Friday, January 29, 2016

20 Nontraditional Processional Songs for Your Wedding

processional songs

Can you imagine a wedding where the bride processes to the song “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC? Believe it or not, I once worked just such as wedding. Was the song choice an appropriate one? Not for most people. Do I still remember it many years later? Well, I think we’ve already answered that.
Are you thinking of processing down the aisle to something other than “Here Comes the Bride” or “Canon in D?” Here are some ideas for you:

1. “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
2. “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” originally recorded by Elvis Presley
3. “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
4. “Reign of Love” by Coldplay
5. “When You Say Nothing at All” by Allison Kraus
6. “I Do” by Marie Digby
7. “Magic” by Colbie Caillat
8. “The Luckiest” by Ben Fold
9. “Love You Like That” by Canaan Smith
10. “Grow Old with Me” by John Lennon
11. “At Last” by Etta James
12. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
13. “One and Only” by Adele
14. “I Want You to Know” by Zedd and Selena Gomez
15. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
16. “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles
17. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
18. “All I Want is You” by U2
19. “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
20. “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by the Mamas and the Papas

Thursday, January 28, 2016

9 Things Every Father of the Bride Thinks

Your father has rejoiced in every other milestone in your life … first smile, first steps, first day of school, and now he's expected to just give you away?! Color palettes and escort cards may not pique his interest, but you can bet your wedding's got him thinking!

Photography by: Aaron Delesie

1. Time flies.

He remembers the day he and your mom brought you home from the hospital, a little thing all swaddled in pink. He's so proud of the woman you've become, but he can't quite believe you're about to become a Mrs.

2. She'll always be my little girl.

It killed him when you started dating in high school, so on the one hand he's relieved that part of your life is over, but you're still his little girl. Sure, you've grown a bunch, but fundamentally you are still you, and your relationship will always be special.

3. He better take good care of her.

No matter how much your father likes your fiancé, he will always be the person who raised you. Even though he gets that a modern marriage involves taking care of each other, he can't help being a protective dad about wanting his little girl to be safe and happy.

4. Let's sort out who's paying for what.

Very traditionally speaking, weddings are paid for by the bride's family, specifically by the father of the bride, so even if you and your fiancé decide to finance the entire celebration yourself, your dad will want to know what part(s) of the wedding he's covering.

5. The dress costs how much?!

It's practically your dad's job to be shocked at how much you will spend (regardless of the dollar amount) on a dress you'll most likely wear only once. Don't worry, though, cost won't be on his mind when he walks you (in your dream gown) down the aisle.

6. Time to figure out my speech.

Whether his style is off the cuff or carefully composed, your father will give some thought to his speech. He'll aim for the perfect blend of humor and sentimentality that will communicate just how much you (and his new son-in-law) mean to him.

7. Will I keep it together?

Guys never cry, right? Wrong. Seeing you in your dress for the first time, walking you down the aisle, lifting your veil, recounting a touching tale from when you were a kid during his toast … it's hard to remain completely dry-eyed in the face of so many emotional moments!

8. Can't wait to dance with her at the wedding!

You won't be standing on his freshly polished oxfords like you did when you were six, but he's still psyched to spin you round the dance floor.

9. She's always been beautiful, but wow!

He's your dad. To him you look great in sweats and a quick ponytail. When he sees you all dressed up and ready to say "I do," he will be completely blown away (potentially speechless) at what an incredibly gorgeous bride you are.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sitting Pretty: Formally and Informally

Sitting Pretty: Formally and Informally

Basics for diner seating arrangements.

Whether I’m entertaining a half dozen people or ten people or more, I’ve gotten my seating arrangements down pat. Here are a few basics.
At any table:
  • At a seated dinner party, men should remain standing behind their chair until the women are seated.
  • Men, make sure you’ve introduced yourselves to everyone before taking your seat. 
  • Formal dining may not be part of daily life, but a gracious host always serves his female guests first! And himself last.
For six, ten or fourteen people:
  • If I’m hosting a party in someone’s honor, I will always sit at the head of the table with the guest of honor seated directly to my right. If you are a hostess, and feting a male guest of honor, seat him directly to your right. The hostess should sit at the end of the table, nearest the kitchen, with the host at the opposite end.

For eight, twelve, or sixteen people:
  • In this instance, the hostess should move one place to the left and seat the male guest of honor directly to her right, opposite the host. This way you avoid seating two women and two men together.
Plates and flatware:
  • If I’m entertaining formally, I will set down decorative chargers, which serve as placeholders and anchor each place setting. For informal occasions, I bypass the chargers and simply set out my dinner plates.
  • I’ll often place a folded napkin atop the charger or dinner plate.
  • I position flatware in the logical order of its use, to the left or right of the plate, beginning from the outside in; in other words, moving toward the plate. Thus, guests will use the outermost fork for the salad, the middle fork for the fish course, and the innermost fork for the dinner itself. Knives and spoons sit on the right of the plate, again using the same intuitive order. If you’re serving a fabulous soup for starters, the soup spoon goes in the outermost position.  Assuming you’re serving a fish course, place the fish knife in the middle, and the knife closest to the plate is reserved for dinner (make sure you keep the sharp edges of your knives facing toward the plate, with the bottoms of your flatware neatly aligned).
  • The knife should only be in your right hand when cutting. The fork should be placed in your left hand and used to hold the food with the tines facing down.
  • Only cut one piece of food at a time.
  • Once your food is cut, place the knife on the edge of your plate and the fork in your left hand. Turn the tines of your fork upward when eating.
  • If I’m serving bread with the meal, I place a small bread plate to the left and slightly above the dinner plate, and lay the butter knife diagonally across the bottom.
  • If I’m serving dessert, I place the dessert fork and the dessert spoon right above the plate.
  • When everybody is finished, I clear the dinner settings away and bring out the after-dinner items: dessert plates, and if I’m serving coffee, a tray of cups and saucers along with teaspoons, which rest either on the saucers or on the table (your choice).
  • Very simply, informal meals require less of everything. You don’t need to go the whole nine yards. Position a salad fork and a dinner fork to the left of the plate, a single knife to the right, and you have the basics for a casual meal. 
- Colin Cowie

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top 13 Wedding Color and Style Mistakes Not to Make

Just because you have two favorite colors doesn't mean they will work together for your wedding.

