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Tips for Throwing a Surprise Bridal Shower

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Before the wedding there is the bridal shower. The task of throwing a bridal shower can stress a lot of people out, and when it’s a surprise party the stress can be even greater. However, we’re some of the millions of people out there that believe making the bridal shower a surprise bridal shower is what takes it to the next level. So we’ve got a few tips to help you pull it off with ease:

1.) Choose your date with care. Choosing the date is probably the most important part of this process, especially with all the extra work the bride will be doing in relation to her upcoming wedding. If she thought she was busy before, she’s definitely going to be busy now, so make sure you pick a date that she will absolutely be able to stick to.

A great way to ensure she’s coming is to make the party for someone else, then give her a small role. She has to bring cookies or something. Just that small commitment will usually be enough to make sure she comes no matter what. Plus, then if she catches wind of the “party”, she’ll still think it’s for a friend and your cover won’t be completely blown.

2.) Don’t forget about the groom! No matter how well you think you may know the bride, the groom is the one who is going to spend the rest of his life with her, so he probably knows her pretty well too. Keeping him in the loop will not only give you an inside edge into what she’s thinking during this crazed time, but will also help the groom bond a little bit with all of the bride’s favorite people.

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3.) Plan to have guests there with plenty of time to spare. If you’re going to plan a surprise party, the guest of honor obviously needs to be the last one to arrive. Tell your guests at least an hour (maybe even two if you still need help with setting up and decorations) to ensure everyone will be there with plenty of time to spare. Besides, getting to see the look on her face when she realizes the party is for her is the highlight of the night, and who would want to miss that?

4.) Make it all about her. If she’s obsessed with everything French, make it a Parisian themed party. If she every Disney movie ever made, have the games revolve around this love of Disney movies. No matter what you do, make it something that she will absolutely love.

5.) Plan to keep it short but allow it to continue. Plan for a short party and then if she still has time it can be extended to include certain events. Don’t automatically expect her to be able to stay for six hours after she was just surprised with the idea 30 minutes ago. And if there is to be drinking involved, make sure she has a way to get home safe (insert fiancé’s name here).

 

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding dresses up to size 30. Prom Dresses and Mother’s Dresses.

5 Interesting Ideas for Your Wedding

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When it comes to wedding planning, everyone wants their own wedding to be entirely unique. You want people to think to themselves, “Aww, isn’t that cute! Oh man I wish we would’ve thought of that for our wedding!”

But with the birth of social media (Pinterest, specifically), it’s become pretty difficult to come up an idea entirely your own. However, while many of these ideas listed below are not entirely new, what you do with them can create a one-of-a-kind experience.

1.) Make your own photo booth. Photo booths have become increasingly more popular in the last few years, and many couples are bucking the trend, but we think you should give it a second thought. While there are definitely high priced options available (actual photo booths that you plug in and receive tiny slides of your photos), you can easily make your own. Simply grab some props (crazy hats, mustaches and giant drinking glasses) and something to frame it (a window without glass) and let your guests line up and take photos of each other. Watching them interact with each other and all the props also makes for a great addition to your wedding video.

2.) Unique guestbooks. Everyone has a guestbook at their wedding, but this is a great opportunity to really get creative! Instead of just having them sign a book, have them leave their thumbprint on a thumbprint tree. Have them add their favorite “recipe for happiness” and place it in a recipe box. The options are endless!

3.) Interesting place cards. Place cards are another way to add a unique twist to your wedding. By no means do you have to use actual place cards; you can use playing cards, keys, clothespins, or even make your own. I’ve seen a couple that laminated their guests seat information on dried leaves for their fall wedding. So beautiful!

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4.) Expand your venue. Just because you have a specific site for the ceremony and reception does not mean you have to limit yourself to only decorating these areas. Decorating the place where you get ready makes for fantastic photos and videos. You won’t have to worry about taking pictures in a boring and nondescript hotel bathroom. No need to go overboard, just a few flowers, balloons or signs that match the theme of your wedding. And speaking of signs…

5.) Make some signs. Signs are a great way to put your own personal touch on your big day. Of course everyone knows who you and your soon-to-be spouse are, but why not add some fun signs? It’s a great (and inexpensive) way to bring your entire theme together. Plus, homemade signs create some of the best keepsakes around. You’ll be able to hang it in your bedroom for years to come.

