Photo: Getty Images
While every wedding has its own challenges, there are a few mistakes
that brides and grooms make on a consistent basis. Take these five tips
and learn from fellow engaged couples' mistakes, rather than repeating
1. Overscheduling your guests
Whether you're getting married at home or away, you need to remember that your guests
have lives too and they're not necessarily committing 24 hours a day to
you for your entire wedding weekend. Leave time for them to handle real
life or to explore where you're getting married.
2. Asking too many people to be a part of your wedding party
Twelve bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen may have been what you've always
imagined, but when it comes down to dressing them, giving them thank-you gifts, and paying for bouquets and boutonnieres for that many attendants, you can easily break the bank.
3. Forgetting to feed the wedding party on the big day
If you're all tied up getting hair and makeup
done, somebody needs to be responsible for making sure that everybody
has something to eat. If you don't feed the bridesmaids when they're
with you all day doing beauty services, you might end up with a few
drunk-and-disorderly attendants by ceremony time — not to mention
4. Worrying too much about the music taste of the guests (and especially your parents)
Consider what you want to dance to at your wedding. It's important to keep your audience in mind when you make your playlist or choose your band.
5. Failing to do proper welcome packets for out-of-town guests
Even when you get married at home, you cannot assume that your friends, family and colleagues who have traveled to celebrate with you know much about the area. They would really appreciate directions to the events, plus local restaurants and attractions.
Social media has become the most effective planning tool
— and the most stressful timesuck — for brides. At first, it's a good
thing, as you gather your ideas all in one place. It helps you sort out
which color combinations
you really like, and what doesn't work when you put it all together.
But sometimes, all the overload of information can nearly put a bride
over the edge. Here are four signs it's time for you to step away from
your Pinterest board (at least for a little bit) while planning your big
1. You're sending vendors way too many options.
While it's smart to get your wedding ideas online, you have to know when to stop. You can't send your wedding planner 25 cake pictures and the florist doesn't want to see 50 different bouquets and centerpieces. A few of each that represent exactly what you want is the best route to go.
2. You've signed contracts, but can't stop creeping wedding Pins.
After you have made your selections and put down deposits with vendors,
it's a good idea to back off Pinterest. If you continue to binge, you'll
second guess all of your decisions. Continuing to add to your portfolio
of wedding wishes will simply cause you stress (and more money if you
decide to change your contracts).
3. Your groom is beginning to get annoyed.
Whether you'd like to believe it or not, your groom is not as enamored
by Pinterest as you are — and he probably doesn't want to spend every
single night looking at cakes, dresses, flowers and napkin colors.
4. Instead of asking your maid of honor for her opinion, you're asking all of your followers.
You shouldn't share your wedding "likes" and "dislikes" via your social
media if you haven't invited all of your "friends" to your wedding. It
can be insulting to ask the group's opinion on which favor or bridesmaid dress you should choose unless everybody reading your feed is invited.
Photo: Christine Glebov Photography via Pretty Pear Bride Shafonne Myers, owner and CEO ofPretty Pear Bride,
the world's only magazine for plus-size brides, knows a thing or two
about fashion and weddings. As a certified wedding and event planner and
a gal with a serious love of all-things weddings (and a former bride
herself), Shafonne understands the unique challenges of shopping for a
plus-size wedding dress.
Wedding-dress shopping for plus-size and curvy brides can be the worst experience ever
— but it doesn't have to be that way! Here, we're debunking some common
misconceptions about searching for a plus-size big-day look.
Myth #1: Bridal salons don't carry anything in your size
So many plus-size brides automatically assume most bridal salons don't
have options for curvier women, but you always have options! You
determine which salon you pick, plus what fabric, silhouette, size and
style you want. If a salesperson says you don't have options, then that
is not the place for you. If you're concerned, call the store in advance
to find out what sizes and styles it carries.
Myth #2: You don't need to bring undergarments to your appointment
This is one of the most important things to have with you during your dress-shopping excursions. Undergarments and shapewear
are made to enhance your look, so you won't get a true depiction of how
the dress will look on your wedding day if you leave them at home.
Myth #3: You have to wear an A-line dress A-Line dresses
look great on plus-sized brides, but there are many other silhouettes
that flatter a fuller figure. Don't be afraid to try on different styles
(think: Empire waist gowns, corset styles, and mermaid silhouettes) —
you might be surprised about which look you love most.
Myth #4: You should hide your curves
Being plus size or curvy isn't something that you should be ashamed of
or afraid to show off. You are marrying someone who loves you and your
shape, so flaunt those fabulous curves down the aisle.
If you're having 50 guests to a buffet, you may or may not want to
give people specific seating assignments. But if you're having 100
guests or more and serving a seated meal, you'll want to make sure
everyone's got a specific place to sit. Why? For one, people like
to know where they're sitting -- and that you took the time to choose
where and who they should sit with. It's also helpful if you're serving
several different entree choices, because the caterer and wait staff can
figure out beforehand how many chickens, filets, or veggie dishes a
given table gets because they (you) know who's sitting there. Read on
for tips on how to seat neatly.
