Friday, July 29, 2011

We Want to Include Our Dog in Our Ceremony, But What Do We Do With Him During the Reception?

I would suggest having a friend or relative who the dog is familiar with either drive your dog to someone’s house or if that’s not possible, bring a cage to your reception venue and place the dog in it. Make sure you bring food, a bowl for water and a leash and garbages -- someone will need to walk him at some point.

I can’t imagine that your reception venue will be okay with your dog mingling with your wedding guests so double check with the location manager on what their animal policies are. For instance a couple may be allowed to have their pet bird in a bird cage at the reception.

Another idea is to hire a dog walker or pet sitter to come to your ceremony and take the dog with them back to your home, their's or a pet daycare center.  Make sure someone will be able to pick him up either that night or the next day if you are leaving for your honeymoon right after the wedding.

The most important thing is to make sure you have a plan in action and confirm with all involved a few days before the wedding.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How Much of a Say Can a Bride Have in Her Bridal Shower?

A bridal shower is thrown in honor of the bride, so the hosts get to plan it. The hosts are usually the bridesmaids and one or both moms.

It is not uncommon for a bride to share some ideas with her mom and bridesmaids as to what she may want or not want at her shower but I wouldn’t recommend a bride planning the whole thing and then send the bill to her ‘maids.

If you have strong feelings about certain details, especially things you don’t want, it’s okay to share that information. But since the event, many times a surprise, is planned and paid for by others - who I’m assuming will enjoy planning this very special day - I’d let your bridesmaids and the moms take the lead and the bride should sit back, relax and enjoy it. After all, there are plenty of other things on your to-do list.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Mom Wants Me to Hire a Talented, But Not My Style, Florist. How Do I Tell Her No?

I think you should meet with the florist your mom suggests and bring her your ideas to see what she comes up with and what her budget is. Then take your mom with you to meet with two or three vendors whose style is similar to your own.

It’s important that your mom feels that she is part of the process, especially if she’s paying for your wedding. Remember that your wedding day is just as important to her as it is to you.

Once you’ve met with all the possible florists sit down with your mom and go over what each one proposes aesthetically as well as their budget. Review with her why you like or don’t like each one and you may be able to convince her to support your choice of florist.

As the bride you can put your foot down but if mom’s writing the checks this may not go over well. Instead of starting World War III see if you can compromise and hire her florist for another event such as the bridal shower or rehearsal dinner.

And you never know, in the end you may decide that mom’s florist wasn’t such a bad option after all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Reception Venue Requires a Guest Minimum and We Don’t Have Enough People On Our Guest List. What Do We Do?

If you’ve already signed the contract there’s not much you can do but either add to your guest list or pay the per person rate for the number of empty chairs.

It’s very important that you review contracts with all of your vendors and make sure you really understand what’s in them. Don’t be afraid to have your parents, his or a friend with experience in contracts review them too.  I’m not suggesting that you hire a lawyer.

In the case that you received a larger number of regrets than you expected, and that’s the reason you won’t hit your minimum, don’t be afraid to invite additional guests. You can either be honest and explain that the space had a very limited number of seats so you were very limited with the number of people on your guest list or fib a bit and tell them their invitation came back in the mail and you want to “resend” it to them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Win Bridesmaid Dresses for Your Wedding

Still shopping for your bridesmaid dresses? Alfred Angelo stores will be celebrating Girls Night Out this Thursday, July 28th from 6-8pm where your bridesmaids can save $20 on their dress and you can enter to win a giveaway to win your bridesmaid dresses -- that's right free dresses!

In addition to shopping, there will be stylists and wedding experts on hand to answer all your wedding questions. Complimentary beauty services will also help you find the perfect look for your big day.

For more information and to find an Alfred Angelo store in your area, visit

Friday, July 22, 2011

Do I Have to Have My Future Sister-in-Laws in My Bridal Party?

While I always say that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, it may be easier on you to ask your groom’s sisters and sister-in-laws to be your bridesmaids.

If they are assuming they’ll be in the bridal party and mention it, you may have a difficult time explaining -- without hurting their feelings -- that they’re not being asked. Especially if you’re planning on having a long list of ‘maids -- five or more.

For brides just asking one or two people to stand as their maid or matron of honor, you can explain to your future in-laws that you’re keeping it small and not having bridesmaids just your own sister(s), closest cousin and/or BFF.

In the case that his relatives are not officially bridesmaids you may still want to invite them to the bachelorette party. After all, they will be your family soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is a Choreographed First Dance Now a Wedding Must Have?

