Wednesday, August 20, 2014

25 Things You Should Never Say To A Bride Or Groom

By Alex Merriman for WeddingWire

If you’re chatting with a bride- or groom-to-be within the last few weeks leading up to their wedding, here are 25 things you should avoid saying.

1. Are you planning to lose weight? We actually don’t think you should ever ask a bride-to-be about her figure in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

2. Can I get a plus one? Narrowing down the guest list can be a tricky and overwhelming process, with budget constraints and both families’ lists to consider. Chances are most couples would give everyone a plus one if they could, but it’s often an unrealistic option.

3. That’s...different. Maybe some of our plans aren’t necessarily how you would do things, but it’s not your wedding, now is it?

4. Relax, it’ll be fine. We're going to be stressed no matter what, so telling us to relax is a moot point. Unless you want to get disinvited from the wedding, we suggest you refrain from this statement regarding last-minute details.

5. Why are you having the wedding there? If the venue I selected is too far for you to attend, then simply don’t come.

6. Don’t be a bridezilla. If the bride is acting out of line, address is directly without tossing out the b-word. “Hey, I think it’s a bit much for us to spend $500 on a designer bridesmaid dress and fly across the country for your bachelorette party.”

7. Will there be any gluten-free or dairy-free options at dinner? If you have a legitimate dietary restriction, we will of course do everything we can to make sure you’re comfortable. But don’t assume the caterers are going to bend over backwards to accommodate your diet of the week.

8. What’s your engagement ring carat size? Oh, that’s cute. Tacky and awkward. And even if she’s rocking a more petite rock or plus-size carat diamond, never say the ring is too small. It could create a giant gash. In your forehead. Just kidding, sort of.

9. I’m not wearing that bridesmaid dress! Maybe it wouldn’t be your first choice, but we’d do it for you. If you have serious concerns about the dress that you just can’t hold in, bring it up gently. Throwing a temper tantrum isn’t the most productive way to address the issue.

10. Your wedding dress isn’t very flattering on you. From the Queen B herself, “Don’t you see my body? I want to let it out tonight. Wanna dance, wanna party, wanna be myself tonight.”

11. That’s really not my style. Cool. We all have different styles. See #3 re: not your wedding, not your problem.

12. Can I sit next to [name] at dinner? Seating chart logistics are a doozy and we promise we’re doing the best we can to make everyone happy.

13. Are you sure you want to marry him? If you’re a close friend or family member with a serious concern, that’s one thing. But throwing a comment like this in casual conversation? Not cool.

14. Wait, there’s an open bar? No cash bar please. If you encounter a guest who isn’t exactly shy about broadcasting his or her complaints, don’t feel obligated to defend your choices. Take the high road and let them know that, if they can get over it, you would love to have them there celebrating with you.

15. Why am I not a bridesmaid? Friends come and go throughout the years. If you can’t picture them in your life in five, 10, or even 50 years down the road, it’s safe to say you didn’t make the cut. Plus, it’s a huge commitment, so perhaps she should feel relieved.

16. That cost how much? You wouldn't ask someone how much they paid for their house the moment you walk in, would you? Same common courtesies apply.

17. I met your in-laws . . . so sorry. Whether you have a good or bad relationship with your in-laws, they are still your newest additions to the family. Stick up for them!

18. What’s the rush? You just got engaged! Everyone has different timelines for different reasons. What’s important is that it makes sense to the couple and that they’re happy.

19. I saw all of these ideas online. Real original. Even though every bride has websites and blogs readily available to them, that doesn’t mean she’s the first or last to “steal” the ideas via inspirational pictures.

20. When are you going to have kids? First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes whatever the bride and groom wants. i.e. a house or job promotion. Not just a baby in a carriage. The only appropriate answer is “When we are ready.”

21. Tonight’s going to be a fun night, huh? Seriously? The sex life inquiries aren't necessary. Instead ask about what is already happening: the fabulous food, drinks, and entertainment.

22. Where are you going to have your wedding published? Some couples might want to submit their photos to every publication under the sun, while others prefer to keep things private. As long as they enjoy the day itself, why should it matter?

23. Maybe this one will last. Be positive, not negative. Against the odds, you two have committed to each other and are making a public vow by saying so!

24. You know 50% of marriages end in divorce. What do you expect us to say to this? “Oh in that case, guess we won’t bother”? Throwing out this statistic isn’t helping anyone. Who cares about others’ relationships.

25. What are you going to do if it rains? That’s what Plan B is for.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Here’s What You Need To Know Before Making A Wedding Candy Bar

We don’t have to tell you how much fun candy bars are (and they make a pretty awesome photo op too!), but pulling off a beautiful display is not as easy as it looks. We reached out to candy and dessert bar experts to bring you the most important tips to creating an amazing wedding dessert and candy bar. Below, a few of our favorite candy bar photos below and — more importantly — expert tips to creating your own!

Q. How much candy should I buy? 

A. Stock at least 1/4-1/2 lbs of candy per guest. “Some [guests] will take less and some will take more so it all evens out says,” says Lisa Blackler, owner of Lisa’s Candy Buffet. Even if you don’t think your friends and family are likely to go overboard on the candy, Madeleine Ernest, founder of Pretty Sweet Candy Buffets recommends stocking the bar anyway. “I’ve had clients say, ‘Well I don’t think the older adults will take it or the men won’t take it,” she says. “They may take it home to the kids or grandkids so plan accordingly.” 

