Weddings are celebrations, parties filled with laughter, dancing, and love. Each couple is different though, and they all celebrate in different ways. Claire and John? They were party animals! And wow - was this one fun wedding and reception! There was never any doubt about that though as this couple was one for the books: sweet, kind, and a whole lot of good time! Claire had incorporated many beautiful details from the rich red bouquet, the garland wreath above their nuptials, the deer antlers on the groom's cake, and of course, the glow stick accessories at the reception! DJ CoCo played house music, they inflated a giant whale pool toy, brought out the broomsticks turned make-shift guitars - add it all up, and it makes for one unforgettable wedding!
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Providing gifts to guests at a wedding has been tradition for centuries and has varied across cultures and populations. Originally related to European wealth and extravagance, the gifts were fashioned of small boxes made of precious metals and gemstones. Other cultures believed the bridegroom to be a coming of good luck, and the gifts were thought to be lucky as they were presented by the couple.
Today, the wedding favors often extend on the theme of the weddings and vary greatly in what they might be as they are considered a portrayal of the couple's personality. Koozies are common due to their useful nature both at the wedding and afterwards. Take-home sweets and recipes in jars are also gaining in popularity. Personally, I have to say, those succulents are a favorite!
As a wedding guest, I cannot wait to try the cake - more so than free alcohol, good catering, and cute groomsmen. Cheesecakes, cupcakes, red velvet, or traditional - I want a piece of each! As a photographer, I cannot wait to see the cake. It gives great insight into the couple and their style. A beautiful wedding cake often imitates a beautiful wedding.
The cake is such an important part of the ceremony and generally draws attention like a prince on a throne. It is part of many different wedding customs, and has been tradition for hundreds of years, dating back to Medieval times. Different from the sugary confections today, fruit cakes or a stack of warm bread buns were favored instead.
The cake cutting has a long history itself. First, it was an activity the bride herself did to symbolize the loss of her innocence. Now, it is a ritual performed by both bride and groom to represent the first activity as a married couple. It also symbolizes the couple's agreement to provide for one another.
Cake charms, though not largely popular anymore, have a long history. Charms were once baked into the wedding cake to embody different meanings as well. For example, a horseshoe signifies good luck, an anchor means adventure, a heart is true love, and a wish bone means a wish come true. If you opt to bake charms into your cake be sure to warn your guests before they dive right in!
Another tradition that has really taken hold is that of saving the top tier of the cake in order to eat on the one-year anniversary. If you want to go all out and truly relive the blissful memories of your wedding day, play dress up! Pull out your wedding dress, have your hubby don his suit, and go to town on those last few pieces of wedding cake - be sure to whisper sweet nothings to each other ;)
We've seen so many variations on wedding cakes. Everything from the "less is more" to the downright extravagant. No matter what the design, as long as the cake is delicious then it is a total wedding win!
*Read with Australian accent for authenticity*
On today’s episode of “Surviving the Ceremony”, we take a look at how to make it out alive on the biggest day of your life! Torn dress hem!? Run in your stockings!? Fainting bridesmaids!? We can teach you how to solve all that, and still have a good time! Grab onto your veils mates, it’s going to be a wild wedding survival!
Every bride has an idea of what she thinks she might need on the big day. We are here to tell you there are things you’ll probably forget, things you will need, and things you might want to have just in case. Compose a list, gather everything together, and place it all in a handy-dandy case that can easily be accessed at any point in time. Small tackle boxes are great for this kind of thing (if you love being crafty, you could even decorate it with glitter or spray paint in your wedding colors!). Baby diaper bags are also a great option – lots of pockets. You could even gift your bridesmaids with clutches that come pre-stocked with a few of these items, so that you’ll be ready for anything at any moment’s notice.
- Aspirin or pain reliever of choice
- Mini first-aid kit – extra band aids
- Mini sewing kit
- Tape – every kind imaginable (duct tape, scotch tape, double-sided tape)
- Safety pins
- Bobby pins/hair ties
- Eye drops
- Dental floss
- Nail file
- Touch-up nail polish
- Baby powder
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton balls
- Lint roller
- Chalk – use to cover minor stains or smudges on your dress
- Clear nail polish – use to prevent runs in stockings/tights
- Super glue – you will use this for something (jewelry, décor, etc.)
