Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Want My Bridesmaids to Choose Their Own Dresses, What Guidelines Should I Give Them?

It’s important that your bridesmaids know what shade of color their dress should be and the formality of the wedding.

I write shade instead of color because each color comes in a range of shades. For example, blue can range from navy to royal to sky blue. Pink can be fuchsia, bubble or pale pink. You can give each ‘maid a swatch or paint chip or send them images of dresses in colors you approve of so they get the idea.

Formality is important because it will dictate the dress’ hemline. The more formal the wedding the longer the hemline. You also want consistency so giving them a guide as to what length is okay will ensure a more cohesive look in your photos.

Make sure each girl knows if her arms need to be covered or not for the ceremony. Some houses of worship may ask for arms to be covered, which means no strapless dresses.

If you’re still nervous, tell them that while they can choose their own dress you have the right to veto it. Plan some shopping dates or shop together online and you’re sure to find something that makes you and each of your bridesmaids happy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We Want to Have a Photo Booth at Our Wedding, When and Where Should We Set it Up?

My concern with entertainment like this is that you don’t want your guests to spend the entire night taking photos -- whether in an old-fashioned booth or the modern day digital set up.

I would recommend limiting a photo booth to cocktail hour so your guests spend the reception time enjoying the meal and dancing the night away.

Have the booth set up and ready to go as your guests enter the cocktail hour and encourage them to use it by locating it in a space they can clearly see and get to. Let the operator know that once the party moves into the reception room they should begin breaking it down, and if guests are to return for their photos have them arranged on a table as they leave at the end of the night.

Whichever style booth you choose props are always a fun way for guests to let loose.  For slome creative prop ideas check out Bkyln Bride's list of the Top 10: Photobooth Props

Monday, August 29, 2011

What Should We Have Engraved On Our Wedding Bands?

There was a recent story in The New York Times on tattoos and one of the tattoo artists interviewed gave the following advice (I’m paraphrasing):

If you go into a tattoo parlor and ask the artist what should you get, don’t get anything.

The same goes for jewelry engraving.

You don’t have to have your rings engraved but if you want to do some research and find something that is meaningful to you and your fiance go ahead.  You don't have have a lot of room so keep it simple. Some timeless ideas are your names, initials, married monogram and/or wedding date. Ask your jeweler how much space you have, and remember that character count means the limit of space you have using any combination of letters, numbers, symbols and spaces.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

We Want to Serve Cupcakes But Still Want to Have a Cake-Cutting Ceremony, Can We?

Since cupcakes became popular at weddings a few years ago many couples have opted to cut and share a cupcake together.

Another option is to have your baker make a small cake that is either one tier or multiple, and cut into a cake but serve cupcakes.

It’s up to you and your groom if you feel comfortable cutting a cupcake or if you want to cut a small cake together. Ask your baker for some ideas, he may have come across a similar situation in the past.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Does My Wedding Band and Engagement Ring Have to Be Bought and Worn as a Set?

It’s up to you if you want your rings to match and be worn on the same finger. Some brides will buy a wedding band to wear on a different finger or hand than their engagement ring. Or buy a plain band to wear with their engagement ring and buy a second eternity band for their right hand.

Many jewelry designers make wedding bands that match an engagement ring, which is great if your engagement ring’s design makes it difficult to find a band that lies flush against your engagement ring band.

Always check with your officiant if your wedding ceremony calls for certain types of wedding bands to be exchanged. For example, Jewish ceremonies require that the rings exchanged are solid metal with no breaks, meaning no stones. In this instance some couples will buy two bands or borrow their parents’ or grandparents’ bands for the ceremony and after put their, what I call the, fancy ring on.

Just as you did when you shopped for your engagement ring, take your time browsing and trying on wedding bands. See what feels comfortable and looks right either with your engagement ring or alone, and don’t rush the purchase. Just like your engagement ring you’ll be wearing it everyday for many, many years.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My DJ Asked If We Were Having an In-Laws Dance. What Is It?

An in-laws dance is a special dance where the bride dances with her father-in-law and the groom dances with his mother-in-law. You choose one song for both couples to dance to at the same time. You can have the in-laws dance at any point during the reception but I would suggest after the first dance, father/daughter and groom/mother dances.

Choose a song that appeals to all four people instead of one that’s about daughters or mothers. Your DJ (or band) should have recommendations for you.

It’s not a very common special dance so make sure your photographer and videographer are aware that it is taking place and when so they capture it on film.

It’s entirely up to you if you want to have one. Base the decision on the feelings and relationships of all four people involved. For example, if it’s known that the groom and your mom don’t get along you may not want to force them to dance together.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Do We Really Need to Reserve a Tent If It Never Rains Where We’re Getting Married?

Yes, I think you really do. It’s better to be safe than sorry, even if safe will cost you some money.

While you may think it never rains, your wedding day could be the one day your never-rains location gets a storm and you don’t want to risk having to cancel or postpone your wedding.

