Planning Your Memorable Wedding You have finally said, "Yes." This is the start of your life as a couple. And prior to that much-awaited big day, you, both the bride and groom have so many decisions to make and wedding-related tasks to complete. Preparing for your wedding day need not be stressful. On the other had, it should be fun and memorable. And to do this, start off by putting together a wedding timetable. A short list of wedding-related tasks as well as a rough estimate of when the activities should be done follows. It presents tips and guidelines to keep you organized and help you think of all the matters that you must take into consideration in the course of planning for your big day. Of course, these are mere suggestions. All activities and schedule are still up to the couple to decide on depending on their priorities. At the Time of the Engagement ----------------------------- - You must tell your parents the happy news as soon as possible that is if they don't already know. If you were having an engagement party, it would be good to keep your close friends and relatives in the know, too. - An organizer would be best to have in handy. This will help you keep track of all the appointments, payments and other wedding-related activities that you must attend to. - Have your engagement photo taken. This would be nice to have as a keepsake of this wonderful occasion. 6 to 12 Months In Advance Before the Big Day -------------------------------------------- - The couple should have already picked and decided on the wedding date. Do the reservation for the venue where the ceremony and reception is to be held. - Set an appointment with the wedding officiant. - Establish a budget for the wedding, and try as much as possible to stick to it. - Prepare a wedding guest list. You wouldn't want to leave somebody uninvited unintentionally. - Look around for a photographer, florists, musicians, and a caterer. Obtain estimates for these services. - Register at the bridal gift registry. - Pick a wedding dress and accessories to go with it. If you are having a seamstress make you one, this is the time to have it arranged. Several fittings may be required for this. - For the bride, select your bridesmaids. Set a date for ordering dresses for them. 4 to 6 Months In Advance Before the Big Day ------------------------------------------- - Have the invitations, stationeries, and thank you notes ordered. - The photographer, florist, musician, and caterer should have already been chosen. Go over details with each of these services to make sure that everything is as agreed upon. - For the groom, select attire. - Honeymoon reservations should be made already at this point. - Confirm the delivery of the bridal gown. 2 Months In Advance Before the Big Day -------------------------------------- - Plan your rehearsal dinner. - If you are having out-of-town attendants, arrange for their lodging. - Make an appointment with your chosen photographer for the shooting of the bridal portrait. - Order the wedding cake. 1 Month In Advance Before the Big Day ------------------------------------- - The couple should decide on a wedding band set. - Mail the invitations. - Check the apparel for the wedding party. - The couple attends showers. 2 Weeks Before the Wedding -------------------------- - It is time to apply for marriage license and attend to other legal matters, especially for the bride -- name and address changes on bank accounts and other official documents. - Plan a wedding hairstyle and make-up with your stylist. - Check with the caterer and the reception venue for last minute changes. 1 Week Before the Wedding ------------------------- - Do your honeymoon packing. - Wrap gifts for the groom and attendants. - Schedule the wedding rehearsal. - Remind the wedding party of the exact time and place for the occasion. On Wedding Day -------------- - Take breakfast! Fainting on the aisle wouldn't be cool. - Have your hair and make-up done. - Shake off all your wedding details worries and enjoy your day. Weddings: Some Odd Traditions "And for the rest of their lives, the man and woman shall be together." Doesn't it sound romantic? For the man and the woman to leave their families to be as one, to form a new family? It has been like this from time immemorial. And throughout the millennia, the concept of family and marriage have been so closely knotted together that it is sometimes impossible to separate one from the other. Marriage is present in every culture in some form. Although the laws, norms, and cultures may differ, they all still recognize the union of man and woman under one roof. Marriage has evolved in so many ways from the different cultures all throughout the world throughout the ages. For each culture, there are diverse ways of celebrating something like marriage. But in each culture, there has always been one thing that has remained the same -- that in every culture, and every tribe, marriage has always been one to be celebrated with the utmost of festivities, with singing, eating, and celebrating. Along with these festivities, man has also adopted a growing, and evolving number of traditions each filled with meaning and -- believe it or not -- shocking origins. How to Plan for a Wedding Planning for a wedding is not an easy task. It could be an extremely stressful, and trying time, especially as the big day approaches. When couples worry about coordinating all of the details of the wedding, just to make sure everything goes according to plan. Probably, one of the most important details of the wedding that a couple has to decide on is the actual date of the wedding. This is usually the detail that is taken care of first. Factors in choosing a date include: the availability of the venue where the wedding will take place. Availability of friends and family on the assigned date. Some venues where weddings are held offer discounts on days when traditionally, weddings are not held. Also, the time the wedding takes place also become a factor in the expense. For example, mornings, and afternoon receptions are somewhat more cheaper that receptions held at nighttime. It is also advisable to set a budget, even before a couple start to make plans. This way they'd be able to organize the details according to the budget they could afford. Once you've done this, you can now choose a venue for the wedding. Some places offer discounts, depending on the time of year. Just after the holidays, would be a good time to hold a wedding, if you are considering the cost. This time is not considered a 'peak time', therefore the price tend to be less expensive. For couples who are about to get married, it is important to talk about the size of wedding they both have in mind. The dream wedding of one person might not be that of the other. So it is necessary for couples to discuss details regarding the arrangement of the wedding, such as: the location of the venue/reception, the number of people who get invited to the wedding reception, and the choice of entertainment. It is important to reach an agreement pertaining to the guest list and the entourage. Whether you want to keep the wedding an intimate affair, in which case the bride and groom will just invite their family and friends; or maybe, they'd want to make this affair, into the wedding of the century. In which case, the bride and groom get to invite the whole neighborhood, long lost relatives, high school buddies, etc., in addition to their friends and family. When making the guest list, consider the space capacity of your chosen venue. Hire a professional to capture this momentous occasion. Sure you friends can take good pictures, and most of them own a camcorder. But for this special occasion, you would want something special, lasting, and visually presentable. So you'd have something to remember this occasion by. This way you could also share them with your friends and family. Don't forget the cake! It's best to have a tasting first, before settling on a cake. Invite your family and friends, for the cake tasting. This way, this task becomes fun for everyone! Order wedding invitations. If you want to get creative, you can always print your own invites. This way, you can customize them, and add a more personal touch to the invitation. Don't forget to start looking for a wedding gown months before the wedding. This way, the bride has plenty of time to make a selection. Also, the groom should make arrangement to rent or buy a tuxedo, preferably in advance also. Just in case you encounter some trouble with the fitting, you'd have some time to make other arrangements. Couples who don't have enough time on their hands, or just find the preparations that go into planning a wedding too overwhelming, can always just hire a wedding planner! This way, everything gets organized and coordinated for them. The Advantages of a Wedding Planner Have you ever wondered why Jennifer Lopez had made such a great impact on her movie, "The Wedding Planner?" This is because most people, after watching the film, had finally realized the importance of hiring a wedding planner. Long before, most couples are having second thoughts on the idea of hiring a wedding planner. They have doubts if hiring the services of a wedding planner is really worth their money, especially those who are in a tight budget. Basically, hiring the services of a wedding planner is actually a matter of choice and personal preference. If you think that you and your fiance can handle most of the wedding planning without any burden, then, go on with your plans. But if you think that doing all the planning from the very beginning is already tedious, then, it is time for you to hire the services of a wedding planner. Basically, a wedding planner is someone who is adept and knowledgeable when it comes to wedding plans. Wedding planners have already established their contacts with many businesses that are important in the wedding such as flower arrangers, caterers, venues, etc. So, for most people who are not yet aware the benefits they can derive from hiring a wedding planner, here are some facts that you need to know: 1. Hiring a wedding planner will save you time. Planning a wedding can be a daunting task. It can even be more tedious if the person who plans the wedding is a participant also like the bride or the groom. It can be really difficult to have an open mind especially with all the jitters and everything. Moreover, planning a wedding does not happen overnight. Usually, it would take you 200 to 300 hours of planning, thinking, and brainstorming. Hence, to save you time and effort, it is best to hire the services of a wedding planner. 2. More savings Many people contend that the reason why they do not hire a wedding planner is that it will be an additional cost on their part. What they do not know is that hiring the services of a wedding planner can actually save you more money because most of the wedding planners have already established solid contacts with some of the common wedding businesses like flower arrangers, venues, and the like. Therefore, discounts are more likely to happen because they have their own connections already. 3. Organized planning With wedding planners, weddings can be more organized because most wedding planners are very particular from the biggest down to the last details of the wedding. After all, it is their job so they know what should be done best. Moreover, wedding planners have actual timeline that they follow in order to have all the details be ready on time or even way ahead of time, leaving all the last-minute changes behind. 4. The decisions are still yours With wedding planners, the decisions are still with the couple. The wedding planner will just guide, render some suggestions, and assist the couple in making the decision. Hence, the couple will be able to, still, have their own style and preference with regards to the planning of their wedding. 5. Confidence boosters One of the best things about wedding planners is that they act as confidence boosters for the bride and the groom. We all know how jittery and edgy wedding couples can be especially if they are in a rush or having trouble finding the perfect item for their wedding. But wedding planner, they will be more at ease and more confident that their wedding will be perfect because they know that they have laid the details of their wedding upon the hands of a professional. Indeed, there could be no better person who really knows the ins and outs of wedding planning more than what the wedding planner can do. So, for great weddings, it is best to hire the services of a wedding planner. The Wedding Cake Today's tall, elaborated, and delicately crafted wedding cakes evolved from the simple grooms-cakes made by family members for the bride. Before the wedding day, one of theses cakes was put under the pillow of the bride. The bride would then sleep and "dream" of the groom, and yes, squish that cake into oblivion. The real wedding cake would be a pound cake that would be "pound up" and crumbled and tossed at the couple as a sign of fertility. That is where we get today's custom of sprinkling the couple with rice after the wedding. Cakes during weddings are usually stacked up in large layers. The higher the stack, the more 'glamorous' the cake. People usually regard these arrangements are mere style. However, they were done so in the past as a symbol of fertility. Couples would stack these cakes to symbolize how many children the wished to have. So in the past, the higher the stack, the more the children. Tying the Knot Now the truth can be told. Tying the knot did not necessarily mean getting knotted together. During ancient tribal times, the bride would usually be wrapped in a sheep with a knot out in front. This was to symbolize virginity. 'Untying the knot' was the groom's privilege after the wedding the night. Best Man -- Secret Agent And startling enough, the best man used to play a different role in the early days. During tribal times, it was the best man's duty to abduct potential brides from other tribes. He would usually do so by clubbing the poor damsel over the head and drag her back home -- just like those comic skits about cavemen seem to suggest. It was also the best man's job to ward off the angry relatives of the bride. So in the early days, it was the best man swinging his axe while the groom got hitched. Today Although we are a little less barbaric than earlier times, we still see an evolution of the wedding ceremony and its tradition. These traditions are filled with meaning and can only serve to make your wedding day more memorable. Say Your Own Vows -- Personalized Wedding Vows Your wedding is your own. And in today's society, people have been constantly scouring every book for any way to make their wedding as personal and as unique as possible. One way to do this is to whip up your own wedding vows. Traditionally, couples to be wed do not have much of a say in what goes into many of the words spoken during the wedding ceremony. Today, it is increasingly getting easier to personalize and influence what is said during the ceremony -- within reasonable bounds, though. If you desire to make your wedding vows unique and personal, you are not alone. Many other couples incorporate feelings, and intimate messages into their wedding vows. It has an added effect of making your wedding more touching, dramatic, and memorable. Talk with the Officiant Ahead of Time If you would like to personalize your wedding vows, first notify your Officiant to find out the legalities, guidelines and rules in drafting your own wedding vows. He or she will typically give pointers and examples to help you draw up your own vows. Furthermore, the Officiant will inform you of the parts of the vow that are expected to be said. The Topic It may include promises, such as "I will swear upon my life to do : " or it may be heartfelt messages for each other, or even hopes for each other plans for the future and such. You may also opt to create a mixture of each to spice up your wedding vows. Although norms vary from culture to culture, as a general rule, the wedding vow should not take too long to recite. Keep it concise yet meaningful. Remember, you will have to recite this, and long recitations tend to make the memory suffer. Make it Official After creating a draft of the vows you wish to exchange, it would do well to meet up with the Officiant again and show him a draft of your vows. Although in the end, it is ultimately your decision that is followed, do take heed of the Officiant's advice, as it is usually sound and has been honed by experience. Practice It is a good idea to practice your vows before the wedding. Although there is no rule against reading vows, a thoroughly practiced, heartfelt rendition of the vow will definitely make a lasting impact on your partner and the people witnessing the ceremony. As mentioned earlier, avoid overly long vows as they tend to be less remembered and are harder to memorize, not to mention quite inconvenient to others. You may do so, however, if you feel the need is justified. The Performance When reciting your vows during the wedding, always keep calm. People who are tense tend to speak to fast, and since the wedding vow is a very important part of the wedding, you will want to take your time in the spotlight. Loosen up, so that in case you forget a line or two during the exchange of vows, you will at least be able to bounce back with something from your heart. If you desire so, you may also keep a written version of you vows with you. You might want to read it surreptitiously though. Good luck on your wedding, and may the sweet words you utter during the exchange of vows never lose their meaning for rest of your days! Choosing the perfect wedding venue You've found the perfect groom. You've bought the perfect dress. You're expecting a perfect wedding. Now all you need is the perfect wedding venue. Having a perfect wedding relies largely on having a perfect venue. That's why you should treat finding a wedding venue as if you are buying a new house. It is, after all, where you will receive and treat your friends and relatives in probably the most memorable night of your life. Here are some tips to help you search for that perfect wedding venue. * Trust your instincts. As soon as you arrive in a particular venue you will automatically have a certain feeling towards it. You have to trust your instinct. If you feel a certain positive vibration to the venue then that's a good start. In the same way, you will know automatically if a certain venue is not right for you and your wedding. This doesn't mean though that you should not be logical in choosing a wedding venue. It's the place where you will exchange vows with the man you love so it has to feel right. * Take your time. Don't ever rush in choosing the perfect wedding venue. A wedding is a very important event so take time to get the venue right. Ideally, you should start looking for a venue at least a year before the wedding date. This would give you enough time to make the right decisions and change the venue in case anything happens. * Consider the size. The size of the venue is a very important consideration. If the venue is too small, the wedding will loose its intimacy. If it's too big, it will be cramped and uncomfortable. The size of your wedding will depend of course on the number of your guests. So before looking for a wedding you must at least have a rough idea of how many guests you will be planning to invite. Be as precise as possible. You cannot say that you're planning to invite from 200 to 500 guests. The 300 person difference would matter a lot in terms of the venue size. You must also leave ample space for the dance area. The more guests you have, the larger space you need to allot for the dance area. * Check the parking space. One of the complaints of people who have attended weddings is the lack of parking space. Be sure that the wedding venue you will choose has ample space for all of your guests. Parking may be a minor consideration but it can spell the difference between a happy guest and a dissatisfied one. * Know the restrictions of the venue. Be sure to ask about the restrictions of a wedding venue if there are any. There may be restrictions about noise so you might not be able to employ a band or even a sound system. Some venues have time restrictions while some would allow you to party all night long. There are even venues with decorations restrictions. Check if the wedding venue would allow you to bring your own caterer, florist, decorator, etc because there are venues that have preferred contractors and suppliers. * Draw a layout of your wedding. Have a layout of your wedding. Before choosing a wedding venue, you must already have a layout (either on your mind or drawn into paper) of your wedding. You must know where you want gusts to sit, the reception area, the dining area, etc. Then check if the venue fits your layout. Tips When Doing Wedding Toasts Wedding toasts perform an essential role during the wedding celebration. The wedding toast serves as a link between the formal wedding ceremonies and the less formal atmosphere of the wedding reception. The wedding toast also allows some members of the family, relatives and closest friends to express their feelings and to wish the couple well. Having toasts started from the belief that creating some noise, such as ringing a bell, in this case, the clinking of a glass, can cast away evil spirits. The wedding toast may follow a traditional or a non-traditional order. In the traditional order, the first toast is the toast to the bride or the toast to the bride and groom. This is done by the best man, a relative or a friend. The groom then responds with a message to his bride, the person who made the toast, the couple's parents and a toast to the bridesmaids. The best will then respond to thank the groom on behalf of the bridesmaids. At times, if the bride has spoken after the groom, the best man will thank the bridesmaids. A close friend or relative may then follow with another toast. After this, the father of the bride thanks the guests on behalf of his wife and himself, and announces that they can begin with