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A Brief Introduction to Indian Weddings

Extremely lavish, with several important ceremonies that span over the course of several days, Indian theme weddings are absolutely dazzling in terms of colors, food, accessories and jewelry. If you do want to throw an Indian theme wedding, however, bear in mind that it’s extremely important to familiarize yourself with all the various norms and traditions that are rooted within this culture prior to the ceremony. In fact, while most Occidental, white-dress weddings usually last for an average of an hour or less, Indian weddings can very often last for an entire week. A more “toned down” aspect of Indian themed wedding, on the other hand, can last for a minimum of three days, with each day dedicated for a particular ceremony.

Indian bride in traditional indian wedding gown

A few days prior to the wedding, for example, Indian families usually hold a traditional ceremony which includes dances, songs and henna application on the bride’s hands, arms and legs. This ceremony is often packed with various friends and relatives, with several of the older female relative singing wedding-related songs. Henna is also applied to the bride’s sisters, cousins and closest friends. This particular day is often considered as a very family-friendly, joyful and colorful bachelorette party, since it mostly involves women. This ceremony usually goes on for two to three days, with several relatives flocking to the bride’s place to help with decorations and table settings, especially in the absence of a wedding planner.

Indian bride and groom with bridesmaid and groomsman

Another very important ceremony that usually occurs on the eve of the actual wedding is known as the “Haldi” ceremony, or saffron application ceremony. This even takes place at both the bride’s and groom’s places, usually in their own homes. In this ceremony, the bride and groom are seated on an elevated platform, holding a bowl of crushed, slightly liquefied saffron and a grass brush in their hands. One by one, each relative gets on the stage and dips the grass brush into the saffron before applying it to the groom or bride’s head, shoulders and legs.

Haldi ceremony

And then, of course, the following day brings with it the actual wedding ceremony. A lengthy affair, the Indian themed wedding ceremony is usually held in front of a sacred fire. The priest, bride, groom and a few close relative sit around the fire during a three-hour prayer. Afterwards, to conclude the ceremony, the bride and groom walk seven rounds around the fire, a ritual that symbolizes the seven scared vows of newlyweds.

Indian wedding altar on beach

Following that, instead of a ring, the groom traditionally places a golden necklace with black beads around the bride’s neck and she acknowledges the gesture by placing a thick garland of flower around her husband’s neck. And then, just before leaving the stage, the husband places a dot of red or orange vermillion on the bride’s forehead, hence signifying that she is now a married woman.

groom putting sacred necklace around brides neck

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Posted in Indian Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Feb 10th,2014
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Best wedding venue for couples who love spring

The most sought-after wedding season, spring certainly has everything to make one happy: between the blooming trees and the delightful chirping of the birds, this season is certainly brimming with joy and merriment. Understandably, most couples choose to hold their spring theme wedding in the great outdoors. However, if you can afford it, it certainly pays off to look into some of the most recommended venues for your spring wedding.

Spring wedding

For example, while Las Vegas is internationally reputed for its impulsive, often alcohol-infused night weddings, few people realize that there are quite a few picturesque locations in the gambling city.

Vegas Spring wedding

Nevada looks absolutely stunning in spring and its glorious lakes can provide quite a wonderful backdrop to your special day. Alternatively Las Vegas also offers several elegant wedding packages that include champagne, wedding cake and the likes. If you want to skip the Vegas chapel in favor of an outdoors spring wedding, you can check out a few of the numerous hotels or resorts that would be happy to accommodate the bridal party.

Nevada Spring Wedding

Couples who want a spring wedding in front of the sea, but who wish to avoid the hassle of sand and sea-breeze can also check out Mackinac Island in Michigan. With a deep, Victorian-like character, this island is oozing with flowers and sunshine in spring and best of all, since cars aren’t allowed on the island, your guests will get the chance to travel by horse and buggy. In fact, Mackinac Island is a firm favorite among couples who wish to infuse a fairytale-like character to their wedding day. This picturesque place offers several wedding venues including inns, outdoor gardens or romantic resorts.

