While The Wedding Gal’s Snarky Cousin isn’t always the most romantic creature in the world, nothing gets me right at the heartstrings like a heartfelt and creative wedding proposal. It’s a perfect moment in time, or it can be. It’s not about the right table linens or the perfect bouquet. It’s not about bridesmaid dresses that could ruin friendships or whether or not to serve shellfish at the reception. It’s a moment of maximum potential, when two people first make a commitment to spend their lives together. It’s a fresh, new, unblemished promise – unsullied by seating charts and unruly flower girls.
So you’ve got this perfectly unblemished moment, full of romantic promise and magic, so why not make it happen on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year? St. Valentine’s Day!
I know what you’re thinking. How could I, The Wedding Gal’s Snarky Cousin, possibly expect you to believe that Valentine’s Day is actually romantic? A Hallmark holiday that makes every unmatched singleton feel rotten and every person that is in a relationship feel this unfair obligation to buy gifts and confections? Phooey on Valentine’s Day! Right?
WRONG!! St. Valentine, according to one legend, married young lovers in secret when marriage was outlawed by Claudius Gothicus. St. Valentine kept love alive in a time of war and oppression. Romantic, huh? So, in keeping with romantic tradition, here are some do’s and don’t do’s for proposing on Valentine’s Day:
Say It Sweetly
Conversation Hearts are the best-selling Valentine candy. Made by Necco, they have been printing little sayings on the heart-shaped treats since the 1860’s. The kind of conversation heart you can buy today have been around since 1902. That’s a long history of being a Valentine’s Day staple. Even though the company has tried to make their treats more current with sayings like “E-mail Me,” you can go one better and use a fine grit sandpaper to remove the original message and add your own with a food coloring marker. You can write “Marry Me” on all of them, or you can write what will be her married name on all of them. She’ll get the idea.
DON’T go to all the trouble of sanding off the little phrases on a gajillion candies and then neglect to have something romantic to say. You can do it. Just don’t be all, “I got you this candy” and just stand there and look at her. Creepy, Dude.
Nothing Beats a Romantic Dinner
I read somewhere that next to home, restaurants are the most popular place for wedding proposals. I read somewhere else that 10% of Valentine proposals happen in restaurants. Somehow that math doesn’t sound right to me, but you can imagine that it happens a lot. We’ve all seen movies. Speaking of movies, see the “Don’t” section below for some more tips, but for now I will say DO take her someplace nice. I know they all tell you to take her to the place you had your first date or the first place you said “I love you.” If your first date was at McDonald’s, you may not want to propose there. Unless she really, really likes McDonald’s. I know I do. But not enough to get engaged there. Do say something sweet to her.
DON’T put her ring in food or drink of any kind. Why? Why would you a) get chocolate or crab dip or champagne all over her nice new ring or b) take the chance that she’ll swallow it and then have to go to the ER and eventually have to have the darn thing removed or….worse? Don’t do it.
Say It Loud, Say It Proud
Use a billboard, a scoreboard, a sky-writing airplane, or an ad before a movie showing, but ONLY IF YOU KNOW SHE’S GOING TO SAY YES!!!
DON’T go to all the trouble, expense, and possibility for public humiliation if you have any doubt in your mind that she’s going to balk.
There you have it, Guys. Don’t say I never gave you anything.
Every little girl dreams of the day she’ll wear her wedding dress, kiss the man of her dreams and have the beautiful wedding she’s always imagined. But most women also really want to get in shape so they’ll look fantastic in that wedding dress! Even women who’ve exercised regularly, often increase their exercise regimen as brides to be.
Don’t try to drop a dozen inches in two weeks – it simply isn’t going to happen. But most women can make great improvements with a little determination and sticking to an exercise plan. Try some of our helpful tips to get fit for your wedding day!
If you exercise already, look at what you need to improve. This may involve getting a session or two with a personal trainer. Most brides truly don’t want another expense while planning their wedding, but seeing a personal trainer can save you time and help you avoid from over exercising the wrong muscle groups. A personal trainer can make suggestions on how to increase exercise to reach your goals and will customize a plan. Can’t afford a personal trainer? Try asking a friend who is passionate about fitness for some tips and advice!
If you don’t exercise, now is a great time to start. But you’ll want to be sure not to overdo it. If you are out of shape, starting with a super intense workout can put you at risk for injuries, and no bride to be wants to spend her time nursing overworked muscles when she has wedding planning to do! Start with gentle yoga or twenty to thirty minutes on an exercise machine like a treadmill or elliptical machine. Increase by five to ten minutes every week until you’ve reached about thirty to forty five minutes of cardio.
