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Wedding Rehearsal Dinners: Pros and Cons

Considered as quite an important ceremony in some parts of the world, the wedding rehearsal dinner is usually a get-together that occurs straight after the actual rehearsal, on the eve of the ceremony. Attendees usually include the couples’ parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and a few close friends and relatives.
While some families are practically religious about the wedding rehearsal dinners, others host this ceremony simply because it’s the norm. But, bear in mind that wedding rehearsal dinners do not have to be an obligation. Indeed, not all of us can afford to host a rather expensive dinner prior to the actual wedding, while some others would rather invest their money in the reception. So, before you decide whether you’d like to throw a wedding rehearsal dinner or not, read on to familiarize yourself with a few pros and cons of this particular ceremony.

Wedding reception

Pros
There’s nothing like a lavish wedding rehearsal dinner to bring some extra panache to the overall day and get everyone in the mood for the wedding. This dinner also provides an excellent way for both the bride and groom to relax and personally thank their closest friends and families for all their help. Through the wedding rehearsal dinner, both the bride’s and the groom’s family will have a chance to spend more time together and hence get to know each other better.

Bride and groom

If you can afford it, don’t hesitate to go for an elegant wedding rehearsal dinner in a classy restaurant. Since it’s one of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies, it certainly needs to be done in an ultra-glamorous and sophisticated manner.

Formal elegant setting for rehearsal dinner

Cons
However, truth be told, not everyone can afford such a lavish party, especially with the wedding ceremony and reception happening the very next day. In some families, either the bride’s parents or the groom’s parents- or even both- usually offer to incur the costs associated with the dinner party. But, in most cases, this responsibility is taken by the couple itself.

Informal outdoors rehearsal dinner

If you’re on a limited budget, don’t hesitate about skipping the entire rehearsal dinner. Alternatively, consider going for a more toned-down version of the dinner. For example, you could always host it outside and turn it into an informal barbecue party. Consider turning it into a potluck dinner as well. Since everybody will be bringing something to eat, the costs are definitely going to be lower for the couple.

Potluck wedding rehearsal dinner

While wedding rehearsal dinners can be quite a lot of fun, the flip side of it is that they can also bring in some extra stress. Since it’s never easy to receive and entertain a lot of people at once, don’t hesitate to cut the guest list to the strict minimum, provided of course, that you do want to go along with the tradition of rehearsal dinners.

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Feb 18th,2014
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The biggest wedding planning blunders that you’ll ever make

While planning your wedding, it’s much too easy to give in to the temptation of going over the top, a step which unfortunately causes too many brides to give in to some of the biggest wedding planning blunders.
So, read on to learn about the worst mistakes you can make when planning your wedding– and how to very easily avoid them!

couple with too many bridesmaids

Keep your Bridesmaids to the strict minimum
A bridal magazine once did an exclusive feature on a couple who went for over a hundred bridesmaids for their special day. This is definitely one of the worst blunders that you can make on your special day. Not only will an avalanche of bridesmaids and groomsmen look completely out of place in your wedding pictures, they’ll certainly crowd up the aisle, making it hard for the test of the guests to see the ceremony. Besides, if most of your guests are up on the wedding altar with you, you’ll barely have anyone sitting down to watch your ceremony!

Uncomfortable heels

Wear comfortable shoes
Not wearing the proper pair of shoes will certainly dampen your day and result in blisters. As tempting as it is to go for skyscraping heels, try not to give in to this temptation. Of course, there’s no reason why you should go for flats: heels are okay as long as they’re comfortable and not overly tall. Platform and wedges are also ultra-comfortable choices because they provide support on both the balls and front of the feet.

Filming the wedding

Don’t rely on pictures only
Another crucial blunder that most couples seem to make is to only rely on pictures and photographers. However, a few years down the road, you’re going to look back at those pictures and bitterly regret the fact that you opt for a high-quality video of your special day. While your photographer can very easily film your special day as well, it does pay off to hire both a photographer and a videographer, provided that you can afford it, of course.

Designer wedding dresses

Wedding dress
Every little girl has an exact idea of how her wedding dress is going to look like one day. Unfortunately, when the same little girl grows up and steps foot into the bridal shop, there are rows and rows of dramatic dresses that can very easily shove your perfect gown out of the picture. Indeed, shopping for your wedding dress can be quite an overwhelming experience and many brides to be tend to get carried away. However, spending half of your wedding budget on a dress is not exactly the best idea. Bear in mind that you’ll never wear this dress again so if possible, try to stay far from overpriced designer dresses that sell their labels more than the actual frock.

