This is going to be a snark-free post – just so you know. If you want the customary snark, toddle on over to the weird laws site because we’ve been plenty snarky on that one lately.
Last year I was honored to attend an unconventional kind of wedding. In fact, my hubs was part of the wedding party. The wedding took place on Halloween, and I decided that since the happy couple’s one year anniversary approacheth, that that I would not only tell you about the happy day, I’d let the bride do it. Megan was nice enough to answer some questions for me and send me some photos, so enjoy!
1. What made you choose Halloween as your wedding date?
I absolutely adore Halloween! It has always been my favorite holiday. The dressing up, the scary decorations, the fall weather and of course, fall foods, like sweet potatoes! My daughters are the same way and dressing up is just plain fun! You can be all the things that aren’t “real” the other 364 days of the year. And everyone knows Jamie loves anything dark and gory! Add to that our family’s love of anything macabre and you get the perfect day for our wedding. Not to mention it is an easy date for the groom to remember! The movie “The Corpse Bride” sealed the deal, it was the inspiration for the whole thing.
2. Who did you choose to officiate your ceremony, and how did you know him/her?
Leighton Paquette preformed the ceremony. My aunt introduced him to us. The amazing thing was, I really only got to talk to him a couple of times. Maybe the longest conversation was an hour. And yet he nailed it. Jamie and I aren’t your typical couple. We’re square pegs trying to fit into a world of round holes. And Leighton got that. It wasn’t your typical stuffy or religious ceremony, it was ours and it was perfect. He said let him know if you have any questions for him. However,he wasn’t licensed to make it legal so another friend of the family who is filled out our marriage license.
LOL we got to dress up and be yet ourselves and for once no one gave us strange looks for it. I’ve always felt like Halloween is an opportunity for those of us who are a little…..out there, to be truly free of society’s expectations for one night.
4. What did you choose as your attire for the wedding and why?
I wanted to go with something fairy like but without dealing with wings. My mother, Debbie deTreville, is a wonderful seamstress, and she and my step-father, Jason Allen, designed a beautiful dress just by listening to me babble about a few I had seen that I liked. I wanted fairy-tale without the poofy Cinderella dress. It was a beautiful royal purple with iridescent wing like pieces attached at the upper arms and wrists. They both worked incredibly hard until the wee hours of the morning to get everything completed on time. They also did almost all of the decorations and all of the flowers. Jason (Jae) also carved several exquisite pumpkins to grace the tables.
5. What did the groom choose as his attire for the wedding and why?
Jamie wore a black suit and red shirt and black top hat with a skull topped cane. He chose that mainly because I wouldn’t let him wear jeans and the “tuxedo t-shit”. However, he looked wonderful in it. He picked it all out himself and I have to say, his taste was fabulous.
6. What were your instructions to your wedding party as to how they should dress?
We told them to wear whatever costume they wanted only to keep in mind there would be children in attendance. As lond as no one dressed like a bride or groom we were fine with it. We ended up with 2 Greek goddesses, a Renaissance princess, and a disco diva as bridesmaids, and a bodyguard, a convict, a pirate and Einstein as groomsman. Our oldest Samantha was a perfect little fairy flower-girl and the younger one, Jessica, was a spooky skeleton fairy ring bearer, which was all their idea and matched their personalities. My grandfather gave me away as Grandpa Munster aka Dracula. It was all so perfect!
7. What were your requests/suggestions to your wedding guests as to how they should dress?
We asked everyone to either choose a costume or to wear something afternoon wedding appropriate. We did however, ask that everyone be respectful of the children who would be in attendance and not wear anything too scary or risky. As it turned out, everyone who turned up was in costume except a couple grandparents who wore church clothes, and with the rest of the costumes floating around, they looked like it was a purposeful Halloween choice.
8. What type of music did you choose for the reception?
A very eclectic mix spun out by my dad, Kevin Carter who also helped my Aunt Kerstan with photos. we tried to stick with classic rock and roll and a few Halloween themed songs. Since it was a pretty neutral ground for me and Jamie.
