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.”

Tradition

Going with Tradition
We’ve all been raised on what our wedding day should be, so what is tradition anyway?
Traditionally, wedding ceremonies are held in a church or other place of worship and have strong religious significance for the bride, groom, and their guests. Depending on the couple’s religious preferences, their ceremony may include prayer, Scripture reading, hymns, or other religious observances. This type of ceremony is almost always officiated by a minister, priest, rabbi, or other clergyman.In traditional wedding ceremonies, the bride’s family sits on the left side and the groom’s family on the right.The groom will enter with the clergy. The number and types of attendants will vary between different wedding ceremonies. The bridesmaids, usually escorted by groomsmen, enter next and can either stand flanking the altar or take seats in the second or third row.
When it is time for the bride to enter, most wedding ceremonies include lively music such as the traditional”Here Comes the Bride” or “Canon in D.” The bride is escorted by her father or another family member who”gives her away” at the altar. The bride and groom, of course, stand next to one another as they face the clergyman.
At the reception it begins with a receiving line consisting of both mothers, the bride and groom, and the
female attendants. It is distinctly non-traditionalto skip the receiving line or to hold it at the church. Theannouncement of the bridal party is garnered with special theme music of the wedding party and parents are
also not a tradition from mainstream etiquette. Waiters can circulate with drinks and hors d’oeuvres while the receiving line is in progress.
Toasts should begin at the end of the guests’ time to eat. If the wedding cake is the major refreshment, then the bride and groom should cut the cake before any toasting takes place. The first toast is the best man’s toast to the bride. This may be followed by other toasts or not.
If there is to be a dinner followed by dancing, the”first dance” occurs after dinner. If food is to be served after dancing begins, the “first dance” is the first major event. In the most traditional format, once the bride and groom have danced, other guests are allowed out on the floor while the bride dances with her father, the groom with his mother, and so on.

Last thing before she exits, the bride tosses her bouquet to the single women in the room. (There is no garter toss at a “traditional” wedding.) The bride and groom change into their “traveling clothes,” return to the party, and exit through a shower of rice, rose petals, or bubbles. And that’s it! The only thing left is to write the thank-you notes.


Woodland Weddings

Woodland Weddings
A reoccurring trend for this year has been Woodland weddings. Whether it’s a destination or just in your backyard, summer is a perfect time of year for this trendy theme! Brides, you can bring the outdoors inside with simple touches like branch center pieces and combining natural colors like whites, olives, golds, silver and jewel tones.
We are also loving how affordable mother nature can be! If you have a special tree, why not consider getting married under it? Or had a great memory in a park or forest preserve, why not check out that space as the venue for your ceremony? Weather is certainly something to consider so if you’d rather not chance it, then bring the beauty to your tables, chairs, décor or bouquet. Deep plum colors contrast very well with beige and brown, making your decorations pop.
You can even think about making the food match the Woodland wedding theme with a s’mores bar! Go have fun with summer colors and if you’re a more rustic bride but don’t want the standard barnyard, then consider the Woodlands wedding theme.
Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion

While the mixing of cultures in America is a given, sometimes fuses these traditions can be tricky. But, they don’t have to be – let’s take a look at customs that you can incorporate into your big day that is both Asian Fusion and American.

From China to Japan to other Asian countries, each culture has their own set of customs that have been passed down from century to century. Some modern couples opt to do two ceremonies, one honoring their parents and traditions, and one that is more modern to suit today’s culture of weddings.
In Chinese tradition, the wedding date is picked carefully according to astrological signs and birth dates, and the ceremony begins on the half hour to cement the couple’s good fortune. Chinese weddings are chock-full of colorful customs, often accompanied by the sound of firecrackers and gongs. Many modern brides change their bridal outfit up to three times! Who wouldn’t want more than one spectacular dress to debut? The three dresses include a traditional white dress, a traditional Chinese bridal dress for the tea ceremony, and a cocktail dress to send off the guests.

