unique-songs-for-first-dance

Unique Wedding Songs for your First Dance

As your wedding approaches and you tend to the final details of your special day, you can get pulled in numerous different directions by well-meaning family members and friends. One aspect of the wedding about which you will surely get some unsolicited advice is the choice of song for the first dance.

Your parents probably hope that you choose something traditional like “At Last” by Etta James. However, you want to put your personal stamp on the wedding with a song choice that says more about you and your partner than it does your parents or anyone else.

To help you choose the tune that will best suit you, here are some ideas for unique wedding songs for your first dance.

Oldies and Classics

These songs are by well-known artists, but they are not typically played for a wedding’s first dance. If you want to choose something unique, but you do not want to rock the boat too much, one of these songs could be the ideal choice.

God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
All of My Love by Led Zeppelin
As by Stevie Wonder
Shelter from the Storm by Bob Dylan
If Not for You by George Harrison

Alternative and Hip

These tunes might be used frequently as first dance songs in the future, but they are not as well-known in the contemporary wedding world. Choose one of these if you want to make a stylish, yet classy mark with your first dance song.

Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Love Song by The Cure
Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
Yellow by Coldplay
La La Love You by The Pixies

Songs for Rocking Out

Perhaps you do not want to use a slow song for your first dance. Maybe you want to use a song that is a little more upbeat and energetic. These songs may shock your tradition-minded guests, but they will certainly be memorable.

I’m the Man Who Loves You by Wilco
I’m a Believer by The Monkees
Burning Love by Elvis Presley
Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
Let Love Rule by Lenny Kravitz

On the Lighter Side

If you have a subversive streak and want to show that you have a sense of humor even on your wedding day, you can choose one of these silly, but sweet songs.

I Wanna Grow Old with You by Adam Sandler
You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman
You’re the One That I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
A Bushel and a Peck by Doris Day
Mario Kart Love Song by Sam Hart

There are many more unconventional and unique wedding songs for your first dance from which to choose. The key to choosing the best song in this situation is to have fun with it and be true to yourself and your tastes. Even though Grandma and Grandpa might scoff at your choice, it should be memorable and fun for you and your partner.

Photo by: kennymatic

wear-black-to-wedding

Is it Okay to Wear Black to a Wedding?

Thinking of sliding into your newest little black dress and want to know is it ok to wear black to a wedding? Based on everything women have been taught about how to dress for special occasions, black is definitely a fashion faux pas when you are attending nuptials. After all, because it is bold and stands out on any occasion, it threatens to violate one of the first rules of attending weddings: do not upstage the bride.

Black dresses at weddings, though, can be classy and command the right kind of attention, if done tastefully. There are certain rules that will make a black dress go over well for this special occasion.

1. Add a splash of color to your black dress. It keeps the outfit festive and moves the mood you set away from funeral attire. Now, if you find yourself a little envious, wishing it were you strolling down the aisle to an altar with all eyes bulging at the fancy dress you are sporting, then go ahead, give in to temptation and dress like this is a funeral. Seriously, if you have any respect for the two people getting married, it is best to find a bright scarf, polished stone necklaces, earrings and bracelets or a smashing belt and pumps to set off the little black dress.

Don’t be afraid to add a colorful hat to match some other colorful accessory that you choose, too. It is a tradition in among sophisticated women to enter a church or other ceremonial place in precious head gear. Do not choose anything too attention-grabbing, but make sure that everyone who sees you will remember what you wear.

2. Do not cover everything up. Choose a dress that is drop-shouldered (on one side or both sides), has a split on the side or gathers at the shoulder and elbow to tease onlookers with your upper arms. By giving a little peek of skin, you want to be sexy, but not too sleazy.

3. Choose a dress with texture. Sequins, pearls, lace trims and textured fabric give a little black dress a lot of personality. Just make sure it is suited for your body shape and that your choice of accessories does not clash with the fabric of your black dress.

Attitudes toward the black dress at weddings has evolved. It has had enough appearances now to be considered elegant, chic and fashionable. Do not spend a lot of time deciding whether to wear a black dress. Spend that time instead choosing accessories that will look good on you when you toast the bride and groom.

