse you from sideward glances) and confusion isn’t grounds for deeming something bad etiquette. Finally, context counts. A nude wedding at Burning Man? I’m going to guess pretty unoffensive. A nude wedding at grandma’s house? You risk putting the OH(NOSHEDIDN’T) in OHffensive.

In the end, be your own bride and your wedding will be beautiful.

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

———————————————–
USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
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* Offer excludes dress orders
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Wedding Cake Alternatives

Posted by: Christa

For many years, cakes have ruled wedding receptions. One of the first questions people ask about weddings is what the cake either looked or tasted like.

wedding cake alternatives - cake pops

Over the course of the past few years, though, the cake has started losing its place at the party. Oh, it’s not like wedding cakes are going away anytime soon. I expect them to continue to be the most popular dessert at weddings for a very long time to come. It’s just that now more people are more open to variations on the theme.

One popular variation that’s sprung up is the wedding dessert bar. With this option, the couple may or may not have a traditional wedding cake, but they will offer multiple options in sweet ways to end a meal.

wedding cake alternatives - pie

I have to say this is one of my favorite trends in weddings today. As much as I love cake, the fact is they are often extremely expensive or else not terribly inspired. Sometimes, they are both. And while you can make each tier a different flavor, that means most of us are talking about two to three flavors. It’s helpful, but then you get a large crowd of people with dozens of different food issues and preferences. Someone is going to go home disappointed. The dessert bar is a great opportunity to offer more options so as to satisfy more guests.

wedding cake alternatives - crepes

It’s also a great way to save a little cash, because this is a great DIY project. Break out your best recipes, ask friends and family for their help, fill in blanks with commercially made sweets, and either use coordinated serving pieces or a cheerful cacophony of china you, your friends, and your family can provide.

What should be included? Anything you like that will hold up sitting unattended on a table for a while. Cupcakes, cookies, tarts, pies, sweet muffins, chocolates, fudge, Rice Crispies treats, Peeps, canolli, dried fruit, nuts, petit fours…really, almost anything you like.

wedding cake alternatives - waffles

Vary the height a bit, add a little floral or some pretty linens, and away you go!

So if you’re looking for a little more than wedding cake, consider the dessert bar. It’s fun, it’s practical, and it’s oh so chic!

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

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USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
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* Offer excludes dress orders
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Decorating Your Wedding with Balloons

Posted by: Christa

balloons-in-weddings

I read something recently that said that anything – and I mean anything – can be an upscale-looking wedding decoration when used in quantity. In fact, quantity was the key. DIY mason jar bouquets, rounds freshly cut from trees, simple paper confetti… doesn’t matter. It’s not about the what, it’s about the how much. That’s definitely true when you’re using balloons to decorate at a wedding because used just here and there, balloons look cheesy. Obviously. The theme of your wedding reception decor should not be ‘kids party’.

The easiest way to avoid that look is buy using LOTS of balloons, oversize balloons, or – even better – both in your reception decor. Here are some examples of how you can decorate with balloons at your wedding without sacrificing sophistication:

balloons at weddings balloons decorations wedding

balloon-wedding-exit  giantballoon_reception_decor

wedding balloons reception

Wedding-Balloons

wedding heart balloons

There are lots of great ways to use balloons in your wedding decor, from centerpieces that include balloons to a sparkling ‘sky’ of balloons over the dance floor to a balloon backdrop for a photo booth or the sweetheart table. Just stay away from the now dated balloon arch and balloon pillars – two ideas guaranteed to make your reception look more like junior prom. On trend right now are giant perfectly round balloons and giant gold and silver letter balloons (both shown above).

In quantity and at scale, balloons are a whimsical addition to almost any reception, from formal to casual! xoxo

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

 

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USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
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Wedding ‘Disasters’ and How to Overcome Them Gracefully

Posted by: Christa

When it comes to weddings, something will always go wrong. And I mean always. You can prepare for every possible contingency but there will be some detail, hopefully a tiny one, that doesn’t unfold as planned. We’re quick to call a lot of things wedding disasters that are more like inconveniences. Rain on your wedding day. Ungracious guests. Catering mix ups. Or as in the case of the wedding that went viral a while back, an entire wedding party falling into a lake.

wedding-insurance-bad-weather-outdoor

The biggest wedding disaster of all is the one that prevents you and your intended from saying “I do,” but that doesn’t mean that smaller issues can’t feel like the end of the world. One bride I know had so many things go wrong that I was shocked she didn’t go crazy. The jeweler lost her custom wedding rings a month before the wedding. Her bridal veil never showed. The caterer cancelled. The area’s one nice hotel was overbooked that weekend. The original reception venue closed without warning and she had to fight to her her deposit back. Her MIL-to-be refused to come. And the best man lost all of his luggage, including his tux.

The whole wedding planning process was, in short, a disaster. And yet this friend of mine somehow managed to smile through it all because she knew that none of it would mean that her and her husband-to-be would be any less married. Her family and friends help her put together an outdoor reception at a local part that was nothing short of amazing. Relatives cooked up a massive spread – for free. She looked as beautiful without her veil as she would have looked with one and the local tux rental place managed to hook up the best man on very short notice. In the end, everything worked out for the better if not the best.

