21st June, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Weddings can either be time for celebration, but often guests flinch at the invitation, worrying it’ll be a stuffy affair, so the last thing you want is for your friends to think the same thing. So here are some tips to liven things up at your wedding celebration.
The first dance will have everyone’s eyes on you, and while there is something timeless about a Viennese Waltz or a sappy romantic tune, try to jazz this up a bit. This is the time to shock your guests – surprise them with a sexy Latin dance or a jazzy swing step. This will definitely set the tone for a lively party.
Bored children at a wedding could very easily lead to disaster, so make sure you’ve got a game plan to entertain them. Set up an area for them, perhaps in a separate room with a babysitter who can set up movies for them to watch or even just give them a couple of tables with coloring books, toys and such.
Toasts can be brilliantly witty, but sometimes they run on and on leaving guests to look at their watches often. Prep your toasters to keep it down to two-minute max and to keep long-drawn stories for the anecdotes during drinks.
A wedding is a party, so give out some favors like noisemakers or masks. Encourage the guests to let their hair down and have a bit of fun once the formalities are all over and done with.
Get rid of the sit down dinner and get your guests involved. Great food is a good way to celebrate, but when everyone gets what he or she likes it’s even better. Set up a customizable food station where people can either have a pasta bar or a grilled cheese stations they can pick and choose from. It’s fun and everyone gets what he or she wants!
Nothing kills a party more than having all your guests leave early, so give a reason for them to stay. Plan some fireworks or an exciting surprise and tell them about it. It’ll give them an incentive to stay on until the very end.
But, sometimes the best parts are the bits the guests don’t see coming. Plan a surprise that will awe your guests until the very end, like a mariachi band or a troupe of belly dancers.
Going back to formal matters, make sure you arrange seats thoughtfully. The last thing you want is to sit people next to each other who don’t get on. Pick people you know would have a lot in common or great chemistry and build up based on that. That way you’ll have a great ambience at the wedding.
And last but not least, order food that isn’t formal or stuffy. You want the wedding to be fun, so go for what you would eat. If you fancy something exotic then go for Spanish tapas or Mexican. Be creative and everyone will have a great time! If you prepare a wedding thoughtfully and creatively, you’ll find people will have the time of their life and talk about it for the rest of it.
2nd July, 2012 - Posted by Lia - 3 Comments
Every bride should be made to feel like a princess on her wedding day. But when you are married Moroccan style, you can be sure you will be treated like royalty.
Moroccan brides (and grooms) are treated to parties and celebrations for weeks leading up to the wedding. Then on the day of the wedding, parties are held at the home of both the bride and groom’s family with guests at each one. At the appointed time, the groom, his family and their guests caravan to where the bride is-singing, dancing, honking horns…you name it! It’s a processional worth watching.
Once the couple is together, they are carried around on pillows-their every wish and whim provided for. There is lots of food, dancing, music, and celebrating. Following the ceremony, the couple is allowed to leave for a while to consummate their marriage. Then, in the most traditional of ceremonies and celebrations, the couple returns to the reception for a while longer. The act of leaving is also meant to demonstrate their leaving the homes of their parents and beginning their own family.
While in the past, most Moroccan marriages have been arranged, today’s young women are allowed to fall in love and marry who they wish to marry.
Moroccan brides can wear white, but will change into a brightly colored caftan representative of their family’s colors. Their white gowns might also be accented with more traditional Moroccan colors. Other brides, though, will wear a brightly colored silk wedding gown with an abundance of gold embroidery running through it.
The bride’s head will be ornately decorated and her makeup will accentuate your eyes.
Moroccan receptions include chick pea and lentil soup (a favorite), fish, chicken, mint tea and coffee. Dessert consists of rich cakes that are ornately decorated and iced in bright colored icing.
A Moroccan wedding will be filled with rich colored décor, gold, lots of candlelight and rich, age-old traditions. It’s a lovely thing when a young couple embraces their heritage in such a full-bodied way.
5th June, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Hindu weddings focus on joining a couple together in happiness, harmony and growth in each other and as individuals. As in most cultures, the engagement of a Hindu couple is celebrated. The Mangni celebrates the couple’s love for one another and includes good food and gifts for the happy couple.
The first part of the ceremony is involves the exchanging of garlands between the couple as a symbol of their commitment to one another and respect for each one’s individuality.
