Winter weddings can be exceptionally beautiful; especially around the holiday season. During that time, many places of worship and commercial venues have already been outfitted in festive colors, and oftentimes come with ready-made celebratory atmospheres. In many cases, very little will be needed in the way of additional decorations. In many parts of the world, snow is prevalent, which can definitely add to the festivities.
However, winter weddings can be subject to their own seasonal challenges. Many a happy couple have had to navigate stormy weather to get to the church on time. Brides often have to find practical (yet elegant ways) to keep warm, while not detracting from the overall look and feel of the occasion. A winter bride may want to consider including either a cloak, cape, shrug, shawl, wrap, bolero, or faux fur stole to her wardrobe.
Certainly each and every delay and/or potential snag cannot be foreseen. However, having a little peace-of-mind ahead of time can prove to be priceless if the occasion should call for it. Before scheduling a winter wedding, having a Plan “B”, just in case things are not pulled off as smoothly as planned can surely be a good thing. So as not to have a stranded bridal party (especially the bride and groom) , an alternate means of transportation may need to be kept at the ready; and contracts made with any venue scheduled to host the reception will need to be examined for clauses that detail what would happen in the event of unavoidable tardiness or a cancellation. Maintaining a list of things that need to be taken into consideration is a great way to keep track. In the meantime, enjoy planning your winter wedding while not forgetting to set a place for Mother Nature….keeping in mind that she reserves the right to be the ultimate Wedding Crasher.
Photo by Anne Ruthmann
Congratulations! He has finally popped the question, and you have become officially engaged! And so now you think that you’ve got lots of time?
Are you planning on having a Spring wedding? Do you really think that you are the ONLY one in search of the perfect gown and reception hall?
NOW…is the time to begin making your plans! Don’t let Santa, Christmas carols, and the softly falling snow fool you; RIGHT NOW is when you need to get your butt in gear and at least make a start at pulling it all together. There is no need to become alarmed, but it is NOW the time when you need to begin thinking about your guest list, venue, music, attendants, invitations…etc. While it may still seem to be a long way off, do not assume that your “Plan A” is going to work. True, you may be the bride; and although your close friends and family members may fall under your spell and give in to your every whim and wish; keep in mind that the world at large will not be at your beck and call. Bridezillas are not new on the scene, and so it would be in your best interests not to put yourself in the position of becoming one yourself.
Surely by now you must know that The Ritz-Carlton and Trump Plaza will not, as if by magic, suddenly become available to you, upon learning of your exciting news; and that depending on the complexity of your personal and individual dream, you may also need to have a plan B, and/or C lined up as well. Get my drift? O.K. girl…On your mark…get ready…set…go!
Let the bridal games begin!
How to Entertain Kids at Your Wedding (by The Wedding Gal’s Snarky Cousin)
Somehow I bet a lot of things take precedence in your wedding-occupied bridal mind over the kids that will be at your wedding. You’ve got the flowers, the dress, the rings, the bridesmaids, and a thousand other things to think about. Take my advice, though, Dearest. Put a little bit of thought into what you’re going to do with the adorable little kiddies that will be running willy-nilly around your reception.
Now, if you’re one of those brides who plans to specify “no kids” at the ceremony, reception, or both, you can stop reading now. On second thought…maybe read a little further. See, you have friends and family members who likely have children. They like to bring their children to weddings, because they get to dress said children up in adorable outfits and take beacoup pictures of them. If you tell these friends and family member that they cannot bring their precious darlings to your nuptials…well…you can just kiss that gift goodbye. That’s all I’m saying.
Anywhoo, provided you care more about the toaster and less about the disruption of those adorable little rugrats, you’ll need to figure out something to do to keep them entertained. Otherwise they run around and start pulling the long dresses over their head, attacking the buffet table, pushing Uncle Morty’s wheelchair around (with Uncle Morty still in it) and they basically wreak all kinds of havoc.
I will tell you now that the absolute biggest favor you can do for yourself is to hire a babysitter for your wedding. Depending on the size of the wedding and how many kids are coming, maybe hire two babysitters. Ask your sister-in-law or your Aunt Patty to recommend someone, and just pay them the going rate to hang with the kids and keep them happy during the reception. If the parents don’t care if the kids are present during the ceremony, go ahead and let the kids play with the babysitter throughout that. They don’t want to see your ceremony anyway, and it will save the videographer having to edit out “I’m hungry!” or “Jessie just pooped!” from your vows. Yes folks, I’m speaking from experience.
