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.
Face it. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You’ll want to remember it in every way possible. You’ll want more photographs than were taken. You’ll want more video than you have. You’ll want many, many reminders.
So why not pay some hipster DJ to mix up and edit a video of your wedding and turn it into some weirdo music video? Sure! Because you don’t want to remember the day as it WAS. You want to remember it the way that some guy in skinny jeans mixed it in his uber hip studio (or mom’s garage) a few days after the wedding. Right?
Actually, the video is pretty cute, and the couple is from La Grange, GA, which is a super cute little town. I spent a week there one day. But seriously folks. It is a cute town. As for the video…I’d be curious to hear what Lauren and J.P. think after about 6 or 7 years, wouldn’t you? It will either be a “Gee, Honey. I’m soooo glad we did that” situation, or it will be like when you’re twelve and you’re at the beach, and your friend talks you into going into one of those “Make Your Own Music Video” places where they have, like, two props and you two get up and sing “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston followed by a rousing rendition of “Walk Like an Egyptian” whilst dancing all willy nilly and then 6 or 7 years later you find the tape and you accidentally watch it in front of your boyfriend who promptly dumps you. Except for in Lauren and J.P.’s situation, that will be their 3 or 4 year old. Who might think it’s cool. But then will surely, in many years, show it to all their snotty teenager friends, who will be like, “What was that band, anyway?”
In other words, is this something that will be cherished. Is it a lasting treasure? Or just a moment’s pleasure?
But seriously. Props to Matt Odom, who just went for it. You go, Matt.
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.
Many brides dream of their bridal shower. The classic bridal shower was held in the spring or early summer, and would be a light luncheon or a tea. It was pretty much the same just about everywhere you went. Today’s bridal showers are much different! You’ll find today’s bridal showers are just as individual and unique as the brides.
But the biggest challenge in planning a bridal shower is trying to decide what type of bridal shower to hold. Where once only one type of bridal shower was “perfect,” now there are so many choices! Take our quiz to discover your (as a bride) or your friend’s (the bride) Bridal Shower Style to plan the best bridal shower ever!
The perfect vacation for you is:
- A romantic getaway to Paris with your sweetie
- A weekend getaway with friends to Las Vegas or another hotspot
- Renting a beach house with another couple
- You’ll just “go with the flow,” the perfect vacation and destination will come!
You have an extra $100. You…
- Take your sweetie out for an evening at the theatre
- Buy that little black dress you’ve had your eye on, or a great pair of shoes
- Get steaks for the grill and plan a BBQ with family and friends
- Do the first thing that inspires you, buy jewelry, donate to charity, go out somewhere fun!
You’re getting a new pet. Your pet is…
- A faithful and loyal Golden Retriever
- This year’s most popular breed dog you’ve seen every celebrity get
- A German Sheppard puppy. You’re good at taking care of animals.
- You’re not sure, you’ll see what they have at the pet store/animal shelter
Tally up your results!
Mostly A’s: You’re a Romantic & Traditional Bridal Shower
This bride will especially appreciate a bridal shower that focuses on love & romance. She’s very excited about the wedding, because she’s marrying her sweetie and probably talks about him often. If she’s registered for bridal shower gifts, they are probably gifts that she can enjoy with her sweetie – not just things she can use on her own.
Mostly B’s: You’re a Trendsetting & Trendwatching Bridal Shower
For this bride what will please her most is having a bridal shower that is modern and fun, probably one that has details that you’ve seen in popular celebrity and style magazines. She has sophisticated tastes even if she doesn’t live in a big city, and will enjoy food that goes beyond a simple tea and sandwiches shower – try serving sake and sushi for something unique!
Mostly C’s: You’re a Jack & Jill or “Couple’s” Bridal Shower
One of today’s most popular bridal shower trends is the Jack & Jill shower, a wedding shower for couples. If a bride truly enjoys being with her sweetie and doing mostly “couple” things more than anything, she would probably appreciate a fun Jack & Jill shower. There are many things you can do to adapt this theme.
Mostly D’s: You’re an Adaptable Bridal Shower
Some brides are super particular about every last detail. This bride is likely to be very easy going, and will be pleased to get together with friends and family to celebrate her bridal shower. Don’t worry so much about small details like monogrammed napkins or table decorations with this bride. She’s going to be more focused on spending time with the people she loves.
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
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!