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Get Schooled on Wedding Terminology
Couples about to embark on their wedding journeys will likely learn a thing or two about party planning once their engagements are over and they are newly married. Wedding planning can seem overwhelming and a tad confusing at times, but a crash course in wedding terminology can help couples make more informed choices along the way. Blusher A short, single-layer veil that covers the bride’s face before the ceremony. Boutonnière A single flower bud worn by the men in the bridal party. Canapés Bite-sized appetizers served cocktail hour of a reception.
Civil ceremony A marriage ceremony conducted by a council official or justice of the peace at a municipal location rather than in a house of worship.
Cocktail hour Typically an hour-long interlude between the wedding ceremony and the main dinner of the reception. Guests have time to arrive and mingle before being seated.
Maid/matron of honor The title given to the woman who assists the bride and stands closest to her at the altar. “Maids” are those who are unmarried, while “matrons” are women who are.
Corkage fee A fee some establishments charge to allow guests to bring their own wine.
Master of ceremonies An individual who will work with the DJ or band to announce the various components of the wedding reception.
Dais A podium or platform raised from the floor where the bride and groom are seated. Deposit A percentage of the total cost of service given to a vendor to secure a date for their services. Dragées Round, small edible balls of sugar that appear on wedding cakes. Escort (seating) cards Printed cards that direct reception guests to their seats. Fondant A sweet, plyable product used to decoratively cover layered cakes. It can be used in lieu of straight buttercream. Handle wrap Ribbon or fabric that wraps around the stems of a bouquet the bride and wedding party carries.
Nosegay A small bouquet or flower arrangement typically given to the mothers of the bride and groom before the ceremony. Processional/Recessional Musical pieces that mark the entrance and exit from the wedding ceremony. Receiving line A line of the key people in the wedding who welcome and greet guests. Stationery All of the paper products used at the wedding, including invitations, programs and enclosures. Tablescape A word that describes the multiple components of centerpiece designs. Learning some basic wedding terminology can simplify wedding planning.
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Make Healthy Habits a Part of Wedding Prep After the big question is popped and loving partners decide to spend their lives together as a married couple, a whirlwind of activity will ensue. Although wedding planning is exciting, some couples may feel overwhelmed with all the decisions that need to be made before they can tie the knot. In this state of increased pressure, stress may build and health could falter. According to a Cornell University study, more than 70 percent of brides-to-be have weight loss on the brain, but shedding pounds shouldn’t be the only health factor to consider. Here are some easy ways to stay mentally and physically fit in advance of a happy wedding day.
Slow down and relax
Get daily exercise
Eat body-boosting foods
Exercise is important for maintaining a healthy body weight and keeping stress levels in check. Exercise also can boost mood. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. Strength training exercises performed at least twice a week complete a well-balanced exercise regimen.
The foods we eat can impact everything from energy levels to skin radiance. Foods like berries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, greens, green tea, and dark chocolate all contain antioxidants that boost the immune system, states The Food Network. Avoid drastic diets that can do more harm than good. Simply cutting 500 calories a day can help the average person lose a pound per week if weight loss is a goal. Simple ways to trim calories are to choose skim milk over whole milk and choose low-calorie snacks.
Cut down on alcohol consumption
Toasting to the future with a glass of wine may become rote in the months leading up to the wedding, but alcohol is a diuretic and a source of liquid calories. Alcoholic beverages dehydrate the body and cause it to hold onto water. When imbibing, stick to lowcalorie cocktails like a vodka spritzer (60 to 80 calories) instead of a calorie-laden frozen margarita (300 calories). Feeling and looking one’s best starts long before the wedding day. By making health a priority, couples can start their new lives together on healthy footing.
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Those who go fullthrottle with all of their responsibilities — including wedding planning — may burn out. Stress can weaken the immune system and make people vulnerable to illness. Schedule some time for date nights with your fiancé, and don’t overlook the benefits of hanging out with friends and getting away from wedding planning for a bit.
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How to Handle Rain on Your Wedding Day
Brides and grooms fear the prospects of rainy wedding days. But even couples who have contended with everything from a few drops to an all-out deluge on their wedding days look back fondly on the ceremonies and receptions. In fact, how couples handle any precipitation can affect how happy the festivities may be.
