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.

Love is in the Air: Pink + Red Valentine’s Day Themed Weddings

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

Happy Valentine’s Day to all those who love!  Whether you’re in it, out of it, just starting to wade through it, or simply trying to avoid it (haha!), there is no doubt that love truly is all around us, and there’s no better day to exploit, er, I mean celebrate it than February 14th!  **RE: exploit.  But for cereal, everyone knows that Vday – while rooted in the works of the real life St. Valentine – has developed into the biggest Hallmark Holiday under the sun :)

But even knowing that, I still can’t help but get wrapped up in all the fun!  Regardless of consumerism, it’s nice to have a holiday dedicated to the most beautiful thing in the world… love!

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the big V-day… even during my most single and sullen of days, I learned quickly to appreciate the holiday as one to simply celebrate love – in all its forms.  The love I have for that someone special.  The love I have for family.  The love I have for friends, etc.  Heck, if nothing else, it’s a day to simply celebrate the fact that mailboxes are a little more full with pink and red cards and stomachs with pink and red cupcakes.  Can anybody else say, “Yumm-MAY!?!”

And with all the pink and red being displayed – from store front to home front - I couldn’t help but think about two-toned weddings and just how b.e.a.uuuutiful they can be — and in today’s Cupid themed case, just how b.e.a.uuuuutiful Pink + Red can be!  It’s also a little cotton candy’esque, which only doubles my pleasure of this love themed gem!

Feel free to check out the images below, but also feel freer to take some time and spread the love tomorrow (and ever day after!!  After all, it is in giving that we receive :)

courtesy of merrimentevents.com

courtesy of merrimentevents.com

courtesy of weddbook.com

courtesy of weddbook.com

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) lovefromtheoven.com, halterneckwedding.onsugar.com, jessicalewisphoto.com, blog.celeb16.com, colorsareblushandbashful.blogspot.com, thestylishbloom.com, blog.paper-source.com, etsy.com, sophistimom.com and flickr.com

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) lovefromtheoven.com, halterneckwedding.onsugar.com, jessicalewisphoto.com, blog.celeb16.com, colorsareblushandbashful.blogspot.com, thestylishbloom.com, blog.paper-source.com, etsy.com, sophistimom.com and flickr.com

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

 

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

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

Wedding Notes: Ceremony Music to Set the ‘I do’ Mood

courtesy of washingtonvirtuosi.com

courtesy of washingtonvirtuosi.com

If you’re a bride elbows deep in wedding planning, and you find yourself being just as nervous about choosing the music and entertainment as you are about picking the perfect dress, it’s important for you to know something… You.Are.Not.Alone.  For cereal, every bride – even the most calm, laid back ones – will know doubt have at least one “AHH!” / freakout moment during her planning.

I like to think it’s because – deep down – we’re all still little girls planning our perfect day, and even less deeper down, we all want the same thing — our wedding day to be a flawless celebration of love, laughter and whole lot of GET DOWN.  Duh!

Which is why it’s so important to set the mood from the start!

Because musical styles are as varied as snowflakes, it’s vital for couples to narrow down their tastes and choose accordingly.  By carefully integrating both you and your beau-to-be’s musical preferences with the overall vision of the big day, you have the opportunity to create the perfect combination of sights and sounds that will have guests ooh la la’ing long after the day is done.

For instance, if you’re envisioning a stately and dignified wedding, chances are a hip hop artist or punk rock band aren’t the best choices to set the musical mood for your ceremony. While their look, dress and lyrical styling’s are just what you and your guests might need to drop it like it’s hot at the reception, the wedding itself would be more suited for a softer sound.  Maybe try a string quartet, a chamber orchestra (for larger weddings) or a classical pianist.  All of these will lend an air of sophistication to the affair, which can seamlessly be transitioned from one part of the ceremony to the next.

