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A bride’s guide to the perfect bachelorette party

Undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments before the wedding, the bachelorette party is the best time to relax, let your hair down and forget about all the stress and planning that have led up to this moment. After all, a bachelorette party is so much more than celebrating your last night out as a single lady. It’s also about hanging out with your friends, having fun and being wild, which is why you should make the most out of every single minute. After all, who knows when you’ll have another night like that one?

Bachelorette party

While etiquette usually dictates that the matron of honor hosts the bachelorette party, we all know that the bride is the mastermind behind every move. You’re the one who’ll ultimately give instructions to the maid of honor, so, it’s important for you to take certain things into consideration. For example, you should decide whether you want a really wild, all-hells-break-loose party or a more toned down and elegant affair. Afterwards, it’s important to determine whether the party will last all night or just for a few hours. Most bachelorette parties usually last all night, whereby the bride and her bridesmaids rent a hotel room to continue the evening.

Bachelorette kit

If you decide to go with the hotel room, don’t hesitate to make the most out of the private setting to show the special ladies in your life how thankful you are for their support. Some brides make a general speech while others address each bridesmaid individually. It’s also a good idea to bring along a small bachelorette party kit for each lady. A bachelorette party is also the best setting to give your bridesmaids their bridesmaid’s gifts. Another wonderful idea for the party is to ask everyone to dress up in bright and colorful wigs and costumes which will add some extra panache to your big night.

Costume party

Some couples decide to skip the entire stag and hen do in favor of a joint bachelor and bachelorette party. This isn’t such a bad idea since it allows both the bride and the groom to spend their last single night together with their friends and relatives. However, since this is not such a common occurrence, you should probably send out invitations stating that your party is going to be a joint one. The one thing that you should bear in mind, though, is to avoid hosting your bachelorette party on the eve of the big day. Indeed, the last thing you want is to be drunk over and harassed on your wedding day, so it’s safer to have your fun night out at least two weeks before you walk down the aisle.

Gifts for the special ladies

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Jun 12th,2014
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Destination Weddings in Australia: The most coveted venues

Dotted with sandy white beaches, lush vineyards, piers and elegant halls, it should come as no wonder that Australia is one of the world’s favorite wedding destinations. After all, with the sun, the soft sloshing of the waves and the general air of merriment and contentment, what else could a soon-to-be married couple want more?

Destination wedding in Australia

And, to make things even better, Australia is simply brimming with wedding venues to suit every budget. Since this is a destination wedding, you probably won’t have the chance to visit the venue beforehand so it’s quite important to run as many online searches as possible to learn more about the location of your choice. Don’t forget to contact the site manager as well and discuss- in as much detail as you can- everything that you want to be ready for your arrival date. Most crucially, be sure to book everything, from the location to the caterer, several months in advance. Indeed, destination wedding venues in Australia are always in high demand so try to book as early as you can. Once you get all these pesky little details out of the way, you will be able to really relax and enjoy the best locations that Australia has to offer.

Savannah Function Centre

The Savannah Function Centre, for example, is the perfect wedding venue for couples who are looking for an elegant, fairy-tale like location. Nestled in the middle of lush, airy grounds, with a stunning lake and artificial waterfall right next to the reception hall, this place usually provides catering and band services to those who need it. But, if you want something a little more low-key, why not look into one of Australia’s numerous vineyards? Spacious and romantic, these will definitely bring some extra romance and charm to your special day. The Borrodell vineyard, for example, is quite a popular choice for foreign couples who want to have the most stunning destination wedding.

Borrodell vineyard

Couples who are looking for something a little more casual might want to check out one of Sydney’s numerous piers. But, bear in mind that some of them are on the small side so you might want to keep your guest list to a strict minimum. Pier weddings are quite a common sight in Australia, but, on the flip side, the bridal party will normally have to move to another location for the reception due to lack of space. If your bridal party is on the larger size, you might want to consider a beachside wedding. Reputed for its marvelous beaches, Australia has quite a lot to offer in terms of tropical weddings. For example, the picturesque Sapphire coast provides couple with a sublime, almost ethereal backdrop for them to tie the knot.

