Deciding the Dress: Bridesmaids

It’s up to the bride to choose the dress, or dresses, that her bridesmaids wear along with her maid of honor. There is much leeway when making this decision, but there are many opinions and attitudes to handle. Everyone wants to look beautiful, especially when they are in the wedding. That’s why it’s easy to understand that the girls may put up a fight during this process to get what they want. Try not to give up the vision you have of your wedding because of a tantrum; this day is about you, not them. Choose your girls wisely, and do your best to make them look pretty in your wedding. Four steps in deciding on the perfect bridesmaids’ dresses are color, length, fabric, and accessories.Options

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Color ChartFirst, you should decide color. Normally it is chosen to correspond to your wedding theme and/or color scheme. When shopping for a dress or ordering one online, you should have the color you want in mind to avoid getting attached to a dress that won’t go with your theme.

  • The Maid of Honor—The color for the maid of honor’s dress can be the same as the other bridesmaids, or be different so that she stands apart. This is a decision that is up to you. Some prefer a more uniform look in order to not distract from the bride. Meanwhile others wish to do something special for the maid of honor to show her importance to the bride or to reward her for her hard work in planning the wedding.

Second, try to narrow down a length. The rule with this is that the bride’s gown should be longer than those of her bridal party. Don’t get too hung up on the length being too long; you can almost always hem it. Word of caution, if the bottom is overly detailed it may be difficult to find someone to do it for you. Also, consider the time and place of your wedding when choosing a length. If it will be cooler maybe lean towards floor length. It may be smart to choose a knee length dress for an outdoor wedding with a chance of rain.

  • The Maid of Honor—The length for the maid of honor doesn’t have to agree with the length of the other bridesmaids, again it is up to you. Note that the rule of thumb saying her dress shouldn’t exceed the bride’s still stands. It is more common to see the maid of honor with a dress that is slightly longer than the other bridesmaids than for it to be shorter.

Third, think about what type of fabric that would work best. This is important for two reasons: theme and flattery. Fabric helps develop your wedding theme. For example, a chiffon dress appears breezy and light which is perfect for a beach wedding. Meanwhile a vineyard wedding with long satin dresses creates elegance. Fabric can also make or break whether a dress flatters your bridesmaids. Fabrics lay differently on body types. A polyester satin dress may not look so great on a heavier set lady, because it shows what every inch of the skin is like underneath. Organza might make a bridesmaid look plain if her shape it’s well defined.

  • The Maid of Honor—The fabric of the maid of honor’s dress is normally the same as the other bridesmaids, assuming the bride chose to use one type explicitly.

Fabrics

Fourth, after finding the dress that fits you, the wedding, and each bridesmaid it’s time to accessorize. Hair, shoes, and jewelry can either by synced or left to the girls to choose.

  • When it comes to hair the bride can choose one of three approaches. One, she can tell them to do as they please. Two, she can decide whether they will wear it up or down and leave the rest for each girl to decide individually. Three, she chooses one style for them, and they all get their hair done together. This depends on budget and personal preference.
  • Shoes are much the same story. The bride can give her bridesmaids free reign, choose a color or style they must stick to, or buy multiple pairs of the same shoe so that they all match exactly.
  • Jewelry and other accessories are often a combination of the methods above. For example, the bride gives them a hair piece or earrings they must wear and let them add anything else they wish to.

Accessories

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The bridesmaids’ dresses offer room for creativity. Let them speak for your wedding and personality. Make them uniform or give them variety, choose one color or a pallet, have your maid of honor stand out. Whatever you decide on make sure that it’s what you want for your wedding!

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Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

There is a long running tradition that says the bride should obtain something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue on her wedding day. Most people don’t include “and a sixpence in your shoe.” This is primarily a British contribution and is difficult for us to get ahold of. Don’t worry about it too much though; these are all good luck charms. Each of the pieces symbolizes a trait that is wished upon the bride and her groom.

Something Old

Something old is to bring continuity to the bride. Continuity can be defined as “the quality of something that does not stop or change as time passes.” This refers to the love and commitment that the bride and groom feel at the time of their wedding. The strong pull causing them to marry should never escape them with the help of this charm.