Make sure the babysitter has lots of games, crayons and coloring books, snacks, and other things to keep the kids occupied. If your reception is a standard 4-hour reception, you might even think about getting a separate room so that the kids can watch a movie. Basically, just think about all the stuff you’d wished they’d had at weddings you went to when YOU were a kid and do that. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, and your guests who are the parents of the kids will appreciate your thoughtful consideration of their little bundles of joy.
photo by tobybarnes
Weddings, are, of course, a magical time of joy and beauty. They are also a time of mind-numbing fear and anxiety – not that the decision could be wrong, but that something could GO wrong. Will the flowers be right? Will the flower girl throw a tantrum? Will the best man get schnockered and talk about that weekend in Thailand with your groom-to-be? There is an awful lot to think about.
One thing you shouldn’t have to think about is how YOU feel on your special day. Sure, it is the most important day of your life. Of course, it is the day you want to look more beautiful than any other day. The thing is, it’s also a very long day, and you should take certain precautions so that nothing distracts you from being your radiant, beautiful, happy self. Here are some practical suggestions that other people might be too tactful to share with you.
photo by Inchka
The Shoes. You shoes should certainly be the shoes of your dreams. Princess Shoes. Fairy Princess Shoes. Shoes that make your feet feel light as air. Shoes that do not cause permanent toe damage. Shoes that won’t make you snap at your elderly relatives. There is a line between comfort and fashion. We all know that. Trust me when I tell you that you will enjoy your special day so much more if your feet aren’t killing you. Just say no to foot torture devices.
photo by Susan_1981
Allow me to mention the subject of your unmentionables. Of course you want to be pretty from head to toe on your wedding day. Of course you should wear underwear that makes you feel pretty. You should not wear underwear that will cause you to dance prematurely up the aisle. I doubt very seriously that you want a shot of you picking a wedgie in your photo album. Nor do you want your maid of honor’s duty to include reattaching your stocking to your garter. Have a test run of your wedding skivvies – if not the actual pieces then very similar or identical – so that you can be sure it will be comfy and stay put during your nuptials.
Follow these words of advice, from me, Wedding Gal’s trusted and beloved Cousin Betty. I’ve been to too many weddings (and a part of too many weddings) to steer you wrong.
- Winter Wedding Wonderland (weddingsetups.com)
- Experimental Womens Shoes (bizarrebytes.com)
- How to find the right dress (southerncelebrations.wordpress.com)
To a new bride and groom, wedding guests are special. Each guest has been painstakingly selected based on love, friendship, family dynamics and ‘other reasons’ that maybe only the marrying couple is aware of. For the invited guests, a memento or two can be a nice reminder of that special day.
Matchbook covers, candies, as well as other traditional items have been offered in the past; and brides often spend hours and hours poring over magazines and then selecting large quantities of these trinkets…usually out of exasperation, and then quickly start placing orders without a moment’s hesitation. Why? Well…because it is expected of them. Many of the items, although cute…can be quite useless; and many end up in boxes and junk drawers. Over the last few years, the selections have changed considerably, and there are quite a number of different types of wedding favors to choose from these days.
For example: Wine stoppers, small digital clocks, personalized golf balls, miniature manicure sets, sewing kits, coasters, and book marks can be wonderful alternatives to candy and salt shakers. These items can be selected based on budget, and then personalized and packaged in ways that fit in beautifully with the wedding’s theme and personalities of the bride and groom.
Many of these gifts, although high-tech, can be surprisingly inexpensive. Mercifully, items of more practical use can now be given to the honored guests. Please keep in mind: Wedding favors are usually different than bridal shower favors, in that they are less “frou-frou”, and have a much broader guest appeal. This ultimately requires that a wedding couple recognize the difference between them; and make their selections accordingly. And so, if enough thought is given to choosing of your special wedding favors; your guests can be both…grateful , as well as delighted!
Photo by Sifu Renka
- Weddings Sweet as Candy (weddingsetups.com)
- 5 Cool Bridal Wedding Registries Couples Will Love (verybestsites.com)
- Wedding Favors for Foodies (friendseat.com)
Wedding veils are a hot topic these days. Brides of your mother’s time can remember the moment when their groom would lift their veil to reveal their face for the first time as a married woman to have that kiss as man and wife. Some contemporary brides are choosing to say “I don’t” when it comes to a wedding veil. Others are adding wedding veils to their bridal ensemble to look more beautiful than ever.
