Makeover Madness: How-To be a “WOW” and not a “Woooah!” on your Wedding Day

Bridal-Makeup Part 2 of 3

Beauty tips and tricks are kind of like good times… you simply can’t get enough!  And when it comes to your “Mrs.” debut, you’ll surely want to look better than ever!  Inevitably, however, you may run into some roadblocks along the way; so, here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, we’ve compiled some of the greatest hair and makeup tips to help ensure your look will be flawless… Below are 5 more helpful hints! (Continued from 8.28.09′s Post)

Makeover Mistake # 6: Hair Terror, when Trimming Goes too Far

  • Conflict: Because every bride wants to looks fresh for her wedding, many make hair appointments 2-3 weeks out to ensure a polished, split end free look.  However, sometimes a quick trim can turn into a long, painstaking shorter cut!  I mean honestly, what’s a girl to do?
  • Resolution: First off, don’t panic.  Bad haircuts happen everyday (mine was when I looked like the fifth member of the Beatles – yikes), and because they happen everyday, many people have created several solutions.  If you don’t have the moolah to spend on professional extensions, or if you worry about their permanence or damage, feel free to experiment with some DIY clip-in extensions to add length and volume to your bridal locks!  These clip-in hair accessories are available in realistic looking human or synthetic hair, with the main difference being: human hair can be styled; while synthetic hair remains as is.
  • Possible Solutions: Clip-In Hair Extensions, starting as low as $16.95 (

Makeover Mistake # 7: A Cautious Tale of Coffee Stains

  • Conflict: If all those late night planning sessions kept the coffee pot fuller than usual, your teeth may pay the biggest price.  And nothing ages a person quite like the color of their teeth; so, it’s important to keep your pearly whites, more white than pearly.
  • Resolution: Budget crunching doens’t have to be a worry when it comes to teeth whitening.  Because even though a trip to the dentist for a professional job can create beautiful results, so can a trip to the local drug store for a box kit remedy.  At home tooth whitening kits not only are more convenient, but you will definitely receive more bang for your buck!
  • Potential Solutions: Crest Premium Dental Whitestrips, $24.99 (, Rembrandt 2 Hour Tooth Whitening Kit, $22.99 (

Makeover Mistake # 8: Problem Pimples, Coming to a Bride Near You!

  • Conflict: EEK!  Is there anything worse than a giant pimple highlighting your face?  I think not. I’m already expecting a fury of red fireworks to make their way onto my face for my big day, considering all my big moments up unto this point have been blemished (pun intended) with pimples.  Bring it.
  • Resolution: But I’m not going to worry because stress only causes more madness, and that’s exactly what every bride should avoid.  The key is to keep the pimple clean and NOT dried out.  Some girls find it necessary to break out the tweezers, rubbing alcohol and industrial strength acne cream.  DO NOT do this.  Picking, frying and drying out will only make matters worse… again, this is a voice of experience.  As hard as it may be to resist, don’t pick.  Simply use antibacterial soap and ointment to stop oil from building up and spreading onto other areas of your face.  Because the surface won’t be dried up and peeling, it will be much easier to cover up cleanly.  And always remember, if all else fails, Photoshop and photo editing can give you flawless skin with a click of a mouse.
  • Potential Solutions:  Neutrogena SkinClearing Cover Up, $7.59 (, Physicians Formula Concealer Stick, $5.49, (

Makeover Mistake # 9: When Eyelash Curlers Lash Out 

  • Conflict: It happens to the best of us.  In the heat of the moment, while creating the perfectly quaffed curl, we become startled, and POOF!  The worst has happened… the majority of our eyelashes fall victim to a curl gone wrong… very, very wrong, and now, our right eye is practically bald.  Awesome.
  • Resolution:  First, allow yourself some time to mourn, but only for a minute.   Then, remind yourself that things could always be worse.  Just like fake hair, false lashes can be the perfect solution, but if you’re afraid of looking like Lucile Ball on a bad day, you should know that fake eyelashes come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  For more realistic looking lashes, use individual or pieced lashes to create a more youthful feel.
  • Potential Solutions: Andrea Permalash LashesFlair, $3.99 (