- Smelling salts – remind your wedding party not to lock their knees!
- Bleach pen
- Allergy medicine
- White sheet – for bride to sit on if necessary
- Medicated pads – typically found with the hemorrhoid creams, great for swollen/puffy eyes if tears have been shed!
- Extra undergarments – you never know!
- Cell phone charger
- Extension cords
Not to be Over-looked::
- Pen/Notebook – secret notes for the groom
- Hair spray
- Breath mints/spray
- Bottled water
- Q-tips – use with a little lotion to remove mascara runs!
- Cash – don’t forget to tip your hair stylist/makeup artist/bartender
- Tampons – just in case!
- Straws – to prevent lipstick smudging when hydrating
Yes, this seems like a lot of stuff, but the good Girl Scout knows to always be prepared. Think small – travel size, divide up certain things. You’ll be amazed at what you do actually use and will need - and the things you don’t use: well you’ll be incredibly grateful it was there either way.
Now you are ready to venture into the wild, a beautiful bride with all the tools to… SURVIVE THE CEREMONY!
Generally when someone mentions the word “wedding,” you immediately picture a spring or summer outdoor affair with lots of sunshine, flowers in bloom, and strapless gowns. But what if I told you that there is a wholly forgotten wedding season where just about everything is cheaper, with readymade décor, and a warm glow in everyone’s hearts. Hearing “Jingle Bells” yet? That’s right – winter weddings. Here are a few reasons why you should consider one.
Cost-Efficient for the Budget-Savvy Bride
The most popular months for weddings are May through October, so during the winter off-season you have the chance to negotiate better prices with venues, vendors, even your honeymoon. Ask if there is some wiggle room in their rates or if they can waive certain fees if they require them. We’ve heard that the venue of your dreams might offer a Friday discount for a Saturday wedding during the off-season – this can shave off thousands of dollars for some!
You also have the better luck of choosing the date you want at the venue you want. More availability equals less competition for you. I mean who wants to wait five years out for a June 6th wedding at The Plaza (you’ve seen Bride Wars, right?).
Winter, for me, is all about the holidays and you certainly do not have to incorporate them into your big day, but your piggy bank might thank you if you did. Think about it – that is a whole bunch of free decorations for you: twinkling Christmas lights, glittering ornaments, fresh pine, and bright red poinsettias – what a gold mine! And most of those things come standard at venues, churches, and hotels during the holiday season. I say – embrace it! Winter weddings, themed or otherwise, are rare in the glossy pages of all the bridal magazines.
*And if you choose a date right after December 25th shout out for clearance prices on all that Christmas swag!*
Menu, Flowers, and Favors
Planning the menu should be fun for this time of year. Keep the chilly weather in mind, and think about serving warm soup, winter squash, and a variety of yummy drinks like spiked hot chocolate, eggnog, and spiced wine (set out candy canes as drink stirrers!). You could use gingerbread houses as edible centerpieces.
Flowers this time of year could get costly. Instead prepare arrangements with flowers and plants that are in-season: garland, glittered branches, pinecones, and fresh berries. Just grab everything off your fireplace mantle at home and carry it down the aisle!
Send your guests home with their own do-it-yourself hot cocoa mix in mason jars, or an ornament that commemorates the day. We’ve seen jingle bells used too!
Remember that it gets dark earlier in the winter. If you want your wedding portraits taken outside, be sure to plan accordingly. Opt for a pre-ceremony photo shoot. And if you’re imagining snow-covered trees in the background, stock up on fake snow spray or choose a destination wedding to Colorado – because Alabama.
Scout out public decorations and light installments. Colored Christmas lights will make for gorgeous bokeh-filled backgrounds and these can be found at public parks or even your local zoo (Zoolight Safari at the Birmingham Zoo). Train stations, hotels, ice-skating rinks, window displays at malls and toy stores, and roaring fires all make for fantastic winter-themed photos!
There are tons of ideas out there to make your winter wedding a truly spectacular event. No matter how cold it is outside, all that love in your heart will fill you with warmth (but maybe supply your guests with hand warmers, just in case)!