Most consultants know that one of the best ways to get brides talking about their wedding is to work in comments about the history surrounding many of the customs that are part of our American/European wedding traditions.
Nearly all consultants will make comments on the engagement ring the bride-to-be is wearing. Once you have found out who picked it out and the circumstances under which it was given, it is good to add some historical background. For example, primitive brides wore rings of rushes or hemp. These were plentiful but not too durable since they had to be replaced frequently.
Early Romans wore rings of iron to symbolize the permanence of marriage. As more precious metals became available, rings were made from silver, gold and platinum. Luckily, today’s brides have a wide range of choices, as do their grooms. Most legends tell us that the Egyptians started the tradition of placing the ring on the 3rd finger of the left hand because they believed that the vein, which ran through that finger runs straight to the heart. But in Medieval Europe, grooms placed the ring on three of the bride’s fingers in turn to symbolize the Trinity – “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Starting with the index finger, the ring ended up on and remained on the 3rd finger, and that has since become the customary ring finger for all English-speaking cultures.
However, in many European countries, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand, and a Greek woman may wear her ring on her left hand while she is engaged but move it to her right hand after her marriage.
Vera Fernandes, Vera’s Events,
203-366-3000 | email@example.com
You’ll never own anything as beautiful and symbolic as your wedding gown! Here at Weddings Simply Unique we’d like to give you some tips on preserving it as a keepsake or for your own daughter to wear one day. And please know, an overwhelming number of brides do treasure their gowns and preserve them after the ceremony rather than take part in some sketchy post wedding photo shoots.
Know too that your wedding gown must be carefully cleaned before storing. Food and beverage stains, though invisible at first glance, may yellow later on. The hemline is usually soiled and must be cleaned. Many cleaners may offer to pack your gown in a special box, which offers protection from dust in the air. We offer a special gown preservation service that will take care of all of the steps for you.
If you decide to store it yourself, it is best to place it in a cool dry place, not in the basement or attic. If you choose to store it on hangers, sew straps to the waistline to relieve pressure on the shoulders from the weight of the skirt. Stuff the sleeves with white tissue. Finally wrap the entire garment in a protective sheet or muslin covering. Do not encase the gown in plastic.
We have been assisting clients with wedding and event plans for many years. And we have never been disappointed with the ceremonies and receptions that we have seen, planned and attended. In addition to all of our ideas and helpful planes, we think one of our most valuable gifts to our clients is this piece of advice. Enjoy your wedding day, your bridal shower, your engagement party, your birthday, your anniversary, your baptism, your retirement, your christening, and everything that happens that day, but do remember that while everything may be perfect, don’t think of this as the BEST day of your life. This one will have been wonderful, memorable, charming, exciting, elegant or spectacular – the list of adjectives is long – but don’t expect FLAWLESS or think it is the best. Go through life believing that the best is yes to come – because it is. You will have a lifetime of days that you will consider “perfect”. Your wedding day, birthday and other special events will be a wonderful day, a deeply moving and remarkable day. It will be a fabulous party and an elegant event that guest will long remember and talk about. But it won’t be the only perfect day in your life nor will it b e the only best day of your life. It will be a happy day – one in a series of special moments yet to come in your life. As one remembers client said, “ It was a great party. It was the perfect event. But was it the best day of the client’s life? No. There are even more better days ahead. We agree with this comment. Don’t look for perfection and don’t get thrown off kilter if something unexpected happens. It will!
It doesn’t matter how long you spend planning it or the number of people who assist you – there is always a chance that “ Murphy” will visit your wedding or event and maybe even bring friends. While you may not be in control of everything (though I try to be), there are some things you can do to prevent problems from occurring and minimize those problems that do.
If possible, arrange to have a wedding or event planner/advisor available to assist you at the beginning of your preparations or hire one to oversee all of the details for you. Make realistic plans to begin with. Don’t create undue stress and complications by planning an event that is out
of your financial means, the time available or who you are.
Be organized and disciplined. Stick to your plans and stay focused. You will eliminate wheel spinning, indecision and wasted energy.
Pay attention to details. You can prevent big problems later if you pay attention to the small print now. As the experts say, “The devil is in the details”.