Wedding dance

Go for more than slow, sentimental songs
While the first wedding dance is traditionally danced to a slow tune, several couples tend to make the huge blunder of going for nothing more than slow and sentimental songs for the reception. This will simply result in lulling all your guests to sleep. So, be sure to liven things up by alternating between slower songs and trendy, upbeat ones.

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Feb 14th,2014
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A Romeo and Juliet theme for your wedding

One of the most romantic screenplays ever penned, Romeo and Juliet will definitely serve as the perfect backdrop to your own romantic day. This play is so incredibly poignant that even if it’s been crafted several decades ago, it’s still one of the most talked-about scenarios. So, it certainly makes sense that you might want to infuse a deeply moving Romeo and Juliet theme to your wedding day. Best of all, this particular theme is quite affordable, which means that you can definitely indulge even if you’re on a restricted budget.

Romeo and Juliet wedding collage

The one thing that will definitely bring a pronounced Romeo and Juliet feel to your wedding day is the balcony. Indeed, the most poignant symbol of the play, the balcony certainly marks the beginning of Romeo and Juliet’s clandestine meetings and epic love. Of course, it would be quite unrealistic to imagine getting married on a balcony, and much too comical to imagine the groom standing underneath the balcony as he shouts his vows to the bride. You can, however, hold a photo-shoot on the balcony after the ceremony. If you don’t mind being on display, you can also hold the wedding toast section of the ceremony right on the balcony.

Bride and groom posing for pictures on balcony

It also goes without saying that both the bride and the groom will have to don Victorian or Periodic-like wedding attires. The bride, for example, can wear a long, straight satin dress with a small fishtail and train. It also pays off to go for a deeply romantic setting that includes a flowery arch. If you can afford it, never hesitate to hold your entire wedding in a forest clearing to enhance the Romeo and Juliet theme.

Old fashioned wedding dress and romantic setting

It’s also quite important to make sure that your wedding invitation is in perfect harmony with the overall theme. A modern, trendy invitation or stationary will certainly distract from the Romeo and Juliet theme, so, it’s much safer to go for old-fashioned styles that include cream or beige parchment with intricate patterns. Don’t neglect other aspects such as food, transportation and seating as well: a horse-drawn carriage, for instance, will most undoubtedly fly your guests back to the bygone days of Romeo and Juliet. Food-wise, consider going go for banquet tables and chairs, along with chalices or goblets for the wedding toast.

Old fashioned wedding invitationWedding scene from Romeo and Juliet movie

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Feb 10th,2014
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The Perfect At Home Wedding

If you’re on a limited budget or if you simply want to save your funds for your actual marriage instead of the ceremony, it’s always a good idea to get married at home. Of course, you can’t just wake up and decide to throw your wedding at home: there are quite a few things to take into consideration with space and location being the primary concerns.

At home wedding collage

For obvious reasons, you can’t have a home wedding if both your house and yard are on the small side. But, if you do have a large backyard, don’t hesitate to hold the ceremony outside to contain the mess while making the most out of a breezy spring or summer wedding.

Informal wedding reception in backyard

For starters, if you’re holding your home ceremony indoors, it’s crucial to decide where you will get married and clear the space while providing enough seating areas for your guests. Popular options include the living room or the front hall. If you’re lucky enough to have a large, sweeping staircase in your home, you may even get married on the staircase for a more romantic, rustic touch. In fact, the staircase is quite a fabulous place to pose for wedding pictures, because the angle will allow the bride’s dress to be displayed in all its majestic glory.

Bride in living roomBride coming downstairs for wedding

To enhance the festive feel, don’t hesitate to decorate your house with scented candles, dried rose petals, fresh bouquets and even fairy lights. If your home is on the large side or if you’re throwing a small, laidback wedding, don’t hesitate to hold your wedding reception right in your dining room, front porch or even kitchen. However, if space is a constraint, couples can even rent a tent or gazebo for a lavish reception in the backyard. Alternatively, you may even skip the gazebo and have an informal reception in the garden and in this case, you’re going to need a few garden furniture to accommodate your guests. A couple of long banquet tables and benches coupled with a few garden umbrellas for some extra shade will certainly do the trick.

Wedding reception in garden

As far as the decorations go, don’t hesitate to scatter around a few informal mementos such as pictures of the newly married couple pegged on the washing line or even some picture frames scattered around the buffet table. Most importantly, bear in mind that a home wedding is the perfect occasion to break the ice and create a more friendly, cozy and informal atmosphere where everybody will be able to relax while celebrating the start of a new life together.

