Filed under: Wedding Etiquette
courtesy of cptphotography.com
I recently came across an article on sheknows.com – a smart, beguiling website / professional hub filled with fun content and deft information – and thought it appropriate to share with all my favorite brides-to-be. Enjoy, kittens :)
- Weather. Think about the time of year your wedding will take place and consider the weather complications that could come with it. If rain is in the forecast, be safe and put a tent on hold. For impending tropical storms, make sure you have a secondary location so you and your guests will be safe.
- Alcohol. Staying sober on your wedding day keeps you in control and constantly aware of your surroundings. After all of the time, money and energy you have spent on making your day perfect, make sure you stay clear-headed so you can enjoy it!
- Wilting wedding flowers. Consider the elements your flowers will be subjected to before making a decision. If it’s hot and humid, delicate flowers won’t make it very long. Ask your florist what will work best after considering the environment.
- Overspending. When planning a wedding, spending over your budget is easy to do. But in the end, remember that you want to enjoy not just the wedding day itself but also the memory of it. If you go into debt over your big day, that won’t be the case. Instead of overspending on the wedding, put aside some money for future anniversary vacations.
- Vendor drama. Three days before your wedding, make sure all vendors have been contacted about arrival times and contracted services. Confirm all details and expectations on the contract.
- Untamed children. Making an effort to entertain the children attending your ceremony and reception can go a long way with your guests. Fill children’s activities boxes with coloring books, small toys or even games to keep them entertained and out of trouble.
- Toast(ed). Ask those giving toasts prior to the wedding what they are going to talk about. Feel free to give suggestions or ask them to leave out any unnecessary or embarrassing information.
- Unhappy guests. If you aren’t doing a receiving line, make sure to visit each guest’s table during your reception. Saying hello to your guests and thanking them for their gifts will make them feel appreciated.
- Unexpected music. Unless you want to watch grandma do the funky chicken five times in a row, make sure your entertainment knows what you expect from them and what music not to play.
- Last minute loose ends. Want to know the best thing you can do to make sure your day is perfect? Hire a wedding planner! From full planning to day-of packages, wedding planners offer a variety of services that help you take care of any and all unexpected dilemmas on your big day.
(sheknows.com, 10 Possible Wedding Dilemmas, Ashley Gain, 29 September 2011)
April 24, 2012
Waterford Dinnerware versus Vera Wang Wedgwood Dinnerware (photos courtesy of macys.com)
While we all know how I feel about the bridal registry – click here if you need a refresher – I think there is something to be said for the never-ending debate of what should or shouldn’t go on one. In particular, I especially like discussions revolving around items which toe the line between Trend VS Tradition… in today’s case, Everyday Dishware VS Fine China.
When registering for a wedding, pre-nup pups almost always think of dishes first. No longer are the days of mismatched plates, cups and plastic ware; now are they days getting hitched, moving up and into some grown up dishes! And with this at the forefront of every bride’s mind, tradition almost always leads them straight down the fine china path.
But is this the way for every bride to go?
In a word… no. While registering for our wedding back in waaaayyy back in ’09 (haha!), the hubs and I were met with quite a quandary. While we consider ourselves a lot of things as a couple, ‘fancy’ would not rank among the top of our list; so, you can imagine our predicament when we were already in the possession of three - count them 1, 2, 3! – sets of fine china, inherited over the years from family… I mean, if fancy we’re not, how could we possibly pick out a fourth set of luxe-ware when we didn’t even have a home for the first three?
Answer: we couldn’t. After discussing this with our fabulous Bed, Bath & Beyond bridal consultant, we went with her recommendation of simply registering for a nicer set of everyday dishes, while still picking out other big ticket items for people looking to spend a little more. (Shout out to my boss, Cathy LaValley, who purchased the six remaining sets of our dishware to complete the registry! Dead sere, can’t eat without thinking of you, haha!)