Spring wedding Mackinac Island

If you’re looking for something a little more tropical, bear in mind that nothing screams spring and romance as much as those tiny Hawaiian islands. With their never-ending stretch of gloriously white sand and sparkling ocean, it’s no wonder that during spring, couples often flock to Hawaii to tie the knot. Since it’s such a popular wedding destination, you can very easily give up the planning and seating arrangements in favor of an all-inclusive wedding package. A spring wedding in Hawaii also has its perks since you can stay on the island for your honeymoon as well, instead of flying to a different location. For financial reasons, however, it is recommended to have a rather smallish ceremony since it can be quite cost-inducing to fly over a hundred guests to the island, unless of course, you’re not on a restricted budget.

Spring wedding Hawaii

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Posted in Seasonal Theme WeddingsSpring Theme Weddings on Feb 10th,2014
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Various types of Muslim Bridal Attires

Muslim-theme weddings are one of the most diverse and flexible ceremonies. Indeed, not one ceremony is exactly the same, which leaves the bride with a wide variety of dress options. In fact, Muslim bridal attires usually vary according to region and family traditions. It should therefore come as no surprise that some brides choose to get married in simple white dresses while others don elaborate green, red, gold, orange or even black attires.

Muslim bride collage

In more religious countries like Pakistan, brides are usually decked in traditionally Oriental Indo-Muslim attires which consist of a red sari and lots of gold jewelry. Henna patterns are painted on the hands, legs and feet a couple of days prior to the wedding and this tradition is found in nearly all Muslim weddings, even if the bride chooses to go for a more laid-back affair.

Muslim bride in Oriental attire

On the other hand, Muslim brides who come from more flexible and less religious families often choose to don an Occidental white dress on their wedding day and several of them also go without the traditional headdress or hijab. While most ladies commonly opt for loose-flowing dresses, contemporary brides can wear figure-hugging, mermaid dresses, but this is quite a rare occurrence.

Muslim bride in traditional white dress

In more religious families, the hijab is an integral part of the bride’s wedding attire. While this headgear is often black and simple in everyday life, Muslim brides often go for more elaborate styles of hijab for their wedding days. Hence, if you want to infuse a Muslim theme on your special day, don’t hesitate to decorate your hijab with pearls, sequins or diamante. For a more striking look, you can even go for a shiny satin or velvet fabric and wear it in the form of a turban.

Muslim bride wearing elaborate hijab

As far as the white dress goes, it can either be simple and elegant or elaborate and frilly. In fact, some Muslim families strive for simplicity and in such cases, the bride is usually adorned in a plain albeit sophisticated gown made in satin or taffeta. Even if modern ladies choose to go for the typical strapless gowns, traditional Muslim bridal dresses are usually floor-length, high-necked and long-sleeved. Some ladies also refrain from showing their wrists and hands and in such cases, they can don satiny gloves for a shimmery effect.

Non traditional muslim bride

Of course, there are some brides who are more liberal and hence opt for the classic white dresses without hijabs. In families where the headgear is a must, some stylish ladies often arrange a shimmery scarf on their head.

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Posted in Muslim Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Jan 11th,2014
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Alaska: A deeply romantic yet neglected wedding destination

Anyone who has seen the movie “The Proposal” will be awed by the breath striking images presented by the Alaskan scenery that’s rendered even more romantic by the constant preparations for an upcoming wedding. Weirdly enough though, whenever anyone mentions a destination wedding, the initial images that springs to mind are quite far from the freezing Alaskan surfaces. Palm beaches, turquoise seas or even a lush green vineyard are usually the favorite locations for a destination wedding.

