Friday, April 18, 2014

The Last Boston Marathon Survivor To Leave The Hospital Gets Married

Marc Fucarile and Jen Regan were in the midst of planning their wedding when two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013.

Fucarile was gravely injured in the attacks, breaking his spine and losing his right leg. He was the last of the survivors to leave the hospital after a 100-day stay.

On April 17, 2014 -- just a little over a year later -- the couple was able to tie the knot at Fenway Park, thanks to a lot of strength, perseverance and help from Boston-area event planning company Gracie Lou Events, who donated the dream wedding through their Love Runs Through Boston contest.

The color theme for Thursday's celebration was blue and yellow, to match the "Boston Strong" logo. The band Dropkick Murphys even stopped by to do a surprise performance.

“We’re super proud of [Marc] and Jen,” Julie Callahan, the groom's cousin, told CBS Boston. “They’ve had a very trying year and we’re very proud of them and so happy to celebrating here today.”

Check out photos from the beautiful celebration below.

Credit on all photos: Nicole Chan Photography

Here's Some Tough Love All Brides Need To Hear


Written by Maressa Brown on CafeMom's blog, The Stir

Just like any major milestone in life, your wedding day is something you just have to experience to comprehend. Still, well before walking down the aisle, many brides-to-be feel like they actually do have a grip on major aspects of their Big Day and, as a result, end up blowing off solid advice. Hey, it happens to the best of us... (Guilty of it myself!)

But there are certain words of wisdom that are just too important to brush aside. Here, 10 tips brides often struggle to believe or even refuse to hear, but really do need to know:

1. Never cut corners on photography. When that over-in-a-flash day is over, the images captured are really the only "souvenir" you can continue to enjoy from the experience.

2. Similarly, don't skimp on or completely forgo videography. There are tons of new services (like the ones that let your friends shoot scenes from the day with their iPhone cameras) that promise video on the cheap(er), but if you actually want to be able to hear your vows, listen to the toasts given at your wedding, etc., you need to hire a professional.

3. A fake tan before the wedding is always a no-no. "You will look orange in your photos," warns wedding and event planner Jessica Masi of JCG Events in Miami, Florida. "And it doesn't matter how natural you think it will come out. It's not a pretty look -- definitely not timeless!"

4. Planners are well worth the expense. Some brides are lucky enough to have a Martha Stewart bridesmaid or mother who is more than happy to assist with all of the little details, but even then, that person has other responsibilities and duties on the wedding day. Best to have at least a day-of coordinator to be that person who steps in and puts out fires before they've even begun.

5. RSVPs always get messed up somehow, even if you sent your invitations out well in advance. There are always going to be stragglers or even people who say "yes" and then don't show up. That's why wedding experts recommend giving a final head count of a few less people than you believe you'll have in attendance. It's always easier to add, but you may get stuck having to pay for someone you subtract at the last moment.

6. The day really does fly by. Everyone told me this again and again, and somehow, I thought my experience would be different -- but of course it wasn't. It's a case for creating a schedule that actually builds in time for you to savor the day with your groom and loved ones. Also, see #1!

7. Your bridesmaids won't love the dress you choose. And nine times out of 10, they're not going to re-wear it, even if you picked it with that aspect in mind. But it's okay -- you do your best, and those who want to be there for you will simply do their duty and wear it anyway.

8. Wedding night sex is rarely all it's cracked up to be. (For evidence, just see what these brides had to say about it!) So don't put so much pressure on yourself! You're signing up for a whole lifetime of sexytimes anyway.

9. Cash bars are a nightmare. Unless your crowd is happy to be dry, or you're not getting married at night, the least a couple can do is a free cocktail hour with beer and wine and let people know to bring cash for the rest of the reception. This is a party after all, which leads us to...

10. The wedding isn't actually for you; it's for your friends and family. Otherwise, you would've just eloped, right? As one recent bride put it, "Instead of making it about 'your day' and everyone catering to you, make it about the people who love you and support you and throw them the party."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Truth About Wedding Night Sex

Written by Maressa Brown on CafeMom's blog, The Stir

No matter what religion you were raised with (or without!), society tells us that the consummation of marriage right after a couple's Big Day will set off fireworks bigger than any Macy's Fourth of July Spectacular. Reality check: At least 25 percent of couples don't even have sex on their wedding night because they were too drunk or tired, according to a recent survey of 1,000 newlyweds by wedding stationary company Paper Shaker.

