'Weddiquette 101' Your Top 5 Wedding Etiquette Questions Answered

bride and groom invitations

When it comes to wedding etiquette there sometimes isn't an easy yes or no answer. Making socially acceptable decisions when it comes to your wedding and pleasing everyone can be tough. So just remember it is your fiancĂ© and yours big day, so you have the final say! Here are some of the top wedding etiquette questions I have come across according to our Facebook fans. Read on, chances are you have these questions too!

Second wedding registry ideas
1. What is the etiquette for a second marriage wedding? Is it appropriate to wear a white dress? Should I have a gift registry?

Second marriage weddings are very prominent this day in age and there are no set rules on how to celebrate your special day. It is totally appropriate to wear a white wedding gown to your second wedding ceremony. The 'etiquette' on wearing white has relaxed over the years. As the bride, you should wear whatever you are comfortable in and feel beautiful wearing, including white!

A lot of couples who are embarking on a second marriage have already established a home with all the supplies and items newlyweds usually receive, so often they do not have a gift registry. It is acceptable to state on your invitations that you wish not to receive gifts. Or couples sometimes suggest that their guests make a donation to a favorite charity instead of gifts. But saying that, it is still very acceptable for you and your fiancĂ© to register for gifts because your loved ones will want to get you something. Tailor your registry to your interests or hobbies. Consider DVDs, camping equipment or gift cards to your favorite restaurants.

Memorial vase2. How can I honor a loved one who has recently passed away during my wedding ceremony?

Many couples wish to honor an important loved one who has passed away during their wedding without creating a sad mood or making the ceremony feel like a memorial. A special way to honor these loved ones is with a memorial candle or vase engraved with their name or names. You may also consider having a short prepared remembrance read during your ceremony. Some couples also denote a missing parent or loved one with an empty seat in the front row with a rose placed on it.

bridesmaids3. Who is responsible for paying for the bridal party's attire?

It is usually the responsibility of the bridesmaids and groomsmen to purchase their own dresses and rent tuxes. That's why it is important for you to consider the cost of the dress you choose for your girls to wear. Some couples who are able will cover the cost of the ensembles but usually it is up to the bridal party themselves.

messy baby4. How do you politely tell your guests that you do not want children at the wedding reception?

Many couples wish to just enjoy some 'adult time' at their wedding and some reception sites don't allow children. It is perfectly acceptable to state that on your invitations. Consider using the following phrase, 'We kindly request adults only please' or list your reception as an 'Adult Only Reception'. Another option is to specifically address the invites to those invited (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. So and So). When you don't list the children's names or '& Family' your guests should get the point.

5. When should I send out my wedding invitations? What about Save the Dates? 

wedding invitationsWedding invitations should be sent out 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. This gives your guests plenty of time to clear their calendars, make travel arrangements and it is close enough to the wedding that it keeps the date fresh in their minds. This also allows for you to request that your guests RSVP at least 3-4 weeks before the wedding, giving plenty or time for a final head count for seating charts and the caterer.

Save the dates are appropriate to send out when having a destination wedding or if you have many out of town guests who will need to make significant travel arrangements. Send out save the date cards or magnets 4 to 6 months before the wedding.

Keep sending your wedding etiquette questions our way!


Image Credits: Bride and groom wedding invitations from www.funnyweddingmedia.com, Camping equipment, Gift cards, Bridesmaids, Messy Baby from Istock, Letterpress invitations from Paper Chez

Modern Grooms Accessorize with Style

Grooms and their groomsmen often get overlooked when discussing how to outfit a wedding party. Modern grooms and their buds want to have just as much fun with their wedding day attire as the ladies get to. Of course there will always be a time and a place for the sleek look of a traditional tuxedo, but more and more grooms are showing their sense of style with suits and fun accessories.

