Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Ringing News

For many if not most brides, a diamond engagement ring with matching wedding band is the ultimate.  But with all of the options available to today's bride, more and more creativity is being seen.

Many jewelers are able and willing to create one-of-a-kind designs for their bridal customers who want their matching bands to be uniquely theirs.

 Some jewelers are creating specialty rings that combine birthstones and diamonds and others are specialists in creating new designs from heirloom or vintage pieces.  For some modern brides their "something old" may well be the diamonds or other precious stones that have come down from family members.  Combining stones from both mothers' wedding bands for the new bride is a powerful symbol of family unity.

Some couples are looking at ceramic rings.  Many modern jewelry designers have created stunning designs in ceramic that are shatter and scratch resistant, lightweight and functional. 

Of course, there is a vast market for the traditional simple band of silver, gold or platinum chosen to offset the drama of a gorgeous diamond engagement ring.

Whatever the couple chooses, there has never been a wider selection or more creative options available.

Monday, November 24, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - How Many Attendants Should I have?

Like many aspects of wedding planning, there were once rather rigid guidelines that ruled the how and the who of weddings.  Some experts used a formula that said there should be a bridesmaid and usher for every 45-50 guests.  Fortunately, that has long been abandoned.

Bridesmaid numbers depend on who is close to the bride and who she wants to stand up for her.  Likewise the groom is freer to select who and how many of his friends to include.  But when selecting attendants, remember an important guideline - how many can you afford to have?  Every attendant is entitled to bring a guest so realize that every one you have means two for the reception per plate charge.

Once you've decided on a number, the bride and the groom should prepare a priority list of attendants.

You'll need to consider each other's families in creating the selection list.  A bride may wish to include the top tier of her sorority sisters leaving no room for the groom's sisters or the groom may wish to have a group of fraternity brothers plus his own brothers.  Once a number of attendants is agreed upon, something has to give.

What happens if the bride has eight friends she can't live without in her wedding party, but the groom - an only child has only 4 close buds?  If your budget can handle the expense, there are always ways to handle an unbalanced wedding party.  For the processional, one groomsman can escort two bridesmaids - one on each arm.  Or if symmetry is important, forget about male/female and just go by the numbers.  You have 12 attendants total and there will be 6 on each side of the bride and groom - 2 guys and 4 girls on each side.  This works especially well in wedding photos.  The result is balanced with color and diversity on each side of the bridal couple. 

It is your wedding day and common sense and good manners should take precedence over the "rules".

Sunday, November 16, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - A New Twist on Business Cards

If you work the chances are excellent that you have access to the company’s business cards or have cards bearing your name and title.  We are starting to see business cards bearing the names of the bride and/or groom who are in the business of getting married.  As one consultant put it, "Depending on the budget, the bride may actually be a fairly big business."  Cards are easily self printed on one's computer or can be done economically at many print shops.

Here is an example of useful copy:
Bride:  Mary Jane Doe      Groom:  John Michael Smith
Wedding Date:  June 15, 2015
E-mail special promotion or individual offers to:  maryjohn@mysite.com
Fax to: 999-999-9999   or Mail to:  12345 MyStreet North, My City, Stateand Zip

Including your phone number - home or cell - is your call.   Some brides are already inundated by phone calls and don't want or need more. 

Including the statement about "special promotions" gives vendors a clue that you are interested and ready to shop.

You may want to include a photo of yourselves.  The question most brides ask is whether to use their wedding site or to create a new temporary site just for receiving bids, information and for maintaining the wedding budget.  That is your call.

Once printed, stock your purse or brief case with cards and hand them out freely to vendors throughout the wedding planning process.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Flowers for the Ladies

Brides can get so focused on her flowers and decorative arrangements for the church and reception venue that she can give little thought to the flowers for others in the wedding.  One rule of thumb that is helpful to the bride as she orders corsages for other family members.  That rule is "If the word 'mother' is in the description, the lady gets a corsage.  And that means both the bride's and the groom's sides.   That includes mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, god mothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers.  They are all honored guests at the wedding and each should receive a wedding day corsage or wristlet.

The flowers don't have to be elaborate but should be suitable.  They don't have to be identical.  You may wish to have something special for the mothers, a different flower and/or color for grandmothers etc.  Choose soft, neutral colors that tend to go with everything.  

It is far better to choose less expensive corsages for everyone than to choose expensive flowers for a few and leave others out completely.  The flowers you present to them should convey love and respect for the influential women in your lives.  Be sure to include the names of these women in your flower order.  Then include one or two extras just to insure that everyone who matters to you is covered.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Consider the Music

Your wedding day should ring with the music you like best!  Think about the memorable opportunities presented by events at your wedding.  Think about how you will remember them because of the music that was playing when they happened.  Most wedding days go by in a flash and too many couples say they can't believe it's over.  Picking the right music for the right event will help to focus attention on it and make it a fond memory for you.

