The Elegant Bride

When you imagine your wedding do you envision sophistication, elegance
and simplicity?
Is Bree from Desperate Housewives someone you think is a classic woman? Do you want to wear a white dress, veil, tiara and your bouquet will be white roses with stephanotis?
Does tradition really mean something for you?
Want your wedding style to be timeless so someone can view your pictures and not know what decade they were taken in?
If this sounds good to you, then you are The Elegant Bride.


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Contemporary Bride

Do you envision your wedding in a hip new location? Do you frequent the trendy nightclubs? Does vibrant color make its way into your home? You must be the social butterfly within your group who knows what is going on with everyone else! When you got engaged did you envision yourself with a wedding that is like no other? You are The Modern Bride.

Venue Choice

You definitely want to be different, so start looking around at possible places. Art galleries, city lofts or a minimalistic restaurant might be the location for you. An ideal location would be a place where you can just let loose…bring in some lighting that will really set the mood. Think white drapery hung from the ceiling that has a pop of color from the lights!

Attire

A fresh new look is the fit-and-flare trumpet gown. It adds an air of drama with the exaggerated bell skirt. Picture taffeta, silk satin, embellished belts and color accents. Your hair can be styled with an oversized flower behind one ear, or a feather worked into your up-do. Dangling earrings and a sparkly necklace add that bit of pizzazz to your chic look.

Flowers

Traditional flowers can work as long as they are mixed in with some exotics. Using a monochromatic color scheme will really make your style new and impressive. Imagine a jewel tone like orange to really help your day stand out. Single flowers within a slender vase really say modern minimalistic. Or, go for a single colored rose at every place setting.

Your Bouquet

A slender bouquet of exotic flowers would be simple and beautiful. Use some bouquet jewelry with just a hint of sparkle to make your bouquet eye-catching and different. Stick with one color, whether it be bright orange, fuchsia, or stark white. Also don’t forget to allow your floral stems to stick out, don’t cover them up with ribbon!

Wedding Cake

Geometric shapes work great for you! Think of square or hexagonal shapes. Again, work with a monochromatic color scheme and use royal icing for any flowers. A highlight of a metallic color would be hot. Stay with the untraditional route and you will have tons of options.

Favors

The favors you give out should be something that your guest can use, but yet send out that contemporary vibe. Consider Glass Coaster Gift Set, Chrome Heart Bottle Stopper & Gift Box, or the new monogrammed votive candle holder.


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20 COOL GROOMSMEN GIFTS

It’s customary to present a token of appreciation to your ushers and groomsmen. Here are some groomsmen gifts that are sure to let them know that you appreciate their presence at your wedding.

For those who like to celebrate by lighting it up, buy a round of Cigars for your closest buddies. Make sure you get the Cigar Case to go along with them.

For the businessman, a Business Card Holder with a message engraved on it.

Give him a beautiful personalized leather covered flask.

Give him a special Key Ring engraved with a message.

Money Clips are great to hold those $100 dollar bills.

Add a little tradition, give him a Pocket Watch engraved with the wedding date.

Buy him tickets to his favorite event!

Emphasize his personality with a personalized pub sign.

For that special Best Man gift, splurge with a personalized poker set!

Can’t find the right words to say about your buddy?
A personalized frame could do the trick!

How about some Hobby or Sports Accessories like Golf balls or Golf tees.

For the gift that keeps giving… there’s the Beer of the month club, Wine of the month club, or Cigar of the month club, etc.

For the outdoorsman, give a Deluxe Swiss Army Knife.

A personlized party tub is great for a guy who can’t wait for the summer months!

Give them a bottle of fine wine with a georgous engraved silver stopper!

Add to their CD collection, with a Music Gift Certificate!

Give a Magazine Subscription to their favorite magazine.

Make the gift an ace with a personalized golf towel…. very unique!

Find an old photo of you and your groomsman–have it professionally framed and you have a sentimental and very personal gift!


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HAIR AND BEAUTY

Hair Tips:

1.Consider the time of day and type of wedding when choosing a style. Loose styles are appropriate for informal or daytime weddings, while up-do’s portray a formal, evening look.

2.During the “test run,” walk around with the hairstyle you plan to wear to determine its comfort level. A good rule is: the simpler, the better, since pins can hurt, and intricate styles are often delicate.

3.Stylists and makeup artists do their best work in their own environments with their own tools, so have your wedding party meet at the salon a couple of hours before they need to be at the ceremony for pictures. This increases efficiency, (and usually costs less!)


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Readings and Poems

From: “The Oyster Bed”,
Gift from the Sea

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other (one perfect sunrise gazing at another) but in looking outward together in the same direction.” For, in fact man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction; they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots, a firm base. Here one makes oneself part of the community of men, of human society.

And here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow—growing devotion and playing these through, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.


