Archive for December, 2005

Winter Weddings as Wonderlands

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Ah, the winter wedding and the holiday wedding. Pros: It’s much easier to remember your anniversary when your wedding date corresponds with Christmas, the first day of Hanukkah, New Year’s Day, or the onset of winter. Cons: Your loved ones are far more likely to combine your anniversary and its corresponding holiday when giving gifts.

winter wedding decorations

But how to decorate for a holiday wedding without becoming too dependent on holiday decor? How to wear one’s winter wedding dress without freezing to death? How to cope with a holiday wedding while also stressing over gifts?

The first step is to ask yourself why you’re planning a theme wedding in the first place. Do you love snowflakes falling or building snowmen? Do you have fond memories of leaving cookies for Santa as a young child? Does the sparkle of the Hanukkah lights make you teary eyed each year? Consider your treasured memories when choosing wedding reception decor, invitations, favors, and so on. BellaOnline recommends:

Send wedding invitations of winter scenes (snowflakes, snowmen, a snow lodge, sleigh rides, snowy mountains). Decorate your ceremony venue using pine, ice, snow and seasonal flowers…Wedding favors can include a snowflake or icicle ornament, snow globes with winter scenes, personalized tins of hot cocoa or cookies, a personalized bottle of apple cider or egg nog, maybe even tins of your favorite cookie mix or holiday tea or coffee blend….icicle candy, sugar cookies, a gift certificate for a linen store (white sales are abundant in January!), tea lights, and a camera to capture New Year’s Eve memories they spend with you.

planning a holiday wedding

As for preventing frostbite on one’s bare arms, consider the oft forgotten wedding cloak. If you want to feel like a princess on your special day, this garment can really do the trick. Plus, it’ll keep you toasty as you dash between the car and the church or the car and the hall or the car or the office of the justice of the peace!

theme wedding tips

Finally, the holiday season can be stressful enough without dealing with wedding stress on top of it all! American Bridal offers some great winter wedding and holiday wedding tips, including:

Let someone else deck the halls for you. Take advantage of venues already decorated for the holidays. If you’re going for a Christmas decor, you’ll save big on flowers and decorations. Some couples were able to get by with just bouquets for the wedding party. Also look for reception halls with fireplaces and other cozy features.

Take advantage of foods, desserts, decorations and music that come around only at this time of year. Serve festive cocktails like spiced cider, spiked eggnog and hot chocolate with Bailey’s. From turkey and ham with cranberry sauce to roast goose and Yorkshire pudding, go the whole nine yards with your reception feast. Instead of a wedding cake, consider the traditional wedding cake: an iced fruit cake. Ask your musicians to add some romantic holiday songs, such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Let It Snow” to their repertoire. For a New Year’s Eve wedding, give guests top hats and tiaras, and pass out flutes of champagne for the big countdown.

All in all, a holiday wedding or winter wedding can be great fun… however, when you’re planning a theme wedding, remember that your guests may be out of town visiting family or simply want to spend the holidays sitting in front of a cozy fire. Not getting ready for yet another huge gifty party.

Things I’m Loving Today: Elton John’s Wedding

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Elton John wedding

I know this is a day late, but I wanted to wish my man Elton John and his new hubby David Furnish all the best. The pair have been beaus for 12 years! Of course, unlike The Beard and myself, they had a good reason for not tying the knot – it having been illegal and all.

Elton John’s wedding reception cost an estimated $1.75 million, and featured pink champagne and lamb for roughly 600 wedding guests inside two white tents erected at John’s Windsor mansion. Elton was dressed in a black silk suit with a long jacket, whilst David wore a black morning suit and sported a freshly-snipped hairdo.

Good luck, guys!

Post-Holiday Budget Weddings: A(nother) quick primer

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Now that the holiday season is upon us and our maxed out credit cards are sleeping peacefully in our wallets, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are thousands of future brides tearfully wondering just how paying for a wedding actually works. Some, of course, are lucky enough to have mommies and daddies who are footing the bill. Others aren’t so fortunate and may be grateful for a little help in the wedding budget department.

First things first, and by first things I do not mean panic. Get thee to a bookstore. Or, if the thought of buying a wedding planning book makes you cry (and I know how you feel), get thee to the library.

Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget (Bridal Bargains)

Books like Bridal Bargains can help you find crazy budget wedding bargains on everything from dresses to music to the honeymoon.

Then hit up web sites like Cheap, Chic Weddings. There, you’ll find great tips like:

  • Regular candles are nice too for cheap wedding favors. Wrap in tulle and tie with ribbon. Stick a small flower in the ribbon.
  • Check out the mall department stores. You might find (not in the wedding dress department) the perfect dress for you. There may be some cocktail dresses, formal dresses or prom dresses on sale.
  • Don’t forget photography students in your area. Many High Schools and Colleges offer Photography Classes, and you might be able to catch a rising star at a great price.

PrintingPress Platinum Software for Invitations

Next, consider a DIY wedding. I mean anything you can put your skills to work at – not learning to arrange flowers just for this one gig. Putting together wedding favors from craft store pickings isn’t that difficult. And for wedding invitations, which can be a budget busting expense, there is some great wedding planning software that lets you do it at home, like PrintingPress Platinum Software for Invitations

Finally, trim the wedding guestlist, refuse to pay retail, ask friends for help, and whenever you start to feel a little bummed that you can’t have a huge budget busting wedding, think about how good financial freedom is going to feel when you’re an old married lady.