Finding cheap wedding venues in Southern California

Finding Affordable Wedding Venues in Southern California

Southern California weddings can be extremely pricey, especially if the event is held near Los Angeles. In order to have both a memorable and affordable celebration, it is necessary to apply some creative thinking to keep the budget low. Some strategies include holding the wedding at an affordable banquet hall, seeking out an alternative location or scheduling the wedding on a less popular day of the week. Saturday weddings command the highest prices, whereas Friday and Sunday events usually offer a small discount. While frugal and inclusive packages can be found at restaurants and banquet halls, hiring your own caterer can be very cost effective if your location allows outside vendors.

Planning your wedding at an alternative location is the best way to find cheap wedding venues in Southern California. Parks, beaches, gardens, ranches and small museums often have low rates and give you the opportunity to save money by hiring your own caterer. With a little bit of research, you can save a bundle on a beautiful location. The Crystal Cove State Park on the Pacific Coast Highway has a jaw-dropping beach and on-site cottages available. The beach promenade rents for $1500 for the day, while the cultural center cottage rents for $2250. Surprisingly, some museums are also able to offer great deals in upscale settings. For instance, the Edward-Dean Museum in Cherry Valley is set upon sixteen pristine acres and offers a pavilion, a gazebo and a koi pond. The Edward-Dean Museum charges $2300 for a venue package, while allowing outside catering.

If you are interested in a garden setting, check out the Fullerton Arboretum. Four hours of garden and pavilion use is only $2000, but you must choose your caterer from an approved list. The most picturesque spot the Arboretum offers is the rose garden altar near the wisteria arbor. Descanso Gardens offers inclusive packages beginning at $4,100 for Saturday receptions, and has indoor and outdoor space available. For a lovely park setting, try the Grapevine Arbor in San Gabriel, where you can have your wedding and reception for under $2500 amidst beautiful period architecture. The Grace E. Simons Lodge in Elysian Park also holds outdoor ceremonies and indoor receptions for around $1500, but requires you to use one of their alcohol vendors. The beauty of a rustic setting can be found at a great price at Hidden Creek Lodge in Lake Arrowhead. They offer a venue package for 125 guests for $5,225 on Saturdays, $4,225 on Sundays, $3,725 on Fridays and $3,225 on weekdays.

If you are looking to save with a discount inclusive package, be sure to avoid hotels, country clubs and vineyards. Instead, consider banquet halls, VFW halls, restaurants and lodges. For example, Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center offers inclusive packages with prices starting at $36 per person. One of the benefits of working with Wedgewood is convenience, because they provide locations all over Southern California, including Camarillo, Corona, San Diego, Riverside, Upland Hills and Ventura Beach. Best of luck with your hunt for inexpensive wedding venues in Southern California! If you have any other suggested venues or tips, please let us know in the comments below.

The Secret Garden

Unique Ideas for a Garden Themed Wedding

Garden themed weddings are very popular with brides getting married in the spring or summer. They are a great way to play off nature’s best qualities with flowers blooming and full green and luscious trees and plants. If you are planning on having a garden theme for your wedding, here are some unique ideas that you can use on your big day.

When it comes to garden themed wedding invitations there are so many choices that you have. Wedding invitations are no longer simply a piece of paper stuffed in an envelope. Nowadays they have all sorts of embellishments and adornments and may even come in a box instead of a simple envelope. For a garden wedding, a unique idea is to take a piece of nice card stock and print your own invitation on it. You can find some great wording options for the invite online and then you can even personalize it even more if you want. Once you have the invites printed take a few small silk flowers and glue them on the corner of the invite in a pretty pattern. Then, punch two holes at the top of the invite and tie a matching ribbon into a bow at the top. Each of your invites will have a unique look but will definitely go with your garden theme.

There are so many garden wedding favors that you can choose from. A lot of brides like to keep it simple and give out packets of seeds as favors, but if you want you can take it a step further and give out actual potted flowers or plants. If you are having a smaller wedding and don’t mind spending some money on your favors, think about giving each guest a small bonsai plant in a pretty pot as the wedding favor. This is definitely a unique favor that guests won’t be expecting.

