Snapchat Styled Reception: Speed Photos with the Newlyweds for the WIN!

courtesy of mashable.com

courtesy of mashable.com

A few weekend’s back, I had the honor and privilege to attend my cousin’s (wad up, Cort!) wedding in Arizona. Set on the beautiful grounds of Carefree Resort right outside of Phoenix, it was my first time seeing the desert… and it absolutely blew me away.

Now, I’m not saying I could handle the 120+ dry heat in the summertime, but warm 80′s and cool breezes or March?  Bring it.  Haha!

But for cereal, the backdrop of the entire evening was sweeping views of sunset, desert and scenery… took homegirl’s breath away.  I might even go as far to say, it was one of the prettiest weddings I’ve ever seen… that’s right, SEEN!  As in real life, reality TV or otherwise.  I’m telling you… s.t.u.n.n.i.n.g.  (Sadly, I was a fail, and only managed to take #selfies – woofiest; so, please enjoy these promotional shots from their website, haha!)

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

 

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

Seriously.Dead.From.All.The.Colors.

But stunning ceremony aside, my favorite part of the evening came right after dinner when the DJ announced that everyone needed to return to their seats for at least the next two and half minutes… Two and a half minutes?? Say whhhhaaaaa?? 

Then, the master of ceremonies’ emcee continued on by telling us just how much the bride – my cuz – and groom – her Daniel ;) – truly appreciated everyone for being there.  The newlywed Kennedys wanted to make sure to remember each guest who was a part of their big day, and in order to do this, they needed a picture with each and every one of us!

So, while Aram Khachaturian’s The Sabre Dance (trust me, you know the nightmare) played over the loudspeakers, Cortney and Daniel – followed freakishly quickly and closely by their photographer - ran frantically from table to table posing with each group of people.

Some of the shots were funny.  Some of them were serious.  Some – especially by the tables who had obviously been previously forewarned – were well planned out, while others were thrown together haphazardly and hilariously… But no matter what the outcome of the actual shot was… all of them were definitely 100% authentic and 100% amazing.

And what a great way to make instant memories and set the tone for the rest evening!!  Love love loved it and would love to see it at more receptions!!

Spring Wedding Dreams: 6 Tips for the Perfect Backyard Wedding

courtesy of layersoflovelyblog.com/

courtesy of layersoflovelyblog.com/

Spring is LITERALLY right around the corner, and as someone who spent the last several months buried under Indiana snow and ice, can I just say…

Okay, now that that’s out of the way :)

And nothing makes me more excited for spring than the thought of all the grooming, gardening and blossoming that comes along with it!  Add on to that the charm of a backyard wedding, and you might as well put me in hog heaven!!

For cereal, this year, I’ll be attending and a part of (yep, two more bridesmaid dresses added to the collection!) a half dozen wedding day nuptials, and the best part?  Over half are outdoors!!  Love. Love. Love.

Knowing that so many brides and grooms are opting for the outdoors, I gathered 7 of the best tips to ensure your in-the-elements nuptials go as smoothly as possible.

1 | Solar Powered Chandeliers. Okay, how to words??  This idea is so awesome; I’m literally rendered speechless! Not only do the chandeliers provide something spectacular to look at during the daylight, but as the sun sets, they’ll powered up to provide all kinds of luminescent pretty!

courtesy of glitterinc.com

courtesy of glitterinc.com

2 | Glow Baby Glow. Flying off the coattails of the theme above, another great way to get that glow is by painting pots with glow in the dark paint!  Available in a variety of colors, these unique additions really come to life after being fueled by the sun all day… creating an unmatched ambiance :)

courtesy of dornob.com

courtesy of dornob.com

3 | Diaper Dandy Hanging Plants.  Sooo, a little less glamorous than its above counterparts, but brilliant nonetheless!  Every wonder how to keep your potted plants swinging without risking dirty water drippage?  Um, hellllooo?!?!  Simply add a diaper to the bottom above the original base, and viola! Mess free success!

