Have you been asked to be a bridesmaid? Well we want to help you out and give you tips on everything that is expected of you for this important role!
What the bride will expect from the bridesmaids:
- By being a bridesmaid, you know that you are one of the most important women in the Brides life. That being said, there is no need for pettiness or drama.
- You will be accompanying the bride when she goes shopping for her dress.
- There is a gray line on who pays for what, so be sure that you are aware of the expectations before committing.
- Help address the invitations.
- You and the Maid of Honor will be planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
- Make sure to help coordinate the out of town guests, arrange transportation and accommodation.
- Help direct guests to their seats.
- You are expected to be present at all pre-wedding events.
Most of all you want to be there for the bride, this includes emotional support, planning and logistical support. In addition, your main job as a bridesmaid is to make sure the wedding is great. You want to coordinate with all the bridesmaids, plan ahead and support the bride in any way possible!
When planning a wedding, the budget is a major factor. A majority of women have been dreaming about their perfect wedding since childhood, but a budget shouldn’t hinder you from getting that fairytale wedding. Here are some great tips in getting the most out of your wedding budget.
1. Always get three quotes. From the caterer to the venue, it’s extremely important to see what is out there. This will allow some flexibility and a better idea of what reasonable prices are.
2. Invitations. Keep it simple. A normal size invitation can prevent additional postage = more money. Have your guests RSVP by email. This will save you in terms of postage and extra paper!
3. Flowers. You don’t have to have flowers galore on your wedding day. Instead of fresh flower centerpieces you can opt for faux flowers, candles or vases!
4. Skip the favors. A majority of people don’t take them home or trash them immediately.
5. Venue benefits. Some venues provide linens, plates, napkins, utensils, etc. All things that you don’t have to worry about!
6. Alcohol. Order your wedding wine and beer through a distributor. You can then choose what you prefer and allow you to budget accordingly.
All of these ideas are great ways to save money on your wedding day. Since every bride is different in terms of what they want; it’s best for you to pick three things that are important to you and spend your money there.
How are you supposed to stay organized during the whole wedding planning process? Well look no further we’ve compiled an easy list of things that need to be done and at what time!
12 Months Before
- Discuss your budget
- Start on your guest list
- Create your wedding folder
- Book your venue
10 Months Before
- Decide on your bridal party
- Research vendors (photographers, florists, bands, etc.)
- Book your officiant
- Throw an engagement party
8 Months Before
- Order your dress
- Hire your vendors
- Reserve rooms for guests
6 Months Before
- Select your invitations
- Order bridesmaids’ dresses
- Plan and book honeymoon
- Send your save the dates
- Arrange transportation
4 Months Before
- Book rehearsal and rehearsal dinner venues
- Start dress fittings
- Schedule hair and makeup
- Order the cake
- Choose the mens’ attire
2 Months Before
- Settle on hair and makeup
- Finalize the ceremony
- Mail the invitations
- Purchase rings
- Apply for marriage license
- Order wedding favors
1 Month Before
- Bachelorette Party
- Final dress fitting
- Meet with photographer and discuss final shots
- DJ playlist
- Send out final payments
- Write vows
1 Week Before
- Final head count
- Finalize seating chart
- Beauty treatments
- Pick up dress
- Reconfirm pickup times
- Rehearsal dinner
- Give bridal party gifts
- Have fun and get married!
1. What kind of wedding do you want? Discuss the kind of feeling/ vibe you’d like for your special day. Do you want a traditional church wedding, or a non-religious ceremony?
2. Who to invite? Make a provisional guest list before anything to get an idea of the type of venue that can accommodate it.
3. When to marry? Be flexible with dates. Summer or winter? Weekday or weekend? This will play a huge part in your wedding budget.
4. Where to marry? Narrow down a general location first. Where you live now, where you grew up or a destination wedding?
5. What’s important to you? Figure out your priorities. This can help decide where you want to spend the time and money for your wedding.
Earlier this month, we spoke about the traditional American wedding ceremony. This week, we are going to discussthe traditions that go into the American wedding reception. Your wedding reception is the icing on the cake to your wedding ceremony. It is a celebration of your union. If you decided to have more of a traditional wedding ceremony than you might want to opt for including some of the following traditions into your reception.