For the bride who wants to lose weight, the secret is a one-two punch of cardio and weight training. You need both pieces of the puzzle. Don’t worry about “bulking up,” that happens with guys. Most women workout with three, five, eight and even ten pound hand weights, depending on the exercise they are doing. The best hand weight is one that feels a little challenging but you can still get through all of the reps.
Give yourself one or two rest days to help get in shape and lose weight. If you lead a very sedentary life (working at a desk most of the time), then probably you would want to take one rest day instead of two. If you do a lot of walking, take care of young children, do gardening or other physical chores, plan on two rest days.
Remember you can’t change your body type as you lose weight. A lot of women get frustrated about their “trouble spots.” Whether this is your arms, legs, belly or another area, it seems that this area may have always bothered you and this is the area you’d really like to see progress. Realize that you may get fit and lose some weight, but if your body is an “apple” or a “pear” that your body will continue to have more weight in the belly (apple) or the hips (pear). Focus on finding that wedding dress that compliments the body you have, instead of looking to change the body type you have, which is simply impossible.
Our best tip: find a bride (or friend) fitness buddy! Research has shown that when you workout with a friend, you will exercise longer and more enthusiastically than if you do it solo. This means you have greater potential to lose weight, get fit and see the results you are hoping for. So find another bride who is getting in shape for her wedding dress, or a friend who wants to get ready for bikini season, and exercise together!
Your wedding is a special day. That’s the understatement of the century – right? Of course it’s special. Not only do you want everything to go smoothly, to look perfect, and to be a fairytale kind of day, you also want your reception to stick out in people’s heads as a first-class event that reflects your personality and style.
If you don’t go in for theme weddings (and let’s face it, not everybody does), you can still spice up your reception with something special on the table. You can go for an artsy-type centerpiece, a fun and interactive centerpiece, or something simply beautiful and memorable. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about the perfect centerpieces for your wedding.
Put Your Guests in the Right “Frame” of Mind
One way to personalize your wedding tablescapes is to use pictures of you and your spouse-to be as part of your centerpiece. You can place votive candles and flowers around the frames, and your guests will have lovely photos of the two of you to entertain them during the really long best man’s speech. You can take it a step further and use a double frame with the photo on one side and a description of the time the photo was taken – be it a vacation, the day you got engaged, etc.
Water, Water Everywhere
Another easy but beautiful option is to float your flowers or candles in a water-filled centerpiece. You can use varying heights of cylindrical vases, like the picture above, or (better yet) get large, flatter bowls and float a candle and some flower blossoms in it. Not only do you have a beautiful, fragrant centerpiece, but your guests can talk to one another without peering around a tall centerpiece.
Build Some Fun
If your guests have busy hands, fill some large clear bowls with Legos or other building blocks and have them build you little wedding gifts. Better yet, let them build things to take home with them as part of their favors. For an additional Lego good time, rumor has it you can email Lego and they will send you a bride and groom Lego cake topper. How cute is that?
No matter what centerpiece idea you choose, remember this is your day and your chance to express your personality and your flair. Go for it!
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
Everyone knows that a wedding day is the bride’s day. But it takes many people to make this day truly special. It’s the savvy and wise bride who takes the time to say “Thank You” to her bridesmaids and maid of honor for their hard work and efforts. Being a bridesmaid or maid of honor sometimes can be quite a challenge, and only someone who has done this task will understand what it takes.
Brides have been known to ask bridesmaids for help planning their wedding, with the small and big details. Anything from helping them to pick out a wedding dress to hand addressing wedding invitations. Some bridesmaids or maid of honor may feel at times just as overwhelmed as the bride, even though this is not “their day.” But they know they want their friend or family member’s day to be as special and as magical as she hopes it will be.
Say “Thank You” to your hardworking bridesmaids or maid of honor during wedding planning and also after the wedding. Don’t worry if your wedding budget is stretched to the limit: you can still offer a heartfelt, meaningful “Thank You” that they will appreciate. Here are some of our favorite tips to say “Thank You” to these wonderful women who’ve helped with your wedding day.
Hold a Thank You lunch or dinner for their bridesmaids and maid of honor. You can hold this before the wedding or even after the wedding, when you are back from your honeymoon. But if you hold the Thank You lunch after your wedding, it’s important to say “Thank You” before your wedding day to each of your bridesmaids and maid of honor. Make the lunch special and all about your bridesmaids and maid of honor. Don’t talk about the wedding; this is a day to celebrate your gal pals. A lovely gift for your bridesmaids and maid of honor on this day is a framed picture of all of you; it can be a casual or formal picture.