The parent-seating question is a flexible one. Set it up in whatever way best suits everybody.
We've been at kitchen tables the night before the wedding (or even wedding morning) with a bride and groom just starting
their seating chart. Don't let this be you -- you've got more important
things to think about at that point! Sure, it's fine to make
last-minute changes, but try to get the chart mostly done at least a week before the big day.
Hit the Keys
a new spreadsheet. If you haven't already, insert a column into your
guest list document categorizing all the invitees by relationship:
bride's friend; bride's family; groom's friend; groom's family; bride's
family friend; groom's family friend. This way, you'll be able to easily
sort the list and break it down into more logical table assortments.
Now you'll need to separate these lists into distinct tables.
Create a Paper Trail
you're feeling more low-tech, draw circles (for tables) on a big sheet
of paper and write names inside them (make sure you know how many people
can comfortably be seated at each). Or you could write every guest's
name on a post-it to place accordingly.
Head Up the Head Table
traditional head table is not round, but long and straight, and it is
generally set up along a wall, on risers, facing all the other reception
tables. It may even have two tiers if your wedding party is large.
Usually the bride and groom sit smack-dab in the middle (where everyone
can see them), with the maid of honor next to the groom, the best man
next to the bride, and then boy/girl out from there. Flower girls or
ring bearers usually sit at the tables where their parents are seating,
much to the relief of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Decide to seat this
way, or plan a sweetheart table for a little one-on-one time.
Switch Things Up
But you don't have
to do it that way. All the maids can sit on the bride's side, all the
groomsmen on the groom's. Or maybe you're not into being on display, or
you don't want your wedding party to feel isolated from other guests.
Let your wedding party sit at a round reception table or two with each
other and/or with their dates/significant others, and have the head
table be a sweetheart table for the two of you. (How romantic!) Another
option -- you two sit with your parents and let that be the head table, with the wedding party at their own tables.
Place Your Parents
Traditionally, your parents and your
sweetie's parents sit at the same table, along with grandparents,
siblings not in the wedding party, and the officiant and his/her spouse
if they attend the reception. But if your or your honey's parents are
divorced, and are uncomfortable about sitting next to each other, you
might want to let each set of parents host their own table of close
family and/or friends . This could mean up to four parents' tables,
depending on your situation -- or have the divorced parent who raised
you (or your honey) and his/her spouse/date sit at the table with
still-married parents. (Phew, confusing!)
Remember, the parent-seating question is a flexible one. Set it
up in whatever way best suits everybody. If you're unsure, don't
hesitate to talk to the parents in question about it before you make
your final decision.
There may also be situations in which certain family members just do not
get along. Maybe they haven't spoken in years. Maybe the last time they
saw each other there was a drunken catfight. Understandably, you want
to keep them as far apart as possible. Think about these kinds of
relationships (or lack thereof) before you even begin making your chart,
so you can take them into consideration in the first place and begin by
seating Aunt Hattie at table 3 and Aunt Lucy across the room at table
15. Trust us -- they'll appreciate it.
all your college or high-school friends will be psyched to sit at a
table together -- and especially if you and your beloved went to the
same school and have the same friends, this works out well. It also
gives them all an opportunity to catch up with each other, because they
may not have seen each other for a while. But again -- reception tables
offer a cool opportunity to mix and match your friends and your honey's
-- who knows who'll hit it off? Consider seating friends who don't know
each other (yet), but who you think will get along exceptionally well, at the same table -- and the rest is history. It can't hurt!
Guests aren’t the only ones giving gifts on the wedding day! The
old tradition of couples exchanging presents pre-ceremony is back and
happening in a big way. Think of it as the zero anniversary present (but
there are no rules or traditions like paper or gold for this one!). But
this isn’t just any gift–your wedding is a once in a lifetime event.
Let your choice represent the importance of the day while speaking to
your fiance’s style and personality. We’ve rounded up some of our
favorite ideas that you can buy right now. Oh and don’t forget to
include a “I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together” note
for extra points!
