Archive by Author

Of Tents, Marquees, and Pavilions

Medieval Pavilions

Perhaps it’s the romantic in me, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about tents, and I’m not talking about the sort you’d find on a camping trip, unless you’re going on a Holy Crusade with Richard the Lionhearted. What I’m thinking about are those giant tents, sometimes called marquees, that are erected at weddings and parties.

Until I moved east, I rarely encountered a tent at a wedding. California brides, who know enough to not schedule their weddings in the rainy season, can be nearly 100% certain that they won’t get rained out. Head east, past the Rocky Mountains, however, and the April showers that bring May flowers last all summer long, meaning that the wise bride who wants an outdoor wedding reception must be prepared for a cloudburst or three. The same would be triply true for our friends in the United Kingdom, who enjoy glorious summer days, punctuated by scudding clouds shedding rain.

Hence the wedding marquee for hire, or as we would say here, a tent for rent. The key to renting a pavilion or marquee is that you have to make your arrangements in advance, way, way in advance, if you’re hoping to get married on the most popular dates in mid-to-late spring. I would suggest that if you’re doing a June wedding you should plan on contacting the rental company at least a nine months, if not a year, in advance to secure the marquee you need.

The variety of options and configurations a good rental company can provide are amazing. Here’s one with a checkerboard dancefloor:

Marquee with a dance floor.

Most of them can also supply accessories such as chairs, tables, sounds systems, lighting, virtually everything except the food, the band, and the guests. The keys, however, are careful planning and knowing exactly what you’ll need before you start booking tents.

Shop Around – Choose Wedding Gowns

Choosing a wedding dress can be a difficult task. It can also be quite expensive when trying to find that perfect dress for this once in a lifetime moment. But every bride wants to look perfect on her special day. She also wants to stay within her budget guidelines. Considering the pricing on most wedding dresses this can be the most difficult part.

Sammy Dress

When shopping on a budget it can be difficult to find the perfect dress. Sammydress.com is a popular discount clothing site that carries a wide selection of wedding dresses and wedding accessories to choose from. The dresses come in a variety of different styles and lengths. These dresses are gorgeous and yet very elegant. They also have prices to fit just about any budget. There is a style to fit even the pickiest of brides needs and wants.

A lot of brides worry about alterations being correct for the dress on their big day. Many of the discount sites have tailor made dresses. Izidresses is another great site to look for that perfect dress. They have many of the latest wedding dress styles. They have a very large selection of wedding dresses to choose from. This site is great for shopping on a budget with most of their wedding dresses priced under 200 dollars.

Davids Bridal has an excellent, well priced selection as well, with many of the latest styles availible. This company has their website where you can browse all the options as well as many stores nationwide. This makes it easy and convienient for the bride to be to have alterations made to her amazing dress and give it a personal touch. It also makes it easy to go in for a fitting and see what style will fit your needs the best.

When ordering on line many brides worry about a return policy. What if you find that perfect dress when browsing a website and when it gets to your door it just doesn’t look and fit the way you expected it to. Simplybridal has a risk free return policy. So if you are not satisfied with the dress you have recieved you can send it back with no questions asked. This site has beautiful gowns starting as cheap as 99 dollars. Many of their wedding dresses and accessories are marked down by as much as 70 percent off.

Shop Around for Good Deals on Dresses

Another great options when looking for a wedding dress is second hand stores and thrift stores. You never know what you may find in these places. After all a wedding dress is something that is only worn once. Then after that it is just taking up space and collecting dust. Thats when many people donate them. Check places such as the salvation army and goodwill. This way you are shopping on a budget and what money you do spend goes to a good cause.

Be sure to shop around. What you may find on one site for 300 dollars you may find on another for half the price.

A Prom Dress is not a Bridesmaid Dress

Not A Bridesmaid Dress

Not A Bridesmaid’s Dress

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain this to young women who’ve been eager to buy bridesmaid dresses from the evening rack, that bridesmaid dresses are not prom dresses. It should be simple but it’s not. Look at the dresses at a site like DressFirst, and compare the two categories, and you’ll see what I mean right away.

Bridesmaid dresses are designed to make the bride the star of the show, which is completely understandable, since the bride IS the star of the show. Thus, so many bridesmaid’s dresses are unflattering, either in color or cut, or both, because the attendants cannot, under any circumstances, be allowed to show up the bride. This is not to say that the bridesmaids need to look dumpy, glum, and colorless, just that they can’t be looking overly radiant. Radiant is reserved fro the bride alone.

Prom dresses and homecoming dresses ARE designed to make the wearer the star of the show. That’s why there’s all of those sequins, and why they are cut the way they are. The best ones are designed to showcase the wearer, as if she were trophy.

So there you go, there is a reason why so many bridesmaid’s dresses are unflattering, and why so many prom dresses are not.

The Tiara

Not surprisingly, people have strong opinions about anything having to do with marriages and wedding ceremonies, and one area of perpetual conflict is over what the bride should wear on her head. One school of thought, call them retrograde traditionalists, argues for the full veiling. A second, modernists and minimalists, say the bride should wear nothing but her carefully coiffed hair. A third, from the princess-for-a-day camp, advocate for diamond tiaras.