From the album: An Opulent Plaza Hotel Wedding in New York, NY 

Q. How do I keep the candy buffet from looking messy until the reception is over?
A. The easiest way to keep a candy buffet neat and stocked is to hire an attendant. “If the wedding is going to be held in a banquet facility then you can ask them to assign one of the staff to man the table; keeping it neat and refilling the jars as necessary.” says Madeleine. If an attendant isn’t available then consider only offering the candy bar on the way out as guests exit as the favors.

Q. Where do I start when it comes to design? 

A. The most important rule is to keep your candy bar cohesive with a theme or color scheme. “My pet peeve is when people just throw some jars on a table and call it a candy bar,” says Lisa. “It [the candy buffet] has to be visually captivating. I love when guests say it looks so pretty they don’t want to touch it. To me that’s when I know the job was done right.”

From the album: A Timeless Modern Wedding in Kansas City, MO 

Q. What kind of candy should I pick?

A. As long as you have a mix of flavors and treats anything goes. Make sure you take into account any guest allergies, and either leave those candies off the list or make sure they’re clearly marked. Another factor to consider is the season. “If you are having an outdoor wedding in July, you do not want chocolate!” Madeleine cautions. Melting can be an issue in warmer temperatures, so either keep your candy buffet in air conditioning or choose candies that won’t be a soupy mess by the end of the night. The season can also inform the type of candy, for example, cinnamon and pumpkin favorite treats work for fall while tart lemon and citrus candies are perfect for summer. 

From the album: A Vibrant Wedding in St. Louis, MO

Q. How do I decorate the candy buffet without spending too much on decor? 

A. An easy trick from the pros? Flip the escort card table into the candy buffet after your guests are seated. Lisa suggests using the escort card table for the candy bar later on in the evening so that you can reuse any floral arrangements or decor.

From the album: A Fun Relaxed Wedding in Bridgehampton, NY

Love these awesome candy bar looks? Buy pretty candy vessels here!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wedding Flowers: Finding the Right Bridal Bouquet Size

Picking the right bouquet size is all about scale. While the bride's bouquet is usually grander than those of her maids (or at least distinct from her maids' blooms), fitting your wedding flowers with other elements of your wedding day isn't so cut and dry. Here are some simple equations for finding the best bridal bouquet size.

Bouquet + You

Petite Bride: A tiny bride will benefit from a scaled-down bridal bouquet because it will accent her physique. A nosegay (a tightly packed mound of flowers about 16-18 inches in diameter) or a posy (shaped similar to a nosegay, but smaller) would work. You could even try a composite bouquet, which is made up of individual flower petals wired together on a single stem to create the illusion of one large flower (perfect for little hands!).

Find Your Flowers

Search photos by color, bloom, and arrangement type in our ultimate wedding flower guide.
Voluptuous Bride: A larger bridal bouquet allows full-figured brides to project grace. Your best bet is a round bouquet. It's bolder than a nosegay but less conspicuous than a cascade. For a more formal variation on this classic shape, try a Biedermeier bouquet, which features concentric circles of flowers.

Bouquet + Gown

Ball Gown: A gown with such a grand, impressive shape needs a bridal bouquet to match. If your bouquet is too small, it can get lost in a sea of fabric. In many cases, an easy rule of thumb is the bigger the dress, the bigger the bouquet.
Slim Silhouette: Sheaths are all about feeling light and airy, so carry a bouquet that embodies that same spirit. Consider a small nosegay or a posy. If your wedding dress has slender lines, a bouquet that is too big might hide your shape and weigh you down.
Embellished Gown: Bows, crystals, sashes, and other details can also play a role in how big your bridal bouquet should be. If you've got some sparkle at the waistline, carry a tight nosegay rather than a cascading collection of blooms, so that you don't hide the decoration. If your gown features a lot of embellishment, opt for a simpler bouquet -- your bouquet should be considered part of your attire, and your ensemble could look busy if there are too many blooms.

Bouquet + Venue

Ballroom: If you're having your wedding reception in a large, elaborate space, a small bouquet might seem too insignificant. Avoid bitsy bunches of flowers and try an elegant round bouquet. Or, if you really have a flair for the dramatic, go all out with a grand cascading bouquet.
Loft: If city-chic is more your style, think pretty and petite -- a large bouquet might overpower your space. If you have your heart set on a cascade arrangement, ask your florist to keep it simple. Cascade bouquets don't have to be a mass of multiple types of blooms -- they can be an elegant composition of just one flower. We love orchids or lily of the valley for a sophisticated look.
Outdoors: Competing with Mother Nature is a definite no-no. Big or small, you'll want something that works with your surroundings. An intimate backyard gathering calls for a hand-tied bouquet for that just-picked natural look, while a reception near the beach (with the ocean as your backdrop) justifies something grander.
Knot Note: Big doesn't always equal bold. Use other elements of your wedding bouquet (color, shape, wrap) to make a lasting impression on your guests.
-- Heather Levine

