What do we do to make our wedding fun, well planned and enjoyable?
If you have decided to get married, I will start by saying congratulations! We wish you many years of happiness together. If you are now passed the initial excitement of knowing you are getting married, you probably have many questions like all couples do.
With so many choices for your wedding, knowing where to begin can be a little overwhelming. You may have questions like, When are we getting married? Where are we getting married? What do we do to make our wedding fun, well planned and enjoyable?
We understand planning a wedding is huge, and hope to help you rid some of the pressure and hassles with our simple planning techniques. To help you learn all the little tips, secrets, and everything else you need to know to have a wonderful wedding, and survive through it.
Planning a wedding is a big deal
You may sometimes have feelings of stress and worry. But, don’t forget you are planning one of the biggest events in your life. It won’t be long all your stress and worry will be forgotten when the big moment of standing there saying “I do” comes. Quickly everything will be forgotten, and you will realize all your hard work and planning was worth it.
Understanding the process of your Wedding
You will learn basic wedding planning to help you get through everything you need to know to have a less stressful experience planning, and more time to enjoy your life in the process. You should find everything you need to know right here at your fingertips, and be on your way to understanding the process of your soon to be wedding.
Tell everyone you can think of, your friends, tell your co-workers, tell your hairstylist, tell your neighbor. Keep telling until you can’t tell anymore!
Another easy way to spread the word is through a newspaper announcement. Usually the parents of the bride make this announcement. The announcement usually will include general information about the groom and the bride.
Your announcement will also include your schooling, careers, and other stuff. Some couples like to include an engagement picture along with the announcement. Or just a picture of the bride. This is up to the happy couple. You can soon find out more information about photos and videotape services by checking back here often. We are constantly updating this website.
Another easy way to spread the word is through a newspaper announcement.
Make sure you ask if there are any fees you may be charged
The information is usually sent to the society editor, but you may want to call the newspapers office to double check. Also, make sure you ask if there are any fees you may be charged. Most will charge because of the rising number of marriage notices.
If your parents live in another state or city you can also send them a copy of your announcement, and photos if you decide to use one, so they can arrange to have the announcement put in their local newspaper.
Tell the newspaper the date you would like it to be printed
If your engagement is longer then a year you might want to wait until closer to your wedding day to send your engagement announcement to your local newspaper. Usually, they are printed no earlier than a year before the big day. When you call in your announcement, make sure to tell the newspaper the date you would like it to be printed.
Most people these days need to set a budget. If money is really tight it is best to think about the things that are most important to you so you can have the wedding you want. You have to decide what kind of wedding you want. Do you want a small wedding or a big wedding? Once you decide this you will be able to construct a budget based on this decision.
You may both decide on a small wedding. You decided to avoid all the big expenses of a huge wedding. If this is what you want, there are still plenty of options for a wonderful wedding. You can have a backyard wedding, or you can have a wedding in a home, or at a park. It is up to you. Budgeting this kind of wedding should be a simple affair.
Most people these days need to set a budget.
You need to plan expenses very carefully
If you have decided you want the biggest and best wedding your budget will allow, you need to plan expenses very carefully. By having this kind of wedding, budgeting is particularly important. You will want to plan every dollar and make sure you can stretch it as much as possible.
As you plan your wedding keep in mind what you can afford. This will help you to determine how many guests you can invite, where you will have your reception, what food you will have, how many photographers you will have, and what flowers will be displayed, and many more things needed for the celebration.
There are a couple ways to set a budget. One is to figure out what amount of money everyone involved like bride, groom, bride’s parents, groom’s parents will give you towards your wedding. Maybe your parents have set aside a small amount for you in anticipation of your wedding. This sum plus anything you have planned to add will or should equal the amount you will soon be spending.
Usually the brides family pays for most of the wedding expenses
In order to begin a budget you have to start calling around to reception sites and caterers and ask for their wedding menus so you can get an idea of how much each plate per person costs. Make sure to ask about additional fees they may have for, set up, rental fees, cake cutting, etc.