Alaskan wedding collage

If you want to be different, though, an Alaskan wedding can be quite a deeply romantic location to fly your guests to. Of course, given the colder-than-average climate, you do have quite a few arrangements to do in order to render your location even more comfortable.So, read on to familiarize yourself with a few aspects to take into consideration for your special destination wedding.

Alaska wedding collage 2

Weather
Okay, let’s face it: you do want to be different, but you don’t want to be drastic either. There’s absolutely no reason why you should fly your guests to Alaska during winter. That will only dampen your special day and you might even find yourself lacking quite a fair amount of guests! So, it’s best to go during warmer months, where you will still be able to enjoy the white Alaskan scenery, but without the freezing cold.

Alaskan destination wedding

Location
If you want to borrow a leaf out of Sandra Bullock’s wedding in “The Proposal”, getting married in a barn in Alaska will certainly add a special touch to your wedding day. Of course, you can very easily get married in a church, chapel or hotel, but don’t hesitate to push the boundaries and be different as well: retreats, lodges, roadhouses or even lakesides are wonderful places that will let you enjoy the stunning Alaskan scenery.
Couples can also run a few online searches to find some companies that provide full Alaskan wedding packages, complete with location and catering.

Bridal party in Alaska

Clothes
Bear in mind that this is Alaska that we’re talking about: strapless dresses are quite striking, but, if you’re getting married in the great outdoors, you may find yourself being completely frozen to the ground even before you walk down the aisle. Fashion-conscious brides shouldn’t worry though. There are quite a few ways to warm up your outfit without going for a drab, old-fashioned gown. If you do want a strapless gown, don’t hesitate to opt for a thick, faux fur shrug that will keep your shoulders warm during the ceremony. Don’t neglect your feet as well: ankle boots are other trendy options that will help you look stylish while keeping you warm on your special destination wedding day.

Bride wearing boots for Alaskan destination weddingBride wearing faux fur shoulder shrug

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Garden weddings: Everything you need to make things easier

Airy, serene and definitely romantic, gardens can be the perfect location for your wedding. In fact, with the recession and ever increasing prices, it’s probably a good idea to hold your wedding in your own garden instead of renting a more expensive location. By cutting back on such expenses, you’ll definitely be able to spend more on other things such as your dress, shoes or accessories.

Bridal party in garden

If you don’t have a large backyard, you can always check with your local municipality or council to rent any green space or garden in your locality. While garden weddings are undeniably easy to prepare and set up, there are several things that the couple should take into consideration: bear in mind that an outdoors theme wedding means that you’ll need to bring in some extra supplies to ensure the comfort of your guests, especially if you’re holding the reception outside.

Garden wedding

Since you’re holding your wedding in a garden, it’s crucial to take into consideration the type of weather that you’ll be having. While spring and summer are the perfect seasons for wedding under the sun, bear in mind that sudden downpours can occur. If you want to be particularly careful, you can set up a gazebo to shelter your guests in case of rainfall. Ladies who are lucky enough to have a gazebo in your backyard can certainly get married under it for some added charm and romance. Alternatively, garden ponds and flower arches are other incredibly dreamy and romantic locations that you can incorporate into your special day. Try to dress up your bridesmaids in green as well in order to bring a homogenous atmosphere and draw attention back to the outdoors theme.

Bridesmaids wearing pale green dresses

As far as the aisle goes, it’s best to keep it as natural as you possibly can. After all, this is an outdoors wedding and you need to stay in harmony with nature. So, if possible, ditch the red or white carpet in favor of flower petals and scraps of lace. Of course, you’ll need to create your own aisle by using some garden chair and in that case, remember that it’s always best to go for white or cream-colored chairs. These hues usually provide a beautiful contrast with the lush green grass and trees.

Groom and bride in garden

If you can afford it, then by all means feel free to add a few unique touches to add some charm and flair to your outdoors wedding. An arrangement of flowers spelling out the couples’ name is undeniably a special touch that will forever mark your wedding day. As for the reception, it’s quite a good idea to hold it outside, especially if you’re expecting a nice weather. In this case, couples usually have a choice of two arrangements: you can get a long buffet table and a long banquet table to seat all your guests, or you can get several rounded tables to seat small groups.