Me? Depending on the mood, I can see merits of all of three, although lately I’ve been feeling partial to the tiara, although just not the full-on, Homecoming-Queen tiara, proudly rising ten inches from the top of Mary Sue Gentry’s bouffant, but rather a more modest affair, understated and elegant, that accentuates rather than dominates the brides beauty.

Of course, you know me, I’m not willing to spend a lot of money, defined as much more than $100, on something that will likely be worn just once. (The exception to this rule being, of course, the wedding dress itself. In that case, the sky’s the limit.)

For my tiara of choice, I’m thinking about something more like this:

Alan Hannah Swirl and Crystal Tiara

The Alan Hannah Devoted Statement Pearl and Crystal Swirl Tiara, which is dramatic enough to be noticed, but not so dramatic that you feel you should be standing on a stage holding a bouquet of roses and waving to the judges. (Image via Jon Richard)

Obviously, at under $200 this piece is not made of diamonds and south sea pearls, but crystals and fresh-water pearls, which will be fine, since most of the guests at the wedding won’t be close enough to notice the difference, and since your last name isn’t Rockefeller, most of the guests won’t expect it to be “real” anyway.

Bridesmaiding on a Budget

Unless you’re prepared to sacrifice many of the traditions that make American weddings so unique, keeping wedding costs at a reasonable level is hard work. Most of the stuff you find out there is either of poor quality, or poor style.

Take, for example, the bridesmaid dress. It’s an item of clothing that may, depending on the desires of the bride, may be made of an unusual color, or unflattering cut, and may most likely never be worn again. And yet, it can be a very costly thing, costing hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of dollars.

That’s why I’m always on the lookout for places that sell decent-looking bridesmaids’ dresses at decent prices. And why I usually recommend to brides that they at least consider allowing their attendants to have dresses that can be worn again, in other social contexts.

A >strapless chiffon dress with a beaded, sequin belt like this one (selling for around $100) is neither too expensive, nor too outré to be worn again.

Long, Strapless Chiffon Dress

A shorter dress, knee-length with a full skirt would be even more versatile…

Polka Dots

The average bridesmaid would be very happy to have a dress like this hanging in her closet after the wedding was done.(Both dresses above are from Jessica’s Fashion.)

So, the secret to saving money (and bridesmaids’ feelings) to spend the time searching for the right dress at the right price, and to be flexible in what you’re willing to allow your bridesmaids to wear.

The Hen Party

The Hen Party

My American readers are likely not familiar with the English term “hen party”, which is what Americans sort of refer to as a bachelorette party. I say “sort of” because the English hen party has largely jumped the barriers of propriety and taken pre-wedding festivities to places that the tamer American bachelorette party would never go, with some hilarious and disturbing results.

The average American bachelorette party is (despite what you may have seen in the movie Bridesmaids a fairly tame combination of cupcakes, weak booze, and endless chatter, with maybe, possibly, sometimes if you’re daring, a Fabio-esque male stripper tossed in. By comparison, the English >hen party starts with costumes (see the photo above), from fairies, to devils, to escaped prisoners, to chickens (see above), with the bride-to-be getting the best costume, and a beauty-queen style sash of identification. Then, add in booze and lots of it, some goofy, ice-breaking party games, and when everyone is having fun, take the whole show on the road, head out to the nearest pub to initiate the pub-crawl portion of the festivities.

The hen party is much more rambunctious and boozy than the bachelorette party, and as a consequence is much more likely to end in tears and vomit than the average bachelorette party. It’s also much more likely to end in hilarity and good fun, too. So, next time some one mentions a hen party, think costumes and liquor, not cupcakes and squeals of fake delight.

The Silent Disco Wedding

So you’re planning your summer wedding and you are thinking of something different to entertain your wide range of guests for the evening. How are you going to ensure that the kids are enjoying it as much as the rest of the family? Well step forward silent discos which are the latest craze hitting weddings across the world. Silent discos have been popular at festivals for a number of years now but as people are returning from their weekend away they are looking to include those fun times into their weddings.Wedding Headphones

There are a couple of different reasons that you may want to hold a silent disco at your wedding with the most popular being to get around any noise restrictions a lot of venues have. The last thing wedding venues want to do is annoy the neighbours by having music blaring out into the small hours every weekend. Well in steps Silent Disco Direct to ensure that when the music cut off comes into play the music cuts to headphones, this means that each guest gets a pair of wireless headphones and can continue to enjoy the DJ.

The second biggest draw for have a silent disco hire is that you can run different music styles on different channels. This means that you could have some old Mo-town running on one channel, the latest chart music on another and some R’n’B hits running on the third. Each headset then having the ability to rotate through the different channels so every guest can pick exactly what they are interested in. Everyone is happy!

So if you think this is something that you could be interested in then get in touch with your local silent disco hire company and organise a wedding that will have people talking about it for months!

Page 1 of 3123»