Friday, August 15, 2014

6 Bridesmaid Looks Inspired by the Teen Choice Awards

Some of our favorite celebs hit the Teen Choice Awards last night, and we're in love with their on-trend outfit choices! Read on for six looks we think would translate perfectly to bridesmaid attire.
1. Odeya Rush's elegant red gown
Get the look...
2. Ariana Grande's little white dress
Get the look...
3. Selena Gomez's hip jumpsuit
Get the look...
4. Sarah Hyland's sequined slipdress
Get the look...
5. Lucy Hale's red V-neck frock
Get the look...
6. Kylie Jenner's sleek white jumpsuit
Get the look...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Cop to Attend the Wedding of a Girl He Saved 20 Years Ago

Barca Police Officer
Photo: Yonkers Police Department Facebook

Narrowing down your wedding guest list is a tough task. So when bride-to-be Shammarah Hamideh was selecting her final group of invitees, she knew one special man had to make the final cut: Captain Joseph Barca. Next weekend Hamideh will marry fiancé Mohammed Salah, but had it not been for the bravery of Barca two decades ago, the 20-year-old would not be here to walk down the aisle.
In 1993, Barca, who has been a member of the Yonkers Police Department for 44 years, responded to an emergency call where he found an unresponsive two-month-old girl. Quickly realizing the infant had stopped breathing, Barca performed CPR on Hamideh as the traveled to a local hospital. ABC News reports that by the time they arrived at the emergency room, the infant was breathing on her own again.

Ever since that harrowing day, the Hamideh family has remained close to Barca, his wife, Helen, and their three sons. "Her father said years ago that he gave her life the first time and I gave her life the second time," Bara told ABC. "That's the way they've been treating me ever since."

So it's no surprise that when Hamideh got engaged, she instinctively called Barca to share the happy news. "I consider him a second father," Hamideh said. Barca has celebrated birthdays, holidays, and even Hamideh's engagement party (seen above).

The veteran officer even went so far as to arrange his vacation schedule so he would be available to travel from New York to Chicago to see Hamideh marry her soon-to-be-husband. "I'm looking forward more so than just being an invited guests," Bara said. "Even though we haven't seen each other much, we feel that attachment."

It sounds like it will be a happy day for everyone involved!

11 Creative Ways To Photograph Your Wedding Rings

By Jamie Miles for

It's a given that there will be plenty of ring photos in your wedding album -- particularly when you're exchanging rings at the ceremony. But if you want a clean backdrop to showcase your newlywed bands and your dreamy engagement ring, consider playful props like piano keys, flower petals, cupcakes or even golf balls to add some personality to your ring shot. Your photographer can help you stage a creative backdrop tying into your wedding theme, or you can borrow some ideas from these couples for out-of-the-box ways to display your ring.

On Top of Piano Keys

Andres Valenzuela Photography

On a Fresh Peach

Connection Photography

In a Cupcake

Photography by Rebecca

On Top of a Cookie Stack

Jeremy Hess Photographers

On the Daily Newspaper

Our Two Hearts Photography

In a Sentimental Jewelry Dish

KT Merry

On Your Bridal Flowers

Richard Ellis Photography

In Vintage Ring Boxes

Adam Padgett Weddings

On Nautical Rope

Studio Nouveau

On a Monogrammed Golf Ball

Mary + Roy: A Creative Studio

On Mini-Skis

Dan Stewart Photography

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Get the 411 on Traditional Wedding Dress Fabrics

  • Wedding Dress Fabric Terms Defined
    Photo: Getty Images
    Once you start dress shopping, you'll begin to hear a lot of the same fabric terms — satin, tulle, silk, blends, Chantilly, charmeuse... But unless you're a designer or seamstress, you may not know exactly what they mean and, more importantly, why one would make a better choice for your dream dress.
    We consulted several experts to help you decode the language of bridal wear, Terry Hall, fashion director at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York, and a group from David's Bridal: Lori Conley, senior merchant; Eileen Small, bridal director of textile research and development; and Robert Barnowske, V.P. of design. They'll help you distinguish between fiber and finish and give you the lowdown on how they wear.

    Fiber vs. Finish
    At it's most basic, fabric is a cloth that's made by either weaving or knitting fibers. In a woven, the fibers are crossed in a miniscule grid pattern, resulting in a fabric that's smooth, structured, and, often, with little give (unless it's blended with a stretch fiber). The fibers in a knit are looped around one another for a fabric that's stretchy, drapey, and soft. Fibers can be natural — such as silk, cotton, or wool — or synthetic, like polyester.

    It's a common misconception, says Hall, but "satin" is not a fiber. It's a finish. You can have satin that's made of pure silk, all polyester, or a blend. The same is true for lace, tulle, taffeta — almost any fabric. In general, fabrics made from natural fibers breathe better, but they can also be more expensive or wrinkle more easily, thus blends and synthetics. So if you're looking for a ruched satin ball gown for your wedding dress, don't forget to ask for the fiber you want, too, such as silk.


    One of the most common, most versatile, and most durable bridal fabrics, satin has a smooth finish with a lot of body, making it perfect for more structured gowns. It's a supportive fabric that works with every body type and is a good choice for ruched, draped, and ball gown styles. And because it tends to be a thicker fabric, it's also a good choice for cooler weather weddings, particularly duchess satin. Most bridal satins tend to be 100 percent silk.

