Category Archives: Tradition

I’d Like to Place an Order


When it comes to your bridal party, you may not give much thought to who stands where although there can easily be insinuations made by those you have chosen to include which can either be flattering or hurtful. It goes without saying that your matron of honor is traditionally your sister (if you have one) or best friend. That should not be offensive to anyone.

However, there are many ways to select an order for the remaining participants and the following are just a few ideas. While it can be potentially construed as hurtful, you can assign positions based on the nature of your relationship. It should not be lost on anyone you ask to stand next to you that they hold a special place in your heart and mean a great deal or else they wouldn’t be there.

One idea is that those who are closest to you (while each one is) stands nearest. That may be based on the number of years you have known them, the nature of your relationship or many other factors. Another option is to create an alignment in congruence with age.

It is completely appropriate to delegate who stands where based upon maturity. If you choose to do so, there will be no hard feelings as it would be difficult to find fault with any bride with that preference. If photos are one of the most important elements to you, a great way to appoint positions is height based in descending order so as to maximize the pleasance of each picture while keeping the focus on you and your husband.

The list goes on in reference as to how to determine who will stand where. It is yet another thing that brides don’t typically think requires any sort of consideration but, in actuality, does. Your decision is your own and is made because of your own personal reasons which are of the utmost importance.

A MEmento to YOU

 

For the most part, brides and grooms exchange gifts (through third parties) on their wedding day both as a way to calm one another’s nerves and to remind each other of the excitement and preparedness for the moments, days and years to come. It is the meaning which is important and not the opulence or cost but it serves as a lasting reminder of the commitment made. While many brides choose gifts such as cuff links or watches, it’s fun to think outside of the box and give something one of a kind.

Go to a paint-your-own-pottery location and spend time creating something unique which would be representative of a memorable moment in your relationship. You can guarantee that, while it may not look perfect (unless you are an artist), it will be significant and the thought, time and energy invested are what make it sentimental. It could be anything from a bowl for him to eat cereal or soup out of to a monkey that reminds you of a date at the zoo. Most places have countless options to choose from.

Find a small box (perhaps with a personalized charm) and fill it with small one-sentence reasons why you are so excited for your future. Many can fit into the container and it’s a gift that he will be able to keep, open in the future, randomly select one and be reminded of your love for him.

Gift him with tickets to see his favorite team play with some of his friends. That way, he can relax and remember that, while marriage is complete devotion to one another, neither of you has to lose your individuality in the process.

Personalize a key chain. It doesn’t have to be ornate or flashy. Engrave your wedding date, a special message or something as simple as a heart. It’s just another way to provide a daily reminder of what your relationship and marriage mean to you.

No matter what you choose, it will be a representation of your union and the meaning behind the decision to spend your life together. Whether you’ve been married a day, a month, a year or twenty, it’s always nice to have a keepsake of the love, happiness and devotion you feel.

 

Stand By Me

As society changes and modernizes, what is and isn’t acceptable does as well, weddings and just about every detail that goes into them being no exception. It has become appropriate to wear virtually any color that suits your fancy, opt for tennis shoes or cowboy boots instead of heels or even have your dog act as your ring bearer. Something else that has become admissible is choosing a man of honor in lieu of a matron of honor. If you make that decision, there are some things that you should give some thought to and here are just a few….

It is imperative that you discuss making that selection prior to doing so to ensure that your fiancé is okay with the idea, doesn’t feel disrespected or caught off guard. You also don’t want him to get the sense that the attention is taken away either from how wedding parties usually appear or by distracting or offending your guests by having a man at your side.

It goes without saying that donning a dress is not an option but a connection with your side of the party is paramount so as not to appear as if he is just standing in the wrong place. He should wear the same suit as the groomsmen. However, if they have ties on, his should differ by matching the color of your bridesmaids’ dresses and if boutonnieres are selected instead, his should coordinate with your bouquet in a different way than that of the others. In the event that neither are incorporated, a shirt in a matching shade to your bridesmaids is appropriate.