Thank You letter. There’s something special about a letter, in this day and age they have become even more rare. People often send emails or a quick cell phone call. A wonderful way to say “Thank You” to your bridesmaids and maid of honor is to write a Thank You letter to each of them. Don’t worry about being a great writer, just speak from the heart. Tell them how special they are to you and how helpful they have been in making your wedding a wonderful day. Don’t worry about how long or how short your letter is, this is not a homework assignment! Focus on saying “Thank You” and sending a personalized letter to each of them.
Get Personal with a thoughtful gift. You can find many personalized gifts for bridesmaids when you visit wedding favor stores, online or brick and mortar stores. There are hundreds, if not dozens of choices for you. Whether you choose a tote bag, sterling silver picture frame, beach towel, jewelry or other lovely gift – we’ll let you in on the biggest secret of them all. The very best personalized gift for bridesmaids and your maid of honor that you can give to say “Thank You” is not necessarily the exact same one to each of them, or one that focuses on the theme of your wedding. The best gift is one that you think that specific bridesmaid or maid of honor will enjoy the most. If you know that bridesmaid loves the beach, then choose the beach towel. If another bridesmaid takes dozens of photos with her digital camera, choose the sterling silver photo frame. You see? The right gift for the right bridesmaid or maid of honor, personalize it by thinking of them personally, individually.
Thank You! to all the wonderful, helpful bridesmaids and maid of honors who’ve made the bride’s day so special!
Out here in Internetland you’ll find all sorts of advice on how to prepare for your wedding. What beauty regimen to follow, what rules of conduct are important, and even how to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the big day. What people don’t want to cover is what NOT to do the night or day before your wedding. My cousin, Wedding Gal, doesn’t want you to think about such unpleasant things the day before you walk down the aisle. Aren’t you lucky I hijack her blog every now and again?
Rule #1: Don’t. I repeat DO NOT get your eyebrows waxed or attempt to wax your own eyebrows the day before your wedding. Don’t do it. I’m serious.
photo by ladybug_3777
Do this, and any other drastic hair removal, a good week before the big day. If you have a straggler or two, remove them CAREFULLY with tweezers. If you forget altogether (like I did), for all that is sacred and holy LET YOUR BROWS BE BUSHY. Do not try to tweeze off a few months worth of eyebrow growth the day before the wedding and DON’T wax or even go to a salon to get waxed. Trust me, a few stray eyebrow hairs beats the heck out of burned eyelids, bumpy forehead, or, in extreme cases, the loss of a part of your eyebrow.
Same goes for leg waxing, bikini waxing, getting a haircut, changing your hair color, getting a spray tan, getting a facial, exfoliating vigorously, and any type of plastic surgery. Don’t go all crazy and end up looking like a freakazoid in your wedding pictures. You’ll thank me for this one day.
Rule #2: Don’t get plastered. Don’t get drizzunk. Don’t get hammered. Trust me.
photo by chairman moneko
It’s natural to feel nervous about your big day. A lot of folks calm their nerves with a drink or two. A drink or two is just fine. A drink or twelve is not. Not only does getting drunk the night before your wedding lead to things like drunk dialing, vomiting, bad decisions and hangovers, it also dehydrates your body, making you look all bloated and puffy the next day. So even if you think you can keep your head about you, think about how your head will look the next day with puffy, bloodshot eyes and bad breath. Don’t do it.
Rule #3: Don’t sleep with the best man, your friend from high school, your ex boyfriend, your second cousin (ew!) or anybody you don’t plan to walk down the aisle with the next day.
photo by Pere Nadal
It happens all the time in movies. It’s the person’s “last night of freedom” and they decide to have a “final hurrah” before the big day. Notice that in movies it never works out in the favor of the people who are getting married. There’s a reason for that. If you’re inclined to do it with somebody else, you shouldn’t be getting married. No matter how badly you broke Rule #2. Keep it in your pants until the honeymoon.
There. Don’t you feel better now that you have some guidelines? Here are a few more. Also do not:
- Eat Taco Bell
- Borrow a large sum of money (it’s bad to start a marriage with debt)
- Gamble your honeymoon money away
- Decide to confess all your dirty secrets to your fiance (you should have done that months ago, yo)
- Go do “Amateur Night” at the local strip joint
- Do hallucinogenic drugs
- Kill anybody
- Drag race
- Swim with sharks
Common sense is key in any situation. If you don’t have any of your own, you can borrow mine. If you have any doubt about what you should or should not do before your wedding, leave a comment and I’ll answer it. Hey, I’m a people person!
- Wedding Pictures Part 2 (justrestingup.wordpress.com)
- Vanity Smurf No More (weddingbee.com)
- Summer Lovin’, having a blast! (mylittleflowershop.wordpress.com)
Planning a wedding can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s in its best moments. A wedding is often stressful and challenging – especially with all of those tiny details a bride has to manage. Today’s bride is busier than ever, with family obligations, a full time job, school and community obligations. How can she keep it all together? Let us suggest some of our favorite tried and true easy bride’s organization tips for you!