You will have to do the same with a limousine service, videographers, photographers, and many other services you may need. Once you have the paperwork and have figured out the amount you want to spend, then it is off to the parents for some help with the biggest question, money.
It is usually the brides family who pays for most of the wedding expenses. Sometimes situations, or circumstances beyond your control, can bring other arrangements. It is not uncommon these days for the bride and groom to handle the wedding expenses themselves. Paying for your own wedding may change your opinions on how much you spend if you are the one writing the checks.
On the other hand if you do accept money from your parents you should consider all of their suggestions.
The Wedding Party
Your wedding party can be as big or small as you like. Formal weddings usually have a larger number of attendants then informal ones, but you can bend the traditional rule of thumb here if you think it is appropriate. You and your spouse should sit down together and think about who you want to include in the wedding. Once you figure out who you want in your wedding party, ask them right away. You might have someone who may decline for other conflicts, so you have to keep in mind your first choice may not work out.
Sit down together and think about who you want to be in the wedding.
Being in a wedding is very expensive and a big responsibility
Make sure you have a replacement in case someone cannot make it, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to ask them. Being in a wedding is very expensive and a big responsibility. You want to make sure you give everyone time to plan and save money. The absolute minimum is 6 months to give everyone notice.
About the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
Junior bridesmaids are usually between ten and fourteen, flower girls are younger. You may want to avoid having children under five in your wedding, as their behavior can get a little out of hand.
This does not mean you should not invite young children to your wedding. Just make sure to give it some thought if you would like to have a very young child in the wedding.
The flower girl is the last one to come down the aisle before the bride. Often, the flower girl will sprinkle flower petals for the bride to walk on, but there have been some brides who have slipped on the petals, so you may want to think about this first. If you have decided not to use petals you could use paper petals, or have her carry a basket of fresh flowers.
The ring bearer will precede the flower girl in the procession. He will carry the rings, which will be displayed on a satin pillow, and tied with a ribbon. No need to worry that the rings could be lost as the rings are usually fake. The best man or maid of honor will have the real rings.
It is best to start with a list of everyone you would like to have at your wedding. If you are on a strict budget you don’t have to cut people from the guest list. Instead, try to set a limit or boundaries to your list and stick to it. Generally, the list is divided between the two families evenly. Most couples will divide their list into three parts. The bride’s parents, the groom’s parents and the couple. Each part invites one third of the guests.
Choosing to invite children is completely up to you. If you decide not to invite children do not write the name of the child on the invitation. Usually the parents will see that the children’s name is not on the invite and will know their will be no children. Even better, just make sure everyone is aware of your wishes. Also, you will have to decide what the cut off age will be between the children and the young adults. It is up to you to pick an age. Common cut offs are ages eighteen or sixteen.
You can reschedule it for another date.
Another way to help your budget when your list may be getting a little to big is to reconsider inviting co-workers. If you do have to cut some guests and you feel comfortable doing it, cutting co-workers is probably the way to go.
Try to stick to immediate family. If you have to cut more from your guest list you could remove third, and forth cousins or other distant relatives from the list. Most will understand you are on a budget and you have to keep cost down.
Always give your attendants the option to bring a date. Your attendants have worked hard, and have taken on a financial debt to be a part of your wedding, give them something in return and let them share the day with someone special to them.
The attached guests also will probably want to bring a partner, especially if they do not know many others at the wedding. This will help them to feel more comfortable. If it is not in your budget to invite single guests with a date they should understand. However, guests who are engaged should be allowed to bring their fiances, no matter what.
If there should happen to be a death in the immediate family before the wedding, no matter how hard it may be, try to honor their wishes.
If there is a death in the immediate family you will want to postpone your wedding until everyone can mourn over the loss. You can reschedule it for another date when you know everyone feels they have had time to mourn and is able to celebrate with you. However, the ill person may not want you to postpone your wedding if they pass on.
No matter how hard it may be, try to honor their wishes. You could say a prayer during the ceremony or share a moment of silence in the persons memory. Or you may even want to plan your wedding for as soon as possible so the ill person can an be at and enjoy your wedding. This may also bring you and your family comfort by seeing them at your wedding.