the celebration. The non-traditional toast is done to do something different from the tradition. The order may be changed to suit the guests and the occasion. The emcee proposes the first toast for the couple. The groom then thanks the emcee and the guests and toasts to his bride. The bride thanks her groom and the guests and proposes a toast to her parents and her in-laws. At times, a special toast may be done for her in-laws. The father of the bride thanks the bride for the toast, thanks the guests for attending and announces that the celebration may begin. At times, the emcee may propose a toast to the bridesmaids, after which the maid of honor may respond with thanks or propose another toast. The emcee may introduce guests who will propose their toasts, and announce the beginning of the celebration. Here are some tips when proposing a toast. * The bride should be served the beverage first, followed by the groom, the maid of honor, the parents and then the best man. * The toast can be done with a sip of wine, champagne or a non-alcoholic drink except coffee, tea and water. * If you will propose the first toast, make sure that not only your glass, but also all the other glasses are filled before you start speaking. * When proposing a toast, raise your glass with your right hand. The glass should be held in a straight line from the shoulder. * It is better to compose your own wedding toast. However, if you cannot write a good one, you can try traditional wedding toast but make sure to personalize it to include your feelings and thoughts about the bride and groom. * Always remember to end a toast with an invitation to the guests to join you and something that tells them what to say in response. These are some things that one should remember when proposing a wedding toast. On the other hand, if you received a toast, you do not raise your glass, stand, nor sip your drink. You just thank the toasters and although you are not required, you may propose another toast. The Important Factor in a Wedding Speech In any speaking engagement, one of the most important factor (and the most neglected, too) is the audience. People are so worried about the speech itself that they tend to forget the real factor that will affect the whole execution of the speech. There are many kinds of speeches and one of them is the wedding speech. It is that part of the weeding that everybody is so excited to hear. In a wedding, there are three primary wedding speeches that will be heard. The first one will be coming from the bride's father. This is usually the most emotional speech and the most unforgettable one. It becomes so touchy when the father includes in his speech how he is endorsing his daughter to his husband. The second part of the wedding speech is the groom's speech. Here, he will thank his parents for all the love and care. He will also thank all those who made the celebration possible and memorable. And last is the best man's speech. Usually, this type of wedding speech is the most enlightening one because it entails the lighter side of the event. The best man will tell stories about the groom and his crazy antics. Of all these wedding speeches, the audience should be the primary factor that should be considered when making the wedding speech. Through the analysis of the audience, the speaker will be able to identify which things that should be said and which things that should be left out. In most cases, the most common misconception of most wedding speakers about wedding speeches is that they thought that they are speaking before the bride and the groom only, which should not be the case. The wedding speech should be delivered to the whole guests. In fact, the impression most wedding speakers make would reflect back to the bride and groom. For example, if you are to make a wedding speech and you have thought of including some jokes that you think would make the couple happy, try to think of the audience first if it will make them happy too. There may be instances wherein your joke will not amuse the elderly ones who will be present at the wedding. Problems and conflicts may happen just because of the wedding speech you have made. So, it is extremely important to make a speech that will focus on the general interest of the audience and not centered on the bride and groom or to your own judgment of what you think would be funny and okay. Another misconception that wedding speakers usually make is that they tend to think that wedding speeches are not all worth the trouble. That is why most of them would not make a speech that is well-thought of, with words that are carefully chosen, and the idea creatively generated to come up with a good speech. Usually, they would make a speech that they think will do for the time being. Just to get over it, they would just think of mentioning some stories and that is it. What matters most in a wedding speech is the reaction and impression that the audience will have on your wedding speech. Just like the way you want to talk to your boss or your colleague and consider their feelings and principles is also the same way you should be delivering your speech. You should also consider the audience's feelings and beliefs. Moreover, you should know how to identify with the audience. Through identification you will be able to come up with a wedding speech wherein the audience can relate to whatever stories or information that you will be telling them. So, now you know how important wedding speeches can be, it is important to take note of the most important factor before making a wedding speech -- the audience. And because wedding speeches are important part of the wedding, it should never be taken for granted. Wedding songs to celebrate the day Wedding songs play a vital role throughout the entire wedding day. Wedding songs help create the mood and ambience of the day from start to end. Choosing the right wedding songs can also help accentuate the emotional significance of the occasion for a more memorable celebration. In earlier years many weddings showcased traditional wedding songs. However, nowadays there is no limit to the type of wedding songs that couples can choose to play on their wedding day. Selecting wedding songs is also one of the fun things that couples can do to prepare for their wedding day. Most couples prefer choosing wedding songs that have a significant meaning to them in order to create a more unique and personal atmosphere for their wedding day. A song that was played on their first date or songs of the couple's favorite artist are typical selections for wedding songs of many couples. Things to remember when selecting wedding songs When selecting wedding songs, it is important to take into consideration the venue for the ceremony. Most wedding ceremonies often take place in a church, couples should first check with the minister if there are any restrictions to the type of wedding songs that can be played. Some churches have concerns regarding the kind of wedding songs that should be played during the sacrament of matrimony. Other venues may not have a strict policy regarding the variety of wedding songs to be played. However it is still a good idea to choose wedding songs for the ceremony that would not turn the occasion into a comedy act. It is best to reserve the entertaining wedding songs for the reception where everyone can cut loose to the music. Another important factor to consider is the selection of the band or DJ who will play the wedding songs during the reception. Couples with a more traditional wedding theme may opt for a classical ensemble to perform wedding songs at their reception. For an intimate gathering a solo pianist, flute trio or string quartet serve as an ideal choice to play classical wedding songs. For a more contemporary wedding theme, there are a number of professional bands that cater specifically to wedding receptions. Couples can also choose to hire a DJ to play wedding songs at the reception. Planning the wedding songs Couples need to select a number of wedding songs for different parts of the wedding. There are essentially six parts of the wedding ceremony that would require music. The type of wedding songs for the prelude music is used to welcome family and friends to the ceremony. Happy and festive wedding songs can help set the tone for the entire wedding day. Wedding songs for the processional of the wedding party marks the start of the ceremony. The songs are meant to usher in the wedding party and to prepare the guests for the entrance of the bride. The bride's processional is the critical moment of the ceremony. Though many would opt for the traditional bridal march, it is also a good idea to select different wedding songs that can make it more memorable. The interludes are the various moments during the ceremony wherein a number of wedding songs can help enhance the overwhelming emotion of the occasion. Wedding songs during the recessional should be festive to celebrate the official union of the couple. The postlude wedding songs are meant to create a pleasant atmosphere to thank guests for coming to the ceremony. Wedding Shoes, buying and preparation A bride should be blooming and perfect, just like the wedding and the wedding day, and for a perfect bride, there should be perfect wedding shoes. To help you in buying the perfect pair here is a guide that you can follow to buy that perfect pair for that very special day. Choosing a color There are different shades of white, diamond white, pearl white, satin white, etc. If you're all for a traditional wedding you can have white, but if you're one of the radials who like colorful gowns instead of plain white ones, you can still match the color of your shoes to your gown. Style Aside from color, style should be your next priority, your shoes should fit the occasion and the place, and if you have a garden wedding or a beach wedding it's not advisable to wear stilettos. For an evening event, you can use strappy evening sandals. Remember both shoe and dress need not be fancy, quite the opposite, wear fancy shoes for a simple dress and simple shoes for an extravagant dress, so that they sort of balance each other. Comfort Now after choosing the style and color, you must try your shoes on, remember you'd be wearing your shoes for the whole day, and maybe on the reception as well, you'd be expected to be in those shoes for more than four hours, and during the reception, might be asked to dance in them, you don't want to get blisters on your special day so make sure that your shoes a re comfortable. Also, buy shoes towards the end of the day. The foot expands during the course of the day and you want to buy shoes when your feet are at its largest size. * Tip: Wear your shoes inside the house before the wedding, do this until you can wear your shoes for 4-5 hours without hurting, this'll make sure that the shoes are soft and comfortable on your wedding day, just don't wear them outside. Your dress and your shoes Fabric Wedding shoes should also match your dress, the type of fabric for your shoes is usually determined by the type of fabric of the hem of your gown. Wear satin shoes for shiny fabrics and lacy shoes for a lacy gown. You can also use crepe shoes for fabrics that have a matte finish. Details If you want details on your shoes like crystals or rhinestones, make sure that the color , sheen and style match those of your dress, don't wear bejeweled shoes on a gown that doesn't have a single bit of crystal on it or you'll look like an upside down lampshade when the lights hit you. Extra shoes If you think that your dancing shoes should be different than your actual wedding shoes, and you'd want an extra one, make sure that the heels of your extra shoes match those of your actual shoes so that your gown doesn't look too short or too long when you wear them. Alterations Remember to bring your shoes with you when you're getting your dress made or altered, this'll make sure that the length of your gown matches the heels of your shoes, you won't want your dress to drag or to look like its too short don't you? Choosing A Perfect Wedding Ring The big day has been set, and now you have tons of wedding preparations to attend to -- preparing the guest list, looking for a caterer, shopping for the perfect wedding dress, and a lot more. All of these are essential in putting together a memorable wedding, so remember to have all these on your wedding checklist. Also do remember to include on the top of your checklist, "choosing a perfect wedding ring." Selecting a wedding ring is not as easy as it looks. It requires much thought, too. After all, it is the wedding band that binds the couple together and will be worn by the bride and groom for their entire married life, and therefore must be something that they would not get tired of wearing. Most important when choosing a wedding ring set is to decide on a budget. The couple should consider how much they could afford to spend for the wedding rings. Based on this budget that the couple have in mind, decide on the material they want their wedding bands to be made of. The materials from which wedding rings can be made of have evolved through the years. However, the most popular are still those made from classic 14K or 18K yellow gold. Gold rings remain to be very popular both for wedding and engagement. Wedding rings made from white gold are also gaining popularity, it being very stylish-looking and exuding a very modern aura. Also, white gold goes well with other silver and platinum jewelry, as well as with most clothing fabric. Platinum being one of the hardest metals is also a very suitable material for a wedding ring. For one, it is very durable and therefore will endure wear and tear for a very long time. Platinum wedding rings may also be a symbol for enduring love that is if couple wanted a romantic twist in picking a wedding ring. Platinum rings looking very similar with rings made of white gold looks very stylish and elegant. However, platinum wedding rings are the most expensive, but if the couple considers the fact that it is something that will last them a lifetime, then the cost probably would not really matter. Titanium is a popular material especially for wedding rings for men. It is light, long lasting, and is not as expensive as platinum. Titanium wedding rings are similar to white gold rings in appearance. The only different is that titanium wedding rings are so light you can hardly feel it when worn on your finger. As for the wedding ring style to choose, there are the traditional plain bands, the more elaborate ones with beaded edges. There are also the modern designs of two-tone wedding bands. The Celtic wedding rings engraved with ancient knot work are also hot these days. Solitaire rings with a precious stone are also classic designs for wedding bands. Often times, the bride may want to match her wedding ring with the engagement ring. Of course, this is also something that has to be taken into consideration, especially is she wants to wear both rings on the same hand. In choosing for a wedding ring, foremost consider your budget and then decide on the material. Also, having to wear your wedding bands for a really long time, it is also worth considering choosing something that would best work with your clothes and the other jewelry you usually wear. Above all, choose a wedding ring that you will be most comfortable in wearing. Good luck on your wedding ring shopping! Wedding Rings: What To Look For Wedding rings have long been a part of the tradition of marriage. The highlight of every wedding ceremony, wedding rings represent a couple's promise of remaining faithful and loyal to each other all the time of their lives. The use of wedding rings date as far back as the time of ancient Egypt, when Egyptians create rings from reeds (and other plants that grow on the Nile River) for couples to exchange, symbolizing their never-ending love for each other. Today, conventional forms of wedding rings are those that consist of precious metals that are usually worn on the ring finger (the 4th finger) of the left hand. This practice stemmed out from the belief of the "hand-heart connection" -- that a vein of blood from the 4th finger of the left hand goes directly to the heart. Medical science, however, has already refuted this claim with their discovery of how the circulatory system works, and although the tradition of wearing the ring on the 4th finger of the left hand still prevails, some people now prefers to wear their wedding rings on their right hand. Because wedding rings are the ultimate symbol of lifelong love and commitment, it is important that you choose rings of a high quality -- one that will last for a long time (perhaps as enduring as your marriage!) Below are some factors to consider when buying wedding rings: 1. Establish your budget. Going into a jewelry store with the idea of how much you are willing to spend (and how much you can actually spend) for your wedding rings will save you a lot of time. 2. Choose the material. There are numerous wedding ring materials for you to choose from. Some of them are the following: * Gold -- considered as the most traditional wedding ring material, gold comes in a variety of color (yellow gold, pink gold, white gold, green gold) and quality (14k, 18k, and 24k). * Platinum -- considered as one of the finest, purest, and rarest precious metals. One of the strongest, heaviest, and the most enduring of all metals, wedding rings made of platinum is ideal to wear everyday because it is hypoallergenic, it resists tarnish, and it shows little wear. It is, however, more expensive than gold. * Diamonds -- the hardest substance known to man, diamonds are considered as one of the most luxurious and sought-after gem and wedding ring material, with its beauty, purity and durability symbolizing long-lasting love. Note that the value of a diamond is determined by the 4 Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat weight. Other materials that are used for wedding rings include metals such as titanium, tungsten carbide, and nickel silver; and precious gems such as ruby, sapphire, emerald, and topaz. 3. Choose the style. Wedding rings also come in different styles and designs, such as the following: * Celtic/Irish design wedding rings * Antique and vintage rings * Designer wedding rings * Custom wedding bands * Traditional plain bands * Beaded edges * Engraved rings * Matching rings * Tattoed wedding rings Depending on your personal preference, your wedding ring should be in a design and style that is comfortable to wear and one that will reflect your personality. 4. Browse stores. Find the best deals by looking around the different jewelry stores to compare the different styles and prices that they offer. 5. Consult an expert. Seek advice from a jeweler with a good reputation who can help you find the perfect wedding ring. Wedding rings are not merely pieces of jewelry. They are significant symbols of a couple's love and commitment for each other, so be sure to find a wedding ring that you can treasure forever. Wedding Programs: What To Look For A wedding ceremony marks the beginning of a marriage, and a couple's life together. Wedding ceremonies may be a civil or religious rite that can take place anywhere -- at a church, in the gardens, at the beach, or at the city hall. Modern-day weddings can now also take place in the Internet (what is known as "Online Wedding). From the bride's march down the aisle to the wedding reception, there are a number of wedding traditions and aspects that make a wedding ceremony special. It is important that the couple 'include' their guests and the people around them in the celebration by guiding and informing them of what is happening at any given time. This is made possible by wedding ceremony programs. A wedding program (also called church programs, ceremony programs, or "The Order of Woship") is a personalized guidebook for the guests in a wedding. Essentially similar to that of a program at a theater play, wedding programs serve the following purposes: They serve as a record of the wedding ceremony, providing guests with the order and details of the events that will happen in the ceremony. * They help guests understand what is happening, making them feel included. * They introduce and honor the bridal party, the sponsors, and the other people who are participating in the ceremony. * They serve as a beautiful and sentimental souvenir for everyone, which can be included in the couple's scrapbook. While a wedding program is not a strict requirement to have, but it certainly adds a unique and personal touch to any wedding ceremony. A wedding program can also be essential in the following cases: * A wedding that is inter-cultural and no one understands the ceremony. * A wedding with a number of guests from another faith or culture. * A wedding so large that guests may not know the bridal party. * A wedding that is particularly long and time-consuming. * A wedding that involves so many people that the couple would like to thank and pay tribute to. A wedding program is generally broken down into 3 sections, with the additional detailed information listed below: 1. Introduction * Names of the couple * Wedding date * Time and place of the service. 