  1. Mistake 1: Using Too Many Colors
    The Fix: Keep It Simple

    All-white wedding reception with tulips and candles
    Photo by Abby Jiu Photography
    With a few exceptions (see our next fix!), you should pick two to four colors that go well altogether and stick to them. Using the same colors throughout your wedding décor will help create a cohesive flow, so that every detail looks like it belongs in your vision. Narrowing your palette to a few colors will also keep elements like your 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 style, go monochromatic with a bold shade, like vivid purple or creamy white. The idea is to keep the look tailored for maximum impact.
  2. Mistake 2: Limiting Yourself to Only Two Distinct Colors
    The Fix: Break Rule #1 (Wisely)

    Neon wedding reception table decorations
    Photo by Philip Ficks
    We're so over the strict "color combo" rule. Many gorgeous weddings have a variety of colors -- sometimes up to five -- that work together. The way to pull it off is to use more than one neutral, like cream and brown, in your color palette, or go for multiple shades of the same color to create a tonal color scheme. We love the idea of a summery color palette inspired by the many shades of hydrangeas, including sapphire and sky blue paired with white and gray, finished off with a few pops of sunny yellow to make it feel light and bright. A color palette with more than three or four colors can also help you create a specific scene -- like an English garden with green, yellow, pink, red and cream, or fall in New England with orange, red, yellow, brown and gold.
  3. Mistake 3: Choosing Trendy Colors
    The Fix: Skip Fads

    Coral and turquoise wedding reception color palette
    Photo by Lauren Fair Photography
    It's easy to get carried away with ideas you see in other weddings or in magazines and inspiration boards, but just because you love a fresh and unexpected idea on paper doesn't mean it's the right choice for your wedding. Your palette should be one that you won't mind living with for a long time, since you'll be framing photos and filling albums with those colors. If you're drawn to a color that's hot right now, consider using the trendy hue sparingly instead of making it the main event. Think about the colors and patterns you surround yourself with daily. Ask yourself: What colors make you happy? What color is your favorite room or sweater? The simplest meaningful objects, like a scarf or even a pillow, inspired some of the prettiest weddings we've seen.
  4. Mistake 4: Using the Wrong Color Ratio
    The Fix: Balance Brights

    Bright wedding reception palette
    Photo by Christina Carroll Photography
    One of the biggest pitfalls in color selection is not considering the eye's need for rest and calm. Just because you have two dominant colors in your palette doesn't mean you should use them equally. Before you go any further in your planning, decide which hue will take center stage -- this choice will affect your decisions from linens to lighting. If you love bright orange, pick a more muted shade for your secondary color, like pale blue or navy instead of bright aqua. You want your colors to be complementary to your décor, but not distracting. The resulting contrast will let your favorite color shine. Thoughtfully balancing your colors is the key to making even the most crazy combinations look chic and sophisticated. Another option: Pick a few shades that are in between colors, like coral instead of bright orange and plum instead of amethyst.
  5. Mistake 5: Choosing Predictable Colors
    The Fix: Take (a Little) Risk

    Yellow bridesmaid bouquet with red bridesmaid dress
    Photo by Jen Fariello Photography
    Certain color combos come with obvious connotations. (What comes to mind with the combination of 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 switching up at least one shade to downplay the resemblance. Instead of your standard red, white and blue, try bandana-red, faded denim and eggshell to banish any thoughts of Fourth of July. The same goes for forest green and pale pink if you're worried about your wedding looking Christmas-y. Or try adding another color to downplay the combo. Yellow dresses with red bouquets might conjure images of a popular fast-food restaurant, but breaking up the colors with white details, like lace or pearls, is a simple way to add elegance.
  6. Mistake 6: Ignoring Texture
    The Fix: Broaden Your Definition of Matching

    Chevron reception table runner with twine-wrapped centerpiece
    Photo by Beaux Arts Photographie
    Two colors that go together may not look right when put side by side if they're different textures. A burlap table runner with red satin linens doesn't work as well as wooden planters on maroon cotton tablecloths, even though the colors are the same. Because your linens will cover so much of your wedding reception, they’ll play a huge role in your color and texture decisions. Mixing textures in the same hue can also add more drama and depth to your wedding than simply combining multiple colors. Patterns like stripes or florals can help break up bold colors, so a hue like bright yellow or black doesn’t overwhelm your tables.
  7. Mistake 7: Ignoring Your Venue Colors
    The Fix: Pick A Priority (Colors or Venue)

    Green and pink wedding reception venue
    Photo by Anna and Spencer Photography
    As you're venue hunting, have a color scheme in mind while you look at details like the wall coverings, art and carpeting, or keep your color options open until you find a venue you love. Think about what hues you may want to use, and whether you’d want to prioritize finding the perfect venue or having your perfect palette. In 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.) That's not to say you have to choose a venue where your colors perfectly match the floors, but you should use the venue's decor as a guide when picking out tones and hues. Do you love pink but have dark colors to work around? Try a soft blush instead of fuchsia.
  8. Mistake 8: Not Coordinating Your Paper Elements
    The Fix: Include Your Colors in Your Invitation Suite

    Modern gray and orange wedding invitation suite
    Photo by Tess Pace Photography
    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 colored paper. Most importantly: Don’t sacrifice readability for style. That means the type should contrast with the paper, so balance brighter shades with neutrals and avoid light-colored fonts. Bold ink hues like navy and fuchsia work well, and ask your designer about typeface techniques like letterpress or foiling to make your font stand out. Also consider that invites are a dress code cue for your guests. You wouldn't send out formal ivory cards with black calligraphy unless you're expecting guests to dress black tie for your wedding.
  9. Mistake 9: Trying to Color-Match the Flowers
    The Fix: Don't Force It

    Mismatched floral reception centerpieces
    Photo by Justin & Mary
    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. If you love blue, keep in mind very few flowers are blue naturally, and the ones that do, including hydrangeas, are extremely seasonal.
  10. Mistake 10: Relying on Your Bridesmaids to Pull Off the Themed Color
    The Fix: Choose Complementary Neutrals and Use Colorful Accessories

    Mismatched bridesmaid bouquets
    Photo by Melissa Robotti Photography
    When it comes to your bridal party, choose the most flattering color in your palette and use it (look to neutral colors if you're at all unsure). Shades like burnt orange and olive green might look great on details like your table linen overlays, dinner plates and glassware, but aren't exactly wearable, especially if you're going monochromatic for your bridesmaid dresses. The days of the exactly matched bridesmaids are over. Instead, it’s much more chic if your bridesmaid dresses complement your palette, and if you really want your bridesmaids to wear a bolder color, then choose accessories in that hue. Have your bridesmaids rock that color with a belt, pretty necklace or shoes. Stick to universally flattering colors like eggplant, navy, blush, ivory or black. Follow this rule and not only will your bridesmaids look great, so will your wedding photos!
  11. Mistake 11: Choosing Colors That Don't Fit the Mood
    The Fix: Lighten or Ramp Up Your Color Palette

