Why this “Something Blue?” In ancient Israel, brides wore a blue ribbon to signify “fidelity.” The garter-throwing itself derives from a bawdy ritual called “flinging the stocking.” In Britain, the guests would playfully invade the bridal chamber. The ushers grabbed the bride’s stockings; the maids; the grooms. They took turns sitting at the foot of the bed flinging the stockings over the heads of the couple. Whoever’s stocking landed on the bride’s or the groom’s nose would be the next to wed.
Today, many brides will wear two garters. The one she wishes to keep as a memento of her wedding day, possibly to be displayed on her grooms rear view mirror, and another, to be retrieved and tossed by the groom to all the young unmarried men attending the event. The “toss garter” is likely to be in the color of the wedding, and not as elaborate as the more decorative garters kept by the bride.
Read more here.
Who hasn’t noticed that the maids, ushers, and entire bridal party dress very much like the bride and groom? It was once common for the bride, her groom and all their friends to walk together to the church on the morning of the wedding. Afraid that someone, maybe a rejected suitor, would spot the happy couple and put a curse on them. The groom’s friends wore clothes almost identical to his, and the women costumed themselves like the bride. These disguises tricked evil wishers into letting the real bride and groom live happily ever after. Of course, today we dress our attendants alike for the beauty and pageantry of the event.
The bride’s veil and bouquet are of greater antiquity than her white gown. Her veil, which was yellow in ancient Greece and red in ancient Rome, usually shrouded her from head to foot, and has since the earliest of times, denoted the subordination of a woman to man. The thicker the veil, the more traditional the implication of wearing it.
According to tradition, it is considered bad luck for the bride to be seen by the groom before the ceremony. As a matter of fact, in the old days of marriage by purchase, the couple rarely saw each other at all, with courtship being of more recent historical emergence.
The lifting of the veil at the end of the ceremony symbolizes male dominance. If the bride takes the initiative in lifting it, thereby presenting herself to him, she is showing more independence.
Veils came into vogue in the United States when Nelly Curtis wore a veil at her wedding to George Washington’s aid, Major Lawrence Lewis. Major Lewis saw his bride to be standing behind a filmy curtain and commented to her how beautiful she appeared. She then decided to veil herself for their ceremony.
Read more here.
The wedding is one of life’s primeval and surprisingly unchanged rites of passage. Nearly all of the customs we observe today are merely echoes of the past. Everything from the veil, rice, flowers, and old shoes, to the bridesmaids and processionals, at one time, bore a very specific and vitally significant meaning. Today, although the original substance is often lost, we incorporate old world customs into our weddings because they are traditional and ritualistic.
Old world marriage customs continue to thrive today, in diluted, disguised and often upgraded forms. Customs we memorialize today, were once “brand new” ideas. Although historical accuracy is hard to achieve, the historical weight attached to old world wedding customs and traditions is immense. While reading through these pages, feel free to use, reinterpret or omit them in your own wedding.
Remember, as you plan for your wedding, to create new family traditions and customs to be handed down to your children and their children. Just think, maybe someday, your “new custom” will be as unique and exciting as these presented here.
Over the next few weeks we will look into some of the traditions and how they came to be. We’d love to hear from you if you are putting a new twist on an old classic!
1) The day isn’t quite as long – in a good way. With a Saturday 2 p.m. ceremony, pictures start at 11 which means hair starts at 7 a.m. and dancing until midnight after that early start can make for a very long day. With a 4 or 5 p.m. ceremony on Friday, you can sleep in, take your time and still have your dancing shoes on until they kick you out. Your wedding day will exhaust you emotionally and physically and you will want to be rested and relaxed.
2) Discounts! We found that photographers, DJs, and even limo companies offer discounts on Fridays to pull more business from their booked Saturdays. We saved over $2,000 on our reception, DJ and limo costs with a Friday wedding.
3) Atop discounts, Fridays offer more availability If you are not planning a year or two in advance, good places and companies are often hard to find with open Saturdays – especially during the summer. Our hall and photographer were booked solid on Saturdays this summer but had several Friday openings. And we are glad they did! Fridays give you more choices – with discounts!