Judging from our own findings on the matter, that percentage may very well be a lot higher! And even those couples who did do the deed aren't ballyhooing it as their best time between the sheets by far! Thus, in an effort to not necessarily burst anyone's bubble about their wedding night but bust unrealistic myths about it, here are 15 sex confessions we got from brides about what their wedding nights were really like.

1. "My ex-husband sprained his ankle badly while drunkenly dancing with one of our bridesmaids to 'Cotton-Eyed Joe.' His parents came up to our hotel room later that night to check on him, because he was so swollen. Needless to say, the only moaning coming from our room was him ... moaning in pain!"

2. "My husband passed out from drinking on the bus ride to the hotel from the reception. I spent the night making sure he was okay and finally eating something after not eating all day."

3. "I guess that's the one advantage of having a dry, Mormon wedding -- we weren't too drunk to have sex!"

4. "We had sex, but I barely remember it, because I was hammered! Keepin' it classy."

5. "We got married in Vegas, so we had a great time at a club in our hotel. But after a whole night of dancing and toasting, we went back to our suite and passed out."

6. "We got into an argument, because a group of his friends got drunk since we had open bar and was being disruptive and rude and he thought I had asked them to leave our wedding. I didn't, [but] we spent our wedding night in separate rooms."

7. "My husband got drunk on champagne and the sex sucked, and he passed out right afterwards. I spent the night watching TV. We are divorced now."

8. "The first thing we did was climb on the bed (tux and gown still on) and opened all of our cards to count our cash. Then, ordered pizza. Even though we had a buffet at the reception, we were still starving. We ate pizza in bed while watching TV. We did NOT consummate our marriage that night. We were way too tired!"

9. "I was six weeks pregnant and sick as a dog, so we got through the courthouse wedding, suffered through my mother taking us out to dinner, went home and went right to bed!"

10. "I put on some lingerie in an attempt to look nice. My husband was more excited about opening the envelopes and counting the money from the checks. He said, 'Don't feel obligated to have sex.' We were too tired anyhow and went to sleep."

11. "We had a morning ceremony and breakfast reception, so we went home afterwards, I had a nap, then I had to work the night shift. How about that for romantic? Hah."

12. "We almost burned the B&B down! I threw his shirt over the top of a lamp, then later, we went out for dinner. When we came back, the shirt was scorched, and the room smelled like burnt cotton."

13. "I was exhausted and one of my bridesmaids came in our suite to make a sandwich. Her husband then wants a sandwich, and I finally get the dress off and am almost asleep when the groom wanted to celebrate our marriage. I'm pretty sure I slept through it."

14. "We spent our wedding night in the emergency room. Whoever set up the cake table didn't lock it in place properly, and it crashed on my foot."

15. "We got crazy drunk, but still managed to have a lot of fun getting it on. The next day we went [out] and came back to our room to find the cleaning service had been in the room to freshen things up for us and [put] all of our 'toys' in a pile by the bed and covered with a cloth. I about died of embarrassment thinking of the staff donning rubber gloves and pincer-grasping each item and placing them carefully in a pile!"

5 Great Classic Nail Polish Shades to Rock on Your Wedding Day

Photo: Patric Shaw

As much as we love summery, colorful nail polishes, we've become connoisseurs of the classic colors, since we know you're most likely going to stick to those for your wedding day. Our editors tested all of the light pinks, nudes, metallics, and reds under the sun — and trust us, there are a lot — to bring you the polish shades worthy of wearing on the big day.

Light pink: Essie Eternal Optimist, $8.50, Essie
This not only gets the approval of our editors, but it was the color of choice at Jenny Packham's 2015 bridal runway show, too. The trick to achieving the perfect application? Backstage, manicurist Julie Kandalec applied Essie First Base base coat, followed by one thick coat and one really light coat of Eternal Optimist, and finished with Good to Go top coat. (When you're using light shades, she says, the key to a seamless finish is waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next one.) When our editor tried this application process, she enjoyed near-professional results. "It's a very sophisticated rose pink," she says. "I'd say it's the chameleon of nail polishes — it would work for any type of bride in any setting."

Metallic: Tom Ford Incandescent, $32, Neiman Marcus
Finding a metallic that doesn't chip, isn't too sparkly (read: cheesy), and is highly pigmented is quite a feat, our tester realized. Enter Tom Ford's Incandescent. "It goes on so smoothly — like liquid rose gold," she enthuses. "The sparkles are really fine and contain both silver and gold flecks, which makes it flattering to all skin tones. It also dries quickly, even without a top coat, and stayed put for a week!"