It seemed to be a win / win for all, especially since not a single piece of our three fine china sets has ever seen the light of a guest whilst dining with the Dietzes. Um, oops? Look, I said we weren’t fancy, haha! But we did pick a registry that worked for us, which is what I would implore all of you to do too! Find things that work for you and work them… more importantly than giving you the finest, most expensive wedding gift ever, guests really just wanna a give something they know you’ll use and love!
Cheers and happy shopping!
October 13, 2011
There's about to be a - what? A Girl Fight! (photo courtesy of nicolewelchphotography.com)
My lovely co-worker and fellow Royal Wedding stalker, Carolyn, sent me this little ditty yesterday about the latest and greatest gossip to come out of the final Royal Wedding countdown. And hold onto your oversized hats, ladies, because this regal romp features the names of all William’s ex-ladies-in waiting that will be in attendance on the big day celebration… that’s right. I said ladie(s). And I said ex.
This raises a very common etiquette question, which I am often asked, “Is inviting exes to a wedding an acceptable formality or an all out calamity?” Of course the ball can roll both ways and is completely dependent on the feelings of each particular bride and groom, but it seems to be a common denominator for at least one side to consider during the pre-wedding plans. And I’m sad to report, there is no cut and dry answer.
For cases as sensitively sticky as these, it truly is all about your comfort level as a couple. For instance, if the ex is a mutual friend who parted with a drama free, curtain closing exit, moved on to a new love and still remains a loyal comrade… the risk of a “Help me Jesus!” moment between one of you and one of them is incredibly slim to none.
However, if the ex had to be de-friended Facebook style after she was caught using her former password privy to colorfully update information, shortly before papering the neighborhood with vicious lies and uncomfortable allegations… mayhaps, it would be best if she was left off the guest list… or better yet, out of the country on the day you say “I do.”
OBVI, these are the kind of decisions that have to be worked out individually by the couple, pending their particular preferences. Every couple is different. And every ex is different; you just need to make sure the conclusion you MUTUALLY come to is one you are both comfortable with… just like the one Kate Middleton and her Prince Charming came up with.
And, what are the Royal Wedding conclusions on exes? you may ask. Will it be <gasp!> the situational scandal of the century? Ehh, not so much. In fact, Kate Middleton, the future Mrs.of Prince Willy, is even friends with a few of her future hubby’s former flames. <sigh> Nothing like a breath of fresh, drama free air to get the day started off right.
According to E!’s online post, here are the blasts from Prince William’s past that will be in attendance on his April 29th wedding:
This blonde beauty - who once accompanied Prince Charming on a cruise of the Aegean Sea back in 1999 - still remains good friends with the hunky royal, and even invited him to attend her 2004 wedding to Thomas Barber, the son of a baronet. Gotta say, seems pretty clutch things worked out as they did, as Davina and Big Willy are technically related. Yep, this socialite's mummy dearest just so happens to be cousin's of the late Princess Di... weeeird. (photo courtesy of vanityfair.it)
Daughter of Captain Ian Farquhar, this former fling of William's was his first serious girlfriend, but before you start shouting "scandal," it's important to note that they were together during the puppy love days; and Ms. Rose has remained good friends of both Will and brother Harry since. (photo courtesy of thesun.co.uk)
For those of you who may also consider yourselves professional fans of PW's, perhaps you remember this ultra passionate romance between him and Arabella Musgrave, which began with an infamous upstairs rendezvous at a holiday party back in 2001. Only to avoid a long distance relationship did the two break it off, leaving me to wonder how this saucy little minx made the list? Mayhaps her connects as a PR rep for Gucci? That would do it for me, haha! (photo courtesy of eonline.com)
This former flame of Prince William's was another pre-university love. The two spent a lot of time at her family's estate in Kenya, where they infamously carried out a "pretend engagement," and the two have remained close throughout the years. (photo courtesy of eonline.com)
April 12, 2011
photo courtesy of zazzle.com
My dear Uncle Rich (whose daughter, Kimmi, was previously featured on the blog) is a wonderful, wonderful man. Next in line after my dad in the army of Kidwell siblings, he was born with a smile on his face and a jive in his step. He always has a funny joke to tell, a humorous story to recount or a helping hand to offer, and every now again, he even likes to provide us with an infinite word of wisdom.