2. Event or Ceremony Order * Greetings * Poetry * Reading * Exchange of vows * Explanations of special religiuos rituals (such as the ring ceremony, unity candle ceremony, and pronouncement of marriage) * Titles of the ceremony music to be played (including the names of the musicians, soloists, or readers) 3. Acknowledgement or Wedding Party * Names of the members of the bridal party * Name of the priest or officiant who will perform the ceremony * Memorials, tributes or homages to someone who has passed away * Thank-you notes and dedications to the parents and to people who gave support to the couple (and to the wedding) * The couple's special message to their wedding guests * Directions to the reception Wedding programs are usually ordered from the same printer who does the wedding invitations. Other couples, however, opt to do their wedding programs on their own -- it gives a couple a chance to be more flexible and creative while saving money. Wedding programs are one of the little details that make such a big day extra special. Ordered ready-made or done personally, a wedding program can be made unique by the expressive feelings of love and joy that it conveys. Add more romance with wedding poetry Wedding poetry has been used to spice up any ceremony. It is amazing how poetry's play of words effectively translate the heart's language. This is basically the reason why poetry reading is a standard activity in wedding activities. Poetries are usually used a part of wedding vows, activity programs, ceremonial weddings, speeches and toasts. There are limitless selections of wedding poetries you can choose from for that big day. You can just grab some snippets from a longer poem or get a shorter one and entirely use it with modifications. Popular poetries are those written by George Sand, Thomas Moore, Kahlil Gibran or Shakespeare. There are other contemporary writers having the same passion that are eminent in traditional poetries. Just by surfing on the internet, you can find poetries that can be used for wedding ceremonies that are submitted by ordinary people. These contributors are simply inspired by love and their poems are very well written too. If you feel you do not relate with any of published works or submitted poems, you can go ahead and create one or hire a personalized wedding poetry vendor. The interne is a portal to find one. A phone interview or an online conference will be conducted by the vendor. This will be used as a reference for his writing. It is recommended that both the bride and groom will attend the interview. Looking for poetry provider is not a hard job. You can ask your wedding coordinators, the head of your clergy for recommendations. You might even have a friend or a family member who can write real well. Professional wedding poem providers may charge as high as a hundred dollars. Compare prices and sample works of at least three vendors. This way you can weight your options and select the best vendor with a reasonable price. Pick the one you are comfortable in dealing with. Give the provider ample time to complete the poem, a good one would take time. Be sure to order around six months or so before the wedding. In personalizing poetry consider the type of ceremony you will be having. A formal event might need elegant and romantic poems while you can add on some humor if it is an informal one. Poems used in wedding toasts must definitely have a lighter note to it. Take note of the mood that you wanted to project. It is important to know your guests and the person who would read the poem. Poetries along with a good musical background can truly set that romantic atmosphere in any weddings. Through poetry reading you can express your deepest emotions of love and hopes. You can either read your chosen prime poetry during the ceremony itself or during the reception. Tell every one of your joy and contentment of finding your true love by scribbling wedding poetries on invitations. Another option will be to print out a line or two of you favorite poem on your wedding souvenir. Poetry verses can come along with your photograph, the celebrant's name, date of your wedding and your message. Poetry compliments that romantic atmosphere in any weddings. It can surely add magic on your wedding day. A well rehearsed and a well written poetry can make your partner's feet weak and make your heart jump a mile. Nothing can truly beat something that comes from the heart. Poetry as Important Part of the Wedding Poems, for such a long time, have been used to express one's feelings and emotions and to record events and thoughts in an artistic form. Reading poems during a wedding can enhance the beauty of the event. The wedding poem may be composed and be read by a member of the family as a gift to the groom and bride. However, not many have good skills in writing that poem writing for weddings may also be entrusted to professional wedding writers. Even if the task of writing the wedding poem has been delegated to an experienced wedding poem writer, the groom and the bride or a member of the family should choose the wedding poem writer carefully and coordinate with the writer as often as possible. Choosing the wedding poetry writer should take place after the sites for the wedding and reception have been confirmed. This is necessary because some of the sites details may be included in the poem that this should be supplied to the wedding poetry writer as soon as possible. Also, consider the site for the wedding rites. Some religious institutions do not allow alterations with the wedding rites such as including reading poetry during the ceremony. Therefore, in this case, wedding poetry reading should be done during the reception. The wedding poetry should represent the groom and the bride and should go well with the theme of the wedding. The wedding poem may also be printed in the program and may also be given as a keepsake. Thus, a good wedding poem is very important. For that reason, brainstorming can help a lot when choosing the wedding poetry writer or vendor. Before deciding on who will be the wedding poetry vendor and writer, consider what type of poem will you need. For a traditional and formal wedding, an elegantly written poem is suggested. If the wedding will be having an informal ceremony, a poem with a touch of humor will work well. Do not choose a lengthy poem if the ceremony will be longer than two hours. Decide if music will be played while reading the poem. If you have decided what you will need, you have to stat looking for a wedding poem vendor. The easiest way to look for reliable information is by asking for suggestions from family and friends, the manager of the reception site, the person who will officiate the marriage, or from your wedding coordinator. You can also search online for poetry vendors. If possible, ask for a rough draft of what the wedding poem will be so you can decide if this is the one that will be appropriate for the wedding. It is preferable to allow one year for composing the poem. This is to make sure that there is enough time to edit the poem to suit your requirements. Also, check if the wedding poet can work within your given budget. Wedding poems can cost at least $100. Ask for sample works and suggestions to enhance your wedding poem. When providing information about the wedding to the wedding poetry vendor, make sure that you have included the following details: the interests of the couple, the type of ceremony, the location of the wedding and the reception, the number of guests and their backgrounds, the theme of the wedding ceremony, who will be the poem reader and whatever unique detail that you can include to make the poem unique. If you have chosen a good wedding poetry writer and reader, you can make sure that your wedding's tone and ambience is enhanced to make it more memorable to everyone who will be present. 5 Must-know Wedding Pictures Tips As the old adage goes, "Pictures are worth a thousand words." This is especially true and applicable to wedding pictures. Normally, wedding pictures are photographs of the scenes from the wedding. Most of them are focused on the bride and the group. However, what people do not know is that wedding pictures are not just mere solid representation of what had transpired during the event. Wedding pictures are more of a memorabilia of the wonderful moments that the couple had long been wanting to have. And with wedding pictures always available for their perusal, it brings them back to the time they have once shared their union as husband and wife in front of the public. For this reason, choosing the wedding photographer should never be taken for granted. This is because the angles and kinds of shots that must be incorporated therein should only be done by a professional. Therefore, to have the best wedding pictures, it is best to hire a professional wedding photographer who can handle the shots perfectly. However, there are some factors to be considered first before hiring the services of a wedding photographer. Here is a list of the factors that you need to know: 1. The style of your wedding It is important to decide first the style of your wedding. Will it be formal, informal, or semi-formal? Whatever style you have chosen, this will definitely determine the kind of wedding photographer you should choose. For example, if your wedding will be in a formal setting, it is best to hire wedding photographers that are traditional in styles. This is because traditional photographers consider all the details when it comes to photography and establishing good angle shots. 2. Your budget Keep in mind that not all wedding photographers are created equal. Hence, it is important to stick to your budget to know which type of wedding photographer you will hire. Of course, it will do you no good if you will extend or go beyond your budget just because you want to hire the best wedding photographer there is. So, better stick to your budget. 3. Know what you are paying for Before signing a contract with a wedding photographer, be keen on the details of the agreement and that you should know the items or services that you will be paying for. Other wise, there might be some discrepancies regarding to what has been agreed upon and yet, you can no longer make any claims or complaints against the photographer because you have already affixed your signature. 4. Know your rights as a client There are instances wherein wedding photographers are so engrossed with their jobs that they no longer take some suggestions from their clients. This should not be the case because the client has still the final discretion. The wedding photographer should only assist the couple on their decisions. 5. The photographer's complete profile You wouldn't want spoiled films or pictures, right? So, it would be better if you will check on the profile and background of the photographer. In this sense, it will give you some insight on the capabilities of the photographer and his reputation in the industry. Boiled down, wedding pictures can be good, bad, or perfect. It all depends on the wedding photographer, so, it is best to hire the best. Wedding photos -- Memories in print Wedding photos are a vivid reminder of a couple's wedding day. In essence, wedding photos capture the spirit and joy of that blessed day when the couple exchanged 'I dos'. Wedding photos commemorate the memorable events that took place on the couple's wedding day. Getting quality wedding photos is important for every couple in order to preserve the joyous events of their wedding day. A substantial portion of a couple's wedding expenses goes into the preparation and production of the wedding photos. Depending on a couple's style and budget, there are a number of ways they can get the best wedding photos they want at the price they can afford. Professional services for wedding photos Hiring a professional wedding photographer is always a good idea for couples that want to have the best wedding photos from their wedding day. But many couples shy away from hiring professional photographers for their wedding photos because of the high costs associated with their services. Fortunately, there are a number of professional wedding photographers that offer a variety of photography packages for wedding photos at reasonable prices. In addition, many of these professional photographers may also be open to arranging a customized package to help out couples that are on a limited budget. At the same time, couples should also be cautious about getting the least expensive package for their wedding photos. Most of the time, a couple may end up spending more to get additional shots included in the package they initially ordered. It is better to get a slightly more expensive package that covers a lot more than to spend extra cash at the last minute. When working with a professional wedding photographer, be sure to get a signed agreement that outlines the terms of service to be provided. The contract would include matters concerning payments, cancellations as well as the delivery of wedding photos after development. Digital Photography -- digital wedding photos Technology has brought about a marked increased in the development of highly sophisticated digital cameras. Many professional wedding photographers now make use of these digital cameras to produce high quality digital wedding photos. Even amateurs are using the latest digital cameras to produce professional looking wedding photos. But keep in mind that many amateurs may not have the artistic skill to create beautiful wedding photos. Unlike professional wedding photographers, most amateur photographers have no concept of light and composition, which are essential factors in taking professional wedding photos. Keep in mind that no amount of computer enhancement can fix poorly shot wedding photos. How to save on wedding photos Weddings can be quite expensive considering all the costs associated with the occasion. In particular, wedding photos can eat up a big chunk of the wedding funds because of all the photos that need to be taken. Formal, informal and group wedding photos with family and friends can be quite costly especially for a big wedding. A good way to limit costs is to employ the help of family and friends in taking additional wedding photos. The couple can hire a professional photographer to cover the ceremony. The photographer would only take the formal wedding photos before and during the ceremony. Family and friends can help take candid wedding photos during the reception. Candid wedding photos are a great way to remember the fun and merriment of the day. Guide to Good Wedding Photography It's your wedding: one of the most beautiful days in your life. How else can you make the perfect occasion last? Capture the momentous event with great wedding photographs. Read this guide to make sure you choose the right wedding photography service for your big day. The first thing to do is to give the most opportunities for the photographer when scheduling activities during the wedding day. When planning the time of the wedding ceremony and of the reception, couples should incorporate the time that the photographer requires to capture all of the couple's special moments. There should be a gap between the end of the ceremony and beginning of the reception, to allow for more photographs for the bride, groom and wedding entourage, especially if they are in two different locations. The photographers and subjects will have a more relaxed shoot and will enjoy all the parts of the wedding if the events are well spaced out. Next, think of important factors when selecting a wedding photographer. The photographer should be able to show more than one complete set of wedding photos. Couples should not accept someone who shows only selected prints of their best photographs from different weddings. Ideally, all photographs from 3 to 4 complete wedding sets that are at least satisfactory should be a criterion of a professional wedding photographer. It is also good to have a photographer that gives a package with unlimited coverage for the whole day. Again, this way, photography will not be rushed. Next, try to be aware of photography companies or individuals that contract out jobs to a pool of wedding photographers or even freelancers. Salespersons often pose as actual photographers and try to woo customers. Make sure companies deal openly, and ask them to show 3 to 4 complete weddings from each of the photographers they offer you, so you can choose. Make sure the one chosen is the one that will cover your wedding. Otherwise, it is better to find a photographer that personally shoots weddings. A two-person team is an even better package because two points of view of the wedding can be taken. Some photographers only offer the traditional wedding photography style, or strictly a photojournalistic style. It is best to find a versatile photographer that can do both. Lastly, couples should take note of some important questions to ask a prospective wedding photographer: * Are colored and black and whites included, or would he charge extra for B/W? Dramatic effects can be made with black and white photographs, so ask if this is a premium. * Are hand and digital coloring or digital color separation included in the package or would he charge extra for these? Better pictures are developed when the photograph colors are separated first, improved, and then printed. * What kinds of cameras does he use? Does he use medium format equipment and have a back up? Does have a "leaf" shutter or "focal plane"? * What lenses does he use? Does he use only one, or will he change lenses? Make him show you photo effects that he is able to achieve with different lenses and choose the ones which you like to appear with your photographs. * Is he willing to customize a package that is within your budget? Asking intelligent questions will encourage photographers to deal openly with customers. Remember, it's your special day, and you should make sure that the wedding photography is something that will help you and your loved ones relive those wonderful memories. Trust Your Memories Only To A Professional Wedding Photographer It is a must the one gets a professional photographer for her wedding day. Wedding pictures will last a lifetime, keeping memories of this very special day. It will live longer than the flowers and the catered food, therefore, you would only want a photographer who understands what you want and can be relied upon to capture every minute of this special day. Hire a professional, look for the following: 1. A valid and legal sales tax license. 2. Ask latest proof of business insurance. 3. Specialized and well kept professional equipment (includes a medium format camera aside from a professional 35mm camera). 4. Membership in any professional association. 5. A permanent studio. Things to consider: Level of experience. Check his background and ask for names of persons that he has photographed. Call them and ask if they were satisfied on the photographer's work. Personality. Is his ideas same as yours? Can you communicate with him easily? Meaning he understands what you want or what is your idea regarding the style of photography that you want to be achieved. Style of photography. Do the images that are presented appeal to you? Do you like his style? References. Ask for references and meet with them personally so you can take a look of his works as well as ask them if they were happy with the outcome of with his work. A person who is hesitant to give references is definitely not the photographer that you should hire. Packages. Ask about each package that he presents to you. If you are not comfortable with the packages, can he make one to satisfy your needs? Accomplished work. Ask how long will it take for him to finish your album, your bridal portrait and all the photos taken during the wedding. Price. Can you afford his services? If not, is he worth the price difference as compared to others you've met? Take the time to ask all that you need to know and make sure you understand all services and photos include in the cost. Payments and deposits. Should you cancel, can he give a refund? If he, in any circumstance, does not show up, what happens? Does he have a partner to take his place just in case? Make sure you clear all of this to him as well as discuss with him all your concerns. His answer should be able to convince you that he can be trusted. Contract. Check and read it carefully before signing. If there is anything that you don't understand, ask him or ask that he leaves you the contract overnight so you can study it. Be certain that everything you both had agreed on is in the contract. When looking at the photographer's work, look for the following: 1. Each sample album must consist of only one wedding. Does he have a lot of sample albums? 2. Does he have a recent actual wedding that he could have you look at? Look through his most recent wedding album. 3. Study each album well and see if the album is telling the story of the wedding and not just filling the album up with similar photos. 4. Are the portraits clear and did the photographer capture the subject's mood? 5. Are all the photos done artistically? Is there a play of light and shadow? 