Nude: Estée Lauder Pure Color Nudité, $21, Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder's Nudité is the best kind of nude — it goes on thick and opaque with a glossy finish — perfect for a bride who wants to wear a shade that's not too bold. "The wide brush makes for easy application," our editor says. "And the flesh-colored shade made my fingers look longer and leaner!"

Clear: Dior Nail Glow, $25, Sephora
For all of you brides who have to continually convince your manicurist to only buff — not paint! — your nails, Dior's Nail Glow may be the answer to your prayers. It's a clear, sheer pink "nail enhancer," as they call it, which merely creates a glossy finish. Just think of it as Chapstick for your nails. "It made my nails look like they were polished and healthy — you couldn't tell that I was wearing anything," our editor says. "Best of all? You don't have to worry about it chipping!"

Deep Red:OPI Kennebunk-port, $8, Drugstore
A dark, wine red is perfect for a glamorous, black tie wedding, and OPI's Kennebunk-port is exactly what we had in mind. "Some deep reds can look brown when you put them on, but this looks exactly on your nails like it does in the bottle," our editor says. "Two coats of it is insanely sophisticated. I'd have my bridesmaids wear it, too."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Of The Most Aww-Worthy Celebrity Proposals

By Kellee Khalil for

Around here, we love a big, blowout proposal (we're looking at you, Nick Cannon), but we're always delighted when celebrities pop the question in more creative and unexpected ways. We've rounded up five of the most aww-worthy celeb proposal stories. Enjoy our favorites below, and get some engagement ring inspiration while you're at it!

1. Dwyane Wade to Gabrielle Union
Dwyane Wade's proposal to Gabrielle Union was nothing if not a tearjerker. The couple was enjoying a low-key afternoon together with Wade's three children, eating brunch and touring their under-construction home in Miami earlier this year, when Wade's boys surprised Union by holding up signs that read, "Will you marry us?" Then, Union turned to see Wade down on one knee holding out a massive sparkler. A teary-eyed Union, of course, said "yes."
The ring: Union's cushion-cut beauty is 8.5 carats and worth nearly a million dollars. You can get a similar look (without the price tag) by choosing the same classic cut and plain band.
Custom Cushion & Half Moon 3 Stone RingCustom Cushion & Half Moon 3 Stone Ring From Josh Levkoff via

2. Pink to Carey Hart
Singer Pink proposed to her now-husband, motocross champ Carey Hart, in 2005. While Hart competed in a Mammoth, Calif. race, Pink held up a pit sign that read, "Will you marry me?" but Hart continued around the track without stopping. On his next lap, however, Pink's sign read, "I'm serious!" Hart then pulled over and scooped us his beloved before saying a heartfelt "yes."
The ring: Carey Hart gave Pink a beautiful 5-carat diamond after getting engaged in California. For a similar style, look for a round-cut ring with a diamond-encrusted band.
Santa Monica engagement | Lovisa PhotoPhoto by: Lovisa Photo on Glamour & Grace via

3. David Burtka to Neil Patrick Harris
David Burtka's 2007 proposal to Neil Patrick Harris was simple and sweet: On their way home from a casino, Burtka asked the couple's driver to pull over. He hopped out and got down on one knee, proposing to Harris on the street corner where the couple first met.
The ring: Both Burtka and Harris wear plain bands on their right hands -- a great idea for men who want to wear engagement rings, or anyone who prefers a simpler look. For a similar style, choose a white-gold or platinum band.
Photo by: Raquel Lauren on Tracy Matthews Jewelry via

4. Brady Smith to Tiffani Thiessen
When Brady Smith asked former "Saved by the Bell" star Tiffani Thiessen to be his wife, he made sure to make it memorable. The actor and artist crafted a handmade book about the couple's relationship and presented it to her along with a proposal. Can you say "awww!" The pair married in 2005.
The ring(s): Thiessen wears a set of three gorgeous diamond stacking bands -- so on-trend! Many jewelers offer similar looks, so find one in your price range if this style is for you.
Pearlized Bead and Stone Ring SetPearlized Bead and Stone Ring Set From Ann Taylor via

5. Linda Perry to Sara Gilbert
Musician Linda Perry really went all out when she proposed to "The Talk" host Sara Gilbert! The couple was enjoying a picnic in a Los Angeles park last year when a nearby guitarist began playing one of Gilbert's favorite songs. Suddenly, other picknickers pulled out instruments and Perry sang The Cure's "Love Song" while changing into a series of t-shirts, each with one word in the sentence, "Will you marry me?" On top of all that, Perry had secretly invited several of the couple's close friends and both of their mothers to be there after the proposal!
The ring: Sara Gilbert's beautiful diamond is nestled in a stylish yellow-gold band. Choose a ring in this on-trend color for a similar look.
Photo by: Raquel Lauren on Tracy Matthews Jewelry via

