Each year I look forward to fall weddings. October is my favorite month, so October weddings are especially gorgeous to me. What could be better than knock-out roses and crepe myrtles in bloom on the back lawn while trees are turning–luscious and blazing?Today’s wedding was a perfect reflection of our bride Kayla. She chose to have a rustic wedding with wood, burlap, lanterns, iconic sunflowers, and that touch of gold sequined bling on the reception tables. Oh.. and the hot chocolate bar was a definite hit!
Attending Bridal Fairs is soooo much fun—you simply must! Take you besties and your mom and maybe even you groom and have a blast. Here are some tips to get the most from the event:
*Register online if possible. Tickets are usually discounted if you register early. If not, register as soon as you arrive. You don’t want to miss out on having your name drawn for the first door prize!
*Make stickers with you name, address, email address, phone number, and wedding date. These handy little stickers will save you valuable time when you sign-up at various vendors’ booths for “give-aways.”
*Most bridal fairs will give you a BRIDE badge to wear. Be sure yours is visible—you’ll get more attention from vendors if they can identify you as a bride.
*Take a note pad and pen. You will want to write down some of your favorite vendors, ideas, and inspirations. It would be great if your Maid of Honor would honor you by being your “secretary for the day” — jotting down all the notes for you.
*If the fair is crowded, make notes of which vendors you want to circle back to visit. The peak crowd is usually for the first half of the show. Many brides leave after the fashion show, so vendors are more easily accessible later in the afternoon. Make sure you have websites and addresses of those vendors that you don’t get to visit with so that you can talk to them later in the week.
*Dress comfortably! Wear shoes that are made for walking because you will do a lot of walking and standing over a 3 to 4 hour period. Of course, you can keep up your strength by sampling the available cakes, dipped berries, punch, pastries, fruits, etc.
*Some vendors will offer special prices for the day of the show. Take advantage of this if you are absolutely sure that you plan to use that particular vendor’s services. Many vendors will extend that same special later in the week if you ask for a little extra time to examine your budget and make a decision. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
*Some bridal fairs will give you a large tote bag, and you will definitely need it! To be on the safe side, take a light-weight tote of your own just in case.
*It would be great if your fiancé could attend at least part of the fair. He would be interested in the tux vendors and the fashion show, which includes tuxedo styles. He will also have a better appreciation of all that is involved in planning a wedding.
*Enjoy the day, network with other bride, have an open mind for new ideas, take a few goofy pictures in the photo booth, and be careful about signing any contract under pressure. Plan to go out to dinner afterwards and debrief/brainstorm with those who attended with you. Who knows what kind of inspired visions might spring to the surface!
Arbuckle Wedding Chapel August 9, 2013
Ahhh, the Dog Days of August—the days when we Okies melt into the pavement like wax on a muffler. Normally, this is a slow wedding month. Let’s face it: Most brides who want a summertime wedding will choose June or July. However, we have a few tough gals—crazed by love—who brave the heat and set the date for August.
So what other Dog Days activities go on here at the wedding chapel? Well, we have done some painting, and cleaned all the reception chairs. We’ve washed and pressed countless chair covers (well, it seemed like “countless.”) We’ve organized storage rooms and shelves, and thrown away things we don’t use anymore. Did I mention the never-ending grass/plant watering? We’ve researched new outdoor and indoor wedding ideas and new menu options. I’ve actually had time to make lovely new pew bows and some great burlap table runners for my brides to use. And we have added several VINTAGE items—so many of our brides love that rustic, vintage, ranchy combo look!
Stress! Yes, that insidious enemy that creeps—little by little—into our very core and expands until we feel our lungs are too compressed to take a deep breath. Been there?
Planning your wedding can be very stressful…. after all, it’s the event you’ve looked forward to all your life—and you want everything to be just the way you planned!
Here are some things to help you deal with the inevitable stress:
* Stay within your budget. Stressing over money is such a bad feeling!
* Distance yourself from people who bring on negativity, turmoil, and dissention.
* Find a venue that takes care of all the detail so that you don’t have to sweat the small stuff (or even the big stuff.)
* Realize that nothing is perfect. If there is a small faux pas on your wedding day (and there probably will be), be prepared to smile and know in your heart that NOTHING can ruin the joy of your day.
* Delegate, delegate, delegate. There are people who are willing to help—so give up some of that control and let those willing ones be in charge of various tasks.
* Try to be flexible—Plan B might actually work out better than Plan A, and Plan C might be fantastic!
