Unwanted Guests

Guests You Don’t Want to Invite…But Should
There will always be those unwanted guests that you are obligated to invite to the wedding. If you are receiving financial assistance from your parents or future in-laws- expect this situation to pop up, maybe more than once. However, there are just some people you will have to learn to accept are coming to your wedding even if you aren’t thrilled about the concept. There are five exceptions to the rule that you should (re)consider when sending out those invites. They include:
1) Your Debbie Downer Friend
She’s anti-social, and worse a wedding hater. Sure, you can love her regardless, but will she be so welcoming and open to the L-O-V-E concept on YOUR big day? Well, let’s hope so! If you are considering inviting the wedding basher, sit down with her prior to the event and feel out her mood as to how she feels about coming to your special day. We hope she will put her own feelings aside about marriage and come support you in your decision of marrying the man of your dreams.
2) Your Boss
I’m sure they have heard every little detail of your big day, and it doesn’t seem right to NOT invite them. I even bet you’ve probably done a bit of online perusing for your wedding in general on work time. And, I’m sure they are very aware of this. It’s a traditional concept to invite your boss, but the people you spend the most time with are your coworkers and boss they should be included if your guest list allows for the people. After all, this is the person that decides your salary and PTO!
3) Your Parent’s Best Friends Forever
Sure, you’ve known Mr. and Mrs. So and So for years and years, but do you really want them at your wedding? This is one of those sticky situations because I’m sure your parents have probably attended their daughters or son’s weddings. Think of it this way, I’m sure you’re parents feel like they would have a fun time with them and they will be generous to you in their gift-giving.
4) Extended Cousins
If you have a ginormous family, consider having some hard and fast rules about the guest list-“No second cousins under the age of 18” or “No second cousins at all.” Some of these little details will help keep the list short and sweet and your sanity! However, let’s say you have a very close second cousin to you that is your age range, and you are very close with her. Well, she makes the cut off, right? You don’t have to explain yourself, but if people question you at least you have rules in place!
5) Mr. Slick Rick
The last unwanted guest you should consider inviting includes you fiance’s “interesting” friends. This can include the Casanova who will hit on anything with a pulse. This guy seems to be funny and endearing when you all are out in a group setting; however, it does not seem too appealing at your wedding. Prior to the event you can respectfully ask your husband-to-be if he’d have a word with his friend and ask him to be on his best behavior.
There’s no right or wrong guest list and unwanted guests can make the wedding awkward. But also keep in mind this is your day and no matter how they try to undermine it, all eyes are on you and your groom!

Wedding Theme

How Important is a Wedding Theme?
To answer the question in the title; in one world- very, very important! The theme of your wedding pretty much dictates a lot of your day. It’s based on what type of couple you truly are–traditional versus non-traditional. Choosing a preppy theme versus a Halloween party versus a British theme will set the tone for the entire day.
When searching for wedding ideas and wedding inspiration, you’ll be faced with seemingly endless options.Having a wedding theme, however, will allow you to edit out things that don’t work. Most people don’t see a need for a wedding theme. Of course, the theme for any wedding is “marriage.” However, when all the little planning details start to come together, you should have some cohesion to everything.
Themes are meant to be carried out throughout everything in your wedding from your invites to your linens. Are you rustic chic or modern and cutting edge? Blurring the line is fine, but setting the tone also sets the tone for your guests. You would not want your friends and family to show up to an event dressed inappropriately or not having some kind of expectations when they walk into the event.
As mentioned above, if you were to choose a Halloween themed wedding and you wanted your guests to dress up in costumes that expectation needs to be vocalized. Do not ever assume that your guests will just know to dress like Superman or on the other hand, for a black tie event. It is in your best interest to be clear about expectations. If you find that you cannot figure out the theme of your wedding, go peruse wedding websites such as Style Me Pretty, Engaged& Inspired and others to find some styles that suit your taste. Understanding your likes and dislikes is the first of many choices you are faced with.

Muslim Wedding

Muslim Wedding Traditions
Muslim couples plan weddings which reflect their unique cultural backgrounds. Muslim marriages throughout North America often reflect the diversity of the Muslim population. In the United States, only about 19 percent of Muslims are African American or Anglo American. The rest are immigrants or people with family ties to the Arabworld, South Asia, Iran, sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, and other regions in the world.
If you are celebrating a traditional Muslim wedding, chances are you will want to incorporate the following into your big day. This includes the marriage contract, a divine injunction, and the marriage banquet to seal the deal.
Al-Nikah: the Islamic Marriage Ceremony
Marriage is a solemn and sacred social contract between the bride and groom. Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. In this contract, any terms and conditions seen fit by both the bride and groom are made apart. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract is then announced publicly.
Mahr
Following the contract signing, the marriage-gift (Mahr) is presented as a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract. Mahr is a token commitment of the husband’s responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself.
The Marriage Banquet (Walima)
After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and
friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are
invited to the marriage feasts. It is not unheard of to have hundreds of people at a Muslim wedding.
Muslim weddings are viewed as social events that are not to be missed! Family, friends, and acquaintances are invited to celebrate the newlywed’s new life together as man and wife.

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.

