Set out 5 wine bottles for guests to sign and save the bottles to drink on your 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th wedding anniversaries! I love this idea! It gives you something to look forward to each anniversary and so you can see how far you've come in your marriage! We will be doing this once we get hitched!
Most of the time it's okay to speak up -- but in some cases, it's better to hold your peace. Be a model wedding guest by avoiding these conversational land mines.
"This must have cost you a fortune!" The way celebrities' wedding costs are blasted all over the news can make it seem like it's appropriate to put a price tag on the dress, the cake, and everything in between. But money is often a sticky subject for brides and grooms who don't have a millionaire's budget, so it's better to keep mum. And just ignore that old "pay for your plate" rule -- it's more appropriate to choose a wedding gift that reflects the closeness of your relationship to the couple than the cost of your reception meal.
"So baby comes next, right?" We know, we know -- first comes love, then comes marriage. But you know what? Next comes whatever the bride and groom want, which may be buying a home, working toward a big promotion, or something else entirely. Everyone's got their own schedule and life goals, which may or may not include the pitter-patter of little feet. Most brides and grooms are already pretty overwhelmed by the wedding planning, so the last thing they want to talk about is making another big life change.
"I can't believe you're settling down! I remember when..." Just because you remember the bride when she was a total wild child or can provide the story behind the groom's fraternity nickname doesn't mean you should. This goes double for any conversation you have with other wedding guests who know the bride or groom from a different time in their lives (for example, a coworker or an older relative). Yes, they might still be the crazy kids you remember -- but given the formality of the day (not to mention the many relatives likely on the guest list), it's not the best time to air out their dirty laundry.
"Can you help me with...?" When you're at a wedding, it's pretty easy to look to the bride and groom as the ones who are in charge and running the show -- after all, it's their big day. For the same reason though, they're going to be pretty busy (and by "pretty busy," we mean "really busy"). If you've got some minor issue -- the caterers brought you the wrong entree, or you think some of the seating should be switched -- don't take it to the bride and groom. Instead, talk to the wedding planner or coordinator, one of the caterers, or, if you really feel it's something the bride or groom needs to deal with personally, one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen who can pass along the message. The bride and groom already have a lot on their plates, so it's important to respect the difference between an actual emergency and what just seems like one at the time.
"Why wasn't so-and-so invited?" Word to the wise: If you notice that someone you thought would be at the wedding isn't there, there's usually a reason. Option A is that their RSVP said they couldn't make it, but Option B is that there's a distinct reason they were left off the guest list. Either way, the most tactful approach is to keep mum about it. If the bride and groom have chosen not to include a family member or friend, chances are there was at least one long conversation that went into making that decision -- and the wedding day is definitely not the time to bring it up.
"Wow, when you think about how many couples divorce..." Today of all days, the D-word is off limits. No matter what you might think about statistics, or the bride's or groom's past or family life, or your own experiences, just don't go there. Instead of focusing on the negative, think about the positive -- yes, in spite of the odds, these two people are genuinely committed to each other and are making a public vow saying so! Don't they deserve only your best wishes?
"Tonight's going to be a big night for you, huh?" Please, no speculation about the bride and groom's after-hours activities. If you want to talk about what a big night it is, focus on what's already happening -- the fabulous food, the killer band, the great time all the guests are having. Lose the innuendo and congratulate the bride and groom on pulling off an amazing wedding.
1. Don't drink wine or eat dark-colored foods like berries. Unless you want to capture a stained smile in your wedding photos, you should avoid foods that can tint your pearly whites. To get 'em extra pearly, invest in a professional teeth-whitening service. On a strict budget? "Crest Whitestrips work magic!" says Melissa Roshan of Make-Up by Melissa Roshan in Columbus, Ohio. "Start any whitening regime about one month before the wedding."
2. Don't tan. Not only are you putting yourself at risk of skin damage, but getting too dark a tan can look unnatural in wedding photos. Especially if it's a spray tan gone wrong. "Nothing says Jersey Shore more than an orange bride in a white dress," says Hingham, Massachusetts, makeup artist Kelly O'Keefe of Blush. "This is one of the worst looks, and it's not fixable!"
3. Don't get your first-ever bikini wax just before your wedding. If you plan to wax your bikini line, begin the process at least three months beforehand -- or face the consequences. "Waxing that area becomes less painful each time, and you'll avoid major pain, swelling, and irritation on your wedding night," says Houston makeup artist Jen Marine.
