Church Shopping

Church Shopping
Church shopping can be as easy as your home church but sometimes it’s harder to find the right place for your ceremony! You might have always imagined yourself walking down the aisle of your hometown church since you were a little girl. However, your fiancé might not feel the same way. There are some things to consider before choosing the right church for your wedding nuptials. Such as, does your church allow for photographers or videographers? If not, that might be a huge part that you’re missing out on.
Who just wants to watch the reception of their wedding day? Sure, it sounds fun, but the wedding ceremony is important! Or, if they do allow these vendors in the church premises, are they confined to a certain spot or do they have free reign to move about the ceremony to capture the best shots? Wedding Décor such as aisle runners, flowers, bows, signs, etc are extras entirely left up to the church ifthey are allowed or not. Do you dream of walking down
the aisle with the white aisle runner rolled out sprinkled with an array of beautiful rose petals? Some churches don’t allow that. Make sure you ask the question.
When church shopping you also need to check on prices of the church. Often times, churches refer to this as your“donation.” Consider yourdonation paying for the church to keep it air-conditioned, well-groomed and maintained, the musicians and cantors paid, and so on. Some churches often ask for $1,000 to cover these fees. Also, you may be asked to partake in religious classes which also cost money and are mandatory.
Ask your church if you are allowed to bring in your own minister or a visiting pastor. Remember the example
from above? Well, your hometown church might not suit your fiancé and you, but bringing the pastor, priest, or presiding religious officiant is the next best option! Make sure there is a solid contract written up that covers insurance, medical accidents, etc. What if your klutzy brother trips and busts his face open on the marble floor while making his entrance to the church. Expect the unexpected bride-to-be!
By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to choose the right church for you and your fiancé.

Interfaith Weddings

Interfaith Weddings: Tips and Recommendations
We’re a melting pot of different ethnicities, cultures, races, etc. and it only seems fitting to intertwine these
traditions be included in your wedding day. Interfaith weddings are a wonderful way to bring together not only yourselves but your cultures and religion too.  Whether it’s a prayer or dance, these small details can enhance your guests experience and hold powerful meaning for the two of you.

 

While the obvious differences in an interfaith marriage should be discussed way before your wedding day(how to raise the children, what do Mom and Dad think), in the engagement period you need to go over any conflicts the two of you have.
DO
– Have family members from each side read a blessing or prayer from their religious tradition.
– Provide translations of any rituals performed in other languages.
– Conduct a“unity”ritual from both faiths, such as the sharing of a cup of wine (Judaism), lighting a unity candle (Christianity), wearing crowns (Greek Orthodox) or hand fasting (Celtic).
– Illustrate each family’s support by having both sets of parents walk their children down the aisle.
– Determine who will officiate the wedding: Some interfaith couples opt for two clergy members, one from each person’s faith, to perform the ceremony. Others look for interfaith officiants who haveperformed interfaith weddings in the past.
DON’T
– Step on toes: respect each family’s strong ties to their own religious traditions and tactfully and carefully explain how rituals from both heritages will be included.
– Forget your guests: describe the different religious rituals in your program and provide translations.
– Try to do too much: you can’t replicate the entire wedding ceremonies for each tradition; your guests will be bored or confused and your ceremony will lose some of its intensity. Careful editing of the ceremony elements is pertinent to a good ceremony.
Creating an interfaith wedding that is meaningful,memorable and perfectly you starts focusing on personalizing the ceremony to reflect the needs, beliefs, and values of you as a couple and your families.

Save the Date Cards

Save the Date Cards
Save the date cards are a relatively new trend in weddings, and they came about as a way to respect guests’ time and make sure they can attend the wedding. In good etiquette, you’ll send these to your guests 6 to 8 months before your wedding date so that your guests can mark it on their calendars and make travel arrangements. They should be sent out even sooner, up to a year in advance, if you are having a destination wedding or during a high travel season. For instance, Cape Cod in the summer, San Diego during Comic-Con International, Mexico in the winter during peak travel season or perhaps Washington, DC during an inauguration. If you are getting married in a relatively small town, you’ll still have to check, you might end up competing with hotel rooms with the annual Scarecrow Fest.
The point of using Save the Date cards is to be gracious to your guests by giving them enough time with their busy
schedules so that they can make travel arrangements well enough in advance and maybe use those airline and credit card points. Save the Date card notices are also used for non destination weddings if more than 25% of your guests are coming in from out of town and your event coincides with a peak travel season.
You should include the following information on your Save the Date card:
Couples full names
Wedding date
Location
A wedding Website is a nice addition for guests to click for more details as they are updated. A few things to avoid are not putting enough information and who to send them too. Always make sure you include the wedding location, such as your hometown or a destination wedding locale, along with the date so that guests can make travel arrangements. Just having the date is not enough. Guests need to know how many days they’ll need to take off of work. Send only to guests you are for certain you want in attendance.You can’t send a Save the Date card and then not send them an invite. After you drop off your save-the-dates at the post office, sit back, take a deep breath and feel better that you’ve crossed one more item off your to-do list. You’re one step closer to saying “I do!”

