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Filtering by Tag: event planner

Colors and Textures

Rachel Moore

Photo Credit: Thisbe Grace Photography // Venue: Nasher Sculpture Center

Photo Credit: Thisbe Grace Photography // Venue: Nasher Sculpture Center

Clients often ask us to help them decide on a color palette for their big day. We love assisting with this portion of the planning! Remember to think beyond just colors, as patterns and textures can play an important part in your overall aesthetic.

Bridesmaids' dresses. We love the look of muted, tone-on-tone bridesmaids' dresses. Not only does this compliment many body shapes and sizes, but it really makes the bridesmaids' bouquets pop!

Lace. Lace is making a comeback! Whether on the wedding dress, cake design or table linens, showcasing lace in combination with other, more modern touches can create a gorgeous look.

Pretty patterns and terrific textures. We LOVE patterns and textures! Don't be afraid to be bold. Linens with fun patterns and textures can really enhance your overall decor. La Tavola is our go-to company for gorgeous linens that are sure to make a statement! 

Hot Tips for a Cool Summer Wedding

Rachel Moore

With its glorious weather and longer daylight hours, no wonder summer is one of the busiest wedding seasons. Here are some tips to consider when diving in to plan a successful summer wedding!

Timing is everything. Photographers often refer to the "golden hour," which is about an hour or two before sunset when the light is soft, flattering and free of harsh shadows. Not only will your pictures turn out better then, but your guests will be less likely to melt in the sun. 

Always have a backup plan. Place a tent on hold or reserve an alternative indoor space in case of inclement weather. That way, you won't be scrambling to find cover if Mother Nature decides to throw an event on your big day! Having a plan B in place may cost a bit more, but peace of mind is priceless.

Consider your guests' comfort. Getting married somewhere really hot? Offer your guests cold beverages and/or fans. Provide sunscreen and/or sunglasses if you're expecting direct sunlight, or bug spray if your ceremony is in the woods. Pashminas are always a nice touch if your locale gets cooler at night. In addition to helping ensure your guests are more comfortable, these thoughtful gestures are often the details people remember.

Dress for success. There is nothing worse than sweltering in your formal wear. If you're getting married outside in a hot climate and want everyone to enjoy themselves, you might opt for more casual attire. Also consider covering metal chairs, which are a conductor of heat.

Protect your cake. News flash: cakes can melt! To prevent this from happening, ask your venue to store the cake in a refrigerator until you're ready to cut it. 

Add Sunshine to your Shower!

Rachel Moore

Planning a wedding shower and don't know where to begin? No need to stress. We've put together some tips that are sure to add sunshine to your shower! 

Date. Host the shower around the same date the wedding invitations go out (about six-to-eight weeks prior to the big day). There's an exception to this rule, however. If many guests are traveling from out-of-town for both the wedding and shower, don't ask them to purchase two plane tickets in a six-week period! Instead, spread out the events by holding the shower three months before the wedding. 

Guest list. Determine if it's a women-only party or if couples will be invited. This will impact every aspect of the gathering -- from venue selection and the type of food served to the choice of entertainment.

Timing. If many of your guests have small children, a late afternoon tea on a Saturday often works best. If it's a couples' shower, think about doing something more fun and social in the evening. 

Personalize, personalize, personalize. We consider this the key to any successful party -- whether a wedding, shower or birthday celebration. Who doesn't love specialty cocktails, personalized napkins, customized swag and more? It's the small details that show you care, make guests feel welcome and are most often remembered long after the event. 

Menu. We recommend shying away from food that requires a knife to eat. A shower is a social affair, so serve items your guests can pop into their mouths while carrying on a conversation. Although champagne is always acceptable (and suggested!), take into account the time of day when choosing the drink menu. For a morning celebration, consider serving mimosas or Bloody Mary's, along with a selection of non-alcoholic beverages. For an evening event, you might offer signature cocktails that represent the bride and groom.

Entertainment. While games are not advised -- no need to resuscitate the toilet paper dress --  plan on providing some form of entertainment. (And no, opening presents in front of your guests is not entertaining for them!) You might have the group create hashtag suggestions; try their hand at cookie decorating; or even write down advice, date ideas or predictions on slips of paper to place in a pinata the bride and groom can open on their one-year anniversary. 