Know vendors’ rain policies
Have a rainy day game plan
Move past it quickly
Rain affects outdoor weddings more than any other type of ceremony or reception. If the goal is to exchange vows outdoors, work with the venue to make this possible with a tent or gazebo. However, if the weather is especially foul and windy, move it indoors.
Invest in golf umbrellas
Couples who live in notoriously damp climates can purchase golf umbrellas, which tend to be larger than the average umbrella, and keep them stationed in decorated stands to ease transitions between wedding sites and keep everyone as dry as possible.
Wear waterproof cosmetics
Women in the bridal party, including the bride, can ask their makeup artists to use durable, waterproof products. This can help salvage beautifully composed looks should some drops begin to fall.
Some live musicians will not play in damp weather. Florists may need to make accommodations for arrangements blowing in the wind. Couples need to understand what they’re responsible for and what may be covered if a weather event occurs. Wedding insurance may help cover the costs of nonrefundable cancellations. It is okay to get upset if the weather turns for the worse. But don’t dwell on it. Guests will sense negative energy, and couples should set the tone of sticking it through despite a little adversity — which can be a good lesson for the marriage as well.
Embrace the rain
While a couple probably won’t wish for rain, there are some benefits to overcast skies, say the wedding professionals at Brides magazine. Flowers are less likely to wilt in rainy conditions. In the absence of bright sunlight, outdoor photographs can really pop. Rain is romantic and may compel couples and their guests to cuddle close. Don’t let rain on a wedding day become a drag. With preparation and perspective, couples can handle rainy wedding days.
Photo credit: Jill Christine Photography
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Wedding Transportation Trends Couples planning their weddings routinely rely on professional transportation to bring them to and from the ceremony and reception. Wedding transportation options abound, and some are more popular than others. The following are some of the ways couples are getting to the altar on time.
Shuttles and buses
Investing in the guest experience means couples are seeking ways to provide comfort and convenience for their guests and wedding party members. Rather than asking guests to get themselves to and fro, couples may employ buses or shuttles stocked with amenities to transport a greater number of people. The Real Weddings Study indicates this type of transport has grown considerably more popular in the last six years.
The chauffeur-driven limousine continues to be one of the most popular methods of transportation. However, to set their weddings apart, couples are trending away from traditional stretch limousines and renting something more trendy, such as limos built upon sports cars. SUV-based limos are still popular, with Hummers, Escalades and Navigators offering the wow factor.
For that A-list look right out of a classic movie, stepping out of a vintage vehicle creates red-carpet moments. Dream cars for this type of glamorous arrival and departure include Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin and others. Many private companies rent classic vehicles. Couples also may contract with those who attend classic car shows.
Couples celebrating by the ocean, a lake or a river can make a grand entrance aboard a vessel. Water taxis, pontoon boats and even sleek speedboats may be the transportation of choice. The Knot says that couples spend around 6.5 months researching their wedding day transportation options and will make their decision and a reservation five months before their weddings. The more exotic the transportation option, the earlier couples should make their decisions to ensure they can book their first choice.
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The Length of Your Engagement
Weddings • Parties Corporate Events Each year, millions of couples around the world tie the knot. But before couples walk down the aisle, the proposal to get married must take place. Many couples mutually agree to get engaged, while the experience may be a surprise for others who have thought about it, but may not have been sure when one partner or another would “pop the question.” Upon getting engaged, couples may ponder how long their engagement should last. There is no perfect answer, and engagement length typically depends on personal preference and the needs of the couple. In fact, according to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average length of an engagement is 14.5 months. A number of factors affect the length of a couple’s engagement, and couples should not feel as if they need to hurry down the aisle. For example, couples who will be financing their own weddings may need a longer engagement than those whose parents will be chipping in. In such instances, longer engagements give couples more time to save and may help them ensure their weddings are everything they hoped for.