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering wedding gowns, prom dresses,  bridesmaids, mothers, and tuxedo rentals. We offer up to size 30 in all gowns.

Insider Advice for Planning Your Honeymoon

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For many of us, the thought of getting married is also accompanied by the excitement of going on the honeymoon; a small amount of time that we get to spend with our new spouse without a care in the world. Of course that’s how it’s supposed to be, but if you hastily plan your honeymoon you could end up with some regrets upon arrival back home.

So we’ve got a few tips for you that should make your trip the most memorable (in a good way) honeymoon you could’ve ever planned.

1.) Go somewhere new. Relationship experts all agree that new experiences strengthen relationships. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant trip, but make sure there are at least a few new components of the trip. Even if you head off to your family’s cabin that you know better than the back of your hand, go off hiking to a new location or try your luck at fly-fishing for the first time.

2.) Hire a local photographer. This may seem completely random, but when will you ever have the chance to have professional picture taken of the two of you in Rome? Or Maui? Or Paris? A session would only take 30-60 minutes, and it would be an amazing way to capture the memory of your trip.

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3.) Spread the word! Don’t hold back that the two of you are on your honeymoon. Many businesses will give you perks based on the fact that you are newlyweds. Hotels will comp you a better room, airlines will bump you up to first class and restaurants will give you dessert, on the house. Not always, of course, but you’d be surprised!

4.) Be prepared from day one. The fastest way to ruin your honeymoon is to get sunburned on the first day. Just go ahead and say goodbye to lounging by the beach and…you know…that other thing couples spend all day and night doing on their honeymoon. Wear the wrong shoes and you’ll be stuck with blisters all weekend long. So lather on sunscreen, wear the right shoes and look forward to enjoying your entire honeymoon.

5.) Let friends and family help. Many couples now list a “honeymoon fund” as part of the gift registry for their wedding. And for good reason too: guests can donate cash to your travel fund, or they can purchase things that you will be able to use on the trip, like scuba diving lessons or a historic tour of the location you’re headed to. Plus, this also allows them to be a part of your honeymoon without them actually being there. You’ll be thanking Uncle Phil for those surf lessons the entire time you’re out there, allowing him to be part of your memory without actually sneaking his way into your suitcase.

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

Wedding Mistakes You’re Forgetting About

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No matter how many articles you read and how many people give you advice about your wedding day, there are still going to be a few things you’ll miss. And that’s no biggie; unless it’s one of these that we have listed. A little mistake here and there won’t ruin your big day, but any one of these might have some lasting effects. So here you go: the five wedding day mistakes you need to be aware of:

1.) Wearing 4-inch heels…all day long. There is nothing wrong with wearing the most extravagant and ridiculous heels you can find down the aisle. After all, this is your wedding day and if you want to be six inches taller (and do it with bright blue Louboutins), more power to you. But physics is physics, and unless you’re a superhero, you aren’t going to be able to dance the night away in those same shoes. Bring a set of flats or at least a more comfortable set of heels to wear for the majority of the night.

2.) Micromanaging your vendors.  If you’ve done your research and hired professional vendors, there’s no reason to micromanage. Your photographer knows the best location for photos (and it’s probably not the spot you think), your DJ knows the right kind of music to play to get people up and dancing and your caterer knows how long it takes people to finish their salads before they bring out the next course. Just sit back and let them do their job; micromanaging is only going to make things worse!

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3.) Having the bachelor/bachelorette party the night before the wedding. Think back to the craziest night of your life; now imagine how you spent the next day…probably lying in bed next to a trash can watching The Price is Right. You were probably in no shape to have any kind of event the next day, so for the love of God, don’t torture yourself! Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, don’t set yourself up for it to be the most miserable day!

4.) Demanding too much of your wedding party. Remember, your bridesmaids and groomsmen are all doing this as a favor. People don’t usually volunteer to take a ton of time out of their busy schedules, pay close to $1,000 just to be in a couple pictures next to you on the altar. So go easy on them; they are your best friends, and you don’t want to strain your friendship over a blow-out about silver, strappy sandals. Those strappy sandals won’t be holding your hand through the difficult moments of your life.

5.) Budget! It’s no fun but the couples that ignore this simple task are setting themselves up for disaster. Weddings are far more expensive than you probably realize, so take a second and figure out how much you’re willing to spend. You don’t want to be digging yourself out of debt for the next 20 years.

