The Rose Ceremony

The Rose Ceremony is simple yet profoundly moving. The bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other.

“Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.

You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.

In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.

Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife. In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

_________ and _____________, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future – whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.

In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.

That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.

__________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”

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Best & Worst Thing About My Wedding

This is my favorite feature at USABride. I love to hear the “real life” advice from brides… there is no better advice out there! ~ Bridal Stylist and Founder of USABride, Dareth Colburn

Submitted by Melissa (Boston, MA)

Best Thing About My Wedding:

* A Music Video — We did a funny video set to a Harry Connick Jr. song (We Are In Love), and “recreated” our first meeting (we met on the Internet) and us having fun on the beach. Our guests really dug it!
* Personalize your vows for the ceremony.
* Give out personalized candy bars that have been designed on the computer.
* Have a sign-in photo as guests entered the reception!

What I Would Do Differently:

* Never forget to double check your rehearsal dinner reservations!
* We ended up being shoved into tables in the middle of the restaurant, where it was too noisy!
* Don’t “under-buy” favors bubbles, cameras, etc. Always buy extra just in case

. . . .

Submitted by Kelley (Boulder, CO)

Best Thing About My Wedding:

My husband John has a six-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. I really wanted to include her on our special day, so I gave our Pastor special vows for she and I to exchange. John then placed a gold heart pendant around her neck, and I said “With this heart, I promise to be a loving and caring step-mommy to you. I promise to always be there for you in times of need and I will love you with all my heart for all the days of my life”. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including mine and hers. Arianna is a wonderful addition to my life and I was glad I could show her how much she means to me.

What I Would Do Differently:

I would not have done the Money Dance. I can’t believe how awkward I felt. Originally, I said that I didn’t want to do it, but all my friends kept telling me how great the extra money was on their Honeymoons. I could have done without the extra money and the embarrassment of the DJ asking people to come and dance with you. Oh yeah, and bring a $20 would ya? Yikes!!!

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Top Tips for the Beach Bride

1. Gowns

Beach weddings are somewhere tropical, so search for a beach wedding dress that is light, cobeach-bridemfortable and airy—such as a silk, chiffon, or organdy, or Chantilly lace. Sandals gowns are a popular choice. Depending on your personal style, there are loads of options for color, length and design. Let your personality shine, but keep it simple! Some important tips:

If you will be standing directly on the beach, avoid a dress with a train. It can get really dingy looking and ruin your entire look.

Always pack your dress and the rest of all your wedding day accessories with you as carry on if you are flying. Lost luggage is the worst! You can replace everyday clothes, but not your gown!

2. Hairstyles and Headpieces

When thinking about your beach wedding hairstyle, the key is to prepare and plan ahead. Consider the humidity of the destination? The wind? There’s nothing like a hair disaster to send you into a tail spin on your wedding day. Here’s some of our suggestions for getting your hair right at your beach wedding:

To avoid humidity frizz, The Classic Bun – a ponytail woven around itself into a tight bun, works great. Hair pins or a back comb in the bun can be just stunning—understated yet still eye-catching! starfish-comb

If you want to go more casual, The High Ponytail with tons of tosseled or loose curls could be just the thing. Even if it is windy, it doesn’t matter! Mini combs, like a tiny pearl starfish on the side, is a lovely accessory for this style. A whimsical silk flower, feather comb or rhinestone encrusted barrette would also be simple and chic.

Leave it down! Go for a very natural look by leaving your hair down—either straight or loose curls. A great way to avoid the wind whipping hair in your face is to choose a simple bridal headband.

3. Veil or no Veil?

Should you wear a veil at a beach wedding? Sure you can! This is a matter of personal taste, but it can definitely be done. You want to go with a more traditional veil as opposed to something with a great deal of beading, as it would be heavier and not flow as nicely in the wind.

Length is also very important to consider. Steer clear of cathedral veils for a beach wedding. Not only will the veil get soiled from dragging in the sand, but it could be very unmanageable—especially in windy conditions.

4. Jewelry

Pearl Jewelry is always a stunning addition to the beach look. This year, natural organic stones are where it is! Freshwater Pearls are classic and perfect for that seaside feel.

If you want something with a bit more flair, go for the semi-precious, hand cultivated Japanese Keshi Pearls. They come in a stunning array of shapes and sizes, as well as colors and finishes. Being 100% made by mother nature, Keshis have a mesmerizing luster and their irregular shapes just accentuate their glow.

5. Make-up

The key to a great beach wedding day look is to go easy and fresh. You really want it to look like you have that sun-kissed natural glow. Choose light shimmering shadows and liners, also, a nude lip color is a must to complete the look!