4) Allow for more fun! As the beginning of the weekend, your guests can look forward to a great dinner and party to end their busy work week. Don’t worry about work or school getting in the way of people making it to the ceremony, they will work it out. You’re important to them and it’s a great reason to get Friday afternoon off! On Friday nights guests can relax, have that extra drink, and stay that extra song knowing it’s okay to feel groggy in the morning – there is Sunday for things that need to get done! You will like the two days also, to recover and let everything sink in, before thinking about the honeymoon or going back to work.
5) Plan ahead! With a Friday wedding, your one-year anniversary can be celebrated on a Saturday night! Although there is a little more patience required with this perk, think of all the options that are available on Saturday nights for great anniversary dates – concerts, plays, comedy club, live music at bars, another wedding – all without work the next day! After all, who wants to end their one-year going to bed early on Sunday night?
We agree! –Ashelynn Manor
Her dream wedding is stunning and so is she. She walks down the aisle with her colorful bouquet, but her eyes start watering. She tries stifling a sneeze. Her anxiety builds – it’s just the beginning of her allergic agony. She must get through the “I dos” without ruining her eye-make-up. Everyone holds their breath. No bride wants an allergic reaction coming between her and her fantasy wedding. Here’s how to avoid it.
A Good Florist Can Order Allergy Free Flowers
Thanks to advances in botany, there are doubled petal and allergy free flowers grown on floral farms. Horticulturist and author Thomas Leo Ogren, who’s been studying no allergy gardening since 1985 says formal doubled flowers will have high petal counts per flower. However, not many brides want to waste time counting petals.
Finding allergy free flowers to make your wedding and wedding photos sparkle, takes an experienced florist. Your florist can special order wedding flowers, says Dea Simmons, whose worked as a florist since 1990.
“The average bride spends $3,000 to $5,000 on her flowers,” says Simmons. Flowers play a significant role in the wedding decorations and photographs. Brides have horror stories about flowers that caused teary, red eyes and ruined wedding pictures.
“If brides could,” says Simmons, they’d create their own allergy free designer flower center.” The next best thing is having a florist who’ll order allergy free flowers. Ogren’s book, Allergy Free Gardening, lists a general guide on the types of flowers that come allergy free as well as the ones with a high pollen content.
Flowers That Come Allergy Free
Unscented roses (not the garden variety), unscented orchids, hydrangeas, hypericum, larkspur, anthurium, bird of paradise, tulips, iris, asiatic lilies, and zinnia.
Flowers to Avoid if You Have Allergies
Oriental lilies; mini asters including solidaster, montecasino, and goldenrod; sunflowers; chrysanthemums; stephanotis; gardenias; babies breath; stock; and misty.
If your heart’s set on a pollen-producer, ask your florist to order the double petal variety. There are also non-pollen producing lily varieties available.
Your florist can remove the anthers on pollen producing lilies. The brown anthers, located on the end of the stems in the center of the lily, produce pollen. An experienced florist knows how to remove them. “The pollen that comes off the anthers causes nasty brown stains on clothes that are next to impossible to get out,” says Simmons.
Brides sensitive to flowers shouldn’t carry a bouquet of pollen producing lilies says Ogren. Lilies produce a sap that can cause a nasty, itchy allergy no bride wants tagging along on her honeymoon.
Make sure the grass is cut three or four days before the wedding. Freshly cut grass causes agony for many allergy sufferers. No bride wants her guests to be miserable in an albeit lovely but itchy wedding setting.
Trust your florist when picking out your wedding flowers. Your wedding will be fun and festive. Finding a florist to help you with one of the most essential parts of your wedding will make choosing your flowers a memorable not miserable part of planning that special day.
Read the full article here.
Want to look perfect on your wedding day? Here are five easy tips for wedding day beauty, including product recommendations and helpful hints.
- Use waterproof eye makeup. Most brides cry at their weddings. Even if you don’t think you’re the crying type, with so many waterproof products out there, why take a chance?