And, if you're still overwhelmed after reading these tips, just give us a call. We'll be happy to help you out!

Wedding Dates to Avoid

Rachel Moore

One of the first questions people often ask when learning that you're engaged is, "When is the wedding?" There are numerous factors to consider when choosing a date -- how much planning time you'll need, the season you'd like to get married, and when and where you want to honeymoon, to name a few. It's also good to consider which dates might inconvenience your guests and adversely affect your budget! With that in mind, here are some dates to avoid in 2016 and 2017.

Holiday weekends. At first blush, holiday weekends might seem like an ideal time to host a wedding. Lots of people travel anyway then, you might reason. And many people won't have to work on Monday, so you could potentially hold the celebration on Sunday -- an historically less expensive day for receptions. But think again! In reality, travel and lodging costs skyrocket during these weekends. So do prices for labor, flowers and just about everything else! Besides, holiday weekends are often reserved for family gatherings that people may have to attend instead of your wedding.

Memorial Day
Weekend of May 28-30, 2016
Weekend of May 27-29, 2017

Labor Day
Weekend of September 3-5, 2016
Weekend of September 2-4, 2017

Columbus Day
Weekend of October 8-10, 2016
Weekend of October 7-9, 2017

Thanksgiving (always a Thursday)
November 24, 2016
November 23, 2017

New Year's Eve. We constantly have clients who envision throwing a New Year's Eve wedding. Once they find out the extra cost for the venue and vendors, however, they often decide to choose a different date.

New Year's Eve
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Super Bowl Sunday. Cross this date off your calendar now...unless you want to rent TV's to live-stream the game during your wedding or risk having die-hard fans miss your celebration!

Super Bowl Sunday
February 5, 2017, in Houston, TX

Religious Holidays. Make sure to check the calendar for any religious holidays, even those you don't observe. Scheduling your wedding during Lent, Ramadan or Rosh Hashanah, for example, may prevent guests from attending due to cultural obligations.

Friday the 13th. If you're at all superstitious, you may want to avoid a wedding weekend that begins on Friday the 13th, which is known as the day of bad luck.

Friday the 13th
May 13, 2016
January 13, 2017 
October 13, 2017 

 

Giving Thanks

Rachel Moore

Although everyone loves getting wedding gifts, the prospect of writing thank you notes can often be daunting. Thank you notes do more than express your gratitude; they let guests know you've received their presents. The gift giving will begin as soon as you announce your engagement and continue well past your wedding day. So follow these simple tips, and you'll find that writing notes may even be pleasant!

Don't skimp on stationary. In fact, we recommend that clients build thank you notes into their wedding budgets. When deciding on stationary, consider the thickness of the paper, the font color and style, border choices, etc. Don't forget to think about the envelopes, too! Maybe you want your envelopes to be a fun color, lined with a gorgeous pattern or printed with your return address. Beautiful stationary makes it more enjoyable to write thank you notes -- and more special to receive them! 

Purchase pre- and post-wedding versions. Because you aren't technically Mr. and Mrs. until after the wedding, consider purchasing some notes that have your first names at the top and others with your new, shared last name or monogram (like the pictures above). While you may want the post-wedding stationery to be more formal and match your wedding theme, feel free to have fun with colors and fonts for the pre-wedding notes! Purchasing extras of both versions will prove handy for years to come. 

Treat yourself to nice pens. Select your writing implement based on your paper choice. Make sure the pen rolls nicely across the page, doesn't get absorbed into the paper and doesn't smudge. We suggest you stick with blue or black ink, depending on your stationary's color scheme. By stocking up on a few nice pens and storing them with your stationary, you won't have any excuse to put off writing those notes!

Stock up on stamps. If you're like us, you love checking completed items off your to-do list! How frustrating to take the time to write a note but not be able to mail it because you lack stamps. Always have a roll of stamps on hand. Go to the post office and purchase nonseasonal forever stamps. That way you can use them...forever!

Don't procrastinate. A little discipline goes a long way. We suggest that clients write a thank you note as soon as they receive a gift. Just turn on some music, pour a glass of wine and start writing! Also, remember to keep track of those you've already thanked...otherwise you might embarrass yourself by sending the same person two notes! 

