Saturday, February 23, 2013

Keeping kids entertained at a wedding.

Keeping children entertained at a wedding can be difficult. If the wedding invitation did not have the names of your children on it, the polite thing to do is hire a babysitter rather than bringing them. If their names were on the invitation and other children will be invited, odds are that the bride and groom have some kind of plan to keep the little ones occupied. However, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan.
Disposable cameras are a popular option. Since they have a limited amount of exposures and you will probably have a lot of pictures of feet, it is a better idea to let your child play with a digital camera so you can choose which photos to print. For around $10, you can find a key-chain digital camera that does not have a flash, so it is unobtrusive enough to be used during the ceremony and the reception. You might also want to check online and at thrift stores for an older digital camera, or let them play with your old family camera. Make the camera distraction go even further by creating a photo scavenger hunt list.
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Phone Applications
Smart phone applications will provide your children with countless solo games, movies and TV shows to occupy their time and focus their energy. Don’t forget the earphones!
Bag of Tricks
Pack a backpack with quiet activities such as books, toys that do not make noise or get thrown around, and playing cards. While you are at it, include some magic tricks and temporary tattoos that your child could use to help distract other children whose parents might be slightly less-prepared, and everyone will be singing your praises.
Non-Messy Foods
When hunger strikes, children get grumpy. Make sure you bring along a supply of foods that require little to no clean-up for during the ceremony and before food is served at the reception. Try packing Cheerios, Teddy Grahams, juice boxes, granola bars and fruit rolls.
Get Crafty
Give your children a little project to work on like a drawing or a card for the bride and groom. Bring along a coloring book, crayons, markers and drawing paper. Girls in their younger teens might also enjoy making braided bracelets out of embroidery thread.
Pinned Image children's wedding table
Walk it Out
There is usually a decent window of time between the wedding ceremony and reception. Use this excellent opportunity to burn up some of the energy that has built up during the ceremony. Go for a walk around the premises and see if you can find some swings to play on until the reception gets started.
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to begin "planning" your wedding!

How to start planning your dream wedding!

1. Find pictures that inspire you. They don't all have to be wedding pictures - for example this picture of two chairs and and a table got my creative juices flowing this morning. There's something about them that promises a future life together as a couple, sharing rose al fresco, and enjoying romantic trips to Parisian bistros. They'd start me thinking of a vintage French-themed wedding, maybe in the South of France, where you serve harvest-festival-style buffet tables of charcuterie, creamy cheeses and baguette. Your waiters could wear Breton-style t-shirts, and your wedding invitations could be reminiscent of bistro-style daily menus, with the table plan written in white ink on a vintage mirror. Wedding favors would be macaroons  and you could have a photo booth stuffed to the brim with French-themed fancy dress; berets, strings of garlic, sophisticated mustaches and feather boas. Do you see what I mean? All that from just one picture! (bring these pictures to your wedding planner to help tell her what you are envisioning so she can bring it to life!)

2. Save the pictures that inspire you via Pinterest. If you haven't signed up yet, you really should! It's the best way to create mood boards for your different wedding ideas. My advice is to create one for every theme you're considering, and then one each for key extra items e.g. Favourite Wedding DressesFavorite Groom Looks,Bridesmaids Ideas. Take a look at my Pinterest boards to give you an idea. Once you've opened your Pinterest account, and added the Pin It function to your web browser, you can save every scrap of wedding inspiration in one place.

3. Have you discovered Etsy yet? It's a-mazing! Basically it's an online marketplace, where the most creative people in the world sell handmade or vintage items. It is chock-a-block packed with wedding ideas and inspiration, and I'd really recommend signing up for their weekly wedding emails, and reading the Etsy Wedding Blog

4. Trawl the wedding blogs. I suppose I'm bound to think this, but honestly the wedding blogs are the best place for free wedding inspiration. Personally I recommend checking out the "Real Weddings" section of any wedding blog. That's where you can see, borrow and "steal" other brides' wedding ideas, and keep up on all the latest wedding trends. 
5. Find wedding inspiration from your life as a couple. Think back through your courtship, your first date, your first vacation together, where you got engaged, where you live, your hobbies, what you love doing together, eating together, watching on TV. Do you both love travel? Love Chinese food? Did you both grow up in the country? Did you meet thanks to a shared love of music? All of these little details about the two of you as a whole, can grow into a big wedding inspiration idea. 