The cotton and linen suit is perfect for grooms who love a more casual style. Grooms can also be seen without their jacket and sporting rolled up shirtsleeves, a vest or suspenders, and a hipster style hat.
Modern Groom in Tan Suit

Other grooms choose to modernize their look with accessories. Shoes, with quirky Chuck Taylors being the most popular, are a common way for groomsman to show their style. If funky shoes are a little too much, there are always colorful socks. I have seen many groomsmen pictures lately with pant legs pulled up to reveal bright and fun patterened socks.
Funky red groomsmen socks

 Grooms and their groomsmen can also play up their look with patterned suits, brightly colored vests and ties. Tweed and plaid are hot for groom suits this year and spunky little bow ties are making a come back right along with it. This hipster style is one that is sure to make the bride swoon!
Bride kissing Groom wearing bow tie

Grooms (or whoever is planning their outfit) are getting more and more creative with their boutonnieres. No longer just a simple rose and sprig of baby's breath - boutonnieres should be as stylish as the bride's bouquet. Buttons, feathers, brooches, and natural elements are popular ways to make a unique boutonnieres. I love this pinwheel bout shown below! Because boutonnieres are small and usually simplistic, they can be easy to make and add a lot of color and fun to an outfit.
pinwheel boutonniere

Remember that it is your groom's day too, so let him show off his own style. You will end up with a look you both will love!

Photo credits in order of appearance: 1. Tan Suit -  Once Wed  2. Red Socks - One Wed  3. Bow Tie via The Neo Tradtionalists 4. Pinwheel Boutonierre found on Etsy

5 Great Gift Ideas for the Bride and Groom that are under $50.00

Have you been searching for that perfect gift to get for a new Mr. and Mrs.? Look no further. I have done the research for you and found 5 great gifts that any new couple would love and they are also a great price.

Tree of Love Personalized Print with FramePhoto Signs: Any personalized gift is a great gift idea for someone special but when it is for new married couple it becomes even more special. A personalized photo sign for the couple’s new life together with their names and wedding date would be a lovely idea.

Personalized Glass Mason Style Drinking Jars - Set of 4Glassware: You will find glassware on many bridal registries but you can take it one step further by getting a set of  a monogrammed glassware. Whether the couple has a home bar and they just need some new glasses for sipping ice tea, this is sure to be a beloved gift for years to come.

Personalized White Spa RobeSpa Sets: If you want to encourage the new couple to relax after the wedding, a monogrammed robe and set of slippers will make the perfect gift. This is also a great gift they can take with them on their honeymoon. If you really want to splurge you can also add a heated neck warmer or an eye pillow to their gift box for added relaxation.

Monogrammed Bath Towel SetsMonogrammed Towels: A set of monogrammed towels would add an elegant touch to anyone’s guest bath. This is another great gift idea. Who doesn’t need new towels and adding the monogram will only make it more personal to the couple that receives them. Add some personalized soap to your gift to give it even more pizzazz!

Personalized Wooden Keepsake Display Stand in Assorted ColorsCake Top Display Stand: This is one of my favorite gifts for a new bride and groom. What better way to gift a memory of their special day but by giving them a display stand for their cake topper. The stand can be personalized with a special message and/or their names and wedding date. This is truly a gift that will be cherished for many years.

Finding that perfect wedding gift can sometimes be a daunting task. Take the guess work out of it and try one of the gifts above. Happy shopping! Please click on the photo for more details about the product.

Top Wedding Favors Ideas By Our Facebook Fans

Wedding favors are a little thank you gift given to guests during your wedding reception.  Often, these small tokens of appreciation are presented at each guest place setting or set on a larger table for guests to grab on their way in or out of your reception.  While there has been some debate on whether favors for weddings are necessary or not, I say they are a definite must. Not only will wedding favors help say 'Hey, I was thinking of you', but favors will also help convey to your loved ones that you were excited they could share in your special day.

To help you in your hunt for the perfect guest favor, we polled our Facebook fans to see what they chose for their wedding day.  The common theme across the board was personalized, personalized, personalized.  But we took it one step further and broke down the most popular items for you.  Without further ado we give you the top wedding favors ideas selected by our Facebook fans:

#1 - The Edible Favor
Personalized M&M's
Candy favor boxes
Candy buffet via Amy Atlas
Personalized photo party favor bags

The #1 favor selected by our brides was the edible favor.  Candy came in 1st with chocolates and cookies rounding in 2nd.  Personalized M&M's were at the top of the candy list with candy buffets still ranking in high.  Don't forget the packaging. All our brides were talking favor bags, favor boxes, and other unique containers like mason jars and mini picnic baskets for holding their mouth-watering goodies.