courtesy of ladybirdln.com

courtesy of ladybirdln.com

4 | Vase Valence for Fences. Both economical AND beautiful, this budget friendly bloom is great for a DIY bride to go nuts on!  Between the shapes, sizes and colors of glass bottles and the floral friends that will be accompanying them, the options are practically limitless!  And when you knot them along a fence, the look is nothing short of stunning!

courtesy of thefarmersnest.com

courtesy of thefarmersnest.com

**Extra Tip** No fence?  That’s fine!  The bottles can also be hung from tree branches, posts or whatever!  Get creative :)

5 | Further Fence Fashion w/ Mirrors. Absolutely – hands down – adore this!  Talk about getting more bang for your buck! Using framed or hung mirrors through your setting will immediately create the illusion of more space and grandeur!  Not to mention, it can also be a cheap and fun DIY project :)

courtesy of notjustahousewife.net

courtesy of notjustahousewife.net

6 | Bring the Indoors, Outdoors.  Love love love the use of indoor furniture outdoors.  There’s just something fun and whimsical about an oversized couch or lounge furniture decorating a backyard that just makes me happy :)

courtesy of theardentsparrow.blogspot.com

courtesy of theardentsparrow.blogspot.com

Agree or Disagree: Problems Only Bridesmaids Will Understand

courtesy of blog.quickflix.com.au

courtesy of blog.quickflix.com.au

For the majority of females, between the ages of 20-35, you have more than likely experienced THEE experience of being a bridesmaid.  Being 30 myself, I’ve been in my fair share, and as such, have seen first hand how things can sometimes not go according to plan.

Recently, one of the most ridiculous (and one of my favorite) websites ever, buzzfeed.com, came out with an article highlighting what they saw as problems only bridesmaids would understand.  While some of them were definitely outrageous and were meant more to insight humor, rather than factual information… I couldn’t help but find myself nodding along in agreement to several of them.

Below is some of the more pertinent, universal problems, I believe bridesmaids will experience at least once during their service in a wedding party.

1. Money. Money. Money. Money. (pause) MONEY!  I’ve been in enough weddings to know that being a bridesmaid quickly takes a toll on your disposable income.  Sure, it may not seem so bad because the expenses are spread out over the course of several months. But one look at the chart below, and there’s no denying you’ll be spending a pretty penny.

courtesy of memorablegifts.com

courtesy of memorablegifts.com

2. Your Social Media + Social Calendar will be Taken Over. From Pinterest and Facebook to Instagram and SnapChats, ladies, it’s time to prepare yourselves for the bridal invasion.  Of course, all these social media networks will only further remind you of your social calendar events

3. Uncomfortable Shoes, Unflattering Dress.  Of course, famously or infamously, most brides will lay claim to the ever present mantra of, “And they’re so great, you can wear them again!”  {insert eye roll here}  Granted, bridesmaids’ dresses have come a long way since our mama’s days, but… I’m gonna be real honest with you, 9 times out of 10, you still will never re-wear any part of it.  You just won’t.  But find comfort in the fact that no one else will either :)

courtesy of someecards.com

courtesy of someecards.com

4. Drunk, Over-Emotional Bridesmaids.  You know there will be at least one in every crowd.

courtesy of lovelyprettycheerythings.blogspot.com

courtesy of lovelyprettycheerythings.blogspot.com

5. Drunk, Under-Rational Groomsmen. Yep, they’re even worse.

courtesy of scottandtemphotography.com

courtesy of scottandtemphotography.com

Not to mention, keeping feuding family members at bay, helping the bride go to the restroom, dealing with the inevitable bridal hierarchy, etc.  Being a bridesmaid can be a lot of work, but let’s be real, at the end of the day, we’re all still honored to be asked… and celebrate a girl who loves us enough to have us there in the first place :)

courtesy of blog.shootq.com

courtesy of blog.shootq.com

For more issues like these and buzzfeed.com’s full list, click here.