* During the week before the wedding, do things that will relax you such as:
Get plenty of sleep, carve out some ME time, do some deep breathing, read a magazine, take a bubble bath, watch a movie (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Bridesmaids, Father of the Bride, Runaway Bride, etc.), take a walk in the country, do some Yoga stretches, have lunch with an upbeat person, get a pedicure, make a list of your blessings, lie on a “floatie” in the pool or lake, pray, listen to soothing music, take a nap.
Keep in mind that no wedding is totally without stress, but you have within you the power to slash it at the knees and squash it to a nub!
Many couples like to include their Four-Legged Child in their wedding, and that can be a wonderful idea! There are several things to consider before involving your precious dog in your nuptial festivities. Will the crowd make your dog nervous or agitated? Does he bark at the slightest provocation? If he is the calm, obedient type, well, he just might be the perfect ring-bearer or best man! If you don’t think he will be able to endure the entire event, then you might consider having him present for just the ceremony and picture taking.
Will your pet tolerate wedding attire? A dog in a bow tie….or veil…or top hat…or tulle skirt…or flowered wreath is so very adorable! If your dog is the ring-bearer, the ring can be tied to a fancy collar. We have even placed well-behaved dogs in our white wagon to be pulled up the aisle–amid the ooohs and aaahs of the guests, I might add!
We have had several canines serve as members of bridal parties—and with great success! Some tips: Be sure to have someone designated as the dog handler. This kind person will transport the pet to and from the wedding and take care of him during the evening, leaving the bride and groom free to enjoy their celebration. Bring treats and a bowl for fresh water. Bring the dog to the rehearsal so that the venue will be more familiar and less foreboding on the wedding day. If he is dressing in any kind of wedding attire, be sure he spends some time prior to the wedding getting used to wearing his fancy duds.
Just use your imagination to make your precious pet an unforgettable (in a good way) “Wedding Accessory.”
So the wonderful wedding celebration is drawing to an end, and the happy couple is ready to make their final wedding statement—The Grand Exit! The crowd of well-wishers gathers outside to cheer them on to their new life. This age old tradition is still one of the most important and beloved parts of the celebration. In times past, guests would throw rice—a symbol of fertility. Then the era of showering the couple with bird seed came (and went.) And let’s not forget that confetti has been used lavishly in the past.
Presently we have several popular choices. Most of the brides at our wedding chapel choose bubbles, so each guest is given a bottle of bubbles. The young and the old alike really get into the bubble blowing—it seems to bring out the inner child in everyone. The couple passes through a beautiful cloud of bubbles to reach their get-away vehicle. This makes for some really gorgeous pictures—ethereal with a touch of whimsy!
Another popular farewell favorite is sparklers. The bride and groom run through a gauntlet of fiery sparks, and again, the guests enjoy it and the pictures are phenomenal. A caveat to sparklers: Be certain that nearby foliage is not too dry (a grass fire would NOT be an elegant ending to a great event.) One of our brides actually hired a professional to do a fireworks display. Oooooo! Ahhhhhh!
Other brave couples have supplied silly string, or brightly colored crepe paper streamers to unfurl, flags to wave, ribbon streamers, or small bells to ring.
We have also had balloons released at daytime weddings—wedding colors, of course. Another bride had guests release lighted balloons (battery powered) at night—a gently floating rainbow of color. And yet another had guests release white Chinese lanterns with tiny candles inside—glorious in the night sky! However, it should be noted that “what goes up must come down,” so those balloons and lanterns eventually become litter and must be picked up. (Think green.)
So picture yourself doing The Grand Exit! Choose something fun and pretty–the possibilities are many, the crowd loves it, and the pictures will be cherished!
True or False? The groom should have as many groomsmen as the bride has bridesmaids—keeping the sides equal. BIGTIME FALSE! We are seeing a refreshing trend in which brides and grooms choose only their very best and closest friends and/or family members to stand with them at the wedding–regardless of how many attendants their counterpart chooses. Let’s suppose you, The Bride, have 3 super BFFs, but your groom wants to have 5 groomsmen. This could put you in a bad situation on many levels if you feel you MUST choose 2 more bridesmaids to “even things out.” Think of the extra expense incurred, and the possibility of hurt feelings/drama when you choose among remaining friends. (You know what I mean!) The same is true in the reverse–suppose you ask seven friends to be your attendants, but your groom would really prefer to have only his best friend and his brother.
Not to worry! When the number of attendants is uneven, the wedding still progresses perfectly! It is absolutely fine for a bridesmaid to walk alone, or for a bridesmaid to walk with two groomsmen, or for groomsmen to walk alone, or for everyone to walk single-file……. or any other imaginable scenario. It actually adds interest and uniqueness to the wedding, and your guests will think it’s modern and cool!!