Table settings for garden wedding

Don’t forget to invest in some garden lights or string a few fairy lights among the trees if you’re expecting your reception to go well into the night. A naked patch of green grass would also provide a magnificent area for your guests to dance the night away as they celebrate the union of two hearts.

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Posted in Outdoor Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Jan 09th,2014
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The best locations for Vintage weddings

There’s absolutely no question about it: Vintage weddings are literally oozing with romance and will bring a profound rustic-chic charm to your special day as a whole. Contrary to most contemporary weddings, these types of ceremonies tend to lean towards a rustic-like decor and setting. However, to really lay emphasis on the vintage-like feel of your ceremony, it’s important to choose an adequate location. A vintage theme wedding, for example, will certainly not feel particularly rustic if you hold it in a lavishly decorated hall or interior space. It’s therefore quite important to select the adequate location for your vintage wedding.

Vintage wedding in barn

Barns, for instance, have always been a firm favorite among couples who are looking for a rustic-like location for their vintage weddings. Brimming with tranquility and romanticism, barns can be decorated according to your liking, but try to stick to a shabby-chic decoration scheme. Fairy-lights and squares of hay piled on each other can only add to the vintage-like feel of the day. Don’t hesitate to create an aisle made of flower petals and scraps of lace.

Vintage wedding in vineyard

If you want to be in the open-air, however, you may try looking into vineyard weddings. This setting is guaranteed to bring a vintage-like feel to your special day, especially if you hold the ceremony right before sunset.

Vintage wedding in flower field

Couples who can’t afford to purchase a vineyard wedding package may also look into renting a lavender or flower field, two locations that are known for their profoundly vintage feel. In this case, you may even go for white wooden or wrought-iron chairs that will draw attention back to the vintage theme.

Vintage wedding in forest

Alternatively, couples who want to add a mysterious-like feel to their vintage wedding can even get married in a forest. Not unlike the highly romantic scene in the Breaking Dawn movie, forests are definitely one of the most rustic and charming locations that you’ll be able to use for your special day. Don’t hesitate to think outside the box as well: if all you can’t afford to rent any exotic locations or if you’re simply on a limited budget, you can very easily hold the wedding in your backyard and accessorize with a few accents and accessories to enhance the vintage theme. Overhead lanterns dangling from trees, a flower crown around your head and a long, silk old-fashioned wedding gown are all the little accents that will definitely bring a pronounced vintage atmosphere to your special day.

Vintage wedding on ranch

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Posted in Topic WeddingVintage Theme WeddingsWedding Theme on Jan 09th,2014
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Planning the perfect cruise wedding

We all have an idea of how we’d like our wedding day to be. While some of us are fixated about the traditional idea of walking down the church aisle and towards the love of our life, others may want something just as romantic but less traditional in the form of a beach wedding. In fact, cutting-edge brides are even more than eager to get married in hot air balloons or under waves during sea-walks expeditions.

Cruise wedding

So, if you want to have an outdoor theme wedding, don’t hesitate to think outside the box. Too many brides hastily limit themselves to the typical vineyards or garden as the perfect outdoors setting. However, if you can afford it, you can also opt for a highly romantic cruise wedding.

Couple getting married on cruise ship

Highly romantic and exotic, cruise weddings are rapidly growing in popularity, with several companies offering special packages, not only for the bride and groom, but also for your guests. Indeed, nothing can ever beat the exquisite sensation of standing on the deck of a luxurious ship as you say your wedding vows. If done properly, a cruise wedding can be one of the dreamiest and most romantic ceremony you’ll ever be part of, especially with the salty sea breeze and gentle rocking of the ship.

