Category Archives: Ceremony

Backing Out

Some of the first things when preparing for your big day is to choose your pastor, the wedding party and who will give toasts and speeches. All are very important roles requiring time, energy and forethought both on your part and theirs. Unfortunately, there are occasions when one or more will back out at the last minute leaving you to wonder what to do.

Don’t get upset. Life happens and those who accepted their positions did so out of care for you. While it may throw you for a loop, there is surely a good reason behind his/her decision.

If a member of your wedding party, replacing them is not the best idea. Who you choose will likely feel as if a backup and be hurt. It is perfectly acceptable to have an uneven number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. However, if it’s your maid of honor or the best man, feel free to ask someone already chosen to change roles.

As far as toasts and speeches go, people put time and effort into saying what they will deliver. There’s no reason to ask someone new. It also puts a lot of pressure on anyone to compose anything meaningful at the last minute.

For piece of mind, you should (at some point in time) inquire why things changed but no wedding is perfect and such questions should be addressed after your ceremony. The best thing is that, at the end of the day, you have married your life partner.

Can You Hear Me Now?

You may not realize music is a sizable portion of your wedding during the ceremony and reception. There are many things to consider when choosing what songs, the number, timing, length etc. you opt for. In fact, sometimes your decisions have an impact on your guests as many things can easily go wrong.

Sound Check: Whether a pianist, violinist or MP3 player, it is imperative you check out the acoustics prior to your ceremony. Doing so ensures the songs you want are familiar, the sound system comes across to your liking and, if not, can be adjusted prior to your big day.

Timing is Key: Many guests arrive early and don’t know one another. That leads to an uncomfortable silence while sitting with people you’ve never met. It’s important to elect music to diffuse the awkwardness.

First Dance: The song you select for your first dance shouldn’t be too long. It is a special moment for you, your husband and guests but it shouldn’t be more than two to three minutes.

Give Me a Break: You should have downtime in your music as well. When eating, it is a good chance for quiet conversation as you likely have seated people who know one another together and too much volume equals overload.

Including Everyone: You and your husband my be huge fans of jazz (for example) but it’s important to mix up the genres so your guests are pleased. Whether dancing or not, you don’t want monotony and people getting bored from what sounds redundant.

While the ceremony and reception choices are quite different, each are equally important and shouldn’t be put off until the last minute. Some venues have regulations which could keep you from having music if you don’t plan ahead. It also makes people smile, enjoy themselves and perhaps even make new friends.

But(ton) Not for you

Buttons are often thought of as tiny things that keep clothes intact. Once lost, you buy another and your outfit is seamless again. If you take a closer look, it is the small threads that connect and tie everything together. Your fiancé is your button that ties your life together and makes everything harmonious. Incorporating them into your wedding is a whimsical way to show your connection.  Following are a few ways how to use them from beginning to end:

Save the date: Because they are cheap, you could use a different one to enclose each card and, once returned, sew them on to the tie that holds your bouquet together. It’s a fantastic way to make all your guests feel special.

Backdrops: It’s likely that no wedding you’ve been to had button banners. The variety in color, shape and size make it easy to sew and hang them behind the altar for a unique alternative as you take your vows.

Bouquets: Of course, you can have a button bouquet as you walk down the aisle in re flowers. If your mom, grandmother or anyone in your husband to be’s family sewed, using their collection would make it extra special.

Centerpieces: Whether you fill your vases with buttons or have flowers made of them going from smaller to larger in diversified colors to replicate real flowers, there are artisans who can make anything you envision.

Grand Exit: Rather than throwing rice or flower petals as you exit after your vows, you can have small bags of buttons at the entrance of your venue for your guests to toss as you leave as husband and wife.

Aside from showing your personality and doing something different, when you think of what buttons are used for is quite appropriate for your wedding as they sew you together for the rest of your life.

Dropping Petals

It has been a long-standing tradition that flower girls drop petals along the aisle prior to the bride’s entrance. Depending on the venue, real petals may be prohibited and artificial ones are used instead. However, as customs lessen, many different and unique alternatives are becoming popular. Here are just a few:

Individual stems: A basket full of individual stemmed flowers for your flower girl to hand out to either give to your guests seated at the end of each aisle or to those who are most important to you and your fiancé.

Bubbles: Blowing bubbles is a fun and whimsical way to precede your entrance. Aside from not being messy, even adults can’t help but smile at the sight of bubbles and some guests might even try to catch them.