4. Don't change your birth control, skin-care program, washing detergent, etc., less than six weeks before the wedding. Sure, that fabric softener might be on sale, but that new rash you get from it? Hardly a sweet deal. "You don't want to introduce new products because you don't know how your skin will react," says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Elle Leary.
5. Don't get a facial, get your brows waxed, or cut or color your hair two days or less before your wedding. "Get these services done a week or so beforehand," says Atlanta-based makeup artist Raney O'Keefe. "Then you have plenty of time to remedy any ‘oopsie-daisies' that may happen!"
6. Don't ingest excess sodium the week before the wedding. That means no salty foods, sauces, dressings, or salty deli meats. Instead, choose low- or no-sodium everything starting at least seven days before the wedding. "Sodium holds 50 times its weight in water, so you can shed two to five pounds the week before the wedding just by doing this!" says Liz DiAlto of Fit, Healthy and Beautiful in New York City.
7. Don't flat-iron your hair before a trial or on your big day. That cute, flat-ironed hairstyle you had for your rehearsal dinner is going to wreak havoc on the curly look you're planning for your ceremony. "If you're aiming for soft, romantic curls on your wedding day, you need to have fresh hair," says Samara Binder of Bridal Beauty Chicago. "That means if you flat-iron your hair the night before, make sure to wash it out!"
8. Don't sit around in your bra the morning of your wedding. Makeup artist and hair stylist Nicole Francavilla, of Beauty by Nicole in Orange County, New York, says this is the best way to avoid those unsightly pink indents on your back and shoulders (especially if you're wearing a strapless dress!). And if you're wearing your hair up but don't wear your hair up often? "My suggestion is to take an Advil with your breakfast to eliminate the possibility of an updo headache," she says.
9. Don't skimp on water! Double up on your water intake for at least one month prior to the wedding to keep your skin clear and glowing. You should also limit the toasting at your prewedding parties. "During the rehearsal dinner, try to switch back and forth between alcohol and a glass of water," says makeup artist Adriana Fontes of Adriana Fontes Makeup Design in Chandler, Arizona.
10. Don't forget your beauty emergency kit. Trust us -- and hair and makeup expert Megan Garmers (MG Hair and Makeup) -- when we say this will be a lifesaver. Include different sized safety pins, double-sided sticky tape, a small sewing kit, a small pair of scissors, a bleach pen, bobby pins, hair spray, blotting papers, gum or mints, a razor, deodorant, Band-Aids, a small packs of tissue, nail polish remover, clear nail polish, an emery board, a nail clipper, makeup remover wipes, tampons, and anything else you think you might need. "Be prepared for what can go wrong so it doesn't ruin your day," Garmers says.
11. Don't forget to touch up! It's okay to be a little high-maintenance -- bring a touch-up bag and actually use the products at the reception. "You may have hired the best makeup and hair professionals you could find, but if you're cutting a rug on the dance floor and drinking Champagne like France is going dry, chances are you'll break a little sweat and your lip color will wear off," says Chicago-based makeup artist Adriana Aude.
12. Don't cry off all your beautiful makeup! Tears will happen, so it's important to know how to weep correctly. "Hold a tissue in each hand. Then press the tissues in the tear duct and let the tears run into the tissue -- and keep changing the tissue," says Catherine Sullivan of Fresh Face Chicago. "This keeps you from rubbing your face and eyes and ruining your beautiful face."
13. Don't forget your makeup artist or hair stylist! Trust us, they want to see how beautiful you looked! "Remember to send at least one picture to your makeup artist," says Stephanie McKenzie of Stephanie M. Make-Up in the DC metro area. "Doing so enables your makeup artist to build a fantastic portfolio and, more importantly, your beauty will be showcased for all to see."
Before you visit a potential wedding cake baker or designer, print out this list of questions to ask. You'll make sure to cover all the bases, avoid disasters, and get the wedding cake of your dreams.
Do you have a portfolio of previous wedding cakes you've made that we can look at?
Will you be having a tasting soon that we can attend and try various kinds of wedding cake and cake fillings??
Can you supply references?
Will you do a custom wedding cake, or are there a set number of designs for us to choose from?
How adaptable are wedding cake designs, especially due to budget concerns?
Do you have or can you rent items like cake toppers, stands, tiers, fountains, and cutters? Will we be billed extra?