Makeover Mistake # 10:  A Case of Mistaken Identity

  • Conflict: Many of you are probably already planning on wearing more or even new makeup for your wedding.  This is perfectly normal.  What isn’t perfectly normal is looking like a completely different person… or one that’s covered in harsh lines and unblended base.
  • Resolution: A crucial part of painting on the perfect bridal makeup is starting with great applicators.  Using the right tools and brushes will not only ensure that everything is applied correctly, but they will also make sure that everything is blended evenly and looking flawless.  Use facial sponges to unify the color of your skin with your makeup, as well as larger brushes for your powder and blush.  Also, be sure to make use out of smaller brushes and combs for your eyes and lips.
  • Potential Solutions: Complete Beauty Brush & Applicator Sets, starting as low as $6 (, Sephora Brand Precision Sponge, $12 (

Makeover Madness: How-To be a “WOW” and not a “Woooah!” on your Wedding Day

Laughing-Bride Part 1 of 3

Alright, ladies, it’s time to be honest with ourselves, because Lord knows, we’re allllll guilty of it.  At some point in all our lives, on at least one occasion, we will fall victim to the oldest trick in the book: trying waaay too hard to look good and ending up a hot, hot mess.  Unfortunately – for myself - this is a story that has become all too familiar.  For I, my dear friends, am the Clark Griswald of (dun! dun! duuuun!) Over Styling. 

Not only do I constantly over style, but after the styling goes awry, I will then inevitably do everything conceivably possible to try and fix it.  This, in turn, transforms a mere “over styling” into an over primped, poked, plumped, shortly followed by a super panicked disaster.  (Uhhh, thank you)  But because I’ve made just about every mistake under the sun, it is my pleasure to give you some of the best solutions (and preventions) you can use to your advantage in avoiding any form of wedding day disaster!

Makeover Mistake # 1: When Tanning Goes TOO Far

  • Conflict: If you’ve found yourself being a bride who’s hittin’ up the fake bake to achieve that perfect, bridal “glow” but have successfully surpassed the stages of “bronzed beauty” into the latter half of “hot tamale,” I implore you not to worry… You’re talking to an expert on this subject matter.
  • Resolution: As a former tan-orexic, I found that taking a couple ibuprofen helps calm down any swelling a sun/bed burn may cause; while a homemade lemonjuice and salt scrub can really tone done the redness and even out your color.  And if you’re still a little crispy on your big day, try using a light-green tinted moisturizer or concealer for additional evenness.
  • Potential Solutions: Beautyblender, $20 (, Physicians Formula Concealer Twins, $6.95 (

Makeover Mistake # 2: Back-ne Acne Strikes Again! 

  • Conflict:  We all know black is the most slimming color, easily making it’s stark opposite counterpart, white.  Hence, many brides-to-be find it necessary to hit the gym hardcore before giving in to their “I do’s.”  And while I fully support getting your cardio to trim down and tone up, all the excess sweat it causes can sometimes wreak havoc on your skin, especially along your sports bra lines.
  • Resolution: To keep you body clear, it’s all about keeping your skin clean WITHOUT going overboard.  Using too many products on your skin can cause irritation and creating equally, if not potentially worse results; so, keep the process simple.  Try washing with anti-bacterial soap, and misting your skin with an acne prevention spray post cleansing.  This will help clear up what you have and prevent it from getting bad again.
  • Potential Solutions: Dial Antibacterial Moisturizing Body Wash, $7.89 (, Acne Solutions Body Treatment Spray, $19.50 (

Makeover Mistake # 3: An Epic Tale of the Vanishing Makeup

  • Conflict: You’ve always been taught that when it comes to make up, less is more.  The key is to make it look like you have nothing on. When this actually happens, however, the results can be deadly… okay, well maybe not deadly, but my face can look awfully scary :)  
  • Resolution:  To keep your makeup in place, start at the base… literally.  If you have a sturdy base, everything else above it will lay a lot nicer.  So, after you’ve showered and moisturized, reach for your favorite non-oil, non-silicone based, face primer.  By smoothing this on, before applying your foundation and powder, you’ll create a protective layer between your skin that your makeup will bond to.
  • Potential Solutions: Prime Time Foundation Primer $21 (, Smashbox Photo Finish $36-42 (

Makeover Mistake # 4: Too Much Mascara = Spider Lash City, Baby!

  • Conflict: Ahhh yes, the makeup misstep closest too my heart.  In high school, my whole class had to list out the 5 most important things in our lives.  I wrote: family, friends, love, happiness and MASCARA!!  From the get, I loved it, but I soon learned that this love affair was too strong for me
  • Resolution:  Like a bad hair day, many girls feel the best solution to avoid a chucky mascara debut is buy rewashing and starting over… but, they’d be mistaken.  Since mascara is one of the final makeup steps, starting over can be a real pain in the patella.  Instead of redoing, simply try reworking the amount.  Try wetting down a Q-tip with the solution from an eye makeup remover and gently glide it on your eyelashes until the mascara goop begins to loosen its vicious grip.  Then, take an eyebrow brush and comb through… and Viola!
  • Potential Solutions: Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads, $5.99 ( Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, $8.29 (

Makeover Mistake # 5: Smile! You’re on Candid Camera… (with Lipstick on your Teeth! Ew!)