Stay positive. Remember why you are getting married or having your event in the first place. When the wedding or event preparations seem to take on a life of their own and you find yourself wondering if it is all worth it, remember why you are doing it. You are celebrating the union of your two lives or you are bring family and friends together. That’s a big thing and worth a little chaos. Make decisions. Don’t dither. Trust your gut instinct. And if early decisions don’t work out, make changes.
Stay flexible and be ready to detour if needed. How you view road bumps has a lot to do with how you handle them. Be prepared to either go around them or skim over the top of them.
Don’t be a “ bridezilla” or be negative. What an appalling way for a woman to behave or for anyone to behave, under any circumstances and over plans for a day which is to celebrate her new life or celebrate togetherness, it is unacceptable.
Be prepared for some things to veer off plan. Anticipate them and have alternatives at the ready.
Would you like to share your thoughts, I'd love to hear your PERSPECTIVE!
It is always amazing to me when seemingly well-educated people don’t get why they should RSVP when the invitation clearly requests it.
Knowing the total number of expected guests is critical at weddings and other large events because of the costs and deadlines involved in meal planning and preparation. But even for smaller social events, I lament the fact that people either don’t know what RSVP means or worse, choose to ignore it.
When working with brides, coordinators and planners are expected to know the social “rules” and to help their clients incorporate them into the celebration planning. Here are a few criteria to keep in mind and share with clients.
1. As Emily Post says, “No one is obligated to accept an invitation or to explain their reasons for not accepting. However, when someone is kind enough to extend an invitation, one should be just as kind and reply to the invitation.” Unfortunately, this is not always done.
2. Ask for help. If you have invited someone to your wedding and have included a reply card with a return by requested date and you still haven’t heard back, the best solution is to press bridesmaids or family relatives into helping you contact all those persons who have yet to reply. If a phone call is in order, helpers can say something like this: “Hi (the invitee's name), this is (the caller's name, bridesmaid, maid of honor, etc.). I’m calling to make sure that you have received the invitation to (couple's name)’s wedding. The bride hasn’t heard from you yet and needs to know if you plan to attend. The count needs to be in by (let them know the date). Everyone is looking forward to seeing you.” If you are leaving a voice mail message, add “ Please call, text or email me back at (give a phone number and email)”.
3. Respond in the same manner that the invitation was issued. If an invitation to an event has come via e-mail then an e-mail response is in order.
We know that the success of a wedding or event flows from dozens of thoughtful gestures and touches. While everything from the setting to the beauty of the cake is important, it is the graciousness and warmth of the couple being married that turns the event into magic.
We welcome all comments. Thank you for visiting!
Vera Fernandes, Certified Wedding Specialist & Event Coordinator
Vera's Events | 203.366.3000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
We know that one style and one color do not fit all people. The color palettes on today’s dinnerware reflect the diversity of people’s tastes. Colors do however make a statement. Shades of pinks, peach and banana are considered relaxing colors. Blues, greens and turquoise are refreshing shades.
We know that today’s brides want to follow tradition– but just so far! Today’s bride wants to find ways to put her personal stamp on this important ceremony. She wants to personalize and customize as many parts of the wedding as she can. Here are some traditional ideas with new looks. Of course you want the first dance at your reception to feature your groom and you. But who says it has to be a slow dance? Many couples are taking dance lessons together so that the opening dance features them in a new way. Consider doing a tango. If that isn’t right for you, what about another dance with a Latin flavor? Salsa? Rumba? During the reception you two will be the focus of many toasts to your happiness. Why not toast your guests in return? Thank them for attending your wedding and for their roles in your lives. Do you need a cake?
Many couples say yes, but… Then they proceed to have several smaller cakes instead of the large showpiece. Those smaller cakes often find themselves as centerpieces at each table. Or the couple may choose cupcakes, or cheesecakes or pies or other exotic desserts. Some couples may pass on the cake entirely and opt instead for fruit or ice cream sundaes. It is your call. It used to be that couples left their reception early and guests stayed to party on. Today’s couple is likely to stay through the last dance and send guests home with their good wishes. Instead of throwing their gorgeous wedding bouquet, more and more brides are choosing a smaller bouquet to toss or are omitting that part of the reception all together. Many are choosing to present the bouquet to their mothers or grandmothers with a big thank you. This is your day and our job is to help you create the day that says YOURS!
We welcome all comments. Thank you for visiting!
