Category Archives: Ideas

Some Rules Were Meant to be Broken

Weddings are often planned around age old traditions, some of which you may feel comfortable making slight variations to but don’t want to appear as if you are either stepping too far outside the box or not taking your commitment seriously. Thankfully, times are changing and, after all, it is YOUR day so here are some ideas you may not have considered….

You don’t need a theme and not everything has to match. It would not only be unique but an honor to let your bridal party choose their own gowns. One may be pink, long and satin while another could be short, causal and floral. There’s an element of fun in letting those closest to you show their individual personality (not to mention that it makes for great photos).

Customarily, your parents pay for the wedding and your fiancé’s do so for the rehearsal dinner although the two of you may be on your own. One way to save money and set yourself apart, regardless of who is contributing, is to have your bridesmaids wear corsages. Opting out of bouquets not only significantly reduces your budget but makes it easier for them to help you both in preparation for but as well your ceremony.

Maybe white isn’t right whether it comes to your ring or your dress. If there is a stone you love and would prefer over a diamond, select it as you will be wearing it for countless years to come. What matters is the meaning behind it to you. Additionally, in reference to your dress, a selection of white paired with another color is one option or, if you have your heart set on red, blue pink etc., any gown can still be made to look as elegant and special despite not being white.

Weddings are celebrations and meant to be fun. Not only should you show off your individuality/personality but allow everyone else to do the same.

Unite Me

Many couples getting married choose to personalize their wedding by incorporating a unity ceremony.   A unity candle is what one thinks of most but there are a number of other options that have the same meaning.  Customarily these are performed immediately following the exchange of vows and rings but occasionally they will take place earlier in the wedding. Soft music is often played during this time.

The sand ceremony is a modern and unique alternative to the unity candle. You and your groom pour a different color of sand into a clear container. Each color represents your past lives as individuals and the blending of the sand provides the visual representation of your coming together as one.  This is a perfect opportunity to include children and other family members if you choose to.  As each person pours a different colored sand into the vase, they are making a commitment to become one family.

The cross ceremony is beautiful way to celebrate the joining of two people. It is most often used in church weddings. The outer portion of a multi-pieced cross represents the groom and the inner portion, the bride. When put together, the pieces form a beautiful cross which represents your togetherness in marriage through God. Once the cross is assembled, it is placed on a stand on which your names and wedding date have been inscribed.

The love letter ceremony is one in which you and your finance write letters to one another before the wedding telling each other why you fell in love.  During the wedding ceremony, the letters are placed in a wooden box to be opened at a later date, usually on an anniversary.

Rose ceremonies are a lovely addition to any wedding and are another alternative to the unity candle. A single red rose has always meant “I love you.” Occurring before the final prayer and marriage pronouncement, you and your groom exchange two red roses which symbolize both your first gift to one another and your love for each other throughout your married life.

Although a unity ceremony is not necessary in order to symbolize the joining of two people, it is a beautiful and meaningful addition to any wedding.

 

You’re My Favor(ite)

Despite the fact that your guests should and probably do feel honored to be a part of your wonderful day, it is only appropriate that you give them favors as a token for their attendance, any gifts they have given you and especially if they have traveled or rearranged their schedule to attend. However, that is not an indication which requires spending a great amount of money nor be typical or easily anticipated.

One inexpensive way to kill two birds with one stone is to use small and economical containers, each filled with different sorts of succulents. On the front, you can put labels with the name of each guest and simply the number of their table at the reception. Therefore, not only does it keep you from making seating assignment cards but is a token of your appreciation which can grow and is long-lasting.

Select something meaningful and useful to which you can attach a card letting each guest know that you have made a donation to a charity on their behalf. No matter the organization, each attendant would be both surprised and humbled by the thought behind your decision to do so.

Find something local and unique to your area, whether candy, granola, tea etc. and package them in modest containers. If you wanted to extend yourself, cover the containers with local maps giving extra meaning to guests who have traveled for the occasion. If you choose not to use a map as a cover, simply fold it into a uniquely styled tag with a hand written message.

Any favor would be appreciated but there are many ways you can show your gratitude while both remaining in your budget and thinking outside the box.

First of All

When wedding planning, regardless of the hours spent or attention paid to details, it is almost guaranteed there will be glitches and unexpected occurrences you won’t be prepared for. Neither micromanaging nor being completely obsessed will ensure flawlessness.

You can easily be consumed with every facet which detracts from the joy when walking down the aisle as you may obsess thinking of every detail you are seeing. It is not a reflection of your lack of love and should not make you question your decision. It should instead be a sign that you need to take a deep breath, relax and realize that, even if everything that could go wrong does, you’ve made the absolutely right choice for you.