Madhupak is the next step. This is the giving of yogurt and honey to the groom by the father of the bride as a gesture of welcoming him to the family.
Afterwards, the bride’s father places his daughter’s hand in the hand of the groom; requesting he accept her as an equal partner in life.
Havan comes next. This is the lighting of a ceremonial fire to the god of fire, Agni. It is the couple’s desire that Agni witness their commitment to one another. Following the lighting of the fire to Agni, someone (usually the bride’s brother) fills the bride’s hand with rice. She in turn shares this with the groom so that they can sacrifice to Agni.
The tying of the nuptial knot is the next ritual on the way to making a Hindu couple officially husband and wife. Scarves are tied around the bride and groom to symbolize their life-long commitment to one another in faithfulness.
The couple then makes four Mangalpheras around the fire in a clockwise direction representing four goals in life: Dharma, religious and moral duties; Artha, prosperity;Kama, earthly pleasures; Moksha, spiritual salvation and liberation. The bride leads the Pheras first, signifying her determination to stand first beside her husband in all happiness and sorrow.
Saptapardi, or steps, is the next phase of the ceremony. The couple takes these steps together to signify their unity. Each step represents a marital vow:
- To respect and honor each other
- To share each other’s joy and sorrow
- To trust and be loyal to each other
- To cultivate appreciation for knowledge, values, sacrifice and service
- To reconfirm their vow of purity, love family duties and spiritual growth
- To follow principles of Dharma (righteousness) Seventh step: To nurture an eternal bond of friendship and love
The remaining portions of the ceremony includes the parents’ blessing on the couple by sprinkling water on them from a red rose that has been dipped in water, the groom placing a dot of red vermillion to his wife’s forehead as a symbol of her being a wife and the couple touching the feet of their parents in a show of respect and appreciation for their blessing. This completes a more modern Hindu wedding ceremony.
There are some older traditions that aren’t always included in today’s ceremonies. The main one includes the ‘painting’ of the hands with a paste made of Henna leaves. Tradition has it that the names of the bride and groom are to be hidden in the painting of the hands and must be found by the groom before the wedding night consummation can take place.
Hindu, Jewish or Protestant; a wedding is the joining of a man and a woman who are committed to living their lives as one.
14th May, 2011 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Q. We do not want to have to invite kids to our ceremony or reception. Trying to keep costs down, would prefer a more low-key and adult reception. How do we tactfully make this clear?
A. There are plenty of ways to make this request as classy as possible. Address your invites to the adults in the family only. On the invite, you can put a tiny note saying “ Adults Only”. If your budget allows, you can always offer childcare as well. If anyone approaches you on this just smile and let them know that this style or ceremony and reception works for you both!
Q. We are putting a “ Plus One” on each of the invites; how can we avoid certain friends bringing people that are not their significant others and instead bringing a friend we don’t know?
A. If it is that important to you that they don’t just bring a friend of theirs as their +1 then I would specify on the invite who the +1 is. Regardless if it is a significant other best friend, or partner. If there are some guests whom you are comfortable with whoever they bring then feel free to just leave it as a “ +1”. Highly unlikely your guests will compare envelope addressees’’ to see what and who you wrote on there.
Q. I love our family, but my parents and I really do not want our out of town guests to stay at our house the day before and after the wedding; it’s way too hectic! How can we politely make this clear?
A. There is nothing wrong with asking for a little privacy or space the day before or after your wedding. Include a list of different places to stay, and list them by price so your guests know what they are working with. Include motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts. If you are in the financial position to do so, then feel free to pick up the tab on half or all of their overnight stay as an extra gesture.
1st January, 2011 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Q. Two of my bridesmaids have a rocky friendship past but I want them both in my wedding, how do I handle it?
A. Having a bridesmaid feud can be super stressful and awkward on everyone. However, you and your bridesmaids need to remember the reason why they are bridesmaids in the first place: to celebrate you and your fiancée getting married. The drama and rocky past need to be set aside so that you can enjoy your big day and so that they can be a part of it as well. If they can’t has out their differences on their own as adults, then you may need to calmly sit down with the both of them and explain that this wedding needs to be drama free. Remind them that this day is about you, and you need them to act like the friends that they are and set their differences and opinions aside.
