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The best locations for a France Destination Wedding

Globally acclaimed as the country of love, France certainly provides an array of exquisitely romantic locations that would please just about any couple. From the various French Castles to the numerous vineyards or even the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop, you can be sure to find something that suits your liking and your budget. So, to make things just a bit easier for you, here’s a list of some of the best locations for a France Destination Wedding.

Married couple in front of Eiffel tower

Ancient French Castles to sway the night away
France is practically brimming with ancient castles which offer different types of wedding packages to meet your expectations. In fact, most of them even offer overnight services which will allow you and your guests to spend the entire night like royalty. Stunningly picturesque, most of these castles are made up of lavish albeit tasteful hues of gold, purple and imperial red. If you want an entirely stress-free wedding, you can rest assured that the castle will provide a full wedding planning package for you.

Wedding ceremony in French castle

French Riviera
Undoubtedly one of the most popular French wedding locations, the French Riviera has an intensely dreamy, almost magical feel to it. Nestled right next to the breezy French beaches, this place has quite a lot of venues including wineries, hotels, beaches, villas, restaurants, private domains or, more luxuriously, yachts.

French Riviera wedding

Chateaux de Versailles Garden
To feel like royalty on your special day, why not book the Trianon Palace Versailles as your location? Indeed, this particular location will allow you to get married in the midst of the lush, colorful and magnificently kept garden of the famous Chateau de Versailles. These gardens will most definitely provide you with a highly romantic setting that will bring a fairy-tale like atmosphere to your special day. Since this is such a popular destination wedding venue, you can be sure to find the bespoke package just for you.

Married couple in Chateaux de Versailles garden

The Old Cognac Estate
This French wedding destination location is so popular that it’s recommended to book it quite a few months in advance. With several bedrooms for those who want to spend the night. This stately manor is seated in the midst of an incredibly wide cognac-making estate which is bound to wow nature buffs. Whether you want to get married in the great outdoors or have a rustic and cozy ceremony inside the manor, you can count on the Old Cognac Estate to provide you with the dreamiest, most romantic setting for your special day.

old cognac estate in France

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Posted in Topic WeddingWedding Theme on Mar 01st,2014
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Highlights of a Muslim wedding reception

Muslim themed wedding ceremonies tend to be on the shorter side, but, the reception can be quite a lavish affair that stretches across the span of several days. While everyone has their own family traditions and personal way of celebrating their reception, there are a few rituals that find their place in just about any Muslim wedding party. For example, since the color green is considered as being quite a lucky hue in Islam, most receptions are centered around a green setting to bring good luck and prosperity to the newlywed couple.So, here are some of the most popular highlights of a Muslim wedding reception.

Muslim wedding reception

Imam Zamin
Also known as the unveiling part of the ceremony, the “Imam Zamin” is the part where the couple sits on a well-decorated elevated platform for the groom to remove the bride’s veil. In India and Pakistan, the bride isn’t allowed to display her face until she’s officially a married woman. The public gesture of the groom unveiling his bride’s face for the first time is considered as one of the most romantic moments of the post-wedding ceremony.
Afterwards, the groom’s parents and relatives line up in front of the elevated platform to present the bride with various types of presents such as sweets, silk and jewelry. The bride’s mother in law also ties a single golden coin wrapped in a silk cloth around her arm for good luck.

Muslim couple seated on elevated platform after wedding

Walima
The ‘Walima’ is the feasting section of the ceremony, where the newlyweds and all the guests gather around several buffet tables laden with food. From ‘biryanis’ to tagines, hummus and pita dips, rice, fish, lamb and chicken, Muslim receptions are certainly oozing with exotic delicacies. Fertility-inducing dishes, as well as food considered as aphrodisiacs are often served as well and these include almonds and dates.
Because of some Arabic dietary restrictions, shellfish and alcohol are not served during the Walima and the guests toast with some alcohol-free champagne instead.

Walima Muslim reception feast

The Parade of the Muslim Bride
Muslim brides often change out of their bridal attire after signing the wedding contract. They usually show up at the reception in elaborate and heavily-decorated dresses and are paraded around the room to meet all the guests. In some cases, the bride is even carried over some of the guests’ shoulders and paraded around the room to meet everyone. The ceremony officially ends when the bride is finally placed back on her feet.

Muslim bride and groom

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Posted in Muslim Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Feb 27th,2014
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Planning a spooky but elegant Halloween wedding

If you’re getting married towards the end of October, why not go all the way and throw a Halloween wedding? Fun, spooky, mysterious but elegant at the same time, a Halloween wedding will provide your guests with a lifetime worth of memories! Best of all, you don’t even have to stay within the norms and limits of a regular wedding. You want to dress up as the bride of Frankenstein on your special day? Go for it! The good thing about a Halloween wedding is that it provides everyone with the chance to loosen up and dress up in the scariest or most outrageous costumes ever!