    Bright orange and yellow bridal bouquet
    Photo by Aaron Young Photography
    Though yellow may be your favorite color, it might not be the ideal shade for an evening wedding on New Year's Eve. Likewise, shimmering metallic silver might not set the right tone for an afternoon garden reception in a small New England town. If you're set on a color you don't think will work with the atmosphere you're trying to create, think about your accent colors. Adding lots of navy can make yellow seem more refined and formal, while pairing it with white or another pastel takes it in more of a whimsical direction. Your color scheme will set the tone for the mood of your wedding, so figure out which emotions you want your celebration to evoke before you pick your palette—whether you're going for a more relaxed daytime affair or a regal and elegant ballroom wedding.
  12. Mistake 12: Limiting Yourself to Seasonal Color Rules
    The Fix: Think Seasonless

    Autumnal tulip reception centerpiece in pedestal vase
    Photo by Tinywater Photography
    It's time to forget about outdated seasonal color rules, like pastels are only for spring and the idea that you can't have an orange and yellow hued wedding unless it's fall. You should pick a color palette that you love and then tailor it to the particular season with accent colors, texture and décor as well as changing up the shade. The way to pull off a pastel winter wedding is to swap out rosy pink for a more muted blush and use dusty sage instead of seafoam or mint green. Pairing your color palette with seasonal flowers and seasonally inspired décor elements, like evergreens and faux-fur chair backs (if you're having a winter wedding), will actually make your wedding style complement the season without seeming overly themed.
  13. Mistake 13: Not Giving Visual Examples to Your Wedding Pros
    The Fix: Get Specific With Your Color

    Wedding color inspiration board
    Photo by Antonis Achilleos
    Narrow your colors down to exact shades, so instead of green and white, you’ll know if it’s lime green, Kelly green, sage green or forest green, and ecru, ivory or cream. Add any swatches or chips to a style or inspiration board to make it easier to communicate with all of your wedding pros about your vision, and help you stay focused when you’re shopping for décor. Get ideas from paint company websites like,, and Interactive color wheels and looking at color palettes from weddings you like are other good places to start. If you have access to a Pantone color book, use it to select your shade the same way graphic designers do. Many invitation designers mix ink to match the colors in this book, and a lot of cake bakers use Pantone numbers as a reference when creating dye for frosting.

Monday, January 25, 2016

9 things we wish we'd known before registering for wedding gifts

First comes love, then comes registering.

Before anyone walks down the aisle comes the fun yet tricky task of registering for wedding gifts. And with that product scanner from your favorite home store comes a load of decisions. Do we really want 800-thread count sheets? Vitamix or NutriBullet? Are these the bowls we will want to eat ice cream out of for the rest of time? What do you mean you like those curtains? How could I possibly marry someone who likes those curtains?!

Many, many couples have walked the wedding registry path and lived to talk about it. Here are some tips from some of's past brides.
Several gifts wrapped and on a table Jayme Burrows / Shutterstock
1. First things first: Register.
I didn't want to build a registry at all, and then friends started sending my husband and me the most random gifts. Well, not random. Just not things we like. In a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, there are only so many heart-themed prints you can hang! So we built a registry late in the game and added things we were excited about (Apple TV! furry blankets! pretty frames!). We still got a few gifts that we'll never use — at least not as long as we live in New York City — but taking control of the gift-giving ended up being a huge relief for the both of us. -Lauren Sullivan, senior editor

2. Consider a honeymoon registry — or an elegant way for friends to gift you cash.
Your guests want to celebrate you, and give you something you'll love — but it can be hard for friends to get excited about clicking a box on your registry and sending you that cheese grater you asked for, or the remaining four water glasses you need.
If you add a honeymoon registry (Honeyfund is easy to use), you can let your friends give you fun experiences like "1 safari tour" or "1 helicopter ride" — you create items on your honeymoon wish list, and while the gift is technically cash (the site allows your guests to either send you a check or PayPal the amount), the giver will feel like they gave you a moment to remember. Plus, when you send your thank-you notes, you can actually thank them for the experience they gave you! - Meena Hart Duerson, senior editor

3. But register for some real things as well.
Your more traditional relatives and friends will want to get you something tangible. Not everyone will feel comfortable gifting cash, and they'll want to get you something concrete for your house. Make sure you choose a few things you'd actually like to receive, or you'll struggle with people sending you things off-registry that you don't like — and can't return. -Meena Hart Duerson

4. Choose items in a range of price points.
There's nothing more frustrating than going to send someone a gift — and finding the only thing left is the $5 plastic spoon or the $5,000 sheet set. Make sure there are options in the middle! -Meena Hart Duerson

5. Skip the fancy china.
Unless you're close friends with Duchess Kate and she'll be coming over regularly for tea, you won't miss it. We registered for a really nice set of china, but when no one bought those items, it was the biggest relief. We ended up just getting ourselves a set of more everyday dishware, which are much cheaper to replace when things get chipped or broken! -Meena Hart Duerson

6. Register somewhere that reflects your lifestyle and your taste, but definitely look for special events!
Crate & Barrel opened early on certain Sundays for registering couples and had mimosas, paninis and breakfast pastries that were delivered to you as you walked around the store. The food alone was soooo worth the repercussions of holding a registry zapper after a flute or two of champagne. "Why yes, we SHOULD register for those silk curtains we never knew we needed, and I should probably have another panini for good measure." -Carissa Ray, supervising multimedia producer

7. Simpler is better.
I had no questions about the black and blue stoneware we registered for. I mean, you've gotta eat, right? And we received even more settings than we zapped.

Eight years later, I'm totally sick of it and wish I'd realized that the plates were "tippy" when you cut food on them, something we couldn't tell in the store when deciding we needed 10 settings. I now find myself drawn to simpler pottery that fits our lifestyle now and that mixes and matches well rather than having one matchy-match set of dishes. Also, with a butterfingers husband, this helps us avoid replacing full sets when he inevitably drops something in the kitchen. -Carissa Ray

8. Don't select décor items specific to where you live if you're not really, really certain you're in what will be your long-term home. Even then, see above - simpler is better.
My husband and I owned a home in Seattle and unexpectedly received and accepted a job offer in New York City. All those kitchen items that were so perfectly displayed in the newly remodeled kitchen of our first home now had to be packed into a New York City kitchen (or stored in my mother's basement).