If I want to use fresh flowers on my cake, will you coordinate with my florist, or will I have to manage getting the flowers to you?
What ingredients do you typically use? What kind of icing do you use?
(Better ingredients will cost more, but will make the cake taste better)
How long before our wedding are the cakes prepared? How long does it take to make a cake?
(The closer to your wedding that the cake is prepared, the better it will taste. BUT, anyone who tells you that they can bake a wedding cake in a day is not telling you the truth, or isn't being realistic. Due to the complicated nature of wedding cakes, they usually take between three and five days. )
Are your wedding cakes priced by the slice? Is there an extra cost for special fillings or details? Will you charge extra for my design? Is there a price list I can take home with me to study?
Can you give me a written proposal I can take home?
Do you do deliver? How much does it cost? Will the delivery person be able to make emergency frosting or decoration repairs and arrange the cake table?
(For anything even slightly complicated, getting them to deliver is best. You won't want to be stuck with 150 ruined pieces of wedding cake at $8 per slice, much less on the morning of your wedding.)
Write love letters to each other on the eve of wedding day, place them in a box with wine and nail it shut. When you have your first fight, open it up, pour the wine, go to separate corners, read the love letter & remember what it's all about.
Or to spice it up:
Before the wedding you both write a love letter to your other half and include your favorite bottle of wine. Place in the box. You don’t open the box until your 10th anniversary (or really whatever anniversary you choose), UNLESS you hit a rough patch in your marriage before then. Either way, on the day that you open the box, you both read the letters and drink the wine, remembering how you both felt just days before your wedding day.
Wondering how to pick your wedding day colors and make them work? Here's a guide to creating a winning palette.
The hottest thing happening at wedding receptions isn't just on the dance floor -- it's on the wedding cake, the invitations, the centerpieces, and even the bride's gown. It's big, bold color. Years ago brides used color to accent their white wedding day decor, but now they're using color to cover every inch of the wedding. We've developed a step-by-step guide on color coordination (from choosing it to decorating with it) to help you dream up a bright wedding day.
Choosing Your Color
First things first: location. When deciding on a scheme, you must consider the reception space or choose a space without decor or color. If you've chosen a country club with navy and maroon Oriental carpets, a color scheme of lime green and hot pink won't work. Next, become aware of color combinations that you like, whether browsing art galleries or flipping through a stack of fashion magazines. You might be able to narrow down your color choices to a half a dozen. To help you choose the exact hue for your wedding details, visit a local fabric store or paint shop and collect swatches or chips of colors you might want to use. This will help you get specific, so that when you decide on green you'll know if it's lime green, kelly green, sage green, or forest green. If you have access to a Pantone book, use this collection of colors to select your shade the same way graphic designers do. Many invitation designers mix ink to match the colors in this book, and many cake bakers use Pantone numbers as a reference when creating dye for frosting. Can't decide on just one or two colors? Don't worry. In fact, many extraordinary weddings feature a variety of colors, sometimes up to five, that work together to create a specific sensibility -- like an "English garden" with green, yellow, pink, red, and brown, or "Fall in New England" with orange, red, brown, and gold.
Where & How to Execute Color
Where and how you use color really depends on the mood you are trying to create. The best way to get started is to figure out what emotions you want your celebration to evoke. A peaceful, Zen-like retreat? A regal, romantic affair? A jumping, high-energy party? For instance, a vibrant summer yellow mixed with chocolate brown (think sunflowers and bees) is perfect for a country-chic wedding style; add gold to the mix, and the combination becomes more reminiscent of Northern Italy. As another example, leaf green paired with cantaloupe is pretty for a waterside wedding; but pair this green with copper, and you have a color scheme that's formal enough for a ballroom or an estate setting. If your wedding takes place in multiple spaces, each room can have its own color scheme.
Attire - Your gown doesn't have to be solid white, especially since color accents are increasingly more available. A blue or red sash around the waist is striking and still very bridal. The groom and his guys can also sport color in their ties or on their cuff links. But color will be most prominently displayed throughout the day in the bridesmaid dresses. Some fervent folks might want to match the dresses to the invitation ribbons, the favor tags, and the bouquets but this isn't the only way to define a style. Mixing and matching dresses in varying shades -- pink and orange, or pale green and yellow -- can sometimes make a statement stronger than uniformity. Invitations Your invitations set the stage for the event, so remember that mood you want to evoke? This is your time to show it off. Coordinating the invitation colors with those of the wedding can be as easy as choosing a color font, ribbon, or monogram or as elaborate as layering colorful cards.