It was, as she puts it, the most wonderful day of her life even though the weeks and months leading up to it were disastrous. Maybe it’s because she kept her eyes on what was really important: their families were there, their closest friends and family were standing by our sides as they made their sacred vows together, and everyone was happy. She told me later that hardly anyone realized that things had gone wrong – everything seemed perfect just the way it was.

evPxg3r

And that’s something else to remember… sometimes wedding disasters make for funny stories and amazing photo opps. Look for the beauty and you will probably find it!

rainy-outdoor-wedding

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

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USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
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* Offer excludes dress orders
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Wedding Planning and Those Pesky Last Minute Details

Posted by: Christa

Getting to “I do” can be a pretty big pain, and getting to the end of your wedding planning checklist is no guarantee that you’re in the clear. After you’ve checked nearly everything off your list and finally feel free to relax there may still be a whole bunch of last-minute details to tackle. If you’re lucky, your spouse-to-be is splitting the list with you or you have some seriously engaged bridesmaids who have your back so you can relax a little bit before the big day. But if you’re like a lot of brides, last-minute wedding planning to-dos like these will fall on your plate:

  • Put everything you need for the ceremony and reception in one place, and designating someone to take them to your venue and set them up. A few days before, get all your decorations and reception accessories to that person.
  • Figure out who is doing what – have you decided who will be in charge of the programs? Who is helping seat guests? Who will hand out the tip envelopes at the end of the reception?
  • Give a final head count to whichever wedding vendors need a head count. Don’t forget to include meals for your other vendors.
  • Create or buy a wedding day emergency kit. You never know what you and your bridesmaids might need on the big day, from mints to clear nail polish to band-aids.
  • Pick up your wedding dress and remind the groom to have his side pick up their wedding day apparel. Put your wedding day undies and your bridal jewelry with your gown so everything you need is in one place.
  • Take a walk in your wedding shoes to break them in. Pro tip: Put a pair of men’s socks over them after putting them on your feet and wear your bridal shoes around the house for a few days. They stay clean but get more comfortable.
  • Pick up your wedding rings (and your engagement ring if you had it cleaned).
  • Finalize the seating chart and put your seating place cards in alphabetical order in an envelope so they’re ready to go.
  • Review the guest list with your fiance. This helps big time when you’re in the receiving line!
  • Pick up your marriage license. Confirm the details of the rehearsal (and the rehearsal dinner if your future MIL hasn’t already done so). Create a loose wedding day itinerary and go over it with your wedding day VIPs. Make sure everyone knows where to be and what to do.
  • Confirm EVERY detail with EVERY vendor. Confirm your order, the drop off time and place, and any special details.
  • Pack for the honeymoon – if you’re leaving ASAP after the wedding – and confirm your travel reservations.

View More: http://ivystudios.pass.us/amber--rob-123113

NOW you can relax. If you can relax, that is. I know from experience that it’s really hard to just kick back when your wedding day is a week away but it’s definitely worth a shot. You’ll feel happier on the big day if you are well-rested and not super stressed out!

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

 

———————————————–
USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
Use Coupon Code: BRIDE10
* Offer excludes dress orders
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Bridesmaid: Can You Really Wear that Dress Again?

Posted by: Christa

Let’s talk truthy about bridesmaid dresses. They’ve come a long way from bright pink and blue taffeta (complete with dyed shoes to match)! But even so, let’s be honest. Has anyone ever worn their bridesmaid dress again? I have – when the bride was sweet enough to let all her ‘maids choose their own frocks in a specific color. When that happens it’s easy to find a bridesmaids dress you can wear again because the dress you pick is just your style.

But should it happen that you are a bride who isn’t a fan of the idea of letting bridesmaids choose their own dresses, there are still things you can do when choosing bridesmaids dresses to increase the odds your girls will wear their frocks more than just the once.

bridesmaids dresses wear againImage: We Heart Photography

First of all, the styles of bridesmaid dresses have improved dramatically over the past few years. Today, we’re seeing a lot of A-line dresses which look great on all different body shapes and sizes.

blue bridesmaids dresses mismatchedImage: Andrew Mark Photography

The hottest styles right now are still mostly sleeveless. Also very popular are column style dresses, floor length, halter top or straps criss-crossing over the back and asymmetrical. But keep in mind that anything floor length or overtly formal will be harder to re-wear than cocktail length bridesmaids dresses. That said, there are always exceptions!

sparkling bridesmaids dressesImage: Erich McVey Photography

These days, designers are getting very creative when it comes to color and fabric. It’s not just pale pinks and blues anymore. Platinum is very in at the moment, as well as very vibrant colors that would be at home on stylish peacocks. And yet earth tones and natural colors never go out of style and are especially versatile when it comes to everyday wear.

tan and gold bridesmaids dresses

Accessories can really enhance the look of bridesmaid dresses – adding to the formality or funkiness. Statement necklaces add a bolder touch to relatively simlpe bridesmaid attire and look really stunning with all the sleeveless styles.