Personalize each letter. We all know there is a formula for writing a proper thank you note, but make an extra effort to add a personal touch. Thank the person or couple for traveling to your wedding, share how much you enjoyed dancing with them all night, explain how you plan to use the check or gift they sent, share how excited you are to see them at the next event, etc. 

Sign both names. The gift was sent to both of you. No matter who is writing the note, make sure you sign both names!

Say Goodbye to Uniformity!

Rachel Moore

Mixing and matching has never been trendier. Here are some ways to mix and match your way to a gorgeous event.

Round and rectangular tables. Try one long head table in the middle of the room surrounded by round tables, or flank the dance floor with three rectangular tables and fill the remaining space with rounds. Either lends itself naturally to a variety of centerpieces, adding interest to your reception space. 

Photo credit: Amy Karp Photography

Photo credit: Amy Karp Photography

Types of chairs. From cross backs to round backs, chiavaris to ghost chairs, feel free to mix and match -- even at the same table!

Photo credit: Pepper Nix Photography

Photo credit: Pepper Nix Photography

Photo credit: Amy Karp Photography

Photo credit: Amy Karp Photography

Silver and gold. Don't be afraid to mix metallics! You can absolutely use petite silver vases and gold silverware or gold chargers and silver flatware. In fact, we love BBJ Linen's new silver birch linen, which highlights both gold and silver tones. 

Photo credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Photo credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Patterns and textures. There's nothing more fun than a client who opts for mixing it up with bright, bold, patterned linen! 

Photo credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Photo credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Photo credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Photo credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

So try a little variety...you'll be glad you did!

To the Rescue

Rachel Moore

Flip flops have become the go-to, wedding-reception giveaway for couples who want guests to kick off their party shoes and dance the night away. Looking for a fresh, new take on this idea? We recently discovered Rescue Flats.

Rescue Flats are foldable flats that can be worn multiple times. The shoes are one-size-fits-all, thanks to the elastic backs that help secure them to your feet. Other features include: faux leather finishes that are weather resistant and provide a dressier look; and flexible scuff proof soles with padding, so they're comfortable, too.

We had a basket of Rescue Flats available at a recent wedding, and guests couldn't stop raving about them! Although a bit pricier than flip flops,  these cute shoes are definitely worth considering. 

Picking Flowers

Rachel Moore

Photo Credit: Joseph Marks Photography

Photo Credit: Joseph Marks Photography

No matter the size of your floral budget, you'll be able to stretch it much further by keeping the following tips in mind: 

Shop seasonally. We know, peonies are your favorite flower, but they're not available year round. Unless you plan your wedding for peony season, you may have to substitute another flower like the garden rose. Flowers are less expensive and in the best condition when they're in the peak of their blooming season. Plan your wedding date accordingly if you absolutely must have a particular flower; otherwise, be flexible!  

Do your research. Having a destination wedding? Be sure to research the local agriculture laws. Since most islands restrict flower imports, for instance, you might want to consider some native exotic blooms that match your decor instead of flying in tulips from your hometown. 

Consider the weather. Whether you're getting married in the winter or summer, stick with flowers that will keep their shape under extreme weather conditions. Ranunculus, dahlias, callas, delphinium and tulips can survive colder temperatures. Adventurous brides may want to embellish their winter nuptials with non-floral accents like pine cones, dusty miller, snowberries and even feathers! Resilient flowers like orchids, birds of paradise, lilies and roses are perfect for beach settings. Keep these blooms in cooler temperatures and out of the sun for as long as possible for optimal freshness.

 

Bridal Party Gifts that Keep on Giving

Rachel Moore

Although an honor, being a bridesmaid or groomsman comes with responsibilities. Your bridal party spends time and money making sure your day is everything you envisioned and more. So show them some love by giving them a token of your appreciation!

The best gifts are those that can be used even after the wedding. A well-chosen present will prompt your bridesmaids and groomsmen to think fondly of you and your big day every time they use the item.

At a loss for ideas? Here are some popular choices:

Photo Credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Photo Credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

 

Bridesmaids:

·      Robes or pajamas. Pamper your ladies by giving them something cute to slip into for hair and make-up. They’ll feel extra special and look great in pictures! We love anything from Plum Pretty Sugar.