  • Conflict: While trying to establish the perfect pout, you’ve somehow ended up with more lipstick on our your teeth and out of the lines, than you have on your actual lips.  (Uh huh, seems about right)  This fashion feux pas, my dears, is not attractive or acceptable at any age.  So, what can be done?
  • Resolution:  Say it with me… line, then refine.  By utilizing lip liner that is A (yes one) shade darker than your lipstick, you will create a space to paint.  Once the shellacking is complete, be sure to either blot the inner part of your lips OR a trick that works really well is closing your lips around your index finger and pulling it out.  This will get rid of any excess lipstick that may end up on your teeth.  And if you’re still nervous, you can smudge a little Vaseline on your front, pearly white just in case! 
  • Potential Solutions: Depending on color and preference, choice may vary.  Just be sure to use a liner and a blotter.

These are just the first five tips!  Stay tuned next week for Parts 2 and 3 of our Makeover Madness series… and be sure to leave any tips of your own!  Because believe me, there will be somebody out there who will find it beneficial… and by somebody, I mean me – hehe.

Peacock Power: Trending Up Weddings Everywhere

Feather-Wedding-Dress I have three words for this growing trend: Va Va (and) Voom!  If you’re a bride looking for something out of the ordinary, you needn’t look any further than this post… because when it comes to regal style, bold colors and overall ooh la la, nobody (or bird – for that matter) quite compares to the peacock.  Armed with their pizzazz-worthy pallet and exotic looks, peacocks have been pecking their way into the wedding scene for years, and after viewing some of their wedding inspired creations, it’s not hard to see why. 

Everything from bridesmaid dresses to invitation designs have been invaded by our gorgeous, feathered friends.  Just imagine lavish blues, arresting greens, majestic purples and dazzling golds oozing through your wedding day.  Hard to resist, wee?  It could be as easy as sticking peacock feathers in your bridesmaid’s bouquets; having a gold aisle runner; teal tablecloths; purple boutonnieres; the list goes on and on. 

Some brides choose to merely draw on the peacock’s royal color scheme in order to create their one of a kind wedding; while others take a more literal approach and douse everything from hairdos and bridal shoes to centerpieces and accessories with peacock fur.  The choice - as always – would be totally up to you.  

So, whether you choose to have an avant-garde, over the top peacock explosion or one flickered with simple hints and color pops, these fascinating pheasants can inspire as much or as little of the overall aesthetic as you’d like.  Believe you me, when it comes to a peacock themed wedding, the only limitation is your imagination.  Your wedding day is all about you; so, let it reflect your style and fashion. 


Recently Featured in Bride’s Magazine: We Want To Know, Are You The Fittest Bride?

Fresh to newsstands and right into your hands, the latest issue of Bride’s Magazine is already poppin’ off shelves and straight into checkout lines everywhere.  With autumnal weddings becoming more and more popular, Bride’s September / October issue has easily become their second best selling addition of the year, which is why we had to be a part of it!  Doubly featured, we’re offering two incredible deals that we hope will benefit you – our wonderful brides-to-be! 

We all know – just like in life – wedding planning can be a dog eat dog process, and only the strongest survive.  In an effort to give every bride a chance to shine, one of our features gives you an opportunity to tell a “survival story” for a chance to win our four, best selling survival kits.  Designed to have every wedding day disaster covered, our survival kits include everything most brides need, but never seem to remember to bring.  Simply follow the Bride’s link below for further details and your shot to win!  Brides-Advertorial-1 And if you consider yourself to be more of a thriving bride, than a surviving one, you need to take advantage of our second, exclusive sale in Bride’s.  Simply gather up your favorite Marilyn’s Keepsakes items, enter the Promo Code BRIDES at checkout and receive $25 off your order of $100 or more!  That’s a 25% savings, ladies!  See linked image below for details and happy shopping!


“Yes, Prince William, I Will Marry You”: A Young Girl’s Dream Shattered??

Prince-William-3 According to the latest and greatest water cooler gossip, even though Prince William and Kate Middleton aren’t officially engaged, there is a definite “understanding” that wedding bells will chime (at some point) down the road.  Carlanne McCrystal of the Examiner, reports that the marriage will more than likely take place before his grandmother celebrates her 60th anniversary as Queen Mum of England.  (For all you none-history buffs out there, this is less than three years away.)

