Category Archives: vows

Never(tr)ending Ideas

Every year (and often each season), new and creative styles and ideas for your wedding day emerge as the notion of what is acceptable or expected continues to evolve. These allow every bride, from the most conservative to the extraordinarily eclectic, have some fresh ideas in their stockpile from which to choose.

Sometimes two is better than one (pieces that is). More and more brides are opting for gowns consisting of a top and separate skirt. Doing so opens up the door to infinite options by letting you mix and match fabrics, styles and even colors. Additionally, you will have fun designing your own dress and know that it will truly be one of a kind.

Having a friend or loved one perform your ceremony is also growing in popularity although it requires research as well as time and effort. The person you select must be willing to go through the necessary steps to become ordained and the laws regarding officiants vary depending on location. On the upside, doing so gives you the chance to work together on the ceremony script, making it highly personalized.

Flowers, whether for bouquets, boutonnieres or table decorations, are being taken over by berry-accented greenery, moss, ivy and succulents. Doing so can be pulled off in a very elegant, unexpected and surprising (not to mention cost-effective) manner.

It was typically expected that your wedding would be filled with bright and cheerful colors as a symbol of your marriage. As options expand, there is an increase in those who opt for neutrals, whether all white, ecru, tan or similar shades with very few accents. Surprisingly, rather than appearing drab, such tones radiate while creating a sense of elegance.

You can step outside the box and experiment with what is new and modern without doing so in ways that will make you look back at your wedding photos and wonder what you were thinking. Do not be afraid of the word “trend” as it don’t not have to be synonymous with blatant or over the top.

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.

I Take You….Just Not Your Name

In the past, it was expected that you would take your husband’s last name upon getting married. Times have changed and there are many reasons why you may elect not to do so, none of which are either offensive or based in past traditions. However, you should consider some things before making that decision.

Identity: Beginning as a child, you have responded to, written and signed your last name throughout your life thus far. Perhaps you feel as if you would lose part of your individuality which is something partners in marriage should keep. Upon choosing your spouse, you are opting to make many compromises but need to feel as if you aren’t completely surrendering your entire self.

Preference: Possibly you have a unique surname and that of your fiancé doesn’t seem to match in conjunction with your first name or is is just too common. Maybe you just don’t like his at all. Many women practice being addressed by “Smith,” for example, and just cannot acclimate or become accustomed to it.

Professionalism: Chances are you graduated from college prior to getting engaged and your degree(s) has/have the inscription of your birth name. Unfortunately, the working world is much tougher for women in terms of gaining credibility, respect and the opportunity to advance. In addition to the difficulty required in making the alterations, much confusion would be involved.

Children: Because you select to keep your maiden name does not mean that your offspring must do the same. While a necessary conversation to have before walking down the aisle, typically babies do take the father’s name as hyphenation is nothing other than complicated to them but increases in complexity as they grow.

Your decision is your own and is not indicative of your level of love for your spouse. Your vows, pledges and responsibility to one another are what indicate the future the two of you have planned.

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

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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.

I’m Write

With so many things to focus on when planning your wedding, sometimes your vows end up being forgotten about. Many brides choose to recite the traditional vows, perhaps with a few tweaks, such as removing the “obey” portion. Although your wedding will be unique, just as each one is, writing personal vows gives each of your guests a glimpse into your relationship and what has brought you to the point you are at. Here are some pointers if you choose to do so…

First and foremost, make sure that personalized vows are permitted by the venue and/or officiant. There may be restrictions in the sense that you can only make small alterations to the conventional vows but not have complete freedom to write you own. In such a case, you need to prioritize and either find a location that allows you to recite what you want to say individually or opt to just make the changes allowed. If your heart is set on a certain venue, after all, you don’t want to spend countless hours doing something that will not be allowed.

If it is approved of, spend some time. Don’t just scribble something down the night before. Handwritten vows are extra special so it’s important that what you say is not something you will look back on and say “I wish I would have mentioned that…” However, you do need to be on the same page as you don’t want to say things that are lighthearted and make your guests laugh if he is going to say things that make people cry. It is imperative that both of you agree on the style of what will be said.

While the main purpose of writing your own vows is to add a special element to the ceremony, you don’t want to make references to anything your guests will not understand nor do you want to say anything that is too personal or that you will look back on and be embarrassed by. That doesn’t mean that every word you speak has to be something every single person is aware of. After all, there are the “plus ones” who don’t know you at all and personalizing your vows is a great way for them to feel as if they have gotten to know you a little bit through the words you choose.

There is nothing wrong with including quotes or portions of poems that are meaningful to you. Doing it on your own does not mean that every word has to be original or that you cannot reference something else. It doesn’t matter whether it is something that has always been meaningful just to you or if it is a saying that is important to both of you. There is also nothing wrong with using traditional vows if they have always been what you have dreamed of or what have special meaning to you.

Recite what you are going to say. Obviously, every bride and groom want to be able to say the words they have chosen without help but your wedding day is one that will make you nervous jut out of its importance. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with reading your most important words from a piece of paper if necessary. While you never want to regret having forgotten something you wish you would have said in front of all your guests, you can always tell your new husband privately.

Vows are a huge part of any wedding, whichever route you choose to take. They are something that needs to be addressed whether in terms of mild modifications or completely original words. While your own words are usually more meaningful both to you, your fiancé and your guests, don’t overlook their importance or put them off until the last minute.