Your man of honor (also referred to as a male attendant) often takes on the duties that a maid of honor would such as helping you in your dress selection, deciding even the smallest details and holding your bouquet as you say your vows. The sole difference is that he is not a female.

You should not feel tied to appointing someone to the position due to a sense of obligation as, if someone is closer to you and their being the one standing next to you on your most important day would be more meaningful, that’s exactly what you should do. After all, you never want to look back and wish you’d made a different choice and certainly not one that was solely based on the influence of others.

Let’s Break the Rules

Certain things in life have rules and expectations that must be adhered to but others that, while are assumed, definitely are not required to be followed. There are long-standing wedding customs with important meanings behind them and some that were simply started and have been incorporated as time has gone on. It is a personal decision whether or not you choose to integrate any or all into your ceremony and here are just a few of them….

The Seating Chart: It’s not necessary to assign a place for every guest to sit at your venue and is perfectly acceptable to allow each to select their own upon arrival. No one needs to sit on one side or the other based on which part of the family they are associated with. The same goes for your reception space as, not only does not worrying about it ease your stress level and save you preparation time, it allows people to meet, mingle and interact with others they may not know.

The Rehearsal Dinner: While your rehearsal isn’t a tradition you should skip so as to ensure your wedding runs smoothly, the subsequent dinner is one you can. Any way to save money is a positive thing and two fancy dinners in a row are not necessary so long as that is clarified early on. One option is to invite those in your wedding party to eat while specifying you are not hosting (hence not funding) it. Another is gathering after your practice to simply give thank you notes or small tokens of appreciation.

The First Dance: Every wedding you’ve been to probably included a first dance with the couple, whether rehearsed or simply to a chosen song but that is not necessary either. After all, your guests have already witnessed the special commitment between your husband and yourself during your ceremony. Therefore, why not skip everyone watch you share more intimate time together before the festivities begin and let the first dance be one for everyone?

The Dress: The term “blushing bride” has a new meaning in the sense that it’s no longer necessary for you to wear a stark white dress. Shades of ivory, pale pink or beige are unique without being over the top and completely acceptable. If you want to go bolder, it’s perfectly fine as well. The tradition of wearing white began with Queen Victoria so it goes without saying that it’s one that can be discarded in this day and age.

It is your day, after all, and you should have it your way. Not only breaking these traditions but any of many others will make it special and memorable for yourself and your guests but likely inspire and open the minds of any friends who get married in the future.

 

Let’s Book It

Planning a wedding is an overwhelming task but also something you will want to recall every moment of in the future. Keeping those times in your mind often isn’t easy as they will fade and most likely disappear at some point. Many brides don’t realize that notebooks, journals or diaries are wonderful ways to preserve every facet and later look back upon. Each one contains different information, is done in a distinctive way and is unique solely to you.

One option is very simple in the sense of just scrawling your thoughts and feelings as you go through the planning process. You don’t have to be specific but can plainly write a sentence or two about what you are thinking or feeling on any given day whether something particular or solely excitement, a recollection of your relationship, the moment of your proposal and so on.

Another idea is photographing each step from selecting flowers, shopping for a gown, finding your venue etc. and writing a few words on the back of every one. This way, you can make a fun and interesting collage of the months that went into your big day and the people who shared those moments with you not only on that day but on each one leading up to it.

Additionally, everyone close to you who has seen the growth and development of your relationship could compose a note addressed to the two of you that could be put together in a logbook or folder. In that case, the memories would reflect things that perhaps you didn’t know or hadn’t seen.

Whether you opt for an uncomplicated and handwritten diary of random moments, a plethora of photos separated in a binder, a combination of the two or special notes, you will have something personal and timeless to look back on for countless years to come and is definitely worth spending time investing time in doing.

 

Flower Girl(y) Things

 

Typically, when you imagine the role of your flower girl, you plan on her walking down the aisle dropping rose petals which is often what happens. Some venues that don’t allow real flowers but there are many interesting and creative ways in which she can participate without using them.