7 Super Fun, Super Unique Wedding Ideas

courtesy of lixximphotography.com

courtesy of lixximphotography.com

Every bride wants to have a day that is one for the memory books – both rightfully and deservedly so!  Therefore, when planning your wedding day, one of the best pieces of advice to follow is deeply embedded into the wise words shown below:

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Same is true for your wedding day.  Very few people will remember what they ate, what you wore or how the tables were decorated, but they will most definitely remember if they had a good time!  In order to make your wedding day as fun as possible, try incorporating some of the below suggestions into your party planning to maximize the amusement!

1.  Serve Signature Drinks and / or Brews.  Whether your create an original concoction or simply provide your favorite beer, wine or spirit, it’s always fun to offer your preferred beverage to your guests.  **For the budget savvy, this is also a great way to cut the open bar budget without cutting it out entirely.  Below are the cards I made for my brother’s wedding this past October.

courtesy of me :)

courtesy of me :)

courtesy of me :)

courtesy of me :)

2.  Create Mixed Tape Wedding Favors, a Treat for the Eyes (AND) the Ears.  In lieu of the more traditional wedding favors, burn CD’s of your favorite and / or wedding songs that will accompany each guest home.  Every time they pop it in, they’ll be transported back to pop-lock-n-droppin on your big day!

courtesy of weheartit.com

courtesy of weheartit.com

3.  Have a (Pre)Wedding Party Field Day.  While some bridal parties may all know each other, the chances of that happening are very slight.  Because most are made up of a mix of friends during all points of your lives, it’d be nice for them to have an opportunity to hang prior to the wedding.  So, why not invite all your bridesmaids and groomsmen out for a field day of fun, games, mixing and mingling?  It’s like old school enjoyment at its finest!

courtesy of foxxfoe.blogspot.com

courtesy of foxxfoe.blogspot.com

4.  Glorify Your Dance Floor with Glitter.  Pending on where your reception is, often times, the venues will offer certain “flair fillers” to really make your reception unique to you.  I recently attended a wedding where they did it, and it was absolutely divine!  Think Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, except with less intimidating figures ;)

courtesy of Victoria's secret via justjared.com

courtesy of Victoria’s secret via justjared.com

5.  Provide Some Room on the RSVP for a Song Choice.  I absolutely la-Louvre when brides and grooms do this!  I helped my cousin (wad up, Kimmi!) plan her big day, and we were DYING over some of the right-in suggestions.  Everything from ridiculous Alma Mater fight songs to ones that we had all but forgotten – very awesome!

courtesy of capitolromance.com

courtesy of capitolromance.com

6.  Incorporate your Baby Pictures with Table Numbers.  Remember your awkward years appropriately.  For each table, provide an image of you and yours that corresponds with the correct number.  For example, at table one, put each pick o photo from when you were one to help provide decorum.  If for nothing else, they provide great conversation pieces!

courtesy of pinterest.com

courtesy of pinterest.com

7.  Make ‘em Say Cheese.  And you can never go wrong with a well-equipped photo booth!  Whether providing a machine or a photographer run ensemble, providing a photobooth gives you instant memories you’ll easily laugh at for years!

courtesy of cakechooser.com

courtesy of cakechooser.com

Bridal Buzz: 6 Simple Tips to Make Wedding Planning Easier

courtesy of Lazaro via jlmcouture.com

courtesy of Lazaro via jlmcouture.com

Give yourself a break, ladies!  Wedding planning can be rough, and the more you stress, the rougher it can get.  And the rougher “it” gets, the rougher you’ll get… and I can’t be having any of my bridal beauty queens looking or feeling anything but FAB(to the)ULOUS on their wedding day!!

So, here are 7 Tips & Tricks (you might not have thought of) to make your planning all the easier on you!