Talk to your location and see what their policy is in case of rain - whether a sun shower or thunderstorm. Do they have tents available or do you have to go through a tent rental company?

Ask how far in advance of your wedding you would have to make a decision re: constructing a tent. Can you make the decision day of or a day or two before? And what if the rain lets up after your wedding has started -- are there walls you can remove or roll up?

There’s also the jinxing factor. By not reserving a tent you could be jinxing yourself.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Should I Act Like a Bridezilla to Get Better Service From My Wedding Vendors?

Have you ever heard the saying: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Well the same is true for wedding vendors.

Besides the fact that you should treat everyone kindly if you want your vendors to go that extra mile for you be courteous. No one is going to want to go above and beyond for someone they dislike. Would you?

The vendors featured on “Bridezilla” are not going above and beyond because their clients are mean and rude to them. I would bet that they go above and beyond because they want their best work featured on TV. Also, reality shows are scripted so either the bride and vendor are told to act the way they do or it’s edited to look like that.

When dealing with your wedding vendors be polite. Don’t demand but ask, even though you’re paying. Don’t bombard them with emails and phone calls -- remember you’re not their only client -- and respect their hours.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Is There a Way to Liven Things Up as We’re Getting Ready?

Whether you’re getting ready at home, at a salon or in the bridal suite of your ceremony venue the atmosphere can be as calm or as energized as you want it to be.

Bring an iPod and plug it into the speaker system or bring your own to set the mood. You can create a special playlist just for the occasion -- soft and relaxing to create a zen setting or high-volume party tunes to get everyone pumped for your big day. Another idea is to play wedding-themed or love songs because it is, after all, your wedding day.

It’s important that everyone eats and stays hydrated (and sober so stick to non-alcoholic drinks until cocktail hour) so create or order a few things -- bagels and donuts, fruit and crudite, cheese and crackers, etc… from a local deli/market or your caterer.  But eat before you get into your dress -- after you're in your gown stick to water so you don't get any stains on it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do I Really Need All the Things on the Emergency Kit Lists?

The emergency kit list you read in wedding books and on wedding sites covers ever possible scenario -- fashion repairs, stains and everything in between. The truth is you never know what can happen so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A wedding planner friend once told me about the bride who caught on fire -- her train was ignited by candles close to the floor and they used the safety pins in the emergency kit to conceal the scorch marks on the dress, so you never know.

Before you run to the drugstore to stock your kit ask the location manager if the venue has some of these items on site. If you’re hiring a wedding planner he or she will have everything so you don’t need to think about it.

If you have to buy everything you can either buy one of those all-in-one kits that are sold specifically for brides or buy each item you think you need.

First, look through your medicine cabinet and grab what you already have -- pain relievers, antacid, nail file, hairspray, etc… Then ask mom if she has any of the other remaining items.

Whatever you purchase keep it in its packaging and hold onto your receipt. Don’t open anything unless you need it on your wedding day and then return what was unopened when you get back from your honeymoon.

And remember that some items can actually be used on your honeymoon such as travel-size toothpaste and floss, so you may want to make a list of what is good for both and shop once instead of making two sets of purchases.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Do I Have to Wear a Veil?

A veil is a wedding tradition but it’s up to you if you want to wear one. Some religious services may require one so ask your officiant.

I personally love veils. It’s so bridal and when in your life will you ever wear one again.

There are a variety of veil styles and lengths so if a long chapel or cathedral-length veil is too long for you, opt for a shorter one that is fingertip, elbow-length or even a birdcage that just covers your eyes. A veil has two parts: there’s the longer tulle that covers the back of your dress and the blusher which covers your face.

As for styles, veils are made from tulle but can be trimmed with ribbon or adorned with crystals. Your bridal salon will probably sell a number of options for you to try on with your wedding dress.

You can remove your veil right after your ceremony but practice doing so before your wedding day so you don’t create a hair emergency.

But as I always say, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. It's your day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How Do I Judge How Big My Bridal Bouquet Should Be?

Trust your florist, but your bouquet should complement your wedding dress and formality of your wedding.

If you’re wearing a ball gown with a full skirt your bouquet should be bigger in size than if you are getting married in a sheath on the beach.

To get a fuller bouquet, and save some money, opt for bigger blooms such as peonies and opened roses. Smaller flowers that are considered “bridal blooms” -- stephanotis, lily of the valley -- are lovely but you need a lot of them make a substantial bouquet.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Instead of Getting Stuff We Don’t Need We’d Prefer Cash Gifts So We Can Buy What We Want. Can You Recommend a Cash Registry?

No, I cannot.

In order to get stuff you want instead of “stuff you don’t need” register for items you want, whether they be for your home or for a hobby.

Since most couples will have acquired many home items before tying the knot it is perfectly acceptable to set up a registry at a wine store, sporting goods store or use Newlywish or Registry360 to create a unique registry of items from various retailers.

