No wedding would be complete without the perfect bridal party. Indeed, a team of well-meaning grandmas, bridesmaids, flower girls, program distributors, ushers, page boys, groomsmen and the likes. Most of your closest friends and relatives will certainly have some part to play at your wedding to make sure that the ceremony flows without a single hitch. This is why it’s extremely important to carefully select the perfect bridal party to turn your special day into a unique success.
A common mistakes that several couples make, however, is to go over the top and start bossing everyone around. Don’t be a Bridezilla: remember that your cousin is here to help you sort out the wedding favors not to start scrubbing the aisle. If you want to be surrounded by a perfectly synchronized A-team on your wedding day, make your bridal party feel distinguished and special, not used. It’s also crucial to select the perfect person for the job: no matter how cute your little niece looks, if she’s a bit of a daredevil, it’s probably not a good idea to send her scuttling down the aisle with a basket of flowers in her hands.
The best flower girls and ring bearers are those who are confident, charming and playful without being over the top. Another popular mistake is to go for a shy flower girl in the hope that she won’t create too much of a havoc: while this is true, the flip side is that the flower girl may be way too shy to even walk in front of all these people which can delay the grand Bridal entrance.
Several weddings also have one designated reader to read speeches from other guests, wedding-related poetry or even bible verses- if you’re opting for a church wedding. It goes without saying that your reader should be eloquent, light-hearted and humorous. After all, there’s nothing worse than sitting through a myriad of speeches and verses delivered by the same pitched drone. By this token, it’s always best to designate someone young and upbeat for the wedding readers. But, that certainly doesn’t mean that you should exclude the elders from your special day.
On the contrary, your wedding is a special occasion to honor your favorite grandmother or parent. Don’t underestimate their wisdom and guidance as well: not only have they already been married but they’ve also attended countless weddings during their life and will hence be better able to advise you about the table settings, favors and decorations. A particularly touching gesture would be to ask your favorite grandparent to be your Matron of Honor or best man.
Speaking of which, don’t forget that your Maid of Honor should be someone that you’ve known for a long time and someone who not only understands you but is always honest with you. For example, most of your friends will gush over any dress that you select during the wedding dress shopping trip but the perfect Maid of Honor will give you her honest opinion, no matter how brutal it is. After all, to pick a quote from the epic film ‘Made of Honor’: “The perfect Maid of Honor is with her bride every step of the way.” Bear in mind that the Maid of Honor should not necessarily be a relative. If you’re not close to your cousins and sisters, don’t hesitate to go for your closest friend instead.
There’s no time better than Valentine’s Day to tie the knot. One of the busiest days of the wedding industry, Valentine’s Day is undoubtedly rich in colors, merriment and of course, romance. If you’re one of the ultra-romantic couples who wants to get hitched on this exquisitely memorable occasion, read on to learn how you can very easily bring some sentimental Valentine’s Day touches to your wedding.
An inspired hearts and flowers decor
As cliched as it sounds, a typical hearts and flowers decor will undoubtedly bring a deeply romantic touch to your special day, while drawing attention to the Valentine theme. However, there is a fine line between tacky and elegant so make sure that whatever decoration you choose to go for borders on tasteful instead of overdone.
For example, don’t hesitate to scatter a trail of red rose petals down a white-carpeted aisle: an extremely popular trend, the scattered petals will instantly take your wedding decor to the next level. But, if you strive to be different and something more original, why don’t go get your flower girl to scatter a trail of sequined or glittery red paper hearts instead of petals? If you’re going for a church wedding, bear in mind that the pews can be decorated in red satin bows. After all, red is the Valentine’s color by excellence, which is why it’s better to incorporate it as much as you can on your special day. A series of red candles or even a typical red heart behind the altar will undoubtedly complete your Valentine inspiration look.
Valentine favors and other touches
No wedding is complete without some elegant favors and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to wow your guests with some out of this world, exceedingly romantic favors. Think candied hearts, Hershey’s Kisses or even some half-hearts couple key chains for each couple.