She could help carry your train (if you have one) as you walk down the aisle, take part in placing it at the altar and insuring that it looks perfect. It is one sweet and meaningful alternative but most likely, there would need to be some practice prior, especially depending on her age.

A very personal way to both include her as well as share a piece of your life with your guests is to have her, instead of flowers, carry something to the two of you that is especially meaningful such as a photo of you on your first date, a special card or letter from the past or one you have written just for the day of. Whether or not you actually share it during the ceremony or at the reception, it would make your wedding even more romantic and special.

If you are insistent on flowers, a basket can be filled with a variety of flowers rather than petals.  There are many beautiful basket designs that will match the style and/or theme of your ceremony. An alternative to that is a pomander made out of a single type of flower or in a variety to match your bouquet.

Yet one other idea is to have an individualized sign made that can be carried down the aisle displaying anything from the date you met or got engaged, the name you will be taking on as a wife, a sentimental message or anything else.

No matter whether you choose to go the traditional route or opt for something different, it is important that she feels special and included as it an honor for anyone to be asked to participate on your special day and even more so to a child.

Don’t Kid Me

Kids_wedding-280_746791a

Children can be an issue at weddings and receptions, therefore some brides choose to request they not be present. However, if there are children involved either together or on either side from a prior relationship, they are obviously an exception and will most likely play a part in your ceremony in a special and meaningful way. Depending on age, there are many ways to do just that.

If young, the most obvious option is to have your daughter be the flower girl or son the ring bearer. If older, you could include them as part of the wedding party as a bridesmaid/maid of honor or groomsman/best man.

Another choice is inclusion by having them stand at the altar, verbally acknowledging their importance in front of your guests or being given a ring to seal your commitment as that indicates you’re not only making a pledge to your husband but to a family that he/she plays a part in making happen.

It goes without saying that brides are customarily accompanied by their father when walking down the aisle. If you’d rather, an option would be to be escorted by your child. Of course, this would be a conversation that would need to be had with your family (especially your father) so as no one feels less important or uncomfortable. While your family innately knows their importance and value in your life, sometimes children need to be reminded and that is another way to do just that.

It is imperative that everyone at your wedding feels appreciated and included and more than anyone else, your children. Despite the number of ways to incorporate them into your day, it is important for them to feel their importance as well as grasp that they are integral in your future.

Can You Ador(n) me?

Every bride wants to feel as beautiful and put together as possible as they walk down the aisle. You want your hair to be perfect, gown to be gorgeous, makeup to be flawless etc. One aspect that is often exciting but possibly stressful is selecting the right jewelry as several things factor in to your decision. For some, it is a no-brainer and for others it is one of the most difficult facets of the entire planning process.

Jewelry should complement your gown without overshadowing it. Sometimes, less is more and, while there may be countless pieces you would love to wear, they can easily become a distraction from what is most important. Overly ornate items, for example, can distract all eyes from being on you, especially if your dress is classic and simple.

It goes without saying that if you have items with special meaning or are gifts, it makes no difference whether they are in accordance with the decor, ambiance, match your dress or anything else. After all, your wedding is all about the things and people who are most enjoyable and important to you. However, you need to make sure they are clean and looking as beautiful as their meaning is.

If you don’t have anything of particular importance, a good idea is to select items that match your dress and are fitting with the venue. Say that if your dress is beaded, tiered, elaborate etc., minimalistic adornments are the best idea. If you have a plunging neckline or a strapless gown, it is appropriate to select something more glittery and showy as, otherwise, it is easy to appear as there is a lot of empty space.

Most people believe that, on your wedding day, every element must be either white or in a very near shade. However, your adornments don’t have to be diamonds and are not restricted to any color palette at all. If you want to wear ruby earrings or a sapphire necklace, for example, it is perfectly acceptable to do so even if there is no sentimental or particular value behind them.