#2 - The Fun Favor
Guests in photo booth
Word bubble chalkboards
Photo booth strip guest book
Personalized collapsible can koozies
On the wedding fun-o-meter, photo booth strips were at the top of the scale with other quirky gifts like personalized koozies also making the list.  Photo booths were a favorite among our brides mainly because of fun and laughter that follows.  Reasonably priced, professional photo booths provide priceless entertainment for all your guests and are even more fun if you provide props like fake mustaches, chalkboard bubbles, open picture frames, etc.  Afterwards, guests can take home their candid shots or put them in a wedding guest book along with a special message to the newlyweds.  If you go the guest book route, most professional booths also provide a copy of the photos for you.  This way you can include your guest's photo strips in with their thank you card.

#3 - The Useful Favor
White folding hand fans
Personalized clear plastic wedding tumblers
Personalized wedding matches
Personalized frosted glass votive candles

The #3 pick by our Facebook fans was the useful wedding favor.  The idea behind this favor is that guests will be able to take home their memento to use after your wedding day has passed.  Among the top of the lists were candles with personalized matchbooks, plantable flower seeds, and decorative hand fans. Personalized glassware like cups, wine glasses, votive candles, and beer mugs, were also among the top wedding favors ideas.

For other great wedding planning tips and ideas, visit us on Facebook.

Happy Planning!

Image credits: Row 1: Personalized M&Ms courtesy of Wish Special EventsWedding Favor Boxes Row 2: Personalized candy favor bags, Candy buffet via Amy Atlas Row 3: Photo booth guests via Ruffled Blog, Word bubble chalkboards available at Hello Lucky Row 4: Personalized can koozies, Photo strip guest book via Paper Lady Invites Row 5: Paper hand fans, Personalized cups Row 6: Personalized votive candles, Personalized wedding matches

Will You Say 'I Do' with Something Blue?

something blue garter
Image credit: Garter from The Garter Girl by Julianne Smith

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe!

Who hasn't heard this popular wedding saying before? But have you put much thought into what it means or why people follow it. Is it a tradition? A superstition?

This saying has been around for awhile! The tradition can be traced back to the Victorian Era in England. This quaint poem is said to bring good luck to the newlywed couple. So while some consider this a superstition, I would call it more of an endearing tradition. Each of the items called for in this poem is said to bring good fortune and blessings to the bride. These items are said to represent things from your old life as a single gal to items that represent optimism for the future, support from your family and friends and items to represent wealth and financial security.

'Something Blue'

The color blue has a long standing connection with weddings and is used as a symbol of love, purity, fidelity, good luck and loyalty. Are modern brides still abiding by this tradition and following the old saying? Well you don't have to be superstitious to join in on this long standing wedding practice. This day in age brides are using the tradition to honor loved ones by including sentimental family heirlooms in their wedding or they are just having fun gathering the random collection of goodies! 

According to our Facebook fans, this tradition is alive and well! You guys are incorporating blue into your wedding in fun and creative ways. Some of the most popular ways you guys are adding that all important touch of blue is with garters, jewelry, sashes, shoes, undergarments and bouquet embellishments!

dark blue wedding collage
Image Credits: Blue shoes, Peacock garter from MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com, Blue Bouquet image from HY Studio

light blue wedding collage

Image Credits: Shoe decals from The Wedding Party Studio, Blue bracelets and garter from MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com

So if you are an admittedly superstitious bride or if you just want to have a little fun accessorizing your wedding ensemble, jump on the band wagon and join in on this charming tradition.  From garters to bracelets, to special heirlooms, whatever the touch of blue is you add to your wedding it will certainly be special!

Fresh Ideas for Your Spring Wedding

With the first day of Spring only days away, it is the perfect time to put the finishing touches on your spring wedding. Springtime is a time of new growth, gorgeous colors, and the welcoming promise of warmer days. This is the perfect atmosphere for beginning your new life together as husband and wife.