Halloween wedding collage 1

Indeed, don’t hesitate to ask your guests to wear any costume of their choice. You can do this by adding a small postscript at the end of your Halloween wedding invitation. Speaking of which, it’s quite important to make sure that your invitation matches the overall theme of the day. Skip the usual pastels, beiges and pinks in favor of typical Halloween colors such as orange and black. Make sure to accessorize and personalize your card by adding some black feathers or even a few black plastic spiders in the envelope; something which is bound to spook your guests and prepare them for the big day!

Halloween wedding invitation

Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries either: Eccentric bridal accessories will not only enhance the Halloween theme but they’ll also look amazing in pictures. A large, gothic-style hand fan, chunky silver jewelry, dark birdcage veils and other such items will certainly add an eccentric and mysterious touch to your attire. As far as the drinks and food are concerned, go for a typical Halloween buffet. However, it’s not a bad idea to mix and match the gory Halloween food with classier dishes. After all, you do want to make sure that the faint-hearted guests at your wedding do have something to eat too!

halloween bridal attire and accesories

A Halloween wedding can be an extremely tasteful albeit fun affair if done properly. Couples who don’t want to go all the way can infuse a few light Halloween touches here and there. Wedding placeholders shaped like vampire teeth or a long black Dracula-style drape around the groom’s shoulders will certainly add a discreet touch of spookiness. Lights also play a very important role in setting the mood so stock up on some giant candles to add a mysterious feel to the room. If you’re afraid of fire hazards, substitute real candles for LED ones for the same effect.

Halloween wedding collage 2Guests wearing halloween costume

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Posted in Wedding Theme on Feb 26th,2014
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The most popular traditions in Jewish receptions

No one can say that Jewish receptions are dull and un-exciting. On the opposite, these celebrations are extremely grandiose and filled with a variety of festive rituals that date from quite a long while back. From the blessing of the Challah to the breaking of the glass or even the world-famous chair dance, Jewish receptions are all about spirituality, love, merriment and a deep sense of family and belonging. As soon as the official wedding ceremony is over, the bride and the groom both retreat to a room for some alone time together. Afterwards, they emerge for a highly festive reception ceremony.

Jewish wedding collage

One of the main and most coveted tradition which is present in nearly all Jewish reception is the “S’eudah Mitzvah.” This ritual mainly dictates that fertility-inducing dishes are served at the after-wedding party. These includes a variety of Kosher treats, couscous, salmon, tuna sushi, roast meat, chicken, artichoke and the likes. Desserts are usually dairy-based and crafted from almonds, coconut milk, pistachios, almonds, raisins, dates and the likes. Since the bride and the groom usually fast for a few days before the wedding, an extremely elaborate feast is prepared for them.

The Challah

However, before the feast begins, the newly-weds and the guests- under the supervision of a Rabbi- opens the reception with the Blessing of the Challah. This tradition is centered around an intricately braided bread which the guests share before starting the meal. Either the couple’s close relatives or a select guest can accompany the Rabbi during the Blessing of the Challah.

Jewish wedding

Afterwards, the feast ends with another tradition known as the Birkat Hamazon. After the meal, several wedding blessings are repeated in another prayer session. Prayer books are distributed among the guests and religious leaders usually preside over the blessing ceremony. Then, the couple pours two glasses of wine into a single one, hence representing the start of a new life together.

Jewish wedding reception

Another extremely fun Jewish wedding reception ritual is the “Hora”.Also known as the chair dance, the “Hora” is a tradition whereby several guests gather around to lift the bride and the groom above their heads in their chairs. Quite similar to a wild crowd-surfing, the bride and groom are repeatedly bounced up and down as they struggle to keep their balance. Rhythmic Jewish folklore songs such as “Hava Nagila” are often played during the chair dance. Afterwards, the newlywed couple sits on an elevated platform or stage while their guests dance for their entertainment. To add a touch of infectious humor to the dances, some friends also dress up in humorous costumes and masks.

Traditional chair dance

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Posted in Jewish Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Feb 25th,2014
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Muslim weddings: A guide to the various pre-wedding rituals

Muslim weddings are always full of age-old rituals and traditions which the couple has to follow both prior to and after the ceremony. Rich in customs, colors, music and food, these weddings will definitely enthrall any guest. Every Muslim wedding is different, with each family trying to incorporate its own tradition in the special day. For example, while some brides choose to don a traditional white dress, others like to deck up in sequined oriental clothes for their wedding. One ritual which is present in every single Muslim household, however, is the prayer session which is held right before the “Nikkah”, or marriage ceremony.