To relieve stress you can have a makeup artist do your wedding day makeup. If you enjoy doing your own makeup but need some more tips, visit a makeup consultant before the trip.

6. Shoes

Pair this look with a fabulous pair of sandals or flip-flops that compliment your gown, or, just go barefoot! Avoid heals at all cost! You don’t want to get stuck in the sand!

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10 Tips for Great Bridal Hair

Following these top ten tips for perfect “I do” hairdos.

1. Six months before the wedding, have a major consultation with your stylist of choice. Bring along the headpiece and a picture of the dress if possible. The more the stylist knows about the mood of the wedding, the better he or she can create the perfect hairstyle.

2. Do not use the portrait session as the “dress rehearsal.” There should actually be a “test run” for the portrait.

3. 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.

4. Consider the time of day and type of wedding when choosing a style. Loose styles are appropriate for informal or daytime weddings, while updos portray a formal, evening look.

5. Remember that some hairstyles can add inches to a bride’s height, and shorter brides may want to use this to their advantage.

6. Do not have any chemical treatments the day of the wedding. That is not the time for surprises!

7. Hair color looks its best its first two weeks, so have hair colored a week to two weeks before the wedding.

8. If a permanent wave is necessary, have it done a month prior to the wedding.

9. Hair that is too fine and over-conditioned does not style well, so deep conditioning treatments should not be used within four days of the wedding. For best styling results, shampoo hair lightly the day before the wedding and, if possible, do not wash hair the day of the wedding.

10. 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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5 Wedding Day Hair Styles

Bridal Hair Styles: Classic Bridal Updo

Classic Wedding Updo

Sophisticated updos are always a popular choice, with curls and twists providing a desired bridal look, especially for more formal weddings.

This style is best for hair that is medium in length (chin length or longer) and is straight and medium to thick. If you have fine hair you might be able to create the updo by using a pin-on ponytail or add-on extension.
Bridal Hair Styles: Modern Wedding Updo

Modern Up Do

The modern updo takes the very formal classic updo and adds a softer, more romantic look.

This tousled style can be achieved with hair of all lengths and textures using tiaras, combs, or hairpins. A good hairdresser always helps too!

Wedding Day Tip:
Always be sure to bring along extra bobby pins in case some hair falls out. If you start to comb it or use more hair spray, you will likely make it worse!

Bridal Hair Styles: Leaving it Long

Another popular trend is to wear your hair down in a sleek shiny look – straight or with romantic curls. Pull your hair half back in a “half-updo” for a more formal look.

A classic headband style tiara may be chosen for simple elegance, while many brides choose just a veil. A traditional bridal look can be achieved by combining a graceful tiara or headband with an elegant wedding veil. The veil can be easily removed after the ceremony.
Bridal Hair Styles: Short Styles

Short Wedding Hair Style

Brides with short hair used to struggle with elegant and creative wedding day hairstyles, but no longer! Fun, sophisticated and unique looks can be achieved with the help of some simple accessories.

Short hair looks stunning in a soft bob that is highlighted with a tiara, headband, or jeweled barrette. A beautiful and timeless look for short bridal hair is hair that is accentuated with well placed finger or Marcel type of waves.
Bridal Hair Styles: Curly and Wavy Hair

Curly Wedding Hair Style

Brides and attendants with naturally curly or wavy hair can adopt any style. In some cases, they will need to temporarily straighten their curls first in order to re-create the look.

The Double Asian Knot and Simply Elegant Updo could also be created, in a modified form without any special straightening for naturally curly hair.

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Tips for Dressing Your Bridesmaids

The bridesmaid dress is an area of delicate negotiation. Finding the gown that works for all concerned parties takes some give-and-take from everyone. Try these helpful gown-hunting tips that are sure to keep everyone smiling.

DO: Be considerate. While it’s an honor to be asked, being a bridesmaid is also an obligation of several hundred dollars. Talk to your friends about a dress budget and stick to it.

DON’T: Try to make your maids look hideous just so you’ll stand out. You want your friends to look stunning in their own way so you’ll have gorgeous pictures and happy memories.

DO: Put yourself in their shoes. While dress shopping, ask yourself: Would I wear this? If the answer is no, put the gown back.

DON’T: Think all your bridesmaids have to be dressed alike. These days, many brides will pick a color that they would like the gowns to be in and let each bridesmaid pick the style (usually from the same designer) that she wishes to wear. This way, each person is wearing a dress that complements their shape and shows off their best assets.