·      Jewelry. Everyone knows that good things come in small packages! Give your bridesmaids a piece of jewelry they can wear to the wedding and treasure after. Our favorites are from Kendra Scott or Tiffany’s.

·      Tote bags. A great tote bag, with a personalized monogram, will definitely help each girl keep her items together on the wedding day…and thereafter at the beach or gym!

·      Stationary. Handwritten notes on luxurious paper are making a comeback. Give each of your ladies custom stationary, so they can practice this art form in style!

·      Clutches. Your bridesmaids will need to carry lipstick and cell phones (hello, you want them to take pictures and use your custom hashtag to tag them!). A cute clutch for each girl makes an ideal gift.

Photo Credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Photo Credit: Thisbe Grace Photography

Groomsmen:

·      Ties and/or pocket squares. For a cohesive look, give your guys a dashing tie and/or pocket square to wear on your wedding day. Your bride will be glad you did!

·      Funky socks. Everyone loves fun socks. (And, if they don’t, maybe they shouldn’t be in your bridal party!) Socks are a great gift for two reasons: they create opportunities for awesome photos, and even the funkiest socks are hidden by slacks when your groomsmen are standing at the altar!

·      Watches. One of our grooms gave each groomsman a different watch to match the individual’s personality. All the watches were purchased on Overstock.com.

·      Shaving kits. To ensure your guys look their best and are freshly shaven for pictures, give them classic shaving kits.

·      Cuff Links. More than one groomsman has been known to forget cuff links (look closely in pictures for substitute items like safety pins!). By giving this accessory to your groomsmen, you’ll help them look sharp at your wedding and beyond.

·      Flasks. Let’s be real, the guys just want to party. Let them start a bit early by gifting them monogrammed flasks. For an extra special touch, fill up the flasks with each one’s beverage of choice!

 

A New Twist on Tents

Rachel Moore

Ranch weddings have long been popular in certain states, but recently they've taken on a new twist. Couples are forgoing the standard tented lawn in favor of permanent, centuries-old, post-and-beam barns. We've had quite a few clients build vintage party barns, complete with bars, caterer-friendly kitchens, custom chandeliers, and plenty of room for dancing.

The rustic look definitely comes at a premium. Heritage Restoration is just one company that specializes in relocating and restoring historic barns, mills and houses. Clients can easily spend hundreds of thousands to have a prized barn dismantled and transported to their property. And that doesn't include the additional expenses to update it and make it their own. But once it's done, you'll have the perfect venue for entertaining!

 

 

Destination Wedding: Park City, Utah

Rachel Moore

Thinking of hosting a destination wedding? Trying to decide between a sandy beach or a mountain view? If you’re leaning toward the mountains, there’s no better place than Park City, Utah. With ski lodges, hotel ballrooms, ranches, art galleries and more, there are so many venue options. Here’s a list of some of our favorites:

The Montage Deer Valley — Few venues are as grand and luxurious as this. The Montage is located atop Empire Pass, tucked within the forested slopes of Deer Valley ski resort. Have you always envisioned your wedding ceremony on a beautifully landscaped lawn overlooking the mountains, followed by a rocking reception and fireside s’mores (and maybe even a little late night bowling)? Then, this is your place! Plus, the hotel offers an in-house childcare service called Paintbox, complete with awesome games, arts and crafts, and both indoor and outdoor activities.

Stein Eriksen — Want to feel as though you’re nestled in the aspens in a classic European ski lodge, all the while knowing that the service will be spectacular? Look no further. The only five-Star, five-Diamond resort hotel in Park City, Stein Eriksen is one of the oldest and most unique properties in the area. It offers a wonderful combination of modern amenities and secluded Old World charm.

St. Regis Deer Valley — This truly is a mountainside retreat. Why else would you have to take a funicular to reach the resort?! The St. Regis Deer Valley offers the grandeur known to this brand, while also providing slope-side views and convenient ski-in/ski-out access.

