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.
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!
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…
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.
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!
We’ve done plenty of articles for easing the stress of the bride for the wedding, but the grooms out there may be feeling just a bit neglected. And hey, it’s their wedding too! So this one is for the fellas; if you’re planning on getting married in the near future, here are a few tips to helping you keep your sanity, even if your bride is losing hers.
1.) Don’t procrastinate with the tux. Your bride has most likely been dreaming of the wedding dress she’ll wear for years, while you probably have a general look in mind and will go with that. However, that doesn’t mean you can put off the process until the last minute. You should be giving yourself 4 to 5 months to find a tux. Maybe even a bit longer if you’re planning a spring or summer wedding as it’s the busiest time of the year and other grooms will be doing the exact same thing.
2.) Keep the lines of communication open. Planning a wedding should be a job for the two of you, not just the bride herself. After all, you both are getting married. So offer to help with the little things and make sure you’re educated on planning updates. If she’s freaking out about something, knowing exactly what the problem is will be the first step in solving it.
3.) Know the right time to shave. You definitely don’t want to be walking around on your wedding day with a harsh case of razor burn. But then again, having her face nearly sanded off during your first kiss is probably something your bride isn’t looking forward to either. So choose your shave time wisely; most people recommend shaving in the direction of the hair just moments before you get dressed for the ceremony.
4.) Go easy on the booze. This should be one of the happiest days of your life, so of course you’re going to want to have a drink or two. Look out though, since free booze tends to be a slippery slope for everyone. Besides, this isn’t your average Saturday get-together; this is your wedding. You’re going to want to remember this one. So by all means have a few drinks, but keep it classy. Besides, how rough would it be to end up passed out or puking at the end of the night in from of 250 of your closest friends and family? Not great. Especially when they all have camera phones.
5.) Relax. Know that all the planning you have done has led to this point, so sit back and relax, the planning is over! Now is the time enjoy the fact that you’re getting married. Appreciate the company of your friends and family and if something goes wrong just let it slide. No one will remember the little snafus anyway since they probably didn’t know what was expected in the first place. All anyone will remember is how amazing your big day turned out to be.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offers Wedding dresses, Bridesmaids dresses, Mothers dresses, Tuxedo Rentals, and Prom Dresses. Call to book an appointment!
Talk of wedding themes can be very hit or miss with a lot of couples. Some couples jump on the idea while others are bit gun-shy. It’s quite understandable why one would go against the idea of a theme wedding. After all, if you’re looking for classic and timeless, a theme wedding might put you in a tough spot. Choose a theme that is trendy at the time and you’ll end up with wedding pictures that no one understands. Of course, if you’re crazy, fun and carefree, a themed wedding might just be the perfect way for the two of you to begin your marriage. So here are a few fun ones we’ve found with a little digging:
1.) Scary theme. We’re talking Halloween or Zombie theme. You can either go all out, with the bride and groom painted to look like real, scary zombies, or if you can add little touches in to a still very elegant and classy wedding. Think orange and black cocktail drinks or skeleton pieces of art as table settings. Plus, we guarantee you your wedding will be the talk of everyone in both of your families, forever.
2.) Movie theme. This one is quite broad, so we’re leaving the gist of it up to you. Basically, you both choose a movie to plan your wedding around. Have the two of you always wanted to be secret agents? How about a James Bond theme. Your man gets to wear his amazing tux, while all your guests can dress up in their dressiest outfits. It would be sophisticated and fun. Or maybe you guys could go a different direction, and choose something whimsical like Alice in Wonderland. With all the movies out there your options really are endless!
3.) Geek/Nerd theme. Have an obsession with video games? Legos? Anything that could be considered just a tad bit nerdy? Run with it! People are owning their geekiness like no other these days, so why stop there? A lego-themed wedding would not only be the talk of the town, but everyone would undoubtedly feel like a 7-year old again. Just imagine the nostalgia! Plus, if you think about it, your friends are probably all somewhat nerdy or geeky as well (we tend to be friends with people similar to ourselves) so they would probably love it!