So, shortly after the eldest of his three daughters got married and I got engaged, Uncle Rich offered some of this infamous wisdom to my Papa. “Bill,” he said. “In regards to your daughter’s upcoming nuptials, there’s only one thing as the Father of the Bride you need to know… Just Shut Up and Pay!“ Haha!
Obviously, albeit humorous and good spirited advice, this is hopefully not the only advice or role brides-to-be want for their fathers. But sadly, despite our greatest efforts and intentions, many will inevitably end up feeling just like that… Hence, why it’s so important to make sure all FOBs feel like an essential part of the team and not just a piggy bank.
Give your daddios a job / a task / a duty – no matter how big or small – to make sure he knows he’s needed :) If he has a sweet tooth, why not let him pick out a cake flavor? Or, if you have a papa who’s particularly picky about his wardrobe, how about letting him offer advice on the tuxes? Why not let him be a part of the excursions that interest him? Choosing a band. Or a mode of transportation, etc. One of the many tasks I asked of my dad was to pick out the song we danced too. He loved it!
Of course, for any FOBs out there who happen to read this and mayhaps start to feel a little overwhelmed, might I offer a bit of cheer? I’ve been married for well over a year, but it wasn’t until a couple months back that my mom told me a story…
After all the months of preparation, paying, checking in, paying, scheduling, PAYING, my Papa and I still had the long 125 foot aisle journey surrounded by teary eyed friends and family to walk down before he could give me away. Once we reached the end – fully aware of all the dollars he spent – and he gave me away, my Papa quietly took his place in the pew alongside my mom. She reached out for his hand and looking up proudly heard him whisper, “Worth every penny.”
January 26, 2011
It’s so simple and so true, and even though John Lennon and Paul McCartney originally wrote and performed the song, it was Joe Cocker – and his unforgettably raspy voice – that captivated so many more with its brilliance…
Because Lord knows “With A Little Help From My Friends,” I have been able to accomplish great things, and with a little help from their friends, brides the world over have been able to accomplish the same. For it is the love of a bridesmaid that truly displays the most exemplary, self-giving form of friendship… and that, my dear friends, can’t be substituted, exchanged or refunded for anything else.
Recently, I received a card in the mail, and because giving and receiving personal stationery is one of my life’s simplest pleasures, I ripped into it with great excitement… which only turned into greater excitement when I saw what the card contained.
Inside the hand addressed envelope was a very well executed card which had Kimmi, my beautiful cousin’s, signature style written all over it. (You may remember Kim from the previous post All Because Two People Fell in Love: The Engagement of Ms. Kimberly Lynn.) My amazing cousin had taken her time and “with a little help” from her Mac created a fabulous card, covered externally with pictures of her and I and the date “October 15, 2011″ and internally with photo ops of her and her love and a hand written note - first asking me to be a bridesmaid; then, giving her explanation of why it would mean so much.
The card was simple and understated – just like my amazing cousin, and it was the perfect way for her to ask. It absolutely made my day, and because we’ll be spending the next year making sure it’s her day, I’m even more excited that she took the time to do something original.
Of course I said YES – duh! and can’t even wait to be a part of her (no doubt!) unbelievable day!
Here is her brilliant creation:
Outside of Kimmi's card :)
And for more “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” gifts and ideas, be sure to check out our collection of goodies…
October 25, 2010
photo courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com
While wedding guest lists range from very intimate to very immense, generally, there are few certainties every bride and groom can count on. One of those certainties is out of town guests.