Ceremony music is generally traditional if not dictated by the rules of the church where it's being held.  You'll have soft music playing prior to the processional, then the processional with music for the wedding party and something special for the bride's entrance.  Musical selections during the ceremony are usually done as part of the ritual or because a piece of music is special to the couple.  The recessional is joyful and celebratory.

Music for your reception is less restrictive.  You get to choose the theme, the tone, the tunes and the action.  It is your personal choice (as a couple).  Whether you prefer the classics, or country or big band or Broadway show tunes or rock and roll, this is your night.  The best part of this is choosing the music that matters to you for the key events at your reception.  Choose your favorite songs for the following:
  • ·         your grand entrance
  • ·         your first dance as a couple
  • ·         the father-daughter dance
  • ·         the mother-son dance
  • ·         the cake-cutting ceremony
  • ·         the bouquet toss
  • ·         the garter toss
  • ·         your last dance
  • ·         any unique dance like a money dance, a feature dance with the winners of the bouquet and garter toss
Be sure you provide a play list for the musicians or DJ working your wedding.  Make sure that they have a script of what to play when and entrust that list to a close friend or the master of ceremonies at your wedding.  It's fine to think of your guests and their music choices.  Select some pieces that will insure that everyone who wants to gets a chance to dance.  But you will remember your reception with joy if events were held while music you love played.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - A Second Use

One busy consultant has discovered a second use for the wonderful invitations sent to guests.  Lots of thought and emotion has gone into their selection, addressing and mailing.  They set the tone for the couple's pending wedding.  But the truth is, most guests don't save the invitations past the wedding date.  It is sad to think of the majority of them ending up in the trash.

She encourages brides to think about a special design of the invitation that makes them useful by a charity that can repurpose them.  If the invitation is designed with a gorgeous photograph or piece of art on the cover withno text on the back of that design, the invitation can be given new life as all-occasion greeting cards by the children at St. Jude's Ranch.

The children at St. Jude's Ranch raise money by transforming the cards.  Include a small note in the invitation envelope encouraging guests to either send the invitation on to St. Jude's Ranch or urge guests to bring the invitation to the ceremony or reception where there will be a special box to receive them.

Enlist a friend or relative to be in charge of gathering the invitations (not the envelopes or other inserts) and after your wedding, putting them all into a flat rate postal box and mailing the box off to St. Jude's.  If you like the idea, just remember that you'll need to think of the second use when you are creating the initial design.

The address to which the cards should be sent is:
St. Jude's Ranch for Children
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Monday, October 20, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Wedding Day Accessories

The wedding gown is clearly the star of the day.  You spent a good deal of time choosing it and can't wait to wear it on your big day.  How you accessorize that gown is important to consider.  Your bridal consultant will have helped you select the proper undergarments, the best shoes and the right veil or headpieces to complete the look, but there are other areas to consider.

  • Jewelry is important but unless you are wearing "the family jewels", don't be tempted to over accessorize the gown with what one consultant has called "glaring distractions that draw unwanted attention”.  Jewelry worn on your wedding day should be simple and delicate.  The best advice is not to be upstaged by your own jewelry.  If you have a piece of heirloom jewelry wear it and let it be your "something old".

  • Gloves for the wedding party are staging a comeback and are being worn in more and more weddings.  Fortunately, there are many choices available.  The formality of the wedding gown and the time of day of the event have governed the length of the glove.  Wrist length gloves and usually worn in the morning or afternoon events while elbow length gloves usually are chosen for evening weddings.  Over the elbow style have traditionally been worn only at ultra formal events.  But today's bride really only has one key guideline to consider.  As long as the top of the glove doesn't overlap the sleeve of the gown, it's ok.  Today's strapless bridal gowns frequently are accessorized with over the elbow length gloves.

    In addition to various lengths, brides can choose from fingerless gloves or pre-slit gloves which make the ring ceremony much easier to manage.

  • Glasses can present a problem for some brides and grooms who wear them on a daily basis.  Photographers sometimes ask them to remove the glasses for photos to eliminate glare.  If one also has contacts and wears them regularly, there is no problem.  Wear contacts for the wedding.  But don't just buy contacts for the ceremony if one is not used to them.  Instead, consider your glasses as part of your wedding day look.  Perhaps considering "wedding day" glasses can be part of your wedding trousseau and a gently rounded frame with very thin ear pieces will help the veil and headpieces fit more securely.  Consider antiglare lenses.  If you wear glasses every day, you want to look like yourself in your wedding photos.