The Grand Entrance: This is the first moment when the Bride and Groom will enter into the room as Husband and Wife. This is another moment where all eyes are on them. Traditionally, the grand entrance is done with the wedding party as well. This gives it an air of grand celebration. Many times the DJ will announce the wedding party one by one, and each will strut in and stand around the dance floor waiting for the moment the Bride and Groom are announced. Having them stay of the dance floor or go straight to their seats is entirely based on personal preference, but including a grand entrance is great for pictures and the wedding video. It is also very easy to go into the couple’s first dance from here, as it establishes a smooth flow of events.
The First Dance: The first dance is one of the most romantic moments of the big day. It is a moment in time where all eyes are on the Bride and Groom. Usually the first dance is a great segway into open dancing for all of the guests. Sometimes the first dance comes before the meal and right after the grand entrance, while the other alternative is after the meal before open dancing.
The Father/Daughter – Mother/Son Dance: Both of these dances can be very emotional moments at the reception. Symbolizing the continuity of family, these dances have been a long-standing tradition that many families hold dear. It is a last moment where the Father/Mother can share an intimate moment with their son or daughter.
The Maid of Honor/Best Man Toast: These toasts are one of the most important traditions of the Best Man and Maid of Honor. These toasts are usually made during the first half of the reception, and will focus on the Bride or Groom. This toast is a chance for the Maid of Honor and the Best Man to tell the guests why the Bride and Groom are meant for each other and how they have each impacted each other’s lives. It is a way for the guests to learn more about the couple and their past.
The Bouquet Toss: This is when the Bride will toss her bouquet to all the single ladies at the wedding reception. It is said that whoever catches the bouquet will be the next to get married.
The Garter Toss: The garter toss is a very fun tradition for the guys. This is where the Groom takes off the Bride’s garter and tosses it to all the single men at the reception. Traditionally, a sign of fertility, whoever catches the garter is said to be the next to get married.
Cutting of the Wedding Cake: The cutting of the wedding cake is one of the first acts that the Bride and Groom do together. Often, they will feed each other a piece of the cake. The wedding cake symbolizes caring between the couple, and the crumbs traditionally symbolize enhanced fertility.
If you are a traditionalist, then there are many fun ways to include tradition into the big day. If you want to bring a sense of modernity to your wedding, then add contemporary touches to these traditions to make them uniquely yours.
Tradition, tradition, tradition! If you have ever been to an American wedding there are a number of traditions that you will notice taking place throughout the evening. In this blog post, we are going to explore wedding ceremony traditions, and how you can incorporate them into your big day!
The White Wedding Dress: Nothing screams “I’m getting married” like a white dress. Originally, the Bride was supposed to be in in white as a sign of purity. Today, brides are opting for alternative colors, but this is definitely not the norm. Most brides choose the white gown as it has proven to be a timeless tradition.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something New: Most people have heard of this tradition, but it is not clear where it comes from. In any case, most couples find this custom a fun one to continue on. The custom is that the bride must carry something old, new, borrowed and blue on the day of her wedding. Old represents the bride’s past, as well as the continuity of the family. New symbolizes optimism for the bride and groom’s future. Something borrowed is typically an item from a happily married couple whose good luck in their marriage will carry over on to the bride’s marriage, and finally, something blue comes from the old proverb, “Marry in blue, lover be true.” Before the 19th Century, brides would often wear blue wedding dresses. This tradition can be kept personal to the bride, or can involve the help of her bridesmaids.
Here are a few ideas for:
- Something old: A piece of jewelry that has been in the family for quite some time, a photo, a piece of fabric from a wedding dress that someone in your family has warn.
- Something new: New shoes, new jewelry, lingerie, or perhaps the garter for the garter toss. (see below)
- Something borrowed: An piece of jewelry, your veil, dress embellishment, or a hair piece.
- Something blue: A blue ribbon stitched into the dress or garter, a blue garter, blue lingerie, blue nail polish, blue embellishment on the shoes, blue jewelry accents, or anything other small accents where blue can be incorporated.