4.) Superhero theme. There’s nothing wrong with letting your “secret identities” show for a day! You can go all out, or just have the groom wear his Superman shirt under his tux while you keep your Wonder Woman undies under wraps until later that night.
5.) Fantasy theme. The fantasy theme can come from a number of places, from Fantasia to Lord of the Rings. You can wear fairy wings down the aisle, or you can choose a more subtle approach, like having vines twist through the Arbor you’ll be standing under. Just imagine how beautiful it could be!
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, Tuxedo Rentals, and Prom Dresses. Call to book your appointment today!
As much fun as weddings appear to be, we almost always run into one or two over the years that many of us wish we had just stayed home for. We could’ve used the money we spent traveling and taking off of work on a better gift for the happy couple…or something like that. The fact is, just because two people are in love does not ensure that the day will be a pleasurable experience for all. Here are a few ways to make sure your big day is awesome rather than lame:
1.) Make sure people are comfortable. Sure, sitting in the sun for a 10 minute ceremony isn’t going to kill anyone, but they aren’t sitting there for the ceremony. They’ve probably been sitting their closer to 30 or 40 minutes by the time you actually start heading down the aisle. In addition, cramming all your loved ones in a tiny venue won’t go unnoticed. If you want to invite 250 people, be prepared to dish out the money for a venue that can handle 250 people.
2.) Get them involved. There is a difference between coming to a show and coming to an experience. If your guests are under the impression that this is about you, they will sit back and let you do your thing. If you make it about sharing this day with you, they will gladly join in the festivities. So keep the “watching” portions quick: the ceremony, the cake cutting, the toasts, and really focus on the shared parts, like mingling during food and drinks and dancing at the reception.
3.) Make it personal, not impressive. Just because you have extravagant decorations does not mean people are going to remember your big day. You know where else I’ve seen huge, gorgeous flower arrangements? In Vegas. Unless your flower arrangements have a personal connection to you and your new spouse, they go in the memory bank under “huge flowers”. Right next to the ones I’ve seen in Vegas. So have your initials in their somewhere, or do a combination of both of your favorite flowers. Then it gets filed under “unique wedding flowers”, and you’re definitely in the lead in that category.
4.) Stick around! People come to your wedding to see you! I’ve been to a wedding where the bride and groom literally stuck around long enough to have a piece of their own cake and then left to go to their honeymoon while their guests were still being served dinner. The DJ started in with the music but everyone just stared at each other. What would you do if you were invited to a house party and the host was on her way out as soon as you got there? Awkward.
5.) Thank them afterward! It’s a lot of work to take time off work, ride in a car/bus/plane for 6 hours and pay for a hotel room along with it, so don’t let them leave empty handed! Give them thanks during your speech at the beginning of the night, thank them when to speak to them one-on-one during dinner, thank they on their way out with a small bag of goodies and write them a handwritten note as soon as you possibly can. They need to know how much you appreciated the fact that they made the trip.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s premier Bridal Boutique – offering wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, mothers dresses, prom dresses, and tuxedo rentals. See you soon!
If you think you’re on the brink of getting engaged, allow us to give you early congratulations; and if you’re not even close to getting engaged, we’ll be just as happy for you anyway. See, you don’t need to be engaged in order to be happy (as many of us know), but if you’ve been dying to plan your dream wedding and your lack of a fiancé is screwing it up, we’ll let you in on another little secret: you don’t have to be engaged to plan that, either.
However, getting carried away with the wedding planning before you’re even exclusive with someone can be a bit damaging, so we’d recommend following these tips to making sure you don’t end up in Crazytown:
1.) Go for the little things. If you’ve found the exact pair of heels you know you’re going to be wearing on your wedding day, than by all means, purchase them. If anything, by the time your wedding does roll around, you’ll already have that piece of the puzzle in place and you won’t have to budget for it.