Ideas to consider for your something old could be anything from wearing your mother’s wedding dress to putting on the same makeup that you wear every day. A few others may be jewelry from a grandmother, any type works well. More creatively, some bride’s choose to wrap old jewelry around the stem of their bouquet while others put pendants on safety pins and attach them to their wedding dress/garter.Old

Something New

Something new brings future optimism. Having a bright future is something that everyone wishes for the newlyweds. The tradition says that if you incorporate a new item into the bride’s wedding attire this will be true for the couple.

This is the easiest piece of the old, new, borrowed, and blue puzzle. Buying your own wedding dress, shoes, or jewelry is a quick way to get ahold of your something new.New

Something Borrowed

Something borrowed brings happiness to the bride. Happiness encompasses so many things for so many people. Words that are used to describe this feeling are bliss, contentment, pleasure, and joy. Although happiness is intangible, it is one of the most important things for a bride and her groom. Wedding days are often considered the happiest days of a person’s life, usually until the birth of a child with someone they love. It makes since to attempt to hold onto the joy that is felt on this day for the rest of their marriage.

First of all, your something borrowed can come from anyone. Secondly, it can be anything. A few ideas would be a veil, hair piece, or bracelet. Getting something to have for your wedding day from someone you love can be one of the most cherished charms.Borrowed

Something Blue

Something blue brings luck for love, purity, and fidelity. Anyone who has watched the bride and groom look into each other’s eyes knows love. Purity refers to the state in which people are free from wrongful actions. Then there is the most crucial of these, fidelity. Fidelity is the “faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.” It’s also a “sexual faithfulness to a spouse or partner.” This is extremely important in a marriage. Fidelity is a way of describing marriage as a whole.

The most common ways to add blue to the bride are through garters and sapphire jewelry. You may want to lean toward a blue garter if you wish for the bride to be in all white. On the other hand, your engagement ring could contain a sapphire stone. Regardless of what you choose, this is definitely worthy of a good luck charm.Blue

Sixpence in her Shoe

The sixpence in her shoe brings prosperity. A sixpence is a coin worth six old pence, which is equivalent to 1/40 of a pound of silver. Not many people have these coins lying around their home. A way to hold on to this tradition by making it your own would be to place a penny in her shoe. Pennies have been said to work as good luck charms for wealth as well. That makes this an easy replacement for the sixpence.Penny

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Realize that one item can represent more than one of these pieces. An example would be an heirloom from a relative that could fulfill both the old and borrowed. Or a custom trinket can be created to represent each of them. Many brides choose to attach safety pin to their wedding dress or garter. The pin contains small items they have chosen to be their something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

Engagement: Purpose and What to Consider

Engagement is a significant time for any relationship and should be used to confirm the ability for the couple to live a long and happy life together.

Purpose

During the period of engagement, the two must do more than just plan the wedding. Although this is a big part of it; it’s not the only focus! They should also use this time together to assess their love for one another as well as their ability to live alongside each other. There are many things to consider when looking into the eyes of your soon to be life partner. Engagement - Copy

  • What do you love about them?
  • Are you willing to fight to stay with them?
  • Could you ever leave them?
  • Are you willing to give up the chance to meet someone else?
  • Is this the person you see yourself growing old with?

These questions were most likely answered by the one who proposed the engagement. However, the other is put on the spot and asked to answer rather instantaneously. That’s why it’s important to reflect on where you stand in the relationship before committing to a life with them. Once you’ve determined that this is the real deal, and you want to be together for the rest of your lives, it’s time to think about actually doing it.

  • How well do you resolve issues with one another?
  • Do you agree more than you argue?
  • Do you trust each other’s judgment?
  • Do you have common ground for the plans of your future?

It is crucial to know that you are heading in the same direction as well as understand what it expected of you in the relationship. If you answer all these questions and find that you are confident in your love and the two of you can make this last, you are heading toward a fairy tale ending.

Breaking the Engagement

It is ridiculous to assume that every engagement will end in a “happily ever after.” Sometimes on a whim an engagement will be agreed upon without the care required for a successful life with another person and sometimes a circumstance can trigger an engagement.