Wedding in living room

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Feb 07th,2014
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Novel ideas for your Wedding Buffet

Guests love wedding buffets– that’s a well-known fact. We all adore the little canapes, starters and other little delicacies that made wedding buffets so much more popular than regular catering. So, if you’re planning on having a buffet instead of catering or a la carte menu, it’s certainly your chance to keep your guests happy and make them feel welcome.

Wedding buffet

There are, of course, a few things to take into consideration when you’re planning your wedding buffet. For instance, if you’re on a limited budget, it’s perfect acceptable to go for a regular buffet where drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts are served on the same table. However, if you can afford to splurge, don’t hesitate to go all the way and create a special buffet for each type of food. An emerging trend in contemporary weddings is to create a special Candy Buffet that will only hold various types of desserts. However, try not to be skimpy on desserts and be sure to think outside the box: forget about the traditional ice cream, flans or flambéed fruits. Try to go for something more original such as individual mini wedding cakes, S’mores, exotic-flavored Gelatos, grape and cheese platters, custard pies and the likes.

Wedding candy buffet

Another novelty idea would be to go for an All-Drinks buffet table as well. This section should contain all sorts of cocktails, liquors and non-alcoholic beverages. Couples who want to be fancier can of course go for the traditional champagne fountain, but, if you want to go for a more novel touch, try to present your guests with something more exotic. If you’re having a summer wedding, for example, don’t hesitate to serve some Pina Colada on the rocks. An ultra-special touch would be to garnish each cocktail glass with a slice of pineapple. In fact, you may even serve up the drinks in coconut shells. Of course, you’ll need to think of the kids as well and in this case, you have two options: you may either serve up some mock-tails on the drink buffet table or you can have a smaller buffet just for non-alcoholic drinks.

Wedding drink buffet

A salad bar is another novel ideas for your wedding buffet. Think restaurant-like salad bars with several types of dressings including Ranch, Island, Vinaigrette and the likes. For a more striking visual effect, it’s best to color-code the salads as you arrange them. By the same token, don’t hesitate to set up a buffet table just for appetizers and another one just for entrees. The most important thing to remember, though, is to provide enough finger-food to satisfy a wide variety of palettes. Also, make sure to have enough food for every guest: nothing screams tacky and stingy than a wedding reception where the food runs out mid-way!

Wedding salad barElaborate salad arrangement on wedding buffet

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Posted in Wedding Planning on Feb 07th,2014
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Some of the most touching Father-Daughter dance songs

One of the most touching moments after the wedding ceremony is undeniably the traditional Father-Daughter Dance. This is the moment where the father dances with his little girl for the first time after she’s officially married. In fact, the Father-Daughter dance is such a classic and emotional moment that even ultra-contemporary brides choose to incorporate this tradition into their wedding ceremonies, even if they skip all the other rituals and customs.

Touching moment between father and daughter

This special dance is also a way for the dad and daughter to relax and unwind after all the stress and tension following the wedding ceremony. A typically bittersweet moment, this dance is also where the two of them will be able to laugh and cry about all various memories leading up to the wedding and as the music slowly glides to a close, the father realizes that he finally has to let go of the woman who was once his little girl.

Collage of bride dancing with groom then with father

This is why it’s crucial to properly select the adequate song for your Father-Daughter dance. The first thing that you should bear in mind, however, is that you should try to avoid falling into clichés. You don’t have to select a certain song only because it’s a popular choice for Father-Daughter dances. The most important thing is that the song of your choice reflects the emotions between your father and you, even if it’s not a popular track.

Father Daughter dance

While some brides tend to go for the typical slow dancing songs, others choose to opt for upbeat and more contemporary tunes. Psy’s epic “Gangnam Style” song, for example, is the new track of the moment that various brides are selecting for their Father-Daughter dances. This certainly is the perfect tune if you’re looking for something preppy, fun and trendy. Other such songs include Guns and Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine”, Zepplin’s “Thank You”, Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow” or even Queen’s “You’re my Best Friend.”

Father daughter dance 2

Alternatively, if you’re the sort of bride who wishes to adhere to tradition and go for a slow-dancing song, bear in mind that Bob Dylan’s Butterfly Kisses is one of the most popular choices. Indeed, with lyrics such as, “She’ll change her name today. She’ll make a promise and I’ll give her away”, this song is definitely one that will tug at your heartstrings while allowing you to share an extremely special moment with your father. Another popular touching song is the classic “My Girl” by The Temptations, Jimmy Buffet’s “Little Miss Magic” and Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?”