Deer Valley — Do you have fond memories of family ski trips? This is the main reason couples choose a destination wedding in Park City. Proof of Deer Valley’s popularity is that it’s consistently ranked number one in guest service among North American ski resorts. Exceptional customer service, consistent quality and attention to every detail are all part of the Deer Valley experience. Not to mention, with its scenic mountain backdrops, Deer Valley is one of the premier alpine resorts in the world. It boasts three magnificent lodges, each with its own unique characteristics and pristine views.

Park City Mountain Resort — This is the only resort in this iconic ski town that is connected directly to the lodging, dining and shopping of Park City’s historic Main Street. Guests can load on to Town Lift from Main Street and ride directly to one of the mountain’s peaks. Choose from four different wedding ceremony sites in three unique locations, followed by a reception in either the mid-mountain or base area lodge.

The Canyons — It’s no surprise that many couples choose to exchange vows in the alpine setting and natural surroundings of The Canyons Resort. From breathtaking mountain views and intimate settings at Look Out Cabin and Red Pine Lodge to the more formal and elegant ballrooms at the Grand Summit Hotel, this resort is sure to make any wedding memorable.

Sundance Resort — If you’re looking for somewhere quaint, peaceful and stunningly serene, Sundance may be the perfect wedding location for you! The resort features large, adaptable venues in addition to babbling brooks and gorgeous scenery. Your wedding party can bond while participating in a wide array of activities — from creating custom jewelry or pottery in the art studio to fishing or skiing — depending on the time of year. It doesn’t get more “destination” than that!

Blue Sky Ranch — This property combines the rustic feel of a ranch with the most beautiful setting possible. Blue Sky Ranch’s patio is surrounded by mountains and horse-filled pastures that provide a breathtaking backdrop for your ceremony. After the ceremony, you and your guests can celebrate with dinner and dancing in their indoor arena.

High Star Ranch — Nestled in the mountain valley of Kamas, Utah, about a half hour from Park City, this ranch offers the fresh air, stunning views, gorgeous water features and outdoor recreation typically associated with Utah’s mountains. The property is in the process of building an incredibly beautiful, large-scale party barn that will be a huge hit once it’s complete.

Which venue is ideal for you? Call or email us today. We’ll be happy to help plan your perfect destination wedding!

10 Tips to Finding the Perfect Dress

Rachel Moore

No matter how easy wedding dress shopping looks on TV, believe us, it can be stressful. Our motto is: “Know before you go.” So, keep these 10 tips in mind when heading off to your bridal appointments!

1. Choose your entourage wisely. It may seem like a good idea to ask all 10 of your “best friends” to accompany you, but too many opinions can cloud your judgement. Plus, most bridal gown shops only have room for a few extra people.

2. Try on all different styles. You may have “the perfect dress” in mind, but be open to trying on an array of silhouettes and fabrics. You may surprise yourself!

3. Eat breakfast. We know you want to look your best, but not eating before your appointments will just make you hangry (hungry and angry)! Bridal appointments can take time and the dresses can be heavy, so be prepared by fueling your body.

4. Wear appropriate undergarments and don’t be shy. Your bridal consultant is there to facilitate your appointment, and this includes helping you put the dresses on and take them off. (Don’t worry, she’s seen every shape and figure!) Be prepared by wearing undergarments you don’t mind seeing the light of day.

5. Trust your consultant. You may know exactly what you want, but your consultant knows the dresses. Having seen hundreds of brides with varying figures try them on, she knows what silhouette will look good on your body. Tell her what you envision, but trust her to pull some options for you, and be open to her suggestions.

6. Wear makeup. Believe it or not, many bridal gown shops have overhead fluorescent lighting. So, do yourself a favor and wear a touch more makeup than normal. This will also give you a better idea of how you will look on your wedding day.

7. Don’t just stand there — dance and sit! Your wedding dress may feel very comfortable when you’re standing, but you’re going to be doing a lot more than just standing on your wedding day! Make sure you can dance, sit and walk in it. You may feel foolish in the moment, but we promise you’ll be glad you gave the gown a test drive when you’re able to get down on the dance floor!

8. You may not cry. TV shows tell us that you know it’s “the” dress when you, your mom and your best friend all cry. This may not happen, and that’s okay! Everyone experiences emotion differently, so don’t put pressure on yourself to react a certain way.