Q. Can I fire a bridesmaid?
A. Nobody likes to use the word “fire”, as your bridesmaids aren’t employed or obligated by any means to be a part of your wedding, it is an honor and privilege, not a right. However, if a bridesmaid is continually causing you stress, grief, and anxiety due to immature behavior then you do have every right to politely explain that they are no longer to be a part of your bridal party. It may end in some tears and the cold shoulder but you need to do what’s best for you.
Q. My bridesmaids keep making negative comments about the bridesmaid dresses I picked out, should I change the style or color?
A. Your wedding day is about what you and your groom have worked hard for to plan and prepare for your special day. Naturally, this means that dress choices and colors should be you and your grooms’ (if he wants to help) decision. Of course you want to pick out a dress that flatters all of your bridesmaids as well as a color that they all love but truth of the matter is…you can’t please everyone! Remind your bridesmaids that this is your special day and you hope that they can grin and bear it on your wedding day. If you want all of your bridesmaids to feel satisfied in whatever dress you choose, then give them a color swatch and material you want each girl to wear and have them pick out the style that suits them best. This way each bridesmaid can pick out a dress that compliments their style, body shape and figure.
Q. How many bridesmaids can I have?
A. There is no magical number of bridesmaids you can have in your bridal party. Each wedding is different as it depends on how many close friends you have, or how many family members you want in your bridal party. Another thing to keep in mind that many are not aware of is the fact that your numbers do not have to match up with how many guys are standing on your groom’s side. There is no special rule for how many groomsman or bridesmaids should be on each side, or if it has to be even. You can have a maid of honor who’s your best girlfriend, or your best guy friend, same goes for your groom. Expand your wedding party criteria past the traditional rules and myths you think you have to follow, and select the wedding party that YOU want.
12th November, 2010 - Posted by Lia - 1 Comment
When planning your wedding, guests and family members will have lots of questions, but do you need to kiss and tell?
Q. How much was the engagement ring?
After your engagement, you will be so excited to tell your friends and family the happy news and engagement details about how it happened. While you and your fiancé (yes, you finally get to be able to call him that) may know the number on the hefty price tag, there is no need to share if you don’t feel obliged to. Women are the first to gossip and share details, but you don’t need to get into the nitty gritty when showing off that new rock on your finger!
Q. Why is SHE in your wedding?
The excitement of your engagement has died down, and you are beginning the planning stages. One of the first decisions is that of choosing the wedding party. You and your groom-to-be should sit down and discuss those who have been with you through thick and thin, and those who have made a great impact in your life. Appointing a member of your wedding party should never be a decision based on obligation. So when you post on your wedding blog, or on your Facebook page who the lucky friends are…expect some rebuttal from those who are not included. If any one of your friends confronts you on your bridesmaid choices, remind them by saying something like “ These are the girls (or guys) we felt should be up at the altar with us…while you are an important part of my life, I feel okay with my decision and I hope to see you on my special day!”
Q. Who’s paying?
It’s amazing how nosey guests really can get. It’s your right to withhold the details about pricing and the budget that you really don’t feel like telling the world about. So while you plan with your fiancée, don’t feel obligated to answer the question “Who’s paying for your wedding?”. Many times only one side of the couple is able to help pay for it, and it is not fair to those involved to dish these details as it maybe awkward and embarrassing to those who are paying (or can’t pay). A great way to battle this question? Explain that: “ Our families are each contributing in many different ways, it’s an event that will be wonderful and we hope you’ll join us!”
Q. How much did this cost?
On your special day, or even on the days leading up to it you may have those nosey friends who scan the room and ask the price tag on various wedding décor and accessories. Sometimes friends and guests ask too many questions, such as your budget or how much a wedding service costs. If you are comfortable with sharing, then by all means- share! If not, counteract the question with something like: “ Isn’t it great? We had so much fun planning for this wedding! Glad you enjoy!”
Q. You’re married now, when can we expect the kids?
Well you are about to tie the knot, or already have, and the questions about kids start arising. You complain of a stomachache or nausea, and people already think you’re pregnant. Typical assumptions, but annoying none the less! When interacting and mingling with guests at your wedding, you may encounter those who want to know when you’ll have the little ones running around. This is a private decision and timeline only you and your husband (or husband to be) can share! If you don’t feel like giving your baby timeline, just respond with something like: “ We just got married! We’re enjoying our wedding day and the newlywed days ahead!”