Now that we're thinking about what will be our next family home with our two little girls, hindsight would have me fill that registry with more gift cards and cash to have put toward remodels and necessities that came up in our early marriage. -Carissa Ray

9. Take a breath.
The stuff we were gifted was, in many cases, just stuff. A few things we loved, some that were quite handy and many we could certainly live without (and in many cases these years later, are living without). -Carissa Ray

Friday, January 22, 2016

10 Yummy Snack Ideas for the Engaged Girl

  • brides healthy snacks to try
    Photo: Getty Images
    With your new additional part-time job (wedding planning!) you're probably busier now than you have ever been in your life. Keep plenty of snacks on hand to keep you fueled. "It's ideal to enjoy snacks that have carbs, protein, and healthful fat," says culinary dietitian Jackie Newgent, RD, author of 1,000-Calorie Recipes. "You can choose a single food that has all of these macronutrients-in-one, or pair ingredients from different food groups." One last guideline: "A good maximum calorie guideline for snacks for the average woman is 200 calories. If you're highly active, bump that up to 250 calories." These 10 smart options will keep you feeling peppy and sharp all day long.

    1. Crunchy Chickpeas
    "These can be enjoyed like a better-for-you munchie in place of potato chips thanks to their double whammy of fiber and protein," says Newgent. One brand she likes: The Good Bean Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas in BBQ flavor.

    2. Cheese stick and an apple.
    Easy to carry (their both in their own packages!), and the combo fulfills the magic carb-protein-fat mix.

    3. Guacamole and baked chips.
    You're juggling so many things that it's important to keep your mind sharp right now, too. "Guacamole is a great source of monounsaturated fat, which is important for optimal blood flow and, in turn, key for brain heath," says Newgent. "Scoop it up with a handful of baked blue corn tortilla chips."

    4. Dark Chocolate Hummus plus fresh strawberries.
    Yep, chocolate hummus exists! "This will satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way than traditional sweets," says Newgent. "The hummus is still based on garbanzo beans." Pairing it with strawberries adds a dose of brain-friendly antioxidants. 

    5. Pistachios.
    These crunchy snacks contain a good amount of both protein and fiber, plus some fat— they're ideal to help keep you going, says Newgent.

    6. Edamame.
    Just quickly cook up these frozen soybeans in the pod, drain, and add a pinch of salt. "They're lovely squeezed straight from the pod. And naturally protein-packed," says Newgent.

    7. Seaweed "chips."
    Packs of dry-roasted nori (seaweed sheets) are now available at most supermarkets. They're crispy, a little salty, and contain antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which help protect your skin. Dip them in hummus for a boost of filling protein.

    8. Single-packs of olives.
    You may have started seeing individually packaged servings of marinated olives, such as Oloves, at cafes and shops like Starbucks, World Market, and Duane Reade. These snacks have only about 50 calories per pack and plenty of healthy fats, plus some fiber and protein for good measure.

    9. Greek yogurt topped with walnuts.
    Walnuts add a super-satisfying crunch, plus healthy fats and fiber, to the famously protein-packed yogurt.

    10. KIND Nuts & Spices bar.
    Newgent recommends bars that are low in added sugars and made with "real" ingredients and 200 calories or less. One of her favorites is the KIND Nuts & Spices bar, "especially the dark chocolate and sea salt flavor!" she says.

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Can Your Mom Be a Bridesmaid?

  • can mom be bridesmaid
    Photo: Getty Images
    She'll be by your side as you're planning, be the first to tear up when you find THE dress, and have a seat of honor at the ceremony. But what if you feel like your mom deserves more recognition than that, and you want her standing by your side during your wedding? Our experts weigh in on whether to make mom a bridesmaid.

    It's unconventional, but there's nothing to stop you from asking your mother to be a bridesmaid in addition to her role as mother of the bride. In fact, if you're planning on asking her to join the bridal party, you may want to make her your matron of honor, or ask her to share the duties with your closest friend, to really acknowledge the role she's played in your life.

    If you do ask your mom to join your bridesmaids, think about how you'd like her to be involved (as well as what you think she'll be excited about and comfortable with). Chances are she'll jump at the chance to help plan your bridal shower and bustle your dress before the reception, but consider whether the bachelorette party you've dreamed of is one she'd like to attend. She may want to treat her matron of honor status as more of a celebratory title than her role in the wedding (since being the MOB comes with its own list of to-dos) and skip the hen 'do, or she might want to be there for all the festivities.

    Either way, be sure to discuss what you've got in mind, as well as what her expectations are, up front: You might want to redistribute some of the matron of honor duties to other bridesmaids to make sure there isn't too much on your mom's plate. That way you won't be disappointed if she's less involved than you'd hoped — or surprised when mom's buying a round of shots at the bachelorette party!

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    What to Eat on Wedding-Dress Shopping Day

    what to eat dress-shopping day
    Photo: Getty Images

    You're about to shop for the most important outfit of your life — your wedding dress. That's a lot of pressure! Dress shopping is a marathon, not a sprint. Here's how to fuel up for a successful shopping trip.

    Have protein in the morning.
    For breakfast don't just have toast — you need protein like a hardboiled egg or Greek yogurt to keep you satisfied and full. "Or have leftovers from dinner! Many cultures eat more protein and vegetables than we do here where we love our sugary carbs like doughnuts for breakfast," says Carlene Thomas, RDN, author of The Wedding Wellness Workbook: Your Nutrition How-To Before "I Do." "Another easy way to have a balanced breakfast is to make a to-go smoothie with fruit, veggies and protein. It's also going to be packed with fiber from the produce which will keep you full."

    Drink up.
    Getting dehydrated makes you tired and hungry. So remember to bring a water bottle with you to sip on when you get thirsty.

    Don't forget to eat!
    "Never, never skip meals, especially for long days that can be emotional. Being hangry— angry and hungry— is totally a thing and it can ruin your experience," says Thomas. "If you're way under-eating your brain might not even be getting the energy it needs to make decisions. Make sure you're having balanced bites, not just veggies, so you're satisfied and full and energized the whole day. Instead of just greens on a plate, you need to throw in a healthy fat like nuts or avocado or a protein like beans and lentils or chicken." 

    Bring snacks.
    For a balanced snack, pair fruit or veggies with whole grains and fat or protein, says Thomas. Good examples: Low-fat string cheese with Wasa crackers, or a banana and peanut butter. If you don't have time to bring nibbles from home, you can find healthy snacks in plenty of places, says Thomas. Some of her faves: Sabra hummus to go packs, Starbucks protein or chicken and hummus boxes, dry roasted nori (seaweed) like Sea Snax, and single-serving packs of olives called Oloves.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

    5 Wedding Ideas We Love Right Now

    You'd never plan your wedding at work (cough, cough) — but your lunch break is a whole other story! For your weekly roundup, we picked gorgeous real weddings, pretty style details, and helpful tips from across the web.
    Finding the perfect engagement ring is a tough task, but have no fear! Our friends at Popsugar rounded up the best engagement ring Instagram accounts to follow, and be warned, with these gorgeous diamonds — ring envy will definitely be a thing. —POPSUGAR