In Japanese culture, there are many symbols and customs ingrained in their wedding traditions. While the Western custom of exchanging rings has become increasingly popular over the years, the ritual of “san-san-kudo”, the three by three exchanges are rich with meaning. It is performed by the bride and groom and both sets of parents; each person takes three sips of sake from each of three cups. The first three represent three couples, the bride and groom, and their parents. The second three represent three human flaws: hatred, passion, and ignorance. “Ku,” or nine is a lucky number in Japanese culture. And “do” means deliverance from the three flaws.

In many cultures such as Pan-Asian, symbols, colors, and different types of food mean good luck or fortune for the newlyweds. The different foods served all have special meanings, for example lobster might be served because redis a lucky color or clams served with both shells symbolize the couple’s union. Honoring your tradition is important, but so is staying true to your likes and dislikes of what you want on your big day. Honor is a big part of Asian culture, but what big day isn’t about giving a shout out to your parents an the people who’ve shaped who you’ve become? If you and your fiance are from different cultures, try to incorporate as much tradition as you both feel comfortable with. We guarantee your guests who are not familiar with them, will be dazzled by the Asian Fusion!
Aruba, jamaica, Oooo I wanna take ya

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I Wanna Take Ya

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I Wanna Take Ya

Are you looking to say “I Do” on a tropical island, sandy beach or private beach? Do you want a small, simple wedding? Do you want something different than the normal wedding affair? Whatever your reason, you have come to the right place. Toes in the water, tush in the sand, salty sea air whipping through your hair, these are just a few of the highlights of a beachy fun wedding. From Cape Cod to the white sandy beaches of the Virgin Islands, beaches come with some details that you need to consider when planning your love fest.

1) Pick an Off-Season Date

This may seem like a no-brainer, but pick a date in the off-season. Peak times may include Memorial Day through Labor Day. Off-peak is anything outside that window of time. The weather will still be stunning, but you’ll hear a lot more “yes” if you’re not trying to pull off a huge event in the middle of local business’ bread-and-butter season. Also, they’ll probably be more flexible in off-peak pricing than if you were trying to get married over 4th of July weekend or something.

2) Privacy

Once you pick a date, you’ll need to decide if you’re going public beach or private beach. The reality of getting married on the beach is that beaches very rarely offer the same freedoms as private property. Also, some people have serious aversions to sand, and consider it a glorified form of dirt. But beach weddings are possible, and not all of them require you to throw a large chunk of cash at an all-inclusive beach resort place.

Also, keep in mind that you may have a lot of gawkers that watch your wedding on the sidelines. There is really no way to avoid this unless you have bouncers or something.

3) Permits

If you choose a public beach, literally memorize the city ordinances governing that beach. Some beaches require permits for bonfires, food services, etc. Also, know THERE IS NO WAY TO AVOID OPEN CONTAINER LAWS. This may depend on the state, country, etc that you are having your beach wedding at, but know this could be a costly mistake if not adhered to.

According to many travel and wedding magazines the following 10 spots are the best locations to get hitched on the beach, in no particular order:

  1. Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines
  2. East Hampton, NY
  3. Watch Hill, Rhode Island
  4. Coronado, California
  5. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii- Kapalua.com
  6. St. Tropez, South of France
  7. Sitges church, Catalonia, Spain
  8. Mount Irvine Bay, Tobago
  9. White Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines
  10. Anse Chastanet, St. LuciaAruba, Jamaica, Oooo I wanna take ya
Dog Wedding

Dog Wedding

You have the groom, you have the maid of honor and you’ve sorted out your family situation for the big day. What’s missing? It might be that slobbery, furry, sloppy kissing, cute bundle of joy we call your dog! Dog Wedding! Many brides feel their faithful pooches deserve the limelight on their wedding day. This is easily accomplished as long as you pre-plan and you evaluate your dog to make sure the wedding ceremony won’t stress him or her out too much. And, let’s face it, this will probably the most low-maintenance member of your bridal party or guest list!
Dog Wedding

So, first consider what type of dog you have on your hands. A lot of canines are perfectly happy following their families wherever but some may have come from shelters, led an abused life before you rescued. Ask yourself honestly if you think your dog could handle the stress of so many people in a tight space and emotions running high. Once you’ve determined Perfect Pooch is okay being spotlighted for your wedding, decide what part he’ll take in it. Will he walk down the aisle with the ring bearer, the flower girls, a bridesmaid? Does he need to be with you at the front of the ceremony or can he make a guest appearance at the reception? Don’t forget to confirm with whatever venue you choose that pets are allowed!