Broken Engagement - CopyThis is where that uneasy feeling you get from answering reflective questions may arise. If you can’t reasonably reach the conclusion that you’ve made a good decision and will be happy with it in the long run, there’s a simple way to fix it. End the engagement. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing where you scream at each other and never want to see each other again. It can be done in a peaceful way so that you can continue your previous relationship until it matures into something you feel is trustworthy of eternity. This is not an unrespectable action. On the other hand, going through with a marriage that you have a strong feeling won’t make it is. Don’t regret what should be the best decision of your life!

Time

There isn’t a set time frame that is acceptable or unacceptable for an engagement. Really it’s up to the couple getting married and what they are comfortable with doing. In 2013, The Huffington Post reported that the most common engagement was between 13-18 months, at 40%. It was followed by 7-12 months, at 27%., which just barely beat 19-24 months, 23%. However, they ranged anywhere from 0-24+ months, with the extremes being less common. The point is that you can do whatever you want! As long as the two of you are comfortable with it and have time to plan everything you want to include in your wedding, go for it.Huffington Post - Copy

Living Together Before Marriage/Engagement

There are many reasons that living with another person outside of marriage seems like a great idea. The first of them that come to mind are saving money, testing out the relationship’s compatibility, and simply wanting to be together. However, this decision causes more of a gradual drift toward to idea of marriage which eliminates the decision making aspect. While also resulting in less communication, little Divorce and Cohab - Copysatisfaction, and increased aggression in the marriage that results from this gradual slide. This proves to be less of a problem after engagement, because the couple has already chosen to take the next step together. Living together may feel like marriage, but it lacks the strong commitment. It also robs marriage of the passion that is normally experienced within the first part of marriage that is helpful for overcoming problems in the relationship. If you are considering using a live-together-first arrangement to test your ability to have a successful marriage, don’t trust it. There are many other ways to determine how you and your loved one will do that are less detrimental to your relationship. However, don’t worry about living together a few months before your wedding; in many cases it’s more convenient and you’ll be alright!

Ways It Has Been Done

There has been many heart stopping proposals in the past, but there are many to come! Surprise the one you love in the most romantic and personal way that you can think of. Start your engagement off with a gesture that shows the love you have for her/him while telling the story of your relationship together. Becoming engaged is a big deal because it symbolizes the commitment you will make to each other forever. No matter what you like or how you choose to do it, make sure it’s something that you will both look back on happily!

Some of the sweetest ways I have seen are:

  • A guy once made his own movie trailer for his girlfriend featuring himself and her father as he asked for permission to marry herMovie Proposal.
  • Use a talent of yours to express your love to her.
  • Use something simple to shock her like a photo booth.
  • Use a memory that is significant to your relationship such as a day with family picking pumpkins.
  • Another used how his girlfriend said she would marry a guy if he played a song on a record player for her in his proposal.
  • Maybe a photo shoot with a surprise ending is your style.

Then What?

After you’ve popped the question and decided you want to tie the knot, what’s next? It’s time to make an engagement announcement. This can be done through an exerpt in your local newspaper or cards that you mail out to your friends and family. You can also change your relationship status on Facebook. How you choose the spread the word doesn’t matter.

Engagement AnnouncementEngagement announcements typically tell readers who your parents are, where you’re from, your education/occupation, and the date of the wedding, assuming you want that information out in the open. Obviously you don’t want to include anything you would wish to stay private. There are many ways to word these, so regardless of your situation there’s a beautiful announcement waiting to be written for you.

 

 

Engagement: The Ring

ProposalFun Fact: The first engagement rings date back to prehistoric times when cavemen would claim their mates’ spirit by wrapping the cavewoman’s wrists, ankles, and waist with braided grass.

Obviously something changed, because you don’t see that today. Maybe the Egyptians Vena Amoris 1should get the credit for beginning our tradition of the ring. They wore simple strands of gold or silver on their left hand, because it was believed that there was a vein in the ring finger leading directly to the heart. The vein became known as the vena amoris, vein of love, because of the connection people believed.

Engagement rings are a way to symbolize the upcoming event where the couple will come together in marriage. You might wonder why it is important to even have an engagement. I can think of two reasons: planning and tradition! Pope Innocent III of the Middle Ages created this “period of engagement.” He made it mandatory for a couple to set aside a time to publicize your notion to marry, to the church, before actually doing so. Since the engagement ring is an easily visible way of letting others know you are soon to be wed, they are the perfect way to satisfy tradition.

