Choosing your Bridesmaids

>> Monday, April 27, 2009

And you thought finding the groom was hard! Sometimes picking your bridesmaids (and handling the drama that can come with it) can be exhausting. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

Remember that it's your day. Having 10 bridesmaids might be pushing it, but if you have lots of close friends and you can't bear the thought of leaving any of them out, include them all. You don't want to regret missing anyone on your big day.

Use the 10-year test. Think hard about who you will still be in touch with in 10 years. Chances are, using this test will be an eye-opener if you're struggling to narrow your list.

Consider their own personal lives. Is one of your friends going through a really difficult time financially or emotionally? Often, women are so honored to be asked to stand up at a wedding, they will say yes even if they really aren't capable of handling the responsibility at that point in time. If you have a friend like this, it may be most considerate to ask her to do a reading at the ceremony or something else that doesn't require the time and money commitment of being a bridesmaid.

Be honest. You may face the difficult task of leaving out a friend you just don't feel close to anymore. In this case, ignoring it or not acknowledging that she may feel slighted is probably not a good idea. Take her out for coffee and explain the situation to her. As awkward as it may be, it shows her that at least you care enough about your friendship to take the time to talk to her about it. It may be uncomfortable, but if she reacts badly, it will probably only confirm that she wasn't the right person to stand up in your wedding anyway.

*Photo courtesy of Colleen Dustin Photography.


Stand out on your big day!

>> Monday, April 20, 2009

More and more couples are avoiding the "stand and shuffle" routine for their first dance by taking ballroom dancing lessons. There is a lot to like about this trend: You can avoid any clumsy moments during your first dance as husband and wife; you can bond with your hubby-to-be during dancing lessons; you can take a break from the pressures of wedding planning with your newfound hobby...the list goes on and on.

Here are a few things to consider if you want to go the "choreographed dance" route:

*Select a dance studio for training. Size and location have nothing to do with whether or not you will mesh with the instructor. Make sure you meet your particular instructor and find out if your personalities and dance styles will complement each other. Remember, this is supposed to be enjoyable! If you find yourself dreading your lessons, you've missed out on half the fun of the experience.

*Pick a song. There are many different ways to choose a first dance song--it may hold special memories for you as a couple; you may have dreamed of dancing to a particular song from the age of five; or you may just hear something on the radio that you like. Just make sure you pick the song at the beginning of dance lessons so your instructor has plenty of time to choreograph and teach you the steps for your first dance.

*Be clear about what you want. Do you want a romantic, sensual dance? Would you prefer something complicated and flashy? Or do you just want to make people laugh? Whatever style you prefer, make sure you let your instructor know so they can choreograph appropriately.

*Practice, Practice, Practice! You shouldn't practice only while with your instructor. Set aside special times with your fiance to work on the steps. You will feel a lot more comfortable on the big day if you've made sure you're well prepared.

Following these steps will help ensure that you have a stand-out moment for your first dance, and help cement your bond with your future hubby in the process!
*Photo courtesy of Andrea Bibeault: A Wedding Photojournalist


Think Romance

>> Monday, April 13, 2009

While the fundamental nature of weddings is romance, trends in past years have been more about edginess and creativity than soft lighting and mushy moments. However, it may be time to re-visit Julia Roberts' wedding in Steel Magnolias for inspiration, because romance is making a comeback.

If you're looking for ways to bring romance into your wedding, start with your own personal look. Flowing gowns with loads of lace are extremely popular right now. Opt for an ivory shade instead of traditional stark white to warm things up. Make your makeup soft and subtle, and choose loose, flowing waves for your hair. Tiaras and headpieces are also increasingly popular, so consider incorporating one into your hairstyle to really bring out your inner princess.

One of the best ways to get a sentimental look at your wedding is through flowers--the more, the better! Think of making a move back to traditional roses, daisies, or lilies in soft pastels. The returning trend of looser, cascading bouquets will also add a feminine touch.

Incorporate your favorite poem into your vows or the reading at your ceremony. Do a dove release after the ceremony instead of the typical rice or bubbles. Hire a band to play soft jazz music in the background during your reception. Display black-and-white photos of you and your fiancé at the reception for old-school charm.

The possibilities are endless. There's never another time in your life where sentimentality and "mushiness" will be so acceptable; why not enjoy it and embrace your inner girly-girl?

*The above look from designer Jim Hjelm captures the essence of romantic elegance.


Who needs color?

>> Monday, April 6, 2009

When it comes to wedding colors, sometimes less is more--white is fast becoming a popular choice among brides. And why not? Being surrounded by white gives one the feeling of being in a heavenly, serene atmosphere...what better theme to have at a wedding? Naturally, most brides don't want their bridesmaids wearing white dresses, but consider white as one of your "colors" and you won't be disappointed.

Although you might be afraid a white bridal bouquet will blend in with your dress, it can actually help you stand out. Fill your ceremony and reception with gorgeous white orchids, lilies, gardenias, or roses for a breathtaking effect. Have your cake accented with cream or white flowers to catch your guests' eyes. Drape all the windows with sheer white curtains. If you're feeling really bold, dress your groom and his groomsmen in white tuxes.

We love this idea for any season, but think of how beautiful it could be for an outdoor event, or a snow-covered Christmas wedding...

*Photo courtesy of Melenbacker Photography


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