The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen: Selecting bridesmaids and groomsmen should not be taken lightly. The chosen wedding party should be there throughout your journey to encourage and support you. Choose carefully, because those chosen will be in all of your photos, as well as in the majority of your wedding day memories. They will be the ones to set the mood and prepare you for you walk down the aisle.
The Bridal Bouquet: The bridal bouquet is the final feminine wedding touch the bride will carry down the aisle. As the tradition goes, the bride chooses flowers based on her emotions towards the marriage. Different flowers symbolize different feelings. Today, most brides choose flowers based on look, feel and style of the wedding. There are many different types of bouquets to choose from, including the pompadour ball, cascading bouquet, or overflowing bouquet. Depending on both the bride’s budget and style will determine what bouquet the florist will design for her to carry on her big day.
Rings: The wedding band is one tradition that almost every sings couple will stick to. The rings’ circular shape symbolizes eternity and a continuation of life. Traditionally, the wedding bands are very simple. Today, people engrave or embellish their bands in many ways. A bride might engrave a special quote or saying that is specifically meant for her groom, or perhaps the wedding date or a simple heart. Another option is to embellish the band with jewelry. Many bride’s bands today are made of diamonds and fit nicely with their engagement ring.
If you or your family is a stickler for tradition, then go with it. The traditions that you carry on will forever be appreciated not only by your family and guests, but buy you as well.
Stay tuned for our next blog post on wedding reception traditions!
What girl doesn’t like a great party and receiving tons of presents? It’s in our nature! We love it, and your bridal shower should be no different. These days, bridal showers have taken on new levels and are more fun than ever before. Traditionally, brides had their bridal shower and the groom had his bachelor party. Today, brides want in on the fun, and are not afraid to go after it.
The bridal shower is traditionally planned by the Maid of Honor. She can either put together a lovely afternoon luncheon filled with champagne and presents or she can go even further and plan a bridal shower that competes on the same level as the boys.
Here are a few different ideas for the shower:
- Sail away! Instead of another girl’s night out, make it a girls weekend away. Don’t limit your shower to a measly four hours when you can make it last for days! Plan a weekend in the snow if it is the season and the bride would enjoy it. If she is a more fair weathered maiden then why not head to the beach? This trip will be relaxing for everyone and a great bonding experience for all of the girls. It will be one of the last trips that the bride will take without her newly beloved.
- Learn something! If traveling is not really her thing, then maybe an activity filled bridal shower is the way to go. There are a hundred different activities that you can plan for the shower including a cooking seminar a gardening lesson or maybe make it risque with a pole dancing class. Activities are engaging and they make the experience unique and memorable. A cooking class would be great for a bride that wants to learn how to better cook for her new hubby. An in-home wine tasting gives the girls a chance to gab away, while learning a thing or two about the grape. Remember, make it something that everyone invited can partake in. It will be very uncomfortable if anyone is left out.
- Better together! It is possible that the couple wants to have a couples shower. In this case, the shower is going to be more like a dinner party or cocktail party. There will still be gifts, but instead of focusing on the bride, these gifts will be for both the bride and the groom. The guests will be male and female, and any activities will be centered around the couple, rather than just the bride. Today, many couples enjoy these showers as it is always fun to be showered together.
Your wedding ceremony is the number one even of the day. It is where you tie the knot and take your first steps as Husband and Wife. Even though most ceremonies are short, you still want to put aside part of your décor budget for it. Below you will find a number of different trends and ideas that will give your ceremony that wow factor.
- Unique Touches
- If you’re wedding is outside during the day under the hot sun, then why not provide your guests with parasols? Not only are parasols pretty, but they will look great in pictures and ensure the comfort of your guests. Parasols would tie in well with a vintage style wedding or in a garden setting.
- Purchase or collect handkerchiefs for your guests. Either mix and match or get custom made hankies for your wedding day. This is not only a nice take away for guests, but also gives them something to wipe away their tears of joy when watching you tie the knot! Rather than putting them on each chair, put them on a nice (theme appropriate) tray so that guests may take one as they walk in.