- Use a long-lasting lipstick. When they first came out, most were dry and not suitable for a day-filled with close-ups and endless congratulatory kisses. But the new generation wised up with separate color and moisturizer. Apply the color once at the beginning of the day, and remoisturize a couple of times to keep lips luscious and picture-perfect. My favorites are the Cover Girl Outlast All-day Lipcolor.
Practice several times as it can be tricky to apply the color evenly and perfectly. It’s hard to remove, so you’ll want to get it right on the first application.
- Employ a “spot checker”. This could be your maid of honor or another person whose makeup style is similar to your own (your mother is another good candidate.) Ask them to keep an eye on you and let you know if you need a touch up. They might also do you the favor of stashing your lipstick in their purse for easy access.
- Stash backups Stake out the bathrooms or changing facility at the venue. Stash an emergency kit including power to beat down shiny noses, clear nail polish to repair stocking runs, a hairbrush, hairspray, lipstick, and a sewing kit, along with anything else you think you or your bridesmaids might need.
- Do a test run Make sure you test out beauty products several times – you wouldn’t want to find out the morning of your wedding that you’re allergic!
- Relax! A relaxed bride is a beautiful bride. A wedding succeeds as long as you end up married at the end of the day. Every thing else is just gravy.
by Nina Callaway
Perfect for spring. This bouquet is composed of a variety of flowers including peach stock, pink majolika spray roses, billy balls, orange/yellow tulips, volkerfrieden delphinium, pin cushion protea, bupleurum, queen anne’s lace, green hydrangea, rosemary and garden roses. Bouquet by Dream Bouquet, Houston.
There are a few alternatives to the traditional bouquet gaining popularity. If you want to do something different, carry a pomander of tightly bundled blossoms, cradle a sheaf of long stemmed flowers in your arms or go hands free with a pretty bracelet bouquet.
Add sparkle to your special day by adding crystals, beads, pins and acrylic diamonds into the design of the bouquet. If you’re going for a more modern look, incorporate decorative wire or feathers around the stem of the bouquet.
Did you love the royal wedding as much as we did? If you were enamored as Will and Kate made their way down the aisle, we’re sure you spied the beautiful bouquet made almost entirely from Lily of the Valley, myrtle and sweet William and hyacinth. Kate Middleton’s bouquet was unusually small and subtle, sure to set the standard for bridal bouquets over the next several years.
Revel in romance
What’s a wedding without added romance, we say. Sutton suggests adorning bouquets with pearls to create an ultra-romantic bouquet. Pair soft colored flowers such as ivory or light pink with big, plush blooms like peonies for added romantic flair.
Cluster of color
Bright is in and we love the idea of creating a loose stem bouquet with cascading blooms in bold, eye-popping hues such as hot pinks, turquoises, yellows and jewel tones. A fun, colorful bouquet is a great way to add a touch of playfulness to your big day.
Be a trendsetter
Sutton says there are a few blooms making their way back to the spotlight lately. Lilies, peonies, hydrangeas, tulips and orchids represent the trendier choices while bouquets with a just-picked and looser casual look replace the more tightly-bound bouquet shapes of previous seasons, she says.
Photo credit of Kate Middleton’s bouquet: Anthony Stanle
Find more inspiration here.
While we hope you don’t have emergencies on the big day, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We’ve come up with a list of all those just-in-case items that will ensure your dream wedding goes off without a hitch. The matron or maid of honor should pack these emergency items in a tote bag and stash the bag in a safe but easy-to-access place during the wedding reception.
- Aspirin (or pain reliever of choice)
- Bottle of water
- Chalk (to cover up any last minute smudges or smears on your wedding dress)
- Clear nail polish (for stocking runs)
- Corsage pins
- Dental floss/toothpicks
- Eye drops
- Extra earring backs
- Extra panty hose
- Hair pins/ponytail holder
- Hand towelettes
- Hem tape
- Mini sewing kit
- Safety pins
- Scotch tape
- Sedatives (don’t ask!)