A unique idea when it comes to bridesmaid dresses for a garden themed wedding is to have each bridesmaid in a different colored dress. Think of all the different colors that you would see in a garden. Decide if you want to go with subtle, pastel colors or brighter hues for the dresses. You can have all the girls in the same dress but just have them in different colors that go with your theme. If you aren’t sure you want different colors then try different shades of a color. For example you if you want your bridesmaids to wear pink you could have them in all kinds of different shades from a really pale pink to a bright fuchsia color.

Even though there are a lot of brides who choose a garden theme for their wedding, your wedding can still be unique with this theme. These are just some ways that you can make your big day unique as there are so many other things you can do to make your wedding unlike any other wedding around. You just have to get creative and think outside of the box.

garden-wedding-southern-california

Have The Perfect Garden Wedding in a Southern California State Park

California has some of the most beautiful state parks in the country – providing you with a range of settings to match any wedding style, including elegant mansion estates, the redwood forests and many gorgeous beach wedding sites. Often times, choosing to move away from conventional wedding sites to a state park can lead to huge cost savings. However, it can also require more planning and preparation on your part – but done right, the extra work will definitely lead to a memorable wedding to cherish and have pride in.

Example Sites for Garden Weddings in Southern California:

Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park Beach

"Crystal Cove State Park Beach" Image Credit: Cannon

If you’re looking for a great cheap wedding venue in southern California, this is it! Crystal Cove is is located off of the Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach. It features an ideal, and dramatic wedding site on top of the coastal bluffs, overlooking the beach. One section of the park is home to an Historic District with with 46 cottages built between the 1920’s – 1930’s. Nestled right along the coastline, 22 of the cottages have been fully restored and are available for rent – The average rate per Cottage for four people is $168 per night, making for a great wedding bargain.

[divider]Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Old Town San Diego

"Old Town San Diego" Image Credit: Glen Larson

Features a set of 5 adobe buildings, including one called La Casa de Estudillo is a mansion built around a garden courtyard, the home features a chapel that was made famous as “Ramona’s Marriage Place” in Helen Hunt Jackson’s 1884 novel, Ramona.

[divider]Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Park in California. Image Credit: Nauticashades

Home to the nations rarest Pine Tree, and the last of the California Salt Marshes – this park provides a truly unique and incredibly beautiful wedding site. Visitors can experience the parks high jagged cliffs, and deep ravines that overlook the ocean.

Check out parks.ca.gov for more California State Park wedding Ideas.

Wedding table setting

How To Find Cheap Tablecloths For Your Wedding

Tablecloths and chair covers are a key element every wedding. Often, the linens, tablecloths and chair covers that you select for your wedding, set the initial atmosphere and tone for your entire event. If you’re not careful, rental charges can sneak up on you – to the point where buying your own set of wedding linens may be the more affordable option.

Why would it cost so much to rent vs buy? Wedding venues and rental companies will tell you that tablecloths and chair covers need to be laundered, pressed and perfectly matched for each event. Your paying a premium for minimal convenience in return. Save your money, and achieve the style your going for by tracking down some cheap table cloths for weddings with these simple tips:.

Start by choosing widely available tablecloth colors

White and black fabrics are probably the two most common colors used at any event. When you select rare color combinations for your wedding you may be unknowingly setting yourself up for greater expense, less options, and more frustrations.

There is an elegance in simplicity – in the atmosphere it creates, truly focusing the attention of the day towards the real centerpiece, you. And also by the savings it can bring.

Sticking to simple colors is easy to do, as long as you view them as the background to the overall impact you’re trying to create. Adding small flourishes that complement your color scheme can tie together the overall look and feel you’re going for, but without the cost and volume needed to accomplish the same style with larger items, such as your tablecloths and chair covers.

Look to items such as napkins, napkin holders, chair ribbons, sachets, wedding centerpieces and table adornments as inexpensive areas for added flair. Get creative here and you will amaze your guests, save yourself money, and still create the wedding atmosphere that you’re going for.

Also, consider the durability of the tablecloth material you are selecting

If you choose to go with cotton tablecloths, linen tablecloths, or a similar durable material you will find the fabrics are much cheaper to come by. Thin, delicate materials are less durable, more expensive to manufacture, and need to be replaced more often (more of an impact for rentals) and all that added expense will ultimately be passed down to you, the consumer.