 

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

How to Incorporate String Instruments on Your Wedding Day

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What’s the first thing when you think of traditional romantic wedding? Red roses probably come to mind, along with some form of chocolates, but what else? Surely, a string ensemble of some kind also entered your mind. Hmm…

When it comes to weddings, many couples choose to accentuate the romantic theme running throughout. And why shouldn’t they; the entire day is about celebrating the love you and your fiancé have for each other, right? Of course it is! And while you don’t want to do something too traditional and played out, really stop for a second and think about the last time you attended a wedding that had an ensemble of string instruments. Personally, I’ve never been to that wedding, nor do I have any friends that have been to that wedding. So as traditional and “tired” as the concept may be, it’s actually very rarely done! And when something is rarely done but is insanely romantic, we say go for it.

Of course we do understand the financial limitations for hiring an entire group instead of a DJ, and we also know that getting down and dirty to a string quartet is a bit tough to do. So we’ve got a few ways to incorporate them into your wedding in a classy way that will still leave a memorable mark will also keep your wedding modern and fresh.

1.) As arrival music. Hiring a group to play for just an hour before guests arrive won’t break the bank and will add a beautiful touch to your big day. Many guests are unsure of what to do when they first arrive for a wedding, as there aren’t usually drinks or food available until after the ceremony. Showing them to their seats with delicate music playing will not only give them something to do (watching a group play is just as interesting as listening), but will also keep them from checking their watch every three minutes wondering when the show is about to start. Plus it puts them in the right mood to watch a beautiful ceremony. Want people to cry at your wedding? Have a string quartet playing in the background.

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2.) For walking up and down the aisle. Of course if you’re going to have a short ceremony (20 minutes max), you might want to keep them around for the actual ceremony. They can play the song you walk down the aisle to (any song performed in strings is absolutely inspiring) and the song for your return trip.

3.) During photos. Your DJ may just be getting set up, so have the ensemble play a little something as background music while the cocktails and appetizers are being served. If the group plays modern hits, you can even have the guests request songs as a little fun activity to pass the time. Then as soon as you and your new spouse return from photos, have the DJ turn on the louder music and get your party started!

Lily’s Bridal is Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique offering wedding gowns up to size 30. Call today to book your appointment. Lily’s Bridal offers prom dresses, bridesmaids dresses, mothers dresses, and tuxedo rentals.

Coping With Stress on Your Wedding Day

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Planning a wedding can be quite a stressful experience, so it’s no wonder why so many people feel the most stressed out on the day when everything is supposed to come together. In one day, you’re about to find out if all those sleepless nights were in vain.

However, no one wants to look like an actual ball of stress in their wedding pictures. This is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, don’t you want to enjoy it a little?

Of course you do! So we’ve gathered a few tips to use on your wedding to help calm your nerves and release a bit of that overwhelming stress.

1.) Dance. Moving to music is one of the best ways of releasing stress. Not only can the right song completely change your state of mind, any form of exercise releases endorphins, which are proven to lighten your mood. No need to break a sweat, just turn on one of your favorite feel good songs and bob your head to the beat.

2.) Get outside. There is something so soothing about just standing up and stepping outside for a moment. It’s called “a breath of fresh air” for a reason, after all. So get away from all those papers, makeup and everything else and step outside for a moment. Spend a few minutes in the backyard or go up to the roof of your apartment building. You’ll be able to regroup in no time.

3.) Lay down for a bit. Take a quick catnap. You might feel like there’s absolutely no way you could sleep on a day like this, but if you have a few extra minutes try and rest for a second. You’ll appreciate how much better you’ll feel after a quick power nap. And the rest of your bridal party probably will too.

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4.) Make a list. The main reason brides are so nervous about everything on their big day is because they can’t see what is functioning right in front of them. You may be so flustered you may not realize that you’ve already talked to the caterers about setting up a half hour early. So make a list of everything that needs to be done on this day, then cross off everything that has been completed. Allow others to cross off tasks they have also completed. Seeing things get crossed off that list will help put your mind at ease.

5.) Eat something. This is no time to let your blood sugar drop. You don’t want to faint in front of 250 people, do you? So even if you don’t feel like it, eat a little something. A granola bar, some cheese and crackers or even just a piece of candy will give you the added boost you’ll need to de-stress and regain your footing.

 

Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Gowns, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, Prom Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Curvy brides come see our amazing inventory. Call to book your appointment today.

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.