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

6 Things I Learned In 6 Months Of Marriage

By Stefania Sainato for Bridal Guide

My husband Jason and I recently passed the half-year mark and we came full circle by celebrating at the same restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner. While digging into a plate of crab cakes and The Perfect Storm cocktails, we reminisced about all of the milestones we've had since saying "I do." The ink is barely dry on our marriage certificate and we still have a lifetime of memories to make.
However, even in this short amount of time, it's incredible to witness how much our lives have changed. Here's what we've learned so far.

Photo Credit: Josh Lynn Photography

1. Discuss expectations for being an awesome spouse.
During our first week back to the real world, I silently wondered what Jason expected from me now that I was his wife rather than his fiancée. Despite nine happy years of dating under our belt, a small and irrational part of me worried that I'd fail to balance everything: household chores, my career, our love life, friends and family, etc. I'd witnessed with other couples how resentment could build up over time because of a lack of give-and-take. Jason reassured me that he didn't fall in love with me because of how well I could iron his dress shirts or cook interesting meals.

We learned to balance each other out. For example, he knows I could pass for a Walking Dead zombie in the mornings, so he's happy to handle breakfast duty and drive me to the train. I'm more of a night person, so I usually make dinner and do a quick sweep of our apartment. Yes, creating a sense of home was important -- it took a few months for us to settle into a routine -- but all it did was add another dimension to our relationship. The qualities that made us want to get married became even more attractive after the fact.

2. Be each other's biggest fan.
Anyone who's in a committed relationship has had his or her partner lean on them at one time or another. This isn't exclusive to marriage. However, the stakes just get so much higher. Saying "I do" really means "I will be there for you no matter what" and the time will come sooner or later when you will have to prove it.

Case in point: When we returned from our honeymoon in Hawaii, we found out that the new job Jason was supposed to start had been misrepresented to him. They gave him fewer hours than they had promised but there was a chance he might reach full-time status again at an indeterminate point in time. He asked for my opinion about what he should do. I confirmed what he already knew: He'd have to find someplace else to work or else risk being jerked around.

3. The little things mean more than you ever thought they would.
When people ask, "what's married life like?" the truth is that there is no simple answer. Marriage encompasses a hundred little gestures or moments that occur within a given week.
For example, Jason covered me from head to toe with a sheet one night while I was sleeping. When I woke up, he explained that a mosquito had gotten into our room and he didn't want me to get bit. He couldn't sleep so he made me pancakes. This made me just as touched as when he bought me diamond studs and a necklace for our first married Christmas!

Being married means waiting to have dinner until he gets home at 8:30 p.m. on late work nights. Being married means having him kiss me on the forehead every single night before we turn in. Being married means losing my sh*t when he says he'll hang our key holder and it sits on the desk untouched for two weeks. Being married means hearing him scream when I raise the thermostat to an ungodly high temperature for the umpteenth time. Being married means open communication when we transfer money from our joint savings to our personal accounts. What are the little things that define your marriage?

4. Your relationship with relatives and friends may change.
Now that we're our own little family of two, this has shifted our family dynamics (which we fully expected). When we were engaged and one of us couldn't make it to dinner or family event, no one batted an eyelash. Now there's more pressure for both of us to see all of our relatives as much as humanly possible. At times, we've felt guilty for not staying as long as they may have liked or for griping about how tired we were and just wanted to veg out at home. My family always has lots of parties and casual get-togethers, so we found it was easier to see my relatives but just as important to make Jason's side feel close to us, too.

We also experienced some growing pains when it came to our friendships. It was difficult for me to accept that my once-weekly girl's nights were dwindling down to once a month, if that. Jason wasn't invited when pals went out for an impromptu drink or to go see a movie because they assumed (rightfully so, to a certain degree) that he was too busy settling into married life. Now that we are each other's number-one priority, everyone was afraid to intrude on our marital bliss. But as lovely as that post-wedding afterglow is, living in a cocoon gets old after a while. Slowly but surely, we began to balance our time better and bond with friends again. We just had to adjust our expectations (back to that word again!).

5. Learn how to fight more fairly.
Like many other couples, our first married blowout began over something idiotic. I think I bought a product at Costco that he thought we'd never use up. In that argument, we broke every rule they taught us at Pre-Cana: no yelling, no profanity, no sulking. But Costco wasn't the true root of the issue -- it was communication about finances. I was naive to think that we'd had more than enough practice with wedding spending. If we wanted to save up enough for a house someday, we were going to have to buckle up!

