Images courtesy of Photos by Heart
Let's by honest. The South is steeped in traditions! Almost every aspect of a Southerners' life reflects some form of a nod to a long past era. Those reflections are present even more so during the wedding planning process. Honoring the traditions of parents and/or grandparents as well as showing respect for the memory of those unable to participate in your wedding day can be difficult.
How best to honor the wishes of parents and/or grandparents to adhere to Southern traditions? What ways are appropriate to respect the memory of those not present for your celebratory day?
There are countless thoughtful, mindful ways to do adhere to tradition without losing your wedding vision. Small ways such as jumping the broom, incorporating memorabilia for table displays, wearing heirloom veils, sewing pieces of a parents favorite clothing into the wedding dress, using pieces of clothing from a lost love one to bind a bouquet (as seen above) as well as wearing a lost love ones jewelry. Other ideas are using colors or flowers that have special memories, leaving a singular flower or boutonniere in a seat at the ceremony, dancing to a favorite song at the reception, hosting the ceremony at a venue that holds special memories or is associated with a love one.
These are all ways to honor the memories of family members as well as continue traditions in ways that do not over take your day and still respects history and family.
Some couples choose to have alcohol-free ceremonies for various reasons, such as but not limited to, religious reasons or mentally/emotional reasons. As family and friends, we are obliged to respect whatever decision a couple makes for their special day.
However, there is an alternative to an alcohol-free ceremony that allows your guests an opportunity to be social and enjoy a delicious, carefully crafted drink in their hand without the alcohol. Mocktails!
Mocktails are cocktails inspired beverages containing a mix of fresh fruits and fruit juices with other soft drinks. These drinks can be a healthy alternative to a tradition cocktail all the while respecting the wishes of the couple and not depriving your guests of a fun drink. Mocktails can be created with the couple in mind by a bartending service using ingredients and favors that the couple love; creating a unique custom drink for all to enjoy.
Win, win! Cheers to mocktails! Enjoy!
Giving a wedding gift can be tricky. There are so many variables. How much to spend? Should it be a gift for just him or just her? How long do I have to give it to them?What if I don't want to buy anything on the registry?
Ultimately, you want to give something that is meaningful as well as something that will be useful for the couple. According to Vogue Magazine, in 2016, the average wedding gift for a distant relative was between $75-$100. The price was slightly higher for a close relative. Consider that!
Most people purchase gifts from a wedding registry in the following categories; kitchen, entertaining, bed and bath needs. There are three tips that can help when you are shopping for a wonderful wedding gift.
1. Start early. Once you are aware of where the couple is registered. Check out the registry as early as possible. This allows you and opportunity to view the entire list and make an informed decision on what you can afford to spend on the gift.
2. Buy with a group. If you are apart of a tight knit group of friends or a co-worker is tying the knot, consider forming a group to purchase a large item from the registry. This will offset your overall cost while giving the couple exactly what they asked for.
3. Give from the heart. There is no real reason to try to purchase something for the couple that you can not afford. Sometimes, it is meaningful to purchase a gift that will make a heartfelt impression on the couple.
Writing your vows can be tricky and a bit overwhelming. You know what this person you are vowing to spend the rest of your life with means to you but it can be difficult to put all of those emotions into just the right words so that they truly understand how you feel. Here's a tip! Let go of the pressure to make your vows perfect. Your love for this person isn't perfect, your life with this person isn't perfect and he/she will not be expecting to hear perfectly scripted Hollywood vows. Give them YOU!
Give them your personality, whatever that maybe. Give them your warmth, give them your heart and no matter what you write, say it with conviction. Say it with determination and dedication. Because, ultimately, these are the words you will be committing to honor said aloud, not only to your partner, but also in front of family and friends. Whatever you have to say, say it with LOVE!
You are the the best man or the maid of honor and now it's time for the toast. What do you say? What do you do? First, let's consider your relationship to the couple and mostly importantly, let's consider your personality. Are you the funny one or you the more sentimental one? Are you the creative one or are you the talented one? When giving the toast, don't try to be someone you are not!
Toasts are memorable for both good and bad reasons. If you give a racy, inappropriate toast; no one will ever forget it! If you give a heartfelt, well-thought out toast; no one will ever forget it! Refrain from giving an inappropriate one on the grounds of offending the same people you were elected to salute.