Pier at Sydney

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Planning a military wedding reception

Compared to traditional after-wedding parties, military wedding receptions tend to be more or less something of a more formal affair. Of course, since every couple has their own preferences, you may plan your reception as you wish and decide how formal you would want it to be. However, there are a few military traditions and protocols that always seem to trickle their way down to the wedding reception, hence bringing a rather sophisticated feel to the entire ceremony. Still, remember that it is your special day to begin with, so you might feel more comfortable with a traditional after-wedding party if you’re more of a free spirit and wish to avoid the protocols that surround military receptions.

Military wedding

For example, if you’d like to plan a military wedding reception, it’s important to start by finding the perfect location.  According to protocol, most military receptions are hosted at enlisted officers’ or army’s clubs. However, it is entirely possible to hold your reception in a regular restaurant or hotel, although that would somehow deviate from the theme of the day. The one thing that you can’t neglect, however, is the proper seating of the guests at the reception. Because of protocol, guests are often seated according to their rank in the army. Seating arrangements can be included in the military wedding invitation card.

Military wedding invitation

As far as the music goes, it’s not a bad idea to select a playlist that blends both regimental and regular music. Military brides and grooms are also allocated a theme song that depends on the groom’s service and this tune is very commonly used for the first dance at the reception.

Military bride and groom

Of course, like every wedding reception, you are going to need some decorations and accents but keep in mind that military decorations also include flags, national colors and badges. It is customary for the flats to be displayed right behind the couple’s receiving line. A typical military cake topper is also included among the other touching accents.

Military cake toppers and touching accents

One of the most important moments at military receptions is, without doubt, the customary cutting of the cake. Extremely formal, this ceremony starts with the saber bearers who file into the reception area to stand in front of the receiving line.  Then, they held up their swords, forming an arch under which the military couple pass through. It is common for the happy couple to pause and kiss under the makeshift aisle before moving on to the cake. And of course, since this is not any old boring reception, the cake is always cut with a military sword, hence concluding the ceremony.

Cutting military wedding cake with sword

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Posted in Military Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Jun 05th,2014
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Selecting the perfect going away outfit

For the bride, one of the most important aspects of the wedding is the dress. It should therefore come as no wonder that brides usually pound the pavement for weeks- if not months- in search of the perfect dress. Retro, A-line, Ball gown, Mermaid or Princess, there certainly isn’t a lack of wedding frocks on the market. Even wedding magazines are practically brimming with a huge variety of choices for the bride to pick from.

White going away dress

However, amidst the excitement and flurry of selecting the perfect wedding dress, several brides usually tend to neglect another important outfit for the big day: the going away attire. Of course, some brides prefer to spend the entire reception in their wedding dress and wear it as they slip out of the reception. But, the majority of us would certainly feel much more comfortable in another outfit before jetting off to the honeymoon. Whichever going-away outfit you chose to go for, just bear in mind that it should reflect the overall festive mood of the day. Steer clear from dark, drab colors and go for bright, sunny pastels.

Elegant going away dress

Since this will be your very first attire as a married lady, it’s important for you to select a glorious outfit that will show off your best features. The good news is that there are quite a lot of going away outfits to choose from, which means that you’ll be able to find the perfect ensemble without spending too much. Some brides, for example, choose to don a white going away dress to keep in line with the theme of the day. After being in heels and a long dress for the better part of the day, you might feel more comfortable in a knee-length, elegant going away dress teamed with a pair of flats or kitten heels. Alternatively, a classy white linen dress, not unlike Bella Swan’s going away outfit in the fourth episode of the epic Twilight movie series.

Classy white linen dress

Simple and sophisticated, this attire will help you look more toned down, without being overly casual. But, if you’re more of a jeans and shirt kind of girl and if you do want to wear something casual, why not don a smart pair of casual linen pants and suit? This can actually be quite a lovely option for winter time. Don’t hesitate to accessorize with some boots, gloves and a smart hat to keep warm. Brides who don’t want to wear pants may also go for a long or calf-length skirt and suit teamed with boots, wedge heels, pumps or even stilettos.