Couple on cruise ship deck

Of course, it’s important to talk to the Captain beforehand in order to families yourself with the various types of accents and accessories that you can use to enhance your wedding day. Alternatively, several ship offer their own decoration and catering services that will help you cut back on some expenses. In some cases, the ship can be entirely decked up in golden fairy lights that will add some extra charm to your special day. Best of all, if you choose to hire a complete wedding cruise package, you’ll be able to avoid the stress that usually accompany all the planning. Just remember to go for a ship-related wedding cake to keep in line with the outdoors theme.

Ship wedding cake

As far as the reception goes, you can either hold an all-night dance party on the deck or throw a more formal affair in the ship’s ballroom. The main advantage of throwing a cruise wedding is that you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely honeymoon with your husband right on the ship. However, not all of us can afford a cruise that spans over the course of several days. Some companies offer exclusive sunset or one-day cruises whereby you’ll be able to get married and enjoy a few hours on the ship before going back to shore. Exotic locations such as Mauritius and Seychelles even offer specially chartered Wedding Catamaran packages whereby you can privately rent the entire catamaran for an entire day.

Cruise ship

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Posted in Outdoor Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Jan 08th,2014
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Chinese theme weddings: A colorful celebration of love, life and harmony

Rich and vibrant in colors, Chinese weddings are among the most grandiose celebrations that signify the start of a new life together. While contemporary couples are nowadays going for a more low-key ceremony, authentic Chinese theme weddings usually include fireworks and even a traditional dragon dance. A real feast for the eyes, these weddings are also centered around red hues, a color which represents peace, love and harmony in Chinese culture.

Bride wearing traditional red brial dress

If you want a Chinese-theme wedding, the one thing you should consider is your wedding dress color. Other than red, Gold is another hue which, according to Chinese culture, is supposed to bring luck, joy and wealth to the new couple. Hence, brides who want to adopt a more traditional look can go for a bright red and gold cheongsam wedding dresses. Still, if you don’t want to give up the big white dress, fret not: many modern Chinese brides are now going for traditional white dress but with red accessories. Think red shoes, red-stoned tiara or even ruby red earrings.

Chinese wedding with red accents

As far as the decorations and wedding favors go, it’s recommended to stick to the red color palette. You can, for example, enhance the reception with some red accents such as red tablecloths, napkins and the likes. Glasses of sparkling red wine are also going to bring a festive feel to the ceremony, without deviating from the overall theme. Crystal keychains, scented sachets, manicure sets, mini champagne bottles, mini wine glasses and monogrammed chocolates are all among the various tokens that you can present your guests with to thank them for attending your special day. To add a Chinese-feel to the favors, don’t hesitate to present them in bright red boxes.

Traditional dragon shows after chinese wedding

It’s also quite important for the bridesmaids, groom and best man to keep in line with the Chinese theme wedding. Hence, while the groom can don a bright red tie, the bridesmaids can don gold or red dresses that will definitely draw attention to the overall theme.

Bride wearing white dress and red shoes for luck

As far as the cake goes, ask your baker to trace some typical Chinese patterns in the form of thin, dark branches and flowering trees. Of course, if you want to go all the way, don’t hesitate to go for brightly lit firecrackers that you can set off at the end of the ceremony or during the reception. Small gold bells as well as red and orange flower garlands are other small touches that are going to infuse a deep Chinese-like feel to the overall atmosphere.

Chinese wedding cake

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Posted in Chinese Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Jan 07th,2014
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A Winter Wonderland Wedding

Dreamy and romantic, with just a hint of nostalgia, a winter theme wedding can be quite striking if you do it properly. Indeed, to create your own winter wonderland ceremony, it’s exceedingly important to take into consideration the comfort of your guests and assure that they won’t get too cold. While an indoors ceremony is recommended for winter weddings, we just can’t deny the lure and appeal of getting married in a glorious fog of snowy mist.