9. Just because you’re a  size six in regular clothes doesn’t mean you’ll be a size six in bridal gowns. Bridal gown sizing is completely funky, but your trusty consultant will measure you and make sure you order the perfect size. Focus on how beautiful you feel in the dress, and forget about the size on the tag of the dress!

10. Sharing is caring. You may walk into a bridal shop and see another bride trying on your dress. Keep in mind that you are not the only bride planning a spring wedding and envisioning a lace mermaid gown. Dresses fit everyone differently, and there’s nothing wrong with sharing the mirrors, pedestals and even gowns!

Wedding Planning Don'ts

Rachel Moore

Planning a wedding is exciting, and you’ll get lots of advice about what to do. Just as important, however, is knowing what you shouldn’t do! Here are some helpful tips, based on our years of experience:

Planning

  • Don’t hire vendors before selecting and consulting with your wedding planner. One of the many benefits of hiring a planner is gaining access to her knowledge of vendors.
  • Don’t designate a friend or family member to be the “go-between” between you and your planner. We know you’re busy — but direct communication prevents miscommunication — and we promise not to take up more time than needed!
  • Your wedding planner will probably give you a monthly checklist to keep you on track. Don’t procrastinate! It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll write your vows and choose your music later, but you’ll be busy attending showers, writing thank-you notes, handling last-minute details and getting ready for your big day before you know it.

Guest List

  • Don’t invite more guests than you can actually afford to have accept, and keep in mind that the best way to reduce expenses is to limit your guest list. Among other costs, the guest count will have a direct impact on everything from food and beverage to the number of tables, chairs, linen, centerpieces and even welcome bags you’ll need.
  • Although you can never accurately predict who will and won’t come, don’t create an A and B guest list. Those on the B list will surely know when they receive a last-minute invitation.
  • Don’t invite a guest to more than one bridal shower. Extending numerous invitations may make people to feel like you’re taking advantage of them and seeking gifts.

Gift Registry

  • Don’t skip registering for gifts even if you’d prefer cash. If you don’t register for gifts, you will end up receiving items you didn’t want in the first place. Guests who like giving checks will give you checks. Go ahead and register for those who like to give tangible gifts.

Bridesmaids

  • Don’t give your bridesmaids free reign to choose their own dresses. Choose a color in a certain designer’s line of dresses. Give them input about the neckline and length. You want to ensure that they look cohesive in pictures.

Top Ten First Dance Songs

Rachel Moore

Clueless as to what song you and your hubby-to-be should use for your first dance? According to Spotify, here are the top 10 most popular choices these days.

1. “At Last,” Etta James

2. “I Won’t Give Up,” Jason Mraz

3. “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne

4. “All of Me,” John Legend

5. “Better Together,” Jack Johnson

6. “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri

7. “Everything,” Michael Buble

8. “First Day of My Life,” Bright Eyes

9. “Then,” Brad Paisley

10. “Make You Feel My Love,” Adele

Proposing with Panache

Rachel Moore

Judging by social media and YouTube, the pressure is on to propose to your significant other in a creative or romantic way. That’s why an increasing number of guys are choosing to pop the question with the help of professional planners. These planned proposals range from the intimate to the elaborate. With just a simple call to an event planner, you can hire a pro to handle all the details of arranging a picnic for two, a flash mob of 20, a spot on the Jumbotron, a musical ensemble, a fireworks display or whatever else you happen to have in mind. This advanced planning also gives friends and family the ability to share in the proposal, resulting in an overjoyed fiance (and some serious social media glory)!

Wedding Lore

Rachel Moore

Brides wear a white dress and a veil, grooms toss garters, and we save the top tier of our wedding cakes. But why? Weddings are full of traditions. Have you ever wondered where they originated? Wonder no more!

The white wedding dress. Before Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, brides typically wore colorful wedding gowns. The trendsetting queen elected to wear a white ball gown instead of royal silver for her wedding, thereby giving rise to the tradition of wearing white. Queen Victoria also introduced the fresh flower bouquet. Prior to her wedding, brides held wreaths of herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. Her offspring proved equally influential. “Here Comes the Bride” only became the go-to tune for walking down the aisle after Princess Victoria had it played at her wedding in 1858.