The best thing to do is to try to accommodate everyone’s needs. This may sound like it is impossible, but with good planning, and a little luck, you can do it.
Bridal Shower and Parties
Anyone can throw a bridal shower, family, friends, co-workers, anyone. Usually, the bridesmaids along with the mother, and other family members, throw the bridal shower. Depending on the size of your guest list, most have a bridal party at a home, or at a small hall. Women only attend the bridal party, however the groom can come along to join in on all the fun.
Bridal showers are usually informal. It is fine to do invites by phone if the list is small. You can send invitations if you want to. You will want to provide refreshments for your guests. Depending on how much work everyone wants to do, and how much the budget will allow, you can provide food too.
There is no tradition on the type of food you pick or don’t pick. You can choose whatever you like!
It is fine to do invites by phone if the list is small.
If you decide to host a party with food and treats; here are a few menu ideas for the party!
- Strawberries dipped in chocolate
- Congo bars
- Lemon squares
- Strawberry squares
- Apple Cake
- Pumpkin bars, frosted
- Vegetable platter with dip
- Chicken fingers
- Shrimp cocktail
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Chicken wings
- Potato skins with cheese
Breakfast Main Course
- French toast
- Coffee cake
Lunch or Dinner Main Course
- Macaroni salad
- Potato salad
- Garden salad
- Pasta salad
- Cold cut platter
It is an absolute must to have someone you can rely on to be your gift recorder. They will have to record what each gift is, and who it was from. Make sure the person can keep track and write clearly so you can send out thank you cards to everyone. You don’t want to miss spell a name or write the wrong gift down.
If you want to have some fun with some games go for it! This is a another way to liven it up a little! I will list a few here for you that would get any party going.
What the Bride Says
As the bride opens each gift, have someone write down what she says (without her knowing). After all the gifts are opened, have the person read her comments back. These are the bride’s words to describe her wedding night. (Make sure your guests can handle this one!)
Spice of Life
Get as many spices together as you want and place them in unmarked, but numbered jars. Pass each one around the room and have each guest write down what she thinks it is. At the end of the game, award the one with the most correct answers the collection of spices. (Be sure to include the corresponding list!)
Place fifteen to twenty small wedding related items on a tray and cover them with a lace napkin. To play this game, place the tray in the center of your guests for two minutes. Cover the tray again and ask the guests to write down as many of the items as they can remember. The person who remembers the most, wins a prize.
Guess how much
Fill a large jar with white or colored coated almonds. Ask the guests to figure out how many almonds are in the jar. They can take as long as needed. At the end of the shower they give their answers to the host on a slip of paper. The guest who comes the closest to the number without going over the correct amount wins the jar of yummie almonds! You can also choose other eatables like m&m’s, jelly beans, or Hershey kisses. Or anything else you can think of.
Makes sure to set a time limit and give out prizes to the winner! So now that they have won what should the prize be. Well I have a few items listed to help you get started.
Winner’s Prize Ideas
- Mixed nuts
- Cocktail napkins
- Hand lotion
- Decorative soaps
- Recipe cards
- Funny, refrigerator magnets
- Bath oils or bubble bath
- Shopping list pads
Make sure to double up a few in case of a tie. If there is no tie and you have some prizes left over have the host think of a number from 1 to 100 the guests can guess the number that the host is thinking of and the one who comes closets wins.
If you choose you can have a shower with a theme. At a theme shower guests are told what gifts to bring that fits with the theme. For example, linen shower, kitchen shower, money tree shower or a lingerie shower, and so forth.
There are several occasions that may take place over the course of your engagement. Here is a list of some of the other parties:
The Bachelorette Party
Yes, girls can have a party to. So go take a night on the town and have some fun before your big day! It is common for women to have there night of fun before the big day to.
The Bachelor Party
Traditionally the bachelor party was held the night before the wedding, but with so many grooms and others showing up not feeling so well from hang overs and what ever else the next day at the wedding, it is now better to have the bachelor party about a week before the ceremony.