Great Sources for Finding Cheap Wedding Tablecloths:

  • Check your local fabric stores to see if any bulk material is on discount. This will require the most efforts on your part as will have to size, cut and maybe even hem each tablecloth (depending on the fabric – and the style your trying to achieve) but it can be a great way to create an affordable set of tablecloths for your wedding.
  • Discount Stores like Walmart, or the Dollar Tree could be excellent places to look for inexpensive tablecloths. You might be able to purchase vinyl tablecloths for about $1. You could also repurpose flat sheets, a quick pass through a sewing machine could correct the hem – and most flat white sheets can be purchased for $2 – $3 dollars apiece.
  • If you’re comfortable repurposing flat sheets as tablecloths, then head out to some garage sales and thrift stores. Basic white sheets are easy to come by, and with a little negotiation you’ll be able to pick up a great deal.
  • Bulk stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, or even better a restaurant supply company would be excellent places to look for commercial table coverings. These are generally disposable, but because your purchasing in bulk the cost here is really dependent on the number of tables you need to cover. These commercial tablecloths are only inexpensive if your wedding is large and will use enough of these coverings to make it worth your while.
  • Online linen tablecloth companies (who may require you to do more of the preparation, such as the laundering and pressing. But as always, the more work you do yourself, the less you have to pay.)
  • Also, make sure you check with your wedding venues coordinator, they may have in-house supplies that you are free to use at no additional charge.

[Photo: "Wedding Table Setting" Photo by andrewmalone, some rights reserved.]

wedding-card-box

How to Make a Wedding Card Box

Wedding card boxes are an ingenious way to ensure that the cards given by guests are not lost in the bustle of ceremony and reception. They can also make a wonderful keepsake in honor of the event, and can serve double-duty by becoming the perfect place to store mementos that could otherwise easily be lost. The best part of wedding card boxes is that they do not have to be expensive, and a little creativity can go a long way in designing the perfect box for your wedding.

Getting Started

Wedding card boxes are often made using the same concept as the Valentines Day boxes made by school children for the passing out of cards each February. A few embellishments added to a something as simple as a shoe or photo box often does the trick, although ready-made decorative boxes can also be purchased for a reasonable price at many home stores. How elaborate or simple the design is up to you, but for a truly personalized touch, here are some simple ideas to turn a plain box into a beautiful wedding card box:

  • Photo boxes are the perfect size for holding cards, and they can be purchased in a variety of colors from nearly every department store. A simple white box may be the easiest to work with for a wedding, however, as the combination of simple white with colorful embellishments creates an elegant look suitable for any type of wedding. Simply gluing artificial flowers to the front box panel is often enough to turn a plain box into a decorative one, and the addition of a decorative placard stating Cards can let guests know to drop their cards inside. Stamps can also be inked onto the front and sides of the box to add a more decorative touch, and a variety of wedding-related stamps are available at most craft stores.
  • Fabric-covered boxes make truly elegant wedding card boxes, and creativity can really come into play by stacking large and small boxes covered in alternating colors of fabric. Another creative idea for stacking boxes is alternate the fabric colors between the boxes and the lids. Slitting the top box can create the perfect way for cards to be dropped in, and a ribbon can be added to tie the stack together, which also enables a large bow to the tied at the top. The use of alternating fabrics is a great way to make card boxes a part of the wedding decorations, and gluing fabric to boxes is an easy do-it-yourself project.
  • Hatboxes make some of the most amazing wedding card boxes, as these round boxes can be designed to resemble the wedding cake, or the display can be set off with a wide ribbon around the circumference with bows placed on each level. Stacking a small box on top of a large one can also create a shelf to add flowers, which looks amazing when white boxes are used in combination with flowers that match the wedding bouquet. A simple slit in the top is all that is necessary to make it easy for cards to be dropped in. Hatboxes can be found at many craft stores, or they can be purchased inexpensively online.
  • A wire birdcage can make a unique wedding card box, as the spaces between the wires are perfect for sliding cards inside. Lacing white ribbon through the wires can add beautiful sophistication to the cage, and the ribbon can be tied into a bow at the top to make turn the birdcage into a wedding decoration centerpiece. Garland can also be strung through the wires of the cage to match the season of the wedding, with strings of flowers working well in spring and summer, and fall leaves adding a wonderful touch for autumn. Simple green garland embellished with a dusting of spray-on snow is a simple way to make a birdcage card box stunning for winter weddings.

