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Archives: October 2012

How to Choose Your Wedding Officiant

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Ah, the marriage officiant. It’s funny how so little thought is often given to one of the most important roles at your wedding. Think about it; your officiant will probably be speaking more than any other guest, including that crazy best man speech you just know is on its way. So choose carefully, because the last thing you want is a complete stranger standing up there with you and your fiancé that just doesn’t mesh with the whole vibe of your wedding.

1.) Determine what you want in your ceremony. Every officiant is different: some of them are quite flexible when it comes to what you’d like them to say, others have a script and can be rather rigid when it comes to what you want to add or subtract from said script. If you and your fiancé are planning on writing your own vows, you’re going to need to find someone that is okay with that.

2.) Think about who you want up there with you. If you don’t want a complete stranger to be the one to make your wedding official, you need to do a bit more planning. Nowadays, it’s possible for virtually anyone become licensed to legally marry two people. A close friend or family member might be up for the job, or you could simply ask around. You never know; you might already have a mutual friend that is fully qualified to be your officiant!

3.) Think about the mood you’re going for. An officiant is, in fact, a person, so their own personality will of course be apparent during the ceremony. If you are planning on having a carefree beach wedding, than a carefree, laid back and even humorous officiant may just be a perfect fit. On the other hand, if you’re getting married in a century old church in a very traditional ceremony, a bit more modesty might be in order.

4.) Check with the venue. Sometimes, the choice of officiant is out of your hands. Some churches, for example, have their own priest or minister that performs the ceremony. Likewise, if you’re getting married at the courthouse, you might be stuck with whoever happens to be working that day.

5.) Choose someone with the same values. You don’t want someone to be up there just going through the motions; after all, this is one of the most important days of your lives! It’s important that whoever you choose is someone that will be genuinely happy for you, so make sure to interview them extensively beforehand. Are they okay with the fact that you are a mixed-race couple? That you’re having a same-sex marriage? I once attended a wedding where the officiant was clearly not on board with the idea of an entirely non-religious ceremony, and slipped in his own “God bless,” just for good measure, making it a bit awkward for everyone who knew the bride and groom’s wishes.

Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides – Exclusive designers to Lily’s Bridal – Wedding dresses designs found no where else in Maryland

Fall Wedding Tips

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Truth be told, fall is probably my favorite time of year. The reds and golds of the falling leaves are everywhere, there is a crisp feel in the air and there seems to be a growing excitement for the upcoming holidays. So in my eyes it’s perfectly natural to plan your wedding for this time of the year. However, if you do, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want your big day to go off without a hitch.

1.) Plan for the weather. Fall may be beautiful, but it is also a bit unpredictable. It’s often a toss-up as to whether you’ll be hit with leftover heat from summer or a light dusting due to an early winter. You’ll need to make sure that any venue you choose not only has an indoor option if things get rough outside, but also has a plan to execute the indoor option. You’d surprised how many venues claim to have a backup venue but no backup plan.

2.) Navigate the holidays. Having your wedding in October or November may sound like a great way to avoid the summer wedding rush, but don’t forget about holidays. Many people begin putting away money for Christmas shopping and traveling plans. If you’re going to ask them to spend money on a plane ticket this close to the holidays, you’ve got to give them plenty of time in advance and make sure it’s not running right up on Thanksgiving weekend. Otherwise your guest list could end up shrinking considerably.

3.) Decorate accordingly. Fall is known for its breathtaking palate of oranges, reds and yellows, so if you’re planning on having a pink and blue themed wedding ceremony, make sure you aren’t going to clash with any of the natural decorations. A clean slate free of falling leaves might make a better backdrop to your bridal party photos then one full of colors not included in your wedding planning. Of course, if this seems like it would be a hassle (it really might be), you might want to consider tweaking your wedding colors a bit to allow them to mesh better with the abundant fall foliage.

4.) Take advantage of deals. Planning a wedding in the fall or winter instead of summer or spring means you may be able to save some money on wedding basics like the venue or certain decorations. Wedding vendors are slowing down this time of year, so they often offer incentives to bring in new clients. Check with local photographers, florists and bakers to see if any of them are running a new fall wedding package. Plus, it never hurts to hit up a few sales at your local wedding dress boutiques; you never know when that gorgeous dress you saw last spring could be marked down.

 

Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides – Exclusive designers to Lily’s Bridal – Wedding dresses designs found no where else in Maryland

Halloween Wedding Dress Ideas

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As October draws to a close, I can’t help but notice that every year I hear of someone I know getting married on (or very close to) Halloween, and my first thought, every time, is “Ooooh I can’t wait to see the dress!”

Now this is true of most weddings, of course, but a Halloween wedding does tend to up the interest level just a bit. So whether you’re planning on having a slightly Halloween-themed wedding this year or going all out, here are a few tips to ensure your dress will be the talking point of the evening…in a good way, that is.

1.) Leave the white dress at home. There’s nothing wrong with wearing an elegant black or even red dress on your wedding day. Plus, in this day and age it’s much easier than it used to be to get a wedding dress in any color besides white. However, if you live in an area with a limited selection in wedding dresses (read: all white), consider looking at the bridesmaid dresses. An elegant, floor length, strapless black gown might just be the perfect thing for your big day.

2.) Or make a few small changes. Adding a bit of black trim or lace to a white dress is not only a perfect way to give it that gothic look you might be going for, but it’s also a great way to get a custom dress while still staying in your budget.

3.) Add the right accessories. If you’ve had your eye on a particular dress that only comes in white, never fear, you can still personalize it for your wedding. Adding an orange or black sash and ornate jewelry will still help you fit in with the rest of your Halloween themed attire. Wearing long gloves or a black veil will also give you a slightly spooky air to your overall outfit.  

4.) Consider the style. The color of your dress isn’t everything; in fact, the style and cut are absolutely essential. Consider a romantic lace gown with intricate embroidery, or a slim fitting one with long, flowing sleeves. And don’t forget the groom; he can have a longer tailcoats, a higher collar (hello, Dracula), and a vest with a red underlay.

 Halloween Wedding Theme

5.) Get married in costume. Of course if you want to completely embrace the idea of a Halloween themed wedding dress, nothing beats getting married in costume. Whether it’s as a slightly more spooky bride, like a zombie bride or the bride of Frankenstein, or as something completely different, like Little Red Riding Hood or a Princess, it’s entirely up to you!

However, since you will probably have pictures taken, if you’re going to dress in costume it’s a good idea to go with something classic. That way, 30 years down the road, you aren’t explaining to your new daughter-in-law who Lady Gaga is.

 

Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides – Exclusive designers to Lily’s Bridal – Wedding dresses designs found no where else in Maryland.

Adding Personality Your Wedding Dress

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Everyone wants their wedding dress to be one of a kind. Seeing someone else walk down the aisle wearing your dress somehow takes some of the magic away from your special day. It shouldn’t, but it still does, nonetheless. But we also have to be realistic; the cost of a custom wedding dress can border on outrageous, and unless you’re a celebrity (or walking down the aisle with one) you might have to resort to buying a dress like the rest of us mortals do.

However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a one-of-a-kind gown. Here are a few ways to make your dress a perfect reflection of who you are:

1.) Make minor shape changes. By doing some simple changes (as long as the dress permits it), you can ensure your gown will be entirely unique. Changing a straight neckline to a sweetheart neckline or raising the hemline to make a long dress into a short dress are changes that can take a gown from unassuming to absolutely stunning. Of course, always check with whoever is doing the alterations on your dress to make sure these changes are not only possible, but are able to happen within your given time frame.

2.) Add color. Whether it’s with accessories or the dress itself, color makes a statement. Even a deep blue sash or a pair of bright yellow heels can be enough to change the entire look of your dress. Buck tradition entirely by wearing a yellow or pink dress, or try something more subtle, like switching out those basic white buttons for a set in one of your wedding colors. A beautiful white dress with gorgeous red buttons running down the back is sure to be an unexpected and breathtaking touch no one will soon forget.

3.) Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Your wedding dress is not the only thing you’re wearing, so don’t neglect the rest of what your outfit! Instead of creating a custom dress, spend a fraction of the cost creating a custom veil or wearing an antique necklace that has been in the family for generations.

4.) Add little embellishments. A great way to make your dress your own is to add little touches to it, like a bit of beading to the neckline or some lace trim around the hem. A jeweled or beaded belt can also be added to define your waist as well as give the dress a stunning focal point.

5.) Include your culture. In many cultures, the wedding dress is seen as a collective effort. Adding components like beading or embroidery to your dress that represent your heritage is the perfect way to make sure your dress will stand out among a sea of wedding dresses your friends and family are sure to see at other weddings all year long.

Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides – Exclusive designers to Lily’s Bridal – Wedding dresses designs found no where else in Maryland.

Criteria For Choosing a Wedding Venue

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Ah, the wedding venue. It’s actually a pretty tricky thing; not only is it one of the most significant components of your wedding (since it will probably determine the rest of your decorations and budget), but it’s also one of the hardest things to nail down. Sure you may have a spot in mind, but maybe you don’t realize there’s a two year waiting list, or maybe you didn’t realize how much more expensive a venue is in the summer than the winter. Well, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.) The time of year. Some venues are only available at certain times of the year, and the prices often change depending on what season you want to get married. For so many people though, the time of year is the most non-negotiable part of the wedding. Sure your original guest list might expand and you may even agree to be married inside instead of outdoors, but switching from a summer wedding to a winter wedding is a change many are simply not willing to make. So be sure you have a good idea of what your venue options are for the season of your future wedding.

2.) Your needs. What are you planning on doing on your big day? Are you going to have your reception at the same place as the ceremony or will that be at a different venue? If the reception is at the same place, you’re going to have to think about other details, like if you need a dance floor, how a band or DJ will get set up and if you will need on site catering. In addition, how many people will be attending the ceremony? If you’re planning on getting married outside in a beautiful garden, is there a backup plan in case the weather decides to turn nasty?

3.) How it looks pre-decoration. No matter where you decide to get married, you’re going to want to make it all your own, and every venue is going to have its own challenges. However, the most challenging thing of all is often covering up other decorations. If your wedding colors are purple and green and your potential venue has fluorescent blue walls, that might be a deal breaker. Besides a place that shares your exact wedding colors (probably not going to happen), you’re going to want to look for something with a neutral palette. That way, you won’t have to worry about covering every square inch.

4.) The location. Being a born and bred Montana girl I completely understand the idea of having your ceremony on a mountaintop somewhere where everyone hikes to the location. However, your grandparents are probably not going to be able to participate in this kind of ceremony. If you really want to make it convenient on everyone, choose a location close to some kind of accommodations so your guests won’t have to travel an extra hour the spot of the wedding.

Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides

Wedding Compromises: When to Give In and When to Stand Your Ground

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The idea of compromising on your wedding seems a bit…odd. Isn’t this the day you’ve been dreaming of as long as you could remember? You get to call the shots, and if anyone has a problem with anything, you automatically win because you’re the bride, right?

Well…kind of.

As it turns out, those people who don’t compromise on anything are not called brides; they’re called bridezillas, and for good reason. Unless you want to alienate your entire family and have your groom second guessing his decision to marry you, you’re going to have to compromise on a few things. Having said that, there are also some things you should never back down about. Read on.

DO Compromise:

1.) The guest list. Contrary to what modern media tells us, a wedding is not just about the bride. It’s about the groom as well, and it marks the joining of two families. You may absolutely hate your groom’s best friend, but if he wants him to be the best man he gets to be the best man. And it doesn’t matter if you can’t stand that woman that has been friends with his family for what seems like eternity. If they consider her family, you must now consider her family, and on the guest list she goes.

2.) The decorations. Your guests are not going to remember if your silverware had ribbon around it or not, and they’re much less going to remember if that ribbon looked professionally tied or like you did it yourself. You don’t have to do the exact same thing as that wedding that you found on Pinterest, you just need to be close. Use those pictures for inspiration and stop stressing over the details.

DON’T Compromise:

1.) The budget. Keep in mind that you’re getting married…and that’s all. That statement is not meant to be a downer, it’s meant to remind you that you have your whole life ahead of you! You’re going to need money for other things down the road, like a house, kids, travel or whatever other goals you and your new spouse have together. It may seem like an extra $50 here and an extra $100 there is nothing to worry about, but it adds up. Stay within your budget, no matter what.

2.) Your overall plan. As soon as you get engaged, you’re going to be dealing with more than a handful of wedding planning wannabes trying to influence your choices about your wedding, and you should stand your ground.

3.) The dress. Since we’ve already covered the importance of staying in budget, we’ll remind you that your dream dress is only your dream dress if you stay within your price range, having said that, pick the style that you want. If your mom wants you in a ballgown and a tiara and you want the sleek, modern dress with a flower in your hair, do what you want. She’s your mom, not the bride, and she’ll get over it. You might not.

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Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides

Fall Wedding Tips

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Truth be told, fall is probably my favorite time of year. The reds and golds of the falling leaves are everywhere, there is a crisp feel in the air and there seems to be a growing excitement for the upcoming holidays. So in my eyes it’s perfectly natural to plan your wedding for this time of the year. However, if you do, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want your big day to go off without a hitch.

1.) Plan for the weather. Fall may be beautiful, but it is also a bit unpredictable. It’s often a toss-up as to whether you’ll be hit with leftover heat from summer or a light dusting due to an early winter. You’ll need to make sure that any venue you choose not only has an indoor option if things get rough outside, but also has a plan to execute the indoor option. You’d surprised how many venues claim to have a backup venue but no backup plan.

2.) Navigate the holidays. Having your wedding in October or November may sound like a great way to avoid the summer wedding rush, but don’t forget about holidays. Many people begin putting away money for Christmas shopping and traveling plans. If you’re going to ask them to spend money on a plane ticket this close to the holidays, you’ve got to give them plenty of time in advance and make sure it’s not running right up on Thanksgiving weekend. Otherwise your guest list could end up shrinking considerably.

3.) Use the colors to your advantage. The colors of fall are the main reason it’s one of the most beautiful times of the year. If you’re planning on getting married outside, don’t fight the natural color scheme; go with it. If you go with a color palette of deep burgundy, burnt orange and pale yellows and soft greens, your venue is already half decorated!

4.) Understand lighting challenges. One of the most overlooked concerns about having your ceremony in the fall is that everyone is still used to the long, 10-hour days of summer. People forget that the sun is setting earlier and earlier, meaning if you’re still planning on being outdoors around 6:00 pm, you need to arrange for an alternative source of lighting, like some wispy, hanging lanterns or even a healthy supply of white Christmas lights.

5.) Get unique with favors. This is the perfect chance to save some money in your wedding budget. Since fall is the perfect time to cuddle up on the couch with a warm bowl of soup or tea, consider giving pouches of homemade tea or soup ingredients to cook on the first brisk day that reminds us winter is coming. You might also consider giving canned jars of fruit preserves tied with ribbon. It’s a great money saver and is a gift your guests will actually enjoy!

Fall Wedding Favors

Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides

Most Common Wedding Makeup Mistakes

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You have your wedding dress, so what is next on your list? Makeup!!!

A bride’s makeup is of utmost importance on her wedding day. Besides just the fact that it’s an important day, the most significant people in your life will be there (some you may not have seen in years), it will probably be an all-day event, and on top of it all off; there’s a photographer and perhaps even a videographer. There’s no getting around it, your makeup needs to be stellar. So here are a few things that could absolutely sabotage your perfect look:

1.) Not using waterproof mascara. It’s your wedding day, so chances are you’re going to cry…multiple times. Unless you want black streaks of mascara running down your face make sure you have one that’s waterproof.

2.) Going too neutral. Even if you’re into the whole “no makeup” makeup, it’s best to go a little (a little) bit more dramatic. This will make your pictures stand out a lot more. However, it’s important to stay away from Wedding Don’t #3 as well…

3.) Going overboard. You still want to look like you. If you usually don’t wear a lot of makeup, caking it on for your wedding day will make you look fake, and probably make you feel very uncomfortable. It’s best to stick to your usually routine, just amp up the products a bit for a little extra drama and staying power.

4.) Not retouching. Unless they’ve invented some new makeup formula by the time you’re reading this article (highly unlikely), your makeup is going to fade. Lip color goes first, followed closely by blush. Add on top of that tears, sweat and maybe even some cake and you’re going to need some touch-ups. Have a few products to retouch before photos or after significant moments (when you’re crying right after saying your vows), will come in handy on your big day.

5.) Experimenting with tanner. First of all, whatever color you are when you go to do your makeup test trial should be the color you are on the day you get married. Second of all, no one looks good when they’re overly tanned, and third of all, your tan might not come out the way you’ve planned. Having large streaks or an overly orange hue is not going to look good in wedding photos.

6.) Getting trendy with it. A trend is something that is in style now and then goes out of style later; not the best look for your wedding day. You want something timeless and classic that will hold up in your wedding photographs for years to come. Just think of all those brides that got married in the 80’s; the ones that didn’t wear the iconic bright blue eye-shadow are probably much happier with their wedding pictures today.

7.) Not seeking expert advice.  Make Up artists truly understand what looks best on you and in your pictures and video. Set up a trial run with two or three and decide on the one that best reflects your style for your wedding day.

Blog brought to you by Lily’s Bridal – We cater to all Brides but specialize in Curvy-Plus Size Brides

What Your Guests Will Remember at Your Wedding

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When planning a wedding, it’s very common for things to quickly get out of control. Not because of the bride and groom, however, but because of what the bride and groom thinks is important. While every, tiny little detail may seem important, the fact is, it isn’t. Some details are just not worth the sleepless nights. Think about it, is it really necessary to fight over the invitation font when most guests aren’t even going to remember what your invitations looked like? Of course not! However, here are a few things your guests will remember, so pay attention.

1.) The Entertainment. I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve gone to that were absolutely gorgeous, but I didn’t have a good time. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the room is or how delicious the food is, if there’s nothing to do but stand around and watch you cut cake, it’s basically the same thing as going out to a nice dinner with everyone you know. Oh and two people are also getting married. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on entertainment, but if you want your guests to enjoy themselves you should at least spend some. The number one reason guests leave a wedding early is because they weren’t having fun, so if you want them to stay, show them a good time!

2.) The Wedding Dress. Yes, it’s true, many guests are just itching for the moment when the bride starts coming down the aisle. A wedding dress is a wedding dress, and people just can’t wait to see it! So even if you don’t put down a small down-payment for your dress, at least take the time to make sure it has no wrinkles or creases and it fits like a glove.

The dress is also one of the features of your wedding that will be in almost every picture. Trust me, you want to make sure it’s absolutely perfect.

3.) The Love. By far one of my favorite moments of the wedding is when the groom sees the bride for the first time in her wedding dress, as well as the looks on their faces when they’re exchanging their vows. It makes me feel more connected to the couple to see how much they love each other! However, at the last wedding I attended, I missed out on all of this. Not because there was 300 people there, but because there was just poor seating arrangement and the bride and groom had no microphone. People want to see you and they want to hear what you’re saying. Otherwise you’re just making them sit in the sun for 30 minutes while you and your fiancé appear to have a polite conversation and kiss at the end.