The Best Time for Wedding Toasts

It is a time-honored wedding tradition for key people to take the floor and give a speech to honor the happy couple. Fathers, members of the wedding party, and old friends have brought tears and laughter to celebrate old times and the new union.  Here are some tips on how best to incorporate this custom into your own reception.

Wait until everyone is seated

While there are options when deciding on what time is best for your wedding toasts, waiting until everyone is seated is the best way to keep the room engaged.  As your guests make their way to the dining hall after the ceremony, allow some time for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and mingling. Once your guests are fed and settled with a drink in hand, it is appropriate to pull their attention to the stage and commence.  Here are a few prime opportunities to consider.

  1. During the meal: If you are not one for waiting and prefer to get the party started right away, now is a good time for toasts. Those speaking may even be grateful to eliminate any waiting, especially if they are nervous in front of a crowd. It also kicks off the party by drawing attention to the happy couple.
  2. Before the cake cutting: This is a good opportunity to grab the attention of full and happy guests. When the toasting is finished, you can direct their gaze to the wedding cake. Many times, guests can miss the cake cutting simply because they didn’t know it was taking place.
  3. Before the first dance: For some, dancing is the highlight of the party. Raising your glass and sharing stories about the happy couple is always a positive way to get the crowd cheering and ready to groove.

If your evening is set up to flow gracefully and you have someone to announce the special moments, there are plenty of opportunities to give a toast to the newlyweds. Make sure you have someone to videotaping so you can share the laughter and tears for many anniversaries to come!

Getting on the Same Page with Your Fiancé – Agreeing on Your Wedding Arrangements

It’s a common story.  You have been thinking about your wedding since pigtails and princess dresses. But your fiancé, not so much. Now that the planning is underway and vendor meetings fill up your weekends, you may find that the process isn’t quite as blissful as you imagined.  Turns out, he has more ideas for your wedding day than you thought!

Biggest Arguments
  1. Your guest list: Are you having trouble finalizing your guest list? How many people are you planning to invite? Kids or no kids?
  2. Budget: Are you footing the bill, or do you have help from family? Are you finding it hard to agree on a final sum?
    Shop around before you commit to any one vendor and consider DIY projects where you can. If you keep track of your estimates and organize your spending, you may not feel so guilty spending $1,000 more on the perfect dress!
  3. Other Details: Are you are dreaming of a beach band and your fiancé prefers a DJ? Perhaps you want a table for two at your reception and plans to include the wedding party. Who wins?
Listen and Compromise

It is important to remember that his opinion is just as important.  You may be stressed over the planning and arranging most of your meetings but sharing this day and sticking together is what brings smiles to the alter.

  1. Learn how to table certain topics: If there is one detail that you can’t seem to agree on, take your time with the final decision. Be sure to fully listen to his ideas and allow plenty of time to consider his side. It is possible that as the planning progresses, you may find that his idea works better than you thought!
  2. Decide if it is worth the argument: If your fiancé has an idea that you are not on board with, decide if it is truly worth the fight. In the grand scheme of things, maybe it’s not really that big of a deal.
  3. Find a happy medium: The two of you are about to spend your lives together as one, compromising and making decisions. This is the best time to start. You fell in love with him for a reason, and you want his ideas to take part in this important day. Your wedding should represent both of you!

 

Adding Fun to Your Reception

Keeping your guests involved at your wedding reception is key to making it a success. Engage them, surprise them and let them walk away remembering how much fun they had! Here are a few clever ideas to a fabulously fun celebration. 

Added Surprises

After you tie in all your favorite traditions, excite the crowd with surprise entertainment.  This can be in the form of a guest who wants to sing a song for the happy couple, a performance from children who want to pay tribute, or a fireworks send off at the end of the evening. 

Dancing

Nothing wrong with spicing up your first dance!  Sure, start off slow and sweet, but after a minute or so, turn up the heat and break it down. If you are into line dancing, this is a great time to invite guests to jump in and finish your first dance in sync. 

Games

Adding in a few games at your reception is a great way to be interactive. Mixed with cocktails, dinner, and dancing, this will keep your guests from wanting to sneak out the back door.  Here are examples of wedding game hits.