Giving the attendants a party gives you the chance to honor the ones who have been working so hard for you. A good time to have this party is about a week or two weeks before the wedding day. A good place for this party is in a relaxed setting like a picnic in a park or a barbecue in the backyard.
The Gift Registry
One of the highlights of getting married is that you will get lots of gifts. The reason your friends, family, and others do this for you is to help you and your future spouse in setting up your home with great stuff, and also to help you get started with your married life together.
You pay your friends, and family back by showing them an unforgettable time at your wedding, and by having a long happy marriage together. Most couples start receiving gifts soon after they announce their engagement. Usually, they will continue to get gifts until the wedding day.
Don’t forget to keep a list of your gifts, and who they came from, so you have all the information when you write your thank you notes.
A gift registry is a free service provided by many departments, jewelry, and gift specialty stores. To get a gift registry is easy. You will have to go into your store of choice with a list of items you would like to receive for your home. When friends, and family go into the store, they give your name and they will provide the gift buyer with the list. Most also have a station available where you can go and just type in the couple’s name and the list will show up. Every time an item is bought it is removed from the list to help prevent duplication.
Make sure to pick a store that has a variety of items in the styles and colors you want. It is best to register one with a high quality department store that is sure to have almost everything you need. What makes this nice is often these stores can have your registry sent to their other branches in other cities and states for those relatives and friends out of town.
Before registering with any store make sure to ask about their return policies and exchange polices in case of a problem with your gifts. You don’t want to be stuck with two of the same items or damaged items. Or worse yet something you really don’t like, need, or want.
Take your time and browse through the stores. Try to make a list of the things you and your future spouse will need to get started. Don’t be hesitant to jot down big items like t.v.’s, furniture, or appliances. These items family may pitch in together and get for you and your future spouse.
Good items to keep a look out for include:
- Formal Dinnerware
- Pot and Pans
When you and your fiance decide on the styles, patterns and colors you want, add those items to the list. If you carefully assemble your gift registry, it can help to put you on the road to a beautiful, well-furnished home.
Make sure to pick a store that has a variety of items in the styles and colors you want.
A lot of times gifts can get damaged or lost at the reception. Tell everyone you’d prefer your gifts to be sent to your home. If there are gifts brought to the reception make sure they are put together and out of the way. For instance, a table or closet.
You should wait until you get home before opening any gifts. Things are more likely to get broken or lost if the gifts are opened. You could also ask someone to look over the gifts, and have them make sure the gifts find their way home.
Thank You Notes
Always send out thank you notes as soon as as possible after you receive the gifts. There will be many notes to write, so try to keep every one of the notes warm and personal. Try to mention the gift in the note, and how you will be using their gift to you. Also, if you receive gifts before the wedding day, always sign your maiden name.
Here are some categories that are traditionally registered:
- Intimates for the bride
- Grooming aids for the groom
- Grooming aids for the bride
- Casual table linens
- Home electronics
- Gifts/Home decor items
- Kitchen basics
- Small appliances
- Bake ware
- Master bedroom furnishings
The History of Weddings: What does it all mean?
Do you ever wonder why people throw rice at the newlyweds? Why there’s a wedding cake? Why the groom carries the bride across the threshold?
These traditions have been a part of wedding ceremonies for many, many years. And will continue on for years to come.You can make your wedding even more meaningful by knowing what these traditions mean.This is a great way to make your wedding day even more special.
If you would like to learn more about all the special parts of your wedding, read on and learn how they all came about.
These traditions have been a part of wedding ceremonies for many, many years.
Rice symbolizes fertility. The tradition of throwing rice began in the Orient. Rice was thrown at the newlyweds in the hope that it would bring a marriage of many children.
In ancient times Teuton couples would marry under a full moon, then drink honey wine for thirty days after, which is where the name honeymoon began.