DO: Have a brainstorming session. Let your bridesmaids voice what they will and won’t wear. Look over some bridal magazines to see what styles appeal to them. Then plan a shopping date. Take everyone, if possible. If you have out-of-town maids, make sure they are included by either scanning in dress images you like or finding them on the designer’s Web site and e-mailing them.

. . . . . .

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Trend Alert: Brooches, Really?

About 2 years ago, when my supplier asked me if I wanted to see some brooches, I said, “Are you kidding? Brooches for weddings?” When I thought of brooches I imagined some ugly, tacky, dusty pin my grandmother would wear (sorry grandma). I don’t even know how to spell the word “brooch” or is it “broach”? Let alone be caught dead wearing one.

Ok, so I admit I didn’t see that fashion trend coming. But, it is here now and I’m hooked. I love brooches for weddings and everyday fashion. Now, when I leave the house, I don’t feel completely dressed without a cool, vintage-looking brooch pinned somewhere on an article of clothing.

Now, these brooches are not your grandmother’s brooch either. They are big, small, modern, trendy, vintage or glitzy, whatever fits your style or mood.

When it comes to weddings, I love adding brooches to bridesmaid dresses. It gives the dress a personal and fashion forward flair. It makes a great gift for bridesmaids and one that they really have fun wearing again. You can even select a different brooch for each girl, depending on their personal style.

It’s so fun… are you feeling it?

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Maid of Honor (MOH) Responsibilities

Your Maid of Honor should be your closest friend – many times, a bride will choose her sister. Some brides will choose to have both a Matron of Honor (a married woman) as well as a Maid of Honor (an unmarried woman). And, some choose to have more than one Maid of Honor.

The main role of the Maid of Honor is to help the bride with the wedding planning… this can include shopping for dresses, addressing invitations, putting together favors and just being there when the bride needs some extra help, support or someone to talk to.

Traditionally, there are some specific duties that the maid of honor is to perform:

* Host the bridal shower. Today, this is usually done with the help of the other bridesmaids.
* Helps the bride get dressed on her wedding day.
* Adjusts the bride’s veil and train before she walks down the aisle and during the ceremony as needed.
* Holds the bride’s bouquet during the wedding ceremony.
* Holds the groom’s ring wedding ring until the exchange of the rings, if there is no ring bearer.
* Witnesses the signing of the marriage license.
* Helps the bride bustle her gown prior to the beginning of the reception.

If you are a Maid of Honor, the most important thing is to continually offer your assistance and support to the bride throughout the entire wedding planning process. We all need our friends – but during those stressful times of wedding planning – you need your best friend even more!

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Including Older Children in Your Wedding

Inviting children to take part in your celebration can make it even more special and is very important for second marriages when you are trying to bring together a “new family”.

There are many roles children can play:

* Flower girls and ring bearers are so adorable and are usually between the ages of 4-7.

* Junior bridesmaids are typically between the ages 8 & 12.

Here are some other roles and responsibilities that older children (6 and above) can be given to take part in your wedding celebration:

* Hand out wedding programs at the ceremony.

* Ask them to do a special reading or prayer during the ceremony.

* Watch over the gift table. Give them a role of scotch tape and ask them to make sure all cards are securely fastened to each gift.

* Help set up or decorate the reception or ceremony site.

* Help set up the reception location with favors, place cards, guest book, toasting flutes, etc.

* Help transport the ceremony flowers to reception.

* Hand out the wedding favors to guests. Have someone walk around with a basket or tray and hand out the favors to each guest at their seat or from a designated table.

* Manage the guest book. If the guest book is left unattended, many guests will forget to sign it. So, ask someone to walk around with the book and ask the guests to sign it.

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TREND ALERT: Bouquet Jewelry

Throughout her 14 + years in the fashion industry, bridal-stylist Dareth Colburnhas helped thousands of brides to look their best on their wedding day. Through her retail sites, Dareth sells over 1,000 styles of tiaras, veils, jewelry, gloves and handbags. Dareth hand-selects all of the items in her collections, and is at the forefront of fashion trends in the bridal industry.

Bridal Stylist Dareth Colburn Identifies Hot New Trend for Bridal Bouquets

Trend Alert
Bouquet jewelry is the latest trend! Adding the glitz and sparkle of bouquet jewelry to your bridal style sets off your look and adds a touch of glam.

Very popular are the monogrammed “Crystal Bouquet Jewelry” pieces. Customization with initials is SUPER trendy, and these pieces are the perfect way to personalize the bridal bouquet!

Gorgeous crystal accents – strategically placed in a bridal bouquet – add sparkle and shine that will keep everyone’s eyes on the bride!

Available now at!

Sales of bouquet jewelry in 2009 are up 72% over 2008, with items being shipped all over the world!

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