The best way to describe the changing nature of receptions is to notice that they have evolved into more than just a formalized event as the term “reception” implies. More and more couples are choosing the term “celebration” to describe the party atmosphere and events they are planning for themselves and their guests. Instead of having the day slip away in a blur, brides and grooms want to have a good time at their party and take away wonderful memories. This is one of the biggest parties that most couples will ever give. They want everyone to have fun – themselves included.
Whether the celebration will be in a church basement or outdoors, one thing that is changing is the seating of guests. Reception “rules” have had the bridal party sitting at formal head tables, lined up according to one’s role in the wedding. But more and more couples are choosing not to have a head table and instead seat themselves with special family members or friends in the center of the eating area. Sitting in the middle of things – among family and friends – not apart from them, will help the couple to better enjoy their first meal together as husband and wife.
The remaining people in their wedding party and families are scattered at tables with other guests to encourage the celebration tone. They can talk about the wedding and events leading up to it that other guests may not know. It can make good mealtime conversation and is a way to involve guests more intimately with the event. You may still choose to have special place cards/table numbers for guests. For some brides and their mothers, trying to engineer the “perfect” mix of guests at each table is the hardest thing they do for the party. Others give up and let groups find their own places. Whether you are having a formal sit down dinner or a buffet, the best bet is to select round tables. These always allow an easier flow of conversation among guests. Providing a centerpiece for each table also places each guest at a decorated space at your party.
If you can’t have round tables and must use rectangular ones, request that they seat no more than six per table. At least with this number, everyone can hear everything that is said and conversation can flow. There is more space for each person to enjoy his/her food and beverage. For more celebration ideas, stop in and talk with one of our experienced consultants. We have party plans we know you’ll love. Ideas on music, cakes, decorations and favors can help you plan a party to remember.
We welcome your comments. Thank you for visiting!
We encourage our brides to talk about their wedding plans so that we can help them with their invitations. Save-the-date cards are an important part of your plans, especially if the bride is inviting many out-of-town guests or if the wedding is being celebrated over a holiday weekend. Ideally, they are sent out as early as six months prior to the wedding. Because invitations offer guests a sneak preview of the tone and formality of the wedding, much thought should be given to the selection. Formal wording should be used for formal and church weddings. Individuality can be expressed by choosing unique sizes, textures, colors, overlays and ribbons. While announcements are nice to send to those friends who live far away, invitations are a bit more personal and give the recipient a chance to attend or not. Unless the wedding is an ultra intimate affair, a reply card with a self-stamped, preaddressed envelope should be enclosed. Optional enclosures can be added such as dinner preferences, or, if it is a weekend affair, guests may be given the option to choose activities they would like to attend. Invitations should be mailed ten to twelve weeks before the event, especially to guests that are far away.
We welcome all comments. Thank you for visiting!
Brides ask us about the best way to announcement their engagement. It is happy news and you'll want to share it with everyone. Here are some helpful guidelines.
The first people to be told should be the bride's parents and both of you should be present to tell them in person. If they do not live nearby, an excited phone call from the bride to her parents is acceptable and then tries to schedule a time for them to meet the groom if they have not met him. If the groom has not discussed his plans with his parents, they should be the next to know the big news.
Both sets of parents should get together for introductions, either in a home or a restaurant. This gathering can be a time to talk about some of the wedding details like the number of guests and kind of wedding you two are planning After parents are informed, next you'll want to let close friends and relatives know. You may write or call them individually or you may wish to surprise them all at once and announce your news at a family gathering or party.
Engagement parties have traditionally been hosted by the bride's parents though you and your finance may elect to host the party yourselves. Once the date and some details have been agreed upon, an announcement, usually by the bride's parents may be published. Newspapers provide a form that is to be completed and submitted with an engagement photograph. The engagement is normally not announced prior to one year before the wedding and not later than six weeks ahead of the ceremony date.
When we first say "yes", we usually have no real idea about what the dream day will cost; of course many of us are surprised at how quickly expenses can add up. Keep that happy smile and joy in your heart because there are lots of ways to cut costs and still have Your Dream Wedding. This is a series of tips for cutting costs based expert strategies and recently married brides and grooms.