More often than not, it’s customary for couples-to-be to block off a certain amount of rooms in at least a couple different hotels – pending the amount of out ‘o’ towners - near the ceremony or reception sites to alleviate some of the stress of extra travel in a foreign town. Not only will this will help ease some of the hustle and bustle they may experience, but it will also help keep all your favorite travelers within the comforts of each other’s familiar faces. **Be sure to check with your local hotels, as most will offer special deals for wedding parties who book… which is ideal for guests looking to save a little cheddar after travelling so far just for you :)
And even though the mileage may change and the distances travelled may differ from guest to guest, it’s important to make each and every one of them feel warm and welcome when they arrive! After all, they’ve come a long way to celebrate your big day; so, you want to make sure to show your gratitude!
One way to do this is by greeting each of your guests with a welcome basket of goodies! Take your time to fill it up with fresh fruit, bottle waters, festive candies, luxury spa items or even some local cuisine or coupons. Some brides and grooms opt to personalize each basket with custom items depending on the guest it’s going to, while others simply fill the goody bags with the same, “thinking of you” essentials.
You’ll need to work with your local hotel to make sure the gift baskets get delivered correctly, and be sure to include a personalized note from you and yours welcoming their arrival and thanking them for being a part of your special day! Because while the gesture may seem little, I promise you, it will go a long way, and all your out ‘o’ town guests will feel all the more special you remembered them!
October 18, 2010
Thanks, mom and dad, for all your continued, loyal support!... wait. what? (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
Like any good blog stalker, this pretty little lady has her FAVES saved for go-to good reads. It truly is one of my life’s truest joys to not only read what people are writing about but also, to see how and even why they’re writing about them. While I have a tendency to lean (almost too) generously towards wedding blogs the world over, I can’t help but stray from time to time when a true gem rears its fabulous face onto my screen.
One such gem, you may wonder?? Well, that would be AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com.
While it’s generally one of my most golden rules not to bully (aka. put others down to bring myself up), I can’t help but point out the majority of treats being posted on this site (and now BLASTED on ours) have been and continue to be submitted by the “stars” themselves. So, they really only have themselves – and the photographic genius behind the lens – to blame.
So, without further adieu, may I present to you SEVERAL rules you should consider, and photographic evidence of why it’s so important :)
Rule #1. Firstly, make sure you pick a wedding photographer who’s got the goods – shout out to Jessika & Jimmy Feltz who have the BEST goods ever! – otherwise, you run the risk of what this bride calls her uncle’s (yes uncle!) lack of “professionalism.” Poor, potty mouth bride!
Just what every bride wants... a pic with a Port-O-John! (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
Rule #2. Don’t give me no lies, and (tell them to!) keep their hands to themselves! Nothing ruins a good photo quite like uncomfortable groping from the peanut gallery. I mean, photo op #1 is awkward enough with the painful parent poking, but photo op #2?? Somebody needs to tell sister friend in the corner to ease off… he’s taken for sobbin’ out loud!
Mom, PLEASE! (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
Some bridesmaids simply have no boundaries (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
Rule #3. If you doubt it, don’t show it. And if you show it, perhaps it’s best to not do it. It appears that no one, and I truly mean NO ONE, is comfortable with these marriages becoming offish… brides, grooms, family members, even officiants. Mayhaps, things should’ve been thought through more thoroughly before the big plunge.
Can't you tell everyone agrees that it's a "nice day for a... white wedding!" (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
Wow. You know it's a good ceremony when even the priest objects. (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
Rule #4. BEWARE OF BEWILDERING BACKGROUNDS. Some of these I honestly have no other words for other than… whhhhyyyy?
You've heard of "Four Weddings & a Funeral" but what about having YOUR wedding and a funeral? (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
The sentiment is there - sure - but we can't get passed the poor guy gettin' butt grabbed from a distance. (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
I blame the bride mostly for her bridesmaids blending into the decor. For the record, there is such a thing as TOO matchy / matchy. (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
Rule #5. Finally, don’t fall victim to vicious photo editing! As stanted in Rule #1, choose your photographers wisely or you may end up with these tripped out treats. Granted, the photos are dated several years, but the rule remains as modern day as ever…
Why's the groom snarling at me? Better yet, why are they both floating above the entire ceremony? Wizard wedding? (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
'Cause you were always on my miiiiiiiiiind! This trippy photo is CREEPED to the max! (photo courtesy of awkwardfamilyphotos.com)
October 8, 2010
photo courtesy of english-wedding.com
Every wedding has one. Some are given by the best man; some by the maid of honor, and still others by the bride or groom’s parents. They may make you laugh; they may make you cry, but one thing they certainly should NOT do is make you cringe.