- Small folding scissors
- Smelling salts (while we don’t expect anyone to faint, it has been known to happen)
- Spot remover
- Static-cling spray
- Straws (so the bride can stay hydrated without messing up her lipstick)
The matron or maid of honor should keep the following items on hand at all times in a small evening bag for the bride:
- Breath mints/spray
- Cellular phone
- Cash (because you never know)
- Hair spray
- Linen handkerchief
- Makeup (for touch-ups)
- Nail file
- Tampons/sanitary napkins
- Granola bars or other easy-to-carry snacks
- Krazy Glue (for nail fixes, shoe heels, decorations, even jewels)
– The Knot
Did you get anything special in your Easter basket?
You can search online for hours for that cake that makes you say “THAT’S THE ONE!” and we encourage it! Research can help you shape your own ideas into your fantasy cake or you can happen upon the creation. Start here at The Knot for some yummy inspiration.
We’re always on the hunt for what’s next when it comes to weddings and fashion. One new trend from New York Fashion Week that we are sure will cross over to wedding dresses (in part, because it already has) is twists.
A slight twist is a classic way to add interest and style to your wedding dress without being overly-trendy. We love the way a knot at your waist causes the fabric of your dress to gather in such a flattering way, while a twist on the shoulder of a tea-length gown adds to the retro vibe. To see more gowns, click here.
People will want to congratulate you, and, well, a party’s a lot more fun than a phone call. It’s also a great time to introduce key people from your lives who are going to be seeing a lot of each other (and possibly working together) over the next nine months or so. “It’s really the first time before the wedding when you have different groups of friends and generations really getting to know each other in a much more intimate way,” says celebrity wedding planner Jung Lee of Fete NY.
Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the first official celebration. Then, the groom’s parents can throw their own party, or maybe both sets of parents will come together to cohost an event. But these days, more and more couples are throwing the engagement party themselves (just keep in mind that if you’re doing the inviting, it’s your responsibility to foot the bill). Friends can also host (and may even volunteer to!), but before you ask, be conscious of the financial implications.
When to Have It
The engagement party should fall within a few months of the proposal, right in the sweet spot between carefree, just-engaged life and the start of serious wedding planning. You’ll want to give guests about a month’s notice, so about 9 to 11 months before the wedding is the ideal time frame.
Whose Turf to Have It On
Say you live in New York, but most of your family and friends live in Chicago: You may decide to have your party in your hometown (and enlist someone local to help you plan), host it in your current locale or even throw two parties. Just beware of tiring out your guests and bridal party with too many invitations before the wedding day is even close! Also, when picking the party location, consider where you plan to have your wedding — you may not want to ask guests to travel twice. “More and more of my clients are having multiple engagement celebrations because their friends and family are spread all around the country, but everybody wants to honor them nonetheless,” says Lee.
Where to Have It
Depending on how many people you want to invite, you can make an engagement party work almost anywhere. It’s really up to the hosts. To choose the venue, think about the atmosphere you want: If you like the idea of having everyone in the same room, you might want to rent out a private room at a restaurant or a bar. For something more low-key, a house, backyard or beach club might be a better choice.
Who to Invite
It used to be that you weren’t supposed to invite anyone to the engagement party whom you weren’t inviting to your wedding — case closed. But now that so many couples live and/or host their nuptials far away from their families and friends, and the formality of engagement parties is evolving, expectations have changed and engagement parties now often include people who aren’t invited to the wedding. If your friends want to plan an informal bar party and just email the invites a few weeks before, it’s totally fine to include people you aren’t sure will end up making the wedding guest list (coworkers, newer friends, college roommates). And if your parents’ good friends want to host a cocktail party at their home in your honor, let your parents invite mutual friends and business associates you might not have room for at your wedding.
If, on the other hand, either you two or your parents are hosting, the old rule sticks. When the wedding hosts send the engagement party invitation, it’s considered part of the official wedding parties and guests assume they’re invited to the wedding too. To avoid a sticky situation later, start working on your wedding guest list now. Then trim the engagement party list down to your bridal party, immediate family and closest friends.