Are you really saving by stocking up on sale items you might need? Absolutely Not! Don't get carried away thinking you are going to save money by stocking up on gadgets you see online or elsewhere. By all means, if you have a real need for seventy-five do-hickies, then buy them, but don't buy with a vague plan in mind, it is wasteful and eats at your budget, and creeps you closer to going over budget and not having the funds you need for that centerpiece.
Every cent counts! Start saving change in a jar, you will be pleasantly surprised and how quickly the loose change grows. I once started taking all my change (small and large bills and coins) and put in a jar. The goal was to buy a new phone and wanted to see how much I could save. I was quite surprised when I tallied up the bills and coins in a short 6 month span; over $130! Start your change savings.
Must you invite your best friends, sister's uncle's cousin that you have not seen since you were five? You may not know what the person look like. A wedding is about sharing your special day with family and friends, usually people you socialize with frequently. However, if you have platinum dollars, invite them, if not, consider a small guest list. On average, ten percent of guest invited do not attend. Use the money to splurge on reception favors or whatever you like.
Friends and family members who agree to be members of the bridal party need to be thanked for their roles in making a wedding day special. Giving a gift is a great way to emphasize thanks to people who are doing so much for the couple. They are spending time and money and effort and love as participants in this very important day.
Brides and grooms, who think that bridal party gifts are just money clips for the guys and pearl earrings for the girls, are in for a surprise. Today's brides and grooms are eager to make their expressions of gratitude a more personal statement than in the past. They are spending time working with gift specialists in the jewelry store where their rings were purchased, or with consultants in gift and table top departments who have helped them create a meaningful gift registry, or with the bridal consultants in their fashion store who helped them with their gown and tuxedo selections.
Today's gifts are mementos - tokens of gratitude for the role the bridal party has played in this special day. The gifts chosen reflect the importance of that role. While jewelry items that can be worn the day of the wedding remain popular, the range of bridesmaid and groomsman gifts has broadened to include glassware, bar-ware, silver items like picture frames, dressing accessories, personal accessory items, artwork and fine writing accessories. Groomsmen gifts include well-made knives, flasks, and key rings. Rare coins, poker sets in pre packed cases, fine leather goods and jewelry items for both maids and groomsmen remain popular.
Whatever the gift chosen for bridal party attendants, the couple should be reminded to include gift items for the bride's and groom's parents. A meaningful gift can be a lovely double crystal picture frame that has room for the wedding photograph on one side and a thank you note or sample invitation on the other.
Thanking those who have helped to make the wedding day so memorable is a special privilege.
Your comments are welcome.
Founder, CWS, SC
Tabletop patterns cover a wide range of color palettes and unique designs. Some patterns reflect how artisans delve into traditions to create current classics. Decorative motifs such as florals, lace and imagery continue to be seen century after century. What distinguishes the work of the best designers working today is their inspired use of history updated for the present. These timeless designs reflect the way we live today and yet connect the bride with traditional looks.
There is a large and varied selection for your choice. Many designers prefer white linen as the background for their designs. But don't be afraid to surprise your guests with unexpected settings. Select colorful linens that reflect shades from your china to provide a more informal look. Select compatible casual napkins and placemats to provide even more variety. It's fun to use formal china for a picnic. It's colorful to mix patterns and provide an eclectic look to your dinner table. The old rule of no candle light until after six o’clock has given way so use candles anytime. We encourage you to know the rules and to know when to break them.
We believe that the secret of planning a fabulous stress-free reception begins with finding the right venue. Here is some sound advice to help you avoid costly mistakes. As soon as the date is confirmed with the clergy, contact should be made with the manager of preferred venues to check on availability. If you do not have a place in mind, consider options such as hotels, banquet halls, historical sites, parks, art galleries or museums.
In choosing the location, the convenience of guests should be kept in mind. By car, the location should not be more than half an hour from the ceremony site. Be sure that the site you have chosen is large enough to comfortably accommodate the number of guests you expect as well as provide the best seating arrangements. Check to see how many events will be taking place at a multi-event location or how much time is allotted between events schedules the same day.
Review any restrictions the venue may have regarding the type, volume and duration of the music. Is there a public address system in house or do you need to provide one. Is there an adequate power supply for speakers, instruments and amplifiers? Does the facility provide a coordinator to cue the musicians for the first dance, toasts, cake cutting and the bouquet and garter toss? Just to insure that the details are covered you may wish to appoint a couple as assistant hosts to greet guests and manage the various events so that you and your parents are free to enjoy the party. And if you have seen to these details up front, you will enjoy it.