If They Love…Curling Up With a Book
Left: Fire HD 7 inch Tablet, $139, Amazon.com Right: First Edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, $2,200, AbeBooks.com
For something fun you know they’ll get a lot of use out of, opt for
the hottest new e-reader or a tablet where they can collect favorite
reads. If you want something that can easily become an heirloom, a first
edition of their beloved novel is the way to go. Editor’s Note:
If you go the first edition route you’ll need to do plenty
of research and use a trustworthy book dealer to make sure you’re
getting a book that is not only legitimate, but in good condition too. If They Love…Getting Their Heartrate Up
Left: Surge, $250, Fitbit.com Right: Tory Burch for FitBit Metal Hinged Bracelet, $195 (not including FitBit Flex), ToryBurch.com
Today’s exercise fanatics have a whole range of wearable tech to
choose from. If your fiancé really loves to sweat, a fitness tracker
that will enhance their workout is a sure win. If They Love…Raising A Glass
Left: Engravable Bottle of Macallan Fine Oak 21 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky, $484, SpiritedGifts.com Right: Engravable Dom Perignon Vintage Champagne, $225, PersonalWine.com
Whether their favorite vice is whisky or wine you can easily
personalize a special bottle. Save it for sipping on another celebratory
occasion or milestone like your 5th anniversary or the birth of your
first child, or pop it after the honeymoon. If They Love…Staying Organized
Left: Grand Mirrored Jewelry Box, $229, WestElm.com Right: Personalized Wood Accessory Valet, $125, RedEnvelope.com
Now that you’re going to both be wearing rings forever, you’ll need a
pretty place to keep them safe while you’re digging in the garden or
traveling abroad. Adding personalization like a monogram or inscription
will make the box a sweet reminder of your wedding day every time you
reach for your watch. If They Love…Accessorizing
Left: Star Wars Cufflinks, $85, TheKnotShop.com Right: Love Bracelet, $10,700, Cartier.com
Jewelry is an easy choice because your fiancé can actually wear it on
the wedding day. Choose something that shows their sense of humor or go
the other direction and opt for a classic that they’ll never take off
Well, for starters, Solange wore not one, but two amazing
capes to complete both of her bridal looks. Solange and Alan pulled
up at the Holy Trinity Church near Bywater, Louisiana, for their wedding
ceremony on white-painted vintage bicycles, and Solange totally rocked a
low-cut ivory Stephane Rolland jumpsuit with an attached cape for her
prewedding look. (Oh, and it looks like she pedaled the whole way with
heels on. Rockstar!) Plus, she even had white roses and greenery
decorating the bike. Alan matched his bride with a sharp white Lanvin
For the ceremony, Solange changed into an incredibly regal ivory
Humberto Leon for Kenzo wedding dress with an attached cape, as seen in
her gorgeous wedding photos taken by Rog Walker.
She accessorized her insanely chic look with red lipstick, stacked
gold Jill for Lady Grey bracelets and Stuart Weitzman shoes. We love
that Solange incorporated her own boho, fashion-forward style into her
wedding look, making her bridal style uniquely her.
Oh, but let’s not forget Beyonce’s sexy maid of honor dress in a stunning all-female, all-white wedding portrait, shared by Vogue.
Queen Bey wore a white Torn by Ronny Kobo dress and white platform
heels (and kind of pulled a little bit of a Pippa — but come on, it’s Beyonce), and their mother Tina Knowles looked elegant in a draped column gown and gold accessories.
Solange and Alan’s wedding was a total family affair as well — Jay Z
and Blue Ivy were there in white ensembles, as well as Solange’s
10-year-old son, Julez (with her first husband Daniel Smith), wearing a
stylish white tux and sunglasses.
She walked down the aisle to a special song: a symphonic instrumental
rendition of Donny Hathaway’s, “I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry.”
Kelela, Questlove and Kindness also performed at the reception.
“Everyone I worked with on the wedding are friends who I love,” Solange told Vogue via e-mail. “Everything was a labor of love.”
And finally, this wedding was so amazing that even the
usually-private Bey shared multiple snaps on Instagram, along with two
from Vogue and Questlove:
As we suspected, Solange and Alan secretly got engaged
on her 28th birthday in June. The singer also wore more stylish white
looks for her rehearsal dinner and family movie night (the couple chose
to show Mahogany, which the newlyweds saw on their first date).
Wedding planning isn’t all about selecting the right venue and
vendors. In fact, most of those choices are the easiest for couples to
make. The planning hiccups often occur when it comes to deciding on the
smaller details. Today, let’s talk about choosing your wedding’s color
I was surprised at how many of the brides I worked with had no idea
where to start when it came to choosing their color scheme. This was one
of the reasons I created the Susan Southerland Color Selection Wheel. I
wanted couples to see color options within a monotone color scheme
(different shades of the same color), a complementary color scheme
(colors on opposite sides of the color wheel), or an analogous color
scheme (colors that border each other on the wheel). I also designed the
wheel to easily fit in any bride’s planning binder so she could bring
it along to all of her appointments.
While using a tool like this one can be invaluable in making your
color choices, there are a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind:
1. The season. One of the easiest ways to narrow
down your color choices is to consider the season of your wedding date.
Spring weddings are a great time to choose lighter tones like pale
yellow, dusky pink, or sky blue. Summer ushers in vibrant tones like
turquoise, rose, or ivy green. In the autumn, richer earth tones are
more popular, such as russet, burnt gold, plum, or copper. Neutral tones
with touches of cool colors dominate a winter color scheme…whites and
ivories, winter blue, or various shades of purple are most popular.