Wedding card boxes are a functional and attractive addition to the wedding decorations, and designing your own is a great way to add a personalized touch to make them really stand out. How to make a wedding card box is easy, as simple boxes can become elaborate displays with the addition of a few simple embellishments. The use of a birdcage is perhaps one of the most unique card box creations, as they are ideal for holding cards and can work with virtually any wedding theme. Wedding card boxes can be as simple or elaborate as you choose, and the easy-to-do project is inexpensive enough not break the wedding plan budget.

Photo by: Du Žiedeliai { Vestuvinė floristika }

wedding-planning-timeline

How Long Does it Take to Plan a Wedding?

The time it takes you to plan your wedding will be unique to you and your fiance.

You may be capable of planning your wedding in three months or may need as long as two years – it all depends on your personal desires and flexibility.

If you have set your heart on getting married at a certain venue, or on a specific day, you will need to start your wedding planning early. The more detail you desire for your wedding, the greater the time you will need to work out those details. It also depends on the amount of help you have, and if you can handle doing a lot of last minute planning or not.

A comfortable timeline that many engaged couples allow themselves is around one year to plan their wedding.

Here is a wedding planning timeline to give you an idea of the what needs to be done, and when to do it to remain on track:

12 Months before the Wedding

  • Set your wedding date.
  • Decide on your personal budget.
  • If marrying in a church, contact your local minister to discuss your plans. If you are intending upon marrying in a registry office, provide the registrar with notice of your intentions.
  • Compile a list of guests to invite to both the daytime and evening celebrations. Ask a friend or relative to check this list to ensure that you have not missed anyone off.
  • If you are marrying in a separate venue to that in which you will be housing the wedding reception, choose and book the wedding reception.
  • Consider entertainment at your wedding reception and book your chosen entertainers.
  • Book the caterers for your wedding breakfast and evening meal/buffet.
  • Book your chosen photographer and/or videographer.
  • Book your stay in a hotel near the wedding venue if you will be unable to travel from your home to the ceremony venue on the morning of your wedding.
  • Book your overnight stay in a bridal suit for the night of your wedding.
  • Choose and book wedding transport, if required.
  • Choose and book your florist.
  • Book a toastmaster, if your wedding ceremony will not automatically provide you with one.
  • Organize your honeymoon and ensure that your passports are up to date.
  • Order a wedding cake.
  • Begin your search for a wedding outfit.
  • Decide on bridesmaids, ushers and a best man and consider searching for their outfits.
  • Confirm all of your wedding bookings in writing.

6 Months before the Wedding

  • Attend an initial outfit fitting and choose all the associated accessories, such as shoes and jewelry.
  • Decide on the wedding attire for the whole wedding party.
  • Choose and purchase the wedding rings.
  • Order the wedding favors.
  • Order your wedding invites or begin to make your own.
  • Arrange a consultation with your hairdresser to decide on your own wedding hairstyle and those of your bridesmaids. Book a time and date for your hair and that of your bridesmaids to be styled on your wedding day.
  • Book a make-up artist/beautician for the day of your wedding, if required.

3 Months before the Wedding

  • Purchase a marriage license from your registrar.
  • Send out your invitations and provide details of overnight accommodation near to your venue, if required.
  • Create a wedding gift list and offer it to your guests.
  • Confirm the details of your ceremony with the registrar or minister.
  • Choose your wedding music.
  • Decide on an Order of Service and arrange for this to be printed out.
  • Purchase gifts for your wedding party.
  • Decide on a seating plan and discuss this with your wedding reception organizer.
  • Arrange to have any vaccinations that may be required for your honeymoon.

1 Month before the Wedding

  • Arrange for a final outfit fitting.
  • Reconfirm your arrangements with the reception venue, caterer, florist, photographer and videographer, wedding transport provider, entertainer, and honeymoon travel agent.
  • Arrange your wedding rehearsal date.
  • Organize a date on which to collect your wedding outfits.
  • Write any speeches.

1 Week before the Wedding

  • Enjoy your wedding rehearsal.
  • Collect your wedding outfits.
  • Pack clothes for your honeymoon.
  • Hand your Order of Service to the minister.
  • Order any foreign currency required for your honeymoon.
  • Ensure that the best man is aware of the wedding plans and hand over the rings for safekeeping.

