Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save You Real Money

For most brides, planning their wedding is the first large event they have coordinated in their lives.  This can be anWedding, dress, budget, bride

exciting time, but also a bit overwhelming when faced with budget vs. dream decisions, timelines, and even knowing what you want. Your wedding day is special and unique.  You have dreamed about it since you were a little girl.

Now it is time to bring your dream to life, without breaking your pocketbook.  We’re here to

For more ideas to plan your perfect wedding ceremony and reception, please follow our Pinterest Board.  www.pinterest.com/ceremonies0324/

 

 

1. Keep Your Guest List Small

wedding, small wedding, wedding guests

 

With each additional guest, you increase costs and reduce the intimacy of your wedding. Eliminate people you have not been in contact with for years, acquaintances who are not really friends, plus ones, and even children to get your list to a manageable size.  If your parents ask you to invite their friends and associates that you don’t know, calmly discuss with them, and decide together why these individuals should be there and the impact on space and budget.

The real secret is to understand that few people will feel offended they are not invited to your wedding when others they consider their peers are not invited either.  Be consistent in your planning, but also remember it is your wedding.

2. Ask for Help As Your Wedding Gift

wedding, wedding help, wedding stress

 

wedding, budget, flowers, planning

If you know talented musicians, a photographer, or even an officiant, who you would invite to your wedding regardless of their skills, ask them to perform their service at a discount (or even free if they are very close) instead of purchasing a wedding gift. If you would not invite them otherwise, it’s best to skip this tip.  You can still employ them. but don’t ask for a discount.  (They may surprise you and offer it, but do not ask.)

If you are planning DIY, you will need help there as well. Don’t just assume that people have the time or desire to help you create your perfect wedding.  You can design your gorgeous flowers, bouquets and centerpieces with help and planning and save tons of money.  Just be sure to ask.

 

3. Have Your Ceremony in a Free Space

wedding, ceremony, venue, outdoor wedding, cheap wedding

 

 Instead of renting space, how about using your home or the home of a parent or friend for your ceremony and reception.  Many people have beautiful gardens they would love to show off.   Keep in mind, you will need to give them lots of advance notice, and make it clear that you do not expect them to spend money or paining, and other improvements for your wedding.  Public parks and beaches offer gorgeous views at a very low costs.  Don’t forget a backup plan if you are planning an outdoor wedding.

4. Fraternal Organizations & Community Halls

wedding ceremony, venue,
Photo courtesy of New Tradition Photography

Particularly in rural America, fraternal and community groups often have halls for rent at a cost much less than commercial venues.  The revenue created from the rentals is a major source of income for the community projects and activities the organization supports.  Check  your local volunteer fire company, Elks Lodge, Lions Club, Ruritan or  similar location for your wedding ceremony and/or reception.  Most  of these halls include the tables and chairs, are easy to decorate and have lots of free parking.  They may even offer catering for your reception, and their food is usually homemade and delicious.   Because they are staffed by volunteers you may also save labor costs.   Be sure to offer a tip as an additional donation so the volunteers will know you appreciate their time.  (The barbecued chicken our local fire company offers twice a year is always a sellout.  Your guests would love having it for your reception too.) What a great way to have community friends attend your reception without running up your budget

5. One Location for Ceremony & Reception

wedding location, wedding venue, one venue, ceremony, reception

 

You can save thousands of dollars by having your entire day in a single location.  You will need fewer decorations and flowers and have far fewer logistical issues to deal with.  Some venues have two rooms, while at others, your guests are seated at the tables where you will hold your reception.  If you are seating at the tables, ask your officiant to invite guests to turn their chairs around to face the front of the venue to everyone will be able to comfortably see the ceremony.  Guests will also be thankful that they only need to drive and park at a single location.

 

6. Cater Your Own Wedding or Hire a Local Family-Owned Restaurant

reception food, wedding, DIY, home cooked. restaurant

 

You may be able to handle the food preparation with a lot of help from family and friends. Hire servers for the day, so those who helped prepare will not feel obligated to work on your wedding day.  One lead adult and  students from a high school  or college club are often available at a great price.  And you are supporting their club goals too.  Don’t forget to acknowledge their organization, and offer tips to show your appreciation.

If cooking is not your passion or strength, look for a local family-owned restaurant and ask the owners to cater your wedding.  They usually offer great food and will work to make your wedding special.  You can ask them to have the food as carry-out and have someone pick it up  and others  serve it or have them deliver or cater the entire event.

7. Fewer Flowers Saves You A Lot of Money & Looks Gorgeous

 wedding, flower, bouquet, fewer flowers, bridal flowers, bridesmaids flowers

Live flowers are very expensive.  Keep it simple and minimize the number of flowers to buy.  Have bridesmaids carry a single flower or a purse or other object that is meaningful to them (it can double as your bridesmaid gift.)  Cut your own flowers and even use everlasting flowers.   (I love the word “everlasting”. It  sounds so much more elegant than “fake” flowers  Feel free to use it in describing your flowers if you use them.)  Consider using more candles and greenery.  You will be surprised how much you will save and how beautiful your wedding will be.

8. Another Flower Tip

 

wedding flowers, farmers market, cheap wedding flowers, bridal flowers, cheap, inexpensive

If you must have fresh flowers, purchase local, in season flowers to minimize your costs and make sure your florist knows that cheap is your favorite word.  Many large grocery and big block stores also floral departments that create beautiful arrangements about half the cost.  And they will customize for you.  Farmers markets carry a wide selection of flowers, and may even arrange them for you.  Be sure to order early.  Check it out.

9. Just One More Thing About Flowers

wedding flowers, artificial, fake flowers, bride, grooms, bouquet

flowers, wedding, budget

DIY flowers are always a consideration if you have a creative side, or someone you know can make your arrangements and bouquets for you.  You can have part of your flowers (perhaps your bouquet) professionally done and do the rest yourself. Another half and half solution is to use part fresh and part artificial flowers. The hit on your floral budget will be reduced drastically.  Using artificial flowers with real greenery is a sure way to have your guests think “real”, as it adding a tiny hint of scent to your bouquet. (Be sure to test the scent before applying to your flowers, you do not want it to smell fake or overpowering.  If it does – don’t use it.)

 

 

10. Skip the Groomsmen & Bridesmaid Invitation Gifts

wedding, bridesmaid gifts,,groomsmen, wedding party gifts

 

 A relatively new idea is providing gift boxes to your wedding party when asking them to be in your wedding. If these are good friends, most know that you are trying to have a frugal wedding and they will understand.  A personal phone call or creative note is all you really need. (That is not cheap, it is just being realistic about your spending limits).

11. Make Your Own Invitations 

 wedding, invitation, budget

If you are the crafty sort and have a quality home printer, you can make your own invitations.  Buy invitation kits that already have fonts and text prepared for you.  All you do is fill in the details.  It does take some time, so start early if you are going to make your own invitations.

Online wedding invitations – Another inexpensive option, where you can include photos or other special touches withe the professional at considerable cost savings.  You’ll save lots of time and money if you do not want to create your own.

12. Skip the DJ

DJ, wedding music, reception, first dance, bride

I have attended several weddings this year where the bride and groom created their own playlists on their phones or iPod, and just plugged in a speaker.  All set for a night of dancing.  Choosing your own songs is a fantastic way to personalize your wedding.  You can create lists of songs or artists you want included. Then ask a friend to create the playlist for you – as your wedding gift.  Be sure you also have someone to coordinate your reception.  A DJ usually does more than just play music.

 13. Stock Your Own Bar

 bar, stocking your own bar, reception, alcohol, reception bar, alcohol, wedding drinks

Alcohol is one of your largest expenses, especially if you rent a venue for the reception.  Commercial venue alcohol prices are as much 10x  more than will pay for alcohol you provide yourself.  Consider this additional expense when renting your location.  It is one wedding budget variable you can control.

When purchasing shop discount stores and ask if you can return unopened cases/bottles after the wedding.  Some will charge a restocking fee, which is a small price to pay to make sure you do not run short at your reception.

14. Full Open Bar?

wedding reception, open bar, bride, groom, bar,

Instead of a full open bar, consider beer and wine, and possibly a signature drink.  Limiting choices reduces costs.

A keg of beer may seem less expensive, but also consider that left overs are wasted.  If you use bottles or cans, you can save them for months after the reception (or possibly even return them.)

Have plenty of water and ice on hand, and non-alcoholic options for guests to switch to at the end of the evening.

Finally, consider offering a paid cocktail period at the beginning of the reception, then switching to a cash bar later in the evening.  (Make sure you tell guests in advance, so they will come prepared with cash.)

I hope you have found these tips useful.

Here are more articles you will enjoy.  Many more for you on our Ceremonies blog.

 

 

Something Old, Something New For Your Wedding Memories

 

Contract Changes – After the Vendor Contract is Signed

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease check our Pinterest Boards for more tips and ideas.  www.pinterest.com/ceremonies0324/.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.

Some photos courtesy of New Tradition Photography.  Visit them at www.facebook.com/newtraditionphotography

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,  Rita

 

 

Contract Changes – After the Vendor Contract is Signed

Most brides enjoy the excitement of wedding planning and seeing your visions come  to life. You meet with vendors, sign contracts and all is well.  Then it happens, you must make contract changes – it may be as large as the date or location.  Or it can be as small as adding five guests to your meal count with your  caterer.

contract changes, wedding , vendor

Changes made after the contract is signed are the most frequent disputes about the terms of wedding vendor contracts,  Why?  Because the parties agreed verbally on changes in a stressful atmosphere.  The bride is relieved the changes were made.  The vendor is pleased to have a happy bride.  Then they are forgotten or misunderstood and the change is not documented.  The result is there is no legal proof of what change was made and they are never done.

So, how do you protect yourself legally(and emotionally), and make sure your changes occur as you verbally agreed? It is much simpler than you think:

Insist that all contract changes are in writing.

While changes are often made verbally, and when everyone is in a rush, they still must be documented as carefully, if not more so, than the original contract.  The little details  of a change can be easily overlooked or forgotten in the hustle and bustle of planning and then remain undone on your wedding day (tears, frustration, anger).

Follow this rule of thumb:  If the items is  important/large  enough to be covered by a written contract, the same standard should be applied to any changes.

Amended Contract

Have the vendor create an amended contract, signed by all the original contract signers. It should reference the original contact, contain all the terms exactly as agreed upon in the original contract , (except the one being changed which, reflects the changes.)  Include a statement that the amended contract  supersedes the original contract.

Entire New Contract

If you are going to sign an entire new contract, make sure you compare it to the signed original before signing.  You need to verify all other terms are as you originally agreed, and the modified terms you verbally agreed to correct and  included.  Pay particular attention to any modifications made to the original contract and that they are incorporated into the new amended contract.  I know, it will take time, but you will be glad you took this extra step if any disputes occur later.

 

contract changes, wedding vendors, bridesmaids, dresses

 Single Contract Changes of Terms

If the amendment only addresses the single issue that is being changed, rather than a full new contract, the amendment should state that all other terms of the original contract remain in force.

Minor  Contract Changes

For minor changes, you may send the vendor an email or text stating the change and asking  him/her to reply acknowledging and accepting the changes.  Don’t be surprised or upset if you do not get a response  Keep sending requests and making calls until you get the written acknowledgement.

Here is a sample email or text for minor changes:

You: Hi Pamela, I am confirming our earlier conversation where we agreed that you will add five additional adult meals to our contract for an additional $250.  Please confirm by return text/ email that this is correct.

Pamela.  : Yes, that is correct.  Thanks.

You have now modified your contract and confirmed the modification in writing. How easy was that!

Keep the correspondence for your records.  Make a note with your original contract of when and what modifications were made, and where you stored the documentation.

Authorized to Make Contract Changes

contract changes, vendor, weddingMake sure an individual authorized by the vendor to change your contract provides the acknowledgement to you.  Your vendor may transfer performance of the contract to an assistant once it is signed.   Then when changes are needed, the assistant (usually in good faith) agrees to them on behalf of the vendor.  These changes may not be legally binding on the vendor if teh assistant is not authorized to make changes.  Don’t assume that anyone other than a signer of original contract can make changes to it.

Fortunately, it is rare when a vendor does not stand behind commitments made by his/her staff.  When it does happen, it is a large or expensive change being disputed.  If the vendor claims he/she did not authorize the change, it may not be enforceable under the contract (a costly monetary and/or emotional mistake for you).

You can avoid any confusion, by requesting the vendor include in the original contract who, if anyone, other than the signers of the original contract can make modifications on behalf of the vendor.

Verify that who has the authority to make changes for you is included in the original contract.  The bride and groom sign most wedding contracts jointly and individually. If you do so, the contract should clearly state whether both signatures are required for a change or if either can act on the behalf of both.

Follow Up with Your  Vendors on Contract Changes

I am sure you plan to follow up with your vendors a few days before the wedding.  You will resolve any unanswered questions and  verify all the details.  This is a great time to reaffirm that any contract changes you made are incorporated into your plans as agreed.  You will relax when you know they have not been overlooked by the vendor.

Again, these seem like another bothersome detail to consume your time.  We hope there are no issues with wedding or you vendors.  Most weddings do occur with no major problems.  But on the rare occasion when you have to refer back to your contract,  you will be glad you took the time to document the details.

Legal Disclaimers

The author and Ceremonies  provided the information in this post to serve as general information and guidance. It does not constitute or serve in place of specific legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship. The law changes very rapidly, differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and is subject to interpretation by the courts. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and this post should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you! It will not increase the cost of  your purchase.  All opinions are our own.

Here are other articles you will enjoy:

Vendors – 8 Things Not to Say When Talking to Wedding Vendors

Conflict – 11 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Your Wedding Planning

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

Vendors – 8 Things Not to Say When Talking to Wedding Vendors

Much of your wedding planning time is spent meeting with and interacting with your vendors  How you work with and relate to them can have a significant impact on the bottom line of your wedding budget and your overall wedding experience. Your words can have a powerful impact on the way your vendors see you as a bride and a client. Here are some everyday phrases brides should avoid when meeting with wedding vendors – at least for the initial meeting.  Once you establish a relationship with your vendors, your conversations may take a more casual tone.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“I just…” 

Vendors think  “She will do it my way.”