1 |  Create a new email account specifically for wedding planning.  If you’re anything like me, you probably already have more than one email address.  One for work.  One for play.  One for Junk, and one for “I’m not sure what I was thinking and / or am embarrassed that I bought from there” emails.  Yep, guilty :)  So, by creating a fresh new account, you’ll keep everything in one place and – more importantly – away from any other distraction!

courtesy of google.com

courtesy of google.com

2 |  Use a personalized return address stamp.  And save LOADS of time on addressing all the invites and thank you cards you’ll need to send.  Trust(&)Believe, when I say this is a HUGE time saver!  Plus, with all the designs out there to choose from, it’ll even add cool, custom look to whatever you’re mailing.  Win / Win!

courtesy of Studio255 via etsy.com

courtesy of Studio255 via etsy.com

3 |  Number your RSVP Cards.  That way, each number will correspond to a particular invite, and you’ll easily be able to decipher illegible names or who has yet to get back to you at all.  In a perfect, this wouldn’t be needed, but let’s be real, we all people who will drop the ball  - mayhaps even some of us have been guilty a time or two :) – and this just makes it easy.

courtesy of lavastationery.com.au

courtesy of lavastationery.com.au

4 |  Break in your bridal shoes.  I’d like to think this one goes without saying, but as every bride might not be the I-have-two-closets-one-for-my-clothes-and-one-for-my-shoes type, it’s vital to stress just how IMPORTANT it is for your shoes to be properly broken in.  Wear them while doing laundry or watching a movie.  Put them on while vacuuming or simply lounging around… just make sure to put them on and break them in!

courtesy of elegantweddingconcept.com

courtesy of elegantweddingconcept.com

5 |  Create a list contacts for vendors to call on your wedding day.  Let’s be real, you need to be worried about gettin’ your hur and makeup did and lookin’ Beyonce level *F*L*A*W*L*E*S*S*  No need for you to deal with last minute questions; so, create a list of people you trust to handle certain situations, and let them handle it.  Even if they have to come to you for verification, at least you’ll remain hands-free :)

courtesy of PaintTheDayDesigns via etsy.com

courtesy of PaintTheDayDesigns via etsy.com

6 |  Use Postcards for Thank You’s.  And cut out the middle man of the envelop altogether.  No more sticky sealing or additional postage; just a crisp, clean alternative to a newlywed’s must do list.  Use a picture from your wedding to create something even more sentimental… not to mention adorably distracting!  People are less likely to notice if you got writer’s cramp at 2am and had to write a little less ;)

courtesy of nostalgicimprints.com

courtesy of nostalgicimprints.com

Winter Wedding Reception Trend Alert: Bring the Outside In

courtesy of christianothstudio.com

courtesy of christianothstudio.com

This past weekend I attended a grand wedding (congrats again, Joey and Megs!) at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  Part of the historical Union Station, this black tie optional, evening event was nothing short of opulent and amazing!  Truly, it was a dream :)

I could go on and on with things I found interesting and appealing, but rather than bore the blogosphere with my rampant ramblings, I’ll focus on one trend that really stood and has been supported by the likes of David Tutera and Martha Stewart… and that’s to bring the outside world into your indoor celebration!

With outdoor and rustic weddings becoming more and more popular with each coming year, it’s no wonder that this kind of decorating detail is nothing short of HUH-UGE to winter wedding settings.  Sure, every one loves the extravagance of crystal chandeliers and dazzling icicle designs for winter’s wedded bliss, but there is a warmth and richness that comes from bringing in the beauty of nature to your big day!

While the Crowne Plaza in Union Station – a majestically reformed old train station – is already a ahhh(to the)mazing setting in and of itself… see for yourselves below :)

courtesy of seanmolin.com

courtesy of seanmolin.com

Joey and Megan did a spectacular job at bringing the outside in with grand scaled centerpieces and rustic details, which paried perfectly with the old train station charm.  It was the kind of eye-catching beautiful that you would normally see in the movies.  And I mean that in the most literal sense possible: my eyes were caught and feverishly dancing from detail to detail in mad procession.

While J & M decided to bring the outside in with rustically matched decor, that’s not the only way winter brides can exploit this trend!