Flowers & Decor - No matter what color you've chosen, chances are you'll be able to find flowers in that shade -- but that, of course, does not mean the blooms will be available or affordable. If your dream flowers aren't an option, use neutral white flowers with centerpiece containers or other decor elements in your color.
Wedding Cake - The cake is one of the easiest places to add color -- all it takes is the right mixing. The color should reflect the other style elements used throughout the wedding. But when it comes to cake, your color options are the most flexible. White icing makes a marvelous background for colorful sugar flowers, sugar-paste stripes or polka dots, or other effects. Fondant can also be created in any number of shades. For instance, a yellow and brown country-chic wedding might have a wedding cake iced in a light brown basket weave and topped with fresh sunflowers.
Favors - Ultimately, it's more important to give something meaningful rather than something that matches, but it can be a nice touch to your favors package in your color scheme. Use gift tags and ribbons to incorporate your colors into your favors. If favors will be left at each place setting, consider how they will look with your wedding linens and flowers.
New Ways to Use Color
We should point out that overdoing it with a matchy-match look is entirely possible. (You don't want your guests thinking, Um, yeah, lavender...we get it.) Begin with the five essential wedding elements (attire, invitations, flowers, cake, and favors) and see where you can -- or should -- add more color. Then consider details, such as napkins, candles, signature drinks, your ring pillow, or your guest book, made from the same fabric and in the same color as the bridesmaid dresses.
Planning a military wedding? You'll be happy to hear that they're not all that different from civilian weddings. Many military couples get married in an academy chapel and/or have the reception on a base, but some decide on a wedding with military traditions in their own church, and have the reception at a hotel or restaurant. It's not the location that creates a military wedding; it's the uniforms. Remember, wedding requirements vary depending on rank and military branch, so check with your base protocol officer to find out exactly what you need to do. Check out what we learned about military wedding rules and traditions. If you have specific questions not answered here, call the protocol office or chaplain's office at the nearest military installation (or the one you're eyeing for your wedding) for all the information you'll need.
Probably the main distinction of a military wedding is that the bride and/or groom, as well as service members in the wedding party, usually wear their uniforms. The type of uniform depends on the style of the wedding, the time of day, the season, and most importantly, the government-issued uniform manual:
We all have that one fear that just terrifies us on our wedding day. Whether it's the dress that doesn't fit or the in-laws making a fool of themselves. Brides to be tell their biggest wedding day fears.
“I’ve always feared that my in-laws will stand up during that whole ‘does anyone object?’ part.” -- Alex
"My biggest fear is that my sister (the family drama queen) will go into labor during our ceremony.” -- achinman
"We’re getting married on a boat, and I worry that someone will get pushed into the water -- namely me or my fiance. -- Nicole
“My biggest fear is that I’ll run late. I’m always late, and I really want my day-of timeline to run smoothly.” -- Sarah
“Vendors not showing up is my biggest wedding day fear! Did you ever see the episode of Judge Judy where the bride’s DJ got arrested and she had no music at the reception?” -- Stephanie
“My biggest fear is Mother Nature. We’re having an outdoor ceremony, and although we have our church for a backup, it will be a big pain to make the switch! -- Elizabeth
“I fear that I’ll end up on the dance floor with a few guys who have no shirts on.” -- Natalie
“I’m scared that my dress won’t fit. The wedding is less than a month away, and I’ve put off trying it on. It’s time to bite the bullet and see if I’ll be able to wear it.” -- Batta
“My biggest fear is that I’ll be too emotional. I’ve cried at every wedding I’ve ever been to -- even if it was someone I didn’t know! A few tears wouldn’t be bad, but I’m scared I’m going to be sobbing uncontrollably.” -- Thea
“I am a total klutz. I hope that when I trip (yes, it’s inevitable), I don’t stain my dress.” -- Emma
“I’m scared that the band we booked won’t show because our wedding is the same day as a Saints’ home game!” -- Laura
“I’m afraid of my future mother-in-law having a meltdown because I am marrying her one and only baby. And you know, she will NEVER, EVER see him again (eye roll).” -- Jessica
“I have the requisite drunk uncle who’s threatened to make a speech about my awkward formative years. I can only hope there’s room for me and my big dress under the table.” -- Ann
What are some of your wedding day fears?