2. The mood. Are you trying to introduce drama into
your wedding design? Consider a bold red or deep tangerine scheme.
Prefer to keep things soft and romantic? Opt for pastels like mint green
or lilac. If you’re more of a classic or vintage bride, neutral tones
like ivory and champagne would work for you.
3. The location. Is your venue already going to be
decorated due to its overall design or an approaching holiday? Consider
building your color scheme off of what will already be there. Odds are,
the décor will coordinate well with things like the carpet and wall
hangings. This could make your choices really easy, and save you money
4. The inspiration. Do you have a favorite flower
that you want to incorporate in your wedding? Maybe your color scheme
should be based off of that. Do you and your future spouse love the
outdoors? You could consider a color palette based off nature. Allow
yourself to be inspired by what speaks to you!
5. Your personal taste. What really matters in the
end is what appeals to you. Don’t hesitate to have navy blue as a color
choice in the summer just because it’s a darker tone. You can always
choose a more summery accent, like buttery yellow, to tie in the season.
Choose what makes you happy!
Whatever ends up helping you choose your colors, keep them limited to
no more than two or three to keep your look clean and cohesive. Have
fun with figuring out how to bring in your colors in ways that will wow
your guests. Whether your colors are trendy or timeless, they’ll help
make your wedding a truly memorable experience!
A few months before your wedding,
you may want to hit up the salon and get the works. Massages, facials,
body wraps and other spa treatments are a great way to de-stress for a
few hours (we know that planning that seating chart is driving you crazy!).
While you’ve probably heard of the typical treatments you can get at
any spa, like a seaweed wrap or a mud bath, but recently some really
cool, unique treatments have been making waves. A few of our editors
tried out some of these new treatments, and below are seven that we
you could opt for a traditional facial before your wedding, but since
this is such a special day, a facial with actual gold powder in it is
more up your fabulous alley. I went to Mario Badescu and tried the Gold
Mask, which promises “the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving
the skin more firm, toned and glowing.” Besides feeling like an A-lister
with gold on my face, I noticed that my skin was smooth, glowing and
photo-ready for at least a week after the treatment.” – Jessica Zaleski, Assistant Editor
NYC: The Gold Mask, $105, Mario Badescu, LA: Pure Gold Radiance Facial, $310, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Boston: 24K Gold Facial, $165, Equinox, Austin: 24K Gold Facial, $170, Spa Reveil, Miami: 24KT Gold Facial, $160, Trump Miami
never knew coffee beans had full-body benefits! This scrub and detox
wrap proved me wrong. The unique mix from the pros at Paul Labrecque
Salon and Spa includes green coffee beans, coffee bean oil, fresh
jalapeno and mint — creating an amazing earthy scent and a warm,
tingling sensation. The aesthetician first scrubs your whole body down
to exfoliate the skin then uses the “cupping” technique to target
problem areas reducing cellulite. Your skin also reaps the benefits of
being a million times softer afterwards. What bride wouldn’t want that?! Hellooo, honeymoon. – Jamie Miles, Assistant Managing Editor
NYC: The Green Coffee Bean Detox Body Wrap, $185, Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa, Baton Rouge: Red Stick Cellulite and Detox Slimming Wrap, Medical Spa of Baton Rouge, LA: Coffee Wrap, $100, Terra Day Spa, Tucson: Warm Hazelnut Coffee Body Wrap, $115, The Karma Day Spa, Portland: Island Espresso Mud Wrap, $131, Kanani Pearl
far as beauty treatments go, putting bird poop on your face is as
pretty strange as it gets, but it’s really not as bizarre as you might
think. For the most part it’s just like a traditional facial, but with
an extra step — a paste of powdered nightingale droppings
(pre-sterilized with UV light) and rice bran are applied to exfoliate
and brighten. I was most surprised by the fact that there was no bad
smell — it actually reminded me of Rice Krispies (which is probably
because of the rice bran). Afterwards my face felt clean and had a nice
glow to it for a day or two, but I wouldn’t say there were any long-term
results. What really stood out to me was how gentle the facial was. All
of the products used are all-natural which is great if you have
sensitive skin or prefer to avoid chemicals. – Simone Hill, Assistant Editor
Stay with us on this one, because it sounds like something out
of a science fiction flick. After cleansing and exfoliating with a
traditional facial, your technician will mix a cocktail of vitamins,
retinoids and peptides together and spread it over your skin. To make
sure these essential ingredients absorb directly into the skin, they’ll
then apply a white, gelatinous mask connected to electrodes to safely
pulse ions and sound waves on your face. This process is called
Iontophoresis and Sonophoresis treatment. Even though I was scared to
try it, I’m glad I did! My post-treatment, no-makeup look was bright,
fresh and even. – Rachel Torgerson, Editorial Assistant
Editor’s note: The white mask they apply will cover
your mouth, but leave your nose open. If you get claustrophobic, you can
ask your technician to leave your mouth uncovered as well. Englewood: Environ Precision Iontophoresis and Sonophoresis Treatment, $250, EstheticaMD, Jupiter: UltraSonic Facial, Euro Esthetica Spa, Plaistow: Plumping Peptide Facial, $95, Bella Visage Skin Studio, Greeley: Ultra Sonic Facial, Beso Hair Skin Laser Spa, Washington, D.C.: Skin Tightening Ultherapy, Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery
spa describes the Synesthesia treatment as “a complete merging of the
senses into a fully choreographed massage.” I know it sounds a little
bizzarre, but this was seriously some of the best 80 minutes of my life.