Consider dangling icicle lights to create either an outdoor crystallizing effect or rather, a wintery starlit sky, like below…

courtesy of afaeryorchardproject.blogspot.com

courtesy of afaeryorchardproject.blogspot.com

Bring in branches, and create a look that has storybook fairytale written all over it.  You can even do it in HD color like a David Tutera dream…

courtesy of davidtutera.com

courtesy of davidtutera.com

…orrr keep it simple, sleek and chic in all white…

courtesy of bridalguide.com, marzime.hubpages.com and celebritystyleweddings.com

courtesy of bridalguide.com, marzime.hubpages.com and celebritystyleweddings.com

Combine one of the looks above with lots and LOTS of candles, and you’ll create a wintery look that is both merry, bright and bound to delight!

courtesy of onewed.com

courtesy of onewed.com

Fill your space wisely with snowflake lighting that not only looks spectacular, but also functions seamlessly:

courtesy of onewed.com

courtesy of bridalguide.com

But no matter what you do, just be sure to have fun with it!

Throwing a Bridal Shower for the 21st Century Bride

MjAxMy1hMWI3MGJiMTdkM2UxNjNh

Let’s face it: getting married today is not like is was 50 years ago – heck, 30 years ago if we’re being realistic – and 10, if we’re completely honest :)  Brides and weddings today are no longer the cookie cutter ceremonies of our grandparent’s era – no sir!  In fact, they are very far from it.

Recently, I had the extreme fortune of being a part of such a discussion with my grandma, good ‘ole Dottie :)  Now, you see, Dottie, is from a very, very old school of thought.  Turning 87 this year, her and my grandfather have been married for 64 years!  And that, my friends, is nothing to shake a stick at!

Anyhoot, in lieu of my baby brother getting married this weekend, there has been nothing but wedding around the family water coolers, and as Jamie – the future bride-to-be – was discussing some of the final details of seating chart drama, Gramma Dottie couldn’t help but let out a large, low, long winded whistle, commenting, “Man, this sure ain’t like it used to be.  We served cold cuts at our reception, and there wasn’t all this fiddle about who could sit with whom or who was or wasn’t speaking to, for or against the other… eesh.”  Another long whistle and she was gone.  Haha!

This got me thinking about how much really has changed and how dissimilar things really are… how dynamic and different each couple’s situation is.  Today’s bride, not only comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles, but she also comes from a completely different background, school of thought and altogether situation in general.  Couples today aren’t just marrying each other, pending their age, race and religion match.  No way.  No how.  More and more couples today – in fact – are marrying who they want, how they want and when they want.

Sometimes, (Gramma, close your ears) sometimes, couples even choose to not get married at all!  Sometimes, they just live together with no deadline or direction on making it official  And when (or if) they do choose to make it official, for some, it might not be the first time they did.  For some, it might be the second or third  or fourth time around!  I think you get my point…

Marriages today are extremely unique – each providing a different situation to the next, and one area I’ve really seen this being broadcasted is in the wedding showers!  Recently, I’ve attended several of these “unique circumstances” showers, and it was very interesting the take some took.  Whether it was the couple’s second marriage or they’d already been living together or because they were getting married later in life and already had everything they needed, each shower was structured in the same uinique way as the couple, and it was very fun to be a part of!  Below are some examples:

  1. Let’s Hear it for a Holiday Theme.  I went to one shower that was holiday themed.  The couple had been living together for several years and had pretty much already established all the typical shower stuff  (ie. plates, appliances, kitchen utensils, towels, etc.).  So, they thought it would be fun to have a shower where each guest bring some sort of holiday decor — be it for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day etc.  That way, when they were decorating for all the most festive times of the year, they’d have all the ones they loved with them as well :)
  2. Looking to Build on Love.  For another shower, the bride and groom had both previously been married with children but had been living separately.  After months of searching, they finally found a home that would accomodate both families post nuptials – an old, super duper, fixer upper.  While neither one was keen on having a shower – as they both still had gifts from the first time around – their families insisted.  Hence, the Live off Lowe’s gift card shower was born!  Rather than going out and spending money on new place settings, the couple received money to go towards fixing up their new home.  Absolutely loved this!
  3. Not Big Enough for a Shower, just a Little Sprinkle instead.  (This is mayhaps my favorite!)  In this case, neither the bride or groom had been married before, but they were both in their forties, well established in their careers and home appliances.  Therefore, the couple’s friends chose to give them both a “Sprinkle” where they rented out a room at their favorite restaurant – the one where they went on their first date – and had guests bring well wishes, favorite stories or marital advice for the soon to be newlyweds.  It was sosososooo cute, and the couple really loved it!
  4. Wine  for the Win!  Okay, this was my favorite :)  Haha!  In this case, the futire Mr. and Mrs. were huge wine connoisseurs and collectors.  So, rather than have a typical shower, they threw a party for friends and family and simply asked that each bring their favorite bottle of wine to help fill their cellar with love, support and above all, the deliciousness of fermented grapes :)