Receiving Line Etiquette

Receiving Line Etiquette
To Receive or Not to Receive?
Receiving line etiquette is something all brides and grooms need to think about.  Having a receiving line is almost always the right choice and it’s almost mandatory if you have over 50 people attending your wedding. If you take the time to stand in the receiving line, you ensure that you have at least some contact with each of your wedding guests. It’s a wonderful opportunity to receive congratulations and say thank you.
Who’s In It?
The answer to this question depends on who is in the wedding party and who is hosting. Who’s in a receiving line will also differ depending on the formality level of the wedding. The most formal of receiving lines will include, in order:
Parents of the Bride
Groom and Bride
Parents of the Groom
The Maid of Honor and Best Man
Don’t over talk during your receiving line, as guests will feel obligated to speak a few words with everyone therein. More conversation taking place means a longer wait time for everyone involved, from guests to the bride and groom. Everyone will have a chance to mingle during the reception, so keep your receiving line abbreviated.
When Do We Receive?
The receiving line participants will usually line upjust after the completion of the ceremony so that they can greet guests as they exit the ceremony venue or ceremony space. Less popular but just as proper is the receiving line that takes place just prior to the start of the reception. When planning your receiving line, consider space constraints and time constraints. If your ceremony venue is tiny, it may be better to line up and greet people as they enter your ceremony venue. Common receiving line sites include lobbies,staircases that lead outside, a front porch, the cocktail lounge, and the reception space itself.
As the bride (or groom) it is your responsibility to introduce guests unknown to your parents and spouse, and the receiving line is a great place to do this. You don’t have to give anyone’s life story— names and their relationship to you and your sweetie will suffice. Guests have a responsibility in the receiving line, as well.
Your wedding guests should introduce themselves by name to anyone in the receiving line who they do not
already know. Again, introductions should be brief all around since they’ll be plenty of time to get to know one another in more detail later.
Do I Still Need to Visit Every Table?
No, though brides and grooms should certainly make every attempt to mingle with their wedding guests. The reception is a great place to have a more intimate conversation or catch up with family and friends who came from out of town.

Cleanse Diets

Cleanse Diets
Cleanses: we’ve all heard of them– Blue Print Cleanse, the Master Cleanse, Repair & Restore, etc.. It’s no secret that the idea of a “quick fix” is super appealing, especially when you’re trying to get ready for a big event or restart your system after a period of bad eating habits.
The cleanse diets operate under the assumption that toxins from food preservatives, pesticides, and our body’s own
natural waste are stored in our bodies, and that the right combination of food or elimination of food can eliminate these toxins from our bodies to give us a clean start. Here are some of the pros and cons of cleansing diets.
Pros:
1. Cleansed palate
One of the most interesting but less thought of pros of a cleanse or cleansing diet is the fact that when you don’t eat any processed foods for several days or weeks, you lose your taste for them. When you’ve finished with the diet, you no longer crave the processed foods you once did. Twinkies and fast food burgers are no longer appealing.
2. Cleaned out toxins
While this isn’t scientifically proven, many believe that toxins are indeed cleaned out of your body when you go on a cleansing diet. If this is true, then this is certainly a significant benefit to your overall health.
3. Temporary weight loss
Most cleansing diets result in weight loss. The weight loss varies by type of diet and duration; a two day fast will not result in as much weight loss as you might imagine. Some people choose to go on a cleansing diet right before an important event where they want to look particularly good, like a wedding.
4. More energy
The majority of people who are fans of cleansing diets will tell you that one of the major benefits of a cleansing diet is the increase in energy you feel.
Cons:
1. Unpleasant symptoms
There are a number of unpleasant side effects people feel when on a cleansing diet. You may suffer from:
• Fatigue
•Insomnia
•Feeling weak
•Headaches
•Digestive distress
•Feeling dizzy
•Feeling irritable
Proponents of cleansing diets will remind you that these side effects are only temporary and you’ll feel much better after.
2. Temporary weight loss
The weight loss you’re likely to see from a cleansing diet is most often temporary. As soon as your diet ends, the weight is put back on. The goal of these types of diets is not to lose weight but to eliminate toxins.
3. Difficult to do correctly
Cleansing diets can be difficult to do correctly and can be unsafe. It is recommended that you do a lot of research on your chosen diet and see a doctor before undertaking any extreme changes in your diet. Take the time to research, and visit your doctor before you make a decision.