Lifting the veil. Back when marriage was considered more of a business deal than a romantic commitment, the father would lift the bride’s veil at the altar, symbolically offering her to the groom, or the groom would lift the veil after the ceremony to signify his ownership or dominance. In Jewish tradition, the veil was lifted before the ceremony to ensure the groom was marrying the right woman.

Something old, new, borrowed and blue. The tradition of the bride wearing something old (for continuity), new (optimism for the future), borrowed (happiness) and blue (fidelity, good fortune and love) on her wedding day stems from an old English rhyme. Brides often forget that there’s a fifth line to the rhyme: “A penny in your shoe.” Each token is said to help ensure a lifetime of fortune. Also, because happiness was believed to rub off on others, the “something borrowed” was to come from a happily married woman.

Wedding rings. A symbol of eternity and everlasting love (marked by its circular shape), the wedding ring’s origins can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, a band of hemp or rush was worn on the third finger of the left hand, as it was believed that the vein on this finger led directly to the heart. Gold was traditionally used to represent enduring beauty, purity and strength.

Matching bridesmaids. Attendants originally served as protection against jealous demons out to get the bridal couple. Bridesmaids wore the exact same outfits as each other and the bride in order to confuse evil spirits.

The garter toss. Throwing the garter originated from old English custom called “flinging the stocking.” Guests would invade the bridal chamber, steal the bride’s stockings and take turns flinging them. Whoever threw the one that landed on the groom’s nose would be the next to marry.

The bouquet toss. It was considered good luck for guests at medieval weddings to tear off and take a piece of the bride’s dress. To distract them from grabbing and ripping their wedding dresses, brides began throwing their flowers.

The wedding cake. In ancient Rome, the wedding ended when a wheat or barley cake was broken over the bride’s head as a symbol of fertility. It wasn’t until later that edible confections began to appear at European weddings. Queen Victoria’s son Prince Leopold served the first entirely edible cake at his nuptials. Ever hear the rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage?” Back in the day, when it was common for newlyweds to start families right away, the leftover top tier of the wedding cake was saved for the christening (usually one year later).

Carrying the bride across the threshold. Grooms in ancient cultures would carry brides over the threshold to prevent evil spirits from possessing the brides through the soles of their feet. In medieval Europe, the groom carried his virginal bride inside the home so she wouldn’t look too eager about what was expected to ensue and, thus, have her innocence called into question. Lifting the bride was more of a preventative measure in Western Europe, where it was considered unlucky for the bride to trip on her way inside.

For more information, check out The Knot.

Cakes Through the Ages

Rachel Moore

Did you know that wedding cakes originated in ancient Rome? And so did the tradition of missing your betrothed’s mouth with said cake! According to a Yahoo! article, Roman marriages were “solidified by the groom smashing barley cake over his bride’s head.” (Sounds like a recipe for divorce to us!) Later, as “sugar became more plentiful in England in the 16th century,” refined sugar was used “to create pure white icing to symbolize not only the bride’s purity but the families’ affluence as well.” Click here to view this Yahoo! article, which features wedding cakes from 1947, 1951, 1952, and 1963.

Unlike in the past, today’s wedding cakes — especially groom’s cakes — are becoming increasingly more creative, delicious and downright artistic. Couples are choosing cakes that fit the theme of their wedding, like cowboy boots if they are having a ranch wedding or a football stadium if they share a favorite sports team.\

Cutting Costs Without Sacrificing Elegance

Rachel Moore

Have champagne taste but lack the funds to support it? No problem, here are our top three tips for hosting an elegant affair on a budget.

1. Reduce the guest list. The more people you invite, the more money you spend. There is no way around this!

2. Make a list of your priorities. If you REALLY care about hiring a certain band, cut back on other aspects of the event.

3. The food and beverage expense will be one of the larger items. Therefore, offer heavy hors d’oeuvres as opposed to a formal plated meal, or serve beer, wine and a specialty cocktail instead of a full bar.

First Dance

Rachel Moore

Having just been declared “husband and wife,” you take the floor for your first dance. While some couples have a special song that is meaningful to their relationship, many do not. For the latter, here are some popular tunes to consider:

Ray Lamontagne, “You Are The Best Thing”

Christina Perri, “A Thousand Years”

Etta James, “At Last”

Elvis Presley, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”