Others may prefer a shorter engagement if they are financially stable and prepared to tie the knot. Couples in their late 30s may feel the tug of a biological clock and want to ensure there is ample time to get married and have children. A shorter engagement can facilitate that. Some couples may have little choice in the matter, as the length of their engagements may be dictated by the availability of their favorite venues. Military deployment, work commitments, medical issues, or travel responsibilities also may affect the length of an engagement. Some couples may feel that an especially lengthy engagement diminishes their excitement about getting married. That “new engagement shine” can wear off as family and friends wait months or years for the wedding to take place. Couples generally are advised to stick with what feels right to them regarding the length of their engagements. Just like all aspects of the wedding, couples can weigh the opinions of others but follow through with what works best for them.
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Wedding Registry Tips Building a wedding registry is a task unlike any other couples may encounter during their lifetimes. Wedding registries are invaluable resources that provide engaged couples’ loved ones with gift suggestions. In spite of that value, couples may find it daunting and even a little uncomfortable to build their wedding registries.
much. But large registries simply give guests more options to choose from. Many industry insiders advise registering for two to three gifts per guest. That might seem like a lot, but guests will appreciate having all of those options.
Building a wedding registry can feel like walking a tightrope. Couples likely won’t want to ask for too much or for gifts that are too expensive, but a poorly built registry can be a major inconvenience for guests. The following tips can help couples build adequate registries that benefit them without asking too much of their guests.
Couples also may be hesitant to include especially expensive items on their wedding registries. However, the couples’ parents and other close relatives may be honored to purchase more expensive items, so couples should not feel embarrassed to include them on their lists. It’s also important to note that many retailers, after couples’ wedding days have come and gone, discount registry items that weren’t purchased. So even if no one purchases the more expensive items, including them on a registry may significantly reduce their cost for couples who want to buy such items themselves after tying the knot.
Register with more than one store
It’s important to register with more than one store. Doing so makes things as convenient as possible for guests and increases the chances they will be able to shop at stores they’re familiar with. Unless your guest list is predominantly local, try to register with at least one national chain so guests who live in different regions can shop for gifts in-person if they prefer to do so.
Make a large list
Some couples are hesitant to make large wedding registries, feeling that doing so gives the impression that they’re asking for too
Don’t hesitate to include expensive items on your registry
Vary the prices of items on the list
In addition to including more expensive items on the registry, make sure to include moderately priced and inexpensive items. This gives guests more options and ensures guests who might be spending a lot to travel to and from the wedding can still purchase gifts without digging too much deeper into their pockets.
Periodically update the registries
Periodically update your registries to remove items you have already received and to add items if many of the less expensive ones have already been purchased. This also makes things more convenient for guests. Building a wedding registry is a unique task that couples can embrace as their wedding day draws near.
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Affordable Bachelor & Bachelorette Party Ideas Weddings can be expensive. Various sources estimate the average cost of weddings is anywhere from $26,000 to $31,000. Couples and their parents may bear the brunt of wedding expenses, but those who have accepted a role in the wedding party also can expect their share of expenses.
T-shirt, or colored clothing), and make the rounds.
Taking into account gifts, wardrobes, makeup, bridal showers, and travel, including getting to and from the bachelor/bachelorette party, bridal party members are on the hook for a lot of money when their friends or family members tie the knot. Many men and women like to travel for their bachelor/bachelorette parties, and cost-conscious bridal party members may be concerned about how expensive such parties can be. Pulling out all the stops can be exciting, but thereâ€™s no guarantee these types of parties will be more enjoyable than simpler soirĂŠes.
Belt out the tune
Taking steps to control costs can help costconscious couples and their friends. The following are some affordable ideas that can be fun for all involved.
Groups can gather around the poker table to test their skills in poker and other card games. With some free-flowing beverages and snacks galore, games can get pretty animated.
Bar or winery crawl
Partygoers typically want to enjoy a night out on the town, and traveling from one establishment to another can be a fun way to do just that. Everyone invited can set themselves apart with a signature item (hat,
Attend a group event
Group events include sporting events, concerts, theater shows, or a night at a comedy club. Investigate discounted tickets for large groups. Open mic nights at restaurants, bars and other establishments around town may make for a fun way for friends to share a few laughs together. Participants need not be professional singers to join in on the festivities.
Get in touch with nature by enjoying a camping trip, complete with a campfire and a few brews. Spending time in the wilderness can restore focus and let stress melt away.
Poker or game night
Hire a chef to visit your house and prepare a meal for guests. Serve a signature cocktail and let the conversation flow. Bachelor and bachelorette parties can be affordable without sacrificing fun.