    Not every bride wants to have a lavish, over-the-top wedding. If you're planning an intimate backyard bash or a quick trip to the courthouse with a small reception to follow, these short wedding dresses are the perfect way to infuse some bridal style without the fuss. —Brides

    This chic, outdoor wedding has all the charm and elegance that comes from an effortlessly stylish British wedding. The fashion-forward bride positively stunned in a plunging V-neck column sheath, adding a modern spin that stylish brides will totally obsess over. —OnceWed
    When it comes to bridal beauty, there's nothing more important than maintaining a rigorous skincare regimen that goes beyond the standard cleanse and moisturize routine. And no one knows that better than Korean skincare guru Charlotte Cho, who shares her top tips for getting that healthy, glowy skin
    without breaking the bank. —Well + Good
    Prepare to swoon over this couple's two-tiered, gold-flecked wedding cake! Featuring delicate rows of piping and strands of loose greenery, we think we just found our fairy-tale confection. —100 Layer Cake

    Monday, January 18, 2016

    Relationship Resolutions: 5 Bad Habits to Kick This Year

    Relationship Resolutions
    Photo: Getty Images
    When you sit down to write out this year's resolutions, don't forget to take the opportunity to pen few goals that will make your relationship even better. Here, our experts get you started with five that will stop you from bickering and could even make a few fireworks fly.

    1. Nonstop nagging.
    Says relationship expert and advice columnist April Masini, we often nag when we don't get the results we want. In other words, we're sick to death of finding the socks beside the hamper, so we get into a routine of telling our significant other to put them away until our floors are sock-free. But "you can become aggressive in trying to get those results," Masini warns, which won't do good things for your relationship. "The better strategy is to change your own behavior. Recognize that nagging isn't the best use of your time, and look for a creative solution to the need you want met instead of barking up the same tree over and over again."

    2. Playing the blame game.
    Is it never your fault in your relationship? "It's very easy when problems arise to immediately blame and shame our partners," says Alisa Ruby Bash, licensed marriage therapist in Malibu. But by playing the blame game, couples can quickly cross the line from a calm conversation into dirty fighting. "When we get used to aggressive name calling and hitting below the belt, it can be very difficult to let go of our wounds," Bash explains. "Although arguing is inevitable in even the healthiest of marriages, the way we fight our battles and the words we use can impact our entire future together. So learn to take responsibility for your feelings and reactions when discussing issues. Communicate authentically with kindness."

    3. Not showing your appreciation.
    "Telling your spouse you love him every day is easy, cheap and not fattening, but so many people don't do it," says Masini, who recommends showing our appreciation in even the smallest ways. Sending a sweet text message or going old school with a love letter tucked in your spouse's purse or wallet are heart-melting moves that don't cost a thing, she says. You could also purchase inexpensive items such as a book or single flower to show your appreciation for all your significant other does on the daily. "Make this the year where you really show your significant how much you appreciate him or her with little gestures," Masini says. "A year filled with little gestures is much better than one grand one."

    4. Getting too comfortable.
    Admits Bash, "we all can get too complacent at times." But when we stop putting in the effort we did in our dating days, "we risk losing the spark that brought us together in the first place," she says. "If we start to become more like roommates than lovers, it can be very difficult to find our way back to romantic love." Chemistry, says Bash, isn't always natural. It too can take work. So this year, "pay attention to your partner's feelings and desires," she says. "Try to resolve anger that builds up between each other. Make your relationship a top priority, even if you are parents. And take care of yourself so that you feel attractive enough to be sexual with your partner."

    5. Staying stuck in a rut.
    If you find yourself repeating the same things over and over and over again with your spouse, you could be stuck in a rut boring enough to put your relationship right to sleep. "Lots of us resort to certain behaviors such as having sex in the same position or spending date night only at dinner and the movies," she says, "but a great way to live is to shake it up in all corners of your relationship." Some ways you can shake up your relationship include spending time volunteering together, taking a cooking class, exploring a museum, or setting out on a road trip. "Shaking things up takes effort," Masini says, "but the payoff is finding new interests and new adventures as a couple, and that's a great reason to shake off the rut this year."

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Man Proposes To Girlfriend 148 Times Before She Even Notices

    A hopeless romantic in Grimsby, England, asked his girlfriend to marry him 148 times over the course of six months, but she didn't even notice.
    Ray Smith discreetly placed a card reading "Will you marry me?" in 148 photographs he took of and with his partner, Claire Bramley, from July to December last year. But she remained blissfully unaware.
    Smith ended up playing Bramley a montage of all the images, which included family and friends also popping the question on his behalf, on Christmas Day. 
    YouTube/Ray Smith
    Claire Bramley, left, had no idea that Ray Smith, right, was popping the question in the pictures they took together.
    The clip ended with Smith directly asking Bramley for her hand in marriage more than six months after his first "proposal." She said yes. 
    The couple are now planning their wedding for 2017, and Smith's video is going viral, according to the Grimsby Telegraph.
    "I had no clue, I was totally oblivious to it all," Bramley, 33, who is eight months pregnant with the couple's first child, told Metro. "He told me he was taking the pictures to create memories for the baby, so I just let him get on with it."
    Smith, 38, said it was "hard work not getting caught."
    YouTube/Ray Smith 
    Bramley didn't notice her boyfriend was asking her to marry him because he took different versions of each photo, sometimes without the message.
    According to a YouTube post, Smith took numerous photographs of each situation, sometimes without the card in the shot. That way, he could show Bramley those photos if she asked to see them.
    Dean Smith, no relation, pulled a similar stunt before popping the question to his girlfriend, Jennifer Kessel, in Aruba last January.

    Is Your Maid of Honor Obligated to Help With Wedding Planning?

  • is maid of honor obligated to help wedding planning
    Photo: Getty Images
    Being a maid of honor comes with a lot of, well, honor, as well as a lot of responsibility. She'll be there for all of the major pre-wedding events (and probably even plan some of them), keep the rest of the bridesmaids organized and on-time the morning of your wedding, and hold your bouquet during the ceremony. But should wedding planning be added to her to-do list? Our experts let you know.
    Most brides would love having someone other than the groom (or her mom), who really gets their style and vision and is a tried-and-true source for honest feedback, to bounce wedding ideas off of during the planning process. But what that entails for each bride can vary, from a maid of honor who is happy to look at a few texts or websites and give the invitation one more once-over before it goes to print, to one who is active in the joint Pinterest board and shows up for all of the important appointments.

    While your MOH is not required to help you with the actual planning, think about what you might want or need her help with, and let her know what you're hoping for when you ask her to stand by your side. She may be thrilled to help with anything and everything, or may have a huge project coming up at work that will limit how much she can get involved. Take a little time to get on the same page, and you'll avoid extra stress down the line. If you have a long-distance maid of honor, this could also impact how involved she can get, but just because she's less available as you decide on flowers or linens doesn't mean she can't get the MOH title.