9. What was your first dance song and why?
“Always with me Always with you” by Joe Satriani.
Jamie introduced that song to me early in our relationship and it just became our song. He even used to play parts from it for me on the guitar.
10. After one year of wedded bliss, how do you plan to celebrate your anniversary?
Maybe with a night out just the two of us….that’s a rare enough occurrence. Trick-or-Treating with the kids will top off our weekend.
Thank you, Megan, for telling us about your special day, and for letting our readers know that it’s fine to be yourself and do what YOU want to do on your wedding day.
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There are many old traditions still visible in today’s modern wedding. One of the most obvious is the best man and groomsmen standing next to the groom during the ceremony. We now see this custom as an opportunity to involve our friends and close family members in our big day, but at one time the groomsmen were seen to guard the bride until she was married to her husband and new protector.
These days the groomsmen often help out with the arrangements and tasks leading up to the wedding, and most importantly keep the groom smiling no matter how stressful the wedding plans get. A modern tradition is that the groom gives each member of his wedding party a gift on the day of the wedding to say thank you for helping out. Whether your groomsmen gifts are traditional or modern is completely up to you.
Traditional groomsmen gifts offer a touch of class and remind us of an era our grandparents might recognize more easily than we would. A watch was a traditional gift for any big occasion, from graduation to retirement. The symbolism of a watch varies depending on your culture, but in North American it’s often seen as a wish for long life.
Other traditional groomsmen gifts are flasks, cufflinks and money clips. While most of use don’t wear shirts with cufflink holes, keep a flask in our hip pocket and prefer a debit card to a wad of cash, the timeless significance of these gifts is what makes them special.
A modern groomsman gift generally reflects the taste of the man receiving it. It could be sports related, like a golf set or a baseball bat engraved with the date of the wedding and the groomsman’s name. For a groomsman who travels frequently a leather carry-on featuring his initials, or a travel case for his grooming kit also makes a thoughtful gift.
No matter which route you choose, traditional or modern, adding personalization to the gift will remind your groomsmen of your big day and the important role they played in it. You can add their monogrammed initials, the wedding date and even the bride and groom’s names to many different types of gifts.
It’s important to think about each of your groomsmen and choose a gift that suits his personality and taste. Choosing the right gift is the best way to show just how well you know the men standing by your side and how much you appreciate them being there for you on your wedding day.
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Cubic Zirconia (CZ) was developed by the Russian space program for use in laser guidance equipment as a cost-effective alternative to using rubies which were needed in early lasers. CZ is virtually identical to diamond in terms of its optical properties, and this lends the use of CZ to producing jewelry – it looks, shine and sparkles in almost identical fashion to diamond.
So why should you use a cubic zirconia stone in place of a diamond?
The obvious advantage over diamond is cost; diamond is one of the most valuable substances known to man and it costs roughly one thousand times more than a crystal of zirconium of the same weight.
Cost is not the only advantage over diamond which CZ possesses, just the most obvious one.
Diamond is a naturally occurring crystal which is formed by natural processes deep within the earth’s crust. CZ on the other hand is man-made, using a precisely controlled manufacturing process which allows for excellent quality control over how the crystal is formed.
All diamonds carry imperfections created by trapped gas or foreign matter, so upon close inspection you will see bubbles or imperfections within the stone. There may also be irregularities in the uniformity of the crystal structure itself. None of these imperfections present themselves with CZ, because the process is so stringently controlled – what you get with a zirconium stone is a flawless crystal.
Diamonds usually come with a clear to yellow hue; it is very rare to find a perfectly colorless stone because of the natural environment within which they are formed. Zirconium can be completely clear or have whatever color is desired, so you the jewelry buyer have a wider choice to select a stone from.
In colorless form, CZ is indistinguishable from diamond to the naked eye.