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Insure The Bling

Diamond engagement rings, a start to your marriage, your lives together and a infinite symbol of your love. Right after your ring is put on your finger you won't be able to stop day dreaming about wedding gowns, (hiring a planner/coordinator) wedding decor and honeymoon locations and then you wake up from your day dreams and realize an important thing you almost forgot; ring insurance. If you have a wedding checklist it will remind you that this should be one of the first goals as a bride-to-be.
martha stewart weddings diamond rings from Calder Clark Designs diamond rings
Getting insurance is easy and relatively cheap. Some jewelers offer insurance when you purchase the ring.  If not, there are plenty of other options; renters insurance, homeowners insurance, supplemental insurance coverage, etc. There are even companies that specialize in jewelry insurance. This article by The will help you decide what insurance is right for you. it will only take a few minutes to add a supplemental policy to your already existing homeowners coverage or add/create your bling insurance! What are you waiting for? Get that bling insured; better safe than sorry.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

English Wedding Traditions

English Wedding Traditions

It is always interesting to learn of wedding traditions from around the world. I chose to share English wedding traditions with you all because it is where i am from. I will be posting wedding traditions from other countries later in the week :) 

Major Religious Beliefs The Church of England, a Protestant Episcopal Denomination, is the State Church. Other religions found in England include Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist, Unitarian, Society of Friends, Muslim and Judaism.

Early Wedding Traditions As early as the sixteenth, up to the nineteenth century, marriages were arranged by parents or guardians. The bride and bridegroom often were not acquainted until their marriage. The parents often made the marriage arrangements and betrothals while the bride and bridegroom were small children (ages three to seven). The children would continue to live with their own parents and meet from time to time for meals or holiday celebrations. These prearranged marriages came under fire in the late seventeenth century when a judge held that betrothals and marriages prior the age of seven were “utterly void”. However, they would be valid if, after the age of seven, the children called each other husband and wife, embraced, kissed each other, gave and received Gifts of Token. Later, young couples ran away and had a ceremony privately performed without banns or license. These elopements and private ceremonies represented the beginning of a revolt against parental control of marital selection. The Civil Marriage Act of 1653, passed by the Puritans under Cromwell, required a civil ceremony before a justice of the peace after presentation of the certificate from the parish register that banns had been published. If either party were under twenty-one, proof of parental consent must also be presented. The wedding ceremony consisted of a simple formula to be repeated by the man and woman and was accompanied by hand fastening. The use of a ring was forbidden. By the Hardwicke Act of 1753, all weddings, except members of the royal family, were to be performed only after publication of banns or issuance of a license, only during the morning hours of eight to twelve, only in an Anglican Church or chapel, and only before an Anglican clergyman. Two or more witnesses were required and a register must be kept. Parental consent was demanded unless the banns had been published. The Catholic Church, in the Council of Trent, restated its position that marriage was one of the seven sacraments and therefore could not be dissolved. Up until the early 1990′s, it was very difficult to get married in Great Britain. If one wishes to marry in England or Wales, they must do so in a church which has a register, (which is like a special license), and they can do so only in the district (shire) where one of the couple resides. All Church of England parishes (Anglican) are automatically registered, regardless of their size. No blood tests or counseling are required.
Wedding Lore
Traditionally, the safest season to marry was between the harvest and Christmas, when food was plentiful. An old English rhyme says “Marry in September’s shine, your living will be rich and fine.”
Folklore has it that prior to the wedding, the bride must not allow her married name to be used before the wedding takes place, or it might never happen.  It is customary for the bride to be given a decorative horseshoe, which she carries on her wrist. These days the horseshoes are rarely real, but instead light-weight versions manufactured specifically for weddings. The horseshoe is given for good luck. In the seventeenth century, wheat was cast at the head of the bride when she came from church. Now days its customary to throw colorful paper confetti or rice at the bride and groom as they leave the church after the ceremony. In the north of England, one of the oldest inhabitants of the neighborhood would be standing on the threshold of the bride’s new home. She would toss a plateful of short-bread over her head, so that it falls outside. Guests scramble for a piece of this short-bread as it is considered very fortunate to get a piece. In Gloucestershire, in the early eighteenth century, a large cake was broken over the heads of the couple. In Aberdeenshire, barley is thrown over the bridal pair as they enter the feasting-place. In Wales, the bride was always carefully lifted over the threshold on her return from the marriage ceremony because “it was considered very unlucky for a bride to place her feet on or near the threshold” and “trouble was in store for the maiden who preferred walking into the house”.  The term ‘honeymoon’ comes from the tradition of the bride drinking mead (a brewed, fermented drink made of honey) for one month after the wedding to encourage fertility, and a male child in particular. The tradition of giving a lovespoon to a love interest dates back hundreds of years. The Welsh have been giving lovespoons to a hopeful interest since the 17th century. They were carved by the courter, or, if skills were not that adept, he hired a carver to do the work for him. Symbols were carved into the handle indicating the giver’s feelings – hearts, wheels, anchors, etc., giving meaning to one or both. Lovespoons come in many sizes and shapes, some very intricate and others very simple. They started out as a useful utensil, and, over time, have become a decoration. They are now something that is carved for the tourist trade as souvenirs for travelers.