- Create a bridal binder to gather all vital information. Purchase a large binder at a stationary store and keep every detail regarding the wedding in this binder. Add sections related to the wedding such as “reception,” “formal wear,” “honeymoon,” “flowers,” and so on. Each section will help you stay more organized and able to reach information quickly. The trick is to not have dozens of sections – but simply enough to keep the information well organized so you don’t have everything stacked together. Tip: if it takes you longer than five minutes to find something, you need to redo your sections to make them work for you.
- Put an envelope in your purse or briefcase to keep all wedding related receipts. It’s an old habit and some of us are “savers” and others are “tossers” by nature. If you are a receipt saver then you’ll find this a bit easier than the tossers will. Fortunately this is an easier habit to develop than some. You just need to make it simple and convenient for yourself. Make sure the envelope is large and sturdy and always well within reach. Don’t let receipts wind up all over the place – every receipt related to the wedding during daily life goes into the envelope and at the end of the day you transfer it to your bridal binder. It’s actually that easy!
- Keep your cell phone (with photo ability) or digital camera on hand for wedding errands at all times. Brides today do a lot of comparison shopping. There’s also the challenge that you need to confer with the groom and each other’s families about some of the things you’ll want to do. So if you want to show your future mother in law how beautiful the flowers will be, be sure to snap a photo of them while you are at the florist’s. No one should mind your taking a few photos while you are running errands and this can also help you make up your mind about which vendor to choose as you do your comparisons of them later on.
- Delegate wedding related chores wisely. It can be tempting to drop any chore on literally anyone offering to help. But DON’T! This sometimes can cause you double work in the end as you have to redo something they have done. A wedding is a very personal and intimate event. Even your mother or mother-in-law truly might not understand your exact tastes. Having them select something could also cause a frustrating misunderstanding when you go to reselect something on your own – as they will then be offended with your new choice. Delegate only what you can accept with someone else making a choice or where you have done some of the original legwork for them. For example don’t ask your mother-in-law to choose your invitations. You could ask her to get information from three different companies about a particular style of invitation and how quickly they could be printed and delivered. Notice YOU are making all of the important decisions there. Your mother-in-law is not selecting the invitation in any way. Keep all wedding related chores smooth and simple for everyone concerned.
Every moment of your wedding is special. Good organization helps you enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event all the more!
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
photo by by Corrie…
Okay, y’all. Let’s have a little talk about the first dance with your dad. Call it the Father/Daughter Dance, the Daddy/Daughter Dance, The Give The Bride Away Dance, whatever. There are songs that are just PERFECT for this particular part of the most special day of your life, and then there are songs that you should absolutely, no matter what, stay away from.
Obviously, if you have a special song that you used to dance to with your daddy – your little socked feet atop his shiny shoes – by all means pick that one. We’ll assume since it’s a song you danced to when you were a wee thing that it’s most likely family-appropriate. It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with dads, daughters, or dancing, but if it’s special to you and your Pops, that’s all that matters. If you’re stumped, go with a song about a good relationship between a dad and a daughter, like “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder or “Gracie” by Ben Folds Five.
Here is a short list I’ve compiled of songs you shouldn’t under any circumstances dance with your dad to at your wedding:
Father Figure by George Michael
I Want Your Sex by George Michael
Actually, stay away from almost every song by George Michael
White Wedding by Billy Idol
Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye
Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
Come to think of it, stay away from Marvin Gaye, too. His dad did shoot him to death, after all. Bad mojo.
Squeezebox by The Who
Gold Digger by Kanye West (who would undoubtedly jump out from behind the curtains and tell you that the girl who got married there before you danced with her dad better)
Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
Like a Virgin by Madonna
Justify My Love by Madonna
Brickhouse by The Commodores
You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
Private Dancer by Tina Turner
Thank Heaven for Little Girls by Maurice Chevalier (trust me, it’s creepy)
Papa Can You Hear Me by Babs (from Yentil – sad song, don’t do it)
Tears In Heaven (about death, dig? don’t do it)
Push It by Salt n’ Pepa
If you can think of more no-no songs, post a comment below. If you want to fight for one of these tunes, do the same!
For many people, walking down the isle is the biggest day of their life. They spend months looking for the perfect dress or tuxedo for the traditional wedding ceremony. The whole occasion is usually very formal and organized. Even the couple’s first dance can be static and frankly, quite uninspired. Some waltz and act like they are at a regal ball while others like to have more fun using the time to be silly while shaking a leg. This post is about those who like to actually have fun when they dance. You’ll see songs and dances you know, but also ones that will surprise you. Either way, you’ll certainly get a kick out of these funny first wedding dances.