6. Are candid shots taken? Are they clear and well composed? Remember that photos will remind you of and will bring! Interesting Wedding Night Rituals from Around The World Weddings are occasions of lasting traditions and rituals. All over the world, people's beliefs, culture and history has affected this memorable event. It is common knowledge that wedding ceremonies are different all over the world, but did you know that the diversity extends even on the wedding night? Read this to know the interesting activities that couples, families and friends do before letting the newlyweds reach a night of wedding bliss! It is customary in an American wedding for the bride and groom to hop into a get-away car with tin cans attached to the rear of the car, off to their secret honeymoon, immediately after the wedding. Did you know that this rooted from escaping a Celtic wedding night tradition? In Gaelic cultures, it was a tradition for friends and family of the couple to mess with the couple's wedding night. In the olden days, when couples spend their wedding night in a barn, girl friends of the bride would dress her for bed and ask each of the male guests to kiss her good night. The friends would do other things to prevent the groom from seeing her new wife. Even if the couple finally comes together, they would disturb the union by making noise outside the barn and even peep into the couple, while drinking the night away. The couple waits for everyone to get too drunk to eventually leave them alone. This kind of prank is something that newly weds want to get away from, thus, they keep their honeymoon destination a secret and speed away after the wedding. More Celtic wedding night ritual come from Scotland: sleeping in the barn on the first night, sprinkling water on the marriage bed for luck and staying for a week with the bride's parents before moving into the newlywed's home. The Germans and the French do a similar tradition of "disturbing" the wedding night, called Chiverie, known in the US as Shivaree. They make noise outside the place where the couple spends their first night together. Some even play around with the room where they will stay, like put plenty of balloons, spread food all over the bed, and hide alarm clock everywhere, just for fun. The Romans believed that it was bad fortune when the bride stumbles when entering the newlywed's house for the first time. Thus, after the wedding, male friends of the couple would carry her over the doorstep. At present, the groom is expected to do the job himself. In Benin, western Africa, they value virginity. The bride's mother rewards her with cash if she's a virgin at their wedding night! In the morning, the sheets that the couples used are inspected for bloodstains. Some mothers even "fly the flag" out the window, showing off their daughter's bloodstained nightgown. Seriously! For the Chinese, at the night of the wedding, candles designed with a phoenix and a dragon is lit to drive the evil spirit away. The newlyweds will drink wine from goblets tied together with a red ribbon, while arms intertwined. Then the bride will be given half-raw dumplings, which symbolize prosperity. Marquesasian (from Polynesia) brides have a notable wedding night ritual: they are expected to have sex with all the male guests and then saving the groom for last. Now that can make your wedding night : extremely unforgettable! How to Select the Proper Wedding Music So you've exchanged vows, and have said your 'I do's, now it's time to head out to the reception and party like you've never partied before. If you want live music playing in your reception, then you would want to hire a live band. But first, you must check with people that rent the venue where you're going to hold your reception, to see what type of live music they allow. Some venues have stringent restrictions when it comes to live music. The type of music that you choose to play in your wedding should be an expression of both the bride and groom's personality, personal taste, and the overall theme of the wedding. It's very important to select the right music, because the music will become a pervading presence all through out the wedding, and right down to the reception. Music creates an atmosphere. It will set the mood of your wedding. During the wedding itself, the choice of music usually depends on the wedding. Most church ceremonies don't allow secular music. They stick to more traditional, or religious music. A man and a woman duet is usually sung during the ceremony. A church organist usually provides the majority of the music. For the reception, the bride and groom has a choice of recorded music, or live music. If you opt for recorded music, it would be best to hire the services of a DJ. The best thing about this, is you can request to have all of your favorite songs in the playlist. Ask your friends if they know any good DJs that are willing to play for wedding receptions. If they don't know any, you could always just search the yellow pages, internet, or even contact your local radio station. Once you've settled on a DJ, have a one-on-one discussion with the DJ. Just to explain what type of entertainment and mood you want to have during the reception. Also discuss, the selection of music that you have in mind. Ask if the DJ's familiar with wedding protocol. If not, you might want to brief the DJ first about the sensibility of the event. On the other hand, choosing live music offers you a choice of hiring a band, soloist, instrumentalists, jazz group, etc. It all depends on what kind of theme you have in mind for you wedding. For more formal weddings, classical groups, piano soloists, and instrumentalists are more appropriate. It would not be a bad idea, to also consider the sensibilities of your guests, to ensure that everyone has a good time! If you want to have a rocking good time for the reception of your wedding, then hiring a band is the way to go! The energy of a live band gets people going. There's nothing else that spells a rocking good time better, than a rock and roll band. Before hiring a band, ask them if you could listen to their music first. This will help you decide if that particular band is just right for you. Also discuss, if the band will do emcee duties, as well as provide the music. It's best to hire a band that has had previous experience with wedding receptions. This way, they'd know what to expect, and will be able to provide the proper entertainment that's fitting for the occasion. You always want to keep the music going, so include some background music even when the meals are being served, or when the bride and groom are doing their rounds of greeting, having their pictures taken, etc. This will also maintenance the atmosphere of the wedding all through out the reception. So choose wisely, because your choice of music can make or break this occasion! Great tips on Wedding Invitations One of the most important things whenever somebody wants to get married is to have a complete line-up of the couple's guests. Along with this preparation is the creation of wedding invitations that should reflect your earnest desire to invite those you want to be present on your very special day. For so many years now, it has long been a part of the tradition that wedding invitations should be distributed so that the people will know that they are invited. It also makes them feeling special because of the fact that the couple had included them as their guests. Today, wedding invitations need not be the usual unfussy cards that our ancestors had long been using. The concept of the modern wedding invitations lies on the premise that they are a part of the wedding and any neglected details of the invitation would reflect how haphazard the wedding plans were made. So, for people who wish to know some useful tips regarding wedding invitations, here are some of pointers that you may use. 1. Use a reply card with your wedding invitation. In reality, the main reason of creating and giving out wedding invitations is to approximately determine the number of guests that will attend on your wedding day. Hence, it would be better for if you place a reply card along with the invitation card. In this way, you will get to know the estimated number of guests that you will be expecting. 2. Specify on the wedding invitation what type of occasion you will use. In most cases, weddings are formal events. However, there are instances wherein the couples prefer informal celebration. So, it is best to specify exactly what type of celebration will be imposed. Moreover, it is also important to specify the dress code so that the guests will know if they need to comply or not as far as clothing is concerned. 3. For smaller wedding, it is best to have the wedding invitations personalized. In cases where the wedding celebration entails only quite a few numbers of guests, it would be better to make your own wedding invitation. Usually, wedding invitations are more expensive and requires the least number of orders. So, if you would not be ordering a lot, then, it would be better to make your own wedding invitation. 4. For a more innovative look, choose the colors you will use with your wedding invitation. White will always be the color of the wedding and will never go out of style. However, because of the continuous change that technology is bringing us, it is best to try some bright colors that will reflect your personality or your partner. The key point is not to use one color but a conglomeration of all the bright colors you can use. 5. Choose a design that will best reflect your taste or your partner's personality. Before, wedding invitations come in the traditional rectangular adorned with laces and flowers. It has been deemed as good design for so many years now but the fact remains the same: it is dull and lifeless. What you need to present them is the beauty of life that you and your partner had agreed to cherish forever. Hence, it is strongly recommended to come up with a modern designs embedded with pure beauty. Boiled down, wedding invitations are not just mere invitations that you usually have in your other occasions like birthday party or victory party. Wedding invitations are ways of inviting somebody whom you want to be a part of your wonderful moment with your partner. As they say, wedding invitations are not just papers, they are the breath of the couple's desire to tell the whole world how much they love each other, and they want their guests to witness that. First Impressions Lasts Choose Your Wedding Invitations Properly How to choose your wedding invitation: 1. Set a budget and be creative. As well as there are beautiful expanssive invitations, there are also inexpenssive but equally beautiful ones in the market. You just got to be creative and know where to look. 2. Decide on a theme and color motif for your wedding. Your invitation should suggest the theme or the color motif of your wedding. 3. Do your guest list so that you will know how many invitations to order. 4. Select a style that reflects your personality as well as it should give an idea of the wedding that you are planning. 5. Begin as early as eight months before the wedding. This means that you will have plenty of time paying attention to perfect the wording, and should something goes wrong, you will have ample time to revise it and make sure that it is "the way you want it" before sending them out. 6. Before you order your invitations, make sure that all of your wedding details such as the date, time and place of the ceremony and reception are already confirmed. 7. Asking help from professionals on the look and style of your invitation will help you pull your ideas together for a more beautiful outcome. 8. With regards to the proper wording and etiquette, a professional should be consulted to make sure that everything in the invitation is properly placed. 9. Order more invitations than the amount that you really need. This will give you a few extras in case you miss anyone out. 10. When giving the shop your wording, it is best that you give it to them typewritten, so they can clearly read it. 11. Do it with style. Be creative and try to combine materials to achieve your own personal touch. Invitation Etiquette 1. When the ceremony and the reception will be held at different locations, you can enclose a reception card along with your invitation. The reception card should also be provided with an envelope and contain specific information about the reception. 2. Do not address envelopes as Mr. and Mrs. William Cooper and Family. This is not proper. The names of children under eighteen years old should be included in the invitation, while children over eighteen should be sent their own invitation. 3. You can use casual names such as "Uncle Henry and Aunt Beth" or "Grandma" to relatives that are close to you, in addressing the inner envelope as this will show how much you mean to them, even if you are planning a formal event. 4. Mail your invitation six to eight weeks before your wedding date. If however, your wedding date is set on a holiday season or you are inviting a lot of guests that are from out of State, you should mail the invitations sooner to give them ample time to plan and make hotel reservations and organize their schedule. 5. Position the word "black tie" in the lower right hand corner of the invitation if you are planning for a formal wedding so that your guests can dress accordingly. Don'ts when placing invitation wordings: 1. Don't use nicknames. Always use the first, middle, and last name. Some people do not want their middle names included in the invitation; don't use initials, simply do not include their middle names. 2. Don't make abbreviations. Only "Mr.", "Mrs.", or "Dr." can be abbreviated. All other titles should be written completely. 3. Don't abbreviate dates, addresses and time. 4. Don't write the word "and" as "&". Invitation assembly: 1. Place the invitation inside the large envelope along with its protective tissue and make certain that the invitation is facing you. 2. Place in the reception invitation on top of the invitation, also facing you. 3. Position the response card in, and leaning within the flap of the response envelope, which is facing down. 4. The last to go in are the directions or map which guides the guests. 5. When addressing the outer envelope, it is best that you use calligraphy. 6. For added touch, choose a postage stamp that well compliments the general appearance of your invitation. 7. If possible, bring your invitations to the post office and ask that they be hand cancelled, to avoid unattractive marks or scratches that a machine cancelling can cause. The Value of Wedding Invitation Wording Art, in general, is the appreciation of beauty. It implies order and harmony of parts in a given whole. Human life does not imply merely physical survival. It is a vocation towards the refinement of the spirit. Hence, the demands of daily life include and derive meaning from the cultivation of those traits that truly reflect man's innate dignity. In this context, ethics is considered an art. However, there are art forms that are different from those that are considered as ethical For this reason, certain actions of man must be in proportionate to the ethical standards as dictated by man's innate dignity. One of which is how we should use words in different functions. Take fore example the wordings in a wedding invitation. Careful use of words and establishing them correctly is very crucial in wedding invitations. This is because wedding invitation are the first-hand symbol of the wonderful celebration that is about to take place. Any misused, abused, or unethical choice of words may result to misunderstandings or misinterpretations between and among the guests. Generally, wedding invitation wording should be clearly established to avoid confusions and misconception. There are instances were words may have several meanings depending on how it is used in a sentence. Moreover, the wordings must accurately define the details of the wedding like the date, the exact time, and the place where the wedding ceremony will take place. These things should be clearly stated because there are cases wherein most guests directly assume that once they are invited, it means that they are asked to attend to the wedding ceremony and the reception. However, there are some weddings that the couple would usually invite people just for the reception. In this case, the couple has decided to make the wedding very private and that they only want their immediate relatives present during the ceremony. The guests are asked to attend on the reception already. Hence, to avoid confusion and delusion, it is best to carefully state in the invitation the purpose of the invitation. On the other hand, wedding invitation wordings may also vary depending on certain circumstances that the couple has no control of. An example is the concept of who paid for the wedding. In this instance, it is best to choose words that would pay respect to the party whom the recognition is due but should also be made in conformity with the ethical standards, in which the feelings of the other party should be considered also. For example, if in case that the bride's parents are the ones who had paid for the wedding, then, the wordings on the wedding invitation should state that it is the bride's parent s who are requesting for the presence of the guests. Alternatively, the setting of the wedding should also be considered when establishing the wedding invitation wording. If the wedding is informal and will only take place in a home, then it is best to replace the usual words being used in formal invitations to a more casual tone but still with respect. Boiled down, any kind of wordings will do when making wedding invitations a long as the words are in conformity to the ethical standards set by the society and as patterned on the innate dignity of man. Best of all, the details of the wedding should be clearly stated, otherwise, the wedding invitation will definitely lose its main purpose. Wedding Cost Saving Ideas Almost every girl has a picture of her ideal wedding in her mind. She may dream up something that she can visualize when reading fairy tales that end with "...and they live happily ever after." She sees flowers, ribbons and laces. However, when her wedding day comes, she may have other considerations on her mind. She still dreams of her ideal wedding but she starts incorporating other subjects that represent her and her groom. Not to mention that the bride also considers the current trends in wedding fashion and decoration. And the most important subject to talk about when choosing decorations -- the cost. Nobody wants to spend the first few months of being married paying of debts made during the wedding preparations. Therefore, the groom-to-be and bride-to-be should be very careful what to spend on. Here are a few things to consider. * Personalize the decorations. Not only does this add a personal touch to the celebration but this also cuts down on the cost. For example, if the bride or the groom is a photographer, they may choose having photos from their collection made the main subjects for the reception design. The photos may also be used for invitations and keepsakes, * Consider renting. Most of the items that will be used for decorations will not be used again. These include the centerpieces, the vases, the arc ways and the artificial flower arrangements. So ask your wedding decorator for options to rent these pieces. * Kids can get bored during the wedding reception. So instead of having kids seated at the same table with the adults, you can have an area where kids can be more casual and can have a small party of their own. * Marriage is a union of families. During the wedding rites, if possible, you may alter some of the practices to include the children of the bride or groom from previous marriage or the parents and families of the couple. Having them perform a special union rite will signify that the wedding is not just a union of two people but also of two families. * For the food during the reception, you may inquire with cooking or culinary arts schools. They may agree to cater for the reception for just the price of the food, or perhaps, a little more. You may also have a pot luck by asking family members and close friends to cook a dish. * If you wanted to cut down on the cost for the wedding party, you can just invite more people to the engagement party. Usually, only cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are served, which cost less than the full set of meals for the wedding reception guests. * For the music, you can look for a local college band or DJ. You can also have your favorite songs just downloaded from the Internet and saved to an mp3 player or CD to be played over the speakers during the reception. * When considering the cost of church decorations, check if there will be another couple that will get married on the same day. They may want to coordinate what decorations can be used for both wedding ceremonies to lessen the need to change decorations before or after the wedding and to split the cost. Getting married should not be expensive. After all, the essence of marriage is in the union and not in the celebration. You shouldn't also try too hard to please the guests. Your family and friends are there to rejoice this wonderful event with you and not to criticize your wedding.