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Wedding Unity Ceremony Ideas Weddings celebrate the joining together of hearts, families and homes. The unification of a couple pledging vows to each other is the key component of the ceremony, and unity rituals are common during both traditional and nontraditional weddings. Unity ceremonies represent the magic of two people coming together as one. Unity rituals may be built into certain religious or cultural weddings as a normal part of the festivities. Other couples may want to embrace the idea of a unity ceremony to add something extra special to their ceremonies. Couples seeking creative options for unity rituals as part of their wedding ceremonies can explore these clever ideas.
The lighting of a unity candle is one of the more recognizable and traditional unity rituals. During this ritual, the bride and the groom each light an individual candle and then together light a larger candle, which celebrates them coming together as one.
The pouring of sand into a vessel also is a popular unity ritual. In this ritual, couples choose two sands of different colors and then pour their respective colors into a vessel, allowing the different hues to mix together. This ritual can be expanded to include other
family members, with a rainbow of colors blending for a now unified joining of families.
Christians may enjoy a unity cross ritual at their ceremony. A unity cross is a decorative cross with a holder, and the cross is held in place by three pins, which symbolize the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. During this ritual, the bride, groom and officiant will each set a pin in place.
Planting a tree or shrub that can grow with the marriage is a green idea and one that takes unity rituals to a different level. Couples can place the sapling in a decorative pot and then take turns watering it. Later the tree can be planted outside the couple’s first home.
This ritual is traditional in many Spanishand Filipino-speaking countries. After vows are exchanged, the officiant wraps a floral garland or rosary around the couple. At the end of the ceremony, the garland is saved as a symbol of unity and love.
This ritual comes from an ancient Celtic tradition that bounds the bride and groom’s right hands together during the wedding ceremony. Handfasting symbolizes couples’ commitments to one another.
In this ritual, couples can exchange roses or a favorite flower and then place them in a vase or basket. All members of the family also are invited to place a single flower into the vessel, which ultimately results in a beautiful floral display. Couples can create their own unique unity ceremonies. The blending of any two materials, such as wine, tea, glass beads, or paint, or even the traditional tying of knots will convey the symbolism of joining as one.
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Wedding Dress Fitting Guide Because fashion preferences were once ornate and dependent on precise fits, readyto-wear clothing really did not become widely available until the early 20th century. Such attire is now available in just about any retail store. Because ready-to-wear clothing is so readily available, the average person may be unfamiliar with custom-made or tailored items. In fact, a couples’ wedding may be the only instance in their lives when they require the services of a seamstress or tailor. Fittings are a part of wedding planning, and here’s how brides-to-be can navigate the process of finding and being fitted for a dress.
Try on sample gowns
The first step is to make your rounds to various gown shops and try on the samples they have available. Most sample sizes will not be the size you wear every day, so expect them to be ill-fitting. Do not be discouraged. Once a gown is chosen, the dress shop will take your measurements and order the gown according to the manufacturer’s sizing guide. Again, this can be shocking, since the size will likely be larger than what you wear in street clothes. Some shops will also order a little larger to allow for adequate tailoring.
Schedule the first fitting
The first fitting should be anywhere from eight to 12 weeks before the wedding date, according to experts at WeddingWire, an
online wedding information provider. This is the time it takes to complete most standard alterations. Complex customizations can take even longer. Brides should also budget a minimum of $500 for alterations, which may or may not be included in the price of the dress.
Bring shoes and undergarments
Remember to bring along the exact shoes and undergarments you will wear with your gown. A change in shoes or bra/corset can result in the alterations fitting poorly the next time. Bring these items along to all subsequent fittings.
Martha Stewart Weddings suggests speaking up at fittings if anything is uncomfortable or needs tweaking. Seamstresses are masters at their crafts, but only if they understand the desires of the bride.
Check the details
The second fitting is designed to check that all issues from the first fitting have been addressed, the gown is comfortable and you can move freely. At the last fitting, ask the maid of honor to come along so that she understands how to bustle or help you handle complicated straps or closures. Open communication with a seamstress and bridal shop can ensure brides-to-be get a dress that fits like a glove.
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