Sophisticated skirt and suit outfit

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Jun 05th,2014
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Touching song options for the mother-son dance

There’s no bigger pride for a mother than seeing her son all dressed up as a groom on the most special day of his life. It should come as no wonder that mothers often tear up as they watched their sons reciting his vows in front of the entire bridal party and guests. After all, he is starting a new life and hovering on the edge of a new horizon. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the first mother and son dance is always a memorable moment, which is exactly why it’s important to select a mother-son song that will summarize the adequate emotions of the day.

Mother of the groom and the groom

The mother of the groom, for example, will undoubtedly share a touching moment with her son if they both waltz to the soft beats of ‘Because of You’ by Celine Dion. Indeed, what parent wouldn’t want to see the love reflected in their son’s eyes as they both slowly dance to lyrics such as “You were my strength when I was weak?” So, if you’re more of a sentimental person, it’s best to select your mother-son dance according to the lyrics and then work your dance moves around the song. Other such touching songs include ‘Wind beneath my wings’ by Bette Miller, ‘Child of Mine’ by Carole King, ‘In My Life’ by the Beatles, ‘Blessed’ by  Elton John, ‘I hope you Dance’ by Lee Ann Womack, among others.

Touching moment between  mother and groom

Of course, there’s no reason why the dance between the mother and groom song can’t be upbeat as well. Some upbeat tracks with a sense of humor include ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance’ by Loggins and Messina, ‘Mama Tried’ by Merle Haggard and ‘Take your Mama’ by the Scissor Sisters. If you’re more a fan of rock-like songs, you’ll most certainly appreciate tunes such as ‘Simple Man’ by Lynyrd Skynrd’ and the iconic ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns and Roses.  However, bear in mind that upbeat and rock songs are a little bit tougher to dance to and might ask for a few dance lessons.

upbeat song between groom and motherDance between mother and son

Grooms who don’t stand on tradition might even give their guests a preview of their song choice by playing this very track as the mother walks her son down the aisle to wait for the bride. Whilst unconventional, this custom is being adopted by quite a few contemporary grooms because they want to celebrate that wonderful lady who gave them life and led them to where they stand today.

Mother walking son down the aisle

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Jun 05th,2014
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An exotic buffet for your Chinese themed wedding

If you’re planning a Chinese themed wedding, you will, of course, go for traditional dresses, accents and accessories that will reflect the overall theme of the day. The bride, for example, might either don a traditional cheongsam for the ceremony or she might wear a white dress and change into a red outfit for the reception. And in keeping with an important Chinese belief, couples might even indulge in some red and gold decorations for good luck.

Bride at chinese wedding reception

However, the one thing that you should absolutely not neglect is the Chinese-food buffet. Indeed, no Chinese wedding would be complete without the traditional Asian delicacies that made this culture so popular all over the world. Of course, you might go for fusion cuisines and serve both Asian and Western dishes, but, a more traditional approach would be to go for a pure Chinese cuisine and allow your guests to sample some of the most delicious dishes. Just remember to decorate the individual tables, place settings and buffet tables in red for good luck!

Chinese wedding table

Rest assured though: a Chinese wedding table is much easier to plan than you believe. While you may give your regular caterer a list of Chinese dishes to serve, it’s best to contact an experienced Asian caterer who will not only be able to whip up some of the most luscious delicacies, but who will also be able to advise you on the most popular Chinese dishes. Peking Duck, for example, is the type of main course that you might see at just about any Chinese wedding. But, bear in mind that Asian receptions are brimming with food and a couple of course will not be enough.

Chinese wedding menu

So, be sure to serve something light albeit exotic for the entrees. Dumplings are your best options because they come in an astounding number of varieties. This will hence provide your guests with a choice between steamed, fried, calamari, fish, chicken, prawn or even meat dumplings. Whichever main course you chose to go for, try to also provide a consistent side dish such as noodles or boiled rice. In fact, noodles also play a major role in Chinese cuisine and they come in several different varieties. From soba noodles to thin rice vermicelli, there certainly won’t be a lack of choice for you to browse through!

Chinese dessert

Chinese desserts are bound to be very well received. For example, chilled tapioca pearls pudding served with some fruit and two scoops of coconut and vanilla ice cream is one of the most refreshing desserts that you will ever taste.