Present Day Wedding Traditions
Brides have “Hen’ nights and bridegrooms have “Stag” parties similar to bachelor/bachelorette parties. There are ceremony rehearsals, but no rehearsal dinner. If the couple will marry in a church, banns announcing the proposed wedding are read aloud in the church three Sundays before the wedding. It is unlucky for the bride and bridegroom to be present at the calling of the banns. Weddings are traditionally held at noon; afterward there is a seated luncheon, called a “wedding breakfast”. Invitations to the wedding are similar to the United States’ customs, but few people would go the expense of calligraphy addressing. Response cards are not used; guests purchase their own individual reply cards. It is good luck for a chimney sweep to kiss the bride when she comes out of the church.

Wedding Attire
Bridal gowns are less ornate that the traditional Western style dress. Most small town have wedding shops so there is now more choice. Colored dresses are becoming more common, but ivory or white is still more popular. The mother of the bride and the mother of the bridegroom do confer on outfit colors, and they take into consideration the bridesmaid colors. The waistcoat and colored handkerchief that the groom and best man sometimes wears is normally the same color as the bridesmaid’s dresses. Brides rarely kept their gowns for their daughters; they either sold them or had the fabric used to make their first child’s Christening gown. Wear “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, and a lucky sixpence in your shoe,” as in the old English rhyme. Brides have carried over their arms horseshoes for good luck. The horseshoes, rather than being actual metal plates, are crocheted and a long ribbon is attached in a loop from end to end. The horseshoe is worn upside down over the arm of the bride during the wedding to bring luck to the marriage. Today, it is the custom to have many young bridesmaids instead of adult attendants. The bride pays for her attendant’s outfits. The bridegroom rarely wears a tuxedo – only at a very large, formal wedding. Business suits are normal. The bridegroom has a best man, who also wears a business suit.

The Wedding
The Wedding Procession The wedding party walks to the church together in a procession (an age-old custom that protected the couple from jealous suitors!) Limousines are rare. They are not very practical on small, winding roads. Transport usually is by Rolls Royce or vintage car. Traditionally, English brides had only one adult attendant (as a witness). Today, it is the custom to have many young bridesmaids instead of adult attendants. A flower girl leads the way, sprinkling petals of organ blossoms along the road. This signifies a happy route through life for the bride and bridegroom. Ushers would be found only at large, formal weddings; guests normally would seat themselves.

 The Wedding Ceremony The ceremony (most often in the Anglican Church) usually consists of two or three hymns and, since most guests don’t sing, the church choirs are usually hired. English fathers don’t kiss their daughters at the altar. During the ceremony, the couple will leave the sanctuary area and with the Priest enter the vestry to sign the wedding documents. They are considered officially married after this is completed. At the benediction, a square piece of cloth, the “care cloth” is held over the bride and bridegroom. When the bridal couple leaves the church in Kent, the path is strewn with emblems of the bridegroom’s employment. Carpenters walk on shavings, butchers on sheepskins, shoemakers on leather parings, and blacksmiths on scarps of old iron. Church bells ring as the couple enter; they peal a different tune as the newlyweds exit to scare off evil spirits.
 Photographs Photos are taken outside the church immediately after the ceremony, or inside if it is raining. While photos are being taken, relatives and close friends present the bride with wedding souvenirs – horseshoes, wooden spoons, rolling pins, all decorated with lace and ribbon.
 The Wedding Breakfast Weddings traditionally are at noon; afterward, there is a seated luncheon, called a wedding breakfast. The bride and groom dance the first dance but there is no introduction of wedding parties. There is a father/daughter, and mother/son dance. They do toss the bouquet, but rarely the garter.
 The Wedding Cake In medieval England, guests brought small cakes and piled them in the center of a table, challenging the bride and groom to kiss over them. Wedding cakes are less elaborate in design. The wedding cake is a rich fruitcake topped with marzipan; the top tier is called a “christening cake” to be saved for the birth of the first child. (Old fashioned fruitcake dates back to the days before leavening and sugar.) Chocolate or sponge cakes have become more popular in recent years.