Carrying the Bride Across the Threshold
The custom originated in Rome, Italy. The bride had to be carried across the threshold because she was reluctant to enter the bridal chamber. In those days it was considered ladylike to be hesitant. One other legend has it that a bride was carried over the threshold to protect her from any evil spirits beyond that point.
Tossing the Bouquet and Garter
Beginning in France in the 1300’s the guests used to chase the bride and tear off her garter, because they believed it was good luck. The bride began removing it voluntarily and tossing it into the crowd to prevent her dress from getting ruined and perhaps, avoid any injury to herself.
The bouquet was also tossed later in the ceremony. The woman who caught the bouquet was believed to be the next to get married. The man who catches the garter is believed to be the next groom.
The Bridal Shower
Believed to have started in Holland, legend has it that a disapproving father would not provide his daughter with dowries so that she might marry a less then wealthy man. The soon to be brides friends would provide her with the essentials by showering her with gifts.
The Ring Finger
The fourth finger on the human hand is considered the ring finger. In most all of the Western Cultures the ring is worn on the left hand or “left ring finger”. All engagement and wedding rings are worn there because centuries ago, that finger was believed to be connected, by a vein, directly to the heart, a symbol of love.
The thinking that started this is believed to have begun in ancient Egypt. On a different note, in several European countries, the wedding ring is worn on the left hand before the marriage and on the right after. It is transferred during the ceremony.
The Wedding Cake
Wedding cakes originated in ancient Rome where a loaf of wheat bread was broken over the brides head to symbolize hope for a fertile and fulfilling life. The guests would eat the bread crumbs as they believed it to be good luck.
The custom found its way to England in the middle ages. Guests brought small cakes to a wedding, the cakes were put in a pile, which the bride and groom later stood over and engaged in a kiss. Someone came up with the idea of piling all the cakes together and frosting them. Creating an early ancestor of the multi tiered wedding cakes of today.
The wedding ceremony can be a very nerve racking and freightening experience to survive. You will get through it, and soon after you will be enjoying your reception. It can be helpful to visualize the fun and partying that awaits you once you make it through the ceremony.
The ceremony is what will take you from being an engaged couple to a married couple. Depending on what you and your future spouse have decided, your wedding can be strictly civil or religious based.
It is best to discuss which kind of wedding the both of you would like to have early on, so there are no disagreements on a civil wedding ceremony or a religious wedding ceremony.
If you decide to have a religious ceremony, consult with your officiant about all the pre marriage papers, church laws, and their requirements. Religions and churches have many different rules and restrictions that must be followed. Once you meet with the officiant the first time, you should have all the technical details cleared up, and you will also be able to ask any questions you might have.
Religions and churches have many different rules and restrictions that must be followed.
Once all this is settled, you will be able to move forward in personalizing your wedding, with music, special prayers, Scripture readings, and if you have chose, your own vows.
The Roman Catholic Ceremony
If you are going to have a Roman Catholic wedding, there are many strict pre-marital requirements. If you have been married before there are many steps that need to be taken before you will be able to marry in a Catholic ceremony. In most Catholic churches it is technically impossible to remarry in a catholic church if your spouse is still alive. Generally, you will have to receive an annulment. An annulment will nullify your previous marriage. Once the annulment is granted, the sooner the earlier marriage never existed in the eyes of the church. The annulment process can be somewhat complicated and intimidating.
There is tons of paperwork required on the part of the person applying.
Your next step is to move on to pre marriage counseling, also known as Pre Cana. There is much to do while involved in pre marriage counseling. You will have to do a lot of talking with your groom, and the priest about any religious convictions, and marriage issues.
Time can be of the essence for enrolling in group counseling so it is important to contact the church right away after you have chosen a date. Group counseling is a group of couples who join together several times within a one year span.
A Catholic ceremony can be a short fifteen minutes or thirty minutes depending on what you as a couple have decided. This is also something you can discuss with your priest.
Here’s how it all goes down:
The ceremony starts with opening music selections, once you reach the altar, the priest greets you and your guests, offers Penitential rites, and says an opening prayer.