I’m – of course – talking about the inevitable wedding speeches!
Wedding speeches are perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of your big day. It is, or at least it should be, an interesting insight to your relationship as a couple, a wish of goodwill and a toast in to your love. And because whatever the speech-giver says is generally amped across a microphone and loud speakers, it’s important that it’s good! So, here are a few tips on how to make it count:
First, let’s start off with what you should avoid at all costs. Humorous anecdotes are wonderful, but keep in mind that embarrassing does NOT always equal funny. Reminiscing about senior year spring break or that one time the groom went streaking through the frat house may make some (namely the bride and groom and more than likely Great Aunt Edna) uncomfortable.
On the other hand, don’t be boring. An easy way to find a compromise is through genuine sincerity. Try taking the emotional high road. Whether you choose to be humorous or sentimental, make sure that any stories or memories you have about the couple are relevant, sincere and stay on topic.
Another thing to consider when beginning the speech-writing process is time frame. It’s difficult to wax poetic about a couple’s love in five minutes, but any longer than that and guests will be agitated by your long-windedness. (Heck, they may even get restless after 2, pending on how many people feel the need to speak after!)
That being said, do not go into a speech without a plan… no matter how skilled you think you are at impromptu. Because even the most brilliant “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” stars can stutter after a couple drinks.
When you actually start to construct your dialogue, think back to your middle school speech class: every speech should have a beginning, middle and end. Begin your toast by introducing yourself and your relation to the bride and groom. Talk about the beautiful ceremony to create an easy gateway to lead into the meat of your speech.
The Middle. This is where your original content should come from. Memories are great, but too many inside jokes will leave those on the outside unsettled. So, stick with subjects that will personalize your toast and maybe garner a few laughs and tears. Having the best of both worlds will create a well-rounded speech. So for every joke you tell, balance it with a genuine, maybe even tearful, sentiment of love. Also, avoid hard subjects like the economic state or politics and harsh language like cursing or vulgarity.
Finally, finish with a bang! If you’ve racked your brain for more perspective only to come up empty-handed, it’s time to bring in the experts. Quotes, whether they’re spoken by a famous author or a member of the family, serve as the perfect standby conclusion. Some great examples of touching quotes:
- “Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” – Amy Bloom
- “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin
- “Marriage: that I call the will of two to create the one who is more than those who created it.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
- “We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world. It’s called love.” – Gene Perret
- “A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” – Andre Maurois
- “A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, though neither believes it.” – Don Fraser
- “To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
At this time, you will cue all of the wedding guests to join you in a toast to the bride and groom by raising their champagne flutes and wishing them eternal joy and happiness. And hopefully you’ll hear cheers and clapping, not crickets.
October 1, 2010
(photo courtesy of 1weddingsource.com)
If you’re a bride-to-be who’s anything like me, you’ve more than likely been guilty of (or mayhaps a better term: fallen victim to) the inevitable, internet OVER-search. With the World Wide Web access being so readily available and containing such a vast threshold of all the latest and greatest, it’s soooo easy to get sucked into the “Hottest Trends for 2010″ or “Wedding Etiquette 101″ or “What 2 Do 2 Cure the Monster-in-Law Blues” or… you get the drift. And with all this pre-wedding curiosity bursting at the seams, wedding searches just may be the biggest version of unnoticed overload ever.
Because there are so many options for brides to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to planning your wedding. So, why not try to sort through things by the process of elimination? If your interest is to have an event that your guests will love as much as you do, why not look to see what other people or even you, yourself, are constantly complaining about and delete them off the list!?
