Thursday, August 25, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Aisle Cloths

Some brides wouldn't consider being married without an aisle cloth.  Others don't want one and won't consider it.  Here are some thoughts about how they came to be and today's versions to help a bride decide.

The custom originated in medieval times when royalty would enter cathedrals for worship services.  With birds in the rafters of churches and peasants' muddy shoes, the aisles were usually a mess.  The aisle cloth was a necessity to keep the trains of the gowns of the ladies of the court clean as they walked to the seats in the front of the church.  It was a practical solution to a problem.

Over the years, the aisle cloth has come to signify that someone special is coming.  It remains one of the universal customs of society and has been adapted by Hollywood at the Oscar awards.  In fact, the phrase "appearing on the red carpet" lets us know that a celebrity is due to appear.  With our society's emphasis on brides as "queen for the day", the tradition has remained.

The aisle runner is usually installed by the florist and is not unrolled until after the bride's mother has been seated and processional is about to begin.  While the majority of them are white fabric, some florists do have colored runners available to match wedding colors.  If you plan to use one, consider using fabric and not a paper version that can be easily torn by high heels, slides easily on some floors and carpets and can be noisy as the wedding party walks to the altar.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Traditions

We like to remind our brides that weddings reflect a variety of ethnic, religious, social and regional traditions.  In some small communities, the "open church" tradition is popular.  It simply means that everyone is invited.  In some places family and friends make a wedding quilt for the couple.  At Quaker weddings the marriage certificate is signed in public.

There are some traditions that fortunately did not survive.  In the 18th century a marriage race was common.  As soon as the ceremony was over, everyone raced out of the church door and on to the wedding feast held at the bride's home.  What did the winner get?  The first piece of bridal cake or cup of soup or porridge or whatever was being served - and the luck that supposedly came from being first.

Imagine this!  In 1775 the law stated that a young woman could not be married wearing any makeup.  Makeup was considered an ensnarement and the wedding would not be legitimate because the groom would have been "trapped" by the illusion of beauty.

And today we have one favorite tradition has evolved from necessity.  Today's bride "throws" her bouquet so that her unmarried friends can "catch" some luck in romance.  But the custom really started as a form of defense.  Centuries ago, belief in the mystical value of a bride's garments prompted friends and strangers alike to try and grab a piece of her outfit.  Eventually, some clever bride found that by flinging her flowers away from herself, the crowd would have something to fight over and she could escape.  Now the bride throws the bouquet to signal that the reception is almost over.

Until the 1500s, the lavish weddings of royalty were often paid for by taxes levied on landowners.  But then weddings were generally a political move that secured the empire rather than a great romance.

Today's brides are part of the ever evolving look of weddings.  Let one of our experienced consultants help you create a wedding that will "make history".

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Bridal Veils

At one time no bride would consider her look complete without the all important veil.  Then for a period, veils faded from use and some brides considered hats, feathers, hair jewelry, tiaras without veils and fresh flowers.  All of those can be lovely but many of us lamented the disappearance of the bridal veils.

We are seeing a resurgence of interest in veils and a generation of brides who need to become reacquainted with them as an important fashion statement and a magnificent part of the wedding costume.

Veils have always been a symbol of youth and virginity.  At one time, the veil was not lifted until the bride was a legally married woman.  Even today, in some cultures this remains the very first time the groom "sees" his bride.

We remind our brides that they have options.  You may continue the tradition of wearing a "blusher" veil over your face until the clergyman pronounces you "husband and wife".  At that point either the groom or you honor attendant will lift the veil.

If you prefer you can have it lifted earlier in the ceremony just after your father (or whomever has walked you down the aisle) has placed your hand in the hand of your groom.  At this point the groom may lift the veil giving you both good eye contact as you exchange vows.

If you are having a double ring ceremony, your honor attendant can lift your veil before handing you the groom's ring.

You may choose to wear a veil of any length and forego the use of the "blusher" that needs to be lifted.  That seems less cumbersome to many brides and does away with the risk of disturbing the headpiece that secures the veil in place.

When selecting your important wedding gown, ask your consultant to suggest a veil to complete the look.  Many brides choose to wear a veil for the ceremony and remove it for the reception.  Your consultant can suggest many ways to make a veil detach from a gorgeous headpiece if that is your choice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Rehearsing

We are always amazed by brides who don't think they need a rehearsal.  If they have been in several friend's weddings as bridesmaids, they think they can skip their own rehearsal.  They are convinced they can just show up on the big day and everything will go fine.  But we always remind them that they are about to produce, direct and star in a major production.  No Broadway show goes live without weeks of rehearsal.  The wedding ceremony should not either.  We are convinced that to be sure everything goes smoothly during your wedding a rehearsal is necessary.  Officiants agree and for most churches, rehearsals are required.

We believe that the bride and groom with their attendants (which include the bride's parents or whomever is walking her down the aisle) should take the rehearsal seriously, arrive on time and be properly dressed.

At one time brides chose a stand in for the rehearsal thinking it was unlucky for her to actually say any of the words of the ceremony before the actual event.  Obviously that has changed and now the bride and groom take their places at the altar.  It is unlikely that the clergyman will go through the entire service and readings, but will walk through the sequence of events.  Most will let the couple go through their responses if they wish.

As well as practicing the processional and recessional and going through the service so that attendants know where to stand or sit, ushers need to be briefed on who will sit in the reserved section of pews and how the other pews are to be filled.  Other details like who will roll out the aisle cloth and when, who will escort the mothers, who will make sure any candles are lit and when, and who will do any emergency pew or altar decorations in the unlikely event that the florist does not will be covered in the rehearsal.

If special music is to be played, a poem read or non-traditional vows spoken, those should be practiced at the rehearsal too.

The groom's parents should be invited to attend especially if they are to have a role in the ceremony.  If they are not playing an active role in the ceremony they can be excused from rehearsal since they will probably be hosting the rehearsal dinner to follow and would prefer to be at that location attending to last minute details.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Consider His Size

Formal wear has come a long way!  The variety of styles and colors and importantly SIZES has made it possible to accommodate men of all sizes and make them look good in the process.

While we know that couples have a vision of their wedding - style and colors coordinating - the reality for many weddings today is that at least one or more of the male members may be "bigger than life" and need some TLC when size and style selection are considered.  Experienced formal wear specialists know that certain styles compliment larger men.  They know that darker clothing- black or darker shades of gray or brown or navy, are the best choices for these men.
We suggest pants that do not accentuate fullness.  Yes, pleats do give more room but they do not always flatter a bulkier bottom or hip area.  Pants should always hang straight and break at the top of the shoe's heel.

We find that more men are choosing vests over cummerbunds.  They are making that choice for comfort as well as style.  If top coats are discarded in the heat of the day or for dancing at the reception, a full coverage vest can insure that the men in the party still look coordinated.  A solid black or dark colored vest will look much better on a large size man.  A lay down collar and a trendy tie will give balance to someone with a wide upper body.  Similarly, a larger man generally looks better in a simple one button style jacket.

As the bride and groom select the formalwear style for their wedding, we remind them to consider the shape and size of the various men in the wedding party. With the wide variety of styles and colors available to you from many vendor resources, our formal wear experts can be your best friends as you create the wedding of your dreams.

Whatever the size of the men in your wedding party, you can be comfortable knowing  that our formal wear experts can make everyone look their best on the important day and in your photographs.