You start by choosing how you want to feel by picking a word from the
chalkboard on the spa wall, like “relax” or “peace.” I chose “mind
cleanser,” and my mind was totally cleansed when I left. The massage
tries to fuse together all of your senses by filling the room with
amazing smells and the sound of bird songs (the massage even goes with
the music). I think a doctor should prescribe this massage to every
bride and groom before their wedding because it works wonders. – Jessica
Zaleski, Assistant Editor
NYC: Synesthesia, $230, LUSH, Philadelphia: Synesthesia, $230, LUSH, Alexandria: Pure Sensory Journey Massage, $129, Pure Aesthetica, Washington DC: Chakra Balancing Massage, $70, Logan 14 Salon & Spa, Miami: Aromatherapy Massage, $119, McAllister Spa
opted for the Brighten Facial at Exhale Mind Body Spa. In LA it’s
nicknamed the “Red Carpet Facial” — so you can imagine how I glowed like
a movie star after. The multistep facial utilizes iS Clinical
products complete with a cleanse, 2 masks, extractions and a calming
serum. It’s as close as you’ll get to a clinical facial in a relaxing
spa environment (which all brides need!). This facial helps reduce fine
lines and dark-spots while leaving you relaxed, glowing and 100% ready
for your wedding week! – Samantha Roberts, Assistant Editor
NYC: The Brighten Facial, $200, Exhale Spa (Exhale spas around the country: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami. Los Angeles)
Massages, yoga and meditation are all great way to unwind, and so is
taking a dip in hot and cold baths. It’s actually not a new concept.
Noble ancient Greeks and Turks used to indulge at the communal baths
too. For about an hour I hopped around from baths of an extreme range of
temperatures. The attendant suggested starting with a steam to really
loosen my muscles and open my pores and then gradually move from hot to
cool — ending with an ice cold dunk at the end. My favorite bath was
filled with salt water so that you can float — it was the only time I
was really able to get out of my head and stop thinking “am I doing this
right?” If you really want to go decadent you can even opt for
upgrades like red wine and olive oil baths. – Simone Hill
Editor’s Note: Go with your fiancé or a few
friends if, like me, you’re not one to sit still for long — the
atmosphere is quiet and calming which is great relaxing, but I did start
to wonder if there was such a thing as too much relaxation. NYC: Thermal Bath, $75, AncientBathsNY.com, San Francisco: Banya Basic Day Pass, $60, BanyaSF.com, Tucson: Aquavana Experience, CanyonRanch.com, Miami: Hydrotherapy Playground, complimentary with stay at The Standard Miami, StandardHotels.com, LA: Spa Access, $30 or free with spa treatment, BeverlyHotSprings.com
If you thought buying the perfect prom dress was hard in high school, just wait until you go wedding-dress shopping.
Between the expectation to find "the one" and a crew full of people
offering up opinions left and right, the whole experience can be
completely mind-boggling. Whether you're about to go to your final
fitting or you just booked your first bridal salon appointment, here's
what every engaged girl thinks while searching for that perfect gown:
Photo: Getty Images
Pinterest. One little URL, endless
bridal inspiration. Outside of bridal magazines, Pinterest may just be
the number one resource for brides-to-be today. While the bottomless
supply of venues, details, and dresses to gawk at is certainly exciting, brides that have been down the aisle know Pinterest can also pose its own... challenges.
Here are 12 thoughts every bride has probably had about Pinterest (in sequential order, naturally) ...
1. "Sweet goodness, this may be the best thing that's ever happened to me."
2. "PINS! So many pins! I'm never sleeping again."
3. "Wait, did Lauren's sister-in-law just steal my centerpiece idea? What the! I need a secret board."
4. "I should have never created a joint board with my future sister-in-law.
That bouquet is hideous! It burns my retina! Will she be upset if I
delete that pin from the board? What is the etiquette here?"
5. "Oh no, mayday, this is all far too out of budget, what have I done? I just want to live in Pinterest! Reality is overrated."