2.) Feel free to dream big. When everything is still up in the air, don’t worry about getting brought back down to earth! Since this is just your dream wedding (not the actual wedding with restrictions, like a budget and time frame), go ahead and let your head float around in the clouds for a while. Just make sure you’re aware of the fantasy of it all; in reality, the Queen of England might have a problem with you using Buckingham Palace as your venue, and Gwen Stefani might not have time to give you the details on the dress she wore down the aisle.
3.) Be aware that these plans will be compromised. When planning a wedding together, it needs to be a reflection of the both of you. That means some of your planning decisions have to be up for discussion later. If he’s a fan of red velvet cake and you’re a fan of devil’s food, you might have to meet halfway and order half of each. Or your all vegetarian menu might go out the door if your fiancé is a lover of meat.
4.) Build up your savings. If you find yourself excited at the thought of having this amazing wedding, you’re going to need a way to pay for it. So cut out some morning coffee trips and reign back your online shopping. Your future wedding budget will thank you for it.
5.) Keep it on the down-low. There’s nothing wrong with planning your wedding before you’re engaged, and there’s nothing wrong with this being common knowledge, but there is something wrong with becoming consumed by it. Not only will your current significant other begin to feel like their only purpose in life is to provide a specific role in your wedding fantasy, but any future significant others might be a bit put off by the whole ordeal. Remember, the point of having a wedding is to get married, not just to throw the perfect party.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call today and book your appointment 410-553-9336 or book online!
Wedding invitations may sound simple enough, but there’s a little more to it than that. As two friends of mine who are getting married recently found out, details in the wedding invitation (like the date of the wedding…yes, they actually left that part out) can be easily overlooked. So here are the basic things you need to make sure of before you ship out your beloved invitations:
1.) All general information is included. Who is getting married, the date, time and place of the wedding (and reception, if it is in a different location), the dress code and a picture of you and your fiancé need to be included. And yes, a picture is essential. You may know who your grandmother is, but if she’s got 12 other grandchildren to keep track of (and she’s in her mid-80’s), a picture will be an invaluable help to her.
2.) A map and accommodation information. Sure, it may seem incredibly unnecessary, what with all the GPS systems nowadays, but don’t assume all your guests have this technology. Even so, many of the weddings I travel to are located in Western Maryland, and there’s definitely no internet connected in the middle of the mountains. A map is always useful. In addition, you are going to have guests that are attending your wedding from out of town, and it will be a huge help if you can provide them with a few options of where to stay.
3.) RSVP instructions. If you want people to RSVP by mail, it’s essential to include a self-addressed, pre-stamped RSVP card. If you want people to RSVP online instead, you need to give them directions to website or Facebook page, etc. However, it’s best to keep an open mind. Your grandmother is probably not going to have a Facebook page and most likely won’t be able to navigate to your website. Make sure she has an actual RSVP card that she can mail back. Put a number on the back of the RSVP card that you track. As some guests forget to put their names on the card.They just say yes, 2 attending.
4.) Website and related events. If you choose to have a wedding website (a fantastic idea, and I explain why here), add it in with your invitation. Related events would include a rehearsal dinner or brunch, a round of golf or a mid-day hike. Just make sure that you’re inviting the right people to the right event. If you don’t want all 200 guests to show up to the rehearsal dinner, make sure all 200 of them don’t get an invite for it.
5.) Registry information. In some circles, putting registry information in your invitation can seem rude (yes Martha Stewart, I’m talking to you), but many people (myself included) that it’s even more rude to leave them in the dark until they get the courage to ask you or one of your family members where you are registered. Giving them a heads up in your wedding invitation isn’t rude, it’s considerate.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Gowns, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call today to book your appointment or online!
Everyone everywhere has something to say about wedding planning. Everyone has an opinion on what kind of colors look best together, what kind of music people will dance to and what kind of dress will be easiest to dance in. Engagements, however, seem to be in a world of their own. There is no wrong way to propose and every story is romantic no matter what the circumstances. Nonetheless, there are a few things about getting engaged that might take you by surprise.
