Sabtu, 24 Januari 2009

Finding The Dress Of Your Dreams At A Price You Can Afford

Inspired by my own search for my wedding dress, I decided to write this article because it turns out you can get lucky if you research and are patient. I started looking for my dress a few months before I got married and I found the dress I loved, but it was $800. My dress was really simple and this was not in my budget, so I got the company name and the style number and searched everywhere online and off for this dress. Finally I found it offline for $499 at a local bridal shop. But them I was looking for flower girl dresses in a popular department store catalog and imagine my surprise when I saw my dress for $299. I couldn't believe it. I know I lucked out, but maybe with these tips you can too!

1. Be patient. You can definitely wait to buy your dress. With all these different companies selling that on dress, you can search to find the best dress. Unless you're buying a Vera Wang original, do a little hunting!

2. Write down the designer and style number or dress name. This is important for your research.

3. Research. Look everywhere online and off for your dress. I found my dress online for a couple of lower prices before I found the $299 dress. A lot of online companies offer dresses at rock bottom price. You can find accessories very cheap online also. Search for "Discount Wedding Dresses".

4. Look at the wedding dresses from popular department stores. These stores can sell the same dress at lower prices because they have the buying power.

5. Have a style in mind, but don't get stuck on one particular dress if you can.

Learn the style that looks best on you. I say that looks best on you because originally I wanted one of those poofy Cinderella dresses but I tried one on and it made my hips look huge (and believe me I don't need any help!). So, I tried on different dresses and chose the style that looked best on me. Good luck on your search and have fun planning your wedding!

Ancient Wedding Traditions

Wedding Dresses - Why they are white and other wedding lore...

Brides have always worn white, right? Not so. In ancient times brides wore bright colored wedding dresses to signify their joy. White for western brides didn't become fashionable until Queen Victoria wore it at her wedding to signify her status. White dresses never did signify purity until the Christian churches put that label on them. So feel free to add a little color to your wedding outfit.

Wedding bands made of hemp or braided grass were the earliest rings. They eventually fell out of favor, replaced by durable metals until about the 15th century when diamonds came upon the scene, to signify a valuable strong commitment, a tradition which most modern couples choose to keep.

When grooms would "capture" their brides and or were afraid of evil spirits they would cover the woman's head to keep her from being recognized.

Bridesmaids' dresses are all identical. Where did this practice originate? Long ago the brides friends wore the same exact outfit as the bride to confuse the evil spirits who wanted to destroy her happiness. It also helped to prevent the bride from being kidnapped by a rival suitor.

The receiving line developed from the ancient belief, that on their wedding day, the bride and groom brought good luck to everyone they touched. Modern couples often pass on this and prefer to "make the rounds" greeting their guests during the wedding dinner.

In ancient Rome a marriage was not legal until the couple kissed. The kiss was considered a legal bond necessary to seal all contracts. This is thought to be the origin of the present day custom of banging a spoon against a glass until the newlyweds kiss.

Will you have your dad walk you down the aisle? Do you know where this custom originated? Long ago, a woman was considered her father's property until she married, and their she was her husband's property. At the wedding the Dad would literally "give her away," transferring ownership to the husband. Now brides often have their fathers or both parents accompany them, and have the officiant ask "Who supports this couple in marriage?" The parents answer "We do."

There is no need to explain what the honeymoon is. But, do you know where the term originated? In ancient Ireland, when a couple married, the parents would make sure they had a supply of a drink made from fermented honey called mead, that would last for a full cycle of the moon. It was believed they would be blessed with a son within a year.

Back when a bride could be forced by a captor to marry, the groom would have to carry her against her will into her new home. The Romans thought that it was bad luck, for a bride to trip over the threshold so to prevent that, the groom carried her.

During the Middle Ages the length of a bride's train indicated her rank in court. The longer her train the closer she was to the King and Queen and the greater her influence with them.

During the 18th and 19th centuries gloves were the traditional wedding favor for guests.

Here are a few more unusual traditions from around the world. The Greek bride tucks a sugar cube in her glove to "sweeten the union." According to Hindu beliefs rain on your wedding day is good luck. Some western cultures believe rain is unlucky.

In Holland it is traditional to plant a tree outside the newlyweds home as a symbol of fertility. Finnish brides traditionally carried a pillowcase door to door, collecting gifts. An older married man went with her, symbolizing a long marriage.

Korean brides wear red and yellow outfits for their weddings. Danish brides and grooms used to confound the evil spirits by cross-dressing. Egyptian parents traditionally do all the cooking for a week, so that the couple can relax.

In many cultures including Hindu, Egyptian and Celtic, the hand of a bride and groom are tied together as a symbol of their new bond and commitment to the marriage. This is the origin of the expression "Tying then knot".

In Roman mythology the god Juno rules over childbirth, marriage and the hearth. This is believed to be the reason for the popularity of June weddings.

African-American weddings often hold to the tradition of "jumping the broom". Slaves in the United States were not allowed to marry, so they would exhibit their love by jumping over a broom to the beat of drums. It now is symbol of the couple's intention to set up a home together.