- The Alter
- Create a unique backdrop behind the Alter. Hang glass and flower garlands with ribbons and crystals from the ceiling for a chic wedding ceremony look. This will not only look great in pictures, but will make for a sophisticated and dressed up backdrop to say “I do”.
- Get married under a canopy, or in the Jewish tradition a chuppah. Adorn the canopy with a plethora of full and fresh of flowers. Hyndrangea might be a great fit here, since these flowers tend to take up a lot of space. Splashes of color will brighten the look. If the full adornment doesn’t fit in your budget, then opt for garlands or crystals. Have your rental company or florist create a sweeping crystal curtain. This look is like a fairytale wedding come to life.
- The Aisle
- Line the aisle with hurricane vases filled with a submerged orchid. This is a great look for a more modern summertime wedding. Switch it up with a floating dahlia for a different look.
- Instead of the traditional letter monogram displayed on the aisle, choose a phrase that captures your wedding day spirit. This is so much more personal and meaningful. It is sure to be a first for many of your invited guests.
- Place lanterns down the aisle, especially if you have an “into the night” ceremony. This look fits best with a rustic and casually sophisticated style wedding. Perhaps a ceremony on a ranch or private estate, or even a more rustic hotel.
- Have your florist create a floral aisle runner, or incorporate a design into it. Make sure the aisle remains off limits to guests until after the ceremony. Having a floral aisle runner is sure to achieve that ‘wow’ factor! It looks great in pictures, and is ever so romantic.
Whether embellished with grand florals and crystals or a simply lined aisle, the design of the ceremony must fit in well with the theme of your wedding. Consistency from room to room must be kept. However, stay away from redundancy, as this can get very visually boring to the guests.
Looking back on your wedding day, you are going to always remember your ceremony, and the minute you took that first step down the aisle. This moment is the beginning of the rest of your life, and you want it to be magical.
Flowers are a significant part of any wedding’s decor, and choosing the right florist can make or break the big day. Whether you are a floral minimalist or want your event dripping in blooms, you need your florist to be on par with your vision and to produce breathtaking results.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask your florist before hiring them:
- How many years of experience do they have? Not to say that a younger company cannot produce fantastic results, but a florist with years under their belt has a keen eye for design, as well as timing which is crucial on your big day. You don’t want this to be their first, but you also do not want your florist to produce the same look and feel as another couple’s wedding.
- Ask to see some of their past events. Any florist you visit should have a plethora of images to show you of previous events they have done. They should be able to show you examples of their work, and how they can customize their floral designs to meet your needs. It is also important to make sure that your florist shares your vision and style.
- What venues have they worked at? A florist that has worked at a number of different venues will know the space and know how to work it. They can provide great insight on what works and what doesn’t in your chosen space. If they have not worked in your particular venue, then make sure they go on walk-throughs with your vendors to ensure they know the ins and outs, including loading, unloading, lighting, style, etc.
- What kind of inventory does the florist have? The more inventory the florist has the less you have to spend buying and renting what you want. Most experienced florists will have an array of vases, bowls, lanterns, etc that you can rent from them to create the desired look for your wedding. If the florist does not possess these things, the bride will have to buy any items at full retail price resulting in a much higher cost.
- How creative are they? Do you need to tell them exactly what to do, or are they providing you with ideas and insight on design? Do they suggest different types of flowers, colors and centerpiece designs? Do they provide alternative creations for personal flowers or escort cards? The reason you choose a floral designer is because they design and create something that will be unique to your wedding.
- Do they have an experienced staff? Every florist should have an experienced staff of people to assist them the day of event. These employees should not be one-time employees, but rather permanent staff who are talented at both design and detail. The florist may be the designer, but they are only as good as the people they employ.
The final, and most important question that YOU must ask yourself is, do I have a connection with this vendor? Planning a wedding does not happen overnight, so expect to work with this person for quite a long time. In the end, it is essentially about the relationship. Does this person share your vision? Do they take it to a whole new level, and provide you with everything needed to accomplish it?
If so, then you have found the one.
Most women spend a lot of their day dreaming hours constructing the perfect wedding day. Now, you’re engaged. It’s time to get to it, and you don’t even know where to start. Regardless of the hours spent planning your big day, unless it is a reality, many people do not realize the details that go into arranging a smooth flowing, spectacular day.