Since then, we both make a concerted effort to try to understand where the other person is coming from without jumping to quick conclusions. We're a team for better and for worse, so the goal isn't for one of us to "win." If we get super heated over something, we've learned to walk away and then discuss it later when we feel calm again. When you're married, it's less tempting to throw in those can't-take-it-back jabs (i.e. "maybe we're just not meant to be together"). We're far from perfect -- I still have the terrible habit of needing to get the last word in -- but knowing we're in this forever has changed our outlook for the better.

6. Remember that your wedding day is just the first of many dreams.
While I was engaged, there were always momentous occasions to look forward to: scouting our dream venue, going dress shopping with my mom, attending my surprise bridal shower, jetting off to Miami with my girlfriends for a pre-wedding getaway and finally getting married. I'd heard about the post-wedding blues and I figured that wouldn't happen to me since I had soaked in every wedding experience.

Boy, was I wrong. In my opinion, "post-wedding blues" is a misleading term. It implies that wives get sad because they can't wear their wedding dress again or celebrate their relationship with loved ones, but the reality is much more complicated. After devoting hours each week to either brainstorming for our wedding or actively working on it, I was SO relieved to have more free time after getting married.

However, as the weeks ticked by, I slipped into this emotional funk. I couldn't seem to snap out of it...until Jason and I began talking about all of the other goals we have. We're not rushing into The Next Big Thing, but knowing that we're going to be home owners, parents, and maybe even CEOs of our own companies someday gives us amazing things to look forward to. In the meantime, we're focusing on fun, short-term goals like saving up for a trip to Tahiti and getting in great physical shape.

10 Flower Girls Doing What They Do Best

By Kellee Khalil for

While not everyone loves the idea of kids at weddings, there's no denying that flower girls -- strutting down the aisle in their most darling frocks -- add a hearty dose of sweetness. Here are photos of flower girls doing what they do best: being adorable.

Monday, April 14, 2014

20 Ways to Wow Guests (Without Blowing Your Budget)

As a wedding planner, I'm always brainstorming new ways to entertain wedding guests without breaking the bank. You'd be surprised by how far a few personalized touches can go! Of course everyone will remember how beautiful you looked and how amazing the food tasted, but what they will truly never forget is how you personally included each of them into the most important day of your life.

Here are some fun ideas that work for any wedding style — I can't wait to add a few of these to my own special day as well!

During the ceremony:

1. Include a line on your wedding RSVP where guests can jot down their wedded wisdom or a blessing for you. Compile some of the best responses and ask your officiant to read them as a dedication to both you and your guests.
wedding advice cards

Photo Credit: Danielle Capito

2. Involve your guests by conducting a ring blessing. Wrap the rings in a beautiful bag and pass them down from guest to guest before you recite the vows.
3. Come up with a meaningful passage, quote or song that you would like to have everyone say or sing with you during the ceremony.
4. Honor anyone who has made a special impact on your life (parents, grandparents, etc.) by having a dedicated passage or reading for them.
5. Include a thank-you note in the wedding programs. This adds such a sweet touch and will help guests get into the spirit of the day.
6. If you have a close friend or family member that is musically or vocally talented, invite them to perform the processional and recessional or a brief interlude.
wedding musician

Photo Credit: Danielle Capito

During Cocktail Hour:

7. More couples are opting to play group games like Jenga, cornholes, bocce, "I Spy", and even piñatas, to create a fun and laid-back atmosphere at their big day.
wedding game

Photo Credit: Danielle Capito

8. Invite your school mascot to make a special appearance!
9. Have your guests record short messages that your photographer can play towards the end of the night. Or if you have a tech-savvy friend, perhaps they can gather the videos ahead of time and present an edited clip as part of their gift to you. (Note: There might be additional fees for same-day editing with a videographer).