Bridal Shower Princess

For every bride there’s a bridal shower! Why not have a bridal shower princess? The bride is the center of attention anyway and as any princess is, she deserves a beautiful and magical shower to celebrate her wedding.

The easiest princess theme that comes to mind is, of course, Disney! There are a plethora of princesses to choose from. Is the bride more Ariel, Belle, Aurora, Mulan or a mix of all of them? You can mix and match any Disney themes in your bridal shower. What could be more perfect than “happily ever after” for all these fairy tale princesses? You can choose one princess to focus on or why not include them all?

Something to think about that might cut down on budget is: does your bride have a favorite princess? If so, you can tailor the shower to that princess. Otherwise, you can just do a general Disney theme. From the cupcakes, to plastic (looking like glass) horse and carriages, to glass slippers as name card holders. The creativity is endless for a bridal shower princess theme!

And, of course, what shower would be complete without games? These can remain Disney themed or you can go with regular ones. A fun game is having people find the hidden mickeys, or having guests guess which sidekick belongs to each princess. If you know your guests, or certain guests, would love to dress up as Disney princesses that could be a fun addition. The bride herself may even want to participate and dress up as her favorite princess. Hershey kisses can be used as “happily ever after kisses” and with a bridal shower princess theme you can use bold, bright colors! Have fun and use your imagination with this one because it’s perfectly acceptable!

Planning Your Menu

Planning your Menu
Eat, drink, and be married! Believe it or not, the food at your wedding is often just as important as the dress you wear! You and your guests will remember this delicious part of your wedding for years to come. There’s a lot of fun planning your menu.
If the catering is provided by the venue, you should start talking specifics and having tastings about three months prior to your wedding date. This is important if you are having a seasonal menu and utilizing local ingredients. Create a signature menu that matches your season. Identify four or five key items that are easily identifiable as seasonal foods. For example, serve a strawberry and walnut salad during a spring time wedding or butternut squash soup in the fall. Ask your caterer for a list of fruits that are in season during your wedding.
On the other hand, if your venue does not provide catering in-house, you’ll want to start interviewing as soon as you have the location booked. Look for caterers who are familiar with and knowledgeable about your venue, or type of venue. Your venue may have a list of recommended or preferred vendors that they enjoy working with and there are no additional fees.With a variety of guests and taste buds at the wedding, planning your menu needs to appeal to a wide range of people, so here are things to keep in mind:
– Avoid overly spicy food
– Consider allergies and dietary requests-such as shellfish, gluten, dairy, and nuts
– Consider Vegetarians – make sure the caterer can offer a vegetarian meal
– If you’re reception is outside, make sure the food you serve won’t spoil quickly
Enjoy the tasting; this is a part of the planning process that you and your fiancé can truly enjoy together and have fun with. Make sure to sample everything from the hors d’oeuvres to the wine (if you’re serving alcohol) when you interview caterers, and take notes!Once you’ve finalized the menu, it has become a popular trend to print it out and place it on the table. This is a great décor addition, but is also a nice way of letting guests know what they will be eating.
Some people even include a teaser in their invitations and/or on the wedding website. This can be handy especially if you are sensitive to your guest’s food allergies.
Planning the menu for your wedding can be loads of fun. It is your opportunity to be creative and personally expressive.

Mother-in-law

Monster-in-Law/Mother-in-law
In-laws can be challenging in the first place. But, when you throw in a temperamental and unstable mother-in-law
(MIL), things can be exponentially challenging. A few years ago, there was an email that echoed around the world from the most spiteful and venomous MIL.
Here are some snippets from the email:
It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you. Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:
 
* When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless
you are positively allergic to something.
 
* You do not remark that you do not have enough food.
 
* You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.
 
* When a guest in another’s house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early – you fall in line with house norms.
 
It is tragic that you have diabetes. However, you aren’t the only young person in the world who is a diabetic.
 