    Usually silk, but also synthetic, charmeuse is a light, rich fabric with a lovely drape and a glossy sheen. "Charmeuse has a gorgeous liquid effect that's slinky, but it's not so forgiving," says Hall. Most often cut on the bias (diagonally across the grain to encourage it's drape) and used in column dresses, charmeuse is incredibly luxurious, but it does show every flaw.

    Incredibly sheer and lightweight, chiffon is a light woven fabric. Because it's so sheer, it's often used in layers or as an overlay for a more substantial fabric. This delicate fabric has a floaty, weightless look, but it does fray and snag easily.

    Like chiffon, organza is a sheer, lightweight woven, but far stiffer than chiffon. Whereas chiffon drapes, organza is more structured, though still light and ethereal, making it perfect for warmer weather weddings. It, too, is a very delicate fabric, so watch out for snags and pulls.

    You know the light, netlike fabric that ballerina's tutus are made of? That's tulle. Tulle is sheer with on open weave that looks like netting. The fabric can incorporate lace designs, as well. According to Hall, a ball gown style made of tulle will have a diaphanous, airy feeling, but ruching it will give it more structure. Either way, it's an incredibly delicate fabric, easily snagged on jewelry.

    Most often used as an overlay or detail, lace comes in a startling variety of styles, most often named for the city where they were originally produced. Some of the more popular varieties are Chantilly (a very detailed, open lace with a defined border), Alençon (bold motifs on net, trimmed with cord), and Venise (heavier and more textured; often used in winter weddings). As with tulle, the open weave makes it susceptible to snags.

    Our experts are also seeing other fabrics gain popularity in wedding wear, such as mikado (a heavy silk), gazar (crisp and smooth), and radzmir (firm and lustrous). Other hot trends, according to Hall, include creative and artistic tattoo and laser-cut laces, which nod to the traditional while still being fresh and modern.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    The Best Places to Buy Wedding Favor Packaging

    Good things come in pretty packages! Once you've chosen your wedding favor packaging, it's time to buy the boxes, bags, or bottles they will go in, and then decide what label or tag you'll use to personalize the gifts. Read on for our list of the best stores and websites to buy wedding favor packaging for your big day.
    Kraft paper. This cost-effective wrap has become popular for gifts in recent years and can easily be personalized or dressed up.
    Uline (A good choice if you're looking for a large roll.)
    Small boxes. The gift box is classic for a reason! And finding a box that's just the right size can keep your gift from breaking in transit.
    The Container Store (Great for patterned and specialty boxes.)
    Paper treat bags. Available in varying sizes, colors, and patterns, these bags are the perfect place to put candy, cookies, or small gifts.
    Small linen drawstring bags. These simple bags have become the most popular way to gift loose items like coffee beans; their blank surface is perfect for personalizing with a thank you message or your wedding details.
    Twine. Use colorful twine to tie tags to packages or in lieu of a bow.
    Whisker Graphics (Divine Twine is our favorite!)
    Etsy (A great option for smaller quantities.)
    Rubber stamps. You can have a custom stamp made to use as a label, or use a simple shape (like a heart or an arrow) to add a pattern paper and labels.
    Washi tape. Use this colorful printed tape it to seal paper bags and envelopes, or to attach labels.
    Tissue and crepe paper. Add a little fringed flair to your packaging by wrapping handmade tissue paper fringe around your package in lieu of a bow, or top it with a crepe paper flower.
    Nashville Wraps (For every color of tissue paper.)
    Castle In The Air (Great for making paper flowers.)
    Paper Mart (Another great choice for paper flowers.)
    Jars and bottles. We love mini jars and bottles for common wedding favors like honey, jam, and specialty salt; Mason jars are great for homemade gifts (think: hot chocolate mix for a winter wedding favor)
    The Jar Store (They have a huge Mason jar selection!)
    Labels and tags. Print, write, or stamp labels with a punny message or the date of your celebration.
    Zazzle (Our go-to for custom stickers.)
    Crinkle paper. Crinkle paper is an easy alternative to tissue when it comes to filling gift baskets or boxes.
    Postage. If you're putting a gift in the mail, make it pop with customized or pretty postage.
    Confetti. Toss confetti in with your gift or card to add a fun and celebratory vibe.
    Artistry in Motion (Martha Stewart's favorite!)
    Berry baskets. This creative packaging is perfect for holding seasonal jams and biscuits; you can also turn them into vessels for centerpieces that double as party favors.
    Michael's (We love their extra-small wooden berry baskets!)
    Cake slice boxes. Cake-shaped boxes are surging in popularity; personalize them with a custom sticker and set them on your dessert bar so guests can take home extra cake.
    Canvas tote bags. These simple tote bags are our go-to for wedding welcome bags and bridesmaids gifts; have them printed with a clever slogan or a simple design and add your wedding date.
    Get more wedding favor ideas below and be sure to bundle your favorites!

    Wedding Guests Surprise Couple with 'Seasons of Love' Flash Mob

    Some guests grumble about feeling obligated to give couples a wedding gift...while others decide to go all out and give the gift of a flash mob serenade. These amazing wedding guests did the latter.
    As The Huffington Post writes: 

     "'Five hundred twenty five-thousand six hundred minutes' is one of the most iconic lyrics in Broadway history, and for one lucky bride and groom, it will now be a sweet reminder of their wedding day.

