The wedding articles say that over 80% of grooms are at least equal partners in the wedding planning process. So, of course, the wedding industry is catering to this group of men who have decided to own the wedding planning process. Is this because average grooms are older than they used to be – and therefore pickier and more set in their ways? Is it because most couples cohabitate before they marry, meaning they are paying for more of the wedding than they used to?
Whatever the reason, the Internet is full of stories of grooms who became completely caught up in the wedding planning process, and are just as hard to please and soothe as those famous Bridezillas that they like to make television programs about. So, if you end up with one of these, how do you deal with him? Well, you have choices.
You can let him have whatever he wants. Let him control the whole thing. Let him pick the flowers, the food, the table settings, the cake flavor, and even your dress. What? No!
You can test his fortitude. Is he a real Groomzilla, or is he playing at this? Take him to a bridal show. Make him read all the bridal magazines with you. Completely inundate him with wedding stuff. He might very well cry uncle.
If he doesn’t? Then it looks like you’ve got a partner for good. Enjoy planning this special day with him and realize that if you can’t do this together, you’re probably not going to be very good at living together, raising kids together, and functioning as a couple. It’s a good litmus test for the rest of your marriage.
Bridesmaid. The word has varying effects on people, depending on their past experiences. For some, it was an honor just to be asked. For others, it was a taffeta nightmare.
Some brides choose bridesmaid dresses that they are absolutely sure their bridesmaids will look terrible in. That’s called, “I have low self esteem and want to make sure I’m the prettiest one in my pictures.” Other brides have some bridesmaids that will look good in a particular dress, and others who WON’T look good in it. “It’s not on purpose, Amy. You’re just fat, is all.”
Other times, brides will choose bridesmaid dresses that they think are absolutely beautiful. They’d be happy to wear the dress, if they were not the bride, but only a mere bridesmaid. “And the best thing about it is you can shorten it and wear it again.” Right? RIGHT?
Just because it’s fun, and because we sometimes all need a laugh, here are some bridesmaid dresses that are sure to make you glad she DIDN’T ask you.
This is an easy one to start off on, because this picture is clearly from the seventies, and those dresses are probably still in tact somewhere, because that grade of polyester has the shelf life of a Twinkie. And you know about Twinkies.
Again, we can chalk this up to the crazy days of hallucinogenic drugs and free love. I just wonder why that one lady on the end got to wear a cape. Where are all the rest of the capes? That’s what that brown -haired lady on the other end is thinking, “Where the … is my cape?”
And neither do any of these people. Can you imagine the phone call on this one? “Amy, will you be a bridesmaid in my wedding?” “Um, I don’t really have enough money for a dress.” “Oh, that’s OK. You’ll just need to wear black pumps, a g-string, and some pasties.” “Wow. It’s so nice of you to let us wear what we just wear to work.” “Oh, it’s no problem. The hat I’m wearing is so amazing that nobody will even notice your nakedness, so I’m sorry about that, but at least Joey’s going to wear his stripey socks and that Elvis clown mask he wore when he got arrested for snorting sand that time.” “Oh yeah. Joey’s such a trip. See you at the wedding!”
What? I make my own fun. I swiped a lot of these pictures from Tacky Weddings. Stay classy.
Summer weddings are popular for a number of reasons: the brilliant sunshine, the ready abundance of flowers and plants, and the overall sense of energy and vibrant life that comes with the season. These sunny celebrations of love and eternity do present a seemingly inescapable fact of nature: the heat. Not to be dissuaded; however, countless couples choose to tie the knot outdoors during the summer.
Fear not! Surviving the sweltering temperatures is easily accomplished for both the guests and the bride and groom. Here are a few simple tips for keeping your cool:
- If you’re invited to a summer fete, choose a light-colored outfit (avoiding white, of course). The light colors will help reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cooler than dark colors. Also, if you wear a dress, avoid long skirts. Knee length or mid calf skirt will allow for the movement of air without smothering your legs.
- If you have long hair (bride or guest), wearing your hair up will work wonders to keep your neck and shoulders cool and pleasantly un-sweaty.
- Stay hydrated. One of the number one dangers during any summertime celebration is dehydration. Keep cool beverages on hand. This can be especially important for the bride and groom, as she is likely to be weigh down under layers of a heavy wedding gown, while he’ll be sporting a fetching (but also heavy) tuxedo.
- Try to stay in the shade. Avoiding the direct sunlight can help keep you cool as well as avoiding sunburn. Sunscreen is a must for outdoor ceremonies. No one wants a blistering sunburn as their thank-you note for attending.
So don’t dread the long ceremony in the sun. With proper planning and a little common sense, disaster can be avoided and you can cut loose and celebrate with the proper enthusiasm, without worrying about the heat.
Let’s face it: planning a wedding is tough. Many brides admit that planning their wedding would be much harder if it wasn’t for their bridesmaids. Often your bridesmaids help with logistics and things that just can’t be handled by a single person. So when it comes time to say, “Thank you!” to these lovely ladies – we know you want to pick out special bridesmaids’ gifts. But after the expense of a wedding, adding any other expenses can be a challenge. Here are some of our favorite bridesmaids’ “Thank you” gifts that are thoughtful and won’t have you reaching the top limit on any credit card.