7 Steps in Planning the Perfect Wedding Hairstyle In China, the typical hairstyle of a married woman is tied up in a bun. Such style is done in most Chinese brides in a ritual: a woman who has had a successful family life, is asked to help in dressing up the bride's hair. While setting the bride's hair up, the "good luck woman" speaks of good fortune for the bride and her upcoming married life. In the US, preparing the bride's hairstyle is also becoming a ritual, as it plays an important part in her overall look. Much preparation has to go into the bride's dress, and so should her crowning glory, the hair. Follow this simple guide on how to plan for the perfect wedding hairstyle. Weeks before your wedding day choose a hairdresser that will make your do at the wedding. Find a hairdresser that is recommended by someone you know and trust; someone that they had a good experience with. 1. Establish a good rapport with the hairdresser. You should be comfortable in discussing with him or her on the style and look you want. Some hairdressers insist on some do that they dreamed would be made for them. Be firm in telling him or her what you want and don't want. 2. Discuss in length the shape of your face in relation to the hairstyle that he or she proposes. Try the following styles: - Up do's signify elegance and this is what most brides want. - Tired of the bun? Achieve the same polished look with braids instead. From cornrows to French twists, there are numerous interesting ways to set your hair in place. - Letting your hair down, especially of the mid-length can emanate romance. Flip the edges out for a little retro look. - Short hair can be spruced up with color highlights or shiny curls. 3. Ask to schedule a practice session to mock-up the intended hair do for your wedding day. You may need to pay extra for this mock-up session, but it's worth the buck to ensure you look lovely during your wedding. 4. Part of the mock-up is for you to carry the hairstyle. Check side and rear views for how the hairstyle looks and make sure it is made to your liking. You are the center of attention on the wedding day, so you should be beautiful 360 degrees! 5. Walk around the salon with your hairstyle. Try to bob your head abit or do other head movements that you think will happen on wedding day. Make sure your hairstyle withstands all the head activity and that you and your scalp will be comfortable for hours. 6. Now, traditionally, they say it is bad luck to try on your wedding dress before the wedding day. But you need to be sure that your hairstyle matches the gown. Don't worry; you can still approximate the look by using other dresses. Look for a dress that has the same collar style as your wedding dress. Then put on something that approximates the same lines of your wedding gown. View yourself on the mirror, and imagine yourself in white: does the hairstyle match? 7. On the eve of the wedding, get a head massage, on second thought, get a whole body massage! This relaxes your body, opens your pores and freshens up your skin. Gets yourself ready for your momentous event: plan for your wedding day hairstyle and achieve the perfect wedding day look! Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Hair Style Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. After all, this will be the most important day of her life. This is where she and her groom will pronounce their vow of love for each before their family, relatives and friends. This is so important that even a very good-looking girl wants to look better, or something different from how she looks every day. Choosing how you should look during a wedding can be very risky. If you were not advised by a professional, this is not the time to try on new make up and hairstyle trends -- unless you wanted to end up as one with the worst wedding fashion. So, to be on the safe side, it is better to enlist the help of a professional stylist to do your makeup and hairstyle. Here are some tips to help you on what look you will be having on your wedding day. * Choose natural-looking makeup, as you don't want to look heavily painted especially when people come to wish you well. However, you should also make sure that even if you are wearing natural-looking makeup, this still looks well when your picture is taken. * Get a facial to help eliminate the stress in preparing for the wedding and to cleanse your skin, in preparation for the big day. * Make sure that you have enough time to prepare your hair. Usually, you may need about six weeks before the wedding to make minor changes to your hair. If you will be changing your hairstyle, hair color, or length, you may need up to six months. * Make an appointment with a hairdresser recommended by your family and friends, or with your own hairdresser. It is better to bring pictures of the dress, headpiece and the hairstyles that you would like to try. Also, discuss with the hairdresser what will be the appropriate color, texture and the style. * If you are thinking of having your hair permed or relaxed, ask the hairstylist if he or she thinks this will not damage your hair. Damaged hair will not look good and will be difficult to style. If you wanted to try this, make sure that you still have enough time to experiment and to undo it if it doesn't look good. * If you are thinking of dyeing your hair, consider if the color will compliment your skin color and the color of your eyes. It is better to ask the help and suggestions of a professional for this. When dyeing, use a temporary dye first. * Your hairstyle should go well with the cut of your gown. If you have a simple gown, choose an uncomplicated hairstyle. Choose a hairstyle that will be comfortable and will not be difficult to maintain since you will have a lot of things to take care of on the wedding day. * If you have short hair, you may add highlights to enhance the richness. You may also have hair treatments or try products that will add shine. You can also try a multi-textured look. Flowers also look good on short hair. * If you have a long hair, it is suggested that you wear your hair up for an elegant look and to minimize the need for maintaining it, since you will be busy the whole day. Now that you have these tips, you have more information when your hairstylist starts making suggestions on how to make you look great on your wedding day. How to Choose the Best Wedding Gown In order to have a perfect wedding, it is important to have that perfect wedding gown, too. This is because the wedding gown is the showpiece of any wedding event. The wedding gown is not just a mere dress that is worn by the bride. It is the substantial emblem of purity, love, and happiness that awaits the bride in her future with her groom. That is why finding the right wedding gown is as important as preparing the wedding celebration itself. Therefore, for people who do not know how to choose the perfect wedding gown, here are some pointers that could help you out. 1. Use all the resources available in choosing ideas and design on your wedding gown. Before, wedding magazines are the only resources where the bride-to-be can get some useful ideas on her wedding gown. However, with the advent of the Internet, she can now browse for more ideas and concepts of wedding gowns online. There are web sites that will provide you with full details regarding a particular wedding gown, complete with prices, different styles, and fashion sense. 2. Make a budget and strictly conform to it. Budget will never be absent in any wedding plans. However, the most common problem that arises concerning budgeting is the fact that people do not stick to it. Hence, if you have a budget for your wedding gown, it would be better to stick to it and not be enticed with all the promotions of whoever will make your wedding gown. Otherwise, you will fall short on the other aspects of your wedding plans. 3. Be sure to have your wedding gown looking good in all angles. Usually, the most neglected part of the wedding gown is the back. So, when ordering a wedding gown, be sure that you will also look good from behind. Most of the time, the guests will have a look at your back so you definitely have to look good from behind. 4. Be practical with the designs that you want to use. Like any traditional wedding gowns, large skirts and long gowns are the typical styles of yesteryears. But in today's modern world, there are cases wherein wedding gowns like these are not at all practical especially if the venue is just small. Moreover, it can be burdensome for the bride to carry such a heavy dress throughout the wedding celebration. What matters most is to make the bride comfortable to what she is wearing. 5. Take into account the environmental condition of the venue of the wedding. When choosing a wedding gown, it is best to consider the weather and the venue. This will have a great effect on the kind of material that should be worn by the bride. For example, if the wedding will take place during summer, then, it is best to choose the materials for the wedding gown that will not make the bride sweat and perspire throughout the celebration. Indeed, deliberating on the details of the wedding gown can be a daunting task. That is why it is important to provide a hefty amount of time in preparing, designing, and ordering the wedding gown. In this manner, there will be plenty of time for any changes and modifications without the tendency to come up with a rushed work. More importantly, the bride should always consider her comfort when choosing a wedding gown. Looks and designs will only be put to waste if the bride is not comfortable wearing it. As the old cliche goes, you are what you wear. Therefore, it would be better to wear a wedding gown that would reflect the happiness and love that is within the bride. In turn, the wedding gown will appear before the audience as the most beautiful centerpiece of the ceremony. Don't Go Wrong On Your Wedding Gown Guidelines on how to buy your wedding gown: 1. Set up a budget. Today, buying a wedding gown offers you a great deal of choices. Know your budget, and don't try out such wedding gowns that are out of your budget as you will only let yourself down as well as adding a lot of pressure to your decision. 2. Decide on what style you want. The internet offers a lot of ideas as to the type of gown that you are envisioning. Take into account the location and the time of the ceremony. Make certain your gown correspond well with your other plans. 3. Start as early as possible. Once the wedding date is set, start on the search for your wedding gown. 4. Find and compare bridal salons. 5. Make appointments. Be sure to set up a meeting with the establishment that you are interested with and discuss with their designer your ideal wedding dress so she too, could have an idea what you are looking for. Listen too, to her suggestions. 6. Have your measurements taken. Don't do the measurements yourself. Go to your bridal salon and let them take it for you. This will ensure precise measurements that will lead to a perfect fit. 7. Look at swatches. It is important that you know and feel the texture and the actual color of the fabric that will become your wedding gown. Swatches will be helpful in making your decision for a gown much easier. 8. Consider the rear view design of the gown. Your guests will be spending a lot of time looking at your back as the ceremony goes on. When looking through designs, take into account the gown design at the back that it should be as flattering as the front. 9. Bring a friend along. She can give you her honest opinion as to whether the style and design of your choice is perfect or alterations needs to be done; also how the dress looks like at different angles. 10. Consider comfort. You will be wearing the gown for at least eight hours, so it is important that the gown should feel comfortable. When trying it on, bend over, sit down, stand up, walk and dance to make sure that you can move with ease in your wedding gown. 11. Down payment. Usually, a fifty percent down payment is required as soon as you order your gown. 12. Ask for a receipt. Once you have decided on a gown and placed your down payment, then ask for a receipt indicating the amount of your down payment, the full description of the gown, delivery and due date. 13. Relax and enjoy. Allow the people at the bridal salon to pamper you in every way. Enjoy the thrill and theexcitement of shopping for your wedding gown and of the thought that you will soon be marrying the person that you love. Be cautious of: 1. Anybody who would insist on shipping your wedding gown to you. You have very little remedy or none at all, should anything go wrong. The price that you will be paying for alterations may be more than the discount that was given to you when they sent you the gown. 2. Anybody that is suggesting that you should "do the footwork". It is best that you shop somewhere else. 3. Anybody who would require a full payment for your gown before it's done. It is always safe that you buy or order your wedding gown at the same shop that you selected it. There are many full service bridal stores that will cater to all your needs and your satisfaction is guaranteed. Your wedding gown is very important. Don't take chances. Wedding gift ideas A wedding is a red letter day for anyone. Just being invited to one can really bring about excitement. It is always a pleasure to see someone walk down the aisle with the promise of true love and life long happiness. Picking out wedding gifts can be a lot of fun too. There are thousands of gifts ideas that you can purchase online or on retail stores. Personalized gifts have been a common trend in weddings presents. Customized gifts bring out your creativity because you can dictate the style, design and message you want to be printed on them. Items range from photo frames, mugs and clocks, among others. In buying gifts, always keep in mind your budget and be sure to get the look you want to achieve on your purchased items. Here are some gift ideas that would surely be a hit: Tapestry It is nice to remember your wedding day, and how else can you do this? Personalize your ordinary belongings by printing the couple's picture on them. You can have it printed in your pillows, blankets or bags. Print them on tapestry wall hangings and keep them as an heirloom. Colorful cotton threads can make your pictures come to life with its vivid colors similar to the photograph itself. Photo Frames Keep your memorable pictures in unique photo frames. You can add on sweet messages like 'sweethearts forever' or 'perfect couple'. Sweet lines from songs or poems are greatly recommended too. You can choose from the different frames available like natural wood, quality plastic, or metal steel. Personal messages are mostly laser engraved or wood cut-outs. The couple would love putting there favorite wedding photos to keep them reminded of the bliss of their special day. T-shirts Add your own personality and thoughts and get them printed in comfortable tees. Most couples would love to profess their love for each other in cute shirts. The most common of these shirts are the word 'I' that comes with a big red heart and the name of the groom or bride. Tell the world how you feel towards a person with these personalize tees. To add a little intimacy, you can also opt to print sweet messages on under wears and undershirts too. Accessories Women love accessories. Bracelets are perfect items to be personalized. You can opt to choose fancy gold, sterling silver or even 10 karat -- 25 karat gold. This depends on your budget, of course. But remember, it's always the thought that counts. Recommended words that you can put on the bracelets are the date of your wedding day, your anniversary or the couple's name. You can opt to personalize rings and necklaces as well. Mugs Mugs are very functional. If giving a present to the groom, customizing his beer mug or wine glass would surely be appreciated. Be sure to choose mugs that exude manly elegance. Black or brown mugs would definitely look nice and the personal message would be a real stand out. Clocks You can either choose to purchase a wall clock or personal watch. Either way, you can be assured that the recipient of the gift would find them very useful. Engraving one's name on a metal steel sports watch is an eye catcher too. A pocket watch would equally be valued. Looking for wedding gifts can be enjoyable. Personalizing your gifts would add a special touch to each present. No matter what the value of the gift is, remember that it is always the pure intention of giving that matters most. How to make wedding flowers Catch that bouquet of flowers! It is always a thrill lining up in a pool of bachelorettes swarming to catch those bouquets thrown by the bride. Just being one of the audiences can be just as exciting. Tradition says that anyone who catches the bouquet would be the next bride. Flowers play an integral part in any wedding ceremonies. They have been a symbolism of new hope and a good future ahead. The bride and the groom would surely feel like heaven with flowers blooming everywhere on their reception. More than a decoration, wedding flowers have now been a tradition. A wedding will be quite incomplete without these fragrant gifts of mother earth. Hiring a wedding coordinator or a florist so that your bouquet will be professionally done can be considered as an option. But if you are on a strict budget, and have some creativity hidden deep inside you, there is no hurt in making them on your own. They can still look elegant and stunning as long as you know what color and kind of flowers to use. The tips below will help you in customizing your wedding flowers. Choosing flowers In picking what flowers to choose, keep in mind the theme and the color premise of the wedding. It should match and blend well with the entourage and the bride's gown too. Another point to consider is the availability of the flower type. Depending on the season, you can order the freshest, the most available and the cheapest kind of flowers. Flowers like baby's breath, orchids, gardenia and roses are readily obtainable no matter what time of the year. Preparing the materials The bouquet that the bride carries on the aisle is where the flowers play a major part. It is very easy to create your own. First, gather up your materials. You will need about three dozens of your chosen flower, a sharp scissor, florist tape, and ribbons. Making a bouquet It is advisable to order your flowers on the day of the event and get the freshest pick possible. Start by choosing three roses that you would use as the centerpiece of your arrangement. Puff air into the center of each flower to give it a fuller look. Put them together, creating a triangle. Stack each flower unevenly; each one should have a slightly different level of height. This technique adds dimension to your arrangement. Just continue adding up two to three flowers at a time until they form a dome. After which, you can tie them up with a florist tape at least 8 inches below the flowers. Be sure to ask some help taping the stem, you might have a difficulty holding all 36 flowers and tying them together at the same time. Finally finish out with a suitable ribbon that matches the color of the flowers and your wedding dress. You can tie them up in a bow. Be sure to cover all the florist tape with ribbons. Carefully cut the excess stems with a sharp scissor approximately an inch below the ribbon. Place the bouquet on a plastic container or a vase with a quarter inch of water or you can store them inside a fridge covered by a loose plastic bag. Finally, spray the flowers with water avoiding the ribbons. That's it! That's how you can customize your bouquet. Remember to check your arrangement in a mirror with you holding it so you would picture how it would look like to someone else's view. Wedding flowers can still look stunning without sacrificing your budget. Now you are ready to walk down the aisle with that pretty and personalized bouquet of flowers in your hand. Wedding favors for family and friends Wedding favors are a great way for couples to show their gratitude to family and friends that graciously attended their wedding day. Wedding favors are small tokens of appreciation that couples can give out to the people that came to celebrate their wedding day with them. Wedding favors come in all shapes and sizes. There are an infinite number of items for wedding favors that couples can choose from. The couple's budget is a significant factor to consider when selecting wedding favors. However a resourceful and creative couple can easily find a solution to their problem. Couples can also choose to have their wedding favors centered on their wedding theme. Wedding favors can either be store bought or made by the bride herself with the help of her bridal entourage. History of wedding favors The history of wedding favors dates back several centuries ago in European countries. People then believed that weddings were a fortunate occasion and that the giving of wedding favors by the groom and bride is a way of sharing that luck to family and friends. Wedding favors began as a tradition of upper class families in Europe centuries ago. French and Italian families would hand out 'bonbonnieres' to guests as wedding favors. These confectionary delicacies are placed in small fancy boxes made of metal, crystal or porcelain. The boxes are also decorated with precious stones that create a precious keepsake for guests. Later on, other social classes took on the tradition of giving wedding favors to their guests. Almonds were popular wedding favors given by couples in the earlier days. People believed that the almonds represented longevity, happiness, wealth, health and fertility. Up to now, almonds are still common wedding favors given by couples in the form of candy-coated almonds. Modern day wedding favors Wedding favors are now an essential part of the preparations for the wedding day. Couples have limitless choices for wedding favors. Wedding favors can be bought or made to match the style of the couple's wedding. Couples can choose to have either practical or decorative wedding favors to give away to family and friends. Many sensible couples opt to give out practical wedding favors that guests can use afterwards. These can either be small kitchen gadgets like salt and peppershakers, coasters or cookie cutters. While other couples choose to give out soaps and candles as wedding favors. Ideas for wedding favors Ideas for wedding favors can be as wild as the imagination can get. Couples can come up with the wildest wedding favors for their giveaway to family and friends. Wedding favors also come in a variety of prices that helps make it easier for couples to find the right gift at the right price. Couples can choose to have wedding favors that symbolize the theme of the wedding. Wedding favors can also be selected in relation to the season in which the wedding is scheduled. Christmas or winter theme, summer theme or fall theme wedding favors also makes it easier for couples to select the right giveaway for the event. Creative couples can also use their resourcefulness to craft their own wedding favors. Wedding songs recorded on compact discs are popular wedding favors that let couples share their special day with guests for years to come. At any rate, the choice of wedding favors is limited only by the couple's imagination. Wedding Planning -- Choosing the Gown The dress is always the highlight of all wedding fantasies and make-believes. Ever since their youth, people will most often dream of a beautiful princess-bride in a snowy white, ethereal wedding dress of stunning beauty. It comes as no surprise that choosing the perfect wedding dress for your wedding will prove to be one of the most challenging and exciting part of planning your wedding. Marriage is -- ideally -- an once-in-a-lifetime event. There isn't much leeway to practice or make mistakes. So to make the bride's entrance down the carpet perfect and memorable, one must take great pains to ensure that everything is done correctly -- down to every little detail on the wedding dress. From watching fantasy-like weddings on TV, or reading about them in books and magazines, or hearing about them from other people, many brides-to-be form an image in their minds of the kind of wedding dress they would like to wear on their wedding. Many people take a watch and learn stance as they formulate, plan and dream up their ideal wedding dress. If your time has come, and you are shopping for the perfect dress to make your wedding dreams come true, then you have come to the right place. Here are a few tips to help you get over the wedding dress hump will less sweat. 