Father walking daughter down the aisle

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Jan 11th,2014
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Unique edible treats for your wedding guests

We all want to thank our wedding guests for their presence, but sadly, too many couples have fallen into the cliched trap of offering the same usual edible treats of macaroons, tea sachets, chocolate-covered pretzels and the likes.However, if you want to be different, never hesitate to think way outside the box in order to provide your guests with some of the most unique edible treats they’ll ever get. Think mini pizzas, ice cream cups and other such treats that they won’t usually expect in a wedding. So, read on to familiarize yourself with some of the most unique edible wedding favors that will certainly bring a smile to your guests’ faces.

Edible wedding favours

Cronuts
The most-sought after pastry of the moment, Cronuts even got celebrities to queue up in front of the bakery at the crack of dawn just to lay their hands on one of these unique delicacies. Created by the award-winning New York bakery, the Dominque Ansel, this mouth-watering delicacy is a cross between a doughnut and a croissant. What makes it ultra-special is that the cronut is exceptionally hard to procure. Indeed, your guests are certainly going to appreciate the time and effort that you’ve invested in getting some of these incredibly delicious pastries for your guests. Just be careful to order the cronuts at least two months in advance though.
In fact, for an ultra-special touch, the couple can even hand out two mini cronut in a box, with each pastry bearing the name or initial of the bride and groom.

Cronuts in a wedding favor box

Individual mini wedding cakes
Forget about boring slices: a rare and unique edible treat, the mini wedding cake allows each guest to go home with his or her own treat. If you can afford it, as your baker to mold the individual cake after your real wedding cake.

Mini wedding cake

Try to go beyond the traditional fruit cake as well. These tend to be quite heavy and dry and you certainly don’t want that in your mini wedding cake. Instead, don’t hesitate to explore new, different flavors such as chocolate mousse, peach, raspberry or even a layered vanilla and almond cake.

Mini pizzas

Thank you chocolate bars
Who doesn’t love chocolates? Even the most body-conscious dieter can weaken in front of a dark, shiny, caramel and nut-stuffed bar of chocolate. These incredibly delicious pieces of candies are guaranteed to melt just about any guest’s heart. To take things up to the next level, you may even ask for special messages to be printed on the chocolate bar. “Thank you”, or “Best Wishes” are definitely the sort of messages that will bring a personal touch to your edible wedding favor.
If you’re getting married during the summer, it’s a good idea to wrap the chocolate in foil and keep them on ice until it’s time to serve them up. Try not to stick to just plain old milk chocolate either: cherry, coffee or tiramisu-flavored bars will certainly impress your guests while making them feel ultra-welcome.

Thank you chocolates

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Jan 11th,2014
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The most popular types of wedding cakes

Fruitcake, Framboise-flavoured cake, Genoise, chocolate mousse cakes…the list of wedding cake is endless. It can therefore be quite tough for the couple to decide which cake they want to settle for. In fact, since Prince William was unable to make his mind up, he ended up requesting two cakes for his own wedding. But then again, not all of us belong to the British Monarchy with millions to spend on our special day.

Married couple and Wedding Cake
Therefore, since most of us will only have one wedding cake, it’s quite important invest the proper time and effort in selecting the perfect masterpiece. After all, your wedding cake isn’t just any other cake: it’s the one edible objet that will most certainly set off the whole mood and theme of the reception. Besides, selecting a wedding cake is so much more than going to cake tastings. There are quite a lot of important decisions to be made, from the number of tiers to the cake stand, toppers, table, setting and decorations among others. However, all these decisions will ultimately rest on the type of wedding cake that you’re going to go for.

wedding-cake-and-cupcakes
Thankfully, the market is oozing with a wide variety of wedding cakes for you to choose from, the most popular type being the British fruitcake. Present in just about any English wedding, the wedding fruitcake has a rich, thick batter with delicious pieces of dried or fresh fruit that invade the palate with every bite. This wedding cake very often features a thick white royal icing but modern couples often go for red and white, pink, yellow, brown or even white and black icing.

Wedding cake decoration
Since the fruitcake is on the heavier side, more and more couples are embracing lighter and more delicate, albeit, complex flavours. Light Genoise is quite a common choice these days and such cakes are usually separated into various tiers with each tier bearing a different flavour. This way, the couple can, for instance, select chocolate for the first tier, vanilla for the second, peach mousse for the third and so forth. The traditional Royal Icing is also gradually being replaced by fondant or ganache frosting. However, Royal Icing is still being used to create those beautiful flowers, birds and other such intricate decorations that are commonly used to embellish wedding cakes.

Croquembouche
Couples who want to step out of the crowd and go for something more original may even go for an arrangement of dainty cupcakes stacked on top of each other. In fact, most French weddings completely omit the wedding cake and instead go for the traditional Croquembouche which basically consists of choux pastry balls bound together with woven caramel and burnt sugar. Highly classy and elegant, this typically French dessert can be enhanced by adding some sugared violets here and there or by wrapping a thick, gleaming ribbon of semi-soft caramel around the entire arrangement.