Recently, lemondrop.com – a self proclaimed sweet, tasty and tart blog – published an article on wedding trends they hope will disappear titled, I Now Pronounce You Annoying — Wedding Trends That Need to Go. Written in a sarcastically humorous tone, the author introduces the “Debbie Downer” trends by stating:
The older you get and the more weddings you attend, the more they stop being fun and start sucking the life force out of you. (lemondrop.com)
Haha, I’m guessing the author is not friends with these guys…
Pic from Wedding Crashers, the Movie (courtesy of wedding-999.blogspot.com)
And while the sentiment being expressed is over exaggerated, its underlying message is not. Here are lemondrop.com‘s Picks 2 Nix, but what I want to know is if you agree:
- “Half-a-Dozen Parties Before the Actual Wedding.” Stating annoyance in the fact that a wedding is not just a wedding, but an Engagement Dinner, Bridal Shower, Bachelor / Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, Ceremony and Reception… are weddings becoming too costly – and, in turn, too annoying – for guests to remain excited for when the actual day arrives?
- “The Long, Intensely Religious Religious Ceremony.” Because not everyone on a couple’s guest list will necessarily be of the same religious denomination, is it too much to ask for everyone to participate in a ceremony that may or may not last over an hour when they don’t actually practice the faith?
- “The Bouquet Toss.” While a time-honored tradition – no doubt – is the bouquet toss becoming more of a necessary evil, filled with self-conscious single ladies battling for a bouquet or is it still a fun and essential part of the reception’s routine?
- “Stupid Toasts.” Laying reference to the excess length (and inevitably, the excess amount of undisclosed information) a wedding speech can emit, do you think it’s more important to keep things moving along or let your best man recall the ultra embarrassing time you blankety-blanked the blank, down to the very last, nitty gritty - painfully discomforting – detail?
- “DJs Who Demand You DANCE!” In lieu of the fact that in due time, all the beer drinking patrons will eventually make it to the dance floor, is it necessary for DJ Jazzy (fill in name here) to constantly announce for everyone to “get up off of that thang!” or simply just let them “dance when they feel better?”
- “Video Testimonials.” Stating that only the most “obnoxious, drunk and unstable guests take the opportunity” to divulge in such a awkward process, are video testimonials becoming the TMI portion of a bride and groom’s happy day?
Now, more importantly than this list, is your opinion of it ORRRR even better yet, other things you’d like to add!
September 29, 2010
photo courtesy of swparkerphotography.com
Regardless of what kind – big and extravagant or small and intimate – of wedding you’re planning, there are certain things that put every bride on the same playing field. One of those things is obtaining a marriage license.
So, lucky for all brides that obtaining a marriage license is fairly easy schmeasy! While rules might vary from state to state, it’s important to remember that every state requires you to have one in order to say “I do.” Okay, so you can say the words “I do” without having a marriage license, but you can’t say the vow “I do” and make it offish without it. You get the point. And yet, I digress…
The application for a marriage license should be submitted in the county of residence of either the bride or the groom; so, your first step is to call your County Clerk’s Office or Courthouse. For those of you who are uncertain as to where this is or how you can contact them, you can find their information simply by surfin’ the Web or doing it old school by flippin’ through the yellow pages or phone book.
You’ll need to speak to a representative from the appropriate department to help you determine what information you will need to obtain your marriage license. Trust a girl who knows. You will reduce stress and heartache by taking the time to prepare, especially with every state having unique rules and restrictions.
Some states require a certificate of health, verification of vaccinations, birth certificate, drivers license, social security card and /or a blood test. While most states have marriage certificates that are valid for a period of 30-60 days, there are some states where it’s only valid for 10-20 days. Hence, why it’s soooo important to contact your state’s County Clerk’s Office or Courthouse to ensure no one’s time is wasted.
And because most states require a waiting period before a license can be obtained, do yourself a favor and don’t wait until the last minute! Good luck, and cheers to many years of happiness!
July 30, 2010