1. The Dress Comes First Although it may go both ways, the theme of your dress should follow your desired theme -- or vice versa. Some couples choose a theme before choosing a gown, and in effect, they make the gown fit the theme they have chosen. But for some people, the choice of gown comes first, and the theme of the wedding follows the gown's theme. So if the gown that catches the bride's fancy is ultra beaded and formal, then the wedding may tend to be more formal. If the bride chooses a less formal dress, then the wedding may follow a less formal route. 2. Don't Overwhelm Yourself with Choices Yes, it may be tempting to try every gown that comes your way. But what if you find yourself buried under a pile of 20 or so gowns you think you really like and can't make a decision? That sort of scenario will prove to be a terrible headache -- not to mention a great source of stress. To avoid this, try making decisions in stages. You could try an 'American Idol' style way of choosing a gown. You could vote off the least liked one and then reevaluate the remaining gowns. Another method is trying 5 gowns and then choosing two of the best. These 'champions' will be pit against 5 more new gowns. Continue the tournament until you get to the perfect gown. It may become tempting to say, "Aw, but that other gown might have been better." Try to make sure you make your final decision among 5 gowns. If you end up with too many to choose from you may get overwhelmed and end up choosing an inferior gown, or choosing the perfect gown but forever asking yourself whether you made the right decision or not. Choose Wisely And choose a wise companion; take along one or two of your closest friends or confidants who know a thing or two about wedding dresses and style. Their advice will come in handy when choosing a gown. Also, make sure you check the durability and quality of the gown, the material and the accessories. You don't want your gown falling apart on you during the ceremonies. How to Select the Perfect Wedding Dress One of the most important decisions a woman will make before she gets married is to select her perfect wedding dress. This is something that every little girl dreams of during her childhood. But don't let the hype and the pressure of years and years of anticipation cloud your judgement. After all, the dress is just a dress, and should never be bigger than the occasion. One of the things brides-to-be have to consider when buying a dress is the comfort level of the wedding dress. Sure it's nice to look like a princess on your wedding day, but if the dress causes you extreme discomfort; or cuts off your circulation, then it's not really worth it. The dress might even cause you to faint. Imagine what a nightmare that would be! The wedding dress selection process usually starts months before the wedding. It's advisable for brides-to-be to look through the pages of wedding magazines, or to visit wedding shops. Just to give them an idea of the different types of styles of wedding dresses that are available. Brides-to-be also have to consider their body types. It's important to get a wedding dress that looks good on you! You might have to try plenty of wedding dresses before you find that one dress that is perfect for you. If you have set aside an extensive budget for your wedding dress. Then you can always go for a designer dress. The most famous name nowadays when it comes to bridal fashion is Vera Wang. She is known for her luxurious detailing, craftsmanship, and hand beading. Her clients for her wedding line include: Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Uma Thurman and Mariah Carey, just to name a few. But if you don't have that much money to spare then you can always choose other options. There are a number of places where you can get your wedding dress that won't cost you a fortune. In addition to the more traditional bridal shops, wedding dresses are also available in: thrift shops, discount stores, online, and even eBay. If you are buying on eBay, make sure the measurements of the wedding dress is included in the description. Also, the condition of the dress must be looked into. Check for feedback regarding that person's account, just to make sure that you are dealing with a credible dealer. But if a traditional wedding is the theme you have in mind, then you might want to go for a vintage dress, in keeping with this theme. When buying a vintage dress, beware of discoloration, or stains on the dress. These might not come off so easily. Investigate the fabric of the dress, stretch it out to check for weakening, or tearing of the cloth. Try to buy a vintage dress that is made before the 1900's. Fabrics have a tendency to deteriorate, and weaken over time. Extraordinarily old vintage dresses might look romantic, but they might not be ideal for use. If you really have your heart set on a specific design, but you find that that dress is too old to use, or too expensive, then you can always go for a reproduction wedding dress. Many stores specialize on reproduction dresses. They design wedding dresses based on specific themes, or eras. Some specialty wedding shops also focus on designing knock-off wedding dresses, inspired by designer wedding gowns. The huge difference being, that these wedding gowns are retailed for the fraction of the amount. There are so many ways a future bride can go about in search for her dream wedding dress. Searching for a wedding dress should be exciting and fun. So make sure you have plenty of time in your hands before the big day, so this process doesn't become stressful, and wearisome. Instead a prelude to the happiness of the special occasion which is to become your wedding. Tips for Choosing Wedding Decorations The first thing that guests notice when they attend a wedding ceremony or reception are the decorations. Therefore, every bride and groom wants to have the decorations very attractive, memorable and to have these represent the interests or the couple. Usually, the task of choosing the wedding decorations is delegated to the bride and the female members of the family and entourage. However, it is still preferred that the groom should also help in conceptualizing the decorations to be used for the wedding. Here are some aspects to consider when deciding on what decorations to be used in the wedding: * Mood Will the wedding be formal or casual? Do you want it to be traditional or contemporary? This will help in deciding what candles, flowers, balloons, and other venue enhancements will you be needing. * Color Scheme Consider the main color to be used for the decorations. This may be the couple's favorite color, a color that can be associated with their hobby or the color that is preferred during the season. Make sure that the color of the decorations will go well with what the members of the entourage and the guests will be wearing. * Site Take pictures of the wedding site as early as possible so that you can check the pictures while considering a decorating idea. * Time Usually, decorations can only be set at the church and at the reception within one to two hours before the event. Therefore, you must consider decorations that don't take much time to mount. Also, these decorations should also be taken down right after the event. * Guests Consider how many will attend the wedding reception and how big is the site. With the number of guests that you will be having, can you still set-up bigger decorations that will take some floor space? If you have a large number of guests, you may just want to set-up floor decorations near the stage and dance floor where most of the program will take place. Also, you might want to opt for smaller but finely detailed table decorations. Also consider if there will be kids who will be attending the wedding reception. Kids may get bored during the program and start playing with the decorations that can cause an unsightly mess. So you may just get decorations that are not so fragile. Another tip, if you will be having several kids as guests, you may have a kids area, where they can mingle with other kids and where the decorations and food are more suited for their age. * Budget Improperly chosen decorating ideas will not look well even if these cost much. Also, choosing just two or three decorating ideas, as long as these are implemented well can make a ceremony and reception look lavish. Also, it is not necessary to buy every item that will be used as decorations. Some professional decorators can give you information on vases, mirrors, table centerpieces, dried flower arrangements, arc ways, pedestals and plants that will only be used for one day. With these, just adding a few candles, laces and fresh flowers will make your wedding site and reception exquisite. A final budgeting advice, check with the wedding rite venue director if there are other weddings that will take place during the day. If so, you may want to coordinate with the couple that will be using the venue before or after you. The may agree with your decorating ideas or add some of their own, and agree to just split the decorating expenses with you. Wedding Crashers: Guests from the Uninvited World In every occasion, there is an invitation. In every invitation, there is an invited guest. However, for every party, there is bound to be a party crasher. Take for example in wedding celebrations. For so many years now, there are people who come to the event without even an invitation or the mere fact that they were invited. These are known as the wedding crashers. Wedding crashers are "unexpected guests" primarily because they were not invited in the first place. But because they think that love is in the air and they are not invited, they cannot help but attend the party. So, for people who wish to know how to become a wedding crasher, here are some tips that you can use. 1. Try to become a long-lost cousin or somebody who is "within" the family. In most wedding celebrations, the family is always included. In fact, most of the wedding invitations tend to be some sort of family reunions because the family members get together once again. And because there are tons of relatives present in the celebration, the bride or the groom will not notice, who you are or where did you come from. So, it would be better to pretend as a long lost relative. Best of all, you could extend the drama if you have a beautifully gift-wrapped package with you. Who could resist somebody who was known as Uncle Clemence's long lost son and now he has come back (with your personality, of course). 2. Try being a staff member of the wedding caterer or wedding coordinator. In order to be able to crash into a wedding, you could always pretend to be a staff member of something. In a wedding, there are lots of people being hired in the planning and preparation. So, one way of crashing into the scene is to pretend that you are a staff member of the catering company or the flower arrangements. It is just a matter of drama and actions. After all, you would want to eat a very nice meal, right? 3. If somebody asks you who you are, you could always say you are a friend of somebody who is also at the party. Pick the name of your choice. You can always find someone else's name when you are being asked why you are at the party or who is with you right now. This is a safe tactic if you do not feel like choosing whose side of the couple will you take in order to introduce yourself. Besides, with this strategy, you can be pretty sure that with over a hundred or 200 guests in the party, who would dare verify that the name you have chosen really exists. 4. Dress to kill. The best part of being a wedding crasher is to dress up a little bit in order to suit the occasion. Even if it means that you were "dressed to kill," it would be better to dress appropriately in order to fit in the event. After all, wedding crashing is not all about free food and wines. It can also be one way of finding the love of your life. 5. Timing is an essence. One of the most important things one should remember when crashing into the party is to show up really late. This is because by the time you have arrived, everybody has started drinking, socializing, and getting so much into the details of the wedding that their defenses become relatively low. So, when you arrived at the wedding, no one will surely notice your arrival, so, you can easily slip in and join the party. Indeed, wedding crashers can be very unethical people to love with. But then again, some of these people are also worth your time and money because of the company that they can give to your other guests. After all, for wedding crashers, life is, indeed, worth partying out that is why it is a great idea to attend to a party or wedding even if you are not invited. Things to Know About Wedding Centerpieces Having a perfect wedding is a dream of most couples. They want to have their wedding day as the most perfect event of their lives. No wonder why many people are so engaged into wedding planning because the numerous details of the wedding should never be taken for granted. From the invitations down to the reception, every detail must be meticulously considered. Take for example the wedding centerpieces. For some events, centerpieces are not that important and may not take much of preparation and consideration. But with weddings, these beautiful embellishments usually found in the reception are extremely important as these items, likewise, set the mood in the area. Wedding centerpieces are not necessarily the "center of attraction" in the event. But they do complement the bride and the group along with the other details of the wedding. Normally, wedding centerpieces are not included in the reception or the catering; hence, it is a must that you hire the best provider of wedding centerpieces. So, for people who wish to obtain some tips on choosing wedding centerpieces, here are some pointers that you could use: 1. In most cases, flowers are the best wedding centerpieces. They add color and life in the reception area. Best of all, flowers can enliven the spirit of those who are present in the reception. It gives a homey feeling, thus, making the reception program more fascinating. 2. Do not just go with the flowers. Consider the arranger as well. The flower arranger could also be the same arranger you have hired to decorate the church. The wrong flower arrangement, color, and types of flowers used as centerpieces can do more harm than good. Hence, it is a must that pertinent details like this one should be considered seriously. 3. Shop around Do not be constrained on one establishment only. It is best to shop around and get more ideas on wedding centerpieces. Flowers are not the only thing that is considered as good wedding centerpieces. You can also have some candles, glass bowls, floating and scented candles, etc. 4. Choose the kind of ambiance you want to project in the reception If you want a more classical yet simple wedding centerpiece, it is best to try using flowers or other ornaments. In the event that your wedding and the reception has a different venue, deviated from the typical church and restaurant venue, it is best to choose a wedding centerpiece that is suitable to the venue. For example, if it is a garden wedding, then it is best to use nature as centerpieces like miniature birdhouses, flower baskets, etc. 5. In choosing flowers, it is best to consider the color, style, and the availability of the flowers. There are instances wherein the type of flower that you want to use as a centerpiece is not available. There are many varieties of flowers so you can choose an alternative. Just keep in mind that it must complement the color and the setting of the wedding reception. 6. For budget conscious couples, you can opt for a cheaper wedding centerpiece but still adds elegance to your wedding reception. You can use fruits as wedding centerpieces. Fruits are very affordable items and can be used as attractive wedding centerpieces. With a little creativity and imagination, you can make something wonderful out of these fruits. The bottom line is that wedding centerpieces need not be very expensive. What matters most is to have them as embellishments in the table, which adds up to the merry-making of the memorable activity in a couple's life. Some Tips When Buying Wedding Cakes When you want to knock their socks off; when you want them to stand up and cheer; when nothing but the best will do because it is your wedding day; that is when you serve a spectacular wedding cake. Do not let the vision of confetti, the crash of cymbals, or the fanfare of trumpets deter you from attempting to come up with such remarkable wedding cakes. Generally, wedding cakes are is the conventional cake being dished up to the guests at the breakfast after the wedding. It is characterized as a huge cake, different from the usual cakes we have on ordinary occasions. In most cases, wedding cakes are layered or multi-layered and are heftily decorated with icing, beads, and other embellishments that would reflect the grandiose of the event. On the top is a small image of a bride and groom. Wedding cakes can go from the simplest to the most complex decorations; each has its own artistic distinctions depending on the creative juices of the baker. They should conform to the main purpose of the cake, that whatever embellishments it possess, it can still be edible and can be eaten. Because the wedding cake is such an important part in the wedding celebration, here are some tips you need to know in case you will be buying a wedding cake in the future. 1. Check on the length of time required for you in ordering your wedding cake. Time is such an important factor when making wedding plans. Of course, you would not want your wedding be hurriedly done or rushed. Because the wedding cake is a part of the wedding plan, it is important to devote an appropriate time in ordering wedding cakes. It is best to ask your favorite bakeshop on the time frame that they usually give with regards to wedding cake so that you can make early orders if it will take such a long time to create your wedding cake. In this way, you will not be in a hurry coming up with a wedding cake to be served on your wedding day. 2. Verify the details of the cake and its cost. A lot of couples are so fascinated with the luscious treats that go with their wedding cake. What they do not know is that each embellishment and every twists and turns embedded in the cake has a price. Therefore, it would be better to clear it out with your baker how much will be the cost of every decoration are added features you wish to add on your wedding cake. 3. Tell your baker about the details of your wedding. In today's modern world, weddings are not just done in the church. A lot of ideas had come up in terms of wedding venues. Therefore, if ever you have any plans of having your wedding by the beach or anywhere else where it is open, it would be better to inform your baker about this. In most cases, icings are vulnerable to environmental hazards. So, if the baker knows that your wedding will be a garden wedding or a wedding by the beach, he could make such arrangements with your cake in order to endure the environmental conditions where it will be placed. 4. In a budget? Why not decorate your own wedding cake. It is not so uncommon nowadays to find somebody decorating his or her own wedding cake. In fact, it is a feasible idea especially to those who have a very tight budget. All you have to do is to order a plain wedding cake and buy the decorations from the retail stores. So, set aside some special decisive moment when it comes to your wedding cake because there would be no better way to glamorize your wedding than to have a perfectly made wedding cake. How to buy wedding cakes Wedding cakes are the main attraction in any wedding reception. More than something that you can feast on, wedding cakes has become an essential decoration in the wedding venue. The first thing guests would buzz about is how magnificent your wedding cake is. Choosing the right cake should be meticulously done. With a little patience and the quick tips below, picking the best cake should as easy as walking down the aisle. Choose the right bakeshop If you have an idea on where the best bakery is in your city, then head to that place immediately. You can ask suggestions from your friends or family members also. Get a reservation at once. Do not procrastinate. The availability of cake decorators might be restricted. Be sure to drop by the bakeshop to talk about the designs, flavors and other things you wanted to add to your cake. Be sure to give a detailed description of exactly what you want your cake to be. Give the vendor ample time to prepare, approximately six months ahead of your big day would do. You may need to pay a deposit fee for reservation. The right taste Aside from the look of the cake, keep in mind that cakes are made primarily for eating. They should taste good as well as they look good. The texture and flavor of the cake itself is important. When scouting for a bakeshop, don't hesitate to ask for cake samples of the flavors you want. If they do not allow this, jump to the next store. Check on your budget Wedding cakes ranges from $300 to $1000 or so. Cost primarily depends on the cake design you want. You have to pay for the cake decorator's fee on top of the cost of the cake itself. Know what your budget is ahead of time. Some shops may give you free delivery too. Most bakeshop has a standard number of servings for each cake type. Know how many guests would attend your wedding so you would know more or less how much money you would allocate for the cake. Flowers as decorations Flowers have been a traditional thing on weddings. You can well put them in cakes too. You can either choose from fresh flowers or artificial ones. Fresh flowers are beautiful addition to your cakes. But it is very important that you choose fresh flowers wisely. Be sure that they are free from chemicals. Just to be on the safe side, sugar flowers are safer. These are edible gum paste decorations that have wire or toothpicks on them. Where to place the cake Most cakes, especially on summer, might end up melted under the heat of the sun. They can also cause flowers and flavored curls to dry up. Not to mention the possibility of flies gathering on your priced cake. Just be sure, always have a back up site where you can store your cakes to preserve its look and taste. Never place your wedding cake near the dance floor or where there is a heavy flow of traffic. You might just see your cake fall down. That's not a good sight at all! Be sure to check the sturdiness of the table you would place your cake. Buying wedding cakes can be fun and hassle-free. Remember that your wedding cakes needs to be presentable, most of the photo opts are done beside the cake. It's always nice to give out that bright smile beside you're well decorated cake that brings out your personal statement. Things You Should Know About Wedding Cake Toppers Centuries ago, there was a baker's daughter who was about to be married had wished to have a perfect emblem of her marriage. She asked her father to help her find that perfect symbol in order to indicate the love that has transpired between her and her groom. After some series of careful deliberation, the father finally came up with something that he thought would best signify the kind of love his daughter has for her husband. And so, when the wedding day came, the baker's daughter was so happy because there stood, in the middle of the wedding cake, two miniature, but lovely figurines perfectly dressed for the wedding. The father said that this is the perfect symbol of their marriage, in which the couple is the main attraction of the ceremony. This could have been a fiction or a true story, but nobody can really tell if this is the start of the wedding cake topper history. Nevertheless, since its inception, the wedding cake toppers had long been the traditional symbol of married couples as they were symbolically placed above the wedding cake for everybody to see. Wedding cake toppers are available in a wide array of designs, colors, and styles wherein couples can choose whatever they think would best portray their marriage. So, for those who want to know some tips regarding the right way to choose wedding cake topers, here are some tips that you may use: 1. Never use wedding cake toppers that are made of plastics, especially the cheap ones. Even if you are tight on a budget, it is best not to choose wedding cake toppers that are made of plastics. Usually, these are the ones that are readily available in the department stores. Wedding cake toppers should be as exceptional as your wedding cake. Therefore, it is best to use wedding cake toppers that is out of ordinary and never before seen in any wedding. This may cost a little bit more than what you have intended to spend with but would definitely convert your wedding cake into something wonderful, one that would definitely make your wedding truly a memorable event. 