During the reception:

10. Incorporate your culture into the entrance. I’m Hispanic and Jesse is Irish, so we would use mariachis for me and bagpipes for him.
11. Have a photo booth or flip book booth. You are sure to entertain everyone with these and provide yourself with some unforgettable and hilarious images!
12. Instead of having the standard speeches during dinner, play a couples trivia game with your guests. Your Maid of Honor and Best Man can come up with pre-determined questions about you and your groom. The table who answers the most questions correctly wins!
13. In lieu of a traditional guest book, include Mad Libs as part of each guest's place setting. This will give them something to do while they are waiting for you to make your grand entrance.
14. Provide basic necessities in the restrooms for guests. This will come in handy in the event of minor mishaps. Don't forget to include flip-flops for the ladies — they will love you forever!
15. Provide seasonal items like blankets for a cold and chilly winter affair or fans for a sweltering hot summer's day. Your guests' comfort should be a top priority.
wedding shrugs
wedding hot chocolate

Photo Credits: Danielle Capito

16. Create personalized signage throughout your event. My favorite sign to date says, "Grab a drink because a great story never started with a salad."
17. Instead of tossing your bouquet, dedicate it to an important lady in the room. They can be married or unmarried, but someone who you might not have gotten to this point without.
18. Include your guests' first dance songs that they played at their wedding! This unexpected surprise not only celebrates your loved ones, but it's also an easy way to flesh out the slow-dancing portion of your playlist.
19. Bust a move! Have a dance-off or bridal party dance.
20. Make the cake cutting a full-blown event — use indoor sparklers and have the catering team wheel it out to the middle of the dance floor with the lights dimmed. If your venue doesn’t allow indoor sparklers, you can use balloons, glow-sticks or ribbon wands!
wedding dance

Photo Credit: Sara Lucero on Wedding Chicks via

No matter what you do, do it with love and your guests will be so in awe that they will remember every detail. Remember that everyone is there to celebrate your relationship and future together. Have fun, don't take it too seriously, and always leave your guests wondering what comes next!
— Davia Lee

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wedding Colors: Top 10 Wedding Color Mistakes

Wedding Color Mistake: Using Too Many Colors

When choosing your wedding colors, event designer Carissa of JL Designs says simplicity is key. Pick three to four colors total to keep your bouquets and centerpieces from looking too messy. If you prefer an undone look, opt for a few slightly varied shades of the same color. This will add depth without looking too chaotic. Or, for an especially striking look, go monochromatic with a bold shade like vivid purple or creamy white. The idea is to keep the look tailored for maximum impact.

Wedding Color Mistake: Choosing Trendy Colors

It's easy to let the magazines tell you the hottest new color combos, but consider this: Your palette should be one that you won't mind living with for a long time since you will be framing photos and filling albums featuring those colors. Stationery designer Kristy Rice of Momental Designs tells her clients to think about the colors and patterns they surround themselves with daily. So look around! Ask yourself what colors make you happy? What color is your favorite room or sweater? Some of the prettiest weddings we've seen were inspired by the simplest meaningful objects, like a dress or even a pillow.


Wedding Color Mistake: Choosing an Oversaturated Color Combo

One of the biggest pitfalls in color selection is not considering the eye's need for rest and calm. The key is balance. If you love bright orange, pick a more muted secondary color like pale blue or khaki. The resulting contrast will let your favorite color take center stage. If bold contrast isn't your thing, you can easily soften the look with an accent color. Rice recommends picking an "in-between" shade, like silvery sage green with black and white or pale blue with navy and butter yellow. The third color will tone down the starkness and add extra visual interest. If you're worried the look will be too bland, punch it up with details in a complementary metallic color like pewter or bronze or something bold like scarlet.

Wedding Color Mistake: Choosing Predictable Colors

Certain color combos come with certain connotations. (Think: red, white, and blue or red and green.) Keep your colors from reminding guests of their favorite holiday by subtly tweaking your hues. The trick is choosing a more fashionable shade. Bandana-red, faded denim, and eggshell will banish any Fourth of July memories and forest green and pale pink are anything but Christmas-y. Or try adding another color to break up a combo. Yellow dresses with red bouquets might conjure images of popular fast food restaurants, but mixing in white details (like lace or pearls) can add elegance in a snap.

Wedding Color Mistake: Ignoring Texture

Instead of simply relying on colors, bring multiple textures into your wedding day to give the room some depth and dimension. Mixing textures in the same hue can add more drama and depth to your wedding than simply combining multiple colors. Do this with your flowers, tablecloths, or bridesmaid dresses -- varying patterns and surfaces can play a huge role as your wedding palette evolves. To avoid overload, try outfitting just one of your maids (like your maid of honor) in a patterned dress or simply rely on textured flowers to give the look some shape.

Wedding Color Mistake: Ignoring Your Venue Colors

When deciding on a scheme, consider the reception space or choose a space without decor or color. If you've chosen a country club with navy and maroon carpets, a color scheme of lime green and hot pink will clash, and there's really no way around it. (Try to pull it off anyway and you'll end up spending twice what you would normally in decor to cover it up than you would if you had chosen a more complementary color palette.) That's not to say you have to choose a color that perfectly matches the floors. Use the venue's decor more as a guide when picking out tones and hues. Love pink but have harsh dark colors to work around? Work with a soft blush instead of fuchsia.