Which means… we all have something REGAL to look forward to – hehe!  For real, I can’t be the only person who finds Royal weddings fascinating!  They can pluck a girl from obscurity and make her into a real life princess!!  Hello???  Do I even have to remind you of one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever made??  Say it with me, people, Cinderella.  <Swoooon>

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s the hope-ful romantic, little girl inside me, but it would be difficult for my arms not to fill with goosebumps when I see a love story unfold… let alone one that happens between a prince and princess.  So, congrats Sir William and Lady Kate!  I look forward to your nuptials :)  

And for an added bonus…

In accordance with this news (and the minor fact I’m fixing to get hitched to another myself), I suppose I should retire my famed letter I wrote to Prince William oh-so-many-years ago, which I give to you now.  I have two words for this… too and much.


Love Is In The Air, My Little Chick-a-dees: Famous Love Quotes From History

True-Loves-Kiss With today’s modern bride, it seems that the wedding industry has really come into its own.  Every wedding is becoming more about individual tastes, rather than societal standards.  A bride is able to find her perfect blend of trend and tradition to create the wedding day cafe latte (or triple grande, iced mocha joe, red eye surprise, etc.) she always wanted!

One way, in particular, that weddings have become more personal is through the involvement of brides and grooms.  Couples are taking more time to add their personal touches here and there to ensure a wedding day celebration that is uniquely theirs.  Whether it’s through writing their own vows, singing their own songs or simply rocking their own reception, nuptial newlyweds everywhere are discovering how much fun creating a one of a kind day truly can be.

For those of you writing your own vows and finding it beyond difficult to complete, I (along with some of my close, personal friends – hehe) would like to help.  Below are some famous, love quotes that will hopefully inspire your desire to create vow-tastic results!

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; while loving someone deeply, gives you courage. - Lao Tzu

We are all angels with only one wing, and we need to embrace each other to fly. - Luciano de Crescenzo

I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. – Roy Croft

With you, I lose myself.  Without you, I find myself wanting to be lost again. – Unknown

Not even death can stop true love; it can only delay it for a little while. – From “The Princess Bride”

There is no difficulty that enough love with not conquer; no disease enough love will not heal; no door that enough love will not open. – Emma Fox

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. – Oprah Winfrey

It’s easy to fall in love.  The hard part is finding someone to catch you. – Bertrand Russell

Marriage is not a ritual or an end.  It is a long, intricate dance together, and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner. – Amy Bloom

Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition. – Alexander Smith

Love is like playing the piano.  First, you must learn to play by the rules; then, you must forget the rules and play from your heart. – Unknown

There is no remedy for love but to love more. – Henry David Thoreau

Love isn’t blind.  It just sees what matters. – William Curry

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. – Amy Bloom

Love doesn’t make the world go ’round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile. – Franklin P. Jones

The first duty of love is to listen. – Paul Tillich

In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities. – Janos Arnay

You don’t marry someone you can live with – you marry the person who you can’t live without. – Anonymous

If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack.  If you don’t have it, no matter what else there is, it’s not enough. – Ann Landers

Marriage is like a fine wine.  As it ages, it just gets better.  Look at all the good times and leave behind the bad, for there are more wonders you will find in each, as time passes by. - Anonymous

If I Had A Million Dollars: I’d Buy These (Celebrities Are Sooo Lucky!)

Britney-Spears-Bride I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the Barenaked Ladies, but I’m a huge fan.  And since they relented to expose the following creations in their early 90′s hit – If I Had $1000000 -, I thought I’d take it upon myself to do the honors, while paying homage to them.  Obviously written as a satirical song, If I Had $1000000 featured ridiculous lyrics on what they would buy if they were rich.  Everything from houses and cars to llamas and pre-wrapped sausages – haha. 

While searching for the latest and greatest in celebrity wedding gossip – basically my favorite extra curricular activity – I came across an article from the Washington Post shining light on a new Hollywood trend.  In order to keep their wedding details top secret, celebrities are sometimes forced to have their reps call people – more than likely on untapped, impenetrable phone lines – and provide them with all the appropriate wedding details.  Done to hopefully prevent any “leaks” to the press, this new age wave has left many guests feeling empty handed… literally. Gwen-Stefani-Bride

The wedding invitation is more than likely the first detail provided for a couple’s wedding showcase debut; so, if celebrities are famous for creating trends, how can they keep their invitations hot when they’re using cold calls?  The answer, my dear brides-to-be, is simply this: give invitations on the wedding day… duh!  (Please note, the previous “duh” was totally superficial.)