Now let’s talk about the rock! There are mainly four stones that people choose for engagement rings: diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. These are the best fit for such an important icon because of their symbolism. Also, these are of the strongest of stones, making them perfect for everyday wear and tear. The weakest being the emerald with an 8 on the Mohs scale, which is still pretty tough.

It’s clear that any of these four stones are appropriate for the ring; their meanings prove it. All you need to do is decide what you want the ring to say about your love!

Diamond1. Diamonds are considered a symbol of love, excellence, and purity. Each of these contribute to the image of a young couple committing to each other during their engagement.

2. Emeralds have stood for a large number of things, all of which can be easily related to engagementsEmerald and the feelings they hold. Just a few of them are domestic bliss, harmony romance, truth, and love.

Ruby3. Rubies are a sign of courage, love, and passion. Those three things are so important to an engagement. It takes courage to express love for another and to be truly passionate about them.

4. Sapphires represent faithfulness, truth, loyalty, and devotion. Where Sapphirewould a couple be without any of these traits? The whole idea of marriage is based around the true, loving relationship between two people who are loyal to one another at all times.

Now we need to talk cost. According to the New York Times, in 2012 the average cost of an engagement and wedding ring together was around $5,000. The bulk of that is the engagement portion at a hefty $4,000. That stinks, because the majority of the expense comes before “she says yes.” On the bright side, savings can grow as your love grows!

You might be thinking, how does the engagement ring fit with the wedding band technically? It is normally accepted that the wedding ring is to be closest to your heart; therefore it must go on your finger first. During the ceremony, the best to achieve this is to have both the engagement ring and wedding band together. The groom must then simply place them on the bride’s finger at the same time.

And if you haven’t noticed, rings are circles. Circle have no end; they follow a continuous journey for ever and ever. There’s just yet another reason that rings are significant. Think about that every time you look at a wedding/engagement ring. Think about the love that is shared between two people, until death do them part.

An engagement ring is more than just a band of metal with a pretty stone; it’s a symbol of love and devotion that should speak to your hearts. Choose carefully with all your heart!So glad she said yes

The Reception: Wedding Cakes

On average, nationally, wedding cakes/desserts cost $451 and are expected to jump to $466 in 2014. This is a major difference from 2012 when $437 was the average. When you are talking about spending that much money it is important to know about what you are buying and why.

History of the Wedding Cake

The first wedding cakes have been traced back to the Roman Empire. However, they weren’t even actually cakes! They were loaves of barley bread. When the time came, the groom would break it over his bride’s head. Then the couple would take the crumbs together while the guests gathered up pieces for good luck. From barley loaves to small spice buns stacked high, the evolution of the wedding cake moved forward. It was believed that if the bride and groom were able to kiss over the stack of spice buns they would prosper. From there the bride pie took over. Inside this was a ring; the woman who found it would be the next to marry. This was then replaced by the bride’s cake (wedding cake).

Many other connections to the role of a wedding cake have also been made:

  1. The bride and groom must cut the first slice.
  2. All the guests must have at least a bite of cake to bless the couple with children.
  3. Eating of the cake beforehand could result in a loss of the other’s love.Wedding Cake - Copy

Groom’s Cake

Somewhere between the engagement and the honeymoon the groom may seem to be shelved. The groom’s cake is a tradition that has a long history of giving the man of the hour his time to shine.

The groom’s cake is normally made of dark chocolate and many contain fruit. The fruit dates back to when the tradition began; they were fruitcakes. It may appear however the groom chooses. It is popular for the cake to be decorated as a tux and bowtie, but  it’s also common to show the interests of the man as well. This cake is NOT normally served to the guests when the wedding cake is during the reception. However, it has a more important purpose. This dessert is eaten by the groomsmen, and the remaining pieces are pre-cut and packaged to send home with all the single women at your wedding. It has been said that if she is to sleep with it under her pillow, she will see her husband-to-be in a dream.Groom's Cake 2 - Copy

Cake Boss

Cake Boss is a TV show on TLC that follows a family bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. They are well-known for their work and make many exotic cakes. For fun ideas, this is a cool show to watch. If it’s convenient then maybe Buddy could even bake a cake for your wedding!Cake Boss