    That's right, when Conor and Claire Flynn tied the knot recently their friends decided to surprise them during the reception by belting out 'Rent's' most famous song 'Seasons Of Love.'"

    We love when wedding-goers burst into song, and this song never fails to make us get emotional, so we think it was the perfect choice!

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    6 Ways to Go Bold With Your Wedding Look Like Piper Perabo

    "Covert Affairs" actress Piper Perabo married her beau Stephen Kay over the weekend, and we're loving her fashion-forward wedding day look! The bride said "I do" in a shimmery animal-print gown and a seriously cool gold veil.

    Here are six ways you can take a cue from her bold style for your own wedding attire.
    1. If opt to wear something a little over the top, keep the silhouette understated. Perabo's unique look works for a wedding because her sequined and sheer dress is surprisingly covered up. If you want to show off your curves in a super-slinky gown, long sleeves or a high neckline will make it more grandma-friendly.
    2. Try a completely unique veil. We expect to see an increase in metallic veils after brides get a load of Perabo's look! If you love the glam vibe of a metallic veil, you could have one custom made or browse some of the options on Etsy. For just a touch of shimmer, have gold lace trim added to a traditional veil.
    3. Keep some part of your look simple. Perabo's chic updo and natural-looking makeup is completely classic. Sequins can quickly veer into Vegas showgirl territory, but modest hair and makeup makes a glittering gown work in the real world.
    4. Incorporate animal prints. We consider leopard print a neutral, so we love when brides rock it. If you're not feeling an animal-print wedding dress, try a colorful cheetah clutch or leopard-print heels to add extra personality to your look.
    5. Carry an elegant oversized bouquet. While Perabo's attire is certainly non-traditional, her blooms are completely bridal. The classic florals in neutral tones balance out the trendy aspects of dress and veil.
    6. Strut your stuff! Perabo and her new husband walked to their reception with a classic New Orleans-style brass band behind them. If a second-line parade won't work for you, you and your sweetheart could hit a few popular destinations in your city between the reception and the ceremony for great photo ops.

    Friday, August 8, 2014

    7 Things a Groom Can't Forget to Do the Morning of His Wedding

  • Groom Wedding Day Duties
    Photo: Vue Photography

    Every week, we give our readers a glimpse inside the mindset of a guy's brain on weddings with the help of the hilarious and smart editors at The Plunge.

    And now for something completely different: a post for the guys. Our list of things we figure you ladies want to make sure he doesn't forget to do the morning of the wedding. All you have to do is send him the link or post it on Facebook. But give it a read first, just to let us — and him — know if we missed anything. For now, men, grab a beer and listen.

    1. Kill the hangover.
    It's not just one day of celebrating; it's a weekend event. By all means, enjoy the toasts in your honor the night before at the rehearsal dinner, but if you're going to spend one last all-nighter bro-ing out, you have an obligation to your future wife to show no ill effects the next morning. So rise and shine, pop some Advil, drink plenty of water, down a cup of coffee or two, and brush your teeth.

    2. Eat breakfast.
    You'll quickly be swept into the manic pace and craziness of the wedding day. You're likely to miss out on a lot of the reception food, and without the proper fuel you could pass out before you've made the rounds to Nana's bridge club at Table 12. On the biggest day of your life, breakfast truly is the most important meal.

    3. Shave. Carefully.
    As the groom, all eyes will be on your face as you gaze lovingly at your beautiful bride. Make sure it's perfectly shaven. If you can't trust your own nervously shaking hand, pay someone to do this for you. (Your barber, we mean. Not just, like, someone.)

    4. Wear clean underwear.
    And socks. And undershirt. All clean everything, for what should be obvious reasons (nerves = sweat, sweat = a bad look ... and smell). Better yet, get yourself some new designer jockeys. Your wife is doing her best to look sexy on the wedding night; you should return the favor. Bonus, you now have a new lucky pair for every big meeting, job interview, and playoff game. Congratulations, we've survived by far the least manly portion of this post.

    5. Corral the crew.
    Make sure your boys also remember to do all of the above (well, maybe keep the underwear bit to yourself) and that they know the day's schedule. You and your bride didn't spend months carefully planning to have Alan and the Wolfpack screw it up now.

    6. Send your bride a gift.
    Or a letter. Or both. Send both. She's your best friend and soon to be life partner. After all the planning, stress, and probably a few tears, this morning is your first and best opportunity to remind her that's what matters most.

    7. Know where the rings are.
    Check on this situation and then check it again. Your groomsmen have the easiest job of anyone at the wedding, but one of them is likely in charge of the only task with any real significance. Make sure your ring bearer comes bearing rings.

    So we're feeling good, looking good, letting our bride know we care, keeping our boys in check, and have secured the precious cargo. Seems like we've covered it all, but like we said before, let us know if anything's missing from this list. We're men — we forget things.

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Why Wedding Planning Is Really Just Marriage Practice

    Think planning your wedding is just about one day? Think again! The way you handle planning your big day can be a major precursor to what your married life will be like. It's similar to a startup company — the first thing you put together are the Standard Operating Procedures. Those procedures become "how we get things done around here." Here are the SOPs you will unconsciously develop while engaged, and put into effect for years to come as husband and wife.