The Liturgy word comes next. This is when the reading you have chosen will be read, perhaps by special friends or family members. At the end of the reading, the priest gives a brief homily that focuses on some aspect of marriage.
Finally, The Rite Of Marriage is where you see some action. After the declaration of consent, the rings are blessed and exchanged. What most people don’t realize is that the exchange of vows, not the rings, is the act that marks the official moment of marriage.
I will be writing more about other religious ceremony’s soon. So check back soon.
The Civil Ceremony
Some couples choose not to have the tension and potential family problems of an interfaith ceremony by having a civil ceremony. Civil ceremonies may be the best option for couples who are unsure about their religious beliefs or who would rather have a small, simple, and inexpensive ceremony. The officiate in a civil ceremony is a judge or other civic official legally qualified to perform a marriage. If you decide to have a civil ceremony, it does not have to be boring, or civil like. You can have the civil official come to where you would like to get married, a boat, club, backyard, wherever. You won’t be able to be in a religious setting, and there will be no religious officials present, but you can still have a ceremony full of fun, beauty, and excitement.
Civil ceremonies not held at City Hall or the courthouse are usually held at the same place you will have your reception. If you do decide to have your ceremonies at City Hall don’t go in a full length wedding dress. A suit for both the bride and groom is satisfactory. Bride should consider a street length dress and the groom a suit.
If you or your fiance is in the military, you may want to consider having a military wedding. Military weddings are very formal. It is very impressive with all the uniformed guests and wedding party members. Perhaps the most visually stunning conclusion of the whole wedding is when the newlyweds walk arm and arm from the altar beneath an archway of crossed swords.
A groom serving in the armed forces must wear his dress uniform in the ceremony. As part of his outfit he may wear a sword or saber, but never a boutonniere. If the groom does wear a sword the bride stands on his right. If he doesn’t wear a sword she stands on the left.
A military bride has a choice of wearing her dress uniform, or a wedding gown. Other military persons in the wedding party, male or female wear military garb.
Doing a seating plan for a traditional wedding is stressful, but the seating at a military wedding is a little more stressful, you have high ranking officers, and special officials to seat, who need to be seated in places of honor. The rest of the military guests should be seated by their rank.
Tradition has it that the bride and groom cut the first piece of cake with a sword. Wouldn’t that be a site to see. With the exception of the weapons and the attire, a military wedding can be as much like a traditional wedding has you like.
Writing Your Own Vows
If you would like to formalize your commitment with something unique, or something specific to your relationship together, or your situation, writing your own vows is nice to do. Traditional vows are meaningful, but if you want to make your vows truly meaningful to both of you, writing them yourself is the way to make them more personalized.
Make sure you let your officiant know about your intentions first, as some religions are more strict about what vows must be said, while others are willing to bend the rules a little.
Once you find out from the officiant that you can go ahead with writing your vows in the way you wish, you and your fiance have a lot to consider. Both of you should take time to think about your answers and write them down. Doing it this way will provide you with valuable material to help you create the vow you are looking for.
How do you as a couple define the terms of love, trust, marriage, family, commitment, togetherness.
How did you first meet?
What was the first thing that attracted you to your partner?
List shared hobbies, or other interests you share.
What was the event that you feel says the most about your growth, and development as a couple?
How similar or different were your childhoods? Take some time to recount some of the important differences here.
Is there a book, song, poem that is meaningful in your relationship?
How do you and your partner look at personal growth, and change?
Do you and your partner have common visions of what your life as older people will be like?
Once you have the answers to these questions it will give you the foundation upon which to build your vows. You may find that this material is not enough to get your point or true meaning across. If this is the case there is always Shakespeare or John Lennon. You could find the perfect quote, poem, or song lyric to complete the mood of your vows.
Almost always there is some form of party after the ceremony. This is just not any party, this is the reception! With a party you get chips and dip, beer, and some stereo playing in the background. But with a traditional reception there is flowers, finery, protocol, photographers, caterers, cakes, DJs, and dances. A real big to do is awaiting the happy couple.
The best thing to do first is find a place you would like to have your reception. Make sure the place you would like to have your reception is available on the day of the ceremony.