Second, if you’re thinking about dressing your dog up in a tux or accessorizing them, be sure to have it fitted properly. It’s nice to find that one person who’s not in your bridal party to be charge of the dog so he’ll get proper care and they can oversee that he doesn’t eat something he’s not supposed to. This person needs to know where to get fresh water for him and should be knowledgeable about dogs – if the dog is showing signs of being overly stressed or exhaustion. Even the most mild mannered dogs can be overwhelmed in a social situation he’s never been in.

We think it’s great to include your special pet in your wedding day, just be sure to consider your dog’s needs as well as your own! Dogs are becoming like children to many couples so it’s only natural you want to include them in an important, life altering decision.  Pets at Weddings.

Tips for Interfaith Weddings

Tips For Interfaith Weddings

Tips For Interfaith Weddings

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. 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 have performed interfaith weddings in the past.

Tips For Interfaith WeddingsAlison Conklin Photography

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 and your wedding ceremony will lose some of its intensity. Careful editing of the ceremony elements is pertinent to a good ceremony.

Tips For Interfaith Weddingsvia Interfaith Weddings

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.

Planning a Jewish Wedding

Planning a Jewish Wedding

Planning a Jewish Wedding

Mazel Tov! So you’re newly engaged? Well, welcome to the wonderful world of wedding planning. Whether you are a devout Jew or not, there are many customs and traditions that you try to incorporate into your big day to keep tradition alive. Some of these ideas include the following:

1. Choosing the Date

Sabbath falls on a Friday night, and devout or strict Jewish people view this as a big no-no. Jewish weddings are generally prohibited on Shabbat and festivals–including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot- and many other holidays. Because many of these dates fall during prime wedding season (spring-summer), it’s important to check an accurate Jewish calendar (such as www.hebcal.com) before you select a date.

Planning a Jewish Wedding

2. Choosing a Ketubah

If you’ve already acquired a marriage license through your county/state, you understand this document represents your union as husband and wife in the legal sense. Well, in Jewish culture, you sign yet another license as well. Traditionally, a ketubah served as a kind of premarital contract, outlining a bride’s ongoing rights: food, clothing, and even sex should be provided during the course of the marriage. The ketubah also specified her rights in the case of her husband’s death or their divorce. Many contemporary couples choose to veer away from the traditional ketubah text and its implications and instead choose a text that expresses their hopes and commitments for their marriage.

Planning a Jewish Weddingvia Gallery Judaica

3. Selecting a Huppah

If you have ever attended a Jewish ceremony, you’ve probably wondered what the large canopy covering the couple and officiant is. Well, that is a huppah. It creates a sacred space that is both open for all to see and private and intimate for the couple beneath it. It symbolizes their new home together.

Planning a Jewish Weddingvia The Knot

4. Breaking the Wedding Glass

At the conclusion of the blessings, the groom breaks the glass with his right foot, as an additional remembrance of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Traditionally, this custom was also incorporated into the ceremony to remind everyone that even at the height of one’s personal joy, we must, nevertheless, remember the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The breaking of the glass symbolizes the breaking of our hearts in remembrance.

Planning a Jewish Wedding

Sloan Photographers

5. Traditional Jewish Wedding Dance Options

Two of the most traditional and well-known Jewish wedding dance numbers are the Hora and the Mezinke Tanz (Krenzl). These two dances are often done during a Jewish wedding reception.