Spring Flowers
Tulips are my favorite spring flower. I love the idea of using their flashy colors splashed all over a reception. Beautiful bouquets can be made with tulips as well. A simple bouquet of silky white tulips for the bride creates a stunning image while cheerful bright tulips in pinks and oranges give a pop of color for the bridesmaids. Other beautiful spring flowers are magnolias, hyacinth, lilac, daisies, and peonies. Check with your florist to plan what flowers will hold up best in your venue.
Photo Credit: Hyacinths, Magnolia Bouquet found on Etsy, Peonies from Martha Stewart, Tulips from Real Flowers

Spring Favors and Decor
A spring theme wedding can have lots of bright colors or a simple natural palette. I love the idea of using twiggy browns, tulip pinks, and robin's egg blue. A garden theme wedding is also perfect for spring using shades of green and cream with touches of pastel blues, yellows, pinks, or purples. Mini potted herbs are unique favors for guests, as well as miniature natural birds nests with candy eggs, adorable gerbera daisy favor boxes (shown above), or even cute little floral boutonnieres for each guest. The wooden love bird trees shown below make beautiful and simple centerpieces that are also great for hanging your table numbers.
Photo Credit: Wooden Love Bird Tree from MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com, Bird's nest favors from MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com, Potted Plant favors from Design Sponge

 Spring Wedding Cakes
Top your cake with an adorable spring theme cake topper -from love birds to a bride and groom kissing under the shade of an umbrella. Colorful flowers are another way to make your cake look as fresh and fun as a breath of spring air. 
Photo Credit: Bride and Groom Cake top from MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com,  Floral Cake from Special Ice, Love Birds cake topper from MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com, Peony Cake from Wedding and Cakes.

Spring Wedding Dress
Carry your spring theme into your wedding gown with color or texture. I love breezy dresses with floral inspired lace and ruffles. You can add a pop of color with a sash or flower pinned to your dress. If you are in love with tea length dresses, spring is the season to wear your's! A jaunty little white vintage inspired suit definitly has a place in a spring wedding as well.
Photo Credit: Row 1 - Lace sheath dress by Tara Keeley, Roses by Aire Barcelona via OneWed, Bow Bolero by Monique Lhullier.  Row 2 - Vintage Look Suit by Stephanie James Couture via Kenzie Kate, Polka Dot Tea Length by Michelle Roth May via PlanningToElope.com, Roses via BridalReference.com

Happy Spring!

Personalized Cake Boxes are the Perfect Match for a Traditional Jamaican Wedding

Jamaican Wedding CakeI have had the pleasure of speaking to many brides to be, mother of the bride, aunts, cousins, sisters and friends of the bride in my profession. One of the most wonderful things I have learned over the last few years is that a traditional Jamaican wedding consist of a wonderful rum and fruit cake. This recipe consists of dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, dates and currants. The fruits are chopped finely and marinated in rum and wine for days prior to the cake making.

The cake is of course served at the wedding but I have also learned that it is traditional to send a piece of cake to all the friends and family that were not able to attend the wedding ceremony. The cake is usually wrapped in some decorative packaging and then sent out to everyone. The personalized cake slice boxes are the perfect match for this wonderful tradition. The boxes are the perfect size for a slice of cake and they are also FDA approved for packaging food. The best thing about the cake slice boxes is that they can be personalized with a message from the bride and groom.

4 1/2 x 3 1/2 Personalized Wedding Cake Slice Favor BoxesI love this tradition so much that I think all cultures should adopt this practice. What a lovely way of letting your loved ones know that their presence was missed at your wedding, but also a great way to share the joy of your special day.

I have included below a scrumptious Jamaican rum cake recipe that I found on realjamaicanvacations.com for those of you who would like to make this fabulous cake. Enjoy!

Jamaican Rum Cake Recipe

1 lb raisins, ground or chopped
1 lb prunes, ground or chopped
1 lb currants, ground or chopped
1 tsp grated or ground nutmeg
Red Label Wine (or other red cooking wine)
Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum (or other white rum)

Place the fruit in a jar for at least one day before preparation (longer if possible). Pour wine and rum over fruit, so that it is completely covered. Cover jar and leave fruit to soak.

1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice for baking
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups baking flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
finely grated rind of 1 lime
8 oz butter
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp browning
12 eggs
2 tsp rose water
1/2 cup sherry or blackberry brandy (or what ever is handy!)
2 tsp vanilla

Sift together the first five dry ingredients. Add breadcrumbs and lime rind, and mix in well.
Cream butter and sugar in a very large mixing bowl. Add browning. Add 4 cups of soaked fruit, stirring in with a large wooden spoon. Beat eggs until light and frothy (10 to 15 minutes). Add rose water, sherry and vanilla. Add egg mixture to butter mixture, fold in well. Fold soaked fruit into this mixture. (Any left over fruit can be left to soak until the next time you bake!) Gradually fold in flour mixture. Test to see if the wooden spoon can stand upright in middle of the mixture. If not, add some more flour until the mixture can support the spoon. Grease baking pans and line with grease paper. Grease and flour lined pans. Pour mixture into tins and bake for 2 hours in a slow oven, 300F. Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven to ensure cakes do not dry out. Check cakes from time to time, as baking times may vary. Cakes are ready when a toothpick or skewer inserted in centre comes out clean, or almost clean.