Seek out clever ways to add a bit of your personality, your history with the bride or groom and touches of sentiment. This let's the couple know that you put thought and energy in presenting them with a salute they will never forget.
The Venue has one steadfast rule when it comes to the bachelor party- HAVE FUN!
Enjoy yourself! Let your hair down. How often and what is the likelihood that you will be able to have all your boys in one location at one time supporting you marrying the love of your life.
There are some perimeters to the extent of that fun but, ultimately, this party is for you and a representation of your friendship with each guy that is willing to show up and celebrate with you. That are a host of ways to celebrate you entering a new phase of your life. As long as you are respectful of your soon to be spouse's wishes and considerate of their desires, than have the time of your life within those perimeters.
The traditional bachelor party has had a face lift and comes in many facets with a great deal of options. These events can be strongly catered to the groom's personality and hobbies. Whatever you guys seek to do for you, as long as it is in good taste, enjoy it! HAVE FUN!
Photo Credits Thomas Stewart Photography
With the need to be "connected" at all times, some among us forget or fail to realize that there are moments that need to be viewed and not just recorded. Also, there are special moments like during a wedding ceremony that the need to record the moment might actually taint the moment for the bride and groom.
Imagine a bride coming down the aisle and looking for her groom, only for her view of him to be obstructed by guests stepping out into the aisle to record the moment. Imagine in the moment how she feel and how she will never be able to retrieve that opportunity to see her groom for the first time before becoming his wife.
Many couples are opting to have an "Unplugged Ceremony" wherein they are requesting that guests refrain from using any and all devices during the ceremony. This allows the focus to be on being fully present for the bride and groom. Respect their wishes and enjoy the ceremony and display of their love!
The time to celebrate, tweet, post, snap can be at the reception. The current trend of creating clever hashtags for friends and family to use when posting images from the celebration is a great way for the bride and groom to see aspects of their big day that they missed. Unless, they decided to have an "Unplugged Wedding". Either way, it's their day and their wishes.
As the bride and groom planning a wedding can be stressful. Getting everything checked off the list in a timely manner is essential to making sure your wedding vision comes together. Statistically, one of the most stressful events in wedding planning centers around the guest list. A great deal of time, effort and thought goes into who you will share your special day with.
What if a dear friend/family member or several dear friends miss the RSVP deadline? We all get busy at times, forget to meet deadlines or simply misplace things altogether. This is the time when a close family friend or a well-organized aunt willing to help comes into the picture. Following the deadline, the close friend or sweet aunt make a list of the individuals that missed replying and have that family member or friend contact them via email or phone. This way that person is there to share in the joy of your big day and it takes the stress off you to have to add one more thing to your list.
What if you are the friend that forget to RSVP? Immediately, contact the bride or the groom! Allow them to know why you did not reply and figure out what can be done to count you in for the reception. Sometimes it is a quick fix, other times it may not be. Whatever the case may be, it was important to the bride and groom to invite you to attend and it should be equally as important to you to make every effort to notify them that you wish to do so if that is your intentions.
Backing Out Of Bridesmaids Duties
Being selected as a bridesmaid is a distinct honor. The bride to be is essentially asking for support and encouragement from the chosen bridesmaids during her bridal journey. For a majority of brides, selecting the bridal party can be easy because usually the bridesmaids play a significant role in the bride's life.
However, once selected as a bridesmaid, this individual should determine if financially and/or emotionally this is a responsibility that can be fulfilled. Financially, a bridesmaid is responsible for costs that include wedding day attire, plus alterations, hair/makeup, unless otherwise stated by bride, travel and lodging as well as gifts for the bridal shower and/or the wedding. If it is suspected the financial requirements is overwhelming have a honest conversation with the bride as soon as possible. Perhaps a resolution can be reached and the bride maybe willing to split a portion of the cost. If there isn't a resolution, then, express your gratitude for being selected and notify the bride, in person, of your decision to withdraw as a bridesmaid.
Here's the tricky part, what if the reason to withdraw from the wedding party is emotional? Make the determination of whether this is an issue that can be resolved with a conversation or simply letting go of the issue all together. The conversation should be non-confrontational as well as non-defensive. Honestly, some issues may not be able to be resolved. Attempt to eliminate any unnecessary stress on the bride. If there isn't a resolution, with kindness, respect and in person, notify the bride of the decision.