Personalized Makeup Mirror. Many women like to touch up their makeup during the day, and what could be better than a personalized makeup mirror as their bridesmaid’s “Thank you” gift? This is an ideal gift, as they will think of you each time they use it and it is reasonably priced. Best of all, it is personalized with their first name or monogram for a sophisticated and elegant look. Any bridesmaid will appreciate this gift ideal for daytime and evening use.
Birthstone Jewelry. This is a thoughtful gift for your bridesmaids and you’ll find a wide selection of birthstone jewelry to choose from. There is personalized birthstone jewelry and simply birthstone jewelry that features the lovely gemstones on their own. One of the best things about this choice is that each woman will feel special and remembered as “their” birthstone month is uniquely their own. While they are there to share your Big Day, their “Thank you” gift is something that remembers them as unique individuals. You’ll find birthstone jewelry for every budget price and both daytime to evening looks.
Handmade Gift. Now this can be a very special and thoughtful gift if done with care. A handmade gift is best when it is created specifically for the recipient. So you are using their favorite color, their name or initials and including themes or topics that they enjoy. Any ways you can make this special for them or about your friendship/relationship will make this a grand-slam gift. Let’s say you are known for making delicious chocolate pretzels. So you choose to make this as your bridesmaids’ “Thank you” gift. Make this even more special by dipping each bridesmaid’s set of pretzels in their favorite color of sprinkles. And then put them in a pretty re-useable tin or jar. Include a thoughtful note saying how “sweet” they are. You see? Your handmade gift suddenly becomes something uniquely about them.
Plan a Fun/Girly Activity for After Your Honeymoon. This is a great choice especially if your bridesmaids are conveniently located and can all come back together. Treat them to a “Thank you” barbeque, fancy picnic or day at an amusement park. Or go be girly together and take them for manicures and pedicures. The key is to choose activities and themes that they will especially enjoy. Simply remember that this day is not about you as a bride or your getting married but about your friendships and celebrating them.
You’re ordering your wedding cake. It has five layers and you want the layers to be raspberry – lemon – raspberry – lemon – raspberry. The baker’s assistant writes it down switching it so it says lemon – raspberry – lemon……You do:
- Politely point out the error before the baker pulls out the baking pans and gets to cooking.
- Shriek “It’s raspberry then lemon!” and burst into tears.
- Call your fiancé and make him explain it. He’s the negotiator.
You are trying on your wedding dress for a fitting. They need to fix the neckline. You:
- Ask someone at the shop the status of fixing the neckline.
- Throw your wedding veil in the air and run through the store saying, “They’ve damaged my dress!”
- Tell your mother and let her talk to the store.
A bridesmaid is not getting the invitations ordered or her other duties done. You need to help get her organized – quick! You:
- Have lunch with her and find out what is going on – help create a plan for her.
- Cry on the phone to her that she is ruining your wedding and then cry to your other 5 bridesmaids about her for two hours.
- Ask your future mother-in-law for advice and let her replace the bridesmaid with a cousin.
The caterer is asking for a second deposit. You’ve paid them but now they want even more. Your wedding is three weeks away and your fiancé is out-of-town. You:
- Call the caterer and ask the reason for the additional deposit. Get the information in writing and understand why you need to pay them.
- Leave work abruptly and go down in person to yell at the manager that he is “wrecking your day” and that he doesn’t understand. Cry on the way back to work and hire a new caterer.
- Call your parents and in-laws and tell them you need a new caterer.
The band you’ve hired has an emergency and now can’t perform on your wedding. You’ve got to find a replacement – fast. You:
- Put out the word to family and friends you need a referral to a great band.
- Cuss out the band manager and tell him you’ll never forget how he tried to ruin your most important day.
- Call your fiancé and let him decide what to do.
Okay, it’s time to tally up. How did you do?
All A’s: Regina Reasonable Bride – rational and practical, you’ve got it all under control
All B’s: Diana Diva Bride – get out of her way, she’s loud, proud and out of control!
All C’s: Beth Baby Girl Bride – time to grow up before you put on that wedding dress
Twice yearly, Filene’s department store sponsors a well known event that is recognized around the world wide as The “Running of the Brides”. On the selected day(s), brides line up at the door to participate in a race, in search of their dream wedding gown. Many have already brought along lawn chairs, tents and sleeping bags in anticipation of being amongst the first to grab the best bargains.
The gowns selected for sale are usually available due to cancelled orders, cancelled weddings, or shops needing to relieve their inventory. Many famous labels are included and gowns are usually priced at astonishingly low prices. This “no holds barred” event begins when the doors open and a flood of mostly women, race in to grab as many gowns as possible. Future brides often enlist the help of friends and family members to assist them in the free-for-all. The vast rows of gown –filled racks are said to be often cleared in less than a minute . This race is not for the fainthearted, nor is it the time to be picky in making selections. After all of the initial chaos is over, the real work begins.
Each participant then examines the arms full of gowns to determine whether anything is worth keeping or trying on. Soon the real “wheeling and dealing” begins! Negotiations involve trading amongst the group for correct styles, sizes and prices. Many purchasers enjoy the fun and the high energy surrounding the event, and so attend with a specific shopping strategy in mind. In any case, fun can be had by all.
And yes, men can also attend….if they dare!
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)