Giving The Gift of Relaxation with Spa Bridesmaids Gifts

After months to even years of planning for your wedding day, every bride-to-be deserves a bit (even a lot) of R & R.  There is nothing better than sitting back in a cushiony chair while scents of aromatherapy oils linger in the air and licensed therapists cater to your every need.  As your wedding day draws closer, be sure to pamper you and your bridesmaids for all your hard work.  Let all your stress slip away by giving the gift of relaxation with home spa gifts.
Peaceful Dreams Lavender Sachet and Eye PillowPersonalized White Spa Head Wrap
Great home spa gifts include anything from a weekend spa gift certificate to embroidered custom bath wraps and towels.  Many spa gifts even come already packaged in beautiful boxes with ribbons taking the guess work out of gift giving.  When looking for the perfect spa gift, be sure to think of the individual receiving the gift.  Is she a workaholic?  Consider a heated eye pillow or feet booties so she take the stress off the long work day.  Loves to hit the gym?  Heated neck wraps will calm those stressed muscles.
Fortune Cookie Fizzie Bath Bombs in Take-Out BoxTherapeutic Lavender Heated Neck Wrap
Aromatherapy scents are also a great way to cater your gift choices and can range from stress relieving lavender and soothing eucalyptus to stimulating jasmine.  Add the relaxing scent of lavender to your bath time with fortune cookie bath fizzies.  Uber unique, these adorable bath bombs leave a surprise inspirational fortune once it has completely dissolved.

Happy Planning!

How will you say "I do?" - Traditional Vows vs. Creating Your Own Ceremony

Since the 1600s weddings in western cultures have begun with the words "Dearly Beloved" and included passionate phrases like 'til death do us part.' These days it seems like couples want their  wedding day to reflect who they are and be tailored to their personalities in every way. This includes the wedding vows. If you are still on the fence about whether you want to write your own, search the web, or go with tradition - consider the pros and cons of each approach.

Creating Your Own Ceremony
This is the most romantic approach to wedding vows.
The pros: These vows will be 100% unique. Even if you piece together phrases from pre-written ceremonies no other couple will have spoken the words before in exactly the same way. You can make them as simple and sweet or as passionate and lengthy as you deem necessary. 
The cons: Writing your own vows can be stressful. It is too easy to write too much or too little. You wouldn't want the groom to give a full page speech for the bride to respond with two sentences. Another negative side is the fact that some more rigid religions will not accept your vows.
Advice: Couples should sit down together and come up with some basic guidelines. Things to consider are; how long you want the ceremony to last and what you want to include. Be sure to memorize your vows before the wedding. It is a good idea to also include a little notecard that can be discretely tucked away into a pocket or bouquet for reference. If your religion does not allow you to write your own vows, you can always exchange them at your rehearsal dinner or reception.
Traditional Vows
There is something very special about speaking the same words that have created marriages for thousands of years.
The pros: Reciting your vows after the reverend is easy. The words carry the weight and meaning of tradition and while they are often simple. They are probably the words you spoke when playing wedding as a child so that element of fairy tale is definitely there. They are also perfect for vintage theme weddings that want to play on nostalgia.
The cons: Some couples find traditional vows to be a little bland. They may not suite your individual style, culture, or situation. Your bride may not want to say "to love, honor, and obey" for example.
Advice: If you love the meaning tradition carries and you want a low stress approach, go for it! Your guests may know the script, but they will also see how the words take on a new meaning when spoken by such a great couple! There is also comfort in the familiar.
It is completely acceptable to write some of your vows, use some portions from a pre-written ceremony, and tie in your favorite elements of a traditional wedding. Your vows are an important part of your wedding ceremony. While the promises are real and serious, that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with it too!

Good Luck!
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