Brides who wear wedding veils can count on them for a dramatic look. This is one of the biggest arguments bride-to-be’s make when it comes to staying contemporary and selecting a wedding veil. These brides will say their wedding veil is a true showstopper look and going without it makes their bridal ensemble look “incomplete.”
But brides who choose to go without a veil can often get a stunning look with other accessories. A rhinestone or gemstone tiara for example, glitters and shines and is an ideal accent. A headdress created from fresh flowers is a beautiful look that doesn’t have to be limited to Spring or Summer weddings. Talk to your florist about creating a lovely Winter or Fall themed bridal headdress. Wraps such as faux or real fur are another attention grabber at a wedding that can make guests completely forget you are veil-less.
For many contemporary brides the choice to wear a veil is not simply about fashion – it is a traditional choice. These brides remember being little girls playing “bride” with their pillowcases and looking at Mommy’s picture in her wedding dress with her lovely veil. The veil to them means “bride” in every sense of the word. To not have a veil would be missing out on something very special. This bride puts on her wedding veil with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother in her heart on her wedding day.
But other brides don’t like some of the old wedding traditions and want to be seen as a completely contemporary bride. They see wearing a wedding veil as putting themselves in a traditional mold they long to break out of. This contemporary bride may not even wear a classic white wedding dress or have a unique wedding bouquet of wildflowers or other flowers not usually seen. The contemporary bride of today has many more choices than her mother or grandmother. She chooses to exercise these choices in every way – especially when it comes to her wedding veil.
Many know that the wedding veil traditionally covers the bride’s face. This custom comes from the times when many couples did not actually meet until their wedding day. As hard or unusual as this may seem to so many of us, these weddings happened all the time. Some wonder if the wedding veil was meant to mask the bride – it was more meant to reveal her face to her husband as a new bride at that very moment – just to his eyes.
Whether you choose to keep the wedding veil or to go veil-less, know that you will be a beautiful bride on your wedding day!
Photo by aprillynn77
White is white…right? Wrong! Any woman in search of that perfect wedding gown will be the first to tell you that she has discovered otherwise. After waltzing into her local bridal shop; and being faced with row upon row of gorgeous white wedding dresses, many a bride, has been shocked to discover that there are countless shades of white…There are : creamy whites, eggshell whites, brilliant whites, white whites, blue whites; as well as other hues of white that she may never have dreamed of! For many, this has been a rude awakening, and an unexpected ‘punch’!
With all of these shades of white around, how do you decide which is the right one for you? A good place to start would be with your own skin tone. The shade you select, should be one that is best for you. First of all, you will need to know whether your skin tone is either cool, warm or olive. Experts tell us that if your skin tone is ‘cool’, bright white is often the right choice; as its blue undertone very easily complements this particular skin type. If your skin tone is ‘warm’, because of its creaminess, a soft, ivory shade may be the one for you. Olive toned skin requires a not-so-stark ’white’ that is on the deeper end of the spectrum. Ecru and antique white can often show off a skin tone of this type to its best advantage.
While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting the gown of your choice, it is nice to know that there are resources available to assist you in choosing one that will help you to look your best on your very special day.
Additional Source: EisemanColorBlog.com
I was just at a large wedding this past weekend (my roommate from college, in case you were wondering). The bride and groom gave a very thoughtful and unique gift – a bottle of wine. But that’s not the unique or thoughtful part in my opinion. The label was “From…” and it had their new married name and the date and location of their wedding. It also had a quote from the first song they danced to as man and wife. Perfect!
I saw that many people opened up their bottles of wine right at that event and I was reminded of how difficult it can be to find that perfect large-event gift. You want to get something thoughtful and personal yet please the whole crowd. I think a lot of the success of their gift was the beautiful custom wine label on the delicious wine. It gave the perfect message with the bottle of wine to celebrate their wedding and marriage. The fact that the wine was delicious certainly didn’t hurt!
Unique beverage labels would be ideal for many occasions. A family reunion where you give a bottle of wine to every adult present. Or that milestone birthday – like the big 4-0 or 6-5 birthday party where you want to give the guests something special. It would also be great for the holidays, where you are looking for a gift you can give everyone on your list that will be sure to be a winner. Create a thoughtful and celebratory note on your customized wine label and give out wine for the holidays!