Beginning a sentence with “I just…” diminishes the value of your thoughts and ideas.  It sounds like you are apologizing without actually saying “I’m sorry.” Refrain from using this phrase when you speak and especially don’t include it in your emails. If something is important enough for you to mention, then there is no “just” about it.

 

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

 “Uhh, Uhm, Like” 

Vendors say “Does she know what she wants?”

Avoid using these “filler words”.  They show a lack of confidence in your ideas and requests.    If you lace your conversations with “Uhh” or “Uhm” or even “Like” it has become a habit and probably believe it is impossible to quit. It does take time and practice, but it is worth it to shake this old habit.  Here’s how:

First, keep your sentences short.  And when you are finished talking, stop.  Don’t feel compelled to explain further or to fill silent pauses in a conversation.  Wait for a response, and give your a vendor time to think.  ( I know that period of silence will seem like it goes on forever, but it really is just a few seconds.)  You are dealing with professionals and they are prepared to ask you questions to get the information they need.  They will  also take time to reply so they can offer their best response.  Don’t assume you need to explain further unless they ask for more information.  vendors, wedding, vendor, bridesmaid

Second, rehearse what you plan to say before your meeting. I am not suggesting you rehearse like for a play but do rehearse to the point that you will know what you want to say. Make bullet points, and feel free to carry notes.  They show your vendors you are prepared. and ready to talk business.

Avoid distractions.  When you are talking to a vendor, give your full attention.  I know there are hundreds of details you need to handle.  Have you heard the old joke about how do you eat an elephant?  Give up?  The answer is simple – one bite at a time.  The same goes for your wedding planning – one thing at a time. Focus on your current task.

I know this will sound silly but take your hands out of your pockets when you speak.  Researchers tell us that most people who constantly say “Uhm, or like”, have their hands in their pockets when they talk.  I am not a psychologist, so I don’t know why this works, but trust me, it does.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

Is that okay?”

Vendors think – “She wants me to decide for her.”

While you want your vendors to provide insight and ideas, asking them to validate your request  makes you sound insecure, and  allows them to take an easier path.

To sound more confident, remove the question from your statements. Instead, you  say, “Let me know if you have any questions.”  Or “ I welcome your ideas and input”.  Essentially, the less inquisitive you sound, the more likely you are to have your request dreams come true.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“I’m sorry” 

Vendors think “ This is going to be easy.  She’ll do whatever I suggest. ”

Unless you’ve have  made a mistake and do owe an apology, (it’s OK, I’ve been there more often than I like to think about) there’s absolutely no reason why you need to apologize – especially for posing your ideas and plans or asking questions.

While you should show respect for your vendors’ knowledge and advice, that does not mean you shouldn’t respect your own self-worth,  and ideas. Instead of saying, “Sorry, it was just an idea”,  you can say, “Thank you for taking the time to help me understand this better (or answering my questions).”  Then follow with your own ideas.  If the vendor will no listen to your ideas at the beginning, consider how well you will work with them through the planning process. (Stress, frustration, disappointment – all come to my mind.  Sigh.)

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“I hate to bother you, but…” 

Vendors think “No bother, it is your money.”

The fact is that you are not bothering the vendors.  You are seeking information about their services, and you will be paying them for what they provide.    They are not doing your a favor.  It is your money, get what you want, not just vendors, wedding, ring, bride what they offer.   If it is a bother to the vendor, perhaps it is time to look elsewhere for the service.

When you imply that it is and bother or inconvenience, you giving control to the vendor and they will feel comfortable providing less instead of more or declining a request.  (After all you already told them you do  not want to inconvenience them.)

Instead, when confronted with an issue that you are not comfortable with, say “I believe we need to discuss this further.”  or “Whenever you have a few moments, I would like to discuss something with you.” These two phrases show your competence while still letting you have control in the conversation.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“If it’s alright with you …”

 Vendors think “I’m in control of this.”

If you have decided on an issue or item, and there must be a change that affects a vendor, don’t put the situation completely in their control.   This phrase gives them the opportunity to say, “It’s not alright,” when you know it must work- you have no other options.

First, be sure you know and are prepared to lay out the facts and work together to a compromise that meets everyone’s needs.

Remain calm, be prepared to discuss and reach a win-win.

Instead say “This has happened… and this is what I need you to do….” or “This has happened, and this is you will be affected…” Let’s work together to resolve this.

 

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

Hopefully, you can get it done.”

Vendors think ” I am a professional, and you don’t trust my work.”

Hopefully is not a word of positive anticipation but one of  desperation and doubt.  No matter how large or small your plans, “hopefully” shows your lack of confidence in your vendor’s ability to complete a task. If you have concerns, provide the vendor the opportunity to address them, then ask for periodic progress reports and be prepared for alter plans if necessary.  Ask your vendor for references for similar projects he/she has completed and follow up on them. When you contact references, ask not only if the project was completed satisfactorily, but any concerns the bride had during the process. If all else fails, and you really doubt the vendor’s ability, look elsewhere.  Saving a few dollars is not worth the stress and worry and a potential disappointment on your wedding day.

Vendors , vendor, don't say, wedding

“I’ll try”

Vendors think “This is never going to work.”

Yes, brides should be open to try new and compromise.  So, don’t be afraid to try something different than you originally planned,  if in fact you  really are trying.  When you say, “I’ll try” ( especially with your head hung low and a long sigh) you are suggesting you aren’t willing to accept the proposal when it is completed, so it will surely fail or at best you anticipate being disappointed.

When faced with a challenging situation,  “I can do this …  or I have additional ideas on how to make this work “.

 

So there you have it,8 simple ways to make your vendors take you seriously as a bride and as someone who will purchase their services.   Best of luck on your planning.

I would love to hear  your thoughts and comments.

 

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you! All opinions are our own.

Other Articles You Will Like

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

Bubbles Fun For All Ages at Your Wedding

Conflict – 11 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Your Wedding Planning

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me. rita@ceremoniestolove.com (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

Conflict – 11 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Wedding Planning

Wedding planning sounds so exciting.  You will be making plans and creating your perfect day.  Then reality sets in and you realize that much of your planning time is absorbed by dealing with conflict.

Your conflict may be on a personal level.  What type of wedding do you and your groom really want – large or small, rustic or elegant?

You may be feeling a conflict between your dreams and the reality of wedding planning (mostly related to budget.  Ugh!!)

Or you may experience conflict with those around you concerning all the above or their ideas of what your wedding day should look and feel like. (Ugh!!, Ugh!!)

Whatever conflicts you face as you plan for your big day, you need to be able to resolve them, put them behind you and think positively.  So how do you do that?  Read on…

Pause and Focus – The Conflict is Not What You Expected

wedding, conflict, bride, planning Sometimes it is more than the issue at hand that creates the tension.  It may be how you feel physically – tired, stressed, or hungry.

Breathe. Take at least 3 deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth – to calm yourself.

If possible, resolve your needs before you deal with the conflict.  If you can’t take care of the physical, complete a quick mental assessment.  You are more prepared to deal with an issue on a non-emotional level or to postpone the discussion until you are ready and able to give it your appropriate attention when  you consciously recognize that your emotions may be inflamed by these physical conditions.

 

Step Back to Gain Perspective of the Conflict

While this will be difficult to do, after all, it is your wedding,  step back and view the conflict from a neutral perspective at a greater distance.

Are you really upset because one of your bridesmaids does not like the dresses you have selected -the issue at hand – or are you displacing your anger – you had a big disagreement this morning with your mom about the venue location?

Make sure you address what is really bothering you and with the appropriate person. Identify the actual issue that is bothering you and don’t get caught up in smaller (to you at the time) decisions when there is a larger one looming that you need to address before moving on. When you have a large impending issue, smaller decisions seem to take on a negative tinge that is unrelated to them.   For example, resolve the venue issue with your mom before you tackle the dress decision.  And you may need to delve deeper into your thoughts and feelings.  Are you upset because of the venue or because you are feeling unsupported by your mom?

Let the little stuff go (for now) and care about yourself enough to address the important matters before you move forward.  You will find your perspective and decision making will be more positive.

Nonverbal Communication – Conflict Thrives

Did you know that as much as 95% of our communication is nonverbal?  Facial expressions as small as a raised eyebrow, hand gestures, and body language are interpreted by the “listener” and often have more influence than the words you speak.  Be aware of your nonverbal communications to ensure you are sending the same message nonverbally that you want to be received.

When you are communicating electronically, remember that that 95% of communication we have come to rely on is not available.  Your written words and even phone messages can and often are interpreted differently by the receiver.  If you detect tension, go back and rethink how the message was received before the conflict escalates based on perceived emotions rather than content of the issue.

 

conflict, wedding, planning

Avoid Behaviors That Accelerate The Conflict

There are some behaviors that we are not even be aware of that are perceived as negative.

Avoid these:

  • Criticism – attacking the other person’s character. Stick to the issue at hand.
  • Showing contempt – insults and nonverbal hostility such as eyerolling or smirking.
  • Stonewalling – shutting down and refusing to communicate.
  • Defensiveness – seeing yourself as a victim.

 

Show Empathy – Conflict Vanishes

Perhaps the most important communication skill we can acquire is the ability and willingness to understand how the other person feels.  You do not have to agree but recognizing how they feel is an important step to communication.  It allows the other person to feel like they are heard, and their opinion is appreciation.  Saying something as simple as “I can understand why you believe __________ is what  we should do.” can go a long way to resolving the issue at hand.

You Are Responsible For Yourself  – That’s All

When you make a mistake, whether it is in actions or a decision, sincerely apologize.  This is not a sign of your weakness, rather it is self-awareness and integrity and will likely hasten a successful resolution. If needed make  sincere and timely amends.  If it was behavior related, make a mental plan of how you can avoid this response in future conflicts.

Assertive Communication

Being assertive does not mean being overbearing or domineering.  It simply means being self-confident about your wants and needs,  while still being considerate of the rights, needs, and wants of others.

Ask for what you need and be ready to say no to what you do not want or need.  Be open to negotiation and compromise.

The first step may be in deciding what you want – not always easy when wedding planning.  If you don’t know what you want, don’t expect those around you to know either.

Avoid Being:

Passive – weak in setting boundaries, especially if it is something you care deeply about. Perhaps you dislike roses and when your maid of honor shows pictures of her favorite rose bouquet, you respond “Those are nice, we might be able to use something similar to that.”  A better choice may be “I know you like roses, but I am thinking more about daisies.”

Aggressive – hostile or entitled.  You do not have to remind people that it is your wedding and your way.  They already know and are trying to make your dreams come true.   Believe it or not, no one intentionally aggravates the bride -especially one with a volatile personality.  Becoming a bridezilla will not solve any issues and will ultimately create more.

Passive-aggressive – Acting out through indirect behaviors like slamming a door, pouting, whining, or not responding to an email. This makes you come across as childlike and will only devalue your opinion in the eyes of others.

Open and Flexible  – Resolve Conflicts

Truly listen to the other person.  Block out distractions, and listen while they speak, then prepare your response.

Ask “Why” questions to get to the real issue and get clarification.  The” Five Levels of Why” is a conflict resolution method that says that if you ask “Why” in a series of 5, digging deeper each time, you will get to the base issue of virtually any question in the world.  I use it often.  It really works.

Consider other perspectives or solutions. Look for the compromise or “win-win.”

Focus On What You Can Control

You can control your behaviors and responses, but you cannot control others.  You may not even be able to control the outcome  of the issue.  And what happens when you simply cannot agree?  You may still have to make decisions and implement them, when an acceptable resolution to everyone cannot be achieved.   When this happens, no matter what the outcome, you have entered the implementation phase, and should  leave the conflict behind.

If you cannot control it, let it go.  It is not worth wasting time, emotions and effort on what you cannot control.

What to Do When Dealing with Conflict

  • Remain in the present and avoid bringing up old issues from the past. You must look to the future and forget past conflict, or you will become caught in a circle of indecision and recurring conflict.
  • When you sense a misunderstanding brewing, communicate directly in-person with the other person. If distance is an issue, you can certainly call as a second choice, but remember you will lose the 95% of  communication – non verbal – that we all depend upon.
  • Stop emailing/texting. If you have not resolved an issue with a total of 3 emails or messages exchanged, it is unlikely you will do so electronically, and it is very likely that there is some level of communication misunderstanding clouding the real issue.  Text battles are never productive.
  • Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements when you are communicating to reduce defensiveness on both sides. Consider, “I am upset that I did not select a dress that you prefer” rather than “You are an idiot.”

conflict, wedding , planning

Forgive (And Yes, Forget) – Past Conflict

There will be many conflicts –  some tiny and some almost overwhelming – that you will need to resolve as you plan for your wedding.  For the tiny ones, don’t allow them to fester and ruin your experience.  Deal with them, put them behind you, forgive and forget.

For the larger ones, keep in mind the real reason you are planning this special day – it is the beginning of your new life as a married couple.  Is there really any wedding planning decision that is more important to you than that new life?  Work towards acceptance, forgive and let go of the past. Consciously choose how you want to move forward and what is most important to you.

Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

Something Borrowed, Something Blue -Wedding Memories (Part II)

Bubbles Fun For All Ages at Your Wedding

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

BUBBLES – FUN FOR ALL AGES AT YOUR WEDDING

Let’s step back to our childhood and summer days blowing bubbles.  Those were such peaceful, soothing times.  We stood and watched those magical orbs glisten in the sun as they gently floated back to earth.  Bring that same feeling to your wedding reception by creating a bubble haven for all to enjoy.

BUBBLES – ALWAYS A FUN WEDDING FAVOR 

Bubbles are a magical element that makes everyone smile.  Guests greet the couple with a wall of bubbles as they leave the ceremony or enter the reception. Spontaneous bubble blowing erupts on the dance floor.  And you capture some unique and awe struck  expressions in photos.  I think it is impossible to look unhappy when blowing bubbles- at least I have never seen it.

Here is a selection of wedding bubbles at varying price points that are available and ready to use.

reception, bubbles, wedding
Wedding Cake Bubbles
bubbles, wedding, reception
Champagne Bottle Bubbles
bubbles, wedding, reception
                     Diamond Bubbles

BUBBLES AT YOUR RECEPTION

Why not level up your use of bubbles at your reception?  Bring that joy of childhood back, if only for a day, by providing  oceans of bubble mix and wands for all your guests. (No age discrimination, please.  Everyone loves bubbles). Carry the theme even further by having some well placed iridescent balloons near the bubble stations.