2. Be creative. It is best if the wedding along with your wedding cake and cake toppers are all personalized. This means that the designs and styles are creatively made by the couple. This will add more romance and glamour on the wedding itself. Best of all, do not be constrained with the traditional and classical designs of wedding cake toppers. You may deviate from the customs and have your very own wedding cake toppers. Today, there are many contemporary designs that the couple may use. In fact, they can even have their own ideas. All they have to do is to ask their baker to make the concept and use it as their wedding cake topper. 3. For the budget conscious couple, you can use your parent's wedding cake topper if it is still available. This will truly make your wedding cake very special because of the hand-down generation. The point is, whatever designs or styles of cake toppers you choose to have on your wedding cake, the fact that it symbolizes your marriage is already a special concept that no other item can replace. Wedding cake toppers are not just sheer embellishments in a cake but more of an emblem, one that best represents the love that is flowing in the hearts of the couple. Choose Your Wedding Bouquet Bouquets of flowers have always been one attraction at any wedding. Bouquets are already part of the wedding tradition on all races. A bouquet of flowers symbolizes a blossoming maiden and reflects her emotions. Therefore, wedding bouquets should be carefully selected and planned the same way you plan for your wedding gown. Here are just a few tips in choosing your wedding bouquet: 1. It is recommended that you choose a flower that is on season to save money and time. This will not give you hard time trying to order the flower as well. 2. You can choose other alternatives like silk flowers especially if the flower you would like to use is not in season. Silk flowers are also suited in formal weddings; fresh picked flowers may not fit a very formal party. 3. Your bouquet should not drown you. Be sure that it will not cover your figure. If you are petite, the weight of the flower might be too heavy for your built and may affect your posture and how you carry your gown. Remember that your bouquet should not be too big so as not to cover your elegant gown and should be easy to carry. 4. The flowers you chose should last for the entire day. Make sure that your flowers still hold up even at the end of the day so that you will still look glamorous when taken pictures. Using a bouquet holder is suggested to keep the flowers fresh during the entire day. Also take the advice of your florist on which flowers easily wilt so that you can avoid choosing them. 5. Don't let your florist imagine the flower design you like. You may take a picture or a printed copy of the bouquet style you prefer. Also bring a sample fabric of the gowns so that the florist can choose the correct shade of flower that will match the color of the gowns. Some bouquets may be decorated with ribbons, lace and silk materials. You can advise the florist on what specific designs would you like to add for your flowers. 6. Why not choose a flower that has special meaning? That will not be difficult since most flowers have their meanings. Stephanotis stands for happiness in marriage, Rose means love and being true, and Tulips stand for perfect love and declaration of love. 7. One of the first things to consider when opting for a bouquet is the style. Choose the bouquet style that will suit you and your personality. Bouquets are more personal nowadays and reflect the brides' personalities. For Nosegays, where flowers are clustered in a round form, can vary in sophistication and will fit any personality. In Cascade bouquets, flowers are arranged in a descending form. These bouquets are voluptuous and can be the center of attention. They are recommended for traditional weddings. There are flowers where stems are wrapped around in ribbons and they are called Hand-tied bouquets. These bouquets bring a casual aura and are recommended for garden weddings. There are also Contemporary bouquets where flowers are arranged in style but with no geometric form. These arrangements of flowers represent the individuality of a bride and are mostly used in sophisticated weddings. 8. The top wedding flowers are Rose, Lilly, Orchid, Hyacinth, Tulip, Stephanotis and Daisy. You may want to follow the trend and choose these flowers for your bouquet. How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Bands So you want to seal the deal. You've already proposed, she has accepted. Now, it's time to get down to business and make it official. Aside from your vows, there's nothing more that makes it official than the exchange offering of wedding bands. These are the rings that the bride and groom will be wearing forever, 'til death do us part! So it is important for the bride and groom to purchase a wedding band that they both like and feel good about. One thing that you should consider when buying a wedding band, is both the personal style of the future husband and wife. This is a joint effort, so both parties should agree. It is essential that both are comfortable with the rings that they choose, because they'd be wearing these rings for a lifetime. There are a variety of wedding band to choose from, made from different materials. 14 karat white and yellow gold being still two of the most popular choices. A 14 karat gold wedding band is not entirely made of gold. It is mixed with an alloy of gold and other metals such as copper and silver. Wedding bands also come in silver and platinum. Platinum is heavier than gold. It is considered to be the most precious of all metals. It makes for a beautiful wedding ring because of its stunning white metal that shines after it has been polished. Silver is not considered superior in quality. Silver metal tend to be very soft. Wedding bands made of silver are prone to discoloration. But they are very inexpensive. So those who are shopping on a budget might want to consider this as an option. In choosing a wedding band, the thickness of the band must be considered, and whether the bride and groom would want a wedding band with a design, or just a plain set of wedding bands. Now, it is common for couples to choose the same wedding band. Except, that the woman's wedding band is slightly smaller. It is advisable for couples who are shopping for rings to visit a number of jewelry stores. This way, they'd have a wide selection to choose from. They could also compare prices. If you have any questions regarding the rings, you can always ask a professional jeweler to assist you. He or she can also offer you an expert opinion when it comes to your selection. If couples chose to have an engraving in their rings, they should already have a dedication in mind. Also, they should be careful in choosing the type of engraving they will put in their wedding bands, because these engravings are lasting. Most couples chose to have their initials brandished inside their wedding rings. While others chose symbols, or dedications as a gesture, or profession of their love and devotion to each other. Engravings are a wonderful thing, because they make the rings more meaningful and special. Ask your friends and family who are blissfully married to recommend some names of places where you can acquire the wedding bands of your dream. If you cannot find a ready made ring that suits your style, you can always have them custom made. A lot of jeweler specialize in making wedding bands. Having your wedding bands made, actually is less expensive than purchasing in store wedding bands. The great thing about this is it also adds a personal touch to the ring selection process. But in the end, it's not really just about the rings, so couples should not stress over the whole ring selection process. Rather they should enjoy and relish this special time, when they are about to be made future husband and wife, and bonded for all eternity. Essential wedding accessories Wedding accessories are important to complete your bridal look. Without wedding accessories, the wedding gown would look bare and incomplete. Below are some of the essential wedding accessories. Wedding veils Would a wedding be complete without a wedding veil? Of course you've probably seen weddings where brides where gowns without veils but it sure don't look much like a wedding. A wedding veil, along with the ring and cord, is one wedding accessory that symbolizes the wedding itself. In picking out a wedding veil make sure that it will suit your wedding gown and the theme of your wedding. Traditional veils are very formal and usually measure around three and a half yards long. Veils nowadays come in various lengths. There is even a shoulder length flyaway type that is preferred by many modern brides. Shoes & stockings Shoes and stockings are a crucial element to your overall look on your wedding day. All girls know how difficult it is to find a shoe that will complement attire. What more if you are trying to look for a pair that would match your wedding gown. Try to look for shoes made of velvet, satin and silk as these materials provide a formal and delicate touch to any event. You can also choose shoes with embellishment like beads, sequins, pearls or crystals. Just make sure that the shoes you will buy is comfortable on your feet because you will ear them on probably the most important event of your life. Jewelry Aside from the wedding band and wedding ring, you should also take time to consider the other jewelry you will ear like necklace, earrings and bracelet. Jewelry should always compliment a dress and not be the star of the evening. So make sure that the jewelry you will wear would be noticeable enough to get attention but not too loud as to over shadow your wedding gown. Consider wearing family heirlooms because they are proven to be an ideal wedding accessory. Of course, diamonds and pearls would also be very nice. Headpieces Headpieces such as combs, headbands, back pieces and Juliet caps are generally used to hold the wedding veil in place. Often, headpieces are decorated with beads, pearls, crystals or flowers to make them look attractive. It seems like a small detail but a headpiece can spell the difference between a boring wedding attire and an exciting one. Actually, a beautiful headpiece can even replace a veil altogether. Examples of headpieces that can stand alone are tiaras, crowns, half-crowns, wreaths and bun wraps. Gloves Gloves make great accessories especially if you are wearing a strapless or sleeveless gown. The general rule is that the shorter the sleeve the longer the glove should be. Gloves simply provide an air of sophistication to any outfit. Handbags Of course you shouldn't be carrying a bag with you during the wedding ceremony or even during the reception. But still it would be nice to have a small purse where all the things you will need, particularly make up for touch ups, would be contained. It doesn't have to be a big shoulder bag. Clutches will work just fine. As they say, God is in the details. And in wedding the little details provided by wedding accessories can make all the difference. That's is why it is very important to give as much attention to the wedding accessories you will wear or carry on your wedding day as you would to your wedding gown. American Wedding Practices Living in the US makes one feel free -- free to do anything, free to live, free to love, free from traditions. While this is true, there are still many practices done during wedding that renders this memorable event with a distinct American touch. Here are some: Starting from the engagement, Americans can think of unique ways to personalize their wedding. As there really isn't any engagement tradition, the more unique the marriage proposal is done, the better. For most wedding preparations, the engaged couple visits their parents to inform them of their recent engagement. At times, the engaged couple hosts an engagement party. The engagement party costs less than a wedding reception since most of the time, the menu will only include cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Therefore, if the couple is on a tight budget, they can just invite more guests to the engagement party if they plan to limit the number of guests during the wedding. Most wedding preparations have a bridal shower given by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids. The groom may also have a bachelor party the night before the wedding but he has to be careful not to drink too much. Wedding invitations should include response cards to quickly inform the couple whether the person has accepted or declined the invitation. The wedding invitations should also be sent within four to six weeks before the event. Usually, there is a rehearsal dinner in which the wedding party and guests came from far places to be present at the wedding attend. It was practiced that the groom's parents pay for this dinner. A bridal luncheon may be hosted for the bride's attendants during the wedding day. However, time constraints may not permit this to be part of the schedule for the wedding day. Likewise, the groom may also host a groom's dinner for his groomsmen. Interestingly, even if the couple is not very religious, they still prefer a religious ceremony. However, this may pose a problem since in America people of different faiths and religious backgrounds get married. Even if there are few people who believe in bad luck, some couples still make sure that the groom does not see his bride until she starts waking on the aisle. It is still practiced that the groom and his groomsmen enter the church through a side door. The bride will then walk down the aisle with her father. In some cases when both her father and stepfather brought up the bride, she may ask them both to escort her. During a formal reception, there is usually a bridal table where the couple and the attendants sit. Also, food and drinks should be served as the guests appear at the reception. Before, gift giving used to depend on what the guest will feel useful for the couple. Now, it is better to register for gifts so the guests will know what to bring that the couple will need. Upon receiving an engagement or wedding gift, it is better to send a thank you note apart from saying "thank you" to the giver. This should be sent within two weeks upon receipt of the gift. Make a personalized thank you note, instead of using an impersonal generic thank you note. These are just some American practices during weddings. Whether one chooses to this or prefers to have a very different wedding, what's more important is that American's still believe in the wedding vow, "For better or worse, 'til death do us part." Tips in selecting discount wedding invitations Choosing a wedding invitation is very important because it will give your guests a first impression or glimpse of what your actual wedding will be like. A wedding invitation must, first and foremost, reflect your wedding theme and motif. Wedding invitations also often serves the purpose of being delightful keepsakes. However, the right wedding invitation need not cost an arm and a leg. It is not wise to spend a fortune that can be used somewhere else. The range of kinds and styles of discount wedding invitation is vast. Choosing a particular one can be very confusing. There are discount wedding invitations and if you follow the guidelines below you will definitely never go wrong in choosing one. The key is to be prudent and not letting yourself get carried away. You can even save more money if you follow these guidelines. Choose wedding invitation style well. As mentioned earlier, your primary consideration in choosing a wedding invitation style is the theme and motif of your wedding. Is your wedding grad or simple? Will your wedding be light or formal? Other than that, it all depends on personal taste and budget. But whatever your taste or budget range is, you will definitely be able to find a good wedding invitation. If you want, you can even buy some cards and design your own invitation by buying a printing kit which is offered by some wedding service providers. Determine the kind of wedding you'll have. Your type of wedding invitation will largely depend on whether you will have a traditional or modern wedding. Traditional weddings would require a more formal invitation. On the other hand, a modern wedding will call for a more modern kind of wedding invitation. Traditional wedding invitations would only contain texts. It wouldn't contain any graphics. Traditional wedding invitations are usually upright and folded with the words engraved on the right side. Cards used in traditional wedding invitations are usually white or cream and the letterings are in silver and black. If you are having a themes wedding then choose a wedding invitation that is appropriate for your chosen theme. For example, you can have a sixteenth century scrolled parchment wedding invitation if the theme of your wedding is Tudor. Choosing a supplier. Wedding invitations can be obtained by mail order, printer, stationers and stationery designers or you can buy online. Choose a supplier hat provides value added services and features so you will get real value for your money. Some suppliers will help you right the wording in your wedding invitation. Some will even help you with wedding etiquette rules and would help you if you are confused about all the etiquette rules involved in sending out wedding invitations. It would also be nice if the supplier has trained and experienced wedding etiquette and social correctness experts. Choose a supplier that offers personalized service so you can be sure that you are not getting run of the mill wedding invitation. A good discount wedding invitation supplier will also respond to your inquiries and requests promptly either through email or by phone. But your privacy must always be requested so make sure that any personal information you provide to them is used for the sole purpose of processing your order. Your order must be transmitted across a secure server, so your billing information is kept private. Unique wedding gift ideas Attending a wedding soon and you still don't know what to give the couple-t be? Tired of the usually home appliances or home decor? Please, not another blender, vacuum cleaner or oven toaster. Money of course will be very much appreciated but it would deem to impersonal. Giving gifts to the couple is part of the traditions on wedding. Your gift symbolizes your good will towards the couple. It represents your wish for them to have a happy life together. Of course, your first consideration when buying wedding gift is durability. You would want to give a gift that would last a long time. But of course you would also want a gift that is individual and would reflect your personality. A gift that the couple will remember is from you because of its uniqueness. This means the wedding gift you should give should make a lasting impression about you. Below are several unique gift ideas that will surely make you unforgettable with the couple. Jewelry Jewelry is a very "safe" yet unique wedding gift especially for the bride. We all know that most women love jewelry and the bride would simply be happy upon seeing your gift of jewelry. The bride will be definitely be surprised and fascinated when she open your gift. Choose simple yet very elegant pieces like brooch pins, hairpins, earrings, pendants, chains, necklaces