Tapioca pearls for dessert

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Posted in Chinese Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Jun 05th,2014
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Top ideas for a retro wedding

The 50’s were all about fun, rockabilly and everything’s that was cool and flirty. This is exactly what makes retro weddings such a joy for both the guests and the happy couple. Indeed, in stark contrast to other overly-formal and rather stuffy ceremonies, retro weddings are all about loosening up and enjoying every single moment. Not unlike Boho weddings, retro ceremonies do not take the usual norms and traditions of regular weddings into consideration even if the couple can, of course, incorporate their own rules.

Retro bridal party

For example, a really fun way to bring a retro touch to your wedding is by selecting 50’s-like gift box or wrapping paper for your wedding favors. Bright and pink boxes, polka-dot paper and lots of colorful ribbon will automatically put everyone in a retro mood. Don’t forget to include the wedding theme in the invitation as well. This way, all the guests will be prepared and can deck up in their favorite and most extravagant retro outfits.

Retro wedding favors

As far as your bridal party is concerned, it’s not a bad idea to ask your bridesmaids to dress in retro outfits as well. Bear in mind that this does not include short dresses. Instead, knee-length colorful frocks with a wide swing skirt were all in the rage during the 1950’s. For an added touch of retro, be sure to choose funky prints such as floral, polka dots or even zebra and leopard prints. Don’t forget: with retro, it’s always the wilder, the better!

Retro bridesmaid dresses

Don’t neglect your shoes as well: Retro shoes are all about bows, flowers and highly extravagant and bold prints. Bear in mind that retro shoes are more about the prints and less about the heels, so, if you want, go ahead and wear flats if you want to, as long as the prints are more or less retro. The same applies to your dress: you may wear a traditional white dress or else improvise with a brightly colored one. Some couples even like to throw a retro jacket over their traditional wedding attires.

Retro wedding shoes

Since there’s no set code for the retro wedding buffet, it might be a good idea to go for fusion cuisine in order to stay within the overall theme of the day. Since retro is all about being different and exotic, never be afraid to mix and match. French pastries, Russian Blinis and American turkeys will definitely enhance the retro mood. The same applies for your music and decor. Wild and upbeat music coupled with some disco lights will undoubtedly have your guests dancing the night away.

Retro bride and groom

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Posted in Topic Wedding on Jun 03rd,2014
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Get married like a celebrity

We all love to stare at their wedding pictures in magazines. And whether we admit it or not, our hearts always give this little flutter of envy as we watch celebs twirl around in their designer wedding frocks. One of the reasons why celebrity weddings are so mediatized is because of the glamor and sophistication that usually surround these ceremonies. Extravagant wedding dress

So, if you’d always dreamt of having your very own celebrity wedding and if you can afford to splurge, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for it. After all, this is one of the most- if not the most- special day of your life so it’s quite important to make the absolute most out of it. Couples who are on a restricted budget can also have a celebrity-like wedding without having to spend more than their budget. Be sure to use a lot of imagination and try to indulge in some DYI in order to save up on money.

string quarter band

If you want to get married like a celebrity, the one thing that you should absolutely knock off is the overly funky band, DJ or, worse, stereo. Try to invest in a well-known string quartet band that will automatically bring a glamorous feel to your wedding. While you should of course have some upbeat songs that will lead your guests into some beautifully choreographed dance moves, it’s important for the first song to be something sophisticated and classical. Music from Swan Lake, Beethoven or even Mozart are all ultra-glamorous options for your first dance.

Extravagant wedding cake

Don’t be afraid to go for an extravagant wedding cake as well. As far as celebs go, the motto is “the taller, the better”, so, be sure to put as many tiers as you can afford on your wedding cake. And of course, it wouldn’t be a celeb-like wedding if not for a perfectly luxurious setting. Think white beaches, turquoise seas, stupendous villas, vineyards, forests and the likes. Celebrities never do things half-way so it’s important for you to indulge in some fabulous decors and aisle that’s bound to wow your guests.

Luxurious setting for wedding

Since the day’s focus will ultimately be on the bride, it’s crucial that she looks as radiant as possible. Do not hesitate to go for some dramatic makeup: Cleopatra eyes, glossy lips, bronzer, shimmer and blusher are your friends. Don’t neglect your nails as well. Most people will ask to look at your wedding ring so you should get a celeb-worthy manicure. Forget about boring painted nails and go for some nail art that includes rhinestones, glitter and swirly patterns.