If you really want guests to get involved, be sure to participate yourself.  Remember guests follow where the bride and groom lead.

MAKING YOUR OWN BUBBLE MIX

bubbles, wedding, reception It is quite simple to make your own bubble mix, and it is generally much heartier than what you buy so the bubbles are stronger and last longer.   I have been making bubbles since I was a child.  Here are two recipes.  I decide which I use depending on the look I am going for in a particular situation.  (You can make the mixes, well in advance.  I keep some of each on hand all the time.)

Weather, particularly humidity, has a huge effect on bubbles.  Try both recipes and to see which works best for you.  Or do both. They really do react differently.

Floating Bubbles:

These are lightweight, and often soar from sight before popping.

You can multiply this recipe as many times as you want.  I usually make a couple of gallons at a time.

  • Add 6 cups of water to a container.
  • Slowly add 1 cup dish soap and mix slowly so you do not form foam or bubbles as you stir.
  • Add in 2 Tablespoons of glycerin or ¼ cup corn syrup.  Stir until mixed together.
  • Allow to sit if bubbles have formed,  then place in big bowl or individual containers and you are ready to go.

Tough Bubbles:

These bubbles are much heavier than the ones above.  The recipe is best for larger bubbles.  They will hover close to the ground before popping.  They do not usually float away unless there is a stiff breeze.  These bubbles are  best blown outside, as they leave a bit of a sugary residue when they land which is a bit messy indoors.

  • Add 2 cups hot water
  • Slowly add 1/4 cup dish soap
  • 1 (.25 oz)  packet unflavored gelatin.  Not Jello.
  • 2 tablespoons glycerin
  • Mix all ingredients together slowly and place in small bubble bottles or large bowl/tray for bubble blowing.

Bubble Wands:

You can purchase bubble wands and bubble blowers in all sizes and shapes at the dollar or discount store, or reuse those you have on hand.  But why not create your own?

Plastic cup:

Punch a hole in the bottom to blow through. Dip the large open end into the solution and blow.

Plastic soft drink bottles:

Cut the bottom off the bottle ( at least 1/2 -3/4 way up the side.  Dip bottom in bubble mix.  Use the lip end of the bottle to blow bubbles.

Pipe cleaners:

You can create just about any shape you like from pipe cleaners, just make sure you keep a small section as a handle.  Twist multiple pipe cleaners together for larger shapes.  Try making  circles, stars, squares or an irregular shape.

Wire coat hanger :

This works just like the pipe cleaner but is a bit sturdier for large bubbles.

Plastic funnel:

A funnel is the perfect shape for a bubble wand.  Dip the large end in the bubble solution and use the small end to blow.  This is a sure winner, especially for small hands that may have trouble coordinating a wand.

Drinking straws:

Bunch several plastic drinking straws together and secure.  Be sure you do not tie too tightly cutting off the air flow.  These will create many small but fast flowing bubbles. If you have small children using these,  mark the dipping end with permanent marker, so children will know which end to dip in the bubble mixture each time.

Giant Wand – Giant Bubbles:

bubbles, wedding, receptionWe have all seen these giant wands on TV.  Super simple to make your own or you can purchase.  We have had one in our home since I was a small child, and yes, they really do work.  They work best when the user is elevated, like on a second story deck because the bubbles are so large.  Tough bubbles mix is best because of the size of these elegant monsters.

Use a coarse twine, light rope or porous ribbon when you make your wands.  The rough surface will give the soap tiny crevices it can stick to when the wand is dipped in the solution.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that shows how to make your own giant wand.  (Make several, so the adults do not fight over them.)

BUBBLE TIPS:

  • If you want pictures of you and your new husband  walking through the bubbles when exiting the ceremony, make sure the guests at the end of the row know they will need to start blowing bubbles (and keep blowing) before the happy couple reaches them so there will be bubbles in the air.
  • Refrigerate bubble mix before using.   Bubbles will last longer.
  • Bubbles need moisture to survive. If you live in an area with very low humidity, you may want to look for another option for your reception.  First try increasing the glycerin in the recipe to see if they work well in your area.
  • When making my own bubble mix I prefer Joy or Dawn dish-washing liquid. Don’t use the bargain brand, it just does not hold up as well.
  • Bubbles for a crowd work  best with the smaller wands when the solution is in a wide bottom pan or tray in a stable location.  There is more surface area and less spillage.
  • The giant wand requires a deeper bowl so the string is fully immersed.  You will also use a lot more bubble mix.
  • You can usually find glycerin in the drugstore aisle near band aids or beauty supplies. It is not expensive or in short supply, just hard to locate in the store.
  • Unflavored gelatin is in the baking section of the grocery store. (Do not buy Jello)
  • Bubbles in the winter can create an incredible visual. If it is freezing outside, they may even freeze before they reach the ground and stand for a few extra moments.

Wedding bubbles are a creative way to add fun to your wedding.  Whether you are making a shining entrance, a grand exit, or providing joyful entertainment to guests at your reception, bubbles are a unique way to stretch your wedding budget while not compromising your happily ever after.  They create a special way to include your guests and allow them to participate in the festivities.  Expect happy smiles.

Other Articles You Will Enjoy:

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

Something Borrowed, Something Blue -Wedding Memories (Part II

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

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Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

Something Borrowed, Something Blue -Wedding Memories (Part II)

something old, something borrowed, tradition

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed signifies the support from the community of family and friends surrounding you, the bride and groom, on your wedding day and in your new life as a married couple.

The possibilities for something borrowed are nearly endless.  If you need something on your wedding day, and someone you know has one, ask if you can borrow it.  It really is that simple.

Borrowed can be anything from something very special such as your grandmother’s earrings or your mother’s pearls that she wore on her wedding day, or it could something that you just like.

Something Borrowed from Your Mother-in -Law

something borrowed something blue, wedding, tradition One special idea a bride shared with me is that on the Mother’s Day before his wedding, her groom, Adam, gave pearl earrings  (something his Mom had always wanted) to his mother thanking her for her love and support through his life and into his future life as a new husband.  For the wedding, his new bride Amy borrowed the earrings from her new-mother-in-law and explained that they were significant to her because they symbolized a lifelong dream that Adam had turned into reality, and they  represented the love Adam had for his mother and her love for  him.  It was a touching moment for everyone.  A special note was printed in the wedding programs so that everyone understood the significance of the earrings Amy wore. A new  tradition was born.

Something Borrowed – Wedding Words

As an officiant, I often get referrals from couples I have married (Thank You!) or from guests who have attended weddings where I officiated.  While I create every ceremony uniquely, I hear requests to include a certain reading that the couple particularly enjoyed at the earlier wedding.

When this happens, I recommend that they contact the prior couple and ask if they can borrow the words, and then we work to incorporate them into their vows or ceremony.  The original couple is always pleased to hear their ceremony was remembered and the new couple does not have to search for something similar (but not quite as good).

Something Old Can Be Something Borrowed too.

Take a quick peak back at the Something Old, Something New post after you finish reading this.  It is quite common for Something Old to also serve as the bride’s Something Borrowed.

Something Borrowed could be:

  • Your grandmother’s wedding veil or one from anyone in your family (or friend). ( A side benefit is that veils ca be very expensive, and only worn until the reception.  Borrowing is a huge relief to your budget.)
  • Your mother’s wedding dress.
  • The cake knife and server from a sibling’s wedding. No one really pays attention to these items, so give your budget a tiny break and borrow them.
  • Centerpiece containers or table numbers from a friend’s earlier wedding.
  • Ask your maid of honor to lend you her evening clutch. You’ll need a place for makeup, cell phone, etc. ( If she does not have one, gift one to her as her bridesmaid’s gift and borrow it back.)
  • Borrow one of your dad’s handkerchiefs for shedding your happy tears. (Warning: He may never want to wash it again.)
  • For your first dance, borrow the song your parents danced to as their first song at their wedding. (You better  bring an extra one of dad’s handkerchiefs.  Mom is going to need it.)

If you really cannot think of something to borrow, do not stress over it.  As a wedding officiant, I have seen that most bride’s forget something or did not plan to bring something they suddenly need.  They borrow from a member of the wedding party and the tradition continues as it was meant to – with a member of your community supporting you on your wedding day.  It’s amazing how things work out!

Something Blue

Something blue is said to stand for purity, love, and fidelity in the new marriage.  Now  we know this is just an excuse to wear another gorgeous blue rock on your wedding day.  Work with me here and maybe your future husband will gift something blue to you!!

Something Blue Jewelry

something old something blue wedding tradition

 

There is a wide selection of wedding earrings, necklaces, bracelets and cocktail rings available for brides to choose from.   I love these sapphire earrings.   You will be surprised how reasonably they are priced.

 

 

Not Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes

Blue shoes,  blue heels,  blue bows on your shoes, or even blue soles.  Take your pick, blue seems to be the new trend in wedding shoes.  And while you are at it, make sure you take care of your aching feet.  No one has a good time when their feet hurt.

Something Blue  – Signature Drink

something new something blue, tradition, weddngHow about a blue signature cocktail? There are many blue drinks available today.  If blue does not fit your wedding reception theme, you can always mix up  a batch to serve to your wedding party and family while you are having pictures taken.  How nice – a special treat for the special people in your life.

Here is one recipe that has become a huge hit at wedding receptions I attend.  You can mix as individual drinks, or save on the cost of  bartenders by making large batches and serving in a punch bowl or dispenser.  Provide plenty of ice as this best served over ice.

Something Blue Wedding Signature Drink 

1 part vodka (any brand.  Don’t waste money on the expensive stuff.)

1 part Triple Sec

1 Part Blue Curacao

Lime juice to taste (approximately juice of 1 lime per serving) I use frozen limeade concentrate when preparing this for a crowd.

Mix all together and serve over ice.  Small ice cubes work the best.  If guests like a milder drink, they can add a bit ( or a lot) of lemon lime soda (Sprite, 7Up, or store brand will all work well.)

 

Something Blue – Flowers  – In Your Bouquet – Centerpieces – Whatever Works

Ask your florist about adding tiny touches of blue to your bouquet and/or centerpieces.  There are many tiny blue  blooms available today that add just a splash of blue and coordinate with almost any color scheme.

If you are arranging your own flowers  do some research and determine what blue flowers will be in season locally at  the time of your wedding.  Then ask ahead of time if your flower provider can get them for you, or shop at your local farmers market for this tiny special touch.   (Be sure to check prices as blue flowers are still considered “exotic” in some places, which drives the price up. )

BONUS:

A Sixpence in Her Shoe

something borrowed something blue, tradition, wedding
Australian sixpence 1951

The final line of the tradition is often forgotten or overlooked.  It is the easiest one to include, and you can have personalized wedding mementos that literally cost you pennies.

A coin placed in the bride’s left (tradition says it must be the left, sorry I do not know why ) shoe is a British custom that symbolizes great wealth for the bride and her future husband.  When the coin (originally a sixpence coin) is gifted to the bride by her father, it is symbolizing his wish for the bride’s  lifelong prosperity, fertility, and love and happiness in her marriage.

While you can buy a sixpence coin online or at a coin shop, most modern brides substitute pennies or other current coins for the sixpence.

Brides often include multiple coins  representing the wedding year, the birth years of the bride and groom,  the year they met, the years their children were born, or any other special dates.

Tape the coins into the shoe and practice walking to be sure the coin(s) are comfortable.  They can also be removed between the wedding and the reception.

If you end up with multiple coins, or are wearing open shoes, you can also have the coins sewn into the hem of your wedding dress rather than carried in a shoe.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Coins sliding around in my shoe nearly drove me crazy on my wedding day. (No one told me to tape them in place. )  I had not anticipated  the sliding coins, but I was ready for a day of aching feet until  found these.  Gotta love it when you can find a product that makes you look great without aching feet!!

New Twist for Your Sixpence Tradition

Kathy and Jeff, expanded on the tradition by having Jeff carrying two coins – one for the wedding year and a second with his date of birth.  Kathy did the same with her date of birth.  At the reception, they exchanged coins as their first gifts to each other as husband and wife.  Exchanging coins is a symbol of wealth and happiness in many cultures.  Another new tradition is born.

 

Well, there it is.  Our version of :something old

I hope you have enjoyed it.  If you missed Part 1 – Somthing Old, Something New, you can read it here

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

More Articles You Will Like:

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions, vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com. 

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,  Rita

 

 

 

 

 

Something Old, Something New For Your Wedding Memories

something old

Affiliate Disclosure for Blog

According to legend, the bride who follows the tradition by wearing ” something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” on her wedding day will have good luck in her marriage. Modern brides who carry on the tradition have expanded it to include anything the bride uses on her wedding day.

I officiated at a recent wedding where the bride arrived in an antique Bentley, part of her father’s vintage car collection.  (You have never seen a prouder father as Jenny gracefully exited his restored car.)

Something Old

Something old represents the bride’s past, which is why many brides choose to incorporate family heirlooms into their accessories.

Photos of Loved Ones – Something to Cherish for Years to Come

Add a photo locket to your bouquet or frame pictures of loved ones and place them in your bridal suite or at the entrance to your reception.  Choose a special frame and you can display the photo in your home for years to come.   What a wonderful way to honor those who are no longer physically with us but will always remain in our hearts.

Something Old Becomes Something New – Incorporating Your Mother/Grandmother’s Dress Into Your Wedding Day

Mothers and grandmothers are super sentimental when it comes to weddings. They are honored to have their dress included in your wedding day, but you often find it is just not your style.  If they will permit you to cut the vintage dress, here are some ideas:

  • Use parts of the trim from the original dress as an enhancement to your dress or your veil.
  • If the original dress had buttons, consider having them placed down the back of your dress.
  • A lace sleeve makes an elegant wrap for your bridal bouquet.
  • The skirt can be made into a ring bearer’s pillow or to create a fabric basket for the flower girl
  • Have a lace handkerchief made from the dress. Embroider the wedding date and names of the original bride and groom, and your names and dates.

While you are  having one made for yourself, have handkerchiefs made for sisters and cousins at the same time.  You’ll just have to fill in the new bride and groom names and date when the time arrives.  One bride did this and later shared that her male cousins came and asked for their pocket handkerchief made from the same fabric to wear on their wedding day.  Now that grandmother was truly loved!!