Wedding Gifts The use of bridal registries have become more popular in recent years. Family members may pass around the bride’s general list of items she needs.There is no such thing as a “shower.” Wedding gifts are brought to the reception, or delivered directly to the couple before the wedding. Gifts are not usually opened until after the honeymoon, and then the thank you cards are sent.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

What To Ask Your Wedding Officiant

Wedding program

1. Can you give us the ceremony we want?

Find out if the officiant will marry you if you write your own vows and design your own ceremony, and if he or she can help―suggesting readings, music, and so on. Make sure the officiant will perform an interfaith wedding (if needed) or will allow photography or videography. Basically, ask about all the particulars that apply to your case. Get a feel for the officiant's manner, tone of voice, and spiritual nature. Also, find out what the ceremony will entail, as well as its estimated length (a piece of information your caterer may ask for).

 2. What's your experience?
You will want to know how many weddings this person has performed, especially weddings like yours. Ask for referrals from satisfied customers (five is a fair request, even if you don't contact them all).

 3. Are you flexible?
Find out if the officiant is willing to travel to your venue. Also make sure that the officiant has a contingency plan in case he or she cannot make it.

 4. What are your credentials?
Ensure that the officiant is licensed or registered to perform a wedding in your state by contacting the city clerk. You can also ask the officiant which seminary he or she was ordained through, then contact that seminary. Alternatively, the National Association of Wedding Officiants,, can check to see if the officiant is licensed (for free). Years down the road, you wouldn't want to discover that your marriage is not legal.

 5. How often will we meet?
Do you want an officiant who will consult with you or simply show up to perform the ceremony? Most marrieds-to-be want the officiant to run the rehearsal. Is he or she available by phone or e-mail if you have questions? Some members of the clergy require couples to have counseling before they will marry them. If that's the case, make sure you are given a clear schedule that isn't overwhelming.

 6. How much do you charge?
Know what, exactly, you will be paying for. Talk about deposits and types of payment, as well as cancellation and refund policies. Inquire about fees for traveling out of town, which include transportation costs, hotels and meals, and costs of (commuting) time. The wedding officiant is the person who typically must fill out the wedding certificate and send it in, so it is good to confirm that your officiant will do this as well.

 7.Will you be joining us at the reception?
Be sure to plan for an extra meal if the officiant agrees to attend.
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Grooms Gifts

Many brides like to do a little something special for their future husbands on their wedding day. Here are a few suggestions;

Personalize a shaving kit with names/ initials & your wedding date :)

For your cigar lover ;) 

Every man loves some JD! (Jack Daniels Decanter, great for a home bar!)

Personalize cuff links with names/initials, wedding date or a sweet message

My personal favorite: Get a pocket watch and set the time for the start of your Ceremony and include a note that says “Our life begins when the clock strikes  __:__”
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

♥ Valentines Day ♥

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air! Many statistics say that Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days to pop the question, but why stop at just proposals?
I've fallen in love with Valentine’s Day Weddings

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Monday, February 11, 2013

The History of the Wedding Planner

The role of the professional wedding planner has evolved over the years. As long as men and women have been getting married, there have been people to arrange all of the details and help plan the wedding day. Perhaps not the stylish, modern-day professional wedding planner hired by celebrities that we have become accustomed to, but rather a behind-the-scenes individual–typically a female relative or neighbor–tasked with the responsibility of arranging the wedding feast, decorating the venue, managing the guest list and sometimes even making the wedding dress all without ever expecting or receiving any compensation for her wedding planning help.

Weddings, indeed, marriages, have changed in the past 30 years or so. Back then, for example, it was a given that a bride’s parents would pay for her wedding.

The end of World War II saw the beginning of big American weddings in public places. Prior to that, weddings were relatively private and small gatherings. Then in the late 1960s and 1970s we saw the ‘natural wedding’. And then in 1981 the world turned it’s eyes to the wedding of all weddings.The marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. Watched by millions the event set off the modern day ‘big wedding’ frenzy. Almost overnight, weddings became the fairy tale lavish productions that bridal magazines and dreams are made of. And the role of the wedding planner became more prominent.

Even so, for several years, there wasn't a common understanding of why the everyday bride needed to hire a professional bridal consultant. Fast-forward to today and couples are marrying much later in life, have established careers and are paying for their own nuptials.Now with the average American wedding costing $28,000, and requiring more than 15 types of wedding professionals/vendors and attended by approximately 165 wedding guests, wedding planners are no longer reserved for the rich and famous but instead have become a necessity for time-pressed couples.The release of the 2001 romantic movie, ‘The Wedding Planner’, starring Jennifer Lopez as Mary Fiore, a dedicated professional bridal consultant, set off another wedding frenzy: wedding planning as a career!The influx of wedding reality shows like ‘Whose Wedding is it Anyway’ and ‘Bridezilla’, keep the buzz and demand for the wedding planning business going.

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