But what may seem incredibly ridiculous to the average bride, many celebrity ladies-in-waiting find practically a necessity.  However, when they do choose to have wedding day invitation creations made, many celebutantes enlist the sisterly pairing of Lehr & Black to create their one of a kind look… and after viewing their site, it’s exceedingly obvious why.  These elaborate invites are – in a word – un-be-liev-a-ble! 

Detailed with everything from fresh, wild orchids and Swarovski crystals to silk ribbons and vintage, brocade lace, these ooh la la invites are EXACTLY what I’d purchase If I Had $1000000.  Honestly, I applaud the talents of these LA located sisters with a fury unmatched by any other.  Bravo, Kudos, Aces, Encore and any other obnoxious word used to celebrate genius, Lehr & Black, BRAVO!

Eva-Longoria-Bride Feel free to check out Their Site, which also features several celebrity wedding invitations they’ve created through the years.  Simply enter the site, click on “Weddings” and scroll down the right had tool bar.  Featured celebrity weddings include: Ashlee & Pete Wentz, Eva Longoria & Tony Parker, Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale, Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey (oops) and my personal favorite Britney Spears & Kevin Federline (double oops).  Even though some of the nuptials didn’t last, Lehr & Black styles’ is nothing short of timeless.

And, for all my non-millionaire brides out there, feel free to check out our line of DIY Invitations & Stationery, head on out to JoAnn Fabrics, pick up some supplies and start crafting your own wedding request masterpieces.

Give Your Wedding Personality: How To Choose From Popular Themes & Colors

Bridal-Barbie If you’re anything like me, you’ve been conjuring up your perfect wedding plan for years.  Long before your Mr. Wonderful made his entrance, I’m guessing you already had Barbie and Ken – bedecked to the nines – acting out to your dream wedding in a fully functioning dress rehearsal.  I’ll even go as far to say that you more than likely already had the color of his vest on reserve and your flowers selected and put on hold, and while I think this is fabulous (because we yet again have something in common – hehe), I would urge you not to limit yourself.

And this is why…

My parents have been married for 34 years.  They were high school sweethearts, and after a long, fairytale like courtship (siiiigh), my father uttered those four famous words every girl loves to hear, “Will you marry me?”  Of course my mother said yes, and began piecing together her dream wedding.  She didn’t know much, but she knew one thing for certain: she had to have blue and yellow, floral bridesmaid dresses.  (Let it be advised, this WAS the seventies, people.)  So, imagine her shock when she walked into the bridal store repeating “blue and yellow” over and over again, and walked out with six red and white dresses… who-da thunk it?

So, stay open to new ideas.  Try on colors and shapes and arrangements you’ve never considered.  Ask for suggestions.  Implore friends and family.  Because even though your wedding might not be the picture you’ve always imagined, you just might get something even better.

Wedding Themes

One way to create the initial theme of your wedding is to incorporate the theme in your invitations.  Finding invitations that pertain to your specific theme will help explain to your guests what type of wedding you have planned.  Include a special note separately or on your reception card explaining what type of wedding you are having along with a couple of phone numbers where guests can contact you with questions.

When hosting a theme type wedding, sometimes traditional wedding etiquette rules are set aside. This allows you to include a suggested dress code that is normally omitted from traditional or formal wedding invitations where the time of day the wedding takes place would normally dictate the type of dress preferred.  Be sure to make your guests aware that the dress code is optional. 

If couples choose to dress the part, along with their attendants, it can make for a very authentic, incredibly unique celebration.  Depending on your theme you can find its décor at costume shops or thrift stores if your theme if from a period in time. Costume shops and party shops may have all that you are looking for in terms of attire and decorations.

If you have an idea in mind for a wedding theme, visit your local library or surf the internet to learn more about how to incorporate your wedding theme with décor, activity, attire, and music.  Take a look at some of these: 

  • “When in Rome”… throw a Roman feast fit for a king
  • Beach Party Wedding… stay casual and breezy
  • “When You Wish Upon a Star”… play music that involves lyrics that sing about stars and decorate your reception with sparkle lights and stardust.
  • “Once Upon a Time” or “Cinderella”… make your big day a dream come true
  • Victorian Wedding Tea… make your wedding a regal affair
  • Winter Wonderland… take your Christmas time wedding to a whole new level
  • Roaring Twenties / Wedding Speakeasy… capture the fun and romance of a another era
  • Love at the Mardi Gras Ball… throw a truly colorful party
  • Game of Love… have a sports or Vegas themed wedding
  • Red Carpet Wedding: Hollywood Style
  • Bewitched with Love… work your wedding into Halloween

Your wedding can also pattern itself after the very season it is scheduled for. A Christmas wedding may incorporate the holiday theme or a winter wonderland theme. Maybe you will be married 4th of July weekend and you want to decorate with a patriotic theme.  The possibilities are limitless – just like your fabulosity!