  • Your something old can be re-purposed antique jewelry that you use as hair accessories or bouquet embellishments. Your hairdresser can easily add removable bobby pins to brooches or entwine necklaces through your wedding updo.

Childhood Memories- Something Old from Your Past

  • Stitch fabric saved from childhood memories inside the wedding dress.
something old smething new, wedding, tradition
Childhood “blanket”- still treasured

Other ideas my brides have shared over the years:

  • Her Snoopy and Charlie Brown pillow case
  • A snippet from favorite childhood ballet tutu or clothing.
  • The number from her high school (or college)  jersey
  • Part of her “blankey” that she carried everywhere as a child.

A favorite tiny toy tucked into the bridal bouquet holds a special memory for me. I tucked  a teddy bear in my bouquet that my husband gave me when we first dated.  It’s 43 years later.   I still have the bear and the husband, so there must be something to this tradition.

Memories of Dad

My brother Carl passed away before his daughters were married.  To honor him on her wedding day, one daughter, Carly, had a heart made from the fabric of one of her dad’s favorite shirts sewn inside her wedding gown.  Very few people knew it was there, but it as very special to her when her Mom Peggy walked Carly down the aisle.  She said she felt like Carl was walking with her too.

When Shannon married, she used the same shirt and had ribbons from it tucked into her bouquet.

I had the honor of officiating at both of their  ceremonies, and I can tell you there was not dry eye anywhere.

You could use these ideas for any clothing item from a loved one, even a vintage wedding veil.  Be creative in how your can include your memories.

Keeping the Dress Alive- Something Old & Treasured

If your mom or grandmother cannot bear to have her dress cut up, but still asks you to include it as part of your wedding day, you can display it at the reception, with their wedding picture.  Ask the groom’s mother if she would like to participate as well, then be sure to get lots of pictures of you everyone  together, so you can later compare the generations.  A new custom is born and everyone is happy.

Something New

Your something new should consist of items that reflect how you want to look and feel on your big day and as a new couple.

Your Wedding Dress

something old something new, tradition, wedding

Many brides see their wedding dress as their “something new”.  If you are budget conscious and purchase a sample or  pre-owned wedding dress, it is new to you. (Or count it as something old, it really does not matter as long as your get the dress you love. )

I could not believe the spectacular dresses that brides are finding at this site at a huge discount off retail prices.  They  carry plus size too at unbelievable savings.

Level up your dress without killing your budget.  Win-Win.

BONUS:  When you are ready to sell your dress, they will buy your wedding dress too!!  Win-Win-Win.

 

Glassware- Becomes “Something old” for every anniversary.

something old something new

Champagne flutes, with  Mr. & Mrs. or with your initials on them add a special touch to your first drink as husband and wife.   If you drink beer or other beverages, don’t limit yourself to champagne glasses.

You will create a lifetime memento of your wedding day.  Marci and Jim have created an annual tradition of drinking from their toasting glasses on every anniversary.  Marci tells me they make drinking her favorite ice tea special too.

 

Perfume

something old something new. wedding, traditionSurprise your new husband with a new perfume on your wedding day.  The sense of smell is one to the strongest links to memory we experience. Every time you use the new perfume it will remind you both of your wedding day.  Be sure to wear it on special occasions, and of course wedding anniversaries.

If you already have a signature scent, it can be your something old.  If it brings back memories of a special time you had together, you may want to hold onto those memories.   For my son Will’s wedding,  was married, I wore a scent I had worn when he was a child.  I will never forget the tears in his eyes when we were dancing as he took a deep breath and said, “You smell like mom”.    A lifetime memory was created for this mom whose baby boy was entering a new life stage.

 Your New Last Name

something old something new, Mrs., Wedding, traditionIf you are planning to take your future husband’s last name, you can have your new initials or entire name embroidered into your wedding dress.  To make it super special, ask the seamstress to make the swatch for the embroidery large enough that it can be removed and turned into a pillow or picture for your new home.  You will be able to enjoy seeing it every day.

I particularly like the idea of having your new name embroidered on the ring bearer’s pillow or  monogrammed onto your veil.  Anything with your new name will create a stunning image and a lifetime memory for you.

 Lingerie 

something old something new

 

There is no requirement that your something new must been seen by everyone.  How about purchasing new sexy bridal lingerie – something new just for him.

Be creative, sexy,  or bridal. White or a hot new color.  Let your imagination run wild.    Think of a piece you would not usually buy and that your groom will love.  The pictured  set has a detachable skirt, so you get two looks in one.   Whew!!

 

 

 

 

Today we have looked at “Something Old” and “Something New”.  Our next post will  be all about “Something Borrowed” and Something Blue.”  You can read it here.

Be sure to sign up for our email list and you will receive a copy of every blog post when it is published.

Hugs.

Other Articles You Will Like:

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

I will be the first to admit, the thought of being unplugged is difficult to accept, especially on the most important day of your life.  Trust me, make the decision to be unplugged.  You will be glad you did.

 “Please sit back, relax, enjoy the celebration, and most importantly, we urge you to unplug and be present in the festivities and events of the day.”  This quote is often seen on wedding invitations and signs requesting guests to unplug for the wedding ceremony and reception.  But how many brides and grooms take their own advice?

Unplugged, bride, wedding, ceremony, reception, memories,

Why Get Unplugged?

Take the time to focus on your wedding day – every moment is special and memorable to you.  How much will you remember of your day when you are constantly checking your phone, responding to texts, even viewing social media?

As you transition to a new life, this is the opportunity to focus in appreciation and gratitude for the life you were given and the future that lies before you. Don’t miss out by being online.

Solitude – An Unexpected Benefit of Being Unplugged

Solitude provides the stillness and quiet required to evaluate our lives and reflect on the message in our hearts.  We are in a world where outside noise is coming quicker and louder than ever.  The need for a bit of solitude is apparent, especially on one of the most important days of your life.

Life Is Happening Right in Front of You. – Get Unplugged and Enjoy It.

While you live in an electronic age, the true nature of life has not changed. Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you.  Your wedding experiences will never repeat themselves. These conversations are unfiltered and authentic. And the love is real. But if you are too busy staring down at your screen, or returning messages, you will miss them  (and never have a chance to experience them again).

Live in the moment, enjoy the people, the atmosphere, your own thoughts – all the feelings of your wedding day.

Avoid  An Emotional Roller Coaster by Being Unplugged

unplugged, bride, wedding, roller coaster, groom, ceremony, wedding dayBeing constantly connected puts you on an emotional roller coaster.  Think about how many times you have received an “urgent” text message, followed in a few moments by the notice that the disaster has been averted and all is well. You do not need to know if the caterer is ten minutes late, or there is a 10% chance of showers later in the evening.  There is nothing you can do about it anyway.  You do not need this kind of added stress on your wedding day.  You have others in place and ready to handle any issues that may arise.  Relax and allow them to do their jobs for you.

The Start of Your Unplugged Day

Instead of reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up, take the time to concentrate on yourself and your wedding day.  You will have a more relaxed day when you focus solely on yourself, your groom, and your wedding.   Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.”  Spend it and the rest of your day wisely.    Remember the world continued to spin without your input while you slept, so it can surely do so for the most important day of your life. What could possibly be more important today than your wedding?

 Spare Time

There may be quiet time on your wedding day, but there really is no spare time to spend surfing the net, reading texts, or answering calls.  They are all just distractions that will take you from the serenity and joy of your wedding day. Resist the urge to fill quiet moments by plugging in.

Write Your Thoughts

unplugged, wedding day, calm, bride, groomRecord your thoughts and feelings in a wedding journal you can share with your new spouse and preserve for a lifetime.

By putting your quiet time to appropriate use, and jotting down your thoughts and feelings, you are saving once in a lifetime moments that flash by quickly. You will be glad you took the time to jot them down so you can recall them later.  Don’t worry about full sentences, grammar, or punctuation.  You are preserving thoughts and feelings, not publishing a book.

 

Streamline Who You Need To Connect With

 Make a list of people you  need to be in contact with, then provide them with an alternate contact number. (Keep your list as brief as possible.)   Set their minds at ease that nothing is wrong when you do not respond, but make sure they understand you will not be available. They can get an “urgent” (be sure to stress “urgent”) message to you if needed, and you will contact them if you need them too.

You may also need to be connected to some people such as vendors, your officiant etc.   Delegate this responsibility to someone you trust and  then relax.  A designated contact can handle and convey all messages that you really need to see and handle those that you do not need to see.

Tell People in Advance

Tell people in advance who routinely call, text, message or email you, that you are unplugged for your wedding, and when you will be online again.  Ask them for their support by not contacting you during this time.  If you feel you must, provide them with the alternate contact information but make sure they understand they should not expect to connect with you directly until after the wedding.

Do You Need to Connect with Your Bride/Groom?

 Decide in advance if you will talk to each other before you meet on your wedding day.  Stick to your decision.  Preserve the mystery of your wedding day by allowing the anticipation of talking to each other to grow until you first see each other.  You really do not need to know every preparation detail while it is happening.  Agree that all is well, unless your designated contact receives an important message from your significant other (and it had better be a legitimate need, not just a “Hi. Whatcha doing?”).

Lock It Up

unplugged, wedding day, ceremony, bride, groom, calm, stress-free

Don’t trust yourself to keep your anti-tech word? Give your phone to someone else to hold or simply leave it at home.

You could even ask a friend to install a password that only he/she can unlock on your wedding day.  There is no way you can cheat if you do not have access.

Can’t Go Cold Turkey?

Turn your phone off, not just to screen saver.  Don’t race to answer messages or calls.  Let them go to voicemail and then check in from time to time if you must.

Studies show that mobile phone owners routinely check their devices every 6.5 minutes.   That is 65 times in a 10-hour period.  Do you really want your special day interrupted that many times?

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

The Fear of Missing Out is an emerging psychological disorder brought on by technology. We are accustomed to a constant stream of notifications.  The fear of being left out is real.  Just remember that everyone who is important to you is preparing for your wedding too.  You will be seeing them today and you are the center of attention that everyone is talking about.  You can’t miss out, when you are the center of all that is happening.  Make yourself content with knowing they can fill you in on the details you may have missed later.

 

SOME OF OUR OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

 

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

 

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

 

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

 

 

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,

Rita

 

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Knowing how many people to expect at your wedding is a key to your planning in terms of space, expenses, and guest comfort.  Wedding experts tell us that fewer people are doing an RSVP response, making it difficult for brides to plan and control expenses.  Here are ideas of what you  can do to increase your responses.

 

Reduce Misunderstanding About RSVP Response

RSVP Response

You know the initials.  RSVP. They stand for the French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which literally means “respond if you please.”  Today, invitations that include an RSVP come with the expectation that guests will respond to accept or decline the invitation, but many guests do no respond at all.

Your Solution:

Change the wording from RSVP to “Please Respond” or “Please Respond By  (DATE)”  to avoid confusion and prompt people to respond.  There is less chance the guest will misunderstand your request when your clearly state the expected action

Remind Your Guests Why Their RSVP Response Matters

 Guest response is a practical matter for you, but few guests consider why you need their response and the impact on your planning.

Your Solution:

Add a gentle reminder to your RSVP card:

“We’ll be embarrassed if we don’t have enough for everyone, so please respond to this invitation promptly.”

“Seating is limited, so please respond so we can reserve your space”

“We need to prepare for everyone in advance, please respond.”

“Please respond to reserve your slice of the wedding cake.  We’ve had the taste test and it is incredible.”

“We’re so excited and can’t wait for your response. Please respond NOW, before you forget.”

Adding a note of humor and scarcity will often generate more responses. The last two responses are a sure way to get attention, (even from those who don’t want cake).

Arrange information Clearly on Your RSVP Response Card

If there is too much or confusing wording, your guests might misinterpret the purpose of your invitation  and their need to respond.

Your Solution:

Limit your invitation and RSV cards to only necessary information, such as names, location, time and date.  You may also include menu choices, if needed;  If ancillary information is not important to the response, include it on a separate sheet, or even better on your wedding website.

 

Set a Deadline for RSVP Responses 

Deadline, RSVP Response

 People receive your invitation, set it aside until later,  and then often forget or fail to respond.

Keep your response time frame short. This will encourage  guests to get their responses back to you rather than putting them off, which often results in them not responding at all.

Draw attention to the RSVP deadline on your invitation so that it can’t be missed!

Use an eye-catching design or character to draw attention to your deadline. An arrow pointing to the date is a universal sign that the information is important.  You can find arrows in elegant fonts to keep with the theme of your invitation.

If you are printing your own RSVP cards, consider printing the response date in a bright color with a border around it to draw attention.

Use all caps, italics, underlining, or special font for the date when you need a response.

 

Verify Your Contact Information Twice

You are not receiving any response – Yikes!

Your solution: 

A simple typo or outdated auto-fill settings could result in responses not reaching you.  Check and double check your contact information before you send your invitations.  It is best to have some else check it too.   If you do find an error after sending, act quickly to resolve it, inform guests of the change and offer sincere apologies.

Send invitations out well in advance

People already have something planned

Your Solution:

Ideally invitations should be sent six to eight weeks before the wedding with a RSVP deadline three to four  weeks later.

Send paper or email request for your guests to “save the date.”   They are generally send six to eight months before the wedding (longer for destination weddings) and will improve the chances of your wedding making it on calendars but won’t necessarily increase your RSVP response rate.  If someone comments that they received your “save the date” and plan to attend,  or cannot make it, make a note on your guest list.  If they have already responded negatively, there is no need to follow up if they do not respond.

Do a test run before sending out your invitations.  Know, don’t just believe, everything is in working.

Timing When Sending Your Invites for Optimal RSVP Response

 People misplace or did not receive your invitation.

Your Solution:

Avoid sending invitations close to holidays or at times when you know people are particularly busy.

Offer RSVP Response Options

The more options you give guests for ways to response, the more responses you are likely to receive.

Review your guest list carefully and make a notation as to what method your guests are most likely to respond.  Be sure to include the top choices in your response methods.

Some guests may prefer communicating electronically, others prefer traditional methods.

Traditional RSVP Response Options 

If you are requesting paper responses, be sure to include a stamped pre-addressed envelope.  You may find this to be expensive, and a waste when people do not respond, but most people simply will not take the time to locate a stamp to return your RSVP.