    No matter how much your MOH helps with planning your wedding, she'll still need to step up on the day-of to help you out, whether she's keeping track of the timeline, asking for a few moments of privacy when you need a breather, helping you slip on your garter and shoes, making sure you've eaten, or fielding vendor phone calls if you don't have a planner.

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Best Lipsticks for Your Wedding Day

    On your wedding day, the last thing we want you to worry about is whether your lip wear will last. We want you to select a coverage that will last through the first kiss, wedding portraits, cocktail hour and dinner without having to reapply for each.

    To save you some time and money, we have done the searching for you. We have tested some of the most talked about (and advertised) lip colors to see which ones really do outlast them all.
    lasting wedding lipstick
    1. LIPPY Moisture Matte Lipstick in Abbey Rose, $22, Butter London
    2. SuperStay 14HR Lipstick in Keep Me Coral, $8.99, Maybelline
    3. Pure Matte Lipstick in Madère, $27, NARS
    4. Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lolitta, $21, Kat Von D
    5. Color Riche Collection Exclusive Nudes in Julianne Moore Barely Peach, $7.99, L’Oréal Paris

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Real Brides Share: What I'd Splurge on for My Wedding if I Was the Powerball Winner

    The next drawing for the record-shattering $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot is at 10:59 pm EST on Wednesday, giving millions of Americans the ever-tempting thought: "If I was the winner, how would I spend my money?" And, for many brides, holding the Powerball winning numbers would mean having the most elegant, glamorous, romantic, and fun wedding of their dreams — most likely in some distant land.

    So we took to Facebook to ask real brides the oh-so-realistic question: If you won the $1.5 billion Powerball, what would you splurge on for your wedding? One common theme throughout their answers? Beyoncé.

    "Venue/location, food, entertainment but that's after 1 billion goes to my wedding ring." — Sophie
    "Photography! I'd hire Christian Oth because his work is my favorite."
    — Michela Hattabaugh

    "Five-pound lobsters for everyone." — Jessie

    "I would pay for all my friends and family's travel and hotels — to our new location in the south of France, of course. — Meagan

    "I'd rent Necker Island from Richard Branson, fly in all my guests, get Thomas Keller to cook, Aretha Franklin to perform, Hillary Clinton to do the toast, wear a gown by Sarah Burton, etc., etc. Then, whatever I wound up spending, I'd send 100 times that amount to the UN High Commision on Refugees Syria Crisis Appeal." — Lauren

    "A Jay-Z/Beyoncé-size yacht for my honeymoon." — Keija

    "Forget the expensive flowers, champagne, and wedding décor — I'd immediately book a 24-day around-the-world honeymoon with TSC World Travel. The upscale operator has its own private Boeing 757 (retrofitted to fit just 78 guests), so not only do you get an itinerary to such bucket-list sites as Easter Island and Machu Picchu, but also insane privacy and business-class sleeping quarters•so you arrive at the Taj Mahal look super fab!" — Katie

    "I would fly all of my friends and family to the Amalfi Coast and get married there! Then off to the Maldives." — Jen

    "Destination wedding on us! Italy! Live performance by Cher." — Jenifer Walter

    "I would splurge on a destination wedding in Barcelona, and I would cover my guest's travel expenses to make sure all of my family and friends could join — or I would spend it on having Beyoncé perform at the reception — it's a toss up." — Samantha

    "Flying my loved ones out to my newly purchased island for a vacation/wedding, of course. Then I'd buy and around the world ticket for a honeymoon that's never ending."
    — Nicole

    "Four words: Beyoncé as wedding singer." — Roberta

    "Exotic animals. Lets get some Elephants, cheetahs, black panthers, lions and tigers to be there. And a petting zoo of some potty trained baby cubs." — Noel

    "A musical performance by John Legend, my dress and the venue." — Corinne

    "An insane floral canopy AND I would fly all my guests to a fun location." — Hannah

    20 Must-Read Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

    Searching for the perfect wedding dress? We reached out to BG's Instagram fanbase (66,000-strong and counting) to share their candid gown shopping advice; after all, the best insight often comes from others who have very recently been in the same situation as you. Check out their helpful survival tips!

    bride trying on wedding dress

    Photo Credit: Ina Pandora Photography

    How to Prepare

    "Do your research! Look online for inspiration beforehand, and find stores that carry designers that you love and are within your budget. Have an open mind, but go to your appointments with at least an idea of your likes and dislikes." —@sjerstinhope
    "Wear proper undergarments, and do your makeup. I also brought a pair of heels along with me." —@nanaloo16
    "Don't be afraid of going custom! It can be an incredible experience. There won't be any need to pay for costly alterations because your dream dress will be made to measure; plus, it will be one of a kind." —@anabellapoletti
    "Don't forget your accessories, and enjoy the process — it passes by in a flash." —@genteel_approach

    Who to Bring

    "Bring a small entourage of loved ones who respect your budget and whose taste you trust." —@lipsdontlie_81
    "Do not go shopping with a large group — there will be too many opinions. Go during the week when they first open for the day, if you can. The stores will be quiet, and you'll have a relaxing and enjoyable experience with your small group." —@cuteliljess10
    "I went by myself just to look around and ended up finding my dress. I wasn't trying to please anyone else. It just came down to how I felt and looked in that gown. At the end of the day, the one person who has to love it is you!" —@laurenrose88

    During the Appointment

    "Figure out which silhouette you like best on your body, and go from there... it's best to give all styles a try before you say 'no' to them because they will fit your body differently than the models in magazines." —@chicago_culinary_couple
    "Listen to the sales assistant, who can recommend a dress to suit your shape. I'm so glad that I took her advice. I ended up with a completely different style than I had imagined but it was the best choice." —@zoe_006
    "As a former bridal stylist, it was helpful when ladies would tell me about themselves and the vision they had for their wedding. It's good to let your consultant know what you're looking for, but also to be open-minded and let your consultant pull options based on what you tell them. They know the dresses they have in stock, and they want what you want: to find a style you're so ecstatic about that you never want to take it off. It's a great feeling to see a bride glow when she finds her gown." —@fellowstargazer
    "Speak first! When you come out of the dressing room, face the mirror and tell your entourage what you think of the dress. You certainly want to hear their opinions, but your opinions matter the most. And don't be afraid to tell someone, 'I know this isn't your favorite, but I really love this dress!' Your family and friends love and respect you and will be happy with your choice if you are." —@carissa_dawn
    "It's all a process of elimination — color, style, and fabric. Listen to the consultant, and stay true to your dream." —@pollybrowne1