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Tips For a Sentimental Wedding

* Spend a day making a time capsule. Each of you can write a letter containing your thoughts, dreams and hopes for your new life together. Put the two letters in a box and seal it. You can then open the box on a set date, maybe your 25th wedding anniversary.
* Consider having a sentimental theme wedding, “romantic candlelight” would be a good idea.
* Make a special wedding gift for your partner. For example, you could laminate a box with photographs or keepsakes, such as ticket stubs, from your courtship together.
*Have a message to your partner printed on a rented billboard that they will be sure to see on their way to the ceremony!
* Order a bridal bouquet with a special meaning or message. You will find that most flowers have a specific meaning. For example, ivy means fidelity, friendship and marriage, violets mean modesty and hope, zinnias mean thoughts of absent friends, jasmine is for happiness and tulips mean enchantment.
* On your wedding day, dab your, and your partner’s, handkerchiefs with your favorite fragrances, for a reminder of each other.
* Have the groom escort his mother and grandmother to their seats at your ceremony venue.
* Write your own vows. Couples often find that their own words can be more meaningful than traditional vows and can give their ceremony a feeling of intimacy.
* Incorporate a family heirloom into your ceremony. This could include a piece of jewelry, clothing or a family bible. Some brides like to copy the entire wedding gowns their mother or grandmother wore.
* Release some doves.
* Arrange for a family member or close friend to make a video consisting of photos of you and the groom since you first met. Show the video to your guests while you are having your photos taken.
* Copy the decorations or cake top used by your parents or grandparents at their wedding.
* Place wedding photos of your parents and grandparents on your cake table for a sentimental and romantic touch. If you would like, you could ask all your guests to bring a photo of their wedding and have a table set up especially to display these photos.
* Have two special champagne flutes personalized for your reception. You can then use them on special occasions at home.
* Take secret singing lessons, and surprise your fiancé at your reception by singing your song or a favorite love ballad.
* Ask your DJ or band to play your parent’s favorite song and have them dance to it.
* On your wedding night, strew your bed with rose petals.
* While you are on your honeymoon, write a postcard to your partner and mail it for a special surprise when he gets home.


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Selecting a Flower Girl

You may choose one or two little girls to be the flower girl(s). The best age range is between four and eight. The younger they are the more of a challenge. It is a very special honor however, for children to be a part of your wedding.

In Advance

*Flower girls should attend the shower and may attend other pre-wedding parties.

*It is a must that they attend the rehearsal and may attend the rehearsal dinner with their families.

The Wedding

*Flower girls walk directly in front of the bride in the processional and in front of the maid of honor in the recessional.

*As flower girls walk down the aisle, they may scatter flower or rose petals. If petals are not permitted, sometimes flower girls will hand out single flowers to guests as they walk, or they may just carry a bouquet, a ring of flowers or a pomander ball.

*During the ceremony, flower girls may stand near the bridesmaids or may sit with their families. Those who are younger probably will do better sitting with their families.

*The flower girl is always in the formal photographs along with the bridal party.

The Reception

*Flower girls do not stand in the reception line.

*The flower girl usually sits at a table with their family rather than at the head table.

Expenses

*Families of the flower girl are expected to pay for dresses and other attire.

*The flower girl’s family is also responsible for additional travel costs.

*Flower girls are not expected to bring a gift to pre-wedding parties they may attend. If their parents attend, gift expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one shower or party, only one shower gift is expected.

Tips

*It is very easy for children to get fussy. To insure that everything goes smoothly have the flower girl wear comfortable shoes and clothes.

*NO SUGAR should be allowed before the ceremony. Children can get very hyper and hard to control when they are loaded up on sweets. More Tips for Dealing with Children In Weddings.

*Keep the flower girl calm by resisting the urge to “hype” up her role. Play games with her or tell her stories as you are waiting to walk down the aisle.

*Don’t forget to show your appreciation to your flower girl by giving them a small gift to commemorate the event.


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Guest Gripes: 10 Wedding Day Don’ts

1. Open Bars are Good, Drunken Antics are Not

Cash bars tend to say cheapness. Providing an open bar with a wide selection of beverages is an excellent way of ensuring your guests have a fun time. That said, listening to the best man slur his way through a speech or seeing your friend do a drunken dance in front of your grandma should not be part of the festivities. Instruct the bartenders to keep an eye on the guests and to cut the booze-hounds off as they see fit.