While strict etiquette requires a written response to a written invitation, now is not the time to stand on tradition.  You need answers.  Provide a telephone number and name, email address or wedding website email address for these guests to use in case if they prefer or forget to mail.

For calls, if you have voice mail, encourage guests to leave a message.  Be sure to change your voice response message to prompt for the information you need. Then check your messages often, record the information and delete the message so no one will reach a full mailbox.

Electronic RSVP Response Options

 Response rates  are normally higher when people can respond electronically, but you must make it convenient for the guest.

 Your Solutions:

 Offer electronic  response options, including email, text message, your wedding website, or even a google form for guests to respond.  Provide response addresses clearly so it is easy for guests to respond.

If you are sending electronic invitations to personal email addresses, send them on a weekday evening, or other times when people are likely to be home and checking email.

If you are using a work address, emails at the beginning of the day or immediately following lunch get the most attention.

Use the “Important” designation on your email to get attention.  You can also get  a notification when to see if people opened your email.

If you are using a special “wedding email” address be sure to notify guests in advance so they will be on the lookout for your invitation.

Allow people to respond by hitting reply.  Most already know if they will attend when they receive your invitation, so make it easy for them to respond immediately and your response rates will soar.

Some experts recommend sending your electronic invitations very early in the day or late at night.  Your  invitation will have a higher chance at being at the top of your guests’ inbox, making it more visible.

Offer guests an off-line option just in case some don’t have regular online access.

Send a Gift With Your RSVP Response Card

People forget before they reply.

RSVP Response, Don't ForgetYour Solution:

By including a small trinket/reminder gift with your invite, you can increase the rate at which your guests RSVP.  Your gift doesn’t have to be extravagant for you to enjoy this effect. With a paper invitation, you might include:

  • A piece of string to tie around their finger as a reminder
  • A Post-It note for their bathroom mirror
  • For electronic invitations, include the option to automatically add the response date to their calendar.

 

Offer a Bribe for Guests’ RSVP Response

You know your friends, and they probably won’t respond

Your Solution:

A fun way to get people to respond is to add an offer in your invitation that says something like “First 50 people to respond will be entered in a drawing for – now you add the prize”.  It could be a bottle of wine, a gift certificate, special seating at the reception, reserved parking, whatever your guests will enjoy and get them to respond.

Be sure you follow up and conduct the drawing either at your reception on in advance if you need to notify the guest of their win.  Also announce the winner at your reception.  Great fun for everyone.

“Regrets Only” – RSVP Response Not Required 

If you are considering a “regrets only” response, reconsider

Your Solution

Don’t.  People who receive “regrets only” are no better at (and often worse) than responding to a traditional RSVP.  You will not get a better count with “regrets only”, and will probably end up with lots of leftovers if you are using your response numbers for seating and caterers.

Ask for Participation on Your RSVP Response Card

Your Solution:

Many brides are seeing increased response rates when asking guests to list a favorite song or their favorite memory of the bride and groom.  It will take a little time, but you can compile lists, use in your decorations, or adjust your song list to include some of these items.  Guests love the feeling they are participating in the wedding even before the big day.

 

BONUS TIP:

Accept No Graciously

People Declined.

Your Solution:

When people are kind enough to RSVP and their answer is no, accept it without questioning the reason or asking whether they won’t reconsider.  Resist the urge to ask why.  There could be a million reasons, and many they do not want to share.  When someone cannot attend and does not offer an explanation, the most gracious thing is to say, “You’ll be missed”.

Other Articles For You:

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

 

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy.   

Hugs,  Rita 

 

 

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

Deciding who you share your special day with is an important part of your wedding planning. Sidestep stress and make your decisions quicker and easier when assembling your guest list by dodging these mistakes.

Your Parents Take Control of Your Guest List

wedding, guest list, brideUnless you want to have a room full of guests that you really do not know, and who are more important to parents than they are to you, don’t give up control of your guest list.  This can be difficult if parents are paying for most or all the wedding expenses.

It is best to sit down early and discuss the size of wedding you want.  Be prepared to compromise to make the guest distribution equitable.  Deciding how many guests to have and how the numbers will be allocated is much easier if you do it before you attach names to the list.

Don’t forget to include your groom and his parents as part of the discussion, after all it is his wedding too.

A good rule of thumb is to allocate one quarter of your list to both parents and retain half for you and the groom.  But this is just a guideline, not a rule, and only you can decide how you split your list.

 

Totally Dominating the Guest List

Be sure to consider the groom and his family when creating your guest list.  You and your parents may be paying wedding expenses, but it is you and your groom’s wedding – as a couple.  Allocate an appropriate number of guest seats for their use.  You don’t want your groom to feel like the wedding day was solely about you. Or to start off your marriage offending your in-laws when they feel excluded on the most important day in their son’s life.

 

Booking the Venue First – Before Making Your Guest List

Before you can book your venue, you really do need to prepare your guest list.  It will save you stress and aggravation and possibly re-booking another place, if you find out it is too small for the number of guests you plan to invite.  Don’t forget  to allow adequate space for guests to be comfortable at their tables and when they move about.  Then there is room for dancing, the cake, and your head table. Commit to a venue only when you know how much space you will need for an enjoyable event.

 

Not Considering Food and Drink Costs – The Impact of Your Guest List 

reception food, wedding, DIY, home cooked. restaurantwedding reception, open bar, bride, groom, bar,Because food and drinks are usually the largest costs associated with a wedding, and they are determined on a per-person basis, each guest added to your list increases your budget.  Keeping your guest list small is a major money saver. For today’s wedding each guest can add from $20 to $200 to the cost of your wedding.

Make lists of your top priorities for both your wedding budget and guest list.  Don’t be surprised if they conflict.  Only you can decide if you would rather serve less expensive food and drinks to a larger group or pare down your guest list and serve more expensive food and drinks.  That is a decision that you and your groom should make together before you start inviting guests.

 Forgetting the 20 Percent Rule of Your Guest List 

When making your guest list, keep in mind the general rule is that between 10%-20%  of invited guests will not attend. In some areas it can be as much as 30%, especially if guests must travel.  Don’t take this personally.  Some will have prior plans, last minute emergencies, or just don’t get around to returning their RSVP.

Don’t assume that someone who does not respond either will or will not attend.  You are just guessing, unless you know them well.

Remember to include yourselves, the wedding party, and parents when you are counting the number of guests.

Because you will need a close estimate of the number of seats to plan , it is important for you to consider all these in your guest count.  If your venue has a minimum number of guests required at a certain price point you may also want to keep this in mind as it affects cost per person if you do not meet the minimum.

 

Allowing Everyone to Bring A Plus-One

Plus One, Wedding, Guest, ListMany brides fall into the trap of trying to keep their single friends happy by including a plus one invitation, so they can bring a guest.  Please resist the urge to automatically include plus-ones until you sit down and calculate how much each one of these people represents in money and the total hit your budget will take.  They really so add up quickly and can make a big difference on what you can afford in other areas, like flowers, decorations, and even food choices.

Decide what your “rule” for plus-ones will be and stick to it so there are no hurt feelings.  You can invite all, none, of somewhere in between. Some brides include only those in a committed relationship, but that can get tricky defining what committed means.  You may settle for living together or engaged as the guiding rule.

Make sure you and the groom agree when you decide how you will handle this issue.  You must be consistent.  Prepare to support each other and your joint decision when people come begging for “just one more”.

Children on Your Guest List – Be Consistent

children in wedding, bridal party, flower girl, ring bearer, bride, groomIf you want a child free wedding, be sure to make it very clear on your invitations that children are not invited.  Don’t use wording including “Family” on your invitation envelopes unless you are including children.

Instead of saying “No children” on your invitation, consider a gentler approach.  “We’re making our wedding an adult affair and hope that the parents among you can take the opportunity to have an evening without the children”.  People will accept this positive tone, especially when you tell them early giving them time to plan for the children.

Share your plan with your family gossip and prep him/her on what to say when people ask.  When you send a positive message, it goes a long way to spread the word and support your decision not to include children.  Ask your wedding party and parents to prepare to address questions from guests who have children they want to attend.

If your wedding is at a commercial venue that offers babysitting, share the information with your guests so they can plan accordingly.  You may even get a group discount.  If you plan to offer this service, have someone other than yourself coordinate it.  A relative with children who will use the service is the ideal person for the job.

And most importantly, be consistent in your treatment of children attending.  Avoid hurt feelings by not allowing some guests to bring children while others can.

The only exception should be for children who are in the bridal party, and siblings of the bride and groom.   You may want to make alternate arrangements for them when the time grows long and the get cranky or bored.

 

Including  Coworkers on Your Guest List 

If you have close friends among your coworkers, you can certainly invite them.  But this does not mean who must include everyone you work with – this could take up half your guest list.

If you do invite a few select coworkers, ask them not to discuss their invitations with other coworkers to avoid hurt feelings.

Don’t feel obligated to invite the boss, just because she is the boss.  If she is not a close friend, she will understand that you are limited in the number of guests.

If you are not inviting any coworkers, consider hosting a separate party for them.  Explain that the wedding is a close friends and family affair.

 

Adding Everyone You Know To Your Guest List

This is one of the biggest days of your life and you will want to share it. It’s best to limit your list to people you care about and want to be a part of your wedding memories.

If you are really on the fence of whether to include someone on the list, the answer is probably “no”. You will know who it is important to have at your wedding, of if you are just adding people.  Inviting near-strangers adds nothing to your wedding except costs and stress on your wedding day.

OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE:

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

 

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

 

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

 

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,

Rita

How to Make Your Wedding Ceremony Memorable

While your wedding day will be full of excitement and the reception will surely be an awesome party, the ceremony is the reason you are here. You enter as individuals and leave as a couple formally bound together for a lifetime. The “I DO” is definitely what it is all about.

Add these simple but memorable moments to your ceremony to make it the highlight of the wedding day.

 

Walking Down the Aisle – The Ceremony Begins

ceremony, groom, walking down aisle, wedding

Walking down the aisle, and the first moment the groom sees his beautiful bride are truly magical moments in any wedding ceremony.  Before the wedding, make sure that your photographers and videographers clearly understand that while you want pictures nothing, and I do mean nothing, even for a single moment, comes between the bride and groom and blocks the view of the groom as his bride enters.   As an officiant, I have seen far too many weddings where all the groom saw was the back of the videographer’s head as his bride walked down the aisle.

Hold Hands – The Bond During Your Ceremony

Altar, Holding hands, ceremony

Your ceremony is the first step in your new life together.  You may be nervous in front of so many guests,  but they are not the reason you are here.  It really is all about you.  Stay focused on each other.  Hold hands.  Wipe the tear from her (or his) cheek.  Whisper sweet words to each other.  Share a secret love signal that only the two of you know.   Bring  your love for each other to the foreground of your ceremony.  You are making memories to last a lifetime.

 

Write Your Own Vows – A Ceremony of Magic

Vows that tug at the heartstrings will never be forgotten by the bride, groom, or wedding guests.  They are the soul of your wedding, your life together, and among the things you will remember most about your wedding.

You can write your own vows or adapt the more traditional ones to reflect your thoughts and proclaim your love for each other.  Couples who are having conventional vows, perhaps required by their religion, are adding their own vows to their ceremony.  Others who cannot change the ceremony, or prefer to share privately, are planning a few minutes on their wedding day to spend quiet time together and recite their personal vows to each other.  Don’t overlook this chance to make your day a special memory.

 

Cry Happy Tears – A Ceremony Stopper

ceremony, bride, groom, happy tears

 

Weddings are emotional, and it is OK to cry.  This is true for both bride and groom.  Don’t be afraid to show your emotions to your spouse and to your guests.  Having said that, it is OK not to cry.  If your tears are not authentic or are overly dramatic, everyone will quickly see that they are not genuine.  The key is to let your honest emotions show through however you feel. And,  come prepared to support your spouse by gently wiping the tears away.

 

Laugh – A Joyful Ceremony 

Wedding ceremonies don’t have to be solemn and serious.  Some of the best ceremonies are filled with infectious laughter from the couple and guests.  Don’t be afraid to include light moments in your vows and words you share.  How about adding a vow that promises you will support her favorite sports team, even when they play your team?  You will want to look back on your wedding day and remember it as a light and joyful time.  Adding these personal touches makes your day unique to you.   Your guests will connect with you and see how happy you are as a couple.

Ring Exchange –  Your Ceremony Gets Real

rings, ceremony, ring exchange

The exchanging of rings is the moment most couples tell us when the wedding and commitments become real to them.  The physical act of exchanging rings can be magical and breathtaking.  Don’t just rush through it.  Spend time in advance to create (or find) the perfect words you want to recite when placing the ring on your new spouse’s finger.  Remember you do not have the say the same thing to each other. Make your words come from your heart and add to the magic of your day.

 

Level Up Your Recessional – The Ceremony Ends 

Your recessional should be a show of overwhelming joy.  Forget the traditional pomp and circumstance and choose an upbeat song you both love for your recessional.  It does not matter the genre- from big band, country, or a jazz band.  What do you love?  Pick a song that defines you as a couple.  When you send your ceremony on an upbeat note, it will really get the party started as you head to your reception.  What an awesome way to create a smooth transition between the ceremony and the reception.

If you want to take it up another level, let the groom pick the recessional song, and have it played as a surprise to the bride. ( Brides, I promise you will be pleased with his selection.)

BONUS:

A Quiet Romantic Moment- After The Ceremony

Your wedding day will be hectic, so be sure to plan some time when the two of you can be alone  It does not have to be a long time, just enough so that you can breathe and share the emotions you will both be feeling.

The ideal time is between the ceremony and the reception.  Taking an “us” break in the middle of the reception can be a welcomed break too.

Time will pass quickly, and you want to be sure that you have time for just the two of you. Kiss, hug, laugh, breathe. Make sure you have time to cherish the day with personal moments.  You are creating lifetime memories.  Don’t allow them all to be hustle and bustle.

 

Adding these simple ideas to your wedding ceremony will transform it into one that you will trying cherish and remember for a lifetime.

OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE:

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save Money

 

Questions Every Bride Should Ask Before Selecting Her Bridal Party

 

Cheap Wedding Foods Your Guests Will Love – DIY 

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs, Rita

Cheap Reception Foods That Save You Money and Your Guests Will Love

Feeding your guests at your  wedding reception can quickly become expensive.  Many brides see cheap DIY reception foods as lower quality and not for them.  Read on and you will find this is a misconception you will be glad you overcame.  You can save money and have a fabulous reception your guests will remember and appreciate, while saving money on your reception foods.

Cheap Wedding Reception Foods

Planning Your Reception Foods

Here are some things to look at when planning your cheap DIY reception foods menu:

Number Of People Attending  – Why It Matters When Picking Reception Foods

Reception Food, Favor, weddingIf your guest list is large, don’t serve steak.  If you are having a small wedding, the more expensive foods can be more reasonable, but still are not a necessity to create a delicious memorable menu.

Always ask for an RSVP by a certain date so you can get an accurate number. Contact guests to get a response from those who miss the deadline.  Most people already overestimate how much food to provide for fear of running out.  Assuming people who have not responded to your RSVP will attend, can be a budget breaker.

If you are having trouble getting responses to your RSVP’s (and who doesn’t), here are some ideas help:

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

 

Time of Day  – It Matters For What Reception Foods You’ll Serve

Time of day is an enormous factor in determining what types of food your guests will expect.  This chart will help determine what you should serve and what they will expect to see.  The times listed are serving times, not the time your ceremony begins.honeymoon, vacation, reception food

Time of Day

Foods to Serve

7 am-9:30 am Full breakfast
10 am-11:30 am Light finger foods
12 noon-1:30 pm Full lunch
2 pm – 4:30 pm Finger foods (the later the time, the heavier the foods should be)
5 pm – 7:30 pm Full dinner
8 pm and later Finger foods, desserts

 

Keep the age of your guests in mind.  To seniors, anything approaching 5:00 pm is their dinner time.

People will eat and drink more at night than during the day, so plan portions appropriately.

If you are only serving desserts or light foods, note it on the invitation so guests will know what to expect and if they should eat before they come.  “Dessert reception following ceremony” is all you need to say.

Food Variety- So Many Choices In Reception Foods

When working with a slim budget, less variety means more savings.

When you have multiple selections, guests will want to try some of each.  (Remember the adage, my eyes were bigger than my stomach? It applies here.  While guests may take some of everything, the seldom eat it all.)

If you do have a variety, cut servings sizes smaller – bite size for desserts.  Guests are likely to take more than one choice when offered.

If you have a single choice, make servings larger.

If you have unusual or ethnic items on your menu, label them.  Guests will know what they contain and will not take them just to try them, if they are not likely to take them when they know what it contains.

 

Budget –  A Big Part of Your Reception Foods Decision

Setting your budget is key. Decide before you start planning the menu what you can spend and base your menu around it. Believe it or not, it’s easy to have an inexpensive reception when you plan ahead.  Pasta, desserts only, and finger foods – when you carefully plan the menu, can all be done for only a few dollars.

Breakfast is a particularly budget friendly meal, so why not have an early wedding following by breakfast, or even breakfast first?  Or a late evening wedding, followed by breakfast foods?

Be creative when considering your options.  Savings are generally found in the unusual, not the traditional.

Seating – What To Consider When Selecting Reception Foods

If people will be standing and mostly mingling, finger foods are best.  Consider if they have a place to eat and hold a drink. (This is also a major thing brides overlook when setting up their cocktail hour before the reception.)

If guests will be seated, you can offer tacos, soups, casseroles, full meals, even cold salads.

If you are having children, plan a separate menu for them, that is less expensive and more to their tastes. Avoid dark colored punch, soups, and foods that make a mess. (Macaroni and cheese, and applesauce are usually kids’ favorites.

A new trend in weddings is serving meats at stations, then serving sides family style.  You will need more staff than a buffet to serve, but family style is a wonderful way to get guests talking to each other, and they only take the foods they really want.

Atmosphere- Reception Foods Help Set The Tone 

Cheap Wedding Reception Foods DIYKeep the overall feel of your wedding in mind when planning your menu.

If your wedding is casual, then barbecue or a salad bar may be the perfect fit.

If it is very hot, and you have an outside wedding, avoid heavy foods and have plenty of liquids for guests. You may need more snack type foods to accompany alcohol too.

If your wedding is very formal, then you probably are going to serve a full dinner.  You can still serve buffet style, which is cheaper than a sit-down dinner, make sure you have your buffet lines set up so the wait time is not excessive

Just keep the overall atmosphere of your wedding you and your attendees in mind so everyone will be happy.

 

Time Of Year – A Big Aspect of Your Perfect Reception Foods 

Heavier foods are always appreciated in fall and winter months.  How about serving a variety of homemade soups?  Purchase inexpensive mugs and give them to guests to take home as their favors.

Baked potato bars (for variety, be sure to include some sweet potatoes) and pasta dishes are chilly weather favorites.

A fresh salad bar and barbecues are perfect for spring and summer weddings.  Add some homemade cookies or brownies for dessert if you want to serve more than wedding cake, and you are set to go.

If you are having an offsite wedding, there is no need to keep foods hot when you select a menu of chicken salad, cold meats, and dishes that are served at room temperature.  (Do keep food safety in mind for all cold foods, especially anything containing egg or mayonnaise.) .

Crepe bars and waffle bars are also a fun and inexpensive reception idea. Toppings can include everything from ice cream and chocolate syrup, yogurt, candies, peanut butter, sprinkles, and chopped nuts.

Shopping For Your Reception Foods 

Stock Up – Buy Early For Saving on Reception Foods 

Once you set your menu, create a complete ingredient list including the total quantities you will need for all menu items.

Throughout the year, watch for sales and purchase the non-perishables you will need.  You can also buy chips, paper products, and drinks. If you have freezer space, you can freeze cheese, meat, etc. Just make sure you wrap them well to protect from freezer burn, and thaw according to directions for that food type.

Consider using store brands, when you can.  Create a test batch of the recipe.  Does it really require pink Himalayan salt or is it delicious with the salt you already have?  Don’t buy the specialty items if everyday items will work.

Use What You Have

Before you start shopping, check what you have.  You may only need a small quantity of something on hand.  No need to buy more.

Be Flexible When Selecting Ingredients for Your Reception Foods 

When trying recipes be flexible on the brand of the ingredient you use.  Just because a recipe recommends a certain brand of mayonnaise, look for less expensive alternatives, or your favorite and use those.

If one major brand of sodas is on sale, buy it rather than what you usually buy.  Remember you are not going to be the one drinking it anyway. Comparison shop between sizes of sodas.  The cans may be cheaper but could go to waste when guests (particularly children) open and do not drink all before grabbing another.  Another tip for sodas – keep your selection small, and offer at least one diet, caffeine free choice, as well as water.

Flexibility is key to saving with decorations too – such as flower vases for centerpieces.  What do you or family already have that you can use?  You’ll feel the difference in your budget when you are creative and use things already on hand.  (When you borrow decorations, but a sticker or tape on the bottom with the name, so you will know who to return them to after the wedding.)

Buy In Bulk

Cheap Wedding Reception Foods DIYBuying in bulk can save you tons of money.  If you belong to a big box membership program, take advantage of it.  Many grocery stores also offer limited bulk items too.

Paper products are always cheaper when you buy in bulk.  Can you use plain white plates and napkins, and dress up your table with colorful decorations?  There is huge savings here if you are creative with your look.

Plan Ahead Before You Shop

Create a list, shop from it, and stick to it.  Last minute additions are expensive and often wasted.wedding ring, reception food, bride

If you have carefully calculated how much you will need of any item, resist the temptation to buy and extra one, “just to  be safe”.  Waste is expensive.

Use Home Delivery Service

Many grocery stores offer personal shopping and home delivery service for grocery shopping.  These can be a huge savings both in terms of time and buying exactly what you need.  These stores have trained their shoppers to select their best and freshest produce and meats, and you won’t be tempted by any last-minute impulse buying.

If your store offers it, take advantage of their delivery service  (usually less than $5) and have them deliver your bulk groceries to your door.  It’s a small price to pay for lugging all that stuff.

See how easy it is?  Your reception will be unforgettable when you are creative, plan ahead, and fill it with love.

OTHER POSTS FOR YOU:

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save You Real Money

Your Wedding Party – 11 Questions To Ask Before Choosing

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs, Rita

Your Wedding Party – 11 Questions To Ask Before Choosing

Who should I include?  How large should my wedding party be?  Determining who to  include in your wedding party is the biggest “people decision” for the bride and groom in planning your wedding.  Resist the urge to issue invitations to potential bridesmaids and groomsmen before you have taken the time to honestly answer these questions.  Your bridal party will have an unbelievable impact about your feelings and experiences on your wedding day.  Be sure you make the best choices.

 

 1.  What Do We Want Our Wedding to Look Like?

wedding party, bridal party, bride, groom, bridesmaid, groomsmen

 

Before you start asking people to be a part of your wedding sit down with your groom and talk about what you want your wedding day to look like.  Are you dreaming of a small intimate ceremony, or longing for a big party atmosphere?

Remember the part in Alice in Wonderland when Alice asked the Cheshire Cat which way she should go from here?  The Cat responds by saying it depends on where you want to go, and when Alice says she does not know, the Cat wisely says, “Then it does not matter which way you go.”

Don’t allow this to happen with your wedding.  Know where you want to go – what you want it to look and feel like, before making any decisions, including how many and who should be in your wedding party.

 

2. How Large Will My Wedding Be?

Consider the size of your wedding.  If you are having a small intimate wedding, a wedding party of 10 or 15 Wedding Party, Bridal, Planning attendants will look overwhelming and awkward compared to the number of guests.

When the guest list is larger, then the size of your wedding party can be as well.  But it does not have to be.  Wedding trends today are showing more brides avoiding the expense and hassles associated with a large wedding party.  They are having a Maid of Honor and Best Man without other attendants.  You’ll have an element of intimacy to your ceremony that cannot be achieved with a large wedding party.

 

3.   Have I Really Thought About My Wedding Party?

When you are first engaged, it is natural to be excited and want to include everyone in your wedding.  But in the case of your wedding party think carefully before you ask.  Once you ask, you can’t take the invitation back.  Wait at least a month before you ask anyone to be in your wedding.  Then ask yourself if this is a person who you truly want to have a key role in your wedding day.  A truthful, thoughtful answer to yourself will quickly tell if this person should be included.

 

4. What Are My Expectations For My Wedding Party?

bridesmaid, wedding party, groomsmen, best man, maid of honor

Make sure that you are clear on your expectations for your wedding attendants.  Take the time to really give this some thought.  Are your expecting them to be at every pre-wedding party, provide help with the planning, or just show up at the rehearsal and wedding and participate?   Or planning lots of DIY and expect them to be there to help?  Consider personality  conflicts with others in the wedding party (or you/FH) that will make your wedding day miserable if you include someone?

Be realistic and let everyone know up front what your expectations for them is.  Word your invitation in such a way that they can gracefully decline and do not insist on an immediate answer.

 

 

5. Will The Members Of Our Wedding Party Be In Our Future?

 Your life priorities will change when you get married.  Before you ask someone to be in your wedding party, think about the likelihood that they will be in your future life, or if they are simply a reminder of the past.

Those who were a big part of your life before you met your fiancé, but not so much in the picture now; those you feel obligated to include because you were in their wedding years ago, but you seldom have contact now; and those who are dedicated to life as a single person, will probably slowing gravitate towards being a part of your past after the wedding.  For those you categorize more as past than future, , you may want to have them attend the wedding, but probably not include them in the wedding party.

 

6.  Who Do I “Have” To Include In My Wedding Party?

In all honesty, there is no one that you must include, though you probably have some people you really want to be part of your day.  To help you decide, first make a list of your (and fiance’s) ideal list.  It is likely you will have brothers and sisters of the couple, school and college friends, and even a few individuals I’ll call “political invites” – you know who I am talking about, your brother’s wife who you do not care for, but you know he would be hurt if she is left out.

Once you have this wish list, start paring it down to the numbers of attendants you have already decided on.  That is not always easy to do, but if you start with a set number, you will be more likely to keep the numbers in line with your wedding vision.  When deciding between two individuals, consider having neither instead of both, especially if budget I a concern.

 

7. Can They Afford The Expenses Of Being In My Wedding Party?

bridal party, wedding party, bridesmaid, maid of honor, best man, groomsmen, wedding decisions, wedding ideas

Some people dread being asked to be in a wedding simply because they cannot afford it.  Whenbridal party, wedding, dress you consider the costs of travel, hotel, wedding attire, shower and wedding gifts, being in a wedding can be expensive and create financial hardship for some.  If this fits someone you know, consider asking them to play an individual role in your wedding – such as being a reader during the ceremony -that will not require them to spend so much money.

If you have someone who is a wedding party “must”, consider privately offering to help with their expenses- perhaps pay for the dress.  Be cautious that your offer remains private or you may have other upset members, or expenses you did not expect if others learn of your financial help.

 

8. Will These Individuals Be Helpful In Our Planning Process?

wedding, wedding help, wedding stress

wedding party, dress, bridal
I love the variety this style offers. Check it out.

It is an honor to be included in your wedding, but it is also commitment to help with the wedding planning, especially for the Maid of Honor and Best Man.  If your friend or relative is not willing to help or able to help  with the wedding planning, you may want to consider someone else, or look for someone else to help.

It really is up to you to decide what you expect in terms of support in your planning process.  Then honestly assess if you candidates meet those expectations, of if you re going to disappointed and stressed by their actions.  The key is for you to be realistic and accept the positives and negatives of each individual. Then relax and enjoy.

 

9. Are They Supportive Of Marriage And Our Relationship?

If you have friends who constantly put down marriage, or even worse, don’t like or approve of your ne spouse, do yourself a huge favor, and do not include them to be part of your wedding party.  It may initially cause hurt feelings, but in the long run everyone will be happier if they are not in the center of your wedding planning and your wedding day.  Remember you want your wedding to be filled with joyful memories, not overshadowed  by a negative Nellie or Neal.  Again, having them is a guest may be the way to go.