Diamond is a very rigid and extremely strong form of carbon atoms, laid out in a rigid pattern; in fact, it is the hardest naturally-occurring material known to man. This hardness and crystalline rigidity makes it difficult to cut a diamond, however zirconium lends itself to being worked by a gemstone cutter. The result is that zirconium can be worked into a wider variety of shapes and forms than diamond, which again means greater choice for you.
How brilliantly a stone reflects and refracts light which passes through it determines the sparkle it possess – this is known as “fire”. Zirconium refracts and reflects light better than diamond (remember the Russians developed it precisely for this purpose with their space program). Zirconium may be lighter than diamond, and less hard, but its crystalline structure ensures it is able to generate more fire.
While diamonds are naturally occurring, there is nothing natural about how they are extracted from the earth. Diamonds are mined requiring the use of huge amounts of energy and significant environmental damage is caused directly by mining. There are also large amounts of toxic waste produced in separating diamonds from the tons of earth which are excavated and must be disposed of.
Zirconium requires only a fraction of the energy which diamond excavation uses and waste products are minimal in comparison, making CZ the green alternative to diamond.
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For those with backyards, they can make that space an excellent venue for their special day. And a backyard wedding can vary in size and complexity – a lot depends, of course, on just how large your backyard is. There’s another advantage to using your own property for a wedding – you can have a large amount of hard earned money. But there are a lot of factors you have to weigh in when you hold a wedding in your backyard, and this article will help you understand all the things you’ll need to have on hand when you have a backyard wedding.
1. Think Of How Much Room You Have
Consider space, because this is all important in a backyard wedding, especially if your space isn’t all that large. Allocate a certain amount of space per guest, and calculate how many guests can fit into your yard, then edit your guest list accordingly. Factor in waiters and other staff members as well.
2. Don’t Let It Rain On Your Wedding
Special arrangements need to be made in case of an unexpected change in the weather, as in an unexpected rain fall. Remember that if you set up some sort of marquee, the sort that you choose will depend on the amount of yard you need covered.
3. Theming Your Wedding Will Greatly Enhance It
A theme for your celebration is an excellent idea. Depending on the amount of funds you have on hand you can make your special day truly exceptional. And you can do it rather inexpensively – you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish with some paint, art materials and crepe-paper. Imagination is the key, obviously, and the magic and romance that surround any wedding will supply the rest. Involve the family – make refining the theme for your wedding a fun project for everyone – you’ll see that with everyone contributing ideas, you’ll have a crystallized them in no time at all.
4. Cover All The Minor Points To Make Your Event A Success
There’s a lot that goes into making a wedding a successful event, but the nice thing is that people are all willing to help you, so make sure you take advantage of that, and let people handle lesser details while you concentrate on more important ones. One of the most important of all details that need to be arranged is sufficient parking. The easiest way to arrange this is to hire the lot of a nearby community center or church – or almost anywhere with sufficient parking for your purposes. And of course you’ll have to arrange some transport that will bring people to your residence, but that will hardly be a problem. Make sure that you have a backup power supply to cover any failure of electricity. And, elementary though it may sound, ensure that you have enough toilets – you usually need at least four for every hundred people.
5. Improvements To The Yard Will Be Investments For The Future
There are a lot of things you can do to ensure that your backyard is the best place for your wedding, and the nicest part about all this is that you can continue to use these improvements (once you’re married). This is a distinct advantage to being married on your own property. So this is the time to level out the lawn, to fill in those places where water collects each year, to ensure that the patio is polished to look like new. You can even put in some lovely benches and plant a new rock garden – each thing that will do will accentuate both your wedding and the beginnings of your married life. Imagine, after your wedding, having a beautiful, level lawn that is perfectly mowed, with a lovely rock-garden and some beautiful flowering plants. Imagine a beautifully polished patio, with perhaps an interesting swing, and some truly ornamental benches scattered here and there that allow you to enjoy the quiet beauty of your lawn and garden.