Muslim bride in white dress

Indeed, Muslim weddings usually open with a plethora of rituals which are thought to bring prosperity, luck and joy to both the bride and the groom. So, read on to families yourself with the various pre-wedding rituals that usually accompany Muslim weddings.

Prayers before Nikkah

Purifying bath
In Pakistan, elderly male relatives often visit the groom to watch him take a purifying bath on the eve of the wedding. Brides on the other hand, are accompanied to the boathouse by female relatives. Wealthier families also hire a troop of dancers and musicians to serenade the bride during her ritual bath.
Egyptian Muslim brides usually take a bath in water drawn from the Nile prior to their wedding because this water is considered to be extremely purifying. In Saudi Arabia, a team of female relatives usually help the bride get ready for her special day by bathing and waxing her.

Muslim wedding stage

Mehndi Party
Like Hindu pre-wedding rituals, Muslim families also hold a “Mehndi” Party where the bride’s hands, arms and legs are adorned with henna. This is usually held among lavish celebrations where everyone dances to wedding-related songs. Instead of a band, elderly female relatives usually gather around to sing traditional and folkloric songs during the henna application. In Muslim cultures, henna is thought to bring good luck to the bride while protecting her from any evil eye. Not unlike the customary Western Bridal shower, guests often bring various presents of silk, food, jewelry and other ornaments for the bride.

Tumeric ceremony

The “Gae Halud” or Turmeric Ceremony
In some- but not all- Muslim families, a special Turmeric Ceremony is held either one day or a few hours before the wedding. Traditionally known as the “Gae Halud Ceremony”, this pre-wedding ritual opens with the groom’s mother sliding a single gold bracelet up the bride’s wrist to signify her acceptance in the family. Afterwards, the bride sits on an ornately decorated stage and various relatives line up to apply a touch of turmeric to her face. This particular spice is thought to purify and polish the skin, hence beautifying the bride for the big day. A sweet rice-based dessert is separately fed to both the bride and the groom after the ceremony.

Mehendi ceremony

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Posted in Muslim Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Feb 25th,2014
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Pros and Cons of a Pure White Wedding Decor

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.

Black and white wedding 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.

All white wedding aisle and altar decor

Pros
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.

White table setting

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.

Groom wearing white

Cons
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.

White wedding dresses

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.

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Why should you go for a destination wedding?

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.

Destination wedding on an exotic holiday

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.

Destination wedding on beach

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.

Destination wedding with only close friends and family

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.

Flying off to Destination wedding

Destination wedding

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.

Destination wedding

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Girly and Romantic touches for your special Pink Wedding

There’s nothing like a few touches of pink to bring a hefty dose of girlishness and romance to your wedding day. Whether you choose to go for a flirty pale pink or a bolder shade of this same color, there’s no doubt about it: Pink is the one color that’s guaranteed to add charm and coziness to just about any wedding reception.

Different romantic touches for pink wedding

To bring some girly and romantic touches to your pink-themed wedding, it’s particularly important to focus on the cake, the dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses as well as the party favors. Indeed, these are types of accents that will automatically set the tone for your special day.

Girly bridesmaid dresses

While some brides don’t mind donning a pink dress, other traditionalist ladies can easily slip into their typical white wedding attire while the bridesmaids dress up in frilly, girly pink frocks. For a more romantic touch, try to go for knee-length and sleeves bridesmaid dresses with flared, flirty hems. Of course, there’s no reason why the groom shouldn’t get into the spirit of the occasion as well by donning a pink tux- or at the very least, a pink shirt or tie with a black tux.

Girly cupcakes with bows

As far as the dessert buffet goes, you can very easily infuse a romantic touch by going for decadent cupcakes with pink icing in the form of bows. Sprinkles, of course, are the ultimate girlish accessory by excellence so ask your baker to decorate your wedding cake and cupcakes with a generous amount of sprinkles. If you don’t want to serve cupcakes at the reception, bear in mind that you can very easily hand them out as wedding favors.

Pink lights for a romantic and girly reception

Another easy way to bring a girly and romantic touch to your pink-themed wedding is by playing with lights: soft pink and lavender lights will not only bring an ethereal glow to the wedding party, but they’ll also create the ultimate loved-up atmosphere, especially during slow dances and songs.

Pink centerpieces for a more girly look

Table settings and centerpieces should also be selected with extreme care: an overly sophisticated setting will definitely distract from the girly and romantic theme, but try not to go overboard either. Helium balloons and confetti belong to kid’s birthday parties: you want to be girly, not childish, so opt for pink napkins or pink, black and white flower arrangements.