6. "Image uploaded by user? NO source? NO vendors? Is there no humanity in this world?"
7. "Ugh, is that dress better than my dress?"
8. "I wonder if that's her real hair ... It can't be."
9. "Wait, those flower girls are so cute! How can I rent toddlers?"
10. "Okay I want that exact photo of my fiancé and I. I wonder if I should print it out for the photographer?"
11. "All I want is to get married in a chateau in France with a dress personally designed by Vera Wang! That's all I want. Is that really so much to ask?"
12. "Oh wow, I can't remember the last time I went to the bathroom. Do I have an addiction? I wonder if I could be on MTV's True Life: I'm Addicted to Pinterest? Do you think they do your hair and makeup on those shows? I pinned the perfect casual up-do ..."
Nothing transforms a space quite like the right lighting. Candles,
string lights, light bulbs, colored lights and lanterns all create
ambience and add warmth to indoor and outdoor weddings alike.
Below are 19 magical lighting ideas that will leave your guests positively spellbound.
Forget the archaic rule that says certain people have to pay
for certain things. The bride's parents need not take out a third
mortgage to pay for the wedding, and the groom's parents are not off the
hook either. Besides, the two of you might even be covering a good
chunk of the expenses yourselves. The best way to work it out? Sit down
with pencil, paper, and calculator and figure out what you really want
and can afford. Keep in mind that informal weddings are usually smaller
(and therefore cheaper), and formal weddings tend to be larger (and
therefore more expensive).
Here's a list of the traditional costs for everyone involved -- but remember, these "rules" are made to be broken!
Bride and family pay for church or synagogue, sexton, organist, etc.
Groom and family pay for marriage license and officiant's fee.
Bride and family pay for bride's dress, veil, accessories, and trousseau (read: lingerie and honeymoon clothes).
Groom and family pay for groom's outfit.
All attendants pay for their own clothing (including shoes).
Bride and family pay for arrangements for church (including huppah if a Jewish wedding ceremony) and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.
Groom and family pay for bride's bouquet and going-away corsage,
boutonnieres for men, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.
Groom and family pay for complete honeymoon.
Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and video.
Bride or groom's family plans and hosts engagement party; if there is more than one, bride's family hosts the first one.
Groom's family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.
Bride plans and hosts bridesmaids' luncheon.
Groom hosts and plans bachelors' dinner.
Maid of honor and bridesmaids host shower.
Best man and ushers host bachelor party.
Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.
Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food, drink, decorations, and music.
Bride and/or her family pay for groom's ring.
Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride's rings.
Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements, and wedding programs.
Last week we discussed how to determine the size of your bridal party,
so today I thought I’d offer up some creative ways to invite people to
be your attendants. Remember that being a member of a bridal party is a
huge financial and time commitment, especially for honor attendants, so
be careful that you choose people with that in mind. Here are a few ways
to make asking people to be in your bridal party fun and memorable:
1. Present them with a bottle of champagne (or
another celebratory beverage) and tie a large gift tag on it in one of
your wedding colors. Hand-write the invitation on the gift tag. One
invitation I read said, “You’d make me a very happy bride sipping
champagne by my side.” Another one read, “I can’t say I Do…without you.”
There are also companies like personalwine.com that make custom bottle
labels you could use instead.
2. Remind them of one of your best memories
together. Were you both band geeks in high school? Write an invitation
on sheet music. Do you compete to see who can finish the Sunday
Crossword the fastest? Create your own crossword and have the invitation
hidden in the answers. These kinds of invites will be keepsakes your
attendants will cherish forever!
3. Send them a singing telegram. Talk about the
unexpected! One of my past brides did this and her attendants still talk
about it to this day.
4. Treat them to a night out. Get your potential
party together for a girls’ night. You can either give a speech where
you ask them all to be your attendants, or present them with invitations
like these popular ones on Etsy.
5. Having a destination wedding? Consider putting
your invitation inside a luggage tag. Better yet, gift them with a piece
of luggage along with it!
6. If your friend is a Starbucks fanatic, ask the barista to write your invitation on her skinny latte.
7. Give ‘em a laugh. I’ve seen invites like this one
on Pinterest and other sites that go for the lighter side of being a
bridal party attendant. Ask if she’ll help calm you down when you lose
your cool, wear any color even if she doesn’t like it, and tell you when
you’re being a “bridezilla.” After all, what are friends for?
There are lots of creative ways you can invite your friends and
family to stand up at your wedding. The more personal you can make it,
the better! Make sure each person knows how important they are to you,
and they’ll surely want to be standing by your side on your special day.
Now that you've found your gown, the next step is choosing the finishing
touches. Read on for our advice on picking the perfect accessories.