And of course, it goes without saying that your wedding cake should also reflect the overall Valentine’s spirit of the day. Try to stick to a traditional white and red palette for a more striking look. A particularly elegant idea would be to go for an all-white cake with a single red heart as a cake topper, instead of the traditional bride and groom toppers. Don’t forget to add some Valentine’s touches to your wedding buffet as well: oysters, chocolate mousse along with some strawberries and cream are the perfect way to infuse a deeply romantic and sensual air to your big day.
While contemporary brides usually go for their favorite flowers or, at the very least, the sort of flowers that matches their outfits, there was a time when ladies used to select their bridal bouquets according to the various symbolisms.
This tradition is still practiced by Royal families from all over the world, with Kate Middleton selecting her flowers according to what they represent. For example, she selected Lily of the Valley because, during Queen Victoria’s time, this particular bloom was representative of happiness and trust. The new Duchess very endearingly selected some Sweet William flowers as a nod to her husband. Other flowers included Myrtle- which is a Royal tradition and Ivy because it typically stands for affection, friendship and fidelity.
So, if you want to borrow a leaf from the Duchess’ book, here’s a list of the most popular wedding flowers and their different symbolisms:
Orange Flowers: Exquisitely festive, this particular bloom will certainly take your look to the next level. Orange flowers commonly stand for Bridal Festivities and are absolutely perfect for cutting-edge brides.
Peony: One of the most popular bridal flowers in Japan, Peonies usually stand for masculinity, virility and a happy marriage. This is why some groom usually tuck a single peony in the pockets of their tuxedos as they tie the knot. Like Kate, you may include this flower in your overall bouquet as a not to your future husband.
Rose: Present in practically every wedding bouquet, roses stand for love in its various forms. Representative of romance and friendship, these flowers come in various colors, hence allowing the bride to create a combination of roses which will match with their dresses. It is a well-known fact that red represent romance, but few people know that blue-lavender or white roses are commonly used to honor the elders. So, if you’re very close to your grandparents, or if you want to honor a departed grandparent on your special day, don’t hesitate to tuck a blue-lavender rose in your bouquet.
Purple Lilac: If you fell in love with your significant other at first sight, this is undeniably the perfect flower for you. Indeed, the Purple Lilac is often used to symbolize love at first sight, which is why it’s so often used for wedding bouquets. This bloom is also representative of early love and spirituality, which makes the Purple Lilac quite perfect for church weddings.
Overall, the flowers that you select for your bridal bouquet should ultimately be a representation of your personality and your groom’s. In fact, for a more poetic touch, don’t hesitate to use for flowers t tell your love story.
The wedding color by excellence, white is a deeply romantic and soothing color. Used for centuries to represent purity, chastity, love and harmony, it should come as no surprise that most couples choose to go for an all-white decor to mark their special day. After all, nothing infuses class and elegance as much as a white-themed decor.
However, while this particular hue certainly has its advantages, there are quite a few factors that you should take into consideration before scuttling down the all-white path. Indeed, in some cases, this color might even end up in disaster. This is why it’s extremely important to really weigh the pros and the cons prior to making a final decision.
Airy and elegant: If your wedding venue is on the smaller size, going for an all-white decor will definitely bring an airy feel to the room in general. Best of all, it will most certainly infuse quite a lot of airiness and trick the eye into believing that the room much larger than it really looks. By this token, an all-white decor might even be more budget-friendly since you won’t have to rent an overly-large space for the reception.
Age-old symbol of purity and love: Because of its symbolism, a white themed wedding will undoubtedly bring an age-old charm and flair to your special day, while enhancing the overall romantic atmosphere. There’s no denying it: white is the purest, most calming color that exists and infusing this hue into your special day may result in quite a spectacular visual effect. It’s no wonder that in some cultures, even the groom chooses to don a white tux to match the bride’s dress.
Extremely prone to spills and other accidents: On a darker note, as pure as a white-themed wedding might look, it’s not exactly the most stain-resistant color out there. This can be quite problematic, especially if you’re inviting children to the reception. Also, a white wedding dress can be much too easily ruined because this color tends to reflect sweat, stains and other spills more than other hues. If you’re concerned about such accidents, don’t hesitate to omit the white altogether. A less drastic touch would be to go for a blend of black and white or even white, red and black to minimize the risks of accidents.