Miniature bouquet: Any little girl given a special job would be honored and feel even more significant if she was given a small bouquet (one suitable for her size) that matches yours.

Customized sign: A sign or pennant with a message introducing you is another clever substitute for petals. Whether it says “Here comes the bride” or “Introducing Mrs. (insert your new last name), not only will your guests be surprised but it will be a keepsake to remember your special day.

Paper hearts: Your wedding is a celebration of the love you have built and will continue to grow. Whether made of shades that match your décor or are crafted out of something important to the two of you, they are a wonderful thing to see as you walk down the aisle.

There are many creative and fun things for flower girls to carry. Not only are they unexpected but each will bring joy to both you and your guests and be an element that sets your wedding apart.

Guest Dressed

Your primary focus is on your dress, what your fiancé is going to wear and the clothing for the wedding party. However, there are things to consider regarding your guests as it is YOUR day and some things aren’t appropriate.

White: Wearing white (or even a shade of it) should not be done which goes without saying. Unless you have a black and white theme or specifically request certain people to wear it, doing so is unacceptable.

Black: No one wants a color associated with funerals and grief. If someone feels more comfortable wearing a darker hue, a shade of blue or dark green is fitting. After all, it’s a celebration and colors should be cheery and upbeat.

Sparkles: Guests might want to add a little accent to their outfit but going overboard is disrespectful. That should be saved for their own wedding day as lighting and photography will catch the glimmer and outshine you even if not intended.

The best way to avoid any mishaps is to include a dress code on your invitations. Even if you say semi-casual, your guests should dress up rather than down. To avoid any confusion, include an option where you can be contacted with questions.

Something Old

As part of the saying goes “Something old….,” is a portion of what is representative of good luck for your upcoming nuptials. Whether traditional or modern in nature, many brides follow the superstition if for nothing more than fun.

Your bouquet is a great place to start. Everyone’s grandma had handkerchiefs (usually handmade) that can be wrapped around your flowers rather than the typical ribbon tie. Perhaps you have your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding rings. Even if only borrowing them for the day, you can secure them in the ribbon. Then you can feel them as you hold your bouquet and they symbolize the lengthy marriage you long to have.

Every bride looks forward to opulent jewels accenting their dress on the special day. However, there are many families in which brides have worn the same jewelry for generations. If that is the case in yours, it would be very meaningful for you keep up the tradition for them (and likely in retrospect, for you).

Most girls gather things that are meaningful in some way as a child. If you’d rather not be so traditional, you can incorporate something from your collection and, depending upon what it is, find a way to integrate it into your ceremony or reception.

A great idea is to include your husband. Maybe there is a pin he could wear on his lapel in place of a boutonniere from someone meaningful to you both.

While your wedding day is all about you and your fiancé, it’s hard to discount how meaningful it is for your family to be included. They are your roots, the epitome of relationships you strive to have and the beginning of two families joining together.

Regretfully Speaking

regrets-2

When planning your wedding, excitement takes over and it may seem like you’ve covered every detail due to the sudden obsession that kicks in. Unfortunately, there is remorse that brides have looking back on their big day that should be considered. Here are just a few:

Ceremony: It is easy for your pastor to get carried away or for you to write long vows, but many brides wish their ceremonies were shorter in retrospect as not only did they get bored but worried their guests did too.

Time Spent: Brides often lament getting caught up in making everything perfect, taking photos, feeling overwhelmed at their new life change that they wish they had taken more time to have one on one time with family and close friends. When you are in a rush, it is difficult to focus anything other than what you’ve tried to make perfect but some of the most meaningful moments get left out.

Social Media: It should go without saying that people would turn cell phones off and not take personal photos, but many don’t think to do so. Also, sharing of your wedding pictures on social media is not often appreciated as they are for you do to so when you are ready.

Invitation Obligation: Inviting people out of guilt raises your costs and possibly makes you feel uncomfortable. You should be surrounded by people you love and care about. Inevitably, there will be a few people who will be on the guest list without choice, but you should only invite people that you genuinely want to be with.

Perfection Expectation: Every bride puts in so much time and energy to make everything perfect and many regret that their expectations weren’t met. Nothing is ever going to be perfect. Anticipate snafus and go with the flow. At the end of the day, you will be with the love of your life as a wife forever.