6. Work On Improving The Garden
One thing that can truly contribute to the ambiance of your wedding is to have wonderful plants in full bloom around the yard – they can be planted as part of a permanent garden, just ensure that you choose plants that will bloom at the time of your wedding, and they will add so much joy and beauty to the event. And don’t forget to get some best selling cedar porch swings for an aesthetic touch.
7. Music And Lights Set The Mood For Romance
Lighting at a wedding can make such a difference to everything. Not only should you have aesthetics in mind, but also ensure that the house and grounds are adequately lit. Bright lights on the borders of the grounds will ensure that moths don’t enter the grounds themselves. Then some soft yellow lamps around the grounds should add an aura of romance. Put in solar lamps around the walks, to ensure that no area of the grounds is in total darkness. Add to that just the right musical score and you have a wedding that contains all the magic of romance and timeless harmony.
8. Save On Glassware
Buying things like glassware for your wedding from a good discount store can save you a lot of money, but it might even save you more than you realize, if you donate the purchased items to a recognized charity. That counts as a tax-deductible amount, which means you’ll get it back.
9. Cooling Systems Are Important
Remember, if you plan a summer wedding that hot and sweaty people can get irritable, and that’s hardly the tone you want to set for your wedding. So invest in some efficient cooling – there are a lot of good systems available these days.
10. Make Your Wedding Memorable
It’s important to create a video or to take plenty of photographs of your special day. Because you’re having your wedding in your own backyard, each photograph will call up memories of your special day, and each picture will help you remember things that made your day special, moments that made you smile, or even cry, and the people who shared this wonderful day with you. This is something you don’t want to lose, so make sure you hire a professional to record all this for you – you should ideally call in both a photographer and a videographer, to give you a complete record.
About The Man Who Wrote This…
Jay Chua is the publisher of PorchSwingSets.com. He is also a laid-back resident of Vancouver, Canada, and with his wife Deisy, takes a great interest in following trends in gardening and wedding arrangement. He owns a wonderful hatteras hammocks garden swing at his backyard, and enjoyed writing & reviewing hammocks & swings such as the polyester rope hammock.
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It is a relief to see that there are some people out there who just don’t give a darn how they look. Not even on their wedding day.
I guess that’s not fair. They DO care how they look, they just choose to look like a cartoon character or superhero. Sure. Why not? I mean, if you’re going to do it, do it right. Make sure people remember it. Make sure, for instance, that they remember that you came to your wedding dressed as Wonder Woman, and that your groom dressed like Batman.
Lucky for these folks, both Batman and Wonder Woman were part of Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28, otherwise we’d take issue. We already have to overlook the fact that these wackadoos were attended by Robin (that’s OK), the Joker (WTF?), Yoda (Come on, now), The Incredibles (Really?), Iron Man, Poison Ivy, and The Incredible Hulk (MARVEL COMICS, HELLO?!?!?!) The bridesmaids came dressed in PowerPuff Girls costumes. Oh, the humanity. Step all over those of who who LIKE comic books, why don’t you?
Or, take these folks, who decided to kick it old, old, old, old school.
They actually said, “I yabba dabba do” in their vows. Oh the sweet injustice of it all. At least these people were purist. The bride was attended by Betty Rubble, Barney Rubble stood up as best man, the children attendants were dressed as Bamm-Bamm, and the guests all dressed as cavemen. Er, cave people. My, my.
This one is the real kicker, though. What would the cleaning bills cost to get all that GREEN PAINT off the wedding dress?
I get it that you saw Shrek on your first date. I get that you liked it. I liked it too. A lot. I watch it pretty often still. But what on earth did your mother say when you told her you wanted to paint yourself completely green and wear fake ears on your wedding day? Did she cry? I kind of did, when I heard about this. And the groom. He’s 53! Did he just not give a crap? And what’s with the clown character in the back? Are you TRYING to give me a heart attack?
Oh well, right? As long as they are happy, that is what matters….
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