Not the most flattering color: The sad truth is, white is an extremely unforgiving hue. For example, if the groom is trying to hide last night’s beer belly, a white tux will ultimately draw attention to the problem areas and may even make someone appear much larger than he or she really is. Having said that, if you’re one of the lucky brides who feels completely at ease in her skin, no matter what size you are, then kudos to you! The important thing to remember is that you should don a color which makes you feel attractive and confident so if white’s your color, then by all means, go for it. However, a more insecure lady might feel better in an ivory or even white and gold or white and silver wedding dress.
While your guests may be eager to get you the perfect gift for your wedding, there’s no doubt about it: shopping for wedding gifts can be quite a challenging task, especially if the guests aren’t sure what to get you. That is why it’s always important to register for your wedding gifts several weeks- or even months- in advance. Not only will a wedding registry orient your guests towards the type of gift that you would like to receive, but it will also help you acquire quite a lot of useful gifts which will help you start a comfortable life with your new spouse.
There are, however, a few rules and etiquette that you should stick to when shopping for your wedding gifts. For example, one should never even think about including the gift registry with the actual wedding invitation. That’s plain rude. Indeed, wedding invitations should uniquely be used to show your guests how eager you are for them to attend your special day- gift or no gift. Therefore, make sure to include the registry list on a separate date, in a separate envelope or even in the wedding shower invitation. Etiquette also dictates that outer parties such as the groomsmen or bridesmaids are the one who should send out the gift registry list, not the actual couple.
Also, when you’ll go to select your gifts, you will most certainly feel overwhelmed by the staggering amount of objects and accessories that surround you. This is why several couples get overly zealous and end up scanning the most outrageous or the most expensive items for their wedding gift list. After all, this is practically free shopping so you’d better indulge, right?
If you get carried away and scan outrageously expensive items, not only will your guests feel offended by your blatantly greedy attitude, but they might not be willing to stretch their budget to buy the gifts, hence leaving you disappointed. So, try to find a nice balance between affordable gifts that you will use and expensive gizmos that will only look nice on a shelf. Of course, make it clear that your guests do not necessarily have to purchase the items on your list: they should have the freedom of selecting a gift according to their personal preferences and budget.
Couples who have friends and relatives abroad should also consider starting an international gift registry to make things easier for them. In such cases, it would be quite advisable to start a list online.
One of the most important accessories that a bride can have, the bridal bouquet is deeply rooted in ancient customs and traditions. Unknown to many, this particular bouquet is so much more than an object which beautifies the bride: indeed, there was a time when the bridal bouquet was used to ward off any negativity and protect the newlyweds from the much dreaded evil eye.
Of course, nowadays, the bridal bouquet has become one of the most popular and important accessory that a bride can carry. But, the notion of carrying flowers on your wedding day originated in a far less romantic notion: indeed, during the 15th century in Europe, bathing water was quite scarce which meant that citizens couldn’t wash up frequently. So, in a bid to fight off any unruly body odor, brides used to walk down the aisle with large bunches of sweet-smelling flowers.
In more superstitious families, however, the wedding flavor was usually carried in a bid to ward off evil spirits. In such cases, they didn’t even carry flowers: brides usually clutched to an all-aromatic bouquet of herbs including rosemary, sage, thyme and even a few bulbs of garlic. Sometimes, the herbs bouquet were adorned with a few springs of freshly cut flowers, which gradually turned into a full-fledged flower bouquet. In wealthy Medieval families, orange blossoms were also added to the bouquet.
The tradition of carrying completely flower bouquets stemmed from Ancient Britain during later centuries and at first, it was considered as a symbol of fertility. It wasn’t until much later on, during contemporary times, that the bride started adding symbolic flowers to her bouquet. Roses, for instance, nowadays represent everlasting love. Other such symbolisms include Stephanotis is for good luck, lilac to represent their union and Ivy for fidelity. In ancient times, edible flowers were also added to the bouquet and these were commonly served during the reception.
In our modern time, however, brides are gradually ditching fresh flowers for artificial silk or satin ones. Ladies who aren’t on a budget can also consider jeweled bouquets: classy and elegant, these can last for a lifetime, which means that you’ll definitely have a memento of your special day.