 

10. Do I Want/Need Children In Our Wedding?

children in wedding, bridal party, flower girl, ring bearer, bride, groom

 

If seeing this scene at your wedding causes you stress and anxiety, then you probably do not want to take the chance of including children in your wedding.  First and foremost, children are unpredictable, even those you know well and are well behaved.

vendors, wedding, ring, bride, wedding partyLet’s be clear.  There is nothing requiring you to include children in your wedding.  If they are not a part of your vision for the perfect wedding day, don’t include them.  Don’t let children or parents beg, plead, or guilt you into including them  Their presence in your wedding party has nothing to do with your love for the child.  It is all about you enjoying your wedding.   If you feel guilty about not including them, buy them a small gift, include them in some of you DIYs, if they are old enough, give them a small job such as placing programs on chairs, or a job ahead of time. How about asking a child to be your “ring security” before the wedding?  Place the ring in a safe place where they can check it on, but not actually hold it.  But do not give in to including them in the wedding itself.  Decision made.  Your day.  Not about them.  Period.  Skip  this advice and read the next.

Precious flower girls and adorable ring bearers are part of many brides dream weddings.  The reality is often overtired cranky children, who are overwhelmed when confronted with a sea of strange faces.

Things to Remember About Kids

Children should not be expected to act like little adults.  While some children enjoy large crowds, most do not, and few act exactly as you expect them to do.  Consider not only how cute the children will be, but also how comfortable and happy they will be on your wedding day.

Be particularly cautious of inviting children under four years of age or those who are immature and may not be up to fulfilling their wedding responsibilities.  If you are unsure, ask parents for their honest input before extending your invitation to the child.

Remember, children are not required in a wedding, and if you do not have children you are close to, resist the urge to reach out to others, just so you will have a flower girl or ring bearer.  It is simply not worth the stress on all involved.

When deciding to include children, consider not only the perfect vision, but the worst disaster.  Most weddings end up somewhere in between.  Think about the worst thing that can happen, and if you are prepared for this on your wedding day and without letting it upset you.  If the answer is yes, then children in your wedding may be a wonderful experience.  Otherwise, include them in the festivities and even the pictures, if you would like, but not in the ceremony itself.  Everyone will be happier.

11. What If Someone Says No?

 As mentioned earlier, being in a wedding party can be expensive.  Participation may be outside of some people’s financial means, especially if they are from out of town.  Dates do not always work with everyone.  Not everything will coordinate perfectly with your wedding day.  And there is a host of other reasons why someone may decline you offer to be part of the wedding party.

Prepare yourself that someone may say no.  It is OK to be disappointed but try not to take it personally.  Don’t allow it to harm your friendship.

If you have time and want to ask someone else to fill the space, you may, but also remember that today’s weddings do not have an equal number of bridal and groom attendants.

 

BONUS:

12. How Do The Wedding Party Individuals Act with Alcohol?

This is a tough question that few couples seriously consider before selecting their attendants.

Think back to the last time you partied, – and I mean really partied, with these individuals.  If thoughts that wedding party, bridal party, bride, groom wedding planning make you cringe  immediately popped into your head when you remembered the party, you may want to reconsider.  Did they act the way you want to see on your wedding day?  The sad answer is that sometimes those who party the best, are not ideal candidates for your wedding party.  Remember your attendants will often be the focus of your guests’ attention.  If you anticipate any behavior that you must explain, apologize for or embarrasses you and your guests, you will be happier  and worry free by not including and over exuberant friend.

 

 

OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE:

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save You Real Money

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  www.pinterest.com/ceremonies0324/.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,

Rita

 

Nick & Anna

Hindu ceremonies are usually conducted totally or at least partially in Sanskrit, the language of the Hindu scriptures. The wedding celebrations may last for several days and they can be extremely diverse, depending upon the region, denomination and caste. Mehendi ceremony is a traditional ritual in Hindu weddings, where Henna application takes place on bride’s hands and legs, before the wedding. On the wedding day, the bride and the bridegroom garland each other in front of the guests. Most guests witness only this short ceremony and then socialize, have food and leave. The religious part (if applicable) comes hours later, witnessed by close friends and relatives. In cases where a religious ceremony is present, a Brahmin (Hindu priest) arranges a sacred yajna (fire-sacrifice), and the sacred fire (Agni) is considered the prime witness (sākshī) of the marriage.

He chants mantras from the Vedas and subsidiary texts while the couple are seated before the fire. The most important step is saptapadi or saat phere, wherein the bride and the groom, hand-in-hand, encircle the sacred fire seven times, each circle representing a matrimonial vow. Then the groom marks the bride’s hair parting with vermilion (sindoor) and puts a gold necklace (mangalsutra) around her neck. Several other rituals may precede or follow these afore-mentioned rites. Then the bride formally departs from her blood-relatives to join the groom’s family.
A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony.

Most Christian churches give some form of blessing to a marriage; the wedding ceremony typically includes some sort of pledge by the community to support the couple’s relationship. A church wedding is a ceremony presided over by a Christian priest or pastor. Ceremonies are based on reference to God, and are frequently embodied into other church ceremonies such as Mass.Customs may vary widely between denominations. In the Roman Catholic Church “Holy Matrimony” is considered to be one of the seven sacraments, in this case one that the spouses bestow upon each other in front of a priest and members of the community as witnesses. As with all sacraments, it is seen as having been instituted by Jesus himself (see Gospel of Matthew 19:1-2, Catechism of the Catholic Church §1614-1615). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is one of the Mysteries, and is seen as an ordination and a martyrdom. The wedding ceremony of Saint Thomas Christians, an ethnoreligious group of Christians in India incorporate elements from Hindu, Jewish and Christian weddings.

“The Order for the Service of Marriage” in the Methodist Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965) specifies the important of premarital counseling, stating that the “minister is enjoined diligently to instruct those requesting his offices for their prospective marriage in the Christian significance of the holy estate into which they seek to enter”. In the Free Methodist Church and African Methodist Episcopal Church, both apart of the World Methodist Council, contain a rubric for the reading of the banns.The Service of Christian Marriage (Rite I) includes the elements found in a standard liturgy celebrated on the Lord’s Day as well as other elements unique to this Mass: the Entrance, Opening Prayer, Old Testament Reading, Psalm, New Testament Reading, Alleluia, Gospel Reading, Sermon, Recitation of one of the ecumenical creeds, prayers of the faithful, Offertory, the Declaration by the Man and the Woman, Response of the Families and the People, Exchange of Vows, Blessing and Exchange of Rings, Declaration of Marriage and celebration of the Eucharist, and Benediction.

Marty & April

In Europe and North America, the typical attire for a bride is a formal dress and a veil. Usually, in the “white wedding” model, the bride’s dress is bought specifically for the wedding, and is not in a style that could be worn for any subsequent events. Previously, until at least the middle of the 19th century, the bride generally wore her best dress, whatever color it was, or if the bride was well-off, she ordered a new dress in her favorite color and expected to wear it again.

For first marriages in Western countries, a white wedding dress is usually worn, a tradition started by Queen Victoria, who wore a white court dress for her wedding. Through the earlier parts of the 20th century, Western etiquette prescribed that a white dress should not be worn for subsequent marriages, since the wearing of white was mistakenly regarded by some as an ancient symbol of virginity, despite the fact that wearing white is a fairly recent development in wedding traditions, and its origin has more to do with conspicuous consumption from an era when a white dress was luxurious, even prodigal, because of difficulties with laundering delicate clothes.

Today, Western brides frequently wear white, cream, or ivory dresses for any number of marriages; the color of the dress is not a comment on the bride’s sexual history. Outside of Western countries, brides most commonly wear national dress. White wedding dresses are particularly uncommon in Asian traditions, because white is the color of mourning and death in those cultures. In many Asian cultures, red is usual for brides, as this colour indicates vibrance and health and has over time been associated with brides. However, in modern times other colours may be worn, or Western styles preferred. Regardless of colour in most Asian cultures bridal clothes are highly decorative, often covered with embroidery, beading or gold. In some traditions brides may wear more than one outfit, this is true for example in Japan,[citation needed] parts of India, and, archaically, in parts of the Arab world.

Particular styles of jewelry are often associated with bridal wear, for example wedding rings in most Western cultures, or chura (red and white bangles) in Punjabi Sikh culture. Hindu brides are presented with a mangalsutra during the wedding ceremony, which has much of the same significance as a wedding ring in other parts of the world. Wedding jewellery has traditionally been used to demonstrate the value of the bride’s dowry.

In addition to the gown, brides often wear a veil and carry a bouquet of flowers, a small heirloom such as a lucky coin, a prayer book, or other token. In Western countries, a bride may wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”; a bridal purse (or money bag) is also common.

The term bride appears in combination with many words, some of which are obsolete. Thus “bridegroom” is a newly married man, and “bride-bell,” “bride-banquet” are old equivalents of wedding-bells, wedding-breakfast. “Bridal” (from Bride-ale), originally the wedding-feast itself, has grown into a general descriptive adjective, the bridal ceremony. The bride-cake had its origin in the Roman confarreatio, an upper-class form of marriage, the essential features of whose ceremony were the eating by the couple of a cake made of salt, water and spelt flour, and the holding by the bride of three wheat-ears, a symbol of plenty.

Suman & Neha

Historically, in most cultures, married women had very few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family’s children, the property of the husband; as such, they could not own or inherit property, or represent themselves legally (see for example coverture). In Europe, the United States, and other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife.

These changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, and requiring a wife’s consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred primarily in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage (especially sexual violence), traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, forced marriage, marriageable age, and criminalization of consensual behaviors such as premarital and extramarital sex.

Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by socially determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire. In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage, polygamy, and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns for women’s rights and because of international law.In developed parts of the world, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and legally recognizing the marriages of interfaith or interracial, and same-sex couples. These trends coincide with the broader human rights movement.

Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage, which does not exist in some countries, is marriage without religious content carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, and recognised as creating the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting via a wedding ceremony.

Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, and more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.

 

Dave & Marry

In many countries today, each marriage partner has the choice of keeping his or her property separate or combining properties. In the latter case, called community property, when the marriage ends by divorce each owns half. In lieu of a will or trust, property owned by the deceased generally is inherited by the surviving spouse.

In some legal systems, the partners in a marriage are “jointly liable” for the debts of the marriage. This has a basis in a traditional legal notion called the “Doctrine of Necessities” whereby a husband was responsible to provide necessary things for his wife. Where this is the case, one partner may be sued to collect a debt for which they did not expressly contract. Critics of this practice note that debt collection agencies can abuse this by claiming an unreasonably wide range of debts to be expenses of the marriage. The cost of defense and the burden of proof is then placed on the non-contracting party to prove that the expense is not a debt of the family. The respective maintenance obligations, both during and eventually after a marriage, are regulated in most jurisdictions; alimony is one such method.

Marriage is an institution that is historically filled with restrictions. From age, to race, to social status, to consanguinity, to gender, restrictions are placed on marriage by society for reasons of benefiting the children, passing on healthy genes, maintaining cultural values, or because of prejudice and fear. Almost all cultures that recognize marriage also recognize adultery as a violation of the terms of marriage.

 

In a wide array of lineage-based societies with a classificatory kinship system, potential spouses are sought from a specific class of relative as determined by a prescriptive marriage rule. This rule may be expressed by anthropologists using a “descriptive” kinship term, such as a “man’s mother’s brother’s daughter” (also known as a “cross-cousin”). Such descriptive rules mask the participant’s perspective: a man should marry a woman from his mother’s lineage. Within the society’s kinship terminology, such relatives are usually indicated by a specific term which sets them apart as potentially marriageable. Pierre Bourdieu notes, however, that very few marriages ever follow the rule, and that when they do so, it is for “practical kinship” reasons such as the preservation of family property, rather than the “official kinship” ideology.

 

Richard & Samantha

In a wide array of lineage-based societies with a classificatory kinship system, potential spouses are sought from a specific class of relative as determined by a prescriptive marriage rule. This rule may be expressed by anthropologists using a “descriptive” kinship term, such as a “man’s mother’s brother’s daughter” (also known as a “cross-cousin”). Such descriptive rules mask the participant’s perspective: a man should marry a woman from his mother’s lineage. Within the society’s kinship terminology, such relatives are usually indicated by a specific term which sets them apart as potentially marriageable. Pierre Bourdieu notes, however, that very few marriages ever follow the rule, and that when they do so, it is for “practical kinship” reasons such as the preservation of family property, rather than the “official kinship” ideology.

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married against their will. Forced marriages continue to be practiced in parts of the world, especially in South Asia and Africa. The line between forced marriage and consensual marriage may become blurred, because the social norms of these cultures dictate that one should never oppose the desire of one’s parents/relatives in regard to the choice of a spouse; in such cultures it is not necessary for violence, threats, intimidation etc. to occur, the person simply “consents” to the marriage even if he/she doesn’t want it, out of the implied social pressure and duty. The customs of bride price and dowry, that exist in parts of the world, can lead to buying and selling people into marriage.

In some societies, ranging from Central Asia to the Caucasus to Africa, the custom of bride kidnapping still exists, in which a woman is captured by a man and his friends. Sometimes this covers an elopement, but sometimes it depends on sexual violence. In previous times, raptio was a larger-scale version of this, with groups of women captured by groups of men, sometimes in war; the most famous example is The Rape of the Sabine Women, which provided the first citizens of Rome with their wives.

Other marriage partners are more or less imposed on an individual. For example, widow inheritance provides a widow with another man from her late husband’s brothers.

In rural areas of India, child marriage is practiced, with parents often arranging the wedding, sometimes even before the child is born. This practice was made illegal under the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929.

In the Jewish tradition, the rabbis in ancient times insisted on the marriage couple entering into a prenuptial agreement, called a ketubah. Besides other things, the ketubah provided for an amount to be paid by the husband in the event of a divorce or his estate in the event of his death. This amount was a replacement of the biblical dower or bride price, which was payable at the time of the marriage by the groom to the father of the bride.This innovation was put in place because the biblical bride price created a major social problem: many young prospective husbands could not raise the bride price at the time when they would normally be expected to marry. So, to enable these young men to marry, the rabbis, in effect, delayed the time that the amount would be payable, when they would be more likely to have the sum. It may also be noted that both the dower and the ketubah amounts served the same purpose: the protection for the wife should her support cease, either by death or divorce.

The only difference between the two systems was the timing of the payment. It is the predecessor to the wife’s present-day entitlement to maintenance in the event of the breakup of marriage, and family maintenance in the event of the husband not providing adequately for the wife in his will. Another function performed by the ketubah amount was to provide a disincentive for the husband contemplating divorcing his wife: he would need to have the amount to be able to pay to the wife.