Courthouse Wedding

Five Details That will Make a Courthouse Wedding Special
Couples that opt for a courthouse wedding typically are looking to either save some loot or don’t want to be bothered with the minutia of details. A small wedding at a courthouse or city hall can still be special,romantic, and fun. You should still feel like a bride- so dress the part! You don’t have to spend a lot, but the ideal attire for the bride is a white or ivory dress to the knee. There are many fabulous options. Most bridal gown designers have at least one or two short gowns in their collections, and some even have entire collections devoted to short dresses, such as Amsale’s Little White Dress. A hot white suit, a la Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City marriage is another option.
Still yet, you can always wear a dress that makes you feel beautiful and special that’s already in your closet. Invite your closest, most significant friends and family to help support you. A courthouse wedding does not necessarily mean an elopement. You might very well wish to have at least your immediate family and a couple of close friends there to witness your vows. The entire ceremony may not last much longer than a few minutes, so it would be a little strange to pack fifty people into a judge’s chambers to see it.
Invitations for a small gathering or reception are a nice touch for groups more than 10. You will definitely want to have some sort of celebration after your ceremony. Couples generally opt for a limited menu and a selection of beer and wine served at the tables. It can be very pleasant and also very affordable. Naturally,the hosts will pay for everything, just as they would at a more traditional wedding reception.
If you can afford to hire a professional photographer,that would be ideal. If not, at least have one family member with a good eye who is designated to capture the key moments of your wedding. You will certainly want to have some beautiful photographs to remember your special wedding day.A DJ is not necessary, but perhaps an iPod playing some soft music or if it’s possible, hire a pianist or violinist to play some soft,ambiance music.
With these small touches, you can still have simplicity, keep the budget low, and enjoy your special day with the most important loving, supportive people around you on your new journey of marriage.

Children at your Wedding

Children at your Wedding

Setting guidelines and expectations are crucial if you want children at your wedding (or in the wedding). For example, perhaps you have an adorable little chicky poo in mind as a suitable flower girl candidate aka your childhood friend’s little girl. But when it comes to your sister’s kids, your neighbors’teenage son, or your boss’s brood of four you really want to avoid having to invite them (or have them show up uninvited) to the wedding. Here’s the good news; you can do all that. Have your flower girl and consider giving your sister a free pass to bring her kiddos since she is after all your sister.

Here’s the bad news though. You will look like a total hypocrite if you invite select kids but don’t allow others. And you’re walking a fine line between doing what you want and being rude slash hurting feelings. Tread lightly.No one wants to leave anyone out but it’s okay if you don’t want children at your wedding.

If you do end up having kids as guests, prepare accordingly. Depending on your planner or coordinator (if you have one) and how rad she is, she may bring snacks, games, activities and so forth to keep the kids busy and out of your hair during the reception (and ceremony if said kids are spectators and not part of the wedding party). If it’s in the budget, look into hiring some sort of separate entertainment for the kids like a babysitter, a clown, a fairy princess, or some sort of person who can make sure the kids don’t get bored, restless, or out of hand on their own. Check with your venue to see if there’s a room this can be set aside, preferably close to the main event so parents are within a close enough distance should a problem arise. Ask the caterer for options kids will eat and get some juice boxes. Lot’s of juice boxes. Or sparkling pop for the older kids for the champagne toast.
You can make it work, and to your expectations. Just know that with kids in the (sticky) situation, your dance floor might attract some younger dancing kings and queens.

Registry 101

Registry 101
Registry 101 is going to take you through an often forgotten wedding task! Weddings are full of rituals, and here’s one you might not have thought about much: the ritual of walking through a department store with that little scanner as you create your gift registry! Some brides and grooms see this is a fun way to pick things out for their new home. Other people hate shopping and find this to be yet another annoying wedding chore. Registry 101 will give you some tips on how to go about this task.
Wedding registry 101:
• Pick a store that suits you as a couple. If you prefer casual things from Target or WalMart, don’t let your snooty sister-in-law talk you into registering at Neiman Marcus. And don’t let your hipster friends talk you into
registering at Pier One.
• Pick national stores. If you have guests coming in from all over, this will help them shop. Registering at a
local store is a nice thing to do for your community, but if you do this, also register at a chain. Registering
atonline stores is convenient, but not for older guests whodon’t know how to use that dang Internet thing, so register at a traditional store as well.
• Create your registry together. Really, the term “bridal registry” is pretty archaic. You should both pick out things for your home. Have fun together, don’t take it too seriously, and remember to compromise! If he wants gray linens and she wants loud floral patterned linens, middle ground will have to be found.
• Get help — but not the unwanted kind. Not much of a shopper? Bring along a friend who is, especially if your friend is married and knows useful things to put on a registry. Be careful though. Don’t ask for help from someone who wants to take over the registry.
• Select gifts for different price ranges. It’s very rude to only include expensive gifts on your registry. Don’t make assumptions about how much your guests can and should spend.
• Register for sets of things in pieces. Select a bathroom coordinate pattern and register separately for the shower curtain, the matching rug, the toothpaste holder, etc. This will allow people to buy as many pieces as they want within their price range. Do the same for comforter sets, dishes, and so forth.
• Do you really need china? If you’re into formal dining, register for fine china. If you’re not, don’t feel obligated to sign up for this traditional gift. Register for a good set of everyday dishes instead. Besides, if you ever need china, chances are that someone you know has a set they never use that you can borrow.
• Don’t be limited by “traditional’ choices. The cool thing of registering at a store like Target or WalMart is that you can register for all kinds of stuff — DVDs, electronics, camping equipment, board games, or whatever you enjoy and will actually use.
• Consider ditching the registry. Do you and your partner have big incomes and all the stuff you need? Some people ask their guests not to give wedding gifts, and perhaps suggest a charity for guests to donate to instead or to put money towards their honeymoon through www.honeyfund.com

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.