So today, we are going to go over a basic time frame for planning a wedding. It may sound like all fun and games, but, in reality, it’s a full time job.
Six to twelve months before:
- Create a budget! Do not get excited about this. Establishing a budget is an extremely daunting task. Be realistic about this number. Who is taking on the burden of the budget?
- Visualize your wedding. Explore different themes and styles. Think about where you would want to get married. What time of year? Will it be a destination wedding, or in a traditional church setting? How many guests will you have? Are you planning on having a wedding party?
- Think flowers. Most flowers are not available at any time of the year, they are seasonal, and therefore you should keep this in mind when choosing your date. If you like peonies, then expect to plan your wedding anywhere from May to the end of July. If you insist on French Tulips, then the winter is your season. If you are not a big floral person then this is not exactly something you will need to take into consideration.
- Secure the venue. The minute you have identified the perfect venue, put a deposit on it! A venue space is never a sure thing until you put down the money. Once you have the venue, all else follows, including design, catering, guest count, layout, etc, etc, etc.
- Hire a wedding consultant/planner: Once you have thought about your theme, budget, and secured your venue it is time to hire a professional. This person will guide you throughout all the details that you never would have thought about. This person will be your liaison to all of the vendors and will help you with design, flow, and almost anything you can imagine. Make sure you get along well with this person, as you will be working with them for months and sometimes over a year.
- Get ready for your closeup! It is now time to hire your photographer. Most of the time your wedding consultant will be able to refer photographers and will be able to get quotes for you. It is important that you think about the type of pictures you want. Do you want more staged photos, or do you want more action and kodak moments? Each photographer has a unique style, so make sure you look through their portfolio before choosing the one.
- Save-the-date! Put together your invite list and send out save-the-dates!
- Choose the wedding party. It is time to select your best friends and closest family members to walk down the aisle with you. Remember, being part of the wedding party can be economically hard for some people, so choose wisely.
- Say Yes to the dress. Get an idea of the type of dress you want, and get the girls together for a bridal party fashion show!
Four to six months before:
- Meet and greet. It is now time to meet all of the vendors, including florists, event rentals, lighting, DJ, band, caterer, hair and makeup, etc. After interviewing a few, pick one and get your wedding in the books!
- Bridesmaids need some love too! It is not time to pick your bridesmaids dresses. Keep in mind their budgets, and choose something that will flatter them.
- Assemble the guest list and order invitations. There are so many different types of invitations out there. Get an idea of what you want, and make sure that it is consistent with your theme.
- Presents! Now this is the fun part, register for gifts! Choose carefully. Register for items that you really want and need, do not get caught up in the excitement of it all.
Three months before:
- Fit your dress. Your dress is in, and now you have to try it on. Don’t be scared, this is a moment you will never forget.
- Accessorize! Choose all of your jewelry, under garments, and your shoes, of course! It is also important to see all of this stuff when trying on your dress. You want to see the whole picture, not just imagine it.
- Don’t forget about the boys. Reserve a tuxedo for the groom and his groomsmen. Make sure they do not need any altering.
- Grub time. One of the best parts of planning your big day are the food and cake tastings. Design your menu, order your cake, and don’t forget to try it all out before you make the final decision.
One to two months before:
- Mail invitations. Your big day is right around the corner, and you need to know how many people to feed! Get those invites out, so you can your RSVPs back.
- Purchase the following: champagne flutes, guest book, cake knife, wedding party gifts, table numbers, and escort cards.
- Finalize: a list of must have pictures to give to your photographer and a compilation of songs you want to dance to, and people who are going to give speeches. Your coordinator will develop a timeline for your big day, and will need to know, in detail, every person who will speak, as well as everyone you want in pictures so they can help the photographers stay on target.
One week before:
- Spoil yourself. Get a massage and a mani-pedi. You need to be relaxed and rejuvinated. Enjoy it.
- Cough it up. Make sure all vendors have been paid.
- Review the timeline. Know your stuff. If you know what you are supposed to do throughout the day, you will find yourself much more relaxed.
And last but certainly not least:
- Say ‘i do’