Winter wedding invitation

Candles for added warmth in winter wedding reception

So, if you have decided to hold your winter theme wedding outdoors, you should definitely be considerate of your guests’ well-being. It is therefore advised to go for a thick marquee or tent under which you can hold the actual ceremony before pausing for pictures in the snow. Never neglect the importance of candles as well, particularly if you’re throwing the reception in a marquee. Soft, romantic and sensual, candles are also going to add charm and panache to your wedding. In fact, if you want to take the decor to the next level, you can even scatter them around in long, ornate translucent candle holders.

Faux fur shrug for winter wedding dress

Since your bridesmaids are so eagerly braving winter to share in your special day, it’s your duty as the bride to keep them warm. Forget about the typical short and strapless bridesmaid dresses. Instead, be sure to select long-sleeved ones made from thick, supporting fabrics such as velvet or linen. Gloves are wonderful winter accessories: not only will they keep the bridesmaids warm but they’ll also add a touch of glamor to the outfits. Of course, thick cardigans are absolute must-haves for winter weddings. In fact, even the bride can accessorize her dress and keep warm by going for a thick, faux fur shrug which will protect her shoulders from the cold. This is particularly handy if you’re going for a strapless dress. Bear in mind that bridal shoes are very rarely noticeable under the wedding dress. So, if the need arises, don’t hesitate to don a pair of white faux leather boots to keep you extra snug on your special day.

bride and bridesmaids wearing cardigans

As far as the decorations are concerned, it’s best to focus on colder tones such as icy white, blue, silver and gray. These hues will instantly bring the winter theme to the foreground. You can, for example, place a centerpiece of white and blue flowers on each table for the reception. A really easy way to set off the theme even before the special day is by going for a typically winter wedding invitation made up in grey or white with silvery snowflakes printed over it.

Winter wedding decorating ideas

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Yellow: The color of sunshine and happiness

Symbolizing happiness, peace, serenity and pure, undiluted joy, yellow is bound to add a hefty dose of cheer and merriment to your special day. Extremely versatile, this color is suited to both indoor and outdoor weddings. Best of all, this sunny hue can very easily be blended with other colors for a more striking effect.

Yellow wedding theme

Bride wearing pale yellow

One of the easiest colors to work with, yellow also has the advantage of presenting you with a wide variety of shades to work with. Whether you’re looking for a rich, vibrant yellow or a softer, more lemony one, you can be sure that this gorgeous color will embellish your wedding day. Couples who are going for a more informal setting may even create exotic yellow flower garlands for their guests to wear during the ceremony.

Bride wearing sunny yellow

While some brides want to go for a classic white wedding dress and use yellow in the decorations and accessories, the more daring ladies can consider wearing yellow to get married. In fact, this particular color is gaining popularity in bridal magazines. If you don’t feel like going for a deep canary yellow, you may even consider wearing a paler, sun-kissed tinted gown. A good alternative for traditionalists would be to go for an all-white wedding dress with the occasional yellow stone around the bodice.

Yellow wedding chairs for outdoor wedding

The lucky ladies who are getting married on the beach should absolutely consider yellow covers for the outdoor chairs since this color will go superbly with the turquoise waves lapping against the sand. In fact, since you’re at it, why don’t you decorate the wedding aisle with a blend of bright sunflowers and yellow roses. Another easy way to go for a yellow-themed wedding is to bring this particular hue to your wedding buffet table. If you’re serving desserts, you may even create an all-candy wedding buffet table to display an assortment of yellow sweets and treats.

Yellow wedding candy buffet

As for your wedding cake, you may of course go for just about any flavor of your choice but ask your baker to cover it with rich yellow fondant or Royal icing. To create a lovely contrast, consider embellishing your cake with white flowers, all-white cake toppings or even a white Mr. and Mrs. Centerpiece which you can place right in front of the cake.

Yellow wedding cake with  white Mr and Mrs centerpiece

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