2. Consider the Singletons

Inviting single friends is tricky. Including the phrase “plus one” on invitations can put unwanted pressure on the recipient. Many singletons view weddings as a place to meet potential dates. Send the invitation without the “plus one” and follow up with a call informing your friend he or she may bring a date if desired. This also works well with couples who reunited or started dating after the invitations were sent. Remember not to exclude live-ins or long-term partners! Just because they’re not married or engaged does not mean they don’t count.
3. Not Everyone Can Take the Day Off Work

While Saturday is the most popular day to get married, if you decide to be different, try to be considerate of your guests. You may be able to take a week off work, but it’s your wedding. Your guests aren’t as flexible. A Friday wedding with a Thursday rehearsal can require people to take two days off of work, which presents problems. An evening wedding on a weeknight should not go into the wee hours of the morning. No one wants to show up to work with a hangover and no sleep.
4. Enough With the Cake-Smashing

Not only is it rude to each other, but it makes guests feel uncomfortable. Filled with passive aggression and subliminal messages, guests prefer the smashing just didn’t happen. Not to mention, think of the potential devastation to your hair and makeup!
5. Receiving Lines Can Induce Discomfort as Well

Guests enjoy being able to personally congratulate the bride, groom and both sets of parents. Most people, however, do not care about the rest of your 10 person wedding party. Making small talk with a random bridesmaid is not pleasurable for 90% of your guests. Limiting the receiving line to you, your husband and both sets of parents will result in a faster moving procession and happiness all around.

6. DJ Horror Stories are Abundant; Don’t Fall Victim

Reception music can go very wrong very fast. Give your DJ or band clear instructions on your desires. The YMCA and Macarena are so old, even your outdated dad is sick of them. Select songs with meaning for you and your husband, while keeping in mind the ages and tastes of your guests. While no one wants to hear the Chicken Dance, don’t play Baby Got Back either. Dirty dancing, especially in front of your grandparents, is just embarrassing for everyone.

7. Reception Faux Pas

You finally found the perfect place to hold the reception, except it’s over an hour away from your wedding location. As much as you love it, don’t book it. It’s difficult for guests to travel long distances, particularly those from out-of-town. If you must locate your reception far away, provide transportation. Also, don’t leave a large time gap between the ceremony and reception. Although it provides you with much needed time to take pictures and prep for the party, your guests are left with nothing to do. To ease the idleness, provide drinks and snacks at a hotel or arrange a tour of the city. People from far away may have shelled out quite a bit to come to your special day; show them some love in return.
8. Another Cringe-Inducing Social Situation: The Seating Arrangements

Allow your guests to select on which side of the aisle to sit rather than forcing them to choose between you and your husband. You two may have mutual friends; let them sit where they want. Plus, imagine the horror when you discover how many more people are sitting on your husband’s side. One place to assign seating is at the reception. Guests don’t like being left to fend for themselves for a seat, especially when they don’t know anyone else at the wedding. Just try not to separate couples. It’s awkward enough to come as a date to a wedding where you know no one.
9. Gifts: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Every woman wants gifts for her wedding. She just doesn’t want to outright ask for them. An invitation implies the guest must bring a present. If you know people cannot come but you want to send an invitation anyway without looking like you’re grubbing for gifts, send a wedding announcement. It allows friends and family to be remembered but not propositioned. Never ask for cash! A request for cash is tacky and rude. Just don’t do it! Remember, a gift is just that, a gift. Although social tradition dictates gift-giving, wedding presents are given out of the goodness of your guests’ hearts, not because you deserve a new toaster.
10. On a Good Note…

Make the wedding personal. Guests enjoy seeing touches of you and your husband throughout the ceremony and reception. If you want to wear a blue dress, wear one! If you don’t want any attendants, then don’t have any! Typical, textbook weddings are boring for guests. It’s your wedding, make it you.


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Some Traditional Wedding Vows

*I take you ____________ to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and, in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, and thereto I pledge you my faith and love.

*I take you ____________ to be my wedded wife/husband. I pledge that I will love you and tenderly care for you in sickness and in health, when life is peaceful and when it is in disorder. I will honor your goals and your dreams, and help you to realize them. And I vow to share my life with you through the best and worst of what is to come.

*I take you ____________to be my wedded wife/husband. I promise to be faithful to you, to give and to receive, to care and console, to inspire and respond, loving you now, but even more in your growing and becoming. I will love you when we are together and when we are apart, when life is peaceful and in disorder, when I am proud of you and when I am disappointed in you, in times of leisure and in times of work.  I will honor goals and dreams, and help you to realize them.  I will be open and honest with you, and join with you in seeking the fulfillment of our lives with God as my help.

*I take you ____________ to be my wedded wife/husband, and these things I promise you: I will respect, trust, help, and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God; through the best and the worst of what is to come as long as we live.

* ____________, I take you as my wife/husband. I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love. I promise to honor and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfillment as an individual through all the changes of our lives.

*I ____________ promise to love and cherish you ___________, to give you my strength, to help you in good times and bad, to respect our individuality, to make our home one of love and understanding. I give you all of my trust, all of my tomorrows, all of my life.


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