So, you see, no matter what the situation, just find the one that’s right for you, and if it hasn’t already been invented, be the trailblazer and make a new one!  Who knows, you might just end up being a trendsetter too :)

 

The After, After Party: Because Reception Halls Might Shut Down, but the Party Doesn’t Have To

courtesy of tumblr.com

courtesy of tumblr.com

#wecantstop #wewontstop

Well, at least that seems to be the M.O. when it comes to a modern day wedding celebration.  Because these days, most matrimonial milestones are all about the After Party – duh!

Trending toward the wedding world for several years, the formality of wedding after parties is more than likely the genetic offspring of their previous, less formal counterparts.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please let me reassure you… you do.  In fact, you’ve probably been a part of one yourself!

Because be it the low hum from one or the loud roar of several, there always seems to be a stable group of guests that long to keep the party going well after the curtain closes on the reception.  This is most often times represented by the incessant, borderline frenzied streak of “Hey!  Where are you going!!?!” questioning.

Several months back, I attended a wedding in Chicago – shout out to the Groesbecks, whoop whoop!…

Mr. + Mrs. Groesbeck - cutest! (courtesy of Taylor Groesbeck)

Mr. + Mrs. Groesbeck – cutest! (courtesy of Taylor Groesbeck)

- and I have to take my hat off to them both. The day was absolutely GOOORRRRGEOUS and to date, contained the best wedding speeches and toasts I’ve ever heard – excluding my own of course, but that could be me just being partial :)  But alas, I should’ve known their day would be epic when I received their invitation in the mail, containing detailed instructions for the  following 3 wedding ingredients:

  1. The Ceremony
  2. The Reception, and (drum roll, please)…
  3. The After Party!

That’s right, y’all: a formal invite to a party after the party! Um, can you say LOVE?!  Alex and Tay (aka. the Groesbecks) did such an amazing job making their wedding day an event for everyone.  It was clear from the start that this wasn’t just a day for them, but for all their friends and family; which after being fortunate enough to be included in that list, I can honestly say I felt honored to be included… and mostly because they made it their honor include everyone.

The G-becks truly relished in the excitement of having all their friends and family – many of who traveled from out of town – in one place celebrating; so, it was obvious they wanted to make the most of it.  Because when you think about it, how often do we get bogged down by conflicting schedules, growing (or declining) careers, doctor’s appointments, ballet recitals, play rehearsals, sport’s team practices or “I gotta go here’s” and “Can’t make it there’s??”   My guess is pretty often, which makes it even harder to gather and rally the troops whenever the mood strikes us and even better when we can.

Then, it dawned on me (ding!); of all the weddings I’ve been to – and there’s been a few ;) - this was the first one I’d ever attended where the invite included a formal declaration of where everyone could go when the DJ’s done spinning and the caterer’s done serving!

Which is fitting, considering the majority of receptions I’ve rocked, there’s always a good amount (if not the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle) of guests who aren’t quite ready to pack up and head home at 11.  In fact, I can think of several off top where the night ended with a frantic shuffle in the parking lot of people getting in and jumping out of cars, trying hard to conjure makeshift plans through broken texts and interrupted phone calls, all to (fingers crossed) end up in the same spot.  I’m sure some of you reading this right now have been a part of such shuffles yourselves.