Wine can be a great gift for everyone’s hard work for that community fundraiser or event. Many times a charity or board wants to give a thank you gift they know will be appreciated. With a clever wine label design you have the opportunity to leave a special note on each bottle.
So enjoy a glass of wine – with our thanks!
P.S. Join the wine label design contest and win $100.
HAPPY FEET: THE BEAUTY OF FLIP-FLOPS
There was a time when flip-flops would be viewed with derision, because they were considered as casual, items of footwear that could just be worn to suitably informal locations such as the beach or garden parties, at best. Many of you may still recall the commotion that was kicked up when a few members of the North-western Women’s Lacrosse team appeared at an official White House reception in thong sandals when critics derisively called them ‘flip-flops’. Now, that was only as 2005, but the humble flip-flop has come a long way since then. This writing and associated ones that follow will show how flip-flops are not just acceptable, but favored attire for all kinds of formal occasions, including weddings. Read more
Planning your own wedding can be stressful, especially if you want your wedding ceremony and reception to be an experience your guests will never forget.
Because even the most unique weddings can seem redundant after awhile, one of the best ways to add a little spice to your ceremony and/or reception is to incorporate your cultural heritage into the design of the wedding.
Whether your heritage is Chinese, Indian, Greek, Irish, African-American or even American, there are numerous ways you could incorporate your own culture into the style of your wedding. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to plan a cultural wedding:
The wedding music
Finding a specific band and/or songs to play at your wedding is one of the easiest ways to incorporate your cultural heritage into your wedding. If you are of Irish descent, for instance, you could find a Celtic group to perform at your reception, or if you are African-American you could look into some R&B performers or even traditional African drummers to perform on your special day.
If you’re lucky enough to find the right performer, you could hire them o perform a song in the language of your culture, or even dress up in a traditional outfit and dance out a routine as well.
Sometimes it’s as easy as a Google search in finding the right band to perform at your wedding, but if are struggling to find the right band and/or musician online you could always do some research into the various musicians and bands that are known for performing a certain genre or style of music, and then download their music off iTunes.
Incorporating your cultural heritage into the design of your bridesmaids dresses can be a little tricky, especially if you are on a strict budget. Not only that, some cultures (like the American Indian culture for example) believe that white is a color of mourning, so be sure to do the proper research beforehand before picking the colors for your bridesmaid dresses.
Sometimes it can be as easy and choosing a specific color for your dresses that will match the flag of your country, (for instance blue and red if you are English, or red if you are Chinese). You could also try shopping around for different designs, like a plaid design if you are of Scottish descent, or even traditional Geisha dresses if you are of Japanese descent.
Food and alcohol
When it comes to incorporating your cultural heritage into the food that will be eaten at your wedding, the world is your oyster…literally.
All you have to do is do some background research into the most common and favourable dishes that are typically eaten in a specific country, and you could also look into alcohol and/or beverages as well.
If you are of Asian descent you could serve some Saki or even rice wine at your reception, or if you are of French descent you could have some classy red and white wine to leave out for your guests.
When choosing the flower arrangements for your wedding or even the bouquet for the bride, try to research the various traditional flowers and plants that are prominent in your country of heritage.
If you are planning a traditional Indian wedding, try to pick flowers like the water or gloriosa lily, orchids, and musk rose. For traditional French weddings look for lilies or yellow and purple irises.
Superstitions and customs
If you truly want to pull off a cultural wedding, it is extremely important to look into the various superstitions and customs for each heritage and culture.
For instance, if you are planning a Russian wedding it is custom for the male guests to bring flowers, but not to give yellow flowers as they are considered to be bad luck. For a traditional Swedish wedding, the bride must wear three bands on her wedding finger, and for Spanish weddings the bride must carry twelve coins given to her by the groom in a small bag as a symbol of the groom’s passion and support.
For a traditional Korean wedding, apparently it is superstition to incorporate ducks and geese into the ceremony as they represent faithfulness, and in a traditional Greek wedding the bride must carry sugar on her wedding day to “ensure she has a sweet life.” Also, in Eastern European ceremonies, it is custom for the bride and groom to circle the altar three times to represent their “first steps together as husband and wife.”
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she’s written on online graphic arts programs along with a piece on English degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, playing piano, and working with origami.
- Do Older Brides Have “Rules” To Follow? (weddingsetups.com)
- Including Some Character For Your Marriage Ceremony Favor – Etiquette (frommyexperience.com)
- 2011 Wedding Hair Trends (joyofspa.com)