Sugared flowers on wedding cake
Of course, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t defy tradition and go for the type of wedding cake which will reflect your personality. For example, if the couple is into Goth culture, they can always go for a Gothic wedding cake crafted in white, red and black or simply red and black.

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Posted in Wedding CeremoniesWedding Planning on Dec 24th,2013
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A few special touches to make your guests feel welcome

Weddings are all about the bride and groom. That’s a given. Yet, there are quite a few friends and relatives who took the time and effort out of their own busy schedules to attend your special day. So, it’s quite important to make them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. A few snacks, some beverages and a charming mini hand fan are all among the various items that will enhance the comfort of just about any wedding guest.

Guests attending wedding
Yes, there certainly will be cocktails after the ceremony. Still, if you’re planning a backyard, beach or any other outdoor wedding on a scorching summer’s day, it’s always a good idea to provide your guests with some refreshing beverage of some sort which they can sip on during the actual ceremony. After all, wedding etiquette dictates that you make your guests feel as welcome and comfortable as you possibly can and you wouldn’t want them to dribble with sweat as they watch you exchange vows, would you? Fancier beverage options include mini bottles of deliciously chilled champagne or refreshing cocktails in the likes of Pina Coladas or Mojitos. But, if you’re on a limited budget, don’t worry: even a small bottle of cold water will do the trick. Placing a vintage hand fan or sunglasses on the seats will also help to keep wedding guests cool during a summer or spring wedding.

Chocolate snacks for wedding guests
Similarly, if you’re planning a winter wedding, don’t hesitate to present your guests with hot beverages before they take their seats. The most popular options include mulled wine or cider, hot whiskey, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. If you want, you can even throw in a small square of dark chocolate to nibble on during the ceremony.

Decorated wedding chairs
Of course, it’s also extremely important to select adequate seats for your guests, especially if you’re going to have a long ceremony. We all know that wedding chairs tend to get comfortable after half an hour. So, if the ceremony’s going to be longer than that, it’s recommended to invest in some comfortable chair cushions. Plastic or wooden seats are certainly less hard and more comfortable than iron ones. To add a festive look to the entire affair, you can also use glittery organza and bows to decorate the chairs- or pews if you’re getting married in a church. Another nice touch would be to hang a small potpourri or bouquet on the back or side of the chair for the guests to take home after the wedding.

Wedding cocktail

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Dec 24th,2013
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Wedding Cupcake Ideas

A wedding isn’t a wedding without the cakes. What if you decide to skip on the dessert table just because you want to keep everything “well within” the budget? Nope, that wouldn’t do. You ought to have some sweet cakes on your big day. Here’s an alternative to having those expensive fondant cakes – wedding cupcakes! Wedding cupcakes have the potential to level up with those wedding cakes. Here are ideas on how you can style your wedding cupcakes to meet or even surpass the wedding cake level.

lovenotes

Plant in some love notes
Aside from making each cupcake the cutest with all those laces and colorful ribbons, a witty thing that you can do is to plant some notes in your cupcakes. You can have a bunch of “I Do’s” for the wedding cake cupcakes and a bunch of Thank You cupcake notes on the ones that you will be distributing to your guests.

layer cupcakes

Layer those cuppies
As they say, large things start with small beginnings. Same is true with wedding cupcakes. You can get a cupcake stand and place all your cupcakes in there. It’ll be like a towering cake made up of little cupcakes. You could hire a caterer to do this for you.

cupcake patterns

Create a whole picture from your mini cakes
Another thing that you can do with cupcakes that you can’t do on wedding cakes is creating a large picture out of the little cupcakes. You can arrange the cupcakes on a square tray and you could create a huge design through the mini cupcakes. The design would be greatly appreciated when viewed from the top. You could spell out your names or you could put a phrase, “Just married!” on top.

rustic cupcakes

Experiment the cupcakes with your theme
An alternative to cupcake trays are tree barks positioned on top of each other. Of course, you have to clean out the circular barks first and make sure that they’re presentable enough to land the honor of holding your mini cupcakes. This type of design would be appropriate for a rustic wedding.

Cupcake-Topper
Pick out an unlikely cupcake topper
Lastly, just to thrill your guests and deviate from the norms, you could pick out a cupcake topper that is unique. If you’re having a whimsical garden wedding, then you could put a rosebud on top of the cupcake. Or, you could use those edible flowers.

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Posted in Wedding Planning on Dec 19th,2013