Image Credit: “Rosey Feet” by  amichan83

maid-of-honor-duties

Maid of Honor Duties

Congratulations! Since you need to know what the Maid of Honor Duties are, you have been chosen. Contrary to what some people in the bridal party think, the maid of honor is the most important person. This hard-working, diplomatic problem solver keeps the bride together and the wedding on track. Although the duties vary according to the bride, this trusted friend will assist the bride as she goes from life as a single person to a Mrs.

The Honor

As the Maid of Honor, you are the bride’s most trusted ally. Its time to pull out you best qualities to ensure that you are dependable, staunch, available, calming and positive as you assist your friend through this emotional and sometimes frantic time.

The Duties

Support, help and glue are the three most important attributes you’ll perform. As a cherished friend, you will supports the bride through the million and one tasks and decisions a large wedding entails. This person is a helpmate handling any chore delegated to her. Although the maid of honor is in the middle of all the activity, she is emotionally uninvolved and brings a cool, level head to every issue. With her calming demeanor and wisdom, she helps other people resolve issues and keeps the wedding moving forward on schedule.

Besides emotional support, this special person will pay for her own wedding attire, plan at least one bridal shower and arrange the baccalaureate party. In fact, the maid of honor may be in charge of making sure the bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer get the right attire and accessories. This person organizes the bridesmaids’ gift to the bride. On occasion, she delivers speeches or toasts. There is no cause to panic as the Internet has many well-written speeches that are easily adapted. Of course, this special person will help the bride get ready for her walk down the aisle and assist at the reception. She may or may not be asked to accompany the bride on shopping trips to select everything from napkins to wedding dresses.

The Pleasures

Although the duties may be heavy or light, nothing is more fun than watching a special friend get ready for an exciting new life. Whether the two of you are picking out the right shade of nail polish for the wedding or selecting the caterer who will deliver the fantastic, seven course, sit-down meal, the shared time is priceless. After all, you are the trusted friend with excellent taste.

The Bridal Shower

A maid of honor is required to give at least one bridal shower for the excited young lady. Bridal showers include mothers, future mother-in-laws, grandmothers, relatives, coworkers and friends. These festive events are held in private homes, club houses or other facilities. Festivities include special decorations, something to eat and drink and fun games. As long as the bride is the center of attention, she will think the party is the best one ever.

The Bachelorette Party

This party is the last fling for the bride as a single person and is one of the Maid of Honor Duties. She can ask all the guests except the bride to help pay for the event. There are three rules to this party: the financial investment is affordable for everyone, the event matches the guest of honor’s personality and the event creates long-lasting memories. These events can be as extravagant as weekend in Las Vegas or at an alpine ski lodge or as casual as a night at home playing favorite board games and writing down special times. Some brides relish being the center of attention and enjoy a wild night on the town drinking and partying while wearing a bridal veil. Other women like to be pampered; a day at the spa with 5 or 25 of her favorite friends is her sendoff of choice. The two requirements of this special event is that it is personal and fun.

The Wedding

When the big day arrives, the maid of honor should pack like she is going on safari. In her glittering oversized bag, she will have everything that could ever be needed:

  • bobby pins
  • makeup for touch-ups
  • clear nail polish
  • hairspray
  • jewelry for the bride
  • needle, thread and scissors
  • breath mints
  • pantyhose
  • phone numbers of everyone and anyone including vendors, family members, Minister and wedding party
  • extra money in small dimensions for tips two garters, one for the bride to keep and one to toss
  • aspirin and antacid
  • deodorant

You may also be called on to help the bride get dressed. As a friend, she is responsible for making sure the bride has some food in her stomach to calm her nerves and walks down the aisle without lipstick on her teeth.

The Reception

Between the mother-of-the-bride and the bride, the duties will be clearly defined. She may stand in the receiving line if one is used and help the bride change clothes. Besides giving a toast and dancing with the best man, her main chores are to socialize, have fun and make sure everyone else enjoys this special occasion.