Some officiants will tell you it is best to set the ceremony date first and then find a reception site. Some couples try to make the ceremony date match to the date of when their desired reception site is open. It really depends on you, the couple, whether you have a dream reception site or really don’t have a specific place in mind as long is it nice.
If you are planning on marrying between the months of April – October, competition for reception sites can be in demand. So make sure to plan on looking for a site at least a year in advance if you have chosen a time during these months.
It really depends on you the couple weather to have a dream reception site.
Where To Have The Reception
Now a days, there is no limit to where you can go. Some of the most popular sites for a reception is function halls, country clubs, and hotel ballrooms. Again, there is no set limit on where or when to have your reception.
The main thing is you have a place where people can gather to eat, drink, and have some fun.
What I have done is created a list of some potential sites to consider for your reception.
- Beach Clubs
- Apple Orchards
- Pier or waterfront restaurants
- Public parks or gardens
- Concert halls
- Historic hotels
- Luxury hotels
- Country inns
- Mountain resorts
- Historic mansions
Or if you have a hobby or common interest, there are baseball parks, football fields, tennis courts, and other spots connected to your interests.
Some of these options will depend on the season, and the weather, but if all goes well, sites like these can leave a lasting memorable and beautiful wedding day. Make sure you have a backup site elsewhere or invest in a large tent, just in case mother nature decides not to cooperate.
Having A Wedding Theme
Having a theme wedding is another step away from a traditional ceremony that will make your wedding something special. Depending on the theme you choose, you can live out your dream of living in another time or another place. If you do have a theme wedding, make sure to let your guests know so they can dress appropriately.
Here are some ideas for a theme wedding.
A period wedding – This theme explores the traditions, costumes, music, and customs of the earlier times through the 1920s – 1960s. These are the most popular periods, you could go for a Colonial America or Victorian England time. Whatever you prefer. Also, make sure you can find the costumes.
An ethnic wedding – This theme allows you to highlight the culture and costumes of your own ethnic background.
A Western style wedding – Wearing cowboy hats, playing fiddles, doing a little square dancing, horses, barbecues, and anything else you can incorporate for your wild frontier wedding.
A holiday wedding – Having a wedding during a holiday season is a great way to take advantage of all the decorations and spirit of the time. Valentines Day, we know, brings out love and romance. This makes for a popular wedding day choice. Christmas is another one at the top of the list. Easter is one of the less popular holidays because of certain religious restrictions, and faiths. A patriotic wedding complete with fireworks might be a good idea for the fourth of July.
The all-night wedding – A planned wedding celebration that will last through the night. Some couples will rent an additional hall for after the first reception. Others will continue the party at a private home. The wedding comes to an end the next morning with some breakfast.
A weekend wedding- An all weekend wedding celebration is set up like a short vacation for you and your guests, and takes place at a resort or hotel.
The honeymoon wedding – The honeymoon wedding is not for everyone, but it is not as bad as it sounds. The honeymoon wedding is similar to a weekend wedding. Guests are invited to a romantic honeymoon type local resort or inn, where they can stay with the couple for a few days. After the honeymoon wedding is over the newlyweds depart for the real honeymoon.
The at home reception – For many couples this is the best solution to the reception decision. If someone you know has a big house and yard, like parents or friends, who can accommodate your reception then this may be the perfect spot to have it at. This will provide a informal, relaxed setting for your guests, which makes this kind of celebration a lot of fun.
Some receptions are held at the same place as the ceremony, which provides convenience for you and your guests. Most churches have a function room that you can rent without much hassle, and for a lot less money. The reception normally is small and informal so the menu is usually a small buffet bar rather then a big dinner. Also, don’t forget that a religious site may have restrictions on the type of music you play, and may not allow alcohol beverages.
The Reception Traditions
If you are not familiar with all of the reception traditions, i.e. the first toast, the first dance, and so on, I will explain a little about each.