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A Shabby Chic setting for your special day

Contrary to popular belief, a shabby chic decor has absolutely nothing to do with shabby and poorly arranged decorations. Quite on the contrary, this particular setting is richly infused with warm pastels, white lace and glorious touches of vintage. With such exquisite touches and accents, it’s no wonder that a Shabby Chic decor is one of the most popular choices for vintage-theme weddings. The couple doesn’t even need to have an over the limit budget to go for this theme: all you need is plenty of imagination, some creativity and a hefty dose of fun! So, read on to learn how you can very easily bring a Shabby Chic touch to your vintage theme wedding.

Shabby Chic wedding collage

Soft hues and tones
The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to skip the bold, brazen colors such as reds, blues, blacks, browns and the likes. A Shabby Chic setting is all about soft pastels and warm hues such as pale pink, yellow, pale green, soft marine blue, beige, ecru, ivory, pale gold, white, eggshell and the likes. Best of all, this is quite an easy color combination to go for, especially if you opt for a traditional white dress.

Shabby Chic wedding dress and bouquet

Don’t hesitate to dress up your bridesmaids in similar soft hues as well. Yellow and beige bridesmaids dresses are quite popular in Shabby Chic vintage weddings. As far as the wedding cake goes, stick to pale tints such as white and yellow. The same applies for your wedding bouquet: white, yellow and pink roses will look incredible when held up against your Shabby Chic dress. Don’t forget that Princess-cut, flared ball gowns are not exactly the best options for this theme: instead, favor vintage-style dresses such as straight or mermaid-style frocks crafted from lace or satin.

Shabby Chic bride and bridesmaids

Wedding favors and Invitations
Forget about ultra-contemporary wedding favors. To create the perfect atmosphere for a Shabby Chic vintage theme wedding, it’s always recommended to opt for homemade and rustic-like favors. Jars of homemade jam, for instance, are guaranteed to delight just about any wedding guest. Other such options include scented soap bars, vintage-style candles and aromatherapy sets are all fabulous options.

Shabby Chic wedding favors

Don’t forget that the wedding invitations also play an important role in setting the perfect mood, so make sure to go for old-fashioned parchments and Italian script prints. Most agencies are quite flexible so be sure to discuss your ideas with them beforehand.

Shabby Chic wedding invitation

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Posted in Topic WeddingVintage Theme WeddingsWedding Theme on Feb 11th,2014
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Contrasting shades that will liven up any Brown-themed wedding

While brown themed weddings are undoubtedly brimming with elegance and class, too much brown may bring a rather boring look to your reception or wedding ceremony. Of course, you want to send off a stunningly sophisticated vibe and a chocolate-explosion look doesn’t exactly scream class and elegance. The easiest technique to ease up on an overload of brown hues is to provide an array of contrasting shades that will provide a beautiful contrast with your various decorations and accents.

Brown theme wedding

Instead of going for an all-brown clothes scheme, the bride can don a traditional white dress while the groom dresses up in brown. Brides who want a brown touch on their wedding dress can, for example, go for a white frock with a brown sash. Gold and brown, cream and brown or even yellow and brown are other combinations that will make you look ultra-glamorous on your special day.

Groom in brown tux

Another easy option to create a contrasting pattern would be to dress each bridesmaid in a different shade of brown. Since red and orange provide fabulous contrasts to brown, don’t hesitate to opt for a bouquet with brown accents arranged among various other tones such as red, orange, green, white and pink.

Wedding dresses in contrasting shades of brown

Of course, the wedding cake is another important feature that will set off the overall tone of your wedding but don’t give in to the temptation of going for an all-brown cake. Not only will this look acutely boring, but an all-brown cake can very easily fade into the background instead of standing out. A particular popular trend is to vertically ice each side of the cake into a different hue. Brown and white, for instance, is quite a lovely contrast that will easily add some extra flair to the reception.

Brown and white wedding cake

As far as the wedding favors go, remember that you can very easily use wrapping paper and tissues to create an easy contrasting effect. A particularly appealing look would be to place your favors in brown bags with red tissues poking through the top. If you’re going for boxes instead of bags, make sure to select wooden boxes which you can accessorize with red, gold or orange sparkles. Never neglect the visual effect of place settings either: they can very easily liven up any reception, so make sure to properly select your napkins, plates, cutlery and name cards. A gold-rimmed plate with a dark brown napkin and gold napkin ring will certainly show off your fabulous taste while enhancing the contrasting impact.

Bridal bouquet with brown accents

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