Although Maid of Honor Duties can be a lot of work, they create a special bond between close friends. As the bride takes this important step into matrimony, her best friend helps with the journey. From giving parties to handling chores, this wonder person does everything and anything the bride needs.

bad-best-man-speech

3 Things To Leave Out of Your Best Man/Maid of Honor Speech

Giving a speech at a wedding reception is a big deal. It’s supposed to be a rousing round of every emotion you can think of, fantastic stories, and wit, topped off with the perfect toast. Ice water literally flows through your veins if you don’t feel pressure giving one of these.

Because of how important the speech is on this big day, we’ve detailed three “don’t go there” topics for you to steer clear of.

1. Past Dating Experience

This should almost be a given, but it has to be documented. No matter how funny it is that you found his millionaire dating website profile, or that she had a long-distance relationship with a professional Xbox player, don’t mention it. There is, unfortunately, no exception to this rule.

Why? Here is some real talk. The wedding is supposed to be all about the bride (and to some extent, the groom), so if you pull the focus away from their relationship, it’s gonna be a bad time. Heed this rule, lest you feel the wrath of a pissed off uncle in the buffet line.

2. The Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Even if the event was completely innocuous, and you just played Connect Four and drank Fantas the whole time, don’t do it. The mere mention of a Bachelor or Bachelorette Party conjures up images of stripper poles, binge drinking, and epic hangovers. Your speech will create images in the heads of the attendees, and this isn’t the right types of imagery‚Ķ so leave the bachelor or bachelorette party out of it.

3. Jokes or Pokes at the Bride

Like we said – its the brides day, and if you mess with her at all, it could be your last. Girls dream about their wedding from the day they play with their first barbie, and to do anything to tweak her or make fun of her just isn’t going to work. If you are going to talk about the bride, and you should, compliment her profusely. Save the digs and jokes for almost any other day in history.

I hate decorum, rules, and the word police. I think everyone should pretty much speak freely, without the fear of having to issue an ‘official apology’ to avoid losing their job. With that said, this is one time you have to ditch your beliefs. Weddings are packed with customs that must be followed blindly and without reason or questioning. If a custom is going to be broken, let it be on the bride or grooms terms, not yours!

Follow these simple tips and you won’t end up in a Youtube montage of the ‘Worst Wedding Toasts’.

songs-to-walk-down-the-isle-to

Wedding Processional Music – Songs To Walk Down The Isle To

Thoughts of processional songs for weddings often jump right to Here Comes the Bride from Wagner’s Bridal Chorus. Thankfully, that’s not your only option to consider. Carefully chosen music will enhance the meaning and spirit of your wedding ceremony. While the processional is one of the more memorable and dramatic parts of the ceremony, it’s only one of several phases you’ll need to choose music for. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of tips, ceremony music and bridal processional songs to get you started, but first, let’s break down the order of the ceremony.

The Prelude: The prelude begins when your guests begin to arrive until the Mother of the Bride is seated. Music for this phase is often soft, gentle, and generally sets a tone of anticipation for your walk down the aisle.

The Processional: Also known as “the bride walking down the aisle songs”. However, there’s a little more to it than that. The processional music starts once all of your guests are seated. Your bridal party will enter first. The procession concludes with the bride’s entrance. While you could walk down the aisle to the same music as the bridal party, it adds to the drama of the moment when a separate song is played to highlight your entrance.

Interludes: These are transitional moments in the ceremony to special elements, like unity candles, ring exchanges or breaking the wedding glass.

The Recessional: This your grand exit as a newly married couple! Choose an upbeat song to celebrate the moment, and to help remind your feet what to do next. Make sure the music starts promptly, a delay here can leave the new couple turning to face their guests in a moment full of emotional highs, looking like deer stuck in the headlights. Just remember to put one foot in front of the other, and move. You’ll do just fine.

The ceremony can sometimes be more difficult to personalize than your reception. Religious ceremony’s tend be less flexible in music choices, order of events, and so on. If your ceremony is taking place at a church, synagogue, or other religious site be sure to check with your officiant to find out what kind of parameters they may have first. But don’t feel stuck into picking from the list of songs the church gives you, use it to guide you and be sure to suggest your own personal favorites.

Lets start with a very traditional “Movie Perfect” example of a music selection, from there you can mix, match, sort and blend to create the perfect playlist for your wedding. Above all, pick the music that moves you!