    Decisions don't get made until they are unanimous.
    Talk decisions out until you find a point of agreement or determine something really matters to one of you and not as much to the other. So at your wedding, perhaps your fiancé is set on hiring a DJ you're not thrilled about, but you let him have his way since he's the music lover. Compromise doesn't magically disappear after you say "I do" — in fact you'll have to do it more often.

    You'll always be a united front.
    We all know that everyone has an opinion on what to do and how best to do it when you are planning a wedding. Of course your friends and family are trying to help while chiming in about who should make the guest list, but ultimately, it only matters what you and your soon-to-be-husband want. The same goes for once your Mr. and Mrs.: Whether it's an invitation to a party or pressure from your mom to have kids, you'll have to talk it over privately, and then share the decision with your loved ones.

    Decide what matters most then make all decisions based on that.
    Most couples decide early on that they want their wedding to be a reflection of themselves and to have their personalities woven in to all the aspects of the event. Once you're settled into married life this becomes more important. You'll have to value the time you spend together and give each other space to pursue your own passions. Maybe you love writing, while your husband is a movie nerd — make decisions on how you spend evenings and weekends based on the things you love the most.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    Three Things You Can Let Your Bridesmaids Choose Themselves

    When you're planning your wedding, you have enough things to worry about...what your bridesmaids are wearing doesn't need to be one of them. Rather than stressing about finding a look that you love and that makes all your girls happy (or trying to manage their feelings when they aren't happy with your choices), you can just delegate some of the decision-making to them. Here are three things you may want to consider letting bridesmaids choose themselves to make life a little easier for everyone.

    1. Their dresses. Letting your bridesmaids choose their own dresses means you won't have to find a dress that suits everyone's budget, body, and style. It also increases the chances that they'll find something they will be able to (and want to) wear again. But if you go this route, keep in mind that being vague about your expectations can actually be more stressful for them, so be sure to set some guidelines. For example, you could choose the color and the fabric, the brand and the color, or the style and the color family. This will make shopping easier for your bridesmaids and help create a cohesive look for your wedding.

    2. Their hairstyles. Everyone's hair is different and an updo that looks amazing on one friend can leave another friend looking less than her best in pictures. If you let them choose their own styles, you won't have to worry that your friend with the curly hair or the short hair is stressed about making a style work. Even though all eyes will be on you, your friends still want to feel their best on your big day, and letting them choose their hairstyles can go a long way in making sure they do.

    3. Their shoes. You may look at a pair of shoes and think "Oh, perfect!" while your bridesmaids are thinking "Oy, blisters!" To ensure that your friends walk -- not stumble -- down the aisle, let them choose their own shoes. Like choosing a dress, this allows them to find something that fits in their budget and that they actually like. (And with shoes, it's likely they already have something that will work, which is always a bonus.) You can give them guidelines (like neutral heels, any colorful shoes, black peep-toes) and then let them take it from there.

    The mismatched bridal party look is becoming more and more popular; we think it's wise to take advantage of this trend and save yourself some stress. And know that whether you let your bridesmaids choose one detail or everything about their look, it's totally reasonable to ask them to show you what they are planning to wear before the big day.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Spending The Night Before The Wedding Together? Discuss!

    The night before your wedding is different because it’s the night before your wedding. The big decision lots of couples are asking themselves is whether to spend it together or stick to tradition and sleep apart.

    It really is entirely up to you. There isn’t a rule that says you have to but here’s what’s most important: that you relax. You’ll want to rest up so you’re totally prepared for your wedding. You’re going to need all your energy for the wedding day (all that smiling and vow exchanging it honestly exhausting!). That means limiting the wine at the rehearsal dinner and going to bed at reasonable hour.

    Want a few ideas? Discuss whether you’re staying together the night before the wedding right here and see a few of our favorite suggestions below!

    “We will probably be in out hotel room. We might go out to dinner and then come back and watch tv and go to sleep.” – Jennycolada

    My MoH (best friend since childhood) and I will be sleeping at the hotel together the night before. She and I are workout buddies and she is my hairdresser as well so we’ll be waking up together, working out, and getting my hair done the following morning. I imagine she and I will probably just put on a movie and go to bed early.” – CamiSelene

    We did what we normally do: snuggled up together in bed, got up the next morning, and had breakfast.” – Schatzi13

    We’re going to watch fireworks after the rehearsal dinner, possibly go bar hop a bit (yay for a late afternoon wedding), then head back to our separate hotel rooms so I can actually sleep without his horrific snoring for one night.” – Cookie Pusher

    I would really like to have a slumber party with my mom, his mom, my stepmother, my sisters, and my best friends. :) Not a real slumber party, per se. But you know, pajamas, girl-talk, maybe a few drinks and boardgames or a movie. We should be at the hotel we’re getting married at the night before. So it just sounds like fun to spend some time with the girls!” -Danger+Zone

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    10 Things Every Bride Is Thinking at the Altar

    Any number of things could be going through a bride's head on her wedding day, from "This chuppah looks crazy amazing!" to "Why am I doing this?" but there are a few at-the-altar thoughts that we think are pretty universal.

    1. "Don't cry, your makeup is going to run."

    2. "Never mind, this is amazing! Let the tears flow!"

    3. "This dress is insanely [hot/itchy/tight/uncomfortable]."

    4. "But damn, I look good."

    5. "Wait, does he/she think I look good? I hope so!"

    6. "I sure hope the ring fits."