and bracelets. If you have the money and if the bride really matters to you (a sister, best friend, etc.) then of course you could give her diamonds. You could also include a\n elegant jewelry box along with your jewelry gift. Bags Again, this will be another hit with the bride. Next to jewelry, shoe and bags delight women You can give her a beautiful and exquisite evening bag or hand bag. If your want something smaller then give her a clutch bag. You could also put a small make up kit inside. Gift ideas for the groom Of course you shouldn't forget the groom. They say that it is easier to give gifts to men because and it could be true. Some ideal gifts for grooms include writ and pocket watches, ties and tiepins, gold, silver or diamond studded cufflinks. You could also give the groom formal suits and shirts. You could also consider his hobby. Give him a musical instrument like a guitar or drums if he is into music or a set of golf clubs, basketball or baseball set if he is into sports. Naughty items Naughty items found in most novelty shops like naughty t-shirts, hast, caps, wedding night kits, underwear are always a hit with couples. However, be sure hat you know the bride and groom very well before considering buying such items for them. Naughty items may seem impolite and offensive to some individuals. Artwork Paintings and sculptures are very ideal as wedding gifts. They are also very practical since the couple can use them to beautify their future home. Just be sure that you know the preference of the couple when it comes to art or else your gift would simply lie around in the garage of attic. Personalized items You could give the couple personal items like photo albums, pillows and pillow cases, photo frames, wedding plates, etc. There are many companies specializing in personalizing different things so for sure you wouldn't have a hard time looking. Modify free wedding vows A well-versed and well rehearsed wedding vow, especially when it comes from the heart, sends a certain chill to everyone who hears it. Vows have been a long time tradition in wedding ceremonies. The promise of a lifetime commitment to each other despite of difficulties and differences guarantee that true love really exists. Isn't that a nice thought? Both the groom and bride exchange wedding vows. Commonly, the vows would include a pledge of unselfishness, faithfulness, and unconditional love. If you are in the dark on what to write in your wedding vows, don't be! You can find one of a kind wedding vow just by a click of your mouse. Surfing the internet for wedding vows proved to be a good source of ideas and tips that you can readily use on your wedding day. You may need to pay for the service on some sites, but you can scout one for free too. Free wedding vows do away with the traditional and scripted promise one hears over and over again in common wedding ceremonies. The good thing about free wedding vows on the net, aside from the fact that they are free, they give you the freedom and flexibility to write what you want to say from your heart. You can modify the free sample vows or if you find the writing incredibly heart-warming, you can go ahead and use it without revisions. There are different vows you can choose from. Like everything, vows can be customized according to the circumstances that you are in. There can be vows specially written for second marriage couples, couples with children, religious variations or wedding anniversaries. Using poetry as part of a vow is a common practice too. Those of Gibran, Keats and Browning are popular choices. You can browse on some internet sites that can even offer a free worksheet format and questionnaires that you need to fill out for you to easily modify your chosen wedding vow. These will serve as your guideline so that you can re-evaluate what you want to say. Before that big day, preparing your wedding vows is very crucial. Writing your vows together is a very special activity that is highly recommended. When writing a wedding vow together, set a specific time and place where the two of you can have some privacy. You can jot down your promises on a separate sheet of paper and agree to compare what you've written after an hour or so. First, write a letter professing your love for your partner. Do not hesitate to elaborate what you are feeling. Be creative and be sure to take note of your favorite and memorable times together, either good or bad. Some suggestions are the first time that you met, the moment when finally said 'yes' or when a trying situation happened but still your love for each others endure. Grab sweet lines from songs, books or scriptures that translate your love for your partner. After writing down your letter, get back together and read each other's writings. Reading the letters can be truly heart-warming. Prepare to share a laugh or even occasional crying. Share your thoughts on the best part of the letter and from there start your outline for your vows. The secret of a good wedding vow is making it a personal commitment to your other half and make sure that the message you convey are made clear and simple. Nothing beats anything that genuinely comes from the heart. Free Wedding Speeches, helpful or dreadful? You're sitting in your couch watching TV on a Saturday night, minding your own business and then your Best friend calls you up, tells you he's getting hitched and wants you to be his best man. You sweat, but can't decline, so you end up agreeing on a toast at the wedding. After you hang up the phone, you go straight to the net and search for Free Wedding speeches. Get the picture? Statistics have shown that more people are afraid of public speaking then they are of more common fears, and it is indeed a very fearful act, speaking in public, anything you say cannot be taken back, and if you say something bad, you'll get foot "in" mouth disease. But does looking for free speeches on the net really help? Most of the time you'll find some cheap tips on how to make the perfect, speech or how to say it. Or maybe you'll be lucky enough to find one that is already made, and you'll just have to print it. But these speeches tend to be rather, impersonal and very general, and if you're the best man, you'll probably just end up boring your friends and family. When making speeches, the simpler the better, you won't have to depend on free wedding speeches off the net if you have memories of your friends. What you are asked to do on a wedding toast is to tell the people something about your friends, the ones getting married, how they were meant for each other and how you wish them happiness for the rest of their lives. You don't need a factory made, winding speech, all you need is memories, and your genuine care for your loved ones. If you're still having the jiggly stomach about giving your speech you can follow these free wedding speech tips, they may not be ready made but they'll surely help. - Forget the preaching go on with the memories Most people give winding speeches because they tend to give "unasked advice" leave that to the marriage counselor or the pastor, just give 'em memories. Most couples appreciate the nostalgia of a few well chosen memories. Find a funny or a touching memory you have of the couple and share it with the room, plus a few well wishes and you're done. - Go for short but effective, rather than long and winding Many of us know that a long speech is very boring; you don't want to dull the night with your talks of your childhood, and your games, with your friend. A biography is for a book, one or two memories are for a wedding. - Write a Poem You may say that poems are for sissies but that depends on every person point of view. But a Wedding Is a very emotional moment and it's sure that everyone is in the mood for a little emotion and tears and what more to provoke those dams to flow than a few well said lines in the form of a poem? - Don't forget to introduce yourself A simple "Jade has been my friend since high school and I've never seen her gaga over any guy other than Andrew" Make a basis for what you're saying, especially if you're talking about moments in the newlywed's life. If it was a trial, you're the witness, and you'll need credibility. Just imagine would people "feel" your speech if they're don't know who the heck you are? Selecting Flowers for a Wedding One of the biggest parts of a wedding is the flowers that are included. There are flowers for the bouquets, flowers for the church, and flowers for the mothers, grandmothers, groom, and ushers, as well as centerpieces for the reception. Something that should be taken into consideration when selecting the flowers to use in a wedding is that sometimes there are people who have allergies and may be affected by the scent of the flowers. When you are choosing the type of flowers for your wedding, think about yourself and your attendants especially. Are there any sensitive noses The last thing that you will need on your wedding day Is to have yourself or one of your attendants having a sneezing fit in the middle of the ceremony. Once you have chosen what type of flower you want to have for your wedding, the next thing is to decide on the colors. Usually the colors for bridesmaids and groomsmen will correspond to the colors of the bridesmaids' dresses for the bouquets. But when it comes to the grandmothers and mothers flowers it may be a good idea to find out what color their dresses will be so their flowers will match. So that there aren't a lot of flowers left over from the reception, it's not a bad idea to mark a chair and whoever sits in that chair gets to take home the centerpiece. This way the flowers can be enjoyed for longer than a day and you don't have to worry about what to do with them. Other Wedding Jobs for Friends When most people think of a wedding, the things that they think about are the bride and groom, of course, the wedding party, the flowers and the wedding reception. But there is a lot more to a wedding than that, and this is how others can be involved if the wedding party has been filled. Guest Book Attendant - This is one of the jobs that can be offered to a friend who wasn't included in the wedding party but still wants to help. This person will encourage the guests to sign the book and leave a message for the couple if they wish. It may seem like a small job, but it's important. Bird Seed Bag Attendants - Another job that is available to friends of the bride and groom is to give everyone bags of bird seed after the ceremony. This can be done by one or two people, depending on how many people are attending the wedding. Scripture readings - If the bride and groom are having a ceremony that includes a lot of scripture readings, this is another nice touch to the ceremony, and can make your friends feel like a special part of your day. Car decorating - This can be a perfect job for a couple of guys who aren't ushers. They can go out to the bridal car and decorate it for the drive to where the reception is being held. This is also a job that can be done by some of the ushers, who don't want to stand around for the receiving line. Your Wedding Reception Food Something that people often remember when they go to a wedding reception is the food, whether it's good or bad. Something to consider when you are choosing your wedding menu is your guests. Yes, it's your wedding but you are spending a lot of money so you want people to like what is being served. Here are some tips so that people enjoy your reception food. Give them a choice It's always a good idea to offer your guests a choice on what they would like to eat for your wedding reception People may have food allergies, so this way they can choose what they would like to eat. Two choices is enough. Keep it simple Just because it's not something fancy, it doesn't meant hat it won't be good. If they are faced with something that they aren't sure what it is, they may be reluctant to eat it so don't go for things that people can't identify. Keep it clean Everyone at your wedding reception is going to be wearing their best clothes. You want to stay away from food that is very messy or could cause stains that will be hard to remove. Remember, you are going to be wearing a white dress. The last thing you will want is to have something spill on it that may ruin it, or will be very noticeable. Think about what you have had in the past at wedding receptions, and what you liked or didn't like about them. That will help you plan your own wedding reception menu. Ideas for Wedding Party Gifts A day or two before your wedding, there is usually a wedding rehearsal and then a wedding rehearsal dinner. This is paid for traditionally by the groom's family, and it's when you will give your wedding attendants their gifts as a thank you for being in your wedding. Bridesmaids - As a rule, jewelry is a good idea for the ladies. If they have pierced ears, you can give them earrings. If their ears aren't pierced, you can give them necklaces. It's always a good idea to give them something that they can wear on the day of the wedding to go with their dresses. Groomsmenushers - For the men, it's a little more difficult to choose an appropriate gift. If you can't find something that will be appropriate for all of them, you can choose comparable but different gifts. Beer steins, shot glasses, and other similar items can be used, or something else that will reflect their individuality. Remember, when you are choosing your gifts that these are your friends and family, and that you want them to know that you have appreciated everything that they have done. The wedding rehearsal dinner is a time for the wedding party to come together and have a good time before the wedding. Enjoy yourself and have a good time with your wedding party. You are celebrating the fact that you are going to be getting married soon, and that you will be starting a new life together with you spouse. Saving Money on a Wedding Cake One of the biggest focal points of a wedding reception is the beautiful wedding cake. That towering, flowering, blinding beautiful wedding cake with the two people standing on top, that the bride and groom cut and then feed to one another. Although a lot of brides and grooms go with the traditional pound cake taste, it doesn't have to be that way. Flavor If you don't go with the traditional pound cake taste for all of your layers, keep in mind that not everyone is going to like lemon or raspberry, or any other exotic flavors. One popular alternative is chocolate chip cake. Another idea is to go with alternating chocolate and vanilla. The top of your cake is traditionally saved and eaten on your first wedding anniversary. So choose the flavor that both of you will enjoy and make that your wedding topper. Although a lot of cakes are purchased in a traditional bakery, there are a lot of supermarkets that make delicious cakes that aren't as expensive. If you are working on a budget, shop around for prices on wedding cakes and be sure to sample them. You may be surprised at what supermarkets can do. If you have someone that has taken a cake decorating class and makes great cakes, you may find that they will do it as a wedding present and it will save you some money. A wedding cake doesn't have to be expensive to be delicious, and you can find plenty of money saving ideas when looking for your wedding cake. Five Reasons to Get Married in Las Vegas The first recorded wedding in Vegas was in 1900s when California banned gin from being part of the ceremony, young lovers who were drunk and in love were able to get hitched in Las Vegas. Their unity certificate took only hours to get stamped and outside the chapel was a city of lights for their marriage celebration. Clark Gable was said to have been the first celebrity to get married in Vegas, and from then on it became the top wedding destination for celebrities and commoners alike. Here are five reasons why you should consider getting hitched in the Entertainment Capital of the World. 1. Last Days of Singleton Days before THE big day, arrive at Las Vegas and plan to spend the last hours of your singleton in the Sin City! Experience life and the company of friends on a night out on the strip. Want girl-bonding time? You can do that, too! Try a day at the spa for relaxing massage and body pampering while indulging in interesting girl talk on the man you are about to marry. 2. Marry, Quick and Easy Ready to get married? A valid ID, your social security number and $55 is all you need to get married in Vegas, oh and yes : Love! It is that easy to get hitched: no wedding planner, no in-laws, and no wedding singer. Just you and your loved one and, of course, the one to marry the two of you: Elvis, a priest or the Commissioner, it's entirely to your liking. Just don't forget to get a marriage license before hand for a smooth flow of the ceremonies. 3. Marry in Your Own Style Wedding for a party of 2 or a party of 200? Vegas has the place and style for you. Most wedding chapels offer an assortment of packages, from very simple to very grandiose. Rings, flowers, witnesses, everyone and everything are readily available. And don't worry about your guest of 200: they have a whole city to entertain themselves, so you can forget about them concentrate on your first night of marital bliss. 4. Stroll To Your Honeymoon Some marriages break up before they start their honeymoon. A long plane ride can be a very tough test for newlyweds. But that is not a worry in a Las Vegas wedding. As soon as you step out the chapel (or the garden, or the Commissioner's office), the honeymoon begins. Stroll along the strip and be amazed with lights and water fountains that are brighter and larger than life. Or stay at any of the luxurious hotels to make your wedding night truly memorable! 5. Settle in Las Vegas Close to 2,000,000 Americans can't be wrong: living in Las Vegas is a serious consideration for any couple starting their life. The city has made very good infrastructure to combat extreme weather conditions. As the Entertainment Capital, it has 24x7 availability for basic need: food! Tired of the blinking lights? There's more nature to see at Las Vegas: try Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead are among the few that will surely take your breath away. Ready to raise a family? Nevada is home to some of the finest schools in the US, take Clark County's Green Valley High school, one of the top 10 high schools in the US. Don't just get married in Las Vegas, start your new life. After all, once you set foot in Vegas, you'll never want to leave ever again. Viva, Las Vegas! The most heavily populated city in Nevada, Las Vegas is considered not only as a major vacation and shopping destination but also the center of gambling in the United States. Although it is often called Sin City because of legalized gambling and prostitution, availability of alcoholic beverages, and various forms and degrees of adult entertainment, its glamorous and enchanting image has made it a popular setting in the movies and television programs. Dubbed as "The Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas is not only known for its tourist attractions, but also for its infamous 'Las Vegas Weddings'. Las Vegas is by far the most popular destination-wedding spot in the United States (and perhaps the world). About 120,000 weddings are held in Las Vegas every year, and it is a perfect place for couples (especially celebrities) who want to get married in a quick and different (or unusual) way. A lot of couples prefer to have a Las Vegas wedding because of the following advantages: * It is affordable. Las Vegas weddings cost less than traditional wedding ceremonies. * It can be held on short notice. Most chapels in Las Vegas allow couples to book for their wedding right away -- others even accommodate walk-ins! * It is convenient. Hotels in Las Vegas usually have their own wedding chapels, with a wedding coordinator that takes in charge of all the preparations -- from the flowers and music to the officiant and the souvenirs -- and can get in touch with the couple on the phone or even online. * It is fun. Las Vegas weddings offer couples with a fun and amusing way to get married -- even with an Elvis impersonator as their officiant! * It allows couples to start their honeymoon early. After the wedding, there is no need for couples to board a plane and head out of town -- Las Vegas is a great honeymoon destination in itself! Are you (and your partner) thinking of having a Las Vegas wedding? Below is a step-by-step guide that will help you get married in Las Vegas: 1. Set a wedding date. 2. Decide on a Las Vegas wedding chapel (check out the chapels in casino-hotels). 3. Speak to a wedding coordinator to know about the information on wedding packages. 4. Book for the date and time of the ceremony that you desire. 5. Make plane and hotel reservations for your friends and families who will come over (and for you if you are not yet in Las Vegas). 6. Make reservations for a festive lunch or dinner (don't forget the wedding cake!) 7. Obtain a marriage license at the Clark County courthouse at least a day before your wedding. 8. Slip away after the ceremony and the celebration. Aside from these guidelines, below are the things that you also need to consider when getting married in Las Vegas: * The holidays. Watch out for 'peak seasons' that result to busy wedding days, such as Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve. * The weather. An extremely hot weather in Las Vegas can be uncomfortable when you are in a tuxedo or a heavy gown (not to mention your makeup and the icing on your wedding cake). * The dress. There are a number of places in Las Vegas where you can rent wedding dresses for that 'spur-of-the-moment' weddings. * The legalities. Make sure that you meet the legal requirements and that you are issued a marriage license before you hold the wedding ceremony. Now you are ready for the wild and wacky experience of a Las Vegas wedding. Just remember that the most important thing is to recite your vows from the heart, and live them all throuh your marriage. All the best!
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