How to Invite
Feel free to keep the invitations simple. Make them yourselves, or even send out an email. If you’ve chosen your invitation designer already, see if they’ll give you a special rate. Don’t worry if you haven’t settled on a color palette or don’t have a wedding date in mind yet — your engagement party invitations don’t have to match the rest of your stationery.
What to Serve
There’s no need to plan a five-course meal with a four-hour open bar. Anything from passed appetizers or tasting menu stations to a family-style buffet or an eat-when-you-want cookout will work. Or get creative and serve up dishes that share something about you. “I had a bride and groom known for having Sunday Mexican dinners, so of course they brought it back with margaritas, mini fish tacos and great guacamole — it just made sense and was a genuine touch,” says Lee. As for dessert, serve it if you’d like, but it doesn’t have to be cake. Consider gourmet ice cream sandwiches, assorted baked goods or seasonal treats like candy apples or cotton candy.
How to Set the Scene
While of course it’s fine for the decor and details to reflect your wedding colors and theme, like your invites, don’t feel like you have to rush to choose them just so your engagement party can match. The real trick here is that you don’t want to upstage the wedding. So if you’re envisioning a casual beach wedding with simple decor, a fancy cocktail party at a swanky hotel with over-the-top centerpieces might make that beach bash feel like a bit of a, well, letdown. Consider choosing a style and theme that are completely different from your wedding day to mix things up. So if you’re planning a formal ballroom wedding, go for a laid-back beach theme for your engagement party, with vibrant tropical colors and a casual outdoor setting. Even just a few small arrangements from your local florist can perk up any space (and it’s a great way to try out a potential florist for the wedding). Even if you want to keep the engagement party low-key, a theme and coordinating color palette are an easy way to tie things together.
What to Wear
Your wardrobe will depend on the setting of the party. Aside from the obvious (don’t wear a long, beaded evening gown to a casual backyard bash), keep it simple enough that you don’t outdo your wedding day look, but special enough that you’ll still stand out. A sundress will work for an outdoor affair, or for a fancier fete, a cocktail dress is a safe bet. And what should your freshly minted fiance wear? While he doesn’t have to wear a suit and tie (and certainly not a tux) — unless the venue calls for it — he should get as dressed up as you do.
Read more here.
Don’t run the risk of a rain-out for your beach-themed wedding reception. Instead, choose an indoor venue where the party can go on regardless of the weather. There are a lot of ways to decorate your indoor wedding for a beach theme. From fun and whimsical to absolutely elegant, you can plan a beach-themed indoor wedding to suit your individual taste.
Choose your Venue
Your beach décor may include lawn chairs and picnic tables in place of your usual wedding tables. Use netting and anchors to decorate the venue. For centerpieces, put a message in a glass bottle with a bit of sand. If you are planning a casual beach-themed indoor wedding reception, use whimsical picnic plates and flatware in place of fancy china. A tiki bar, parasols and colored paper lanterns are another great touch. You could fill either galvanized pails or plastic beach pails with sand and insert tapered candles for centerpieces. Small fish bowls complete with live beta fish are another option. Add small table top tiki torches to all of your tables if your venue allows for this. Place several small blowup swimming pools on tables and have your guests place their gifts inside. Use a tackle box for a wedding card holder. And don’t forget your tropical flowers. Try renting a couple of potted palm trees and other tropical plants to add to your décor. Write your guests’ names on miniature beach balls in place of traditional place cards.
Fish is a must for any beach-themed wedding. You could choose a casual buffet-style fish fry or a more elegant seafood dish served by waitstaff. Another idea is a beach picnic menu or beach barbecue complete with hot dogs, ribs and a variety of cold salads. A chocolate fountain with fresh fruit is another excellent addition to the menu. Add a lighthouse cake topper to your wedding cake, or just order a cake made to look like a lighthouse. Sand castle cakes are another great option for your beach-themed cake. Or, how about a tall lighthouse cake surrounded by smaller sand castles? And don’t forget to add tiny beach umbrellas in all of your drinks. These versatile little umbrellas would also be adorable on top of individual wedding cupcakes topped with brightly colored frosting.
