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!

small weddings

How to NOT Have a Big Wedding

When did weddings become one size fits all?  For as many websites, blogs, and magazines dedicated to solely dissecting every single detail of all things wedding, it seems pretty rare to hear anything about alternative routes to the big wedding bash. Even destination weddings, once notorious for small, intimate gatherings have become over the top events chalk-full of logistical planning and weekend-long events. And as much as we literally spend hours swooning over these luxe “I do’s” we can’t help but be completely enchanted with the simplest of weddings where the Bride and Groom opt for no guests at all.

smallwed

A few years ago, a hauntingly beautiful indie film called “Like Crazy” had one of the most romantic moments with a super modern couple who share an enduring love story going to the court house and spending the rest of their night drinking champagne, dancing, and celebrating their nuptuals…alone. And while some brides might feel like they are missing out on a huge party with all of their closest friends and family, I think many couples would agree, that they are longing for that intimate moment lacking in a day overwhelmed by details and personalities.

like crazy

And how about the world’s most adorable celeb couple Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell? After a super long courtship, the couple finally made it official at the Beverly Hills Courthouse last month with just a minister present. They were later presented with a cake that said “ World’s Worst Wedding” as an homage to the understated event and were able to celebrate in private. The couple said they felt like they have enough attention on them, attend plenty of parties and are dressed up way too much in real life that they reserved their wedding day as a time for them to be together- just them.  And the best part of this approach for those brides and grooms worried about breaking the bank? The total for this Hollywood duo’s big day? Including gas, $125 out the door! Even celebs are mindful about overspending on weddings!

kbell

The most important factor is that your wedding be a reflection of who you both are. If you aren’t really into the big hoopla and flashing lights, maybe a sweet and intimate wedding is right for you!  And there are varying degrees of downsizing as well. Just because you don’t want a big wedding doesn’t mean you have to call a Justice of the Peace. Having a handful of close friends and family to your home for a wedding cocktail party can be super chic and also ultra romantic. Whatever you choose, just remember that it’s your day and whatever you decide, it should be whatever makes you feel special!

Gay Marriage Timeline 2013

Gay Marriage Timeline 2013

Gay Marriage Timeline 2013. Issues like equal rights and gay marriage are ever growing and developing, often with a long and detailed history of pivotal events behind them. To coincide with the new ruling against the Defence of Marriage Act (DoMA) in the U.S, we have created an up-to-date timeline documenting the LGBT community’s battle for equal marriage rights so far.

The U.S Supreme Court has recently attracted a lot of attention for its involvement in a movement of increasing momentum as, though opinions were divided, the majority ruled against a law defining marriage as a strictly heterosexual process, giving hope of more rights for many same-sex couples.

This is the latest milestone of a journey that dates back thousands of years, as our timeline shows; the fight is perhaps not over but another important step has been made as opinions slowly turn and support gathers. To those fighting for their rights, we salute you!

Due to the recent news, SimplyBridal has revamped our Gay Marriage Timeline for 2013, new and exciting changes are constantly occurring in the LGBT community. We are so excited to be covering it them, and reminding people of the long struggle for equal rights. Chicago Gay Wedding DJ.

Gay Marriage Timeline 2013

Fido at Your Wedding

For many people, pets are like a family member, so having that pet be a part of their wedding day seems like the right thing to do. But are you and your pet ready for your wedding day? Here’s a few things to consider before you and Fido walk down the aisle:

Your Pet’s Temperament:  Is your pet easily excitable in large groups? Or have they mastered sitting on command? A wedding will be a new experience for them so be sure they will be able to behave and not make a scene on the big day. Even though you may want your pet there, they may feel more comfortable at home.

obedient

Check With Your Venue:  It’s important to make sure pets are allowed at your wedding venue before you start planning their grand entrance. If having your pet be apart of your day is a must-have, you may need to consider pet friendly places only when you are in the planning stages and picking a venue. This is definitely an area where you must plan ahead.

pets welcome

Check With Your Guests:  A lot of people have allergic reactions to certain types of pets, so informing your guest beforehand that your pet will be apart of the wedding will help those guest to take the necessary precautions.

pet-allergy

Preparing Your Pet:  If all is a go with Mr. Whiskers, then it is essential to prepare him for the day. If you are having him wear some type of clothing, or plan on strapping a ring pillow on his back and walk down the aisle, it’s best to start practicing weeks before the wedding day. If possible,  take him to the venue and allow him to get use to the new space. Allow your pet enough time to get use to his role and reward him with treats for being well behaved.

dog weddingJoe Mikos Photographers

Hire a Pet Handler:  This can be someone that you know or a professional, but having someone at the wedding that is responsible for your pet is vital. You will not have the time or  energy to worry about your pet during the rest of your wedding commotion, so having a person assigned to your pet will make the day go much smoother.  Make sure the pet handler has everything they will need to properly care for your animal on the day, including a home to take them to when the celebrations are over.

pet wedding

Wedding Programs 101

The wedding programs can be a creative detail that also helps guests feel like active participants in your wedding ceremony. The opportunity for creativity and personalization are endless, but here are a few tips on how and why to create wedding programs:

What They Should Say:

Ultimately, what you do or don’t include in your wedding programs is up to you. Some couples opt for a simple, one-page list of the wedding events, while others use wedding programs as an opportunity to get personal and creative. Consider adding some or all of these details when creating your wedding programs:

  • Full names of the bride and groom, along with the date and location of the festivities
  • A full list of the members of the bridal party with the option of including a short bio, sweet or humorous, about the person’s relationship to the happy couple
  • A personalized note of thanks to the bride and groom’s families, as well as a message to all of the guests in attendance
  • Include a special mention, letter, photo, anecdote, or poem dedicated to any deceased loved ones
  • Order of the wedding ceremony, including details about specific readings or music selections
  • Explanation of traditions, rituals, or customs being performed during the wedding
  • The bride and groom’s new address
  • Favorite quotes, poems, song lyrics, or religious scriptures
  • Photos of the happy couple, the bridal party, or late family/friends that you’d like to honor

How They Should Look:

Like every other detail of the wedding, the programs should be unique and complementary to the theme. Consider adding fun embellishments or photos to them to personalize them, or get creative and think outside the box. Try making paddle fan programs for outdoor weddings, scrolls in bottles for a beach affair, or craft paper booklets for a rustic event. Use stamps, ribbons, unique papers, and colored card stock to add personalized touches.

How They Should Be Made:

Wedding programs are a great DIY project that is easy and can help you stick to your wedding budget. Ask everyone to pitch in by scheduling an arts-and-crafts night for a group of creative girlfriends. By creating specific stations and an assembly line, you can get all of your programs made in no time. If you’re looking for something slightly more structured, consider purchasing a print-at-home kit from a local paper or craft store with guided instructions on how to design and assemble programs. Lastly, if you don’t have the time or energy, you can pay to have programs designed and made at most stationery stores.

How They Should Be Distributed:

How you arrange and hand out programs is yet another opportunity to be creative and thoughtful. Assemble them inside baskets, tucked into wooden crates, laid along trays, or sticking out of pails—whatever complements your wedding theme. Having a close friend or family member pass them out as guests arrive adds a personal touch and allows you to incorporate another person into the wedding festivities. You can also have programs laid out on seats when guests arrive.