You selected your gown for a reason and would never want anything to detract from either the reason you chose it or how you look wearing it. Jewelry is meant to be an accent and not a diversion. After all, what you want everyone to focus on is the love between your fiancé and yourself, the vows you recite and the fact that you are joining yourself together for the rest of your lives.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Your wedding is an occasion on which you share some of the most intimate moments of your life with those who are near and dear to you. Of course, there will be people in attendance who you don’t know such as the “plus ones” and some of those meaningful to your fiancé that you are not familiar with. Sharing one of your most important events is equally as meaningful to your friends and family as it is to you. However, there are some aspects that should be kept private and need not be addressed if they make you uncomfortable and/or should they arise.

Anything in reference to costs and pricing is off-limits and that should go without saying. Perhaps you will feel comfortable telling someone how much one particular thing ran such as your photographer or the veil for example (especially if the inquisitive one is someone who is preparing for a wedding of their own). However, you should never feel obligated to disclose anything in reference to money, who paid for what or anything of the like.

Inquisitions in reference to how you choose who to or not to invite are something else that you should never have to respond to. Perhaps it has something to do with your budget, might be related to how intimate you want your ceremony to be or maybe there is an unsaid conflict between two people who you are trying to avoid awkwardness between and keep from putting a damper on your day.

Your wedding is your own and something else that is not kosher is being asked whether your ideas in terms of planning and execution are yours alone or whether you “borrowed” them from someone else. Inspiration comes from countless places including magazines, photos, shopping and even weddings you’ve attended. You need not justify the reasoning behind any of your choices or decisions nor disclose where they came from.

The bridal party shouldn’t request another style or color of dress despite the fact that they are responsible for their own cost. You should definitely give some consideration to body shapes and sizes and perhaps choose different styles of the same dress (in the same shade of course). However, if someone would prefer something different, they most likely either had that at their own wedding or will when their special day arrives.

Every bride is different and if you choose to answer a question, go on and do so. However, you should never feel obligated to disclose any information that makes you uncomfortable or that you feel to be inappropriate. Your guests (and certainly your bridal party) should relish the moment and appreciate the fact they were invited to partake in your day. The details and decisions are not anyone’s business but yours and never need to be justified.

I’ll Shoe You

While many of the decisions that must be made for your wedding day seem monotonous and perhaps meaningless, one that can be fun and show an interesting side of you that some of your guests may not know are with your shoes. There are many ways to go about choosing which ones you will wear and the meaning behind them but they are, again, something that most people don’t even give much consideration to so here are some thoughts to contemplate…

First and foremost, you need to wear a pair that are comfortable as, unless you change them for the reception, they will be on your feet (as will you) for hours. If you always wear flip-flops and never heels, for example, you need to give pause to how high of a heel, how much of a strap etc. you can tolerate. Spend some time in them prior to your ceremony, whether it be just walking around or dancing so you can break them in and get accustomed to them.

If you plan to wear “traditional” wedding shoes as opposed to cowboy boots, something in a bright color or anything else that showcases your personality, do not select them until you’ve chosen your dress. Dresses come in all shades of white and, while your shoes can be dyed to match your dress, it is much more impractical and expensive (if not impossible) to dye your dress to match your shoes.

Additionally, think about the length of your gown and your venue. If your dress is long enough, your footwear will most likely not even show and you could easily get away with wearing flats or something both more comfortable and practical. If the floor as you walk up and then back down the aisle is carpeted, wooden or if you choose to have a runner, that comes into play as well due to the impact it will have on how easily you can walk (as you certainly wouldn’t want to slip or fall down).

It is prudent to take your shoes to your dress fitting so, if necessary, your gown can be adjusted in accordance with the style you have chosen. If you are intent on wearing flip-flops, for example, your gown may need to be lengthened and if you want to wear “statement” shoes, it may need to be made shorter.

A really fun and special thing to do is to personalize your shoes no matter the style you select or whether they will even be seen or not. Every type can be monogrammed on the side, have something written on the bottom or in countless other ways. While certainly not the most pressing thing when it comes to decisions for your wedding, your feet should definitely be taken into consideration and what is on your feet can be a very fun thing to explore your options in reference to.