When you don’t set up a registry, that’s when you risk getting stuff you don’t need and may not be able to return or exchange.

You can always spread word through your parents and bridal party that you’re hoping to buy a home soon and that may encourage cash gifts, but under no circumstances is it appropriate to register for cash.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My Mom Doesn’t Think I Should Wear a White Wedding Gown Since My Fiance and I Live Together. Is She Right?

Long gone are the days when a white wedding dress confirmed a bride’s virginity. It’s perfectly acceptable for a bride to wear white regardless of her virginity status -- I’ve seen second-time brides with children in white dresses.

You can explain to your mom that her way of thinking is an old-fashioned and out-dated policy, but I would explain it to her in a nice way so you don’t make her feel old fashioned and out dated.

And since we’re on the topic of wedding gown colors, today’s brides can wear any color dress -- white, ivory, pink, blue, red or black. You can also choose to add a splash of color to a white or ivory dress if an all-over colored dress is too much for you.

Monday, August 08, 2011

We Want Live Music at Our Wedding But Can’t Afford a Full Band. What are Our Options?

Contact an entertainment company that represents both bands and DJs and discuss the option of hiring a DJ and a singer plus an instrument or two to play for part of the reception.

You can have a singer, accompanied by a keyboard and/or guitar and/or horn instrument, to sing and play the music for special dances. Another option is to have live music, such as standards, being sung during dinner instead of canned music and have the DJ play music that gets the crowd on the dance floor.

Be honest about your budget and what you want for your wedding and the vendors you’re meeting with will better be able to help find the right solution for you.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Do We Have to Have Assigned Tables at Our Reception?

If you are having a small guest list, less than 75 people, you can probably get away with people sitting wherever they want. Also, if you are not having a formal meal but a more casual cocktail style party you don’t need assigned seats.

When your guest list is rather long (75+) it can get awkward for guests to have to find their own seats. Some may find it hard to find enough seats for their “group” at one table. And when I write “group” I don’t just mean a party of 2 or family, but rather the group of guests who would like to sit together -- your college friends, your mom’s siblings and their spouses, the groom’s colleagues, etc…

While creating your seating chart can get tricky, and stressful, it’s a courtesy to your guests to create one, even if you know that one or two people may not like their seat. Just try your best to make it work for as many people as possible.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Someone RSVP’d That They’re Bringing a Date, But We Didn’t Invite Them With a +1. How Do We Uninvite the Date?

It’s important to be direct. Remember, you didn’t do anything wrong. Your guest did.

Since email tone can be misinterpreted I suggest calling and explaining that you’re sorry for the confusion - again this is not your fault - but due to spacing and budget issues you didn’t invite him with a guest and can’t have his date at the wedding.

You have two choices at this point. Either stand firm and don’t allow the date to come or you can offer that if enough people reply they won’t be able to make it you’ll make room for his date.

If this guest is from the groom’s part of the guest list you can have your groom make the call, but if your groom feels uncomfortable about it you can make it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

How Can I Avoid Offending a Guest by Seating Them at a “Bad” Table?

I always think of the needs of a guest when seating them at a table. You can safely assume that your grandparents and guests of their generation will not want to sit next to the band or DJ speakers, so you can seat them towards the back.

Ask your parents and the groom’s if they have a preference. They may want to sit together at a “family table” or they may wish to sit with close relatives and friends. I would sit your parents’ tables close to the dance floor. If you’re dividing the room between bride’s guests and groom’s guests, the parents’ tables can be at the center of each side of the dance floor so they have a good view of your first dance, toastmakers and other special moments.

The bride and groom, whether they sit by themselves or with others, should be at the center of the room - across from the band/DJ - and clear for all to see. You can sit your bridal party and friends on either side of you.

Flank your parents’ tables with tables made up of their family and their friends -- you and your parents will know the “importance” of which guests should be nearer to your mom and dad and who can be a little further away.

As for a bad seat, near the band or speakers may not be a desired spot but your friends (and their ears) can handle it. Another spot is near the kitchen, so try and get as much space as possible between the table nearest to it and the kitchen door. Or see if your caterer/location can throw up a standing divider, an attractive one, so your guests don’t feel like they’re in the kitchen.

And always remember that you can’t please everyone so just do your best and don’t worry so much.

Monday, August 01, 2011

We’re Having a Few Kids at the Wedding, What Should We Serve Them?

If the kids are under 13 you should talk to your caterer about having kids’ meals made. Young children will probably not enjoy what the adults are eating and why should you pay $100+ for each child to not eat their food.

Many caterers offer chicken fingers and fries, pasta with butter or marinara, mac n cheese and other kid-friendly dishes at a fraction of the cost of an adult meal.

Give your caterer a head count of how many kids are coming and decide with him if you should offer more than one option. It may or may not effect the price.

Cocktail hours usually offer enough of a variety so you don’t have to plan a special kids’ menu for it.


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