Of course not. There’s nothing unromantic about a bride and groom holding each other on the dance floor, swaying to their favorite love song and even doing an impromptu dance move, such as a dip.

Couples who plan a choreographed dance should do so because they really want to. It takes a lot of time and some money out of your wedding budget to learn a few dance moves (fox trot, waltz) or to have someone choreograph a whole dance for you.

Choose a first dance song that really speaks to both of you, whether it is a great love song or a party song that gets you moving. If a bride and/or groom feel uncomfortable putting on a show for their guests then don’t do it. You don’t need added stress on your big day.

And while some first dances have become YouTube sensations, fortune doesn’t come with this particular type of fame so your fancy moves won’t help cover the cost of your wedding.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Fiance’s Parents Didn’t RSVP and My Mom is Very Upset and Thinks They Should Have. Is She Right?

Anyone who receives a wedding invitation should send back the RSVP card, after all it’s usually fill in the blank and already addressed and stamped. Easy, right? But sometimes RSVP cards get lost in the mail or the guest gets busy and forgets.

In the case where the groom’s parents, or another key member of the wedding like a bridesmaid, doesn’t reply but you know they’re coming I don’t think there’s anything to say to them about it. You could mention that you were still waiting for their reply because you’re collecting them for your wedding scrapbook if you want to.

In the case of parents and grandparents, they may not send an RSVP because they want to keep the complete invitation suite together as a momento.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where’s the Best Place to Find Wedding Vendors?

Recommendations from relatives and friends who have either recently gotten hitched or planned a party are the best resources because you can get an honest opinion from a recent customer. But if you don’t know anyone who recently got married you may want to ask your parents and their friends who have been to weddings and large events in the past year because they may be able to lead you to newlyweds you can talk to or email with.

If you’re not going to hire a wedding planner, who is also a great resource, I would recommend looking through a local wedding magazine -- both editorial credits and advertisements -- for leads. Both The Knot and BRIDES have local issues for areas across the country but in the past few years a number of independent local magazines have hit newsstands -- Washingtonian Bride and Groom, Charleston Weddings, New York Weddings magazine, D Weddings and Portland Bride & Groom are some of my favorites

There are also a number of blogs and websites dedicated to specific regions (Beantown Bride and Landlocked Bride come to mind) that feature real weddings, with credits, as well as vendor directories, which you should be aware are usually paid to-be listed directories but the editors have probably vetted them.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Not to Sound Greedy but Some of Our Guests Gave Us $20 gifts. Do We Say Something Or Let It Go?

Write them a thank-you note just as if their gift cost $100 and forget it. It’s not your place to look in other people’s wallets. It’s possible that $20 is all they could afford.

While wedding gifts are expected at a wedding there’s no rule as to how much a guest must spend, it’s at their discretion. And while some will say that a gift should equal the cost of what the couple spends per person there’s no way to figure that because it would include a total of the food, invitation, favor, program, wedding cake, flowers on the table, music, etc…

Thursday, July 14, 2011

YouTube's Greatest Proposal Videos Ever

Are you a sucker for a great proposal video?  I am.  While at I was always posting funny and romantic proposals that always brough tears to my eyes.  I tink it's the moment she realizes he's proposing and brings her hands to her face that tugs at my heart strings.

Singer Tony DeSare's The Best You Can Give is set to some of the most surprising and touching proposals ever captured on video, and uploaded to YouTube.

Grab a hankie, you're going to need one:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We Want More Than the Classic “I Do” Wedding Vows, Where Can We Find Ideas for Our Wedding Ceremony?

First talk to your officiant to find out what other options he or she may have. There may be a number of vow styles your officiant has used in the past that are available to you. You can also research alternate vows online and in ceremony planning and vow books -- yes, they do exist.

Relatives and friends as well as film and TV weddings are also good places to look for inspiration. You don’t have to copy these words verbatim but you may get an ideas for your own vows -- style, formality, etc…

If you want to write your own vows to talk to your fiance about your comfort level in sharing these intimate words in front of a crowd. Some people are more comfortable than others.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Do I Make My Wedding Personal?

Every decision you make is personalizing your wedding -- the wedding vows you say, the menu you serve, the music on your must-play list, the flowers, the cake.

In the early stages of the planning process you should talk to your fiance about what is important to you and what details you want to include.

Do you want a wedding program? Do you want to distribute favors? Is a guest book, in some format, important to you? Do you want a specific type of music played? What kind of entertainment, besides music, do you want to have?

After reading wedding magazines, scanning blogs and searching wedding planning websites you’re sure to get a good idea of what can be done. Make a master list of all the ideas you both like and then cut it down to your top 5-10. You probably can’t have everything on your master list so save those ideas for pre-wedding parties or other special occasions.

And for details that are items (favor, program, cocktail napkins, etc…) you can add your personal “stamp” by choosing your favorite color, including your names, wedding date or monogram, or a saying or lyric.

Monday, July 11, 2011

When Would I Change Into a Reception Dress?

Brides can change into a second dress right after their ceremony and before the reception begins or you can change during the reception. It’s entirely up to you.

A reception dress is usually a gown which is not as traditional and modest as the gown you wear for your ceremony. Bride who need more coverage for a religious ceremony may opt for a more modest design for the ceremony and a sexier gown for the party.

If your reception will begin with a meal and dancing to follow you may want to wear your first dress through the dinner and then change right after your first dance or before the party gets started. If your reception will have dinner and dancing alternating you may decide to change during the second course or right before your cake cutting.

For couples having an after party, since the night will last longer than four hours, you may opt to change for the cake cutting and continue the celebration in your second dress until the wee hours of the morning.

Whenever you decide to change make sure your photographer gets photos of you in both gowns with and without the groom.

Friday, July 08, 2011

FREE Tickets to The Wedding Salon Event in New York City July 20th

The Wedding Salon will be held on July 20th at Capitale (130 Bowery) from 4-9pm.  Some of the biggest names in bridal will be there including Sylvia Weinstock, wedding planner Shawn Rabideau and Kleinfeld Bridal.

You'll taste delicious hors d'oeuvres, sip cocktails, browse wedding invitations and floral arrangements and of course enjoy some wedding cake!

The event costs $50 for a bride and guest but I have 10 sets of free tickets to giveaway.  Just email me at and they're yours!

You can also use the code on the image shown here (WSBP) for discounted tickets -- $15 for 2! 

Thursday, July 07, 2011

My Groom Doesn’t Want to Wear a Wedding Band. Does It Mean He’s Going to Cheat On Me?

Not at all. Not every man wears a wedding band -- my grandfathers didn’t, nor does Prince Phillip, Prince Charles or Prince William.

Don’t be afraid to ask your fiance what his hesitation is to wearing a band, for all you know he’s allergic to gold or the feeling irritates his skin. I wouldn’t assume he is planning on having an affair.

If he won’t wear a wedding band maybe he’ll agree to a tattoo wedding band. Several celebrities have gone the route of having a decorative band inked around their left ring finger. The design can include your wedding date and/or names just like the inside of a metal band.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

If We Decide Not to Get Married Who Gets the Engagement Ring?

The engagement ring goes back to the person who owned it originally.  Here's a list of who gets it:

  • If the groom bought the ring and proposed with it, it’s his. 
  • If the bride bought the ring, she keeps it. 
  • If the ring was a family heirloom it goes back to the family. 
  • And if the groom tells his former fiance to keep it, then the bride can keep it, but to avoid a lawsuit I’d get that in writing.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Do I Have to Wear a Garter and Do the Garter Toss?

The answer to both questions is, not if you don’t want to. If the idea of wearing a garter doesn’t bother you but the toss does than wear one and skip the toss.

Some brides will wear a garter with a blue detail for their something blue or a family heirloom as their something old.

If you want to keep the tradition you’ll easily find garters online in both frilly and fashion-forward designs.  (I recommend designer/shop Garter Girl by Julianne Smith) There are garters in every color as well as every color combination and you can find themed garters too. I recently saw garters in college colors with mascot charms (not at Garter Girl).

If your fiance wants to do the toss you should tell him to keep it G or PG-rated because of your comfort level.

Friday, July 01, 2011

My Wedding Dress is Very Difficult to Get In and Out of, What Do I Do If I Have to Go to the Bathroom?

At your final fitting you should bring a close friend or relative with you to learn how to get you in and out of your dress as well as how to bustle your train. This person should not be your mom. Have them practice several times to ensure that they know how to do it, especially if your dress has more than just a zipper.

As for the bathroom, I’ve scene this scenario several times. In the event that you can’t use the restroom on your own bring the person who knows your dress with you. Think of her as your bathroom buddy.

She will either get you out of the dress in time to use the loo or hold up your skirt if need be. Remember this is supposed to be one of your closest friends.

And the reason I don’t suggest your mom is she is probably in a very elegant dress and it is not wise for her to be getting on her hands and knees to bustle your train. Though if she’ll just have to hold your skirt I’m sure she’d be honored to be your bathroom buddy.


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