Wedding Colors

Popular wedding colors vary with every trend, year and season.  Many brides choose their colors based on their wedding date.  Summer and spring are more likely paired with bright hues and vibrant pastels.  Think of your favorite spring time bouquet: dusty pinks, cobalt blues, periwinkles, teals, yellows and mangos.  Fall and winter seem to denote more reds, burnt oranges, cinnamons, dark sages, chocolates, blacks and warm yellows. 

But this is a guestimated (guess + estimated = guestimated) pattern at best, because it really boils down to you.  2009 has marked the year for cool colors.  Blues, greens and purples have overtaken the wedding scene, pushing warmer shades aside.  Combining colors and choosing coordinating hues over perfectly matched details has also been on the rise, but does this mean you have to follow suit?  Heck no!

Every bride is different, and while there may be more popular colors chosen overall and at different times during the year, you’re not like every one else… so, your wedding shouldn’t have to be either.  I suggest picking colors that you love that hold a timeless quality with you.  After all, you’ll be looking at these pictures for many years over!  Below are some of the most popular colors chosen through the years:

  • Sage Green
  • Teal
  • Butter Yellow
  • Chocolate
  • Pastel Pink
  • Wisteria
  • Black
  • Raspberry
  • Eggplant / Deep Purple
  • Metallic Silver / Platinum
  • Champagne
  • Wine / Deep Red

Of course no color scheme or wedding theme is nearly as important as the “Ken” you’re going to marry; so, no matter what color, theme, pallet or trend you choose, always remember the most important choice… and choose each other!

Give Yourself A Hand: How To Divvy Out Wedding Attendant Responsibilities

Bridal-Party In case you haven’t come to the conclusion yet, let me be the first to break the news: planning a wedding – no matter how big or small – is a lot, and I mean A LOT of work.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve never met a bride who didn’t think it was worth it, but generally the journey to the  “I do’s” will log more man hours, more provisions and more “did we do’s” than any other event.  (I mean seriously, what else takes 12-18 months to plan?)  So, it’s important to surround yourself with dependable people who will help make all the planning as stress and worry free as possible.

Below is a list of what’s traditionally done when dividing up responsibilities.  However, and this is a HUGE however, it by no means has to reflect what you do.  Because every couple, family and wedding day is unique, there truly are no right and wrong answers…  There are simply answers, and it’s up to each bride and groom-to-be to choose what those answers will be.  And if you think of all the wedding checklists you view as “guidelines,” instead of rules, you’ll have all the wiggle room you need to accomodate your requirements. 

So, feel to check these out and let the divvying / wiggling begin:  

Maid/Matron of Honor 

  • Responsible for organizing bridesmaid activities and delegating responsibilities accordingly
  • Organizes bridal shower and /or Bachelorette party
  • Stays with the bride on the wedding day to make sure she is dressed, ready and cool as a cucumber
  • Is the last maid to walk down the aisle just before the flower girl’s entrance
  • Holds the groom’s ring for the bride until needed by the officiant
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate
  • May offer a toast either before or after the best man (optional)
  • Sits to the left of the groom or right of the bride at head table
  • Dances with the best man during the bridal party dance
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for flowers
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share for bridal shower expenses


  • Assist Maid of Honor in planning the bridal shower and /or Bachelorette party
  • Assist bride with errands and addressing invitations
  • Participate in all pre-wedding parties
  • Arrive at ceremony site at least two hours before the event
  • Line up and walk according to height (shortest to tallest) or as previously established by the bride
  • Stand to the left of the Maid or Matron of Honor during ceremony
  • Dance with ushers/groomsmen and other important guests at reception
  • Financial Responsibilities: 
    • Own attire except for flowers
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share for bridal shower expenses 