We welcome your comments or suggestions.
In the rush and urgency of wedding planning, many brides baulk at the prospect of completing a gift registry form. It seems somehow to be awkward for many of them. It feels wrong somehow to list all the things one “wants” on a list for others. However, it would help if the bride looked at her time making “couple” appropriate gift selections as a service to her guests. Wedding guests are going to bring or send a gift. It will be so much easier if they were to know that what they selected matched the couple’s preference.
What is likely to happen to most brides is that they will receive a portion of their registry preferences. They may end up with pieces and parts of the china or crystal or silverware choices they made. We urge them NOT to tuck gifts away awaiting the items that fill out the place settings for china or silver or crystal or all three. Use your gifts and use them frequently. So you don’t currently have enough matching china, crystal or silver for a dinner party for six. IMPROVISE! Take the items you have and create a memorable evening for guests – friends or family. Here at Weddings Simply Unique we support the concept of “What If?”
Use what you have to create an evening to remember.
What if you:
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Our stationery specialists for save-the-date, invitations, programs, place cards, table # as well as menu cards help brides create the wedding invitation of their dreams. They know that the invitation sets the tone for the wedding it announces and as such is an early indicator for the guests as to the type of celebration to which they are invited. Our experts field all sorts of questions and are knowledgeable about the various paper styles, font types and wording variations that brides are seeking. They are also asked about the appropriateness of certain wording choices. We know that more and more brides are making selections that blend the historically formal with the contemporary feel of today’s preferences. However, the rule of good taste does still have punch and invitation specialists are being asked if it is ok to ask for gifts of money on the wedding invitation. The answer is a clear and consistent NO!
There is no socially acceptable or tactful way to include in invitation copy the fact that the couple would prefer cash in place of gifts.
This situation is more likely to occur with a couple in their late 20s or early 30s who have been living together for some time prior to the wedding. They tend to have all household necessities and are not inclined to establish a traditional gift registry. They may be planning to buy a house and would prefer cash gifts. This is a worthy preference but the invitation is not the place to spread the word. For that they need to rely on word of mouth. The couple needs to tell their parents, friends, and members of the wedding that when asked about gift preferences, cash is the couple’s preference. But as Emily Post reminds us, “There is no dictating to guests what they must give; it’s their prerogative to choose.”
We know it has long been a tradition for the bride to toss her bouquet and allow her garter to be removed by the groom and tossed to his bachelor friends – or even auctioned off.
These traditions came from our English cousins, where long ago spectators at the wedding would attempt to tear off the bride’s clothing, believing it allowed them to share in the couple’s happiness. While the bride was fleeing her attackers, she would toss her flowers to the on lookers to placate them.
Tradition says that those catching the bouquet and garter will be the next to marry – though not necessarily to each other. This tradition is changing. A modern version of this is to ask their attendants to sign the bottom of the bride’s shoes. The last names to be erased will be the next to marry. Today’s bride often opts to present her bouquet to the grandparents or to the couple in attendance that has been married the longest. She may also reject having her leg exposed, garter removed and tossed to a group of men. For couples that still wish to follow the tradition, an extra garter is purchased. We have many more ideas for couples that would like contemporary versions of old traditions that they can use.
Please feel free to leave your comments. Thank you for visiting!
What is the ideal number of participants in a wedding party?
For many couples, the choice of attendants is easy, sisters, brothers, and dearest friends.
There is no required number of attendants. The average is four to six bridesmaids and at least as many groomsmen and usher, but you can include as many or as few as you like. Some couples have a large number of attendants, but even a formal wedding with just one of two attendants on each side is acceptable.
If you have questions about choosing your wedding party, talk it over with your fiancé, your best friend, mother or sister, not necessarily in that order. I'm sure together, you will make the right decision for your wedding day entourage.
Yes, it is true – there wouldn’t be a wedding without you. However, your goal besides being the center of attention is to host a party that guests will remember fondly because they were treated so well. Over the years we have collected ideas from our brides about what they did that made their guests happy at their weddings. We’d be delighted to share them with you.
Some of our bride’s secrets to happy guests: