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Reasons to Consider Inviting Your Ex to Your Wedding

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Eeek…you were probably hoping we would skip this area of expertise, weren’t you? Well, unfortunately, most couples have to confront the subject of whether or not they will be inviting exes to their wedding. And with people waiting until later in life to be wed, the subject is much more common than you think. So we’ve spent some time digging through the advice of many and narrowed it down to the following considerations:

1.) What was your past relationship like? It doesn’t matter how important this person is, how much your family loves them or what they think they may be entitled to, if this person treated you poorly they absolutely don’t deserve a seat at your wedding. In addition, if your fiancé has spent years undoing the damage they have done, they are probably going to have an issue with feeding them a $75 plate of food on your wedding day.

2.) How long were the two of you together? The length of time you were together can mean many things. If you were together for 8 years, you probably know each other pretty well, in which case the “No one knows Susan like Mark does” line in your Maid of Honor’s speech might cause everyone to shift in their seats a bit. On the other hand, if it was a casual thing and the two of you decided after a month that you were better off as friends, simply explain to your partner that it was a test trial and you’re very happy with the person you’re marrying right now.

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3.) Would it be good for the kids? We all know kids are a sponge, so it’s incredibly important that they see Mom and Dad being supportive of each other even though they are with different people. Seeing Dad supports your marriage to Dan will help them feel at ease with your new husband and do away with any bitter talking behind your back. If the two of you are on great speaking terms, it could be very beneficial for the kids to see what a mature, adult relationship looks like after a divorce. Remember though, we said if the two of you are on great speaking terms.

4.) What does your fiancé think? This is not just your wedding, this is also your fiancé’s wedding, which means they get just as much say in the matter as you do. If your partner is going to feel uncomfortable all night with your “first” sitting out in the lobby, you might want to consider leaving the invitation at home. After all, your future spouse’s happiness is one of your top priorities. Your ex will surely understand.


Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Gowns, Prom Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. An amazing selection for our curvy brides!

Wedding Night Truths Revealed

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Most of us envision our wedding night as a torrid all-night affair between the sheets. And according to most movies, that’s exactly how the night is supposed to end up. You stay up all night in each other’s arms, wake up the same way, savagely wolf down some breakfast, take a shower and begin your new life together. Well, not quite.

Here’s what usually happens on the wedding night. Of course there’s a lot of boot-knocking, but here is what happens when that isn’t going on.

1.) You sleep. Think about it; you’ve been utterly exhausted for months, and now that everything is finally over, you have no kids to worry about, no nagging in-laws to deal with and no phones, email or anything else (because every knows the sure as hell better not bother you on your wedding night), what would you want to do? Trust us, the first time you lay down on that soft clean, wonderfully relaxing mattress it’s all over.

2.) You cry. “It’s emotional!” shares Kendra, 26 who was married in June of 2012. “It just really hit me as soon as it was all over. Then when I started crying, he started crying…not that it was a bad thing, we were both just so surprised at our reaction!” Is this really that surprising? The reality that you’re married combined with the fact that you’re dog-tired is often the perfect combination to open the water gates.

3.) You stay out later. What happens when everyone has left but you are both still wired? You keep going! Many couples are still so excited with the high of the night that they go out (still in their full wedding gear of course). Somewhere like Vegas is perfect for a couple that plans on staying out all night long even when their friends and family have turned in for the night.

4.) You watch tv…well at least one of you does. And what happens when only one of you still has the energy to carry on? Your partner might have fallen victim to the ridiculously comfortable mattress described in point one, but you’re still going strong. That often means a long and cozy night with your favorite television show.

5.) You get sick. So many couples spend their entire night mingling with guests and tearing it up on the dance floor that they hardly get a chance to eat some of the delicious meal they’ve been planning for the last year. Combine that with an open bar and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a late night, and not in the good way. Your wedding is your wedding, but if you were to ask us, we’d say to take it easy on the hard stuff. You want to remember this night as the happiest night of your life, not the night you puked all over a $2000 dress.


Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Gowns, Prom Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Sizes up to 30

Creating a Wedding Reception Playlist

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Of all the things your guests will remember about your wedding day, the music and entertainment is definitely one of the highest items on the list. Of course that’s no surprise; guests might find the flowers beautiful and the food delicious, but they’re going to remember the time they spent with you the most, and the vast majority of that time is going to be at the reception while the music is playing. Would you rather their memories be watching you’re your spouse from a distance or dancing the night away with the two of you on the dance floor?

This is the reason so many great bands and DJ’s are in such high demand. They know what to play, when to play it. Of course not everyone can afford a band or DJ, so sometimes we have to take the playlist in our own hands. In that case, we’ve gathered a few tips for you:

1.) Make mutual decisions. One person can be in charge when it comes to other aspects of your wedding, but when it comes to the music it needs to be a joint decision. Music is incredibly meaningful and each of you deserves to be a part of choosing which songs will be played at your reception.

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2.) Plan to spend all night. Most likely this isn’t going to be a quick decision. Grab a few bottles of wine or a case of beer and get ready for a long night in. Don’t worry though, it won’t be as tedious as you may think. You’ll both most likely spend the night reminiscing and telling stories about one song or the other. Don’t rush it, these are important memories too.

3.) Be ready to compromise. You aren’t going to like all the songs your partner chooses and he or she isn’t going to like all the songs that you choose, but that’s okay. It’s also important to determine why you don’t like certain songs. If you hate a song because it was playing in the background when your first boyfriend dumped you on your birthday, that’s very understandable and it should probably be left off the list. On the other hand, if it’s one of your fiancé’s favorite songs and you don’t like it because it’s

4.) Choose music that’s special to you. Don’t just choose songs because they’re popular or because you think they will get people on their feet and dancing, also choose songs that are significant you and your future spouse for specific reasons. Maybe you share an inside joke to a specific song or maybe you both sing the wrong words to another. Bring up the memories associated with these songs will make your wedding day even more special.

5.) Choose music that’s special to your guests. It’s also advised to add a few songs that hold special meaning to a few friends or family members. Your parents’ wedding song, your little sister’s favorite song or the tune that your fiancé remembers his mom always humming as she made dinner; these additions will show your friends and family just how much you appreciate them being there on your special day.

Lily’s Bridal is Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique offering Wedding Gowns, Prom Dresses, Bridesmaids, Mothers, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to book an appointment today.

Tips for Seating Guests at Your Wedding Reception

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Where to seat everyone at your weddiing. Seating charts can be a bit tricky. Coordinating who gets along and who doesn’t get along can be a huge pain in the neck. In addition, when you have a cousin that can’t stand your best friend from college and a crazy uncle that spits when he eats, it’s no wonder why so many couples leave this task until the last minute. And speaking of why that’s a mistake, let’s jump right into tip #1:

1.) Start planning early. While many couples use the excuse that planning their seating chart late in the game will help account for extra arrivals and missed RSVPs, the fact is it usually ends up as one more thing you have to worry about in close proximity to the big day. So just as with any other aspect of wedding planning, start planning your seating chart as early as possible; it’ll be much easier to fill in the gaps as people start trickling in rather than have to organize 250 people all at once.

2.) Categorize your guests. It might sound rude, but the fact is this little tip can help you get going if you don’t know where to start. Just write down how each guest knows you or your fiancé: bride’s college friend, groom’s family, bride’s family friend, and so on. Then arrange the tables by category. As soon one table runs out of people fill in the extra chairs with a category that makes sense, like pairing groom’s family friends with members of the groom’s family.

3.) Play matchmaker. We probably don’t have to tell you how notorious weddings are for hookups, so just go along with it. If your fiancé is inviting his entire (mostly single) frat house from college, and you’re inviting all of your (also mostly single) old sorority sisters, just save yourself and put them at tables nearby each other. Trust us, they’re going to end up at the same table anyway.

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4.) Separate the enemies. Just use common sense here. Don’t put your cousin and your college roommate anywhere close to each other if you think it might be a problem. Sure they might act civil just for your sake, but no one is going to have a good time staring across the table at the mortal enemy.

5.) Go casual. If creating a seating chart is just driving you absolutely bonkers, you might want to rethink the idea altogether. Having a more casual setting (like picnic tables at an outdoor wedding) is a great way to avoid the task altogether. You’ll just want to make sure Grandma and Grandpa are guaranteed good seats with a good view; they deserve at least that much.


Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique locate in Baltimore. Offering Wedding dresses in all sizes. We love our curvy brides and have an amazing selection of dresses size 24 and up. Lily’s Bridal offers Prom Dresses up to size 30, Bridesmaids dresses, Mother’s Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals.

Choosing a Reception Venue for Your Wedding

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Ah, the reception venue. At the beginning of the planning process of your wedding it’s one of the most important things on the list. We want people to have a good time and we’re ready to pay what we need to ensure that happens. Of course then the price of the actual wedding begins to set in and suddenly that open field in that old apartment complex begins to look mighty appetizing. But before you decide to put all your financial eggs in the ceremony venue basket, here are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure your reception will still be the amazing party you’re dreaming of:

1.) Is there enough room for your guests? You might think 150 isn’t a lot of people, but get them all in one room and things can get crowded very quick. In addition, just because a place says it has the capacity to carry 200 does not mean it has to capacity to carry 200 people comfortably. The best way to ensure your guests will have some elbow room is to take a look at the place when it’s decorated for another wedding. After all the tables, chairs, dance floors, DJ setup, catering equipment and more has been included, you’ll get a much better feel of how many people the room is capable of housing.

2.) Do you have enough privacy? Many of us assume the good nature of most people, but the fact is an open bar is a very tempting thing to many a person. It’s quite easy for someone to put on a suit, help themselves to a few drinks and then slip off with a souvenir from your gift table. Plus, let’s not forget to mention the countless photobombs spreading around the internet right now; of course you want pictures from your big day, but surely you’d rather keep the half-naked (or completely naked) tourists out of them.

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3.) Can you decorate it? A beautiful garden or majestic church needs no decorating, but the majority of reception halls need some help. However no matter what your resources, it’s going to be pretty tough to cover up fluorescent orange walls with oversized butterflies painted on each one.

4.) Does it have the right acoustics? What’s the point of hiring a band if no one is able to hear them? Just because a room is the right size and looks nice does not mean it’s practical. Test ot your acoustics beforehand to make sure the room is a good sound match.

5.) Does it have enough plugins? If you want music and food at your big day, you’ve got to have some kind of energy option for the vendors to plug their things in. Even a generator might be enough to do the trick.

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premiere Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Dresses up to size 30. Bridesmaids Dresses, Mother’s Dresses, Prom Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals.  Call for an appointment today!

Getting Fit for Your Wedding Day

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Let’s be honest, we all want to look our very best on our wedding day. But no matter what our weight might be, looking our best also means having a healthy glow and being hydrated enough to dance the night away without collapsing from exhaustion. So before you start some crazy crash diet, take a look at some of our fool-proof tips to not only help you look your best on your wedding day, but also feel your best.

1.) Set a goal. And not just any goal, but something measurable and realistic. Setting a goal of “get in better shape” isn’t going to do you any favors. Instead, set something measurable, like “running a 5k in under 40 minutes” or “being able to do 30 pushups in a row”. These are things you can measure so you have an idea of the progress you’re making.

2.) Get a buddy. Think of it as strength in numbers. Find a friend that is also dedicated to getting in shape and help each other stay on track. Don’t worry if you can’t find a friend in your immediate vicinity; there are plenty out there! Join a cycling group at your local gym or even look online for a fitness buddy. There are plenty of people out there looking for a friend to get in shape with!

3.) Set a schedule. Just as setting a goal needs to be specific, so does this one. Don’t just say you’re going to “run more”, put down exactly what you’re going to do. Maybe you want to lift two days a week and run two days a week. Good, but still not good enough. How far or how long will you be running? What will you be lifting? What are your set and rep numbers? Don’t worry if this all seems confusing: hiring a personal trainer will help you become familiar with the routine and will help you become more comfortable with different forms of exercise. And speaking of different forms of exercise…

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4.) Mix it up. The reason so many people give up on their fitness routine isn’t because it’s hard, but because it’s boring! So switch up your exercises! Spend a day going hiking, swimming, playing racketball or rowing. Don’t condemn yourself to doing the same thing over and over again; of course that’s no fun for anyone!

5.) Follow a healthy diet. It doesn’t matter if you’re running 20 miles a day; if you eat like crap, the weight isn’t going to come off. So take a look at your diet and make the necessary changes. It’s not about starving yourself, it’s about portion control and self-discipline. Eat when you are hungry, and make better choices about what you are eating. No more salt-laden fast food. Think fresh fruits and veggies instead.

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – We cater to all shapes but specialize in Plus Size Wedding Dresses. Call to book your appointment today.

Opening Wedding Gifts: With or Without the Family?

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The wedding is over, and it’s time to relax. You might be looking forward to the honeymoon but there’s one more thing to get excited about before that: the presents!

Now it might sound tacky, but let’s be honest: no matter how old you are, everyone gets excited to open presents. Plus, with how expensive weddings are, it can be a relief to know a few of your relatives pitched in to cover some of the cost with a cash gift.

But how do you go about doing it? Some families have a tradition where the bride and groom meet for brunch the next morning and open presents in front of their closest family members. This allows people to be there firsthand as they unwrap something handcrafted. Your Grandma has been working on that quilt for an entire year, she deserves to see the look on your face when you first lay eyes on it. Of course some would also argue that this is insensitive and disrespectful, and it mostly focuses on the gifts, not the couple themselves. Plus, not every gift is interesting. Watching people unwrap toasters, gravy boats and cash cards isn’t exactly an exciting afternoon.

Others, on the other hand, opt for a more private setting. The gifts are opened (with no one else present) after the couple returns from their honeymoon. In a more private setting, the couple is free to organize gifts as they come, as well as map out their thank-you cards accordingly. Plus, they won’t have to deal with a Mother-in-law’s judging eyes as they open a gift from the groom’s fraternity.

Whichever route you decide to take, we thought we might put together a list of dos and don’ts that apply in either situation.


– Remember it’s the thought that counts. If your grandpa gives you a handpainted mailbox, be excited about it. When you move back home take a picture of it standing in your driveway to send to him and take it down if you must. If he shows up unexpectedly, say there were a string of mailbox vandalizations and you were too worried something would happen to it.

– Refer to money as the gift you’ll use it for. This gives the gift more weight in the eyes of all the other handcrafted gifts.


– Forget the thank-you notes no matter how late you are. Things happen and life catches up with you, everyone knows that. A thank-you note is still a thank-you note no matter if it is received three days later or three months later. You’ll want to write them as soon as possible, but don’t slack off just because time has gone by.

– Use generic terms. Send a handwritten note, no matter how insignificant you may feel that it is. Don’t just print the message and then sign your signature; talk about how happy you were to see them there (or how much you missed them) and of course reference how much you love their gift!

Lily’s Bridal is Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique offering Exclusive Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses. We cater to all sizes from 0 to 30. Call to book your appointment today!

Wedding Day Snafus Your Vendors Aren’t Responsible For

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You want your wedding day to be perfect, and an essential part of making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible is hiring the right vendors. Not only will they be able to perform the job to your high standards, but they’ve also seen just about everything; meaning if something goes wrong, chances are they’ve already dealt with a similar situation in the past and already have ways of fixing the situation.

However, there are some things that your vendors simply have no control over, and if any of the situations below pop up at your wedding, don’t hold the vendors accountable. They’re only human too, you know.

1.) Bad weather. Bad weather happens, and if you don’t have an indoor location, you’re pretty much putting yourself at risk for whatever Mother Nature might have in store. If it rains on your wedding day and you don’t feel like getting a bunch of umbrella photos with your bridesmaids, don’t blame the photographer for a lack of photos. Trust us, they’ll try to make up for it later by dragging you off the dance floor the second the clouds break, but if you wanted a picture with the landscape and it’s been pouring rain for the last three days, you can’t blame them.

2.) The bugs. Besides the venue (they should give you fair warning if they have an abundance of bugs in the summertime), your other vendors can’t be held accountable for the creepy crawlers. Sure, your bakery probably knows a trick or two to keep the ants and flies away from that gorgeous cake of yours, but that’s about as far as they can go.

3.) The guests. Your vendors have no control over the people you invite. It’s the DJ’s job to get people riled up and dancing and it’s the bartender’s job to serve the alcohol (so long as your guests can provide adequate proof that they are legal to drink). If your guests get too drunk or too loud and crazy, it’s neither the DJ nor the bartender’s fault. You probably already know the patrons that tend to overdrink, so assign a member of the wedding party to keep an eye on them.

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4.) The timeframe. If your DJ needs an hour to set up before the show, don’t expect them to be able to do it in 30 minutes. The photographer might need two hours to get in all the photos on your list, if your hair and makeup crew runs late, don’t expect your photographer to be able to snap all the photos you requested in 20 minutes.

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding dresses up to size 30. Call to book your appointment today.