During the Hora, the bride and groom are lifted above the shoulders of guests. Sitting upon chairs, they may wave handkerchiefs at each other or hold onto the ends of a single handkerchief. Be careful not to drop them! While hoisting the two in the air, a large circle of guests dances around them clockwise or counterclockwise

The Mezinke Tanz is a dance that arose out of the traditional Krenzl. Krenzl, which refers to a crown, occurred when the last daughter was married. This is a special dance for the mother as they adorn her with a crown of flowers.

Planning a Jewish WeddingHeidi Vail Photography

 

Jumping The Broom

Jumping the Broom

You may have heard of “jumping the broom” and “typing the knot,” but in the African American community, these are more than just expressions. It is a tradition stemming back to the days of slavery when slaves were forbidden from marrying. They created this ritual to represent the beginning of their new life together. In modern ceremonies, couples jump over a broom, often decorated with adornments of flowers, herbs, ribbon, and tulle, after they’re pronounced married. Tying the knot is a symbol to represent unity. Cloth, twine, or other forms are used to bind them together literally.

Jumping The BroomVia Tri Wedding Central

Tradition, customs, and honoring your ancestors are very big in this community. There are countless ways to honor your ancestors during your wedding ceremony and reception. You may also choose to add ethnic touches including a Libation ceremony which is held to honor elders. During the ceremony a prayer is said and an elder presents water or liquor as an offering to God and the ancestral spirits for their blessing.

Food and drink is important at all weddings, but for African American ceremonies, these are integral parts of the day. During the ceremony, there is a tradition that involves tasting the four elements: lemon for sour, vinegar for bitter, cayenne pepper for hot, and honey for sweet. The four tastes represent the different times or moods of married life.

Jumping The Broomvia Simply Elegant Brial

And, you can’t forget the beat of the drums! Music is very important to families, and when music is made…comes the dancing! You can walk down the aisle to their rich sounds or have them lead a bridal march after the ceremony. The sound of drums also has historical significance for African-Americans since drums were outlawed during slavery because they were seen as a coded means of communication between the slaves. Check with local music schools, African-American newspapers, and cultural centers to find drummers in your area.

upside down wedding cake

Upside Down Wedding Cake

upside down wedding cakeUpside down wedding cake? Yes, please!

After a whirlwind romance, Bing Bang cutie Kaley Cuoco married her tennis player boyfriend in a super glam, ultra whimsical wedding in LA.  And while the over the top wedding flowers, ritzy venue and celeb guest list are all in line with your typical tinsel town nuptuals, the fete had some seriously cool details like a bubble gum pink custom Vera Wang dress. And for the costume change later on in the night, this super cool bride didn’t go with a safe white either- she switched into a fit and flare red mini dress to dance the night away with her new hubby.  But the one detail that has everyone buzzing, is the upside down wedding cake the couple blew everyone away with, including the wedding industry veterans who must admit that it just might be the coolest cake in history.

upside down wedding cakeSo here’s what we know about the wedding and how the cake plays a perfect part in the entire event. The New Year’s Eve celebration had a “fire and ice” theme with fire being represented with ultra warm hued lighting and ice of course, being major bling.  The six tiered cake, created by Kimberly Bailey of LA- based The Butter End, was suspended from a huge crystal chandelier and adorned with matching crystals to carry through the them right down to the smaller tier. The entire thing was engineered with sandbags of matching weight and involved several trips to home depot to secure it just right so that the couple could literally dance under the “cake hanging from a chandelier” all night. Pretty cool.

And the guests even got a little show when the couple went to do the traditional cake cutting. And sure enough they cut right into it and it stayed perfectly affixed! The photos are really something to behold with a huge chunk missing after they tasted the cherry almond and vanilla almond buttercream confection.

While we hope to see more over the top cakes like Cuoco’s these bad boys don’t come cheap! The Butter End created a seven foot tall cake for Mariska Hargitay and a stunning 1,000 custom sugar flower creation for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding ringing in at around $11,000! So maybe this trend isn’t for the budget savvy bride but we can’t wait to see what those resourceful DIY brides have to say about this one! One thing is for sure, it’s not for the faint of heart!