1.) You will have to tell your proposal story a million times. And then probably a couple times after that. Everyone will want to hear this story. Some couples choose to put their proposal story on their wedding website so people can read about it there, therefore saving themselves the time and monotony of telling the same story over and over again. Of course we think the retelling of the story is half the fun of being engaged. A 20-year married couple rarely gets asked to tell that story.
2.) Your proposal will be different than how you pictured it. In your proposal fantasy, your family was there or you were in different circumstances. Maybe you hadn’t just gotten home from the gym, in sweaty clothes and smeared makeup. But these details don’t make your story any less special, they actually make it more so; they make it real, and real is better than any fantasy.
3.) Everyone will want to know wedding details. You probably haven’t even thought about what flavor of cake you’re going to have or if you’re going to have a DJ or a band playing at the reception, but people will ask you anyway. People will want to know when you’re going wedding dress shopping and if you need any help with anything. They will offer up help with the planning and will often bombard you with (unsolicited) advice. Take it all in stride, though; these people don’t mean to be intrusive, they are just genuinely really, really excited for you.
4.) Some will be a bit grumpy. In the midst of all the people that are happy for you, there will most likely be one or two that aren’t so thrilled. Your older sister might be upset that you’re engaged while she’s still single, and your best friend might have a problem with your fiancé. Just keep your head up. True friends know that what makes you happy makes them happy, and sour family members have a way of coming around in the end.
5.) Your relationship will feel different. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating for 10 years, and have considered yourselves married for that same amount of time, someone just asked you to spend the rest of your life with them and you said yes. Even without a ring, this is a huge deal. For many people, the wedding becomes simply a formality to make it all official; the engagement is where it became serious.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to make your appointment or book online!
Everyone has their favorite part of the wedding; maybe it’s the moment the groom first sees the bride, the food or just the open bar. Many of my friends enjoy the act of getting dressed up, while personally, I’m all about the cake. A wedding with good cake is a fantastic wedding indeed.
However, as much as your guests may differ about their favorite parts of a wedding, they tend to be on the same page with what they appreciate the most. Read on for some of the best suggestions for a wedding your guests will truly enjoy.
1.) You keep things moving. Nothing makes people antsy quite like having nothing to do. Taking photographs between the ceremony and the reception is a common practice, but making your guests wait three hours between wedding and reception can be a little much. When dinner is over, get on with the cake cutting; don’t dawdle! When people get hungry and thirsty they get cranky, and the last thing you want at your wedding is a group of 200 cranky people.
2.) You keep them comfortable. A ceremony in direct sunlight is understandable, but don’t make your guests sit in that climate for 45 minutes! No one wants to start off the reception sweaty and sunburned. And on the contrary, don’t subject your guests to a freezing cold room for the entire night; especially your elderly guests.
3.) You keep things light. Too many rules can stress people out. There’s nothing wrong with having a set schedule for things (an order in which tables are served, for example), but anything too stringent will make guests wonder just what they are allowed to do. Is it an appropriate time to dance? Can they approach the bride and groom for a hug or will they be ushered away?
4.) You keep speeches short and appropriate. You know the ones in your wedding party that have a tendency to go on and on and on and on and on; so nip it in the bud and make sure they keep their speeches to a 5-10 minute maximum. It’s also a smart idea to read through the speeches first. What your best man thinks is a funny story could actually end up ruining the entire evening. Case in point: a recent wedding I attended where the bridesmaids’ speeches turned into a bridal roast, and the father of the bride didn’t wish the happy couple any congratulations, he just talked about how proud he is of his son that couldn’t make it that night.
5.) You provide them a ride home. Chances are, your wedding couples are making the silent deal they often make with each other; one of them can drink while the other will stay sober for the drive home. Making sure they have free transportation at the end of the night is a perfect way to let them both enjoy your wedding without any of the risk.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique. Offering Wedding dresses, Bridesmaids dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to book your appointment today or online!
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