I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is
nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over
the years for their daughters’ marriages.) If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.
What would your reaction be to that email? Quite shocking, right? If you would like to read the email click here. Not all mother-in-law’s are that bad, but it sometimes can be challenging to deal with overbearing, has to have the last word or is always right, or I’m his Mother, I know best-types. Some tips to always rise above and not stoop to her level is:
1. Remember the “mere exposure affect”
Contrary to the well-known saying that “familiarity breeds contempt,” in fact, familiarity breeds affection.
The “mere exposure effect” means that repeated exposure makes people like faces, music—even nonsense syllables—better.  The more often you see another person, the more intelligent and attractive you tend to find that person. Instead of avoiding your mother-in-law, take the time to see her and talk to her. You may start getting along better if you engage with her more often.
2. Do something nice for the difficult person
It’s really true: Do good, feel good. You’ll also inspire the difficult person to feel more loving toward you.
3. Act in accordance with your own values
One of the mysteries of human nature is that when we accept ourselves, other people tend to accept us. When we don’t accept ourselves, people tend to pester us. If you know your own values, and live according to them, pointed remarks don’t sting nearly as much and the other person begins to realize you have your own life and will live it accordingly.
So, don’t let the mother-in-law or any in-law take you for granted or make you feel inadequate. Your significant other chose YOU, so let that speak for itself.

A Toast

A Toast

 

What’s in a wedding toast? All eyes are on you. This is not the time to make a farce of the moment and pull a“Bridesmaid’s” sing-a-thon, who-sung it better. To avoid common mistakes: don’t pick up your glass until the very end; don’t cover your face with your notes; and don’t bring up reams of paper. Here are some additional tips to delivering a heart felt and memorable speech.

LEAVE THE EX’S BACK IN TEXAS If you remember one thing from this list, please remember this: Don’t talk about past lovers (yours or theirs), don’t talk about past proposals (even if they were turned down) and don’t talk about past spouses (“Mary is so much prettier than your last wife”).
NO SEX PLEASE, WE’RE GETTING MARRIED Everyone knows that sex is part of awedding night, but no
body wants to be reminded of it at the reception. And we certainly don’t want to hear about that drunken night in Cancún, or that morning in the conference room at work, when you walked in on the couple, ahem,updating their Facebook status.
STICK TO THE SCRIPT Tangents are not your friend. DON’T MAKE AMENDS While boasting about how close you are to the bride or bridegroom is déclassé, the opposite is even worse: apologizing for not being close enough. A wedding toast is no place for a laundry list of your failings as a friend or relative.
DON’T DRINK AND CLINK If you’ve had more than one drink, think twice before you clink. As any nutritionist would tell you, booze and a toast don’t go well together.
So what should you say? We advise to use a simple formula: 3-1-2. First, speak for a few minutes in third
person, sharing a funny story or a warm memory about the bride.“Let me tell you something about Becky you may not know.”or “I knew she had found true love that time she called me and said.” Next, say a few genuine words in first person, explaining your own feelings. “I have always admired my sister /friend for.”Finally, speak directly to the couple, using second person. “May you have a life filled with…”or “May you always find joy in…”
As for an ending, do as the British do for a wedding toast -raise your glass and offer a simple salutation,“Ladies and gentlemen, to the couple.”

Kid Free Zone

Kid Free Zone
Sometimes a wedding is for adults only. A kid free zone just makes it easier on the bride and groom and the place hosting the event. If an invitation says to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Schmoe, that does not mean Mr.and Mrs. Joe Schmoe and Sally, Suzy and Sam. We should assume (rather, we should know) that kids probably aren’t invited to this wedding since their names are not specifically address on the invite. Similarly, if you, your significant other, and your son are addressed and invited to attend a wedding as guests that does not mean your son’s girlfriend is granted a free ride to the party.
Make it clear to all others, definitely on the invitation and verbally if necessary, that sorry sir but no kids allowed.Weddings aren’t a throw together high school bash, but instead the result of months and sometimes years of planning and need I point out the obvious, they cost lots of moolah.  Perhaps money was tight, or the guest list was already over capacity and the groom had to invite his stepsister’s husband. Whatever the reason, respect the bride and groom’s wishes and don’t try to smuggle in your kids like it’s no biggie. Once they get there, they are guests and will need somewhere to sit and something to eat. And people will notice. Remember being a guest at a wedding is not a right but a privilege.

 

There is always another side too. Here’s the scene: a 20-year-old single mother are invited to your college roommates wedding. She has a six-year-old son who Grandma and Grandpa can’t possibly babysit and doesn’t see any other alternative to the situation. What to do? She should call the bride and explain her situation. Ask her if there are any exceptions she’d be willing to make. Some people don’t want kids at their wedding because kids can be sticky, disruptive, and loud, etc. However, and this is a big however, most brides don’t want kids at their wedding simply because they said so. They’re the bride, that’s what they want, and there doesn’t have to be a reason.  Whatever the issue do it with class and dignity and if all else fails, everyone usually understands that moms have to stay at home with the kids. Unless you’re in the wedding, this is just as valid an excuse as the bride requesting her wedding be a kid free zone.