    7. "I'm marrying the hottest person alive."

    8. "I'm so in love!"

    9. "Why is my [sister/aunt/friend from college] wearing that dress?"

    10. "Actually I don't care. I love everyone in this room!"

    What were you thinking at the altar? Share your thoughts in the comments!

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    5 Things You Never Knew You Needed on Your Wedding Day

    Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007. Here, the veteran planner is sharing some expert advice for free: She's telling us the five things brides need on their wedding day. 

    There are several important details that my clients never seem to think of on their own, and that's okay because they have me as a wedding planner to remind them. But when you're planning your own big day, you should make sure that you keep the following things in mind to ensure your wedding runs smoothly.

    1. Lunch for the Bridal Party
    Too many brides forget to make special arrangements to feed themselves and the bridal party on the wedding day. It's important to pre-arrange more than just nibbles for your entire crew — especially if you aren't primping in your own home. I vividly remember how resentful bridesmaids became at a wedding because the bride ordered only a platter of fruit and cheese for her six 'maids — but she requested a sandwich for herself!

    2. Beauty Appointments for Everyone
    While the bride is not required to pick up the tab for hair and makeup for your girlfriends, you should give them the opportunity to have their hair and makeup done. This is especially crucial if you're hosting a destination wedding. Certainly make it "optional," but it's the bride's obligation to make sure their girls are aware of options.

    3. A Break with Your New Husband
    After an emotional ceremony followed by a slew of professional photos, having a short planned break with your groom before you make your grand entrance is an absolute necessity. It gives you both a chance to refresh your look and spend a minute alone together saying "OMG, did we really just get married?"

    4. A Game Plan for Wedding Toasts
    Have you ever sat through what seemed like an endless line of guests with well wishes for the bride and groom at a wedding, thinking it would never end? Guests often misinterpret a "toast" to be a "speech" and they talk forever. The best way to make sure you don't lose valuable dance and party time is to pre-plan the toasts with your wedding planner or MC. That will ensure the microphone is somewhat controlled and not just anybody can get up and babble. Also it's an important tool for avoiding "roasts" by inebriated guests who should know better.

    5. Alone time
    Too many brides plan to have a pack of friends with them from the moment they first open their eyes til they say "I do." While it's a great day to celebrate with the people whom you love the most, it can be emotionally overwhelming. Make sure you have someplace to escape — even just for a moment.

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    10 Signs That You Are, In Fact, Already Married

    As anyone who's married knows, there's a big difference between talking about forever and actually saying "I do."

    So what kind of changes can you expect once you walk down the aisle? Thanks to a recent Reddit thread that asked users to complete the sentence, "You know you're married when..." we now have some insight.

    See below for 10 signs you've already tied the knot, courtesy of Reddit and our readers.

    1. "Your weekends are red wine and Netflix... and you LOVE it."

    2. "Your texts go from 'I love you so much, I just want to spend all my time cuddling you 4EVA xoxoxo' to 'will you get milk? ... yeah."

    3. "Things that were awkward before, slowly become normal. Like farting."


    4. "You call customer support and then they ask for the name, you stop one syllable into your maiden name and correct yourself."

    5. "You have the comfort to lean on someone and they have the comfort to do the same thing. You know you're married when you feel safe!"

    6. "When showering together simply becomes a way to save time in the morning."

    7. "You prepare stock answers to 'when will you have babies?' Instead of 'How's the wedding planning coming along?'"

    uncomfortable couple

    8. "When you spend your nights talking about index funds and where to bank."

    9. "You see dating drama and you think phew thank God that phase of my life is done forever!"

    And the ultimate sign you are married is...
    10. "You poo with the door open."


    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    10 Problems Only Wedding Guests Can Understand

    It's wedding season and that can only mean one thing: It's time for guests to dress up, boogie down, and face a, um, unique set of challenges.

    1. "So, when are you getting married *wink wink nudge nudge*?" All. Night. Long.

    2. Cash bar.

    3. Unexpected outdoor wedding + high heels.

    4. Knowing your friend could have done better.

    5. For the last time, Uncle Larry, I don't want to dance.

    6. Summer wedding sans shade.

    7. Knowing the marrying couple thinks your gift should cost as much as the dinner they're serving.

    8. Not knowing your ex was invited.

    9. Speeches full of inside jokes.

    10. Squeezing into a [dress/suit/pair of heels/dress shoes] and regretting it 20 minutes in.

    Good luck out there, kids!

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    The 6 Types of Weddings Everyone Attends at Some Point

    In a lifetime, chances are, you will go to weddings. A whole lot of them. They will take place near and far, across the country and maybe across the world, and sometimes right in your own backyard. Though each wedding is the same in some ways -- each one at heart a celebration of a couple getting married -- they will all be different, not only because of what they are, but also for who you are at each event. Here are six that you’re likely to encounter, and how you might approach them.

    1. The Hometown Return. If you're like me, you left the town you grew up in after graduating high school, and maybe your parents moved, too, which means you really haven't been back in quite a while. Then your dear friend announces she's engaged, and the wedding will be back home. There, you'll awkwardly refer to her mom and dad by their first names, and you'll reminisce fondly about that high school boyfriend who isn't there at all, having recently eloped to Hawaii. Good for him, you will think, toasting everyone yet again. And you'll mean it.