Baby Brides Are Born In Videogame Land

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

They say that inside every little girl is a future bride, but how early is too early to start planning a wedding? I found this game while browsing for interesting wedding planning software:

My Fantasy Wedding

Apparently, My Fantasy Wedding is appropriate for girls ages six to eleven. Little tykes can plan every aspect of their fantasy weddings, from the wedding dress to the ceremony venue location to reception music. They can even design a fantasy groom… which is more than us real-life girls get to do.

But really. Do little girls need to spend their precious youth doing all the things – like tasting endless wedding cakes and auditioning wedding florists – that years later will cause them to develop facial tics? Personally, I think this game is marketed toward children, but is actually intended for lovelorn adults like me who fear they will never get to squeeze into that perfect wedding dress. A guilty pleasure, indeed!

Colored Wedding Dresses Are a Paradigm Shift, Not a Trend

Monday, December 19th, 2005

colored wedding dresses

After a few of you dear readers cleverly pointed out that red wedding dresses are auspicious in Chinese ceremonies and that the white wedding gown is a fairly recent invention, I decided to dig more deeply into the history and significance of colored wedding dresses. In my research, I discovered these fun facts about the frocks brides wear when saying their vows:

  • Wearing white at one’s wedding first became popular in the 18th century. It became less a fashion and more a rule when the young Queen Victoria chose a white wedding dress to marry Albert.
  • Before the introduction of the white wedding gown in America, a woman just wore her Sunday best or her most treasured dress.
  • In ancient times, blue, not white, was considered to represent purity and fidelity and so brides who could afford it often wore blue. Jewish brides may still choose a blue gown because it embodies mystical powers.
  • In Morocco, brides sometimes wear bright yellow, because it’s said to scare away the evil eye; or green, because it is the color of plants and brings good luck.
  • However, some cultures saw green as unlucky. According to Wedding Thoughts, “to say a girl ‘had a green gown’ implied she was of loose morals, because her dress would be grass-stained due to rolling around in the fields!”
  • In Spain, Roman Catholic brides may wear black wedding dresses and lacy mantillas to show their devotion until death.
  • The bridal veil‘s history is mysterious. It is thought by some to have been an important part of arranged marriages, where it prevented the groom from getting an eyeful of his bride’s face before he was committed. It may have also originated as a way to protect the bride from evil spirits, to show she was spoken for, or as a figurative representation of traditional bride theft!
  • During the Revolutionary War, some brides wore red wedding dresses to symbolize the independence the Colonists desired. During the Civil War, some brides wore purple, which represents honor and courage as a tribute to the dead.

If you’re considering a colored wedding dress, feel free to ignore this old and entirely fallacious nursery rhyme:

Married in white
You have chosen alright

Married in green,
Ashamed to be seen.

Married in grey,
You’ll go far away.

Married in red,
You’ll wish yourself dead.

Married in blue,
Love ever true

Married in yellow,
Ashamed of your fellow.

Married in black
You’ll wish yourself back

Married in pink,
Your spirits will sink.

Elegant Brides Aspire to Audrey

Sunday, December 18th, 2005

Beautiful Audrey

On the subject of not dresses but dressing, I’d like to say that there is no one in the world whose personal style I would most like to emulate more than Audrey Hepburn‘s. Audrey Hepburn was not only a absolutely fabulous dresser, but also charming, humble, and kind. For Christmas this year, if anyone I know is listening, I would like a stocking filled with the Hepburn style. If anyone on your Christmas list has aspirations of being not only glamorous, but also giving, engaging, and gracious, consider surprising them with one of the books, movies, or other stuff below.

How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life

How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life is a tome of Audrey’s wisdom and philosophy.

Roman Holiday (Special Collector\'s Edition)

Roman Holiday was Audrey’s breakthrough film.

Music From The Films Of Audrey Hepburn

Who could forget Moon River? Not me. Which is why I want the Music From The Films Of Audrey Hepburn CD so badly!

Audrey Hepburn Deluxe 2006 Calendar

The Audrey Hepburn Deluxe 2006 Calendar has twelve months of Audrey!

Brides Think Outside of the Box: Two Unusual Wedding Dresses

Friday, December 16th, 2005

I look at a lot of traditional wedding dresses. Not only do I look for gowns to feature here, but I also spend a good amount of time searching for the gown I’ll someday (hopefully) wear to my own wedding. Sometimes, looking through pages and pages of these traditional wedding dresses, I start to think I’m going blind. Why? Because all I see is white! Pure, dazzling, blinding white!

So, to save my poor eyes and briefly step away from the all-white paradigm, I will now present images of two unusual wedding dresses. Unfortunately, I have no idea whose designs these are. (If you do, please tell me!) All I know is that Bargain Bride will custom make them for you…usually for less than $500!

black and white wedding dress

purple wedding dresses

It’s your wedding for goodness sake, so get creative! Unusual wedding dresses – especially colored wedding dresses – aren’t that unusual anymore!