Another modern twist on the bridal bouquet is adding some candy to your flowers. Guaranteed to bring a pronounced touch of fun to your special day, a few lollipops or cake pops nestled among the flowers will definitely add some extra flair to the wedding. More adventurous brides are even going for full-fledged candy bouquets that are later distributed among close friends and families after the ceremony.
Every couple has a specific dream of how they would like their wedding day to be. Still, the sad truth is that in this economy, not everyone can afford the lavish weddings of their dreams. There will always be quite a few sacrifices to be made, especially if you’re trying to save money.
On the flip side, however, there are quite a few handy tips and tricks that you can adopt in order to save up on both time and money. So, scroll down to learn how you can easily hold an incredibly romantic wedding on a budget.
Homemade wedding cake and favors
If you make your own wedding cake and favors, you’re most definitely going to save up on quite a lot of money. Don’t fret if you’re not much of a baker though: you can always pay a friend or family to bake your wedding cake for you. Alternatively, the couple can sign up for a crash pastry course prior to the special and then bake their very own wedding cake. Indeed, baking your own cake together is extremely romantic and definitely does symbolizes the togetherness of your relationship.
The same applies for your wedding favors: brownies, homemade candles or even homemade soap make for inexpensive albeit high-quality favors. A particularly nice touch would be to bake a batch of cookies for your guests and pack them up in glittery bags along with the original cookie recipe.
Keep the guest list to the strict minimum
While it is understandable that you may want to invite as many people as you want to your wedding day, it can be quite a bad idea, especially if you’re trying to stick to your budget. This will simply increase your buffet, seating and decoration expenses. So, keep the guest list to the very strict minimum and only invite the people whom you’re genuinely close to in real life.
Online wedding dress and shoes
Online dresses often run much cheaper than store-bought ones, without skimming on the quality. In fact, the internet provides quite an array of options which will help you save up on time and money. Best of all, you won’t have to go through the hassle of pushing through crowds or dealing with haughty sales assistants since you’ll be purchasing your wedding frock from the comfort of your very own home.
Of course, there might be some alterations to be done to your online wedding dress but then again, a few nips and tucks of fabric are certainly going to be cheaper than if you had to buy a dress from a fancy designer store. Be sure to always purchase a size or two larger than your regular size: after all, it’s much easier to take in than out.
The same applies to your wedding shoes and other accessories: buy purchasing them online, you’ll be able to save quite a lot of money. Always be sure to check the website’s return or exchange policy before you make your purchase.
With a rising need to explore and seek new adventures, destination weddings are constantly on the rise. However, some couples may feel compelled to stick with traditional church or garden weddings just because it’s the norm. Still, it’s always a good idea to opt for a destination wedding, especially if you prefer a more exotic, cozy ceremony.
Extremely flexible, destination weddings are also suited to more adventurous couples, because they allow you the freedom of going for even the most unconventional of locations. The Grand Canyon, the rocks on the beach or even adventure parks are all fantastic, adrenaline-pumping locations that you can select for your destination wedding. Other unconventional albeit adventurous locations include Alaska, the African plains, the Himalayas or even in front of the pyramids in Egypt.
Since destination weddings are usually limited to your very closest friends and relatives, these ceremonies will most certainly be ultra-cozy, which means that the bride and groom will be able to spend more time with their loved ones. Best of all, since the guest list will be quite limited, you won’t be faced with the stress that usually accompanies large scale events. In fact, since you won’t even have to draw up table arrangements and other such tiring tasks, you will certainly be able to enjoy your special day to the maximum. You will definitely have less guests than in a formal marriage which means that you’ll also be able to save up on various items such as meals, seating plans and wedding favors.
With a destination wedding, couples will be make the most out of a virtually stress-free holiday, especially if they book an all-inclusive wedding package. This way, you can just lie back and relax while a team of experts takes care of all the complicated arrangements. Most hotels do provide wedding packages that usually include catering, decorations, cake, ministers, photographers and the likes. So, make sure to check with the hotel before your book your package.
Because of the informal vibe that usually accompanies destination weddings, you’re certainly not going to be restricted by any dress code. So, if you’re the sort of non-traditionalist who doesn’t want to get married in a white dress, don’t hesitate to don whatever you want to wear. So, feel free to wear mini dresses, swimsuits, pants or even beach kaftans on your destination wedding. And of course, it goes without saying that thanks to your destination wedding, you will be able to honeymoon in the exact location which you’ve chosen to tie the knot.
