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.

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.”