A very popular way to save money on your wedding is by using a nontraditional venue. Backyard weddings create an intimate atmosphere. Public parks offer a unique setting on a low budget. When searching for the perfect venue, keep in mind that you can usually get the date and time you want at an affordable price by using a venue that most brides aren’t considering. Bonus: It’s yourvenue, which makes it memorable.
Enlisting Help April 2, 2010
Just about every bride has friends and family who offer to help with the wedding. If you’re feeling stressed, I would highly recommend that you take those people up on their offers.
The hard part is choosing which tasks to delegate. There are things you can hand off to people at every stage of the planning process. After the engagement, you can ask the groom and both sets of parents to begin thinking about guest lists. You and the groom should also begin to discuss the types of wedding bands you want. You can ask friends for vendor referrals. It is very risky to hire a vendor without having seen them perform. If a trusted friend can provide you with the confidence that a vendor will do well, an important part of planning will be done.
A little further down the planning road, you can enlist those friends to help address, stuff and stamp invitations (more on this process soon). Having a casual invitation party is a great way to spend some good time laughing with your bridesmaids!
If the groom and your mother are unavailable, ask a close friend or relative to join you for a second opinion, when you go cake tasting or to visit a venue.
When the wedding date is around the corner, begin to gather people who will help set up or tear down at your backyard reception. Look for helpers to pick up out-of-town guests from the airport, boutonnieres if they won’t be delivered and someone to hand out tips to vendors on the wedding day. It’s also a good idea to designate someone (usually the maid of honor and best man) to take tuxes and the wedding dress to the cleaners or rental shop after the wedding.
Your engagement doesn’t have to be stressful and you shouldn’t have to feel like a bridezilla! Allow your friends and family to take some of that weight off your shoulders so you can enjoy yourself and everything will get done on time.
Of course, it’s not mandatory that you include these four superstitious items in your wedding, but it’s a fun tradition. But, how do you find them?
Your something old doesn’t have to be falling apart or ugly. It could be an antique lace stem wrap on your bouquet or your mother’s wedding dress. It could be your grandmother’s wedding ring. Really, you can be as creative or traditional as you like. You could even have the wedding at a mansion that was built a century ago and call that your something old.
Your something new is generally the wedding dress, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be a fabulous headpiece you found on etsy or the new centerpiece vases that you will be taking home.
Something borrowed could be your best friend’s veil or a relative’s jewelry. Again, be creative and use this item as a way to honor a special person.
Something blue tends to be found on the garter. You can also put blue accents of flowers, jewels or ribbon in your bouquet. However, my personal favorite something blue is the bride’s shoes. This is a great color that pops when your toes peek from under the white dress and your photographer can get some amazing pictures with blue wedding shoes.
Have fun with this tradition. There are no limits to what you can count as your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!
FYI: Wedding Traditions March 5, 2010
Today, the honor of supporting a bride and groom by being in the wedding party is different from what it used to be. The role of the wedding party originated in ancient times when they would wear similar clothing as the bride and groom to confuse evil spirits. This was an effort to protect the happy couple on their special day. It has also been said that, in cultures where the groom captured his bride from her tribe, he would take a handful of men to fight off her angry relatives as he escaped with her.
Today, the wedding party, or bridal party, is there more to support the couple than to protect them physically. Many people understand the honor of being in the wedding party, but not the responsibility. The time before the wedding is a crucial time for bridesmaids and groomsmen to be readily available. The bride and groom will be looking for emotional support, encouragement and someone to lift a little stress off their shoulders. Much of the time, simply being present is a great help. The task is not usually difficult, as it should only include throwing a party or shower, running errands, making phone calls and generally having a great time with friends. However, when asked to be in your friend’s wedding party, you should be completely willing to give up much of your time and energy as the wedding gets closer. You are the one the bride and groom will turn to when they need some emergency help getting the invitations sent out or picking up that forgotten item. More importantly, you are the one who will help them stay calm and focused on the joy of what the wedding means. Take the role bridesmaid or groomsmen as an honor and a commitment.
Cocktail? January 28, 2010
Everyone knows how the ceremony and reception go. Not everyone sees the purpose of a cocktail hour. Why have one and what does it entail?
The cocktail hour has several functions. The most important one is to have a place to put the guests while the reception area is being prepared. This is particularly important with backyard weddings, or when the reception will be in the same place as the ceremony and the seats and chairs have to be moved around. Another reason to have a cocktail hour is to give the bride and groom and possibly the wedding party a chance for some formal pictures. Your guests will not feel comfortable eating without you, but food will be one of the top things on their minds while you’re absent. The cocktail hour is a good way to stave off the hunger.
A less significant, though fun, reason for a cocktail hour is to add another aspect of your personalities to the wedding. By serving just the groom’s favorite beer and the bride’s favorite martini tells your guests about you. Another fun thing to do is to have a signature drink. Whether it’s a custom cocktail or a cosmo given a name that represents you as a couple, your guests will appreciate the creativity. Of course, the cocktail hour is also a great time to have an open bar, too. However, if you don’t drink, don’t be scared off by the word “cocktail”. It is just fine to serve sparkling cider, soda and hors devours.
So, when you are trying to decide whether to have a cocktail hour, ask yourself these questions.
Do we need a little extra time for staff to set up the reception?
Do we need a little extra time to take pictures away from our guests?
Can we smoothly move our guests from the ceremony to the cocktail hour in a way that does not require much of them and does not disrupt the magic of the wedding?
Whatever you do, don’t stress about the cocktail hour. It is not the focus of the event and it’s not the first thing your guests will talk about when they describe the wedding to friends. Have one if you need it, keep it simple, and don’t have one if you don’t need the time or don’t want to.
Making Your Ceremony Yours July 27, 2009
Many brides and grooms are so excited to get married that they plan their futures together and they plan the details of the reception, but they don’t pay much attention to the ceremony. Short and sweet makes a happy group of guests. Get to the party!
Having a short ceremony isn’t a bad thing. Just don’t forget the sweet part. Put some thought into how the ceremony will take place and how you want to incorporate your personalities. Here’s an example. Ever seen 18 Kids and Counting? When the eldest Duggar boy got married, he and his bride added to their vows that they would trust God with the size of their family. This may seem extreme to you, but it was on their hearts to include it in their vows before the people they loved.
Writing your own vows is another good way to make them personal. This may seem like a daunting task, so here are a few tips for making it easier. Begin several months before the wedding. Give yourself time to come up with ideas, edit them and edit them again. Make a list of the things that you think are important to let your future spouse know. Remember that these will be vows that you make in front of many people who will be involved in your life and your marriage. Your vows should be considered an oath that your friends and family will keep you accountable to in the future. In fact, many officiants will charge the guests with the task to support the marriage in this way. Think about the things that you would want from your spouse and promise those things to them despite whether or not you receive them too.
If you have special readings or songs in the ceremony, explain either aloud or in the programs why you chose that piece and what it means to you as a couple. There is so much symbolism in a wedding ceremony. Share that with your guests. Put it in your album. Remember it through the years.