Wedding Color Mistake: Limiting Yourself To Two Colors

We’re so over the idea of the strict "color combo." Many gorgeous weddings feature a variety of colors, sometimes up to five, that work together to create a specific sensibility -- like an "English garden" with green, yellow, pink, red and brown, or "Fall in New England" with orange, red, brown and gold.

Wedding Color Mistake: Not Coordinating Your Paper Elements

Your invitations set the stage for the event, so let them introduce your wedding colors and evoke the right tone from the start. Coordinating the invitation colors with those of the wedding can be as easy as choosing a colored font, ribbon or monogram, or as elaborate as layering colorful cards. Keep in mind, too, that your invites are a dress code cue to your guests. You wouldn't send out ivory and formal black calligraphy unless you're expecting guests to dress to the nines for your wedding.

Wedding Color Mistake: Trying to Color-Match the Flowers

If your primary wedding color doesn't come in many flower forms, don't force it. For example, very few flowers come in blue naturally, and the ones that do are extremely seasonal (like hydrangeas). Instead of insisting your floral bouquets and centerpieces match, ask your florist to choose complementary neutral flowers that will soften (not compete with) the color scheme. Then let your nonfloral elements (like the centerpiece vases and bouquet ribbon wraps) show off your color.

Wedding Color Mistake: Insisting the Bridal Party Wear Your Colors

When it comes to your bridal party, come up with the most flattering color in your palette and use it. In other words, feature your table linen overlays, dinner plates and glassware in the unwearable colors, and let your bridesmaids rock their looks in a flattering color like eggplant, navy, blush, dark brown or black. Not only will they look better -- so will your wedding photos!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

18 Signs You're With the Man You Should Marry


Amy Odell & Lori Fradkin


He's your biggest fan (arguably next to your mom).

1. He always brags about you. If you get a promotion at work or even just win concert tickets he can't resist telling everyone you hang out with before you even think to mention it. Because he's your biggest fan (arguably next to your mom).

2. He makes sacrifices for you — and you're happy to do the same for him. He'll move cities to live with you if you get a new job or finish grad school. You're happy to make the next move for one of his opportunities.

3. He shares the same values as you. You know you both want kids and expect to split the childcare equally. Or maybe you know you both want kids and he wants to take extended paternity leave. Maybe you've also agreed that you should each get 45 minutes to yourself to go to the gym every day or you plan to buy a home and move to the suburbs in five years. You know you're on the same page with things that matter most to you because you've discussed them.

4. Even after years together he still does little chivalrous things for you. Like open doors for you or carry you to your doorstep when your feet hurt after wearing high heels all day and you just can't bear to walk one more block.

5. He doesn't try to change you. He knows you're messier than him, that you always need a pet cat, and can't cook to save your life, and all of that is all right by him.

6. When you think about marrying him, the best part isn't the wedding, it's the idea of spending your lives together. The wedding is fun, but you really can't wait for the two weeks right after when you'll get uninterrupted honeymoon time.

7. You survived a long-distance relationship. It was hard and scary, but you love each other so much that you were able to make the necessary sacrifices to make it through with a singular goal in mind: living in the same place and being together when it was all over.

8. "I miss you" isn't just a sweet thing you say. It's a reality. Even if it hasn't been that long (like, two hours) since you saw each other.

9. You don’t like having a roommate and love having your own space, but you’d still prefer to live with him. You look forward to the end of the day, not because you’ll be done with work but because you’ll get to see him again.

10. He’s your go-to person whenever you have a story to share, about work, about friends, about anything. You used to tell your parents and friends about all these things, but now you don’t call them quite as much as you used to. They don’t mind because they see how happy you are.

11. You feel comfortable planning things six months — or a year in the future. You’re not worried you’ll have to cancel plane tickets or say you won’t be needing a plus-one after all. You feel that confident in your relationship.

12. You can cry in front of him without feeling embarrassed. He knows when to worry and when you’re just caught up in a scene of a movie.

13. When your friends complain about their significant others or the guys they’ve gone out with, you get kind of quiet because you don’t have much to contribute. You don’t want to brag, but you just don't have to deal with any of that nonsense because your significant other is great to you.

14. He’s close with your family, and he’s made sure you’ve gotten to know his. He’ll call your dad or your grandma without any hesitation. It just makes sense that you’d go to his nephew’s birthday party, even if he's not there.