Stand up Sit Down Game: Prepare a series of questions and ask your guests to stand beside their seats.  Once a question is read out loud, whoever the answer is applicable to must sit down. For example, “If you didn’t believe the bride and groom would go on a second date, sit down.” Make the questions light hearted and fun!

Corn hole: This game is always a hit for outdoor weddings.  It is an effortless way to entertain kids, old college friends (who are still a little competitive), and those who find it awkward to stand around the dance floor. 

Piñata: Who said the are only for kids? Even adults will get a good laugh out of this one. 

Weddings are always filled with excitement, but it is good to add some flare and veer off the familiar path. Your wedding day will be extra special when you tie in a few extra laughs, collaboration, and some friendly competition. So, don’t hold back, have a ball!

 

 

Hair and Makeup Trends for 2018

From wispy waves to muted lip tones, this year’s hair and makeup trends suggest the 70’s have made a comeback. Now is the time to gather those vintage wedding albums from the basement and take notes!

Hair

Wedding Hair
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The relaxed looked has returned for 2018. Say goodbye to elaborate up-do’s and hairspray, and hello to loose up-do’s and natural waves. You will also see more brides wearing their hair down as they walk down the aisle this year.  This trend is easy, beautiful, and much healthier for your locks.

2018’s effortless trend also makes way for the return of braids and natural head pieces.  Flowers and baby’s breath are a beautiful way that brides are choosing to accessorize their style with natural elegance.

 

Makeup

wedding makeup
Pinterest.com

No need to spends hours applying makeup for your wedding this year.  In fact, for 2018, less is more.  Soft pink lips, and natural eye shadows are more desirable.  If you prefer to make a statement, smoky eyes are still the way to go.  No need to be too elaborate, just a simple dramatization in the corners will do.  Also, toss the blush and apply bronzer instead on your cheeks, chin, and forehead to give a sun-kissed glow and a smooth finish.  Finally, keep the brows full to frame your face.  Over-plucked thin brows are no longer a must.

 

 

Although hair and makeup trends for 2018 welcome a more natural tone, keep in mind that you still want enough style and color to appear flattering in your wedding photos.  Try to avoid colors and styles that will make you look washed-out and up-kept.  Still take time with your look, even though the goal is to appear effortless.  You will be pleased with the results!

 

Choosing Bridesmaids Dresses – What you Should Know for Your Wedding Party

As if shopping for your own wedding gown isn’t exciting enough, you also get the joy of selecting the bridesmaid’s dresses. You may already have some ideas in mind, but here are a few things to contemplate that will also make them smile.

Cost

How much do you think your bridesmaids would be comfortable spending?  Make a selection that is considerate of their wallet and their closet. If they are purchasing a brand new dress, pick one that will also look good for a night out on the town. A dress well suited for other occasions may help your wedding party be more pleased with their investment.

Renting a dress is always an option.  This is a new trend, and a great alternative to forking over a lot of cash on a brand-new designer dress.  Rent the Runway has thousands of options, including accessories, that you can wear at a fraction of the cost.

Color

If you have already chosen your wedding colors, you will want to select bridesmaid’s dresses that compliment your theme as well as their skin tone.  While one color looks dazzling on one, it may not compliment another.  So, try to stick with a safe hues that will help your wedding party look their best.  Options to consider are: turquoise, deep red, hot pink, and emerald green.  But, let your girls be your guide.  If they seem obviously stressed about a particular hue, consider their feelings and steer in another direction when possible.

Style

Now is good time to remember that your bridesmaids don’t have to wear the exact same dress!  If you think that finding a color that suits each one of your bridesmaids is difficult… try finding a style that flatters every figure.  Perhaps, if you are lucky, you have a line-up of women with the same body type. But, chances are, this is not the case. Your safest option is to select a dress you love, then explore other styles are in the same line and color.

If it is a must to have your girls in the same gown, consider an A-line.  This style shows off an hour glass curve with a smooth silhouette. A-lines are also amazing at hiding any curves that do not want to be exposed.