It’s important that you look back on your wedding day without disappointment. It will be as it should be despite what you’ve planned and it is one of the most important days in your life. That alone makes it perfect.

The Heat is On

Along with the beautiful colors and relaxation of summer comes warmer weather that can create some potentially uncomfortable situations for both you and your guests. Below are a few clever and fun ways to ensure everyone has the most enjoyable experience possible.

Minimize the heat with savory treats. Rather than (or in addition to) a traditional cake, consider ice cream sandwiches. The options for the ice cream (sorbet or gelato if you choose) and cookies are virtually endless. You can even have a little fun and offer various flavors, colors and make them in a signature shape.

If you are having a cake, perhaps a “naked” one is the way to go. Instead of being covered in icing or fondant, the bare layers are held together with cream cheese or fluffy buttercream. Juicy, moisturizing berries and fresh flowers will make the lack of icing go unnoticed.

Sometimes, perception is reality. Use thin, airy fabrics to decorate your ceremony and reception spaces. Tulle, silk, ribbon, tassels and even paper are great options for any venue. When things appear breezy and light, your guests will be less likely to notice the temperature.

Your comfort is most important as all eyes will be on you. Don’t shy away from a tea length dress that can be embellished and made appropriate for even formal venues. Lightweight make up and updos also help keep you looking fresh and reduce the warmth.

Unfortunately, some degree of heat is unavoidable mid-year. With a little thought and creativity however, it is possible to keep your food, desserts, guests and subsequently you from having meltdowns!

Don’t Forget the Small Stuff

On your big day, it feels like every moment will forever be ingrained in your memory and many of them will. Like everything else though, time will blur and erase some of them. As life progresses and other monumental events happen, memory banks are replenished, hence the importance of photographs. There are pivotal shots every bride focuses on but some that are equally important that may not be considered. Here are a few of those:

Before Shots:  You will have countless glamorous photos looking more beautiful than you ever have. The moments before you start getting ready will highlight your inner glow, undeniable excitement and the naturally beautiful woman your fiancé is committing his life to.

First Look: The first time your fiancé sees you walking down the aisle is priceless as his emotions are unplanned, can’t be hidden and are as heartfelt and unfiltered as can be.

Decorations: While you will never forget the time spent planning every detail, the vision of exactly how it all came together will likely fade. While most brides focus on their guests and festivities, as the saying goes “it’s all in the details” and reminders of those are equally important.

Your Gown: Snap your dress on the hanger before it’s been worn. The instant you put it on, dirt, makeup, food etc. will leave marks that are nearly impossible to remove. Take time to memorialize all its glory after it’s been prepared for you to step into.

Candid Moments: Some of the best shots are those that aren’t posed or planned. Capture everyone when they think no one is looking. Perhaps not the most flattering, these are the most realistic and fun reflections of your special day and the wonderful time had by all.

There are standard photos expected of every couple that every photographer takes. While those are important, equally so are ones that document the smallest details, unplanned moments and emotions that cannot be found in a posed picture.

Trickle Down Effect

Your bridal experience is likely limited to attending weddings and, even if you have been in a bridal party, you are probably unaware of the scope of work planning requires. Therefore, what should be a fun, exciting time often becomes overwhelming and sometimes even dreaded. A great way to avoid this is by figuring out the single aspect most important to you and, surprisingly, everything else will fall into place with much more ease and less stress. A few examples follow:

Dress: Perhaps you can’t get a very casual, informal gown that could double as date night dress out of your mind. From that, without even knowing, you have made the rest of your planning infinitely simpler. It has lessened the likelihood of formal venues, fancy stemware, over-the-top decorations and many of the formalities that go along with ornate, unduly embellished ball gowns.

Flowers: If, for example, you are determined to surround yourself with blush peonies, you have automatically narrowed down the time of year (as they have limited availability) and homed in on a range of complementary colors for both your wedding party and decorations. Also, you have unofficially set a welcoming and familial tone.

Venue: Most important may be exchanging vows in the large, gilded cathedral you were raised in. Accordingly, gone are the less formal dressing options, bohemian style details and whimsical, DIY additions many brides who opt for less formal/less expensive weddings include.

There are exceptions to everything. You may decide to mix and match a bit of everything and, of course, it will come together flawlessly. However, choosing a focal point from which to branch out is a method to save time, energy and help you enjoy the planning process as much as possible.