1. Match Your Metals
You may not realize this, but some metals look better with certain dress
colors. As a general rule, ivory is best paired with gold since it
highlights the creamy tint of the fabric. For a pure white dress, choose
accents in silver or platinum or with pearl detailing—gold may clash
with brighter white hues. You can have your pick with a diamond-white
gown—this barely off-white color looks amazing with yellow gold, rose
gold, silver or pearls. If the dress you chose is already embellished
with beadwork, let that dictate the colors of your accessories. For
example, if your gown has silver beading, pick a necklace, bracelet or
earrings with a silver base.
2. Remember: Less Is More
You don’t need a veil, tiara, earrings, necklace and a sash. Accessories
add a unique touch to your look, but even one too many can be
over-the-top with an already-embellished gown. Before you start buying,
take an inventory of your gown’s stand-out features and then base your
choices around them. If your dress has an ornate neckline, opt for a
pair of drop earrings instead of a necklace (that might look too busy).
For a gown with a simpler style, try a bold statement necklace or a
fascinator. When it comes to earrings, take a cue from your hairstyle.
If you’re leaving your hair down and over your ears, small studs or
drops will do. But for an updo, you might want something a little more
dramatic, like a pair of chandelier danglers. And lastly, it’s always a
good idea to avoid designs that closely mimic the embellishments on your
gown—you don’t want to look too matchy-matchy.
3. Know Your Veils
The veil is the iconic bridal accessory. From flirty birdcages and
ornate mantillas to regal cathedral-length styles, there’s no shortage
of options. But there are a few things you should keep in mind as you
narrow down the type of veil you plan to wear:
You’ll want your veil to match the exact shade of your gown. Color blocking is better left to your day-to-day look.
Be mindful when choosing a style. If your dress has a lot going on,
stick with something simple that won’t steal the spotlight.
If showing off the back of your dress is a must—say you have
gorgeous embroidery or beading—choose a sheer veil rather than one with
two layers of tulle.
Consider your size: Longer waltz or floor-length veils will
elongate a petite frame while mid-length styles, like fingertip or
elbow-length veils, can visually cut you in half, making them a better
pick for taller brides. Short styles, like a birdcage or bandeau, work
for all shapes and sizes and lend a fun, retro vibe to your gown.
4. Top It Off
Veils not really your thing? From combs to fascinators, there are plenty
of other ways to top off your look. Choose your hairstyle before you
pick your accessory, since some types will look better with updos than
others. A flower crown, for example, is best with loose locks. You
should also consider your hair type—dainty accessories may be perfect
for fine hair, but won’t be as noticeable with thick waves. Most
importantly, make sure whatever you pick feels secure while you’re
5. Think Beyond Earrings
Looking for a super-simple way to add a bit of personality to your
wedding dress (and help create the illusion of curves)? Add a belt or
sash. Just because your dress doesn’t come with one, doesn’t mean it
won’t look great—a fashionable fastener is an easy way to customize your
gown and change its look without having to make expensive alterations.
And whether you go with a classic satin sash or a metallic leather belt,
it’ll give your dress an instant upgrade. The key to choosing the right
waist-cincher is to find one that works with your body type. Thin belts
are best suited to short torsos, while wider belts work well with
longer ones. If you’re an apple shape, think about a beaded or heavily
embellished belt to flatter your midsection. If you’re petite, a belt
with V-shape appliqué will elongate your body. As a general rule, stick
with a style that’s no more than three-inches wide—you don’t want to
overpower the rest of your gown.
6. Keep It Comfy
No outfit is complete without the perfect pair of shoes—and your wedding
day look is no exception. Of course you’ll want a killer pair to go
with that gorgeous dress, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise
on comfort. Don’t forget: You’ll be standing for long periods of time,
and you don’t want to be cringing in pain before you’ve even hit the
dance floor. While shopping, consider the height of the heel (obviously
the taller you go, the higher the pain potential), the type of straps
and the material. Your feet need to be well supported (think: ankle and
toe straps over slip-ons) to avoid instability. Look for high quality,
natural materials. They’re infinitely more comfortable than synthetic
ones and are also a lot more durable, meaning you’ll be able to wear
them again.For the best fit, go shopping at the end of the
day, when your feet are swollen from activity, and give yourself plenty
of time to break in your new kicks before the wedding. Wear them around
the house a couple weeks prior to the day, noting any areas that are
prone to blisters. To make your shoes more comfortable, consider buying
moleskin, heel grips, strap stickers or gel insoles designed
specifically for heels. Shoes too strappy to conceal an insole or grip?
Pick up a spray, wax or cream that protects against friction or provides
anti-inflammatory pain relief to keep your feet happy.