 

The more involved your wedding party is in selecting their dresses, the happier everyone will be.  They want to look their best too, and they know what colors and styles will flatter them best.  The most important thing they will wear by your side at the alter is a smile!

 

 

Your Wedding Dress – To Keep or Donate?

Congratulations on your wedding!  If you have finally tied the knot, you are probably on Cloud 9 and we share in your excitement.  But as you slowly reconnect with your daily life, you may notice your wedding gown displayed beautifully in your closet. We can help you decide what to do with it from here.

To Keep

If you find it hard to part with your dress, we understand.  It’s selection, fitting, and debut were a huge part of your wedding day.  But, leaving it alone to hang in the closet is not best for the fabric.  The first thing you need to do is find a trusting cleaner to remove any stains. Then, move on with its preservation.  Many cleaners can help with this task, but you can also accomplish this at home by carefully folding your gown and placing it in an air tight box and non-acid tissue paper.  Store the box containing your dress in a climate controlled environment. Perhaps, under a bed or a closet shelf is a safe space.

Now that your gown is properly stored, here are some reasons you may be glad to keep it close.

  1. A perfect keepsake. Your wedding dress can help bring back the best memories of the day you made your wedding vows.  You may even want to try it on again one day!
  2. Pass it down. Some mothers are delighted to see a daughter, granddaughter, or niece get married in their very own wedding gown.
  3. Recycle it. You can use your wedding dress in the future to make christening gowns for your children, pillows for special occasions, or even a baby bonnet.
  4. Sell it. Weddings can be costly. But, one way to replenish your costs is to consign your wedding gown. Many brides have found beautiful hand me down dresses and a great price.
To Donate

Donating your dress is another option if you do not have the space or desire to store it. There are some wonderful organizations that are happy to take it off your hands and share it with brides short of resources to purchase a new one.  Here are a few terrific options.

  1. Brides Across America (BAA) is a non-profit organization that gifts gowns to military families & first responders. Learn about BAA here.
  2. Angel Gowns sews wedding dresses into gowns for babies who are unable to come home from the hospital after birth. The gowns are a beautiful way to pay tribute to the infants and families at an incredibly challenging time. Learn about donating to the Angel Gown programs here.
  3. Wish Upon a Wedding helps support brides with life-threatening illnesses make their special wedding wishes come true. Through this charity, brides can have an intimate wedding in a beautiful gown without the stress and worry of extra costs or fittings. Here is how you can help donate to Wish Upon a Wedding.

Even if you can’t decide right away what the best option is for your wedding gown, in time you will be able to make the right decision.

 

Wedding Dates You May Want to Avoid

Choosing your wedding date is probably one of the first items on your checklist.  The day you choose can help set the tone for your event.  But, keep in mind that you want to select a date that is not only special for you and your partner, but one that is feasible for your guests.  Here are some suggestions of dates to avoid.

Major Holidays

Major holidays are commonly shared with close friends and family, and sometimes they create extra days off work. But, vendor and travel costs can be higher, and accommodations may be limited during these busy times. Many families also carry traditions they may not want interrupted.  A few of the major holidays to consider are:

  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving
  • Mother’s Day
  • New Year’s
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Easter
Major Sporting Events

Perhaps if you are a huge sports fan, this is a no brainer. But, if you do not get too excited about major sporting events, here is a list of big dates you may want to steer clear of.

  • Olympics
  • March Madness
  • Super Bowl
  • College Championships
  • US Opens
  • FIFA World Cup
  • Golf Majors
  • NFL Playoffs
Important Family Dates

If someone in your family has a special day, such as an anniversary, milestone birthday, or day of remembrance, you may want to avoid choosing this as your day to tie the knot.  Some may find it rude to request that this special day is shared.  Although it may not seem like a big deal to you, it could cause conflict and grudges.  Your wedding should be a joyful day for you and those around you.

When you pull out the calendar to pick your special day, jot down these dates first to help with your selection. You may not please everyone, but if you keep your close friends and family in mind, your biggest fans will be alongside ready to celebrate!

 

 

Ideas for Your First Dance

Some brides are look forward to their shining moment on the dance floor as a newlywed, and some prefer to keep it simple. Whatever your style may be, here are some ideas to help you choose how to incorporate this time-honored first dance wedding tradition at your reception.