Dramatic wedding makeup

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Posted in Cheongsam on Jun 03rd,2014
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Wedding reception buffet- catering to various dietary needs

Wedding receptions are never easy. While everything normally works out in the end, no one can deny that receptions involve an extraordinary amount of work, planning and careful consideration of each and every guest and their individual requirements. In fact, one of the toughest things that usually come with the reception buffet is trying to cater to different dietary needs.

Wedding buffet

Indeed, whether your guests are diabetics, lactose intolerant, vegans or vegetarians, couples should normally try to accommodate various dietary needs, a task that can seem infeasible for many. The good news is that, in most wedding receptions, you might have a maximum of two to three dietary requirements to cater for, unless you’re having a massively huge ceremony.

Guests eating from buffet

The easiest way to have plan the various types of food-related needs that you will have to cater for is to include a small note in the RSVP asking your guests to mention any special dietary requirements. This will help you have a general idea of what to expect on the big day. Having said that, no one can ignore how complicated and, more importantly, expensive it will be to include such a huge variety of dishes in your wedding buffet. If you’re on a limited budget, add a discreet note listing the types of meals that will be served at your reception.

Vegan buffet

However, if you can afford to splurge and want to make sure that all your friends and relatives are perfectly fed, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take their dietary requirements into consideration. Vegans, for example, will absolutely love having a special vegan wedding buffet table all to themselves. By the same token, if your wedding cake contains eggs, why not ask your baker to whip up a batch of eggless cupcakes for anyone who’s allergic to eggs? For a more dramatic look, you may even place the cupcakes around the wedding cake.

Eggless cupcakes

Vegetarian options are certainly not lacking on the market nowadays, which is why it’s probably going to be easy for your caterer to prepare several meatless, fishless and chicken-less options for your vegetarian guests. Tofu tacos, for instance, can be exquisitely delicious if properly prepared. In fact, you might even find your non-vegetarian friends reaching for the tofu tacos as well! Don’t forget to include a few eggless and vegan desserts as well. After all, if the iconic Ellen Degeneres could have a vegan red velvet wedding cake on her special day, why can’t you?

Tofu taco

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Jun 03rd,2014
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Decorating ideas for a blue wedding reception

Thanks to the age-old adage of “something blue”, blue is, by far, one of the most popular hues at weddings. The good news is that this is an extremely harmonious color to include in just about any setting. From the drapes or even to the aisle carpet, there certainly isn’t a lack of ways to incorporate blue in your wedding and reception. So, read on to learn how you can very easily bring this color to the forefront on your special day!

Ideas for blue wedding

Wedding cake

The one item that will certainly be on display at your reception, your wedding cake should preferably be done up in varying hues of blue in order to keep in line with the all-blue theme. In this case, couples usually have several options to choose from: for example, you may either go for an all-blue cake or a white and blue cake, or even a plain white cake with a blue cake topper. Adventurous couples might even ask their baker to add a few drops of blue food coloring to their cake batter for a more daring look.

Blue wedding cake

Table settings

If you want to adopt a blue themed wedding decor, one of the easiest ways is to incorporate this shade through the table settings. Indeed, the catering industry is practically brimming with blue tablecloths and napkins. There is one thing that you should bear in mind though: a blue wedding reception doesn’t mean that you should go crazy on this color. Far from being appealing, an overdose of blue might end up short of being sickening.

Blue table setting

It’s therefore crucial to properly balance the various colors and incorporate other tones in the overall decor. For example, a nice idea would be to select a napkin and a tablecloth made of two different shades of blue. Dark blue and turquoise, for example, go superbly well together. Alternatively, you may also go for an entirely contrasting combination such as blue and yellow. Blue-rimmed plate with an ivory surface will also complement your color scheme.

Blue wedding reception decor

Wedding favors and other decorations

Since wedding favors are usually lined up on a same table, a particularly pronounced effect would be to pack everything in the blue boxes or packaging, which will instantly draw attention to the overall theme. Of course, couples should also focus on a few other accents and decorations to liven up the blue theme. Blue candles, for instance, are fabulous choices to vamp up your reception decor.

Blue wedding favorsBlue candles

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