    Expect a Few Surprises


    Photo Credit: Ina Pandora Photography "Try on everything — you may be surprised to find that the dress you end up with isn't what you initially thought you wanted." —@meghancbishop
    "I came away with something I wouldn't have even thought to try on; the dresses can look so much different on than they do on the hanger! Oh, and don't try on more than ten styles, as they start to merge into each other." —@teachergem1
    "I went in with a list of likes, maybes, and nos. By the end, I was surprised by the silhouette and style that I chose, and a few items on the list had totally swapped places. I let my first consultant help guide me to what worked best for my body type. By my next few appointments, I was a pro at narrowing down the choices to only what I knew would flatter me. However, every dress is different, so don't be afraid to try on another fit-and-flare if you've been burned by one before." —@fromjersey
    "Be open to different fits and styles. Also, it's important to stick to a budget. And you can say 'yes' to the dress on your first day!" —@sam_huiz

    Ultimately, You Need to Go With Your Gut

    "Pick the dress that you like...not your mother, not your sister, not your best friend. Don't try to please everyone else. It's your day, so do what you want. This rule applies to every part of the wedding planning process." —@gigeemarie
    "Don't listen to anyone who says you can't wear white. You can wear any color your heart desires. It's your dress and your day." —@princesscouturetutu
    "Be true to yourself. So many dresses I tried on were beautiful but just weren't 'The One.' I finally found the perfect dress in my price range after lots of shopping around! Don't be shy to say you don't like something." —@kiramaebelle
    "It's all about going with your gut. If you try on too many dresses after you've already found 'The One,' then you'll just end up confused and overwhelmed. There's plenty of fish in the sea, but why go searching if you've already found your soulmate?" —@mirelleshimmy

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

    The Pros and Cons of Each Wedding Season

    One of the first decisions you need to make after getting engaged is when to actually tie the knot. Each wedding comes with its own set of pros and cons; here's what you need to know before sending out those save-the-dates. 


    winter wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Pros:
    1. Nothing says dreamy like a fresh snowfall to amplify your already-perfect day. “When we’re lucky enough that it has snowed and everything is white, we love that any color palette just pops because the world has been neutralized. This goes for not just colors but for lighting too, you’re just turning it up a notch,” says Michelle Leo Cousins, Owner of Michelle Leo Events.
    2. Options, isn’t that one of the most important factors for a successful wedding? We sure think so. Winter allows for endlessly rich dessert tables, hot cocoa bars, and copious amounts of comfort food. Your guests will not be leaving hungry or unsatisfied.
    3. It’s also all in the details, because they make all the difference. Some might think that cool temperatures are limiting, but it really allows for additional creativity. If you want an outdoor winter ceremony, you can have one — you just need clear tents, portable heaters, and maybe some champagne right after you say, “I do!”
    4. If fireplaces, candles, and dimmed lights are all you’ve dreamed about since you first got that ring on your finger, you can have all of them — and more. A winter wedding is the perfect place and time for calm, cozy, and casual details that you and your guests will enjoy together.
    5. Depending upon the specifics, it’s safe to say that you can save extra money when booking all your vendors for a winter wedding. It’s typically a slower time of the year, and what’s better than having leftover wedding budget money to start your marriage?
    winter wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Cons:
    1. If having a large attendance at your ceremony is a deal breaker for you, think about the holidays you are competing with. A Christmastime wedding can be absolutely gorgeous, but keep in mind that many of your guests could be traveling back home — in the opposite direction of your event — leaving you with a present in the mail rather than their physical presence.
    2. “A challenge with winter weddings is booking them with enough notice so you can get invitations out a bit earlier than normal,” says Leo. If you want to have the best possible attendance in this season, getting your invites out before your friends book flights and commit to holiday parties is crucial.
    3. Snow-focused venues are highly sought after and can be everything they’re dreamed to be, but they come with complications. “I absolutely adore winter weddings, I have one scheduled on Jan. 9 in Park City but am holding my breath that we don’t have a terrible storm,” Leo says, “It’s awful for vendors trying to get places and transportation for guests; adding snow can be a total game changer.”
    4. While there are many twists and touches winter weddings allow, there are only so many hours of daylight to utilize them all. Depending on the month and location of the ceremony, the sun sets fairly early, and the day needs to start — and end — much sooner. This can increase stress during planning and execution stages of the wedding as you’re trying to fit everything into a tight schedule. And if you're looking to party into the wee hours of the morning, you'll definitely want to look into hosting an after-party.
    5. Even though wedding dresses have tons of fabric and multiple layers, you’ll most likely need a second piece to add to your dress in order to stay warm. And finding the perfect jacket to go with your perfect gown can be a real headache. Not to mention, your poor bridesmaids will be freezing their tails off in your outdoor pictures — prepare them with tights and wraps to stay warm.


    spring wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Pros:
    1. The season's natural beauty is so romantic. “There’s nothing prettier than a tree full of cherry blossoms, spring associated floral, pastel colors and that soft romantic pop of color that nature bursts with at this time of the year,” says Leo.
    2. If you prefer a larger wedding party in all aspects, spring is a smart and safe time of the year. Friends aren’t quite taking trips left or right, and you aren’t competing with any major holidays. This allows for you to send out your invites a little later, if needed, and you can still expect lots of "yes" replies.
    3. You don't have any weather-related restrictions when it comes to selecting your gown. If you want to wear sleeves, you can without overheating. You’ve always imagined yourself going sleeveless? Do it. Whatever style you prefer can be the style to go with a spring wedding.
    4. If your dream color palette has always been soft, light, and neutral colors, then you are in for a treat. All accents of the day will be matched with blossoms and all things blooming. This creates not only a beautiful backdrop for your photos, but you can also mix light colors if you like rather than committing to just one or two wedding colors. The more colors the merrier in the spring!
    5. Lighting is everything when the biggest day of your life is being photographed. Spring showers may bring May flowers, but also brings cloud coverage, which is ideal for flawless photos.
    spring wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Cons:
    1. Location makes a difference, but as of late, it seems that every area of the country is just as unpredictable in the spring as the rest. If you want a controlled and dependable environment in terms of the forecast, you’re choosing to go with the gamble season. You may have been dreaming of your cherry blossomed-day radiating in the sunlight ever since you sent out your save the date, only to be soaked in raindrops or shivering in snow.
    2. You might be able to withstand some spring chills by running inside to warm up as needed, but will your nose, eyes and ears be able to tolerate allergy season? This can drastically impact you and your groom for photos if your eyes are at all irritated or if you have that runny nose you just can’t stop. It’s also important to consider this for your bridal party members and even guests if any part of the day is planned to be outside.
    3. Depending upon your venue preference, an indoor ceremony and reception is a safer bet with the unknown weather woes that could come. If an outdoor floral backdrop is what you have your heart set on, wait those extra couple of months, and you will be golden to have the day you’ve envisioned.
    4. You won't be the only couple holding out through the winter and planning for a spring wedding — allowing vendors to up their prices (supply and demand!). If you’re working with a tighter budget and want to make every penny count, winter could be looking like your perfect wedding wonderland.
    5. You may not be able to book your favorite vendors. In addition to price surges for every detail you need to book for the day, if you don’t have a long engagement to book your vendors far out, the photographer and florist you’re set on could already be booked for your day and you’ll be left scrambling to find your second preference. Save yourself the stress if you have a shorter engagement!