There is an old rhyme that is “Something old something new, something borrowed something blue”. Again this is a tradition with roots in the Victorian era. The belief is that the bride should wear or carry an item from each area of the rhyme in order to guarantee good luck in the couples’ future together as man and wife.
“Our moms read letters and poems that our grandmothers wrote to us while they were alive, which made it feel like they were a part of the day,” said Stacy.
“During our ceremony, Tom and I started teasing each other for crying. We had to ask the officiant to pause for a moment so we could release our laughter and catch our breath,” said Stephanie.
“I recall dancing with Laura’s 85-year-old grandmother to ‘Do You Love Me’ by the Contours as a high point of the evening,” said David.
For Danielle and Kyle, having a first look was one of the best decisions made during the planning process. “For couples who think it will take away from the moment of seeing each other during the ceremony, it did not ruin anything! It made us able to enjoy the moment,” said Danielle.
“Getting to spend the entire day together. We calm each other down, and I know we were both nervous about the day, so having Sarah by my side all day made me feel a little less nervous,” said Liz.
Jaime’s two sons served as ring bearers in her and Bryan’s Fourth of July-inspired wedding. Jaime’s favorite memory: “During the ceremony, my two-year-old popped his head through Bryan’s legs, as if it were a game of peek-a-boo!” Bryan’s most memorable moment: “When I held my step-son and watched Jaime walk down the aisle toward us.”
You can actually enjoy your wedding day by avoiding the most common stress-inducing things brides do that are totally avoidable. I can’t guarantee that your day will be completely devoid of stress, but I know you’ll greatly reduce the likelihood that you’ll bring that stress upon yourself if you follow this advice:
Call the Shots
Buy the Right Dress
Select Supportive Attendants
Hire Vendors You Trust
Have A Realistic Timeline
Forget the Stuff that Doesn’t Matter
Read the full article here.
Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy and cost-effective to sell anything and everything from your wedding. Bought 100 votive holders or 25 tall cylinder vases for your centerpieces that you’ll never use again? Just pop on weddingbee.com or a million other sites, and there are eager brides to take them off your hands. Probably the most expensive thing a bride will purchase that is easily recyclable is her wedding dress…so, what would you do?!?!
Reasons to keep the dress:
- maybe I’ll have a daughter who might want to incorporate it somehow into her wedding day, or possibly just play in it
- as a reminder of a wonderful day
- possibly as a tool to keep me at my wedding weight
Reasons to Sell or Donate the Dress:
- pay it forward
- give it to charity
- pretend I live in a personal sisterhood of the traveling wedding dress world
- lessen my guilt at accepting an extravagant purchase
- my wedding is remembered by an article of clothing but with the memories, feelings and people who were there
Read the full article here.
We’re counting down to the Oscars! In the meantime, get your groom inspired with these wedding-worthy looks straight from the red carpet, here!
Floating Diamond Drop Earrings
Get the royal look, a la the Duchess Kate Middleton. Worn as she wed Prince William, these unique diamond drop earrings feature a marquis-shaped diamond affixed at the bottom of a larger dangling teardrop loop for a floating effect. Royal Bridal Jewelry!
While a common critique of the business suit is that it’s a drab, uncreative uniform, nothing is as dogmatic as the penguin suit, the black-and-white formula that has had men waddling in lockstep for more than a century. Take a look at a photo of a black-tie function in the 40s: it’s really only the hairstyles and the women’s wear that make it any different from a gala now. With the exception of a long, unnerving breach beginning in the late 60s—when ruffled shirts, shiny velvet, and graphically tight pants became suddenly acceptable—the conformity has persisted until today. That is, for most men. In Hollywood at least, where a plumper-than-usual bow tie is considered a brave move, a select few have made the classic tuxedo much, much more their own. Read the full article here.