    2. The First One to Which You Bring a Love Interest. Taking a date to a wedding, whether you're just starting out in a relationship or have been together for years, carries its own emotional weight. We tend to look at the marrying couple, all that joy and love surrounding them, and measure ourselves and our relationship against theirs. "Will we be next?" you may think. Stop thinking that! You're simply bringing a date to a wedding; no measurements are truly needed, other than those that occur organically. Trust that they will.

    3. The "Destination." Here's a question for our wedding-going times: What truly constitutes a "destination"? Never mind -- you're headed to a gorgeous, possibly sandy but maybe grassy or even mountainous, effortlessly sunny (fingers crossed the weather holds!) spot a decent number of miles from your home -- maybe you need a passport, maybe you don't! Once there, you and the other guests will bond while drinking from coconuts full of rum or cool, tall glasses of frozen goodness and dance freely among the wild palms of a meticulously managed resort. You can balance your checkbook when you get back home. For now, have fun.

    4. The One to Which You Are the Date. The day will come in which your boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe that person you've promised to marry if you both turn 30 and still haven't found "the one" (hint: don't marry this person!) looks at you, possibly with a stunned expression, and says, "I just got invited to a wedding." You will look back comfortingly and say, "OK, we got this." Note, however, that it will be different this time, being the one who is connected via another and therefore a little bit separate. This is a good thing. It's your chance to support your date in the ways that date has previously supported you, and you will learn a few things about the both of you.

    5. The Wedding You Regret. Chances are, you're not regretting this wedding because it happened. You're regretting your behavior there...whether you drank too much, flirted with the wrong person, fell into a cake, arrived late, brought a date who wore the wrong thing, or said you couldn't go and then later wished you had. On the plus side, sometimes the mistakes you make, and the apologies and heartfelt conversations that follow, bring you closer than ever -- and frequently, they make for the best stories.

    6. The One to Which You Go (Happily) Alone. Going to a wedding by yourself can feel a bit like going to the airport alone, in the best way possible. You're about to set off on an adventure, and you can do it your way: Speed through crowds and security at your own pace, while away the hours at your leisure. At this wedding, you can weave from crowd to crowd seamlessly, at your own volition and discretion; if there are attractive strangers, you can flirt. If you feel like leaving, you can leave. You report to no one! So, if you're single, why bring along a date you don't really know all that well, or even like, if you can go with your own wonderful self? I have no idea.

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    10 Signs You've Fallen In Love With Your S.O.

    What they say about love is true -- when you know, you know.

    But pinpointing the very moment that your feelings went from serious attraction to full-blown love? No easy task. On Wednesday, 10 romantic Redditors accepted the challenge. Below they explain how they knew, without a doubt, that they were head-over-heels in love.

    1. You go out of your way to make each other happy.
    "We used to be long distance. One night I was crying on the phone to him because I missed him so much. At 4 a.m. that morning I got a call saying he was outside. He drove all night to give me a cuddle because I was sad."

    2. You might differ personality-wise but you have some random (and awesome) things in common.
    "Toward the end of our first date, her friends call her. Her phone rings and her ringtone is 'Dayman' from 'Always Sunny'. She gets off the phone looks at me and asks what's wrong because I have a dumbfounded look on my face. I told her to call my phone right now. She does. 'Dayman' is my ringtone. We knew."

    3. Doing mundane things together is not only tolerable, it's enjoyable.
    "We can spend hours upon hours talking about nothing and never get bored with each other."

    4. You're totally at ease around each other and can be yourself.
    "A couple of months into our relationship I was in the shower and she knocks on the door. 'I need to weeee!' she says. 'Just come in! The door's open!' I reply. She came in, had her wee, washed her hands and then opened the shower door, said 'Nice ass', slapped me on the butt and left. Right then, I knew I was with somebody really special. That was three years ago and we're now happily married."

    5. You start referring to yourselves as a "we" without skipping a beat.
    "Whenever he would speak about the future, he always included me in it. It was never a 'I', it was a 'we'. It was our future."

    6. You're there for each other during the really tough sh*t.
    "Until recently I was a total junkie f*ck-up with potential. I spent my 20s using hydromorphone and fentanyl and heroin -- amongst other things and was an idiot. But a functional idiot. And she stood by me and I'm clean now. She almost didn't. I got one chance and I took it."

    7. Laughter is a constant.
    "We laughed at almost anything together -- the night we decided we were right together was spent in a tent giggling until 5 a.m. sharing the same sleeping bag. Eleven months on and we're still as happy as when we first got together."

    8. You have physical chemistry that goes beyond sex.
    "On our first date, she stayed over. We didn't do the nookie times, but I did feel something click as she snuggled in and fell asleep with her head on my chest."

    9. You melt a little when you see your S.O.'s parental instincts shining through.
    "A few months into dating we were at a party and a friend was there with his daughter. The way my S.O. was interacting with her and playing around with her made me realize that I want her to be the mother of my children."

    10. You're different in all the right ways.
    "He balances me out. I run on instinct and he thinks things through. I take him to things he would never go to otherwise and he shows me how to relax. We have so much fun together and he makes me laugh every day. I started falling for him when I realized he was leaving his comfort zone for me, he was doing things he wouldn't choose to do [on his own] for me. I would do anything for that man."