Morning gifts, which might also be arranged by the bride’s father rather than the bride, are given to the bride herself; the name derives from the Germanic tribal custom of giving them the morning after the wedding night. She might have control of this morning gift during the lifetime of her husband, but is entitled to it when widowed. If the amount of her inheritance is settled by law rather than agreement, it may be called dower. Depending on legal systems and the exact arrangement, she may not be entitled to dispose of it after her death, and may lose the property if she remarries. Morning gifts were preserved for centuries in morganatic marriage, a union where the wife’s inferior social status was held to prohibit her children from inheriting a noble’s titles or estates. In this case, the morning gift would support the wife and children. Another legal provision for widowhood was jointure, in which property, often land, would be held in joint tenancy, so that it would automatically go to the widow on her husband’s death.

Islamic tradition has similar practices. A ‘mahr’, either immediate or deferred, is the woman’s portion of the groom’s wealth (divorce) or estate (death). These amounts are usually set on the basis of the groom’s own and family wealth and incomes, but in some parts these are set very high so as to provide a disincentive for the groom exercising the divorce, or the husband’s family ‘inheriting’ a large portion of the estate, especially if there are no male offspring from the marriage. In some countries, including Iran, the mahr or alimony can amount to more than a man can ever hope to earn, sometimes up to US$1,000,000 (4000 official Iranian gold coins). If the husband cannot pay the mahr, either in case of a divorce or on demand, according to the current laws in Iran, he will have to pay it by installments. Failure to pay the mahr might even lead to imprisonment.

Steve & Linda

In a wide array of lineage-based societies with a classificatory kinship system, potential spouses are sought from a specific class of relative as determined by a prescriptive marriage rule. This rule may be expressed by anthropologists using a “descriptive” kinship term, such as a “man’s mother’s brother’s daughter” (also known as a “cross-cousin”). Such descriptive rules mask the participant’s perspective: a man should marry a woman from his mother’s lineage. Within the society’s kinship terminology, such relatives are usually indicated by a specific term which sets them apart as potentially marriageable.

Pierre Bourdieu notes, however, that very few marriages ever follow the rule, and that when they do so, it is for “practical kinship” reasons such as the preservation of family property, rather than the “official kinship” ideology.In a wide array of lineage-based societies with a classificatory kinship system, potential spouses are sought from a specific class of relative as determined by a prescriptive marriage rule. This rule may be expressed by anthropologists using a “descriptive” kinship term, such as a “man’s mother’s brother’s daughter” (also known as a “cross-cousin”).

Such descriptive rules mask the participant’s perspective: a man should marry a woman from his mother’s lineage. Within the society’s kinship terminology, such relatives are usually indicated by a specific term which sets them apart as potentially marriageable. Pierre Bourdieu notes, however, that very few marriages ever follow the rule, and that when they do so, it is for “practical kinship” reasons such as the preservation of family property, rather than the “official kinship” ideology.

James & Miley

Some people want to marry a person with higher or lower status than them. Others want to marry people who have similar status. In many societies women marry men who are of higher social status.There are marriages where each party has sought a partner of similar status. There are other marriages in which the man is older than the woman.

Societies have often placed restrictions on marriage to relatives, though the degree of prohibited relationship varies widely. Marriages between parents and children, or between full siblings, with few exceptions, have been considered incest and forbidden. However, marriages between more distant relatives have been much more common, with one estimate being that 80% of all marriages in history have been between second cousins or closer. This proportion has fallen dramatically, but still more than 10% of all marriages are believed to be between first and second cousins. In the United States, such marriages are now highly stigmatized, and laws ban most or all first-cousin marriage in 30 states. Specifics vary: in South Korea, historically it was illegal to marry someone with the same last name and same ancestral line.

In various societies the choice of partner is often limited to suitable persons from specific social groups. In some societies the rule is that a partner is selected from an individual’s own social group – endogamy, this is often the case in class and caste based societies. But in other societies a partner must be chosen from a different group than one’s own – exogamy, this may be the case in societies practicing totemic religion where society is divided into several exogamous totemic clans, such as most Aboriginal Australian societies.

In other societies a person is expected to marry their cross-cousin, a woman must marry her father’s sister’s son and a man must marry his mother’s brother’s daughter – this is often the case if either a society has a rule of tracing kinship exclusively through patrilineal or matrilineal descent groups as among the Akan people of West Africa. Another kind of marriage selection is the levirate marriage in which widows are obligated to marry their husband’s brother, mostly found in societies where kinship is based on endogamous clan groups.

When it comes to marriage

Historically, in most cultures, married women had very few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family’s children

Historically, in most cultures, married women had very few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family’s children, the property of the husband; as such, they could not own or inherit property, or represent themselves legally (see for example coverture). In Europe, the United States, and other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife.

These changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, and requiring a wife’s consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred primarily in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage (especially sexual violence), traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, forced marriage, marriageable age, and criminalization of consensual behaviors such as premarital and extramarital sex.

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.

Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by socially determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire. In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage, polygamy, and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns for women’s rights and because of international law. In developed parts of the world, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and legally recognizing the marriages of interfaith or interracial, and same-sex couples. These trends coincide with the broader human rights movement.

While international law and conventions recognize the need for consent for entering a marriage – namely that people cannot be forced to get married against their will – the right to obtain a divorce is not recognized; therefore holding a person in a marriage against their will (if such person has consented to entering in it) is not considered a violation of human rights, with the issue of divorce being left at the appreciation of individual states. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly ruled that under the European Convention on Human Rights there is neither a right to apply to divorce, nor a right to obtain the divorce if applied for it; in 2017, in Babiarz v. Poland, the Court ruled that Poland was entitled to deny a divorce because the grounds for divorce were not met, even if the marriage in question was acknowledged both by Polish courts and by the ECHR as being a legal fiction involving a long term separation where the husband lived with another woman with whom he had an 11-years-old child.

 

Several competing marriage

The laws surrounding marriage in many countries have come under international scrutiny because they contradict

The laws surrounding marriage in many countries have come under international scrutiny because they contradict international standards of human rights; institutionalize violence against women, child marriage and forced marriage; require the permission of a husband for his wife to work in a paid job, sign legal documents, file criminal charges against someone, sue in civil court etc.; sanction the use by husbands of violence to “discipline” their wives; and discriminate against women in divorce.

Such things were legal even in many Western countries until recently: for instance, in France, married women obtained the right to work without their husband’s permission in 1965,and in West Germany women obtained this right in 1977 (by comparison women in East Germany had many more rights). In Spain, during Franco’s era, a married woman needed her husband’s consent, referred to as the permiso marital, for almost all economic activities, including employment, ownership of property, and even traveling away from home; the permiso marital was abolished in 1975.

An absolute submission of a wife to her husband is accepted as natural in many parts of the world, for instance surveys by UNICEF have shown that the percentage of women aged 15–49 who think that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances is as high as 90% in Afghanistan and Jordan, 87% in Mali, 86% in Guinea and Timor-Leste, 81% in Laos, 80% in Central African Republic. Detailed results from Afghanistan show that 78.4% of women agree with a beating if the wife “goes out without telling him [the husband]” and 76.2% agree “if she argues with him”.

Throughout history, and still today in many countries, laws have provided for mitigating circumstances, partial or complete defenses, for men who killed their wives due to adultery, with such acts often being seen as crimes of passion and being covered by legal defenses such as provocation or defense of family honor.
Right and ability to divorce

While international law and conventions recognize the need for consent for entering a marriage – namely that people cannot be forced to get married against their will – the right to obtain a divorce is not recognized; therefore holding a person in a marriage against their will (if such person has consented to entering in it) is not considered a violation of human rights, with the issue of divorce being left at the appreciation of individual states. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly ruled that under the European Convention on Human Rights there is neither a right to apply to divorce, nor a right to obtain the divorce if applied for it; in 2017, in Babiarz v. Poland, the Court ruled that Poland was entitled to deny a divorce because the grounds for divorce were not met, even if the marriage in question was acknowledged both by Polish courts and by the ECHR as being a legal fiction involving a long term separation where the husband lived with another woman with whom he had an 11-years-old child.

In the EU, the last country to allow divorce was Malta, in 2011. Around the world, the only countries to forbid divorce are Philippines and Vatican City, although in practice in many countries which use a fault based divorce system obtaining a divorce is very difficult. The ability to divorce, in law and practice, has been and continues to be a controversial issue in many countries, and public discourse involves different ideologies such as feminism, social conservatism, religious interpretations.

In recent years, the customs of dowry and bride price have received international criticism for inciting conflicts between families and clans; contributing to violence against women; promoting materialism; increasing property crimes (where men steal goods such as cattle in order to be able to pay the bride price); and making it difficult for poor people to marry. African women’s rights campaigners advocate the abolishing of bride price, which they argue is based on the idea that women are a form of property which can be bought.Bride price has also been criticized for contributing to child trafficking as impoverished parents sell their young daughters to rich older men. A senior Papua New Guinea police officer has called for the abolishing of bride price arguing that it is one of the main reasons for the mistreatment of women in that country.The opposite practice of dowry has been linked to a high level of violence (see dowry deaths) and to crimes such as extortion.

In an analysis of marriage

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.

Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by socially determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire. In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage, polygamy, and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns for women’s rights and because of international law. In developed parts of the world, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and legally recognizing the marriages of interfaith or interracial, and same-sex couples. These trends coincide with the broader human rights movement.

Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage, which does not exist in some countries, is marriage without religious content carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, and recognised as creating the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting via a wedding ceremony. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, and any offspring they may produce. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, and forced marriages. Over the twentieth century, a growing number of countries and other jurisdictions have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for interracial marriage, interfaith marriage, and most recently, gender-neutral marriage. Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice.

Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, and more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.

Western custom of the white wedding

A white wedding is a traditional formal or semi-formal wedding originating in Britain. The term originates from the white colour

A white wedding is a traditional formal or semi-formal wedding originating in Britain.

The term originates from the white colour of the wedding dress, which first became popular with Victorian era elites after Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress at her wedding. However, the term now also encapsulates the entire Western wedding routine, especially in the Christian religious tradition, which generally includes a ceremony during which the marriage begins, followed by a reception.
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The tradition of a white wedding dress is commonly credited to Queen Victoria’s choice to wear a white court dress at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Debutantes had long been required to wear white court dresses for their first presentation at court, at a “Drawing Room” where they were introduced to the queen for the first time.

Royal brides before Victoria did not typically wear white, instead choosing “heavy brocaded gowns embroidered with white and silver thread,” with red being a particularly popular colour in Western Europe more generally.European and American brides had been wearing a plethora of colours, including blue, yellow, and practical colours like black, brown, or gray. As accounts of Victoria’s wedding spread across the Atlantic and throughout Europe, elites followed her lead. After Queen Victoria’s and Prince Albert’s wedding, the color white resembled wealth and social status.

Worldwide, the color white has been associated with weddings and other significant life or spiritual events for millennia. In ancient Greece, white was the color of bridal joy, and brides not only wore white dresses and white flowers, but they also painted their bodies white. In China, it was the color of purity and perfection, and thus uniquely suitable as a color associated with death, which they saw as the time when the deceased person moved towards ultimate perfection. In ancient Japan, white was also the color of purity and innocence.In Africa, the color white is associated with deities and worship.In the Christian tradition, white clothes were worn at the time of baptism to represent spiritual purity and the washing away of sins.

Because of the limitations of laundering techniques before the later part of the 20th century, white dresses provided an opportunity for conspicuous consumption. They were favored primarily as a way to show the world that the bride’s family was so wealthy and so firmly part of the leisre class that the bride would choose an elaborate dress that could be ruined by any sort of work or spill.

Although women were required to wear veils in many churches through at least the 19th century, the resurgence of the wedding veil as a symbol of the bride, and its use even when not required by the bride’s religion, coincided with societal emphasis on women being modest and well-behaved.

Etiquette books then began to turn the practice into a tradition and the white gown soon became a popular symbol of status that also carried “a connotation of innocence and virginal purity.”The story put out about the wedding veil was that decorous brides were naturally too timid to show their faces in public until they were married.

By the end of the 19th century the white dress was the garment of choice for elite brides on both sides of the Atlantic. However, middle-class British and American brides did not adopt the trend fully until after World War II.With increased prosperity in the 20th century, the tradition also grew to include the practice of wearing the dress only once. As historian Vicky Howard writes, ” a bride wore white in the nineteenth century, it was acceptable and likely that she wore her gown again”.Even Queen Victoria had her famous lace wedding dress re-styled for later use.

The portrayal of weddings in Hollywood movies, particularly immediately after World War II, helped crystallize and homogenize the white wedding into a normative form.

The white wedding style was given another significant boost in 1981, when three-quarter billion people—one out of six people around the globe—watched Charles, Prince of Wales marry Diana Spencer in her elaborate white taffeta dress with a 25-foot-long train. This wedding is generally considered the most influential white wedding of the 20th century.

The traditional white wedding wasn’t necessarily defined by the color of the dress only. The wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Victoria, to Prince Fredrick William of Prussia in 1858 also introduced choral music to the processional when standard practice had been to have music of any kind only during a party after the wedding ceremony.

After World War I, as full-scale formal weddings began to be desired by the mothers of brides who did not have a permanent social secretary, the position of the wedding planner, who could coordinate the printer, florist, caterer, and seamstress, began to assume importance. The first edition of Bride’s Magazine was published in 1934 as a newspaper advertising insert called “So You’re Going to Get Married!” in a column titled “To the Bride”, and its rival Modern Bride began publishing in 1949. Today a whole industry surrounds the provision of such weddings.

The full white wedding experience today typically requires the family to arrange for or purchase printed or engraved wedding invitations, musicians, decorations such as flowers or candles, clothes and flowers for bridesmaids, groomsmen, a flower girl, and a ring bearer. They may also add optional features, such as a guest book or commemorative wedding leaflets. It is common to have a celebration after the wedding ceremony, normally featuring a large white wedding cake.

A subtle shift in the requirements for a wedding can be detected in the modern blurb for Emily Post’s Weddings “creating a wedding experience that demonstrates the bride and groom’s commitment and uniqueness.” “Uniqueness” is a modern addition to a wedding’s requirements.