Best Man 

  • Responsible for organizing ushers /groomsmen activities and delegating responsibilities
  • Organizes Bachelor party for groom
  • Drives groom to ceremony site
  • Arrives dressed at ceremony site at least 1 hour before ceremony
  • Brings marriage license to the wedding
  • Pays clergy, musicians and other service providers the day of the wedding
  • Stands to the left of the groom facing the guests during processional
  • Stands to the right of the groom facing the officiant during ceremony
  • Holds the bride’s ring for the groom until needed by the officiant
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate
  • Drives bride and groom to the reception if no driver is hired
  • Offers toast at reception (before dinner)
  • Sits to the right of the bride or left of the groom at the head table
  • Keeps groom on schedule
  • Dances with maid of honor during bridal party dance
  • Oversees return of tuxedo rentals for groom, groomsmen, ushers, and other tuxedo rental
  • Financial Responsibilities: 
    • Own attire except for boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share for bachelor party expenses 


  • Help the best man with the Bachelor party
  • Arrive dressed at ceremony site at least 1 hour before the ceremony
  • Seat guests as they arrive (ushers)
  • Pass out programs and directions to the reception as guests arrive
  • Roll aisle runner down the aisle after mothers are seated
  • Stand to the left of best man according to height (tallest to shortest) or as previously established by the groom
  • Direct guests to the reception site (ushers)
  • Sit at head table next to bridesmaids
  • Dance with bridesmaids and other important guests
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements.
    • Contributing a share for bachelor party expenses.


  • Helps best man and groomsmen with bachelor party
  • Arrive dressed at the ceremony site at least 1 hour before the ceremony
  • May distribute wedding programs or maps to the reception site to guests as they arrive
  • Escort guests to their seats as they arrive to the ceremony
  • Responsible for rolling out the aisle runner either just after the mothers are seated, or just before the flower girl walks down the aisle
  • Dismiss guests from their rows after the ceremony. One usher for bride’s side – one usher for grooms side
  • Make sure that guests have not left personal items behind
  • Dance with bridesmaids & other single female guests at the reception
  • Make sure that guests know how to get to the reception site OK
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations & travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share to the bachelor party expenses

 Parents of the Bride 

  • Help the bride prepare guest list., including names, address, telephone number, and all names of individual guests for the bride’s friends and family
  • Help the bride plan the wedding ceremony and reception
  • Select their attire according to the color and theme of the wedding
  • MOB should contact the groom’s mother when she has chosen her attire to inform her about the overall style, color, and length of dress preferred
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests at a hotel close to the reception site
  • Arrive dressed at the ceremony early (1-2 hours prior) for pictures
  • MOB will be escorted down the aisle by Best Man or Usher just before the processional begins (the last person to be seated)
  • Sit in the left front pew during the ceremony
  • Stand up to signal the start of the processional
  • MOB will be escorted out after the last bridesmaid/groomsman during the recessional, usually by the bride’s father
  • 1st people in the receiving line to greet guests
  • Sit together at the parent’s table during the reception
  • Mingle with the guests at the reception making sure that everyone has a good time
  • Parents of the bride’s financial responsibilities:
    • Host the engagement party
    • Bridal gown and accessories (veil, jewelry, shoes, etc.)
    • Wedding Invitations & postage
    • Gifts for bridesmaids
    • Pre-wedding parties, bridesmaid’s luncheon
    • Photography/Videography
    • Florist
    • Bakery
    • Reception fees such as caterer, food, drink, linens, tables, chairs, etc.
    • Rental fee for both ceremony & reception site
    • Entertainment (DJ or band)
    • Party favors
    • Transportation for the wedding party
    • Own attire, hotel accommodations, travel arrangements.

 Mother of the Groom 

  • Prepares the guest list for the grooms family and friends
  • Selects and purchases wedding attire that compliments the mother of the bride (dresses should not be identical)
  • Along with the grooms father plans the rehearsal dinner
  • Arrives at the ceremony site early for photographs (1-2 hours before ceremony)
  • Is seated by either the best man or usher before the mother of the bride just before the processional
  • Sits in the right front pew next to the groom’s father
  • Is escorted out by the groom’s father just after the bride’s parents exit during the recessional
  • Stands to the left of the MOB & FOB in the receiving line
  • Sits next to the groom’s father at the parent’s table

Father of the Groom 

  • Gives a toast at the rehearsal dinner (to the bride or to both the bride & groom)
  • Arrives dressed at the ceremony site early for pictures (1-2 hours before)
  • Follows the mother of the groom down the aisle as she is seated by the best man or usher just before the MOB entrance
  • Sits in the right front pew next to MOG
  • Escorts the MOG after the wedding ceremony just after the MOB/FOB during the recessional
  • Stands to the left of the MOG in the receiving line
  • Sits next to MOG at the parent’s table at the reception
  • Parents of the groom’s financial responsibilities:
    • Own hotel accommodations & travel expenses
    • Rehearsal dinner expenses
    • Gifts for the Best Man, Groomsmen, & Ushers.
    • Brides bouquet, all mothers & grandmothers corsages, all boutonnieres
    • Officiant’s fee
    • Honeymoon expenses