After parties by no means are essential, but they sure can be fun!  Because let’s face it, the terminology “let’s dance the last dance” doesn’t always apply to everyone, and sometimes, it’s really nice to have an encore :)

Raise Your Glass: How-to Write the Best Wedding Speech Ever

courtesy of emilieinc.com

courtesy of emilieinc.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.

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 to your love.  And because whatever the speech-giver says is generally amped across a sound system, it’s important that it’s worthy of amplification!  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’s less than savory moments or the devastating choices in ex-girlfriends may make some (namely the bride, groom and Great Aunt Edna) uncomfortable.

While leaving humiliation out is key; you don’t want to leave out the fun.  Therefore, Don’t.Be.Boring.  An easy way to find a compromise is simply by giving a speech that is genuinely sincere.  Try taking the emotional high road.  Whether you choose to be humorous or sentimental, just 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 the natives will generally start to get restless.  Trust, they will be eye rolling and hoping for an out.

That being said, another crucial rule:  do NOT go in unprepared!  No matter how skilled you think you are at impromptu, even the most brilliant “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” stars can stutter after a couple drinks.

Finally, be sure to structure and deliver your speech properly.  Every speech needs a beginning, middle and (most importantly!) an end.  Begin your toast by opening strong.  Introduce yourself.  Break the ice.  Give a quick factoid or quote — just something breezy and easy to gateway 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. **Please Note: try to avoid hard subjects and harsh language.  No one cares about your stance on the economic depression (well, at least not in this context) or that you can swear like a sailor.  Again, not the time, not the place.

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
  • “Kindness is never wasted.” Sylvain Reynard
  •  “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu
  • “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, even if 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 toasting wedding flutes and wishing them eternal joy and happiness. And hopefully you’ll hear cheers and clapping, not crickets.

Top 10 Must See Wedding Movies for Today’s Modern Bride

courtesy of fanpop.com

courtesy of fanpop.com

Who doesn’t love a romantic comedy… and ones featuring weddings??  Fuhgetaboutit.  Even dudes have to admit there have been at least a handful of “chick flicks” that made them lol on more than one occasion.  So, while preparing for the day you say “I do,” why not revel in some cinematic gems that will get you in the spirit of things?

1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Okay, seriously, this one’s the BEST! Humorously combining the outrageous nature of bringing two families together as well as the joy true love can bring, this is movie fun for all!

2. The Wedding Planner

Ahh, this one brings me back to the college years when it played in me and the BF’s dorm room one million times :)  Men can love it because of Jennifer Lopez; while us ladies get to feast on the man candy that is Matthew McConaughey.

3. Father of the Bride (Parts 1 + 2)

Good enough to denote a sequel.  Need I say more :)

4. The Princess Bride

Stop rhyming and I mean it!!!… Anybody want a peanut??  Haha, this is one that I loved just as much in my youth, as I do now –  pretty much every part is quotable.

5. Sex in the City: The Movie

Fair warning, you have to get through some serious rough patches before you can get to the happy ending, but like all good things in life, it just takes time. Be sure to watch this one with girlfriends!

6. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Anyone care for a sing-a-long? Is so, look no further than this Oscar winning classic! Set in rural Oregon in 1850, this feature film has it all! From singing and dancing to adventure and comedy, you’ll be glad to watch this one again and again!

7. Wedding Crashers

If raunchy humor is your humor, than you can’t find a much more erfect fit than Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.

8. My Best Friend’s Wedding

Love love love this one! Any movie that makes America’s Sweetheart

9. Mamma Mia!

Here we go again!! My My! (Yeah, yeah… don’t act like you don’t sing it every time you hear it too! Hehe!) For cereal, everyone… join in the chorus!

10. Funny Face

Okay, I’ll admit it… Audrey Hepburn is a dream! Arguably one of the most pristine faces ever to grave the silver screen, this drop dead gorgeous lady is ahhhhmazing in Funny Face! Not only is it a love story for the ages, but part of the movie is set in Paris!! Ooh la la! Za City of Lights!