If you’re hoping to set a quiet, ethereal, romantic mood, you might prefer to go with a harpist, rather than a high-powered blues band.  Not that blues isn’t AMAZE in its own right, it just may not be the best fit for “ethereal.”  You could also try a jazz ensemble to help maintain the quiet momentum of a mellower ceremony, as well as a classical or easy listening guitarist… since these would all tend to lend a lighter, calmer, “cooler” air to your wedding festivities.

Other than choosing a musical style and performer(s) that you and your guests will enjoy, the most important consideration is to integrate the music into the overall ceremony in such a way that it provides the perfect tonal backdrop against which your marriage ceremony may unfold.  (Golly I sound professional, don’t I?  Haha!)

In fact, the right music will provide an accompaniment that can blend so beautifully, it will simply become a part of the ceremony, rather than standing out on its own.  And who can’t appreciate that?

Just be sure to take time and really pick ceremony music that fits you and your mood.  After all, your ceremony is really what the day is all about; so, why not start it on the perfect note?  (Haha, musical joke!)

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!

Ooh La La: 5 Wedding Cake Trends for the Modern Bride

When it comes to your wedding day… let them eat cake!!  Here are five favorited trends for today’s modern bride:

Butter Cream Dreams. For a while, this frosting favorite had taken a back seat to fondant’s flavorless yet smoother form. But many couples feared that they were compromising taste for aesthetics; hence, the return to butter cream. Brides now – more than ever – are embracing the charming untidiness of this cake trend in order to pump up the taste volume and give a nod to vintage chic!  (And as a frequent wedding guest, I’d just like to say…. Uhhhh, THANK YOU!)

courtesy of peggyporschen.com, inspiredbride.net, ejsgoodies.com, southernweddings.com and hudsoncakery.net

courtesy of peggyporschen.com, inspiredbride.net, ejsgoodies.com, southernweddings.com and hudsoncakery.net

All White Delights. A revival that goes hand-in-hand with its butter cream counterpart, the infamous all white cake evokes a more naturally frosted look. Concentrated in a polished appeal and textured trends, these clean looking, traditional cakes are generally always backed with their over the top tastes! Liz Shim of Eat Cake Be Merry recommends an all-white confection with lots of texture for a more “chic blank canvas” look.

courtesy of sweetvioletbride.com, bellethemagazine.com, modwedding.com, onewed.com, atfirstblushandco.com and bellethemagazine.com,

courtesy of sweetvioletbride.com, bellethemagazine.com, modwedding.com, bellarocacakes.com, atfirstblushandco.com and bellethemagazine.com,

Modern Monograms. Give your cake a kick of personalized flare with your newly instated monogram! Because cake toppers aren’t just your plastic bride and groom anymore, creative couples everywhere are going for more offbeat, unique accessories. Couples everywhere are taking their initials and turning heads monochromatic, monogram cake toppers… which happens to one of our favorites, as well!!

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Flower Power (That’s Tasty Too!). Rather than frosting your cake with more flowers than a garden, cake artists today are creating incredibly real-looking sugar flowers. These blooms are much fuller so you’ll only need a few for garnish. Renowned cake designer Ron Ben-Israel says these sugar flowers will give the cake “a sleeker look”, as opposed to an overwhelming confection of blossom piping.

courtesy of sweetthings.ca, weddingpartyapp.com, bellethemagazine.com, perfectwedding.me, sugarruffles.com, dannibeachphotography.com, mostweddingflowerideas.com and thecaketressblog.com

courtesy of sweetthings.ca, weddingpartyapp.com, bellethemagazine.com, perfectwedding.me, sugarruffles.com, dannibeachphotography.com, mostweddingflowerideas.com and thecaketressblog.com

Dog Daze – Believe it or not, one of the newer trends in wedding cake accents is personalized pooches. More and more couples are requesting that their pets make a cameo on their cake, made purely of frosting.

courtesy of flickr.com

courtesy of flickr.com

So when you begin the cake design process, remember that less is more this year. Matching the piping on your cake to the lace on your dress is out, and butter cream and sugar flowers are in. It’s all about the homemade, nummy goodness and delicious taste.

Throwing a Bridal Shower for the 21st Century Bride

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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 :)