 Flower Girl 

  • Attends rehearsal to practice her role, but is not required to attend rehearsal dinner
  • Is not required to attend pre-wedding parties such as showers, engagement parties, luncheon’s etc…
  • Arrives dressed at the ceremony early for pictures (usually 1-2 hours before ceremony)
  • Tosses flower petals down the aisle during the processional just before the bride enters
  • Stands behind the maid of honor during the ceremony. If flower girl is very young she may sit with her parents during the ceremony
  • During the recessional walks along the right side of ring bearer just after the bride and groom exit
  • Sits with her parents during the reception
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for flower basket and petals
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements

 Ring Bearer 

  • Attends rehearsal to practice his role, but is not required to attend rehearsal dinner
  • Is not required to attend pre-wedding parties such as showers, engagement parties, luncheon’s etc…
  • Arrives dressed at the ceremony early for pictures (usually 1-2 hours before ceremony)
  • Carries ring pillow or ring box with either faux rings or the actual wedding rings attached
  • Follows the maid of honor during the processional (just before the flower girl)
  • Stands behind the best man during the ceremony. If ring bearer is very young he may sit with his parents during the ceremony
  • Walks beside the flower girl to left during the recessional just after the bride & groom exit
  • Sits with his parents during the reception
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for ring pillow and boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements

Got A Case Of The Recession Blues?: How Budget Crunching Brides Are Saving & Surviving

Bridal-Blues I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly positive person.  Life just seems to be a bit easier when you’re laughing – and I’m not just talking about after viewing your bank account.  Hehe.  So, even though the economy may be in all kinds of depressive, recessive trouble, I still think brides everywhere have every right to PAAARRRTAAAY on their big day!  Don’t let the overbearing loom of negatively saturated media get you down.  Stay up!  And consider that if life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it, there’s no reason for you to not have a winning hand :) 

The Wedding Report – a research company that specializes in gathering and reporting wedding industry trends, facts and information - says that 2009 weddings have all been about budget crunching!  Not only did the average expense of weddings drop from 2008 to 2009, but there was another 14% dip in spending from the first quarter of 2009, where average costs were around $19,212 to the second quarter, where there average budget dropped to $16,546.  The silver lining, however, is that even though the expenses have dropped, the weddings themselves have stayed fairly the same.  But how?? – one might ask.

According to The Wedding Report, there are a number of ways for brides to not only survive the economic storm, but THRIVE through it with fury.  Below are some examples where brides and grooms-to-be can cut costs without cutting down their dream: 

  • Let your Friends & Family Shine:  Many couples are employing the talents and services of their loved ones to get things done.  All jobs from ceremony singers and instrumentalists to invitation makers and hair quaffers are being invaded by friends and family – and more often than not, at a fraction of the cost.  
  • Say it with me – SIMPLICITY:  Brides and grooms may not be willing to give up their guest list, but they are certainly cutting down the decor.  By simplifying their invitations, centerpieces and ceremony and reception decorations, which all add up, they’ve lowered their costs and risen their spirits!
  • Responding via Web Surfing:  Both eco- and wallet friendly, online RSVPs have started to make a splash with future brides and grooms.  This will cut the costs on both the invitations and the postage.
  • Consider All-Inclusive:  Not only has this helped lower the stress levels of soon-to-be I Do’ers, but finding vendors who provide multiple services can also be extremely budget friendly.
  • Dare to be Different:  Couples who have utilized “off-peak” times have seen a significant drop in costs.  Simply by getting hitched during a non-summer month or on a Friday, Sunday or Saturday morning, they’ve been able to limit the amount they’re paying the Pied Piper. 
  • Impress your Guests with Do-It-Yourself Projects:   DIY brides and grooms are all the rage these days.  By exploiting their inner-crafters within, these future Mr. and Mrs’s are creating their own favors, centerpieces, bouquets and more… showing how cutting out the middle man can be a real money saver.

No matter how you find the balance for your wedding budget, please know there are options out there to help you adjust.  Because even though timely trends and funky fashions may come and go, saving money never goes out of style!  So, feel free to leave you best money saving tips below… and help brides everywhere kick a little economic booty!