Traditional Example:

Prelude- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach [ilink url="http://youtu.be/I_noTo6ml9Q" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink]
Processional- Canon in D by Pachelbel [ilink url="http://youtu.be/I_noTo6ml9Q" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
Bridal Entrance- Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride) by Wagner [ilink url="http://youtu.be/P6rX3wlDsVI" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
Interlude-  Arioso from Cantata BWV 156 1st Adagio Bach [ilink url="http://youtu.be/xueopsTHesw" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
Recessional- Wedding March from Midsummer’s Night Dream by Mendelssohn [ilink url="http://youtu.be/z0wmzoHd6yo?t=3s" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 

The Most Popular Wedding Processional Songs:

Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke [ilink url="http://youtu.be/bRrss4kBi2M?t=11s" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
Ode to Joy Symphony No.9 by Beethoven [ilink url="http://youtu.be/kbJcQYVtZMo" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
Ave Maria by Franz Shubert [ilink url="http://youtu.be/2bosouX_d8Y" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
From This Moment On by Shania Twain [ilink url="http://youtu.be/a-Lp2uC_1lg" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
Heaven by Bryan Adams [ilink url="http://youtu.be/3eT464L1YRA" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstron[ilink url="http://youtu.be/E2VCwBzGdPM" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 

Wedding Processional Songs Non-Traditional / Contemporary:

Somewhere Over The Rainbow by IZ (Bride) [ilink url="http://youtu.be/V1bFr2SWP1I" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
I’m Yours by Jason Mraz (Bridal Party / Groom Processional Songs) [ilink url="http://youtu.be/EkHTsc9PU2A" icon="http://thebargainingbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/icon_headphones.png"]Listen[/ilink] 
All You Need is Love – The Beatles (Recessional)
When you say nothing at all- Alison Krauss (Bride)
Bittersweet Symphony (instrumental version) – Verve (Bride / Bridal Party)
Beautiful Day – U2 (Recessional)
Book of Love – Peter Gabriel (Bride)
Bright side of the Road – Van Morrison (Recessional)
Signed, sealed, delivered – Stevie Wonder (Recessional)
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (Bridal Party)
Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys (Recessional)

Christian Wedding Processional Music:

Ave Maria – Andrea Bocelli
Amazing Grace – Traditional
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Bach
Household of Faith – Brent Lamb & John Rosasco
All People That On Earth Do Dwell – Old 100th hymn
Dona Nobis Pacem – 16th century hymn
Hymne – Vangelis
Angels Watching – The O’Neill Brothers
Butterfly Waltz – Brian Crain
Be Thou My Vision – Dallan Forgaill
The Prayer – David Foster & Carol Bayer Sager

We’d love to hear your suggestions on this, please share the songs you chose for your wedding in the comments below!

Limiting the wedding guest list

How to Politely Limit the Guest List

While planning a wedding, tightly controlling the number of guests in attendance is critical to being properly prepared and staying within budget. The difference between 100 people and 120 people can sometimes be drastic for the budget when factoring in food and alcohol. Unfortunately, it can be tricky telling a friend that their boyfriend of 2 days from that millionaire dating website isn’t invited.

However, there are a couple of tricks we have to keep the event just limited to those that you actually want there. Here are a few of our quick tips.

Leave the Kids at Home

Weddings are, for the most part, an adult event. There are certainly exceptions, but generally speaking, parents get babysitters for their kids and go spend a nice day/evening enjoying the nuptials of a loved one. But, sometimes people don’t know this is customary, and try to tote their kids along.

The polite way to make it clear to leave the kids at home is to drop a line like this into the invitation:

“Adult reception immediately following the ceremony”

Including this makes it clear that kids aren’t welcome, but in the politest of ways.

Pre-Fill in the Response Card

We all have people in our lives who are serial daters, never in relationships that last longer than a few weeks or months. If the guest list really needs to stay tight, and these people can’t bring guests, this is what you do. In their response card, pre-fill in the amount of people invited. So usually there is an underlined space like this: ______ where people fill in the number of attendees. In the case where you want to limit how many people are invited, simply pre-fill this form.

Hopefully these two tips go a long way in helping you keep your loved ones in, and the uninvited out. If you have more ideas, please let us know in the comments!