7. Cover It Up
A stylish cover-up is a must if you’re getting married during the cooler
months or at a house of worship that requires you to cover your
shoulders. From boleros to capelets and fur stoles, the options are
endless. The key is to choose one that strikes the perfect balance with
your gown. Simple, understated styles can be paired with more
embellished cover-ups, like a beaded capelet with scalloped edges or a
bold sequined or feather bolero for added personality. For already
ornate gowns, try a more minimal accent to avoid looking too
over-the-top. A delicate lace jacket, sheer tulle cape or a chiffon wrap
will keep you warm without competing with your gown. Another option? A
classic cardigan, the perfect complement to a rustic or more laid-back
8. Consider Your Décolletage
Pairing your neckline style with the proper adornment can add character
to your wedding gown, or even highlight a unique feature. Follow these
simple guidelines:Sweetheart or strapless: For
something a little different, skip the necklace and focus on an elegant
pair of chandelier earrings instead. Wear clear crystal for a sleek
look, or add punch with a hint of color. Try using a meaningful gem,
like your birthstone, or pick a hue from the flowers in your bridal
bouquet. If you’re going for a flirty, fresh look, include two or three
small fresh or silk flowers in your hair to add a soft, organic feel.
Vintage elegance more your style? Pay homage to the past with an
art-deco-style bracelet or some Roaring Twenties–inspired feather
barrettes. V-neck: Whether you opt for a pendant or a choker, this style
begs for a little décolletage decoration. A thin chain with a simple
pendant, like a locket, is an elegant way to accessorize, while pearls
(single- or double-stranded) are always a classic choice. If you’re
going for a more decadent look, a crystal choker or statement necklace
with matching earrings could be the perfect combo. Halter or reverse halter:
For this shoulder-baring style, skip the necklace and focus on dressing
up your tresses. Headbands are a great way to add panache to your
wedding updo, be it a sleek bun or a loose ponytail. But if headbands
aren’t quite your style, try adding some sparkle to your hair with
intricate crystal hairpins. If you’ve got a curly mane, five to seven
hairpins is the perfect number, while brides with thinner locks (or
shorter hair) need fewer—just two or three pins will do the trick
9. Stick to What You Know
Although it’s a special day, don’t stray too far from your normal style.
If you rarely wear jewels, there’s no need to drown yourself in
diamonds on your wedding day. The goal is to
look like the best, most beautiful version of your regular self.
What if your ideal wedding venue just happens to be your own home? You get married there, obviously! You and your groom may already live together, want to save money,
or one of your sets of parents has a house that would be perfect for a
wedding ceremony and reception — regardless, these kinds of at-home
events are especially personal and meaningful. We found some etiquette
expert-approved tips for making sure your homey wedding still feels
1. If you're having an evening wedding outdoors, line your walkway
with white paper bags filled with sand and luminary candles. Hang
Japanese lanterns in the trees or on ropes from tree to tree.
2. Borrow or rent chairs from a church, school social club, or rental company for seating your guests.
3. Hang a wedding banner on the front porch, or rent topiary or potted trees to place at the entrance.
4. Recruit neighborhood children to usher, to take guests' coats, and even to give corsages and nosegays to special guests.
5. Hire off-duty police or responsible teens as parking valets.
6. Avoid having muddy footprints in the house — don't water the lawn on the day of your ceremony!
Unless you're literally the chillest bride on planet earth, chances are, you're currently freaking out about such things like face planting down the aisle,
a tornado touching down mid-ceremony or no one showing up to your
wedding at all. Rational or not, you're completely convinced the worst
will happen and nothing, not even logic, can stop you from stressing. Rest assured though, you're in very good company. We asked a bunch of real brides to reveal their biggest wedding-day fears.
"I'm worried about running out of time the morning of the wedding and
not having enough time to get everyone's hair and makeup done." — Ingrid V.
"I have the strangest fear that our wedding cake
will fall over when we cut it! We're only having a two-tiered cake, but
I made a Pinterest cake stand and I'm nervous that when we cut it, it
will fall and come crashing down all over my dress, shoes and the
floor." — Allison B.
"I have a fear of tripping as I walk down the aisle or falling down
the stairs as my hubby and I walk away from the altar! I do love wearing
heels though." — Tanya W.
"I have a slight fear of rain since it's an outdoor ceremony, but my biggest fear is getting too intoxicated." — Katie A.
"I'm getting married in April, and my biggest fear is that things
won't begin on time. Indian weddings are notorious for starting late so
I'm scared the entire schedule will be off!" — Aishwarya
"Not fitting into my dress!" — Andria C.
"My wedding is a little less than a year away, and I'm already having a recurring fear that I won't wake up in time to get my hair and makeup done.
For some reason I think that I will let me phone die and be alone in my
apartment and won't wake up in time. Then I'll be confronted by knocks
at the door and complete chaos." — Shayna M.
"When my sister was the same age as our flower girl (two years old),
she ran down the aisle and jumped on my aunt's dress so I'm worried that
will happen to me too! Also, our ring bearer is very young, and I'm
just hoping he doesn't cry throughout the entire ceremony!" — Lauren H.