The receiving line – The receiving line enables you, your spouse, and key members of the wedding party to meet and greet your guests, which is very important, since there probably won’t be much time to socialize with everyone. The receiving line should form after the wedding ceremony but before the reception. Your best bet is to keep the receiving line small your guests and attendants will thank you.
The order from the head of the line is: bride’s mother, bride’s father, groom’s mother, groom’s father, bride, and groom. Your honor attendant may also join you on your left, but the best man does not usually join in the receiving line. It is optional for fathers to stand in line.
You should welcome your guests, thank them for coming, and introduce them to the other members of the wedding party. Make sure to be friendly but brief, otherwise the line may become to long, and everyone including you, will have to wait even longer until the reception can begin.
After the receiving line and after the wedding party guests have been seated, everyone is served a glass of champagne or another sparkling beverage. Toasts, are an important part of the wedding reception. Like any other ritual there are certain guidelines to follow. In example:
To make a toast, stand up, tap on your glass to get everyone’s attention, and say something like, Ladies and gentlemen I have a toast to make or I have a few words to say. The person being toasted does not drink at the end of the salute, but simply smiles at the toaster. A wedding toast shouldn’t take longer than three minutes, any more then that and it will be overdone. The tone can range from serious and sentimental to humorous.
The order of the toasting can be:
- Best man toasts the bride
- Groom toasts the bride
- Bride toasts the groom
- Father of the bride toasts the couple
- Bride toasts her groom’s parents
- Groom toasts his bride’s parents
- Father of the groom toasts the bride
- Mother of the bride toasts the couple
- Mother of the groom toasts the couple
- Everyone else who has a wish to offer
All toasts except the best man’s toast are strictly optional. Now that the toasting is over, it on to dancing and dinner.
The First Dance
One of the most romantic parts of the reception is the bride and groom’s first dance. You and your new spouse dance to a song the two of you have chosen for it’s sentimental value, while your guests watch. After the first dance together as man and wife, the bride dances with her father, and then the groom dances with his mother. After, the bride and groom’s parents dance, the bride dances with her father-in-law, the groom dances with his mother-in-law, and the bridesmaids and ushers dance with each other.
Then the opening dance begins. You can have the bandleader or master of ceremonies announce that the open dancing will begin.
The Cake Cutting
The wedding cake has a very important part, it is a centerpiece of the very popular cake cutting ceremony. The bride and groom cut the first piece of cake and feed each other a delicious, sometimes messy bite. At a sit down reception, the cake is cut right before the dessert is served. If you have dessert. The caterer or the baker will then cut the cake, and hand it out for the rest of the guests.
The Bouquet And Garter Toss
Weather or not you chose to include this tradition in your wedding is up to you. Some brides find that throwing her bouquet to a group of single women, while the groom removes the garter from the bride’s leg, and then tosses it to a group of single men to be degrading. So many brides decide to eliminate it entirely. But others still enjoy the fun of the bouquet and garter toss.
The Head Table
The head table is wherever the bride and groom sit, and is , understandably the focus of the reception. The head table usually faces the other tables, near the dance floor. The table can be elevated, and decorated with flowers or other stuff, and should be low enough so the guests have a perfect view of the happy newlyweds.
In most traditions the bride and groom, honor attendants, and bridesmaids and ushers sit at the head table. The bride and groom sit in the middle, with the best man next to the bride and the maid of honor next to the groom. The ushers and bridesmaids then sit on other sides of the bride and groom. If you don’t have a table to fit everyone the bride and groom can sit alone at the head table, and seat the other attendants at together at a smaller table.
Children attendants should sit at a regular table with their parents. Spouses of the attendants don’t usually sit at the head table with their husband or wives. Parents usually sit at separate tables with their families. There is no correct seating arrangement for the parents. The bride and groom’s parents can sit together with the officiant and, if married, his or her spouse at the parents table or, each set of parents can host their own table with family and friends.
Sometimes you don’t want the party to stop, so the parents of the bride or groom can host a small party after for close friends and family. The after party is usually held at the parents house, but these days it is common for parents to rent another reception site, or extend the time where your at.