They’ve taken care of all the fussy little details like the cake, seating arrangement, aisle decorations and maybe even your wedding dress. They’ve helped you plan the wedding and reception and have most likely thrown a stupendous bridal shower for you. They’ve even agreed to wear whatever puffy, cupcake-like bridesmaid dresses that you’ve chosen for them! These special ladies have been there for you every step of the way and they certainly deserve a gift as a token of your appreciation for their support.
Indeed, no bride will be able to keep a cool and collected head without the unflinching support of her bridesmaids. The tradition of giving a special present to each bridesmaid dates from quite a long time and it’s an excellent way of showing these ladies how grateful you are for their help. Best of all, the wedding industry is practically brimming with a wide assortment of presents that are especially destined for bridesmaids and maids of honors. So, whether you want to gift them something sentimental, engraved or humorous, you can be sure to find something that your bridesmaids will forever cherish.
One of the most popular- and useful- present is the matching bridesmaids’ bathrobes. Available in a plethora of colors, designs and fabrics, this is the one gift that certainly represents the unity and harmony that usually links your special girls together. If you can afford it, don’t hesitate to have a discreet monogram as well as the date printed on the sleeve of each bathrobe. Other memorable presents that you can give to your bridesmaids include elegant pieces of jewelry. Lockets bearing each bridesmaid’s initials, for instance, will definitely please the ladies. Charm bracelets or even anklets are other bridesmaids’ gifts which they’ll certainly appreciate.
To illustrate the close bond between the bride and her closest friends, why don’t you ‘officially’ invite each lady to be your bridesmaid by sending them a personalized invitation? Indeed, the invitation is the best time to present them with their bridesmaids’ gifts: you can either pin the invitation to the present or, more elegantly, hand them their gifts before presenting them with the invitation. Don’t forget that the presents don’t have to be identical either, especially if your bridesmaids have different tastes. Whichever gift you choose to go for, bear in mind that it has to reflect your appreciation and love towards these ultra-special women who will turn your wedding ceremony into a positively magical day.
With the decline in old-fashioned wedding ceremonies in favor of trendier, more cutting-edge ones, several couples are gradually skimming all those traditions that were once deemed crucial at any wedding. For instance, brides are now open to various other attires instead of the classic white dress, while grooms are discarding the traditional black tux for colored ones. Another trend that is quickly gaining in popularity at most weddings is the charitable wedding favors.
Therefore, instead of handing guests some chocolate truffles in a box, couples are now donating to various charitable institutions. That is quite a fantastic idea because it allows you- and your guests- to give something back on your special day. The good news is that there are hundreds, if not more, charitable institutions that are willing to help you offer such wedding favors in a polite and tactful manner which is bound to impress your guests.
The sort of charitable wedding favor that you will go for ultimately depends on what causes you and your guests feel strongly about. A good idea would be to contact each guest prior to the wedding and make a list of all the causes they would like to donate to. This is also a tactful way to let your guests that charitable donations will be made instead of the typical favors. Some people might opt for cancer research, while others might choose to go for animal rescues or shelters, but whichever institution you choose to go for, be sure to take their choices into consideration.
Another nice touch would be to contact the institution and arrange for them to print a personalized thank you note for each wedding guest. Alternatively, if you do want to give them something to thank them for attending your wedding, why don’t you hand each guest a chocolate truffle or fudge along with a note from the charity of their choice?
Some couples even like to go all the way and ask each guest to donate to a select charity instead of bringing a wedding present. After all, it would be quite rude to take their gifts and not give one in return. In the end, however, opting for charitable wedding favors is a deeply personal choice and one that should be approached with quite a lot of tact. A big no-no would be to go for charitable favors in larger scale weddings: this is not something that all your guests might appreciate, which is why it’s important to choose this option only among close friends and relatives.
Weddings are always full of traditions and rituals that bring a charming, rather old-fashioned feel to them. There’s nothing more romantic than reciting the ever-lasting vows that have been recited by countless other brides for centuries, or tossing the bouquet in the same age-old gesture. From the wedding kiss to showering the new couple with rice, there are quite a few rituals that find their places in the actual ceremonies. Indeed, if you’re one who abides by traditions, you’re certainly going to enjoy the following list of popular wedding traditions from around the world.
Painting the hands, legs and arms
In India and some Arabic countries, a lavish ceremony is usually held on the eve of the wedding to decorate and adorn the bride with red body paint and black henna. Using a plastic cone, a designated female relative decorates the bride’s hands and feet. In some cases, the guests’ hands are also adorned with henna. A common tradition in India is to trace the groom’s initials on the bride’s hands, amidst the various patterns and designs.
Breaking the glass
In some Jewish cultures, it is customary for the groom to stamp on a cloth-covered glass bottle right after the ceremony. In some cases, a light bulb can be used instead of the bottle. This ritual is to remind the guests and the new couple that too much joy should be tempered. Some Jewish families believe that the sound of breaking glass will chase away the demons that manage to pass through the timeframe between the married and unmarried status of the happy couple. Breaking the glass is usually followed by happy cheers of “Mazel Tov!”
Stepping over the broom
In some African and Romanian cultures, the groom and bride usually step over an ornately decorated broom before walking back down the aisle as a married couple. In our contemporary time, this gesture symbolizes love, good luck and harmony in their marriage. However, this tradition dates back to the time of slavery where slaves weren’t allowed to get married. Hence, young couples in love used to jump over a broom and declare themselves married.
In Romania, southwest England and Wales, couples usually jump over brooms that have been placed over the threshold before entering their new homes together. This tradition ultimately coined the popular phrase “jumping the broom” to refer to marriage.
Weddings are traditionally geared and planned by the brides. We all know that. This is why wedding cakes usually tend to be more on the fluffy white or pink side. However, if you want to do something special for your new husband, why not go for a typically masculine cake instead?
The sad truth is that there are some couples out there who want to break the norm of having a typical wedding cake, but most of them are afraid or intimidated to take the plunge. This is the worst thing that you can do: Don’t forget that your wedding day is about you and only about you. So, if you want to toss a classic cake in favor of a groom’s cake, do it!
Don’t underestimate the importance of wedding toppers as well. The most popular groom’s cake are very often enhanced by humorous toppers that depict scenes such as the bride dragging the groom to the altar or flinging a lasso at him. Indeed, weddings are solemn ceremonies but there’s no reason why they should be boring as well. Never hesitate to indulge in some humor- even risque ones. Best of all, these toppers can very easily find a place of pride on your mantelpiece in many years to come.
Of course, beer cakes definitely find their place in the list of the most epic groom’s cake. In this case, the couple can either go for a can-shaped cake with the beer name written upon it, or, if you’re lucky enough to have an experimental baker, ask him to create a beer-based fondant which will wow your adult guests. The symbol of manliness by excellence, a chilled, robust beer can also be served alongside the wedding cake instead of the customary champagne.
If your man is an avid fan of photography, why not surprise him with a camera-shaped wedding cake instead? Similarly, motorcycle buffs will certainly find their joy in a rugged Harley Davidson cake. The most important thing is not to be afraid to experiment and push the boundaries until you create the one cake that’s bound to make your new groom smile- even if you have to go for the most outrageous cake designs.
After all, let’s not forget that brides ultimately have the final words in most wedding preparations- something which can make the groom feel a bit left out. A funny, albeit thoughtful groom’s cake is therefore bound to strum your man’s heartstrings while showing him how much he means to you.
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 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.
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.
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.