Alternatives to Rice Throwing at the End of Your Wedding

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It’s tradition; at the end of the wedding the bride and groom make their grand exit while guests shower them with…something. It used to be rice, but with the awareness of how unhealthy it is to birds (we know they don’t die, but it’s still not good for them), people have been exploring their options of what else they might want to throw at the end of their wedding. Of course we aren’t ones for making you do countless hours of research, so once again we’ve made a handy-dandy little list for you:

1.) Bubbles! Yes, some may consider it a worn out trend, but we feel it’s here to stay. And why? Because of all the pros: bubbles don’t stain clothes, you will have nothing to pull out of your hair, there’s nothing to clean up, it’s not bad for animals or the environment and it’s just plain fun. Everyone loves blowing bubbles…everyone. Show me someone that hates bubbles and I’l show you either an alien or a robot.

2.) Flowers. It’s also not uncommon for people to toss flower petals. And why wouldn’t you?! They’re beautiful, smell amazing and are easy to pick out of your hair and clothing (very unlike rice). Plus, they are large enough that they show up well in photos. Just imagine how beautiful of a scene it would be as you and your new spouse are running through a tunnel of cascading rose petals. Yeah, we thought so too.

3.) Sparklers! Sparklers are also a growing trend as of late, for the exact same reasons as bubbles. For the most part, the clean-up is a minimum and everyone likes sparklers. You could have the worst day ever and as soon as someone puts a sparkler in your hand all you can think about is the best way to write your name in the air before the flame goes out. Just look at this list as an example; the words “Bubbles” and Sparklers” are the only two points followed by an exclamation point instead of a period. It’s not a coincidence, folks.

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4.) Bird or grass seed. If you really want to through something as similar to rice as possible, consider one of these two options. It’ll be almost exactly the same as rice, but it’s good for the animals and environment so you won’t have to clean it up afterward.

5.) Nothing – hold something instead. Having your guests hold something over your head to create a tunnel is just as good as throwing something or waving it around. Umbrellas, for example, make an absolutely adorable way to send off guests. Plus, guests can also be taking pictures with them all night long!


Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mother’s Dresses, Prom Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to book your appointment today!

How to Ask for Help when Planning Your Wedding

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It might seem like an odd problem to have while planning your wedding, but it happens to more couples than you think. Even with the most helpful fiancé of all time, sometimes you just need an extra set of hands. Think about all the long distance couples out there; he might not be able to come to the cake tasting, and if you need a second opinion and your family all live far away, your left with your friends. Some people don’t want to be a burden, so it can be very tough to ask. However, a wedding is an incredibly stressful event to plan on your own, so we’ve gathered a few ways to get a little help here and there when you need it most.

1.) Throw a wedding planning party. It’s a party, so it has to be fun: key word being “fun”. Don’t make people show up with pads and pencils and sit quietly in a circle, that’s no fun at all. Have drinks and snacks readily available, and let them know any idea is open for discussion. If you start shutting people down immediately no one will want to help.

You can assign categories to make it interesting (your mom is in charge of coming up with a floral scheme while your girlfriends are in charge of coming up with drink specials) or you can just plan on everyone bringing their top  general ideas to the table. Either way, keep the drinks and snacks abundant and you should be able to have a great brainstorming session.

2.) Play up to their expertise. Everyone likes to be called an expert, so when you tell your friend what amazing fashion sense she has and then mention how difficult it’s been to find a bridesmaid dress, she’ll gladly offer her help. That’s the beauty of this; you really don’t even have to ask. All you have to do is give a compliment then wait to say ‘yes’ when they offer their assistance.

3.) Just call someone and ask. At some point, you have to be a big girl and just ask for help. Call your friend on the phone and ask if she’ll come meet the florist with you later that week. If you’re mature enough to be getting married you’re mature enough to pick up the phone and ask your friend for a quick favor.

4.) Don’t forget the strangers. That woman at the bridal shop might know more about weddings than you ever imagined, so it might be a wise move to ask her opinion on matters other than the dress. She might be full of useful information that you would otherwise be missing out on.

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5.) Get help where you can. Need an extra set of hands but have literally no one to help out? Get creative. If you’re a kindergarten teacher, bring one of your wedding to-do’s to class as a project. It will save you a lesson plan and keep your kids busy. Have them fold origami swans instead of paper airplanes. It might not be the best route to take but at least you’re getting the work done and our kids are learning what swans are.


Lily’s Bridal is Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Lily’s Bridal offers Wedding Dresses up to size 30. Call to book your appointment today.