Sunday, January 22, 2017

WEDDING NOTES™ - What Should I Wear?

You find yourself with three weddings in as many months.  Are there any guidelines for guests?  Yes!  Your job is to help the couple celebrate this event.  Guests are invited to provide public witness to the legal ceremony taking place.  Marriage is a public statement which indicates the new legal status of the couple.

There aren't a lot of "rules" about what it means to be a wedding guest, but there are some traditional expectations plus the question - What should I wear?

Obviously times change and for many our current culture may be more informal than in the past, but a wedding is an important event that one honors by dressing appropriately.  To find out what is expected, check the wedding web page for clues as to how formal the wedding will be.  If you have friends in the wedding party, ask them.  But generally, these guidelines should help you decide.

1.  Don't dress to stand out.  Remember that the bride and groom are the stars of this event.

2.  When in doubt, it is usually better to "overdress" from normal rather than underdress.

3.  Avoid low cut, skin tight, skimpy dresses.  Don't overdo bling and/or glitter.

4.  You can wear a black dress - but white is iffy.  The rule on white is that it should not compete in anyway with the bride's gown.

5.  Be wary if the wedding is to be "informal".  Ask around about what others are planning to wear.  Try to take clues from where the wedding is being held.  If it is in a cathedral with the reception following at an upscale hotel, you know to go for more formal attire.  If it is at a cattle ranch, you know that it's likely to be more informal.  Ask friends about what their take is on "informal".  It should mean you've made an effort to appear well put together rather than cut offs and flip flops.

6.  If the wedding is "semi formal" it means that men should wear a suit and tie and women should wear a suit, a tailored dress or pant suit.

7.  If the wedding is clearly a formal affair, men should wear tuxedos and women should wear cocktail dresses - long or short - but remember rule #3 above.

Whatever level of appropriate dress you decide on, one other item to include is to wear your very best manners.  It is an important day in the couple's life and one honors them by behaving well.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

WEDDING NOTES™ - Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

We all know that singsong rhyme but not many know where it came from.  Most brides just buy a blue garter and hope that covers it.  But the traditions surrounding it are quite charming.

The something old is usually covered by the bride choosing a piece of jewelry or other accessory to represent the chain of happiness flowing from one generation to another.  When a bride uses her mother's wedding gown or other family heirloom she is recognizing that this item symbolizes the ties between generations of family.

The something new is the marriage itself.  It is symbolized by wearing something new that helps bring good fortune and success to this new union.

The something borrowed is usually on loan from a married friend to help bring happiness to the new bride.  The items can been pieces of wedding attire (like a veil) jewelry, or even a handkerchief or a family bible.

The something blue belongs to a tradition which dates back to biblical times when blue stood for purity and fidelity.

The English addition of the phrase  "and a sixpence in your shoe", is a favorite.  If a bride places a coin in the left shoe, it is said to ensure wealth and mean that a bride will always have money.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

WEDDING NOTES™ - Going Green

If you are determined to mount a "green" wedding, we can help you integrate eco friendly products and ideas into your wedding plans.

1.  Plan to stay local.  Choose a venue that is closest to the majority of your guests.  This allows a maximum number of people to save gas and commuting time.  The ideal would be one location for ceremony and reception.  Saves time and gas consumption.

2. Check with a wedding planner in your area.  He/she will know about energy efficient locations what practice recycling, avoid Styrofoam containers and other green procedures.

3.  Search out local catering firms that specialize in serving organically grown,  in season foods and beverages.

4.  Work with a florist who uses only locally grown flowers and greenery that are free of pesticides.  Choose only in season flowers and plan to repurpose ceremony flowers for use at the reception site.

5.  Choose only eco friendly printed items.  We have resources that specialize in 100% recycled papers and non toxic inks for use in invitations, programs, napkins.

6.  We can direct you to designers who have utilized eco friendly fabrics in their designs.  If you are one of the lucky brides who will be wearing an heirloom gown, our alteration specialists can help with the fit and repair that may be necessary.

7.  In keeping with your green theme, choose only natural gifts like tree seedlings, organically grown bulbs and plants for guest favors.

8.  Even wedding rings can reflect your environmental awareness.  Before the engagement ring is purchased, check it's country of origin and try to make sure it is not a "blood" diamond or from a mine that practices environmentally harmful extraction techniques.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - You May Now Kiss the Bride

How did this phrase become part of the wedding ceremony?  Lots of folk lore surrounds THE KISS.
Some experts date it back to classical Greece and the tendency of men to want to make sure that the ladies were not drinking wine before the ceremony.  A kiss on the lips helped to reassure the groom that his wife to be was not wanton.

More likely the tradition rose out of the medieval ceremonies in which the presiding clergyman would give a symbolic kiss to the groom at the end of the marriage ceremony to indicate the solemnity of the ceremony just completed.  Then the groom would kiss his bride to seal the marriage contract.  The priest and the groom would then kiss the attendants and they would all move on to the guests who were each kissed in turn.  This was likely the source of all the kissing and hugging that goes on at weddings today.

Many western European cultures believed it was lucky for a bride to see a chimney sweep on her way to church - especially if the sweep stopped to wish her well.  If he chose to kiss the bride's check, she was guaranteed a happy life.  To insure a happy life, many sweeps found themselves with lucrative part time jobs - kissing new brides.

We know that in the Middle Ages, many people were illiterate unable to sign their names and instead put an X in its place.  No legal documents were considered legal without that X.  To show good faith, they would kiss the X in the same way they kissed the Bible when taking an oath.  With time, the X became the symbol of the kiss. 

No one is quite sure when the O was added to the X, but we now have XOXO etc. as the shorthand for hugs and kisses.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


We enjoy helping the groom and his best man understand the scope of his duties as he assists the groom both on his big day as well as days leading up to the wedding. 
The best man is usually the groom's brother, father or best friend.  His role is important and is usually given to someone reliable and close to the groom.

Here are most of the traditional duties that accompany the acceptance of this role.

  • ·         An important duty is to coordinate arrangements for the bachelor dinner, which is held at least

two days before the wedding.  Some choose to surprise the groom with location and details but we have observed over time that it is better to involve the groom in key choices for the event.

  • ·         He makes certain that the groom is on time to all wedding related functions.

  • ·         He picks up the groom's formal wear and accessories for the event and handles its return following the wedding.  He also assists the groom in getting other males in the wedding party in for timely sizing.

  • ·         Many a best man has also assumed responsibility for verifying honeymoon departure plans and may confirm reservations.

  • ·         He may organize plans for decorating the car which the bride and groom will use for their departure from the reception.  He is wise to listen to the couple's plea for tasteful car decor or their decision to avoid that entire procedure.  If a rental car - classic or limo - is being used, no other decorations than those chosen by the couple in agreement with the car company may be used.  The best man's job is to remind overzealous guests of this fact and to discourage any activities that might damage the car or jeopardize safety.

  • ·         On the day of the wedding he is in charge of the bride's wedding band, the marriage license, the groom's wallet for the honeymoon and the clergy's fee.

  • ·         At the reception, he gives the first toast and has the fourth dance with the bride.  (Note:  her first dance is with the groom, the second with her father and the third with the groom's father.)

  • ·         And any other duties that will help the groom.

It is considered an honor to be asked to be best man - and it is also a responsibility if done correctly.