Romantic and Sweet

If your preferred style is simple, select a sweet, romantic ballad and commence the dancing with a special moment alone on the dance floor with your new husband. Wait just a minute or two and invite parents to join in.  Then, open the floor for the rest of your guests to celebrate along with you. A special song that represents your love is an excellent choice for a traditional first dance without the extra flare. Consider songs such as these:

  1. “As Time Goes By,” Dooley Wilson
  2. “When You Say Nothing At All,” Allison Krauss
  3. “Crazy Love,” Van Morrison
The Ballroom Dance

If you and the groom want to steal the show, pick a song that you can partner with a rehearsed ballroom dance routine.  Many local studios are eager to help couples prepare fun numbers for their first dance.  You may even be surprised to learn how talented you are! Consider songs such as these:

  1. “The Best is Yet to Come,” Frank Sinatra
  2. “At Last,” Etta James
  3. “Because You Loved Me,” Celine Dion
Choreographed Routine

If you like to think outside the box, take the choreographed idea to the next level. Choose a hip song and create a unique dance routine.  You have the freedom to show off your moves, be silly and fun, or even tell a story.  Your wedding guests will certainly be entertained and maybe even a little amazed.  Nevertheless, it will be unforgettable. Consider songs such as these:

  1. “Uptown Funk,” Bruno Mars
  2. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” Marvin Gaye
  3. “Happy,” Pharrell Williams

Wedding bands and DJ’s have the library and sound equipment to help you make your first song selection and dance dream into a reality.  Just be you…and let the good times roll!

Ways to Include Children in Your Wedding

Whether you already have children of your own, or just have a favorite niece or nephew that you want included in your ceremony; here are a few ways to make them feel special on your big day.

Give them a distinct role

In weddings past, children have been delighted to take on the role of flower girl or ring bearer, junior bridesmaid or junior groomsman.  These roles are such an honor for children who want to stand up front with the rest of the wedding party.  But, if you want an alternative yet active role, allow them to assist with the lighting of your unity candles. If there is a circumstance where you, the bride, has a son; allow him the honor of walking you down the aisle to give you away to the groom.

Entertainment

Nothing creates more laughter and joy than children performing, and they love the attention!  Have them prepare a choreographed dance and perform it at your reception to kickstart the festivities. They can also sing a special song, give a musical performance, or show off any other talent they want to honor you with. Children can also prepare a toast or tell a memorable story they find worth sharing.

Little photographers

Consider giving the little guys a handful disposable cameras and turn them loose. You will be delighted to see your wedding reception from a unique perspective.  They will find humor and fun in places you may not even look!  Tell them to hit every table and move through the dance floor capturing all the moments they find well-meaning.  Compare these photos with your professional album and see how they relate!

Ushers

Your guest will be flattered to let a little usher escort them down the aisle to their seats.  If this is a role you allow, make sure they have plenty of practice before the ceremony. Help them to become acquainted with the seating arrangements you have prepared and show plenty of grace when they need assistance.

Allowing children to take part of your wedding ceremony will give you more than great photo opportunities, it will make them feel significant on this important day.  It will also keep them busy preparing for their big debut!

 

Personalized Wedding Cake Ideas

You don’t want just any wedding cake, you want a special and personalized wedding cake.  And, you may be delighted to know this endeavor can be quite simple to create.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Cake Toppers

You can go big or small.  But, gone are the days of the petite plastic couple.

Personalized Wedding Cake Toppers
Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personalized Script

Take the style of your invitations, napkins, and place cards one step further.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos

Since you already tossed that petite plastic couple…that may or may not mimic you and the groom.  This is the perfect place to add a picture of you.

Personalized Wedding Cake Photos
Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Your Personality

Let your personality and interests shine through.

Personalized Cake Personality
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A Touch of Humor

Have a little fun on your big day with a good laugh.

Personalized Cake Humore
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Adding a finishing touch to your wedding cake is an exceptional way to show your style and character.  Be romantic or have fun with it.  This small detail can speak volumes.