two piece bridesmaids dresses

Floral looks and patterned bridesmaids dresses are appearing at growing numbers of weddings. Maybe because they can be worn again or maybe because we’re all finally over plain Jane matching styles. But if you love matching bridesmaids dresses – and that’s okay – think about having your ‘maids wear striking shoes in different colors and styles.

floral bridesmaids dresses

The vintage aesthetic is also still trendy, especially with the more “retro” style dresses. Rhinestone barrettes and combs are lending a stylish touch to bridal parties wearing vintage styles. What makes these dresses so re-wearable is that their silhouette is more fun and less formal.

retro bridesmaids dressesImage: Briana Purser Photography

Happy shopping, ladies!coral bridesmaids dresses

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

 

———————————————–
USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
Use Coupon Code: BRIDE10
* Offer excludes dress orders
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Your Headpiece: The Crowning Touch

Posted by: Christa

Maybe you never wear headbands and a daytime tiara is out of the question, but chances are you’ll be wearing a bridal headpiece (brooch, band, or crown) on your big day. That’s because bridal headpieces and veils complement your dress and add another dimension of style to your wedding day.

You just feel different with something sparkly topping off your look – and why shouldn’t you? It’s a special day, so wear something special! Like…

*A barrette, brooch, or comb. This is typically secured into the back of an up-do. The Angela is one of my faves.

pearl bridal comb

*A bridal wreath. Typically a ring of flowers or beading, it encircles the head without necessarily being pinned into your hair.

*A bridal tiara. Think “princess”! And regal. And feminine. If you love playing dress up but want a subtle effect, try something like the Petite Pearl.

pearl bridal headband

*Hair pins. For just a touch of sparkle in your bridal updo, I love our Fresh Water hairpins.

pearl hair pins bridal

*A hat. Definitely different, but decorated elegantly, it can be in any number of shapes and sizes. Perfect for the modern bride.

* A bridal headband. Secured behind your ears and resting at the top of your head, it’s a lot of elegance in a lightweight package. Asymmetrical styles are my fave.

pearl bridal tiara

*The classic wedding veil. From Flyaway to fingertip to sweep veils and beyond, nothing says bride quite like a gorgeous veil.

bridal veil styles - bride veil help

Which isn’t to say that among all this loveliness, a bride-to-be can’t choose to go bareheaded. I actually did it myself, after buying more than a few tiaras and combs. Going without felt natural for me. But if you’re like most brides you can’t wait to don a bridal veil or your tiara or a headband dripping with pearls.

(And we can’t wait to see you! If you share a picture of you wearing your USABride accessories on our Facebook page, we’ll send you a free pair of earrings!)

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

 

———————————————–
USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
Use Coupon Code: BRIDE10
* Offer excludes dress orders
Read more

Mature Wedding Dresses: For the Second Time Bride, the Modest Bride, or Old Souls

Posted by: Christa

Not that there’s anything wrong with playing princess, but for some brides the flouncy bouncy ballgown just isn’t the IT dress. Maybe it’s that they’ve been married before and so for a second wedding they want a gown that’s a lot elegant but also a little lower key. Maybe it’s that they feel most comfortable in sleeves, sans decolletage. And some brides just aren’t into the whole princess for a day thing. I know that the word mature probably conjures up images of adorable geriatric brides but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the dresses I’m about to show you. They’re grown up. But also versatile – many look just as polished paired with a cage veil as they do with a cathedral veil. You’ll find no girlish giggles here – these gowns are all woman!

mature bride wedding dresses

mature wedding dresses 2

mature wedding dresses

wedding dresses for mature brides plus size 2

second wedding dress

wedding dresses for mature brides FADELLA

wedding dresses for mature brides FADO

wedding dresses for mature brides FATIMA

wedding dresses for mature brides OUI-33

 

wedding dresses for mature brides plus size

Who said growing up can’t be gorgeous?

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

———————————————–
USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
Use Coupon Code: BRIDE10
* Offer excludes dress orders
Read more

The Most Wonderful Backless Wedding Dress Inspiration

Posted by: Christa

Married in white doesn’t necessarily mean demure, as the millions of brides donning sultry backless wedding dresses have proved. The trend can translate into anything from a hint of skin to a dip that encroaches upon derriere territory. As for me, I can’t get enough. Maybe it’s that between the wedding ceremony and the first dance, you see so much of the bride’s back. Maybe it’s the dichotomy between the sexy silhouette of backless and the traditional purity of the wedding gown. Party in the back, business in the front? Here’s a whole lot of party in the back to inspire you as you shop for wedding dresses – some made to highlight your bridal jewelry and others made to make every inch of skin stand out. Bare a little or bare a lot, these dresses prove backless is here to stay!

backless wedding dresses (1)

backless wedding dresses (2)

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backless wedding dresses (5)

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backless wedding dresses (7)

inbal dror

Jim Hjelm

julie vino

liz martinez bridal

Watters

yaki ravid

How bare do you dare to go?

———————————————–
USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
Use Coupon Code: BRIDE10
* Offer excludes dress orders
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