Despite having a photographer, some guests will want to take photos or videos on their phones and get in the way of the professional shots. One recommendation is to include in your invitations that there is a “no photos” policy. It is simple to kindly say that photos will be distributed once developed but someone has been hired to take on the task and, while you appreciate the interest and effort, you have control of that aspect.

Often, you will have a recently married friend who is now an expert on everything involved and suddenly become a dispensary of unwanted/inappropriate advice without regard to the fact that it is YOUR day. Sweetly tell her that, while her wedding was lovely and you appreciate her advice, you have a different style and have made choices that are perfect for you.

Unfortunately you will likely find someone who is consumed with jealousy and bitterness over their own relationship history. The best way to handle him/her is to have a private conversation, ask if they would like a particular song played or find other small ways to make them feel special and included.

No wedding will be exactly as you’ve dreamed of but it will always turn out perfect in the end and it is the mishaps that you can look back on which make it even more than what you imagined.  

Banded Together

While selecting your engagement ring is not your choice, discussing your future often occurs prior to your fiancé actually asking the big question. Undoubtedly, one topic that may arise is the desired style of ring as it will be worn for the remainder of your life. Most likely, you have always imagined a huge diamond (as that has always been the trend) although there are options to consider which not only stand out but make your personality shine as well.

Gems: Many have a special attachment to either their birthstone or another with special meaning. Not only can they be created in any shape and diamonds be added as an embellishment (if chosen to do so), the ring is both an expression of you and certainly increases the value and intimacy behind the choice.

Simple bands: While no longer looked upon as being cheap or skimpy, they are a wonderful way to show the growth of your relationship as layers can be added on as your years together pass. It is a symbol that your relationship is not based on flaunting it to others but is a portrayal of the intimate commitment you have with one another.

Double Up: Perhaps the most sentimental design is a combination with special meaning to each of you. One option is two stones of the same type or one that each of you prefers. Alternately, perhaps there is a unique and relevant shape which could be made from any consolidation you choose.

Again, you are not the one who will determine what your ring looks like but if your fiancé knows you well enough and you have had discussions and dreams for your future, whatever he selects will be just perfect.

Bar(Gain) Shopping

The common belief when dress shopping is that the more expensive, the better. That is not true and you would be surprised how many locations have beautiful gowns for less than $1,000. It is important that you stick to your budget and don’t even try on a gown you cannot afford as, most likely, you will fall in love with it and nothing will ever compare afterwards.

Many wedding shows on TV project the idea that, if you aren’t willing to spend at least $2 – 3,000, you have to settle for something you don’t really want.  However, that is far from the truth. In actuality, keeping your budget low does not mean that you must opt for a bland dress made of cheap fabric, second-hand, resembling a prom dress or anything else. With a little research and effort, you can find exactly what you have always dreamed of for a very low cost.

No one will know the name of your designer, where the purchase was made or what you paid (unless being completely inappropriate). In fact, typically the name determines the price and has nothing to do with the quality.

Whether a ball gown, mermaid style, sleek and sexy, over the top for a huge wedding or simple/vintage (perfect for a rustic country home feel) are available.

Saving on your dress also doesn’t require you to alter your vision and may even result in you discovering something you love more than what you’ve ever imagined. After all, taking time doing some research far exceeds spending thousands of dollars on a dress you will only wear once.

Here is a place to begin looking just to get some ideas….
http://www.stylemepretty.com/2016/01/10/budget-wedding-dresses-1000-dollars/

Getting Trendy

Every year, wedding trends change and, while they may be a jumping off point when it comes time to begin planning, there is no need to base your entire day solely on what is currently in style. Many brides want to fit in with what is “hip” and “chic” in the moment and fear getting caught up in the past or seeming too far out of the box. However, here are some trends for 2016 and years to come.

Patterns: Have some fun. Not everything has to match nor does your color scheme have to solely consist of one or two colors. You can select the colors you want for flowers, decorations and bridesmaids dresses, making beautiful combinations of each for your save the date cards, invitations, napkins, etc. Color blocking/random combinations are both expressive and creative.

Sleeves: Although strapless, sweetheart neckline gowns were the rage for years, the creativity with both short and long sleeves is growing. Having either, especially with an open back, is very popular due to exuding femininity, sensuality and elegance at the same time. They can be made of lace, crystals or other beading and accentuate your dress whether simple or the most extravagant.

Incorporation: If you opt to have a reading included in your ceremony, rather than being performed by the pastor, give short portions to certain chosen guests where they can stand up and read them from their seats. Not only would each be honored to do (those won’t be chosen will not feel left out) but it creates an intimacy and an unspoken symbol of value to everyone you invited.