15. He cares about your friends. If one of them is having a bad day, he suggests you go spend time with her or invite her to join the two of you for dinner. If he hasn’t heard someone’s name in a while, he asks how she’s doing.

16. He lets you vent. Sometimes when something frustrates you, you just need to go over it again and again. He doesn’t get annoyed at this, and he dismisses your apologies. The only thing that bothers him about the situation is that you’re upset and he wishes you weren’t.

17. He tells you, out of the blue, that you look hot. And it’s on the day you didn’t dry your hair or put on makeup or even change out of your T-shirt and sweatpants.

18. You can do things like travel together without fighting all the time. We've all seen (or been) that tragic couple fighting over where to get lunch at the airport so badly that one of them devolves into tears and puts her shades on indoors and lies across three seats in the terminal. You can do tedious things with your S.O. without all this fighting.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Her celebrity client list includes A-list couples like Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and now Mindy Weiss is here to help you plan your own wedding by sharing some of her genius advice.

In this week's BRIDES Google+ Hangout On Air, the wedding industry expert dishes must-know tips for your big day and why hiring a planner can actually save you money. She also reveals how she started from the bottom only to become one of the most sough-after party consultants in the business. Watch our entire interview above!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

10 Things Every Groom Must Do Before the Wedding

Bride in Romona Keveza With A White Orchid Bouquet
Photo: Paul Johnson Photography

There are countless ways grooms can get involved in wedding planning. The big ones are no surprise: Getting his suit fitted, writing his vows, and helping pick a first dance song, to name a few. Smaller gestures—like leaving notes for his bride or taking her out dancing—are less established, but make a big difference too! We asked Christina Steinbrenner, Director of Tuxedo Marketing at Brides Live Wedding sponsor Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, as well as some wise Brides staffers, for the top 10 pre-wedding "must do" list for grooms. (Psst: Brides, discreetly pass this along to your fiancés!).

1. Pick a suit that suits the wedding style. "The most important thing for a couple to consider when planning their formal wear attire is the style and feel of the wedding," Steinbrenner says. "For a traditional, more formal event, a classic tuxedo with a notch, shawl or peak lapel is ideal. Slim-fit silhouettes have been most popular lately. For a less traditional option, shades of gray are hugely popular. Destination or beach weddings call for a lighter gray, tan or even jacketless tuxedo."

2. Accessorize! Put the finishing touches on your look with a perfectly folded pocket square or fun socks for an extra pop of color, Steinbrenner says. Accessories make all the difference!

3. Get a haircut, but not the day before. If the trim is too close, this will leave time to let it grow out.

4. Schedule a cleaning service. Hire a cleaner for the week of your wedding and for the duration of your honeymoon. Your house or apartment will look impeccable when things get busy, and it'll be so nice to come back to a clean home when your honeymoon is over.

5. Go out dancing. Whether it's going out to a bottle service club until 3:00 a.m. or just having a nice dinner at home with the first dance music ready to go, schedule an excuse to practice that choreographed first dance!

6. Plan something special for your bride for the wedding day. It doesn't have to be lavish—or even anything you spend a lot of money on—but something thoughtful like a letter and champagne will help make a special day even more magical. Just make sure the delivery arrives at the perfect time.

7. Say "I love you"—often. Leave little notes everywhere. Post-its, chalkboard doodles, slips of paper under fridge magnets. This is the time to be romantic (and yes, even cheesy)!

8. Work on your vows. Transcribe all "for vows" notes on your iPhone, and take a stab at writing something eloquent. And if the vows are already done, practice 'em.

9. Stay on top of the rehearsal dinner. Check in with the priest/rabbi/officiant and make sure both sets of parents and all wedding party members know when and where to show up. Taking the whole party off her plate is a huge gesture and will greatly reduce her stress.

10. Seduce her! Sex kills stress and it'll take the edge off of the wedding night in case the reception goes all night.

These Teary-Eyed Couples Make Us Want To Cry Happy Tears Too

Unless you are an evil robot devoid of any human emotion, there's a good chance your wedding day is going to be one of the most sentimental days of your life.

Between the vows and the toasts and the sight of your husband- or wife-to-be all dressed up in their wedding best, there are a bunch of Big Day moments that are bound to get you all choked up. Below, we rounded up some of our favorite shots of teary-eyed brides and grooms -- photos so sweet that they might have you feeling a little misty-eyed too.
Credit: Zach & Jody
Credit: Nick Herran of Adagion Studio via Junebug Weddings
Credit: Clane Gessel