    summer wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Pros:
    1. Variety makes all the difference in the quality of a wedding, not only for yourself but your guests as well.  “With summer weddings, the menu and catering becomes all sorts of fun,” Leo says. “There are so many different options; a lot of menus utilize local cheeses, fruits are ripe and harvested, and meats are fresh.”
    2. Summer days are hard to beat, and summer nights are even harder. Daylight lasts till sometimes 9 p.m. depending on the month and area, which allows for great flexibility in scheduling a ceremony time. There’s no rush on time or pressure to get all your photos taken in a short time frame, and the weather stays comfortable in the evening for everyone.
    3. Comfortable weather after the sun goes down allows for some creative spins. You can light a fire and have s’mores at your reception under the stars, as well as hang streamed lights to keep the party lingering longer. With the right flash and equipment, your photographer will have no problem properly capturing these moments.
    4. Summer is ideal for night owls, since you'll want to avoid the hottest hours of the day anyway. Leo says, “In hot heat, you need to be mindful of your guests and not plan a ceremony at the hottest time of day. Try a ceremony at 6 or 6:30 p.m. and serve dinner after.”
    5. Floral availability is in perfect timing. Whatever you've been pinning on your Pinterest board is available — and more. There’s a flower for every color scheme and it’s in perfect bloom, which means your arrangements will be to die for. Keep thinking about that bouquet you’ll be walking down the aisle with, because it’s as perfect as you’re imaging it will be. 
    summer wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Cons:
    1. High temperature it always something to be aware of when deciding on a summer wedding. Leo says, “There is nothing worse than seeing a bride sweat off her hair and makeup in the heat, especially in 100 plus degree weather.” We definitely don’t know any bride who wants to look oily or shiny in her forever-to-remember pictures.
    2. Besides the bride losing her full-face coverage, heat is distracting and can be difficult to deal with when it comes down to guests. “It’s so hard to keep people focused and comfortable depending on the severity of the temperature,” says Leo.
    3. Attendance is always a toss up when it comes down to those friends who are avid summer vacationers. Guests you want to invite may have already spent significant amounts of money on their family vacation or abroad escapades and won’t be able to watch you walk down the aisle. Carefully consider who is most important to you and your groom to be there — and get your save-the-dates out there early.
    4. Shorter engagements can work in many scenarios, but a summer wedding requires a longer lead time. If you get engaged right at the end of spring or beginning of summer, you will likely not have enough time to plan a wedding that same summer. Top vendors will be booked months beforehand, and you’ll have to settle for whatever is left. Give yourself plenty of time to make proper arrangements for a summer wedding, and have a yearlong engagement if needed to execute your dream wedding.
    5. Summer means sunshine, and that means harsh lighting for your photos. It will be more challenging to be photographed in spots you may have envisioned during your ceremony, reception, or for your bridals, and not all photos can be corrected. Carefully consider this, as your photos are what you’ll have to remember your day by.


    fall wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Pros:
    1. The leaves are falling, the temperature is cooling, but if you can schedule for late September, the options are still endless. Your dreams of an outdoor wedding can still be fulfilled with proper planning around your date, and your natural backdrop will make mouths drop and be the talk of the town. Prefer an indoor rustic barn wedding? Done. The flexibility with a bit cooler temperature makes fall one for the books.
    2. If you prefer a deeper and darker color scheme for the day, then fall is your season. Bronze, orange, deep purple, reds, and green are all great selections to go with the natural décor surrounding your venue. The nature and color scheme will accent and complement each other very well.
    3. Reliability for anything can make or break a wedding. When it comes to weather, fall is that great season that’s dependable and predictable. You know exactly what to expect and can plan around it months in advance, depending on how long your engagement is.
    4. Although the days get darker a little sooner, you still have an open time range of selecting your ceremony and being able to eat a little bit later. “You don’t have to have a 3:30 p.m. ceremony; you can get a way with 5 o’clock and go straight into dinner and dessert after,” says Leo.
    5. Money always matters, and finding avenues to cut costs down on the budget is huge. When planning a fall wedding, whether outdoor or indoor, you can reduce your spending based on the beauty of the nature around you on its own. To get extra foliage if it’s not natural around you, focus on a destination wedding to get you what you want. 
    fall wedding

    Photo Credit: Kristina Curtis Cons:
    1. Attendance can be difficult any time of year, but unexpectedly so when planning a fall wedding. If you have many guests who would need to travel to your wedding, they may have used up their travel time in the summer and are saving the rest for the holidays. Selecting a location that is accessible and easy for most friends and family could help with this, but that's often difficult to do.
    2. Stunning skin is something every bride and groom wants to achieve on his or her big day, but the changing weather can wreak havoc on skin. Skin tends to start drying out as summer ends and fall makes its way. There's nothing worse than trying a brand new skincare routine and having it fail on you. No one wants flakes or dry spots on their face, let alone on your wedding day!
    3. Fall tends to be a difficult time for most people financially — your guests may be strapped for cash following their summer vacations, they're now beginning to pay for school, or maybe they're just starting to save for the holidays. While you certainly shouldn't choose your wedding season based on the gifts you'll receive, you'll have to remind yourself not to be offended if your friend or relative gives you half as much as you spent on her wedding last summer. And out-of-towners may not be able to splurge on the airfare and travel accommodations necessary to attend your big day.
    4. If you are planning your wedding in a climate that’s known to be cooler in the fall months and having an outdoor ceremony and reception is out of the question, you have less flexibility when you’re restricted to an indoor facility. You will have limitations in this controlled environment that you are renting out and need to make sure you wouldn’t be missing anything extremely important to you.
    5. As fall weddings tend to be indoors more than outdoors overall, booking indoor venues can be tricky and if not planned far in advance. You may have severe trouble getting the space and spot you would like. If you are recently engaged, you’ll need more time to plan the details to be immaculate.

    Monday, January 11, 2016

    19 Times Flower Girls Stole The Show At A Wedding

    Just before the bride walks down the aisle, there's a sweet moment all guests look forward to: the flower girls!
    Below, we've gathered 19 flower girl wedding moments that are just too cute for words.