Planning a wedding is never an easy feat. There’s always something to remember or something to shop for. In the end, most couples find themselves completely and utterly exhausted on their special day, which prevents them from properly enjoying the ceremony and reception.
But, if you’re about to get married, fret not: The good news is that there are a few wedding planning tips which you can adopt to make things much easier for you. Here are a few hints that will help you speed up the planning and preparations.
Always take friends or family with you to choose your wedding dress
It’s never a good idea to try on your wedding dress alone. Seconds opinion matter more than you think. After weeks and weeks of pounding the pavement to find the perfect wedding frock, everything will start looking the same to you and somewhere in your weary, stressed-out, overly hyper brain, you might end up picking the one dress that’s absolutely wrong for you.
Don’t stress out too much about seating arrangements
Too many couples waste quite a lot of time in trying to draft the perfect seating arrangements for their friends and relatives. But, the truth is, most of them will hardly spend anytime in their actual seats. Receptions are, after all, an occasion to move around and mingle with the other guests before dancing the night away- which basically means that all your immaculate seating arrangements will go to waste.
In fact, to gain time, why don’t you just skip the entire seating arrangement process and let everyone decide where they’d like to be seated? Be sure, however, to select a space, room or hall that’s large enough for all your guests. Not only should the room be able to accommodate your friends and relatives, but, it should be spacy enough for them to bustle around. It’s always a good idea to keep the dance floor as far away as the buffet.
Also, if you can afford it, don’t hesitate to create a special kids corner where children will be able to mingle and have some fun of their own while giving their parents a night off to breathe and relax with other adults.
Always keep a checklist
A wedding planning diary is another handy tool that will definitely lessen the stress while helping you keep track of everything that has been done and still needs to be done. Make sure to include a checklist and tick them off every time you do something on your list.
The wedding planning diary will also help you schedule dress fittings, as well as hair and makeup tryouts. Don’t forget that you should imperatively test several types of hairstyles and makeup prior to the special day in order to find the perfect look.
We’re living in a century that’s positively oozing with cutting-edge trends, where to be different is a genuine cause for celebration. Therefore, if you wish to be different and add your very own personal twist to your wedding day, what better way to do it than by looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding cake?
Indeed, gone are the days where a two to three tier fruitcake was the absolute norm in weddings. Nowadays, there are quite a large variety of options which you can adopt to replace the traditional wedding cake. The most common alternative is the cupcake arrangement: a particularly delicious and visually striking edible treat, the cupcake arrangement is slowly trickling its way in most weddings. With this particular type of cake, you won’t have to waste any time in cutting and packing the cake for your guests to take home. They can help themselves to a cupcake and you can even provide a few take-way boxes for those who wish to take their cake home. The mess is also quite contained since there won’t be any crumbs or icing falling to the floor!
Another emerging alternative to wedding cakes is the cake pop arrangement. This is mainly done by creating chocolate-covered balls out of traditional sponge cakes. Each pop is then served on a stick, which makes it easier to eat. Indeed, thanks to the cake-on-a-stick pop, you won’t even have to bother with dessert forks and the likes. Don’t hesitate to mix and match the flavors instead of sticking to just one. For example, you can always ask your baker to create an assortment of chocolate, toffee, fruit, nougat and coconut cake pops. A really romantic touch would be to draw the newly-wed couple’s initials in icing sugar across each pop.
An extremely popular substitute for classic wedding cakes, the Croquembouche is a highly elegant delicacy that will never fail to impress your guests. Entirely crafted from profiteroles and held together by luscious glazes of spun sugar, the Croquembouche can be served with any filling of your liking, the most popular being chocolate, ice cream, custard and whipped cream.
Alternatively, if you’re the type of person who has no qualms with exploring new boundaries, consider going for a pizza cake for your wedding day. This unique delicacy consists of several thin crust pizzas stacked on top of each other and it is customarily cut with a sword. In France, another trendy substitute to classic wedding cakes is the crepe cake, which basically consists of several thin crepes stacked up on each other.