Personal Moments: Personal photo shoots have always been a tradition but now, rather than being intimate, it has become more stylish to take pictures as you get dressed with your bridesmaids, your mother and those nearest to you buttoning your dress or perfecting your veil because the most beautiful images are those which silently express your anticipation and excitement.

Smaller, more intimate unions are not only more meaningful to each person involved but make any sort of variety of old and new both fun and memorable, and that, perhaps, is the biggest new trend of all.

Flower (Girl) Power

One concern that may not immediately come to mind is the type of dress your flower girl should wear as you may think people will not notice the outfit but solely the entrance she is making in anticipation of yours. That is not true and there are things that should be considered when making the settling on one.

Typically, flower girls wear white dresses that are small versions of your gown but should incorporate an element which ties in with the wedding whether a sash matching the bridesmaids gowns or a floral headband in harmony with your bouquet.

Be careful of the length of the gown as well as the material it is made of. She needs to feel comfortable as her responsibility is a very important one to her. Therefore, it is imperative that her dress is not too long because her concentration is on the task at hand and she shouldn’t have to worry about getting her shoes caught and tripping. Additionally, you don’t want anything made of a fabric that could irritate her soft skin as, that too, would be a distraction.

The outfits can be purchased from many places whether bridal salons or any number of stores at your local mall. Something to consider is that, most often, the parents of your chosen flower girl are responsible for the cost of the dress. Children grow quickly and, it goes without saying that it is something she will probably only wear for your special day.

She will be nervous as well as filled with excitement. Don’t put any pressure on her and allow her parents to sit in an aisle near the front so she can both see and focus on them as it will calm her nerves. No matter what, any little girl feels honored to take on the responsibility and does so with the hopes of carrying it out with absolute perfection.

Cover Me Up….but Barely

No decision in reference to your wedding is easy despite some seeming crystal clear, one of which being whether or not to wear a veil. You may feel as if they are antiquated, add a sense of formality to a ceremony you’ve planned to be casual or will detract from your dress and accessories just to name a few.

If your ceremony is laid back and/or your dress includes accents and embellishments, a short veil (typically only sweeping your shoulders) with some detailing along the edges is a wonderful way to mimic and emphasize the design elements in a subtle yet noticeable way.

If you are looking for something a bit longer, consider one that reaches your elbow. Most often, they are perfect matches for ball gowns, princess style or ones with full skirts as they end right where your dress begins to expand and become full. Therefore, the flow between the two appears seamless.

The most popular veils are those that are fingertip length (meaning that they touch your fingers when your arms are expanded) but are not cumbersome or restrictive in any way. The reason is because they easily can be individualized so as to work flawlessly with any style or formality of dress. If sheer, they won’t detract from any notion of simplicity nor will they cover any detailing, embellishment or an open back. At the same time, they add a sense of tradition and, if being used as your “something old” or “something borrowed,” it will most likely be the length you will be given.

Regardless of the length you opt for, you can play it up or down by adding tiers for additional coverage to a strapless gown, include matching details around the edges, make it extraordinarily simple so as to continue the element of custom etc. The number of options is limitless and just another aspect you can have fun playing around with.

Minimal Assistants


It goes without saying that, as a bride, you likely have a plan (or at least a clear vision) in place regarding most of your wedding day details. Making your ideas come to life may be challenging for many reasons leaving you wishing for sole responsibility over every component. Unfortunately, that is an impossibility as outside help, whether from friends and family or hired professionals, is required. However, every decision including the amount of assistance you want or need and from whom it comes is yours to make.

Remember that the period leading up to your special day is not just exciting for you but for those close to you as well. Many will offer their time, advice and skills to ease your burden and lower your stress level. While usually successful, occasionally their good intentions lead to uncomfortable situations and hurt feelings.

One objective of your wedding is for your guests to enjoy themselves which includes being able to take in everything going on around them. If someone offers to provide their services on the day of for something other than what you want, kindly pointing out some of the special things they would miss is a great way to decline the offer while avoiding being offensive.

Unsolicited offers will not just come for your ceremony and reception but may arise throughout the planning process too. Fortunately, those are easier to handle. During this time, you can include the individual(s) in different yet equally meaningful ways making it seem as if you are not being dismissive. For example, if your mom is determined for you to wear her veil and your heart is set on a birdcage, invite her to help you choose just the right one and offer to sew a piece of the veil inside your gown or to use it as a wrap around your bouquet.

All intentions are good when those who love you offer a lending hand as difficult as that may periodically be to keep in mind. However, it is the one day that all attention is on you and your future husband. Therefore, while always doing so kindly and with consideration, you should not feel guilty for ensuring that what you envisioned is exactly what materializes.