Japanese couples become man and wife when they take the first of nine sips of sake. In Irish tradition once the bride and groom were in the church, the guests would lock the doors to make sure the groom couldn't back out. It was also important that a male not a female be the first to wish joy to the newly married bride.

There is an old English rhyme that brides have been obeying for years. "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." The actual rhyme also included this line "and a sixpence in your shoe". Relatives usually offer the something old, like great grandmother's antique cameo, or your mom's gown. These items provide continuity from generation to generation.

The "new" symbolizes home for the future and can include your gown or veil , a strand of pearls, bouquet of silk flowers, or a new coin to tuck in your shoe. The choices here are endless.

Borrowed happiness is symbolized by the something borrowed. It should be something that brought happiness to the owner. Some possibilities are your mother in law's ruby brooch, your dad's silk handkerchief, or your parents' wedding song.

The blue something symbolizes fidelity, love and good fortune. Often, there is a blue ribbon on the garter. Other ideas are blue flowers, delphiniums, or irises in your bouquet, sapphire earrings and necklace, or even your lingerie.

You may want to consider incorporating some of these ideas into your wedding plans. There are books and magazines that you can search for traditions from your own ethnic or religious traditions. Perhaps you like something you've heard about from another culture that you can adapt for your wedding. If you will have children at your reception you might want to borrow the Puerto Rican idea of pinatas, even the adults might enjoy that one.

Selecting A Wedding Date And Time

Once you become engaged, the question you'll here most often will be "when's the big day?" Like Christmas and birthdays, your wedding date will hold a special place in your heart, year after year.

The reality is, until you set a date, all other planning is practically impossible. But beware of selecting the date and time of your wedding without careful thought. There's more to this decision than you might imagine.

The first question to ask yourself is how much time do I need to plan the wedding? Be realistic, a large, formal wedding could easily require a full year of planning. Wedding consultants report approximately 200 hours are needed to plan an average wedding. Spread over a year, those hours can be easily managed; however, spread them over three months, and the result will be serious stress and exhaustion. On the other hand, a small, less formal affair could be smoothly planned within four to six months.

In selecting your month, ask yourself: What season do I prefer? Or does the season matter? Is there one time of year your family or the groom's family would find particularly meaningful? Perhaps Christmas has always been special to you, so an early December wedding would fulfill your dreams. As an added benefit, seasonal weddings such as Valentines Day or Halloween can simplify decorating decisions.

Experts say the most popular wedding months continue to be June, August and September.

If saving money is of primary importance, think about having your wedding on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. Wedding vendors and banquet halls will be much more likely to negotiate the price on any day but Saturday, their busiest day. There is a trade-off, however, as out-of-town guests may find it tougher to attend Friday or Sunday events.

Should you choose a holiday weekend? On the plus side, your guests may appreciate a wedding on a long weekend, since it gives them an extra day for travel time and recuperation. On the other hand, some family members may already have other plans for those special weekends. Again, you face a trade-off.

To cut down on conflicts, plan around major events in your area and significant events in your family. You don't want to worry about your cousin's college graduation falling on the same weekend as your wedding. Check with the local convention & visitors bureau to make certain no big conventions will be in town on your date, taking up all the hotel and banquet space. If you can't avoid a busy weekend, lock-in your hotel rooms as early as possible.

Be sure to take weather into consideration. Many a bride has planned an outdoor summer wedding in chilly January, forgetting to take into account that July weather can be unbearably muggy and 95 degrees. I still marvel at photos of myself, a bridesmaid at an August wedding, with sweat running down my face and wet hair sticking to my forehead--not a pretty picture. Likewise, in some parts of the country, a wedding in January could be hindered by eight inches of snow on the roads.

Wedding and reception times do matter, especially when it comes to feeding your guests. In times past, ceremonies were often held in the morning and guests sat down to a wedding brunch afterward. Morning weddings are much less common now. For example, a 2:00 p.m. wedding is an appropriate time if you're planning to serve only punch and cake. But a later wedding, such as 4:00 p.m. or after usually means the guests expect substantial food. Serving complete meals will have an impact on your budget, so take that into account when setting the time.

By now you must be can we ever settle on a date, but take heart! You will find a workable day to exchange vows and with a dash of deliberation all your family and friends will be on hand to share your joy.

Asian Themed Weddings

Asian-themed weddings are on the rise. At first this might come as a surprise. After all, nothing could seem further from the Laura Ashley vision we summon for the word, "wedding."

And in fact, that's one of the forces behind the popularity of the Asian-themed wedding: how it turns things upside down. In fact, in a Chinese wedding, white is bad (it's the color of death), and red and black are good (they're the colors of luck and prosperity).

You might wonder whether brides that plan Asian-themed weddings are Asian themselves (or marrying someone who is). Sometimes! Surprisingly often, they aren't, and the choice is aesthetic.

Today's trends break down into two main types of Asian weddings: the Japanese or "Zen" style, which values simplicity and nature, and the more riotous Chinese style, which bristles with bright colors and shiny fabrics.

Although either choice may surprise your older guests, you may find a deep expression of personal values in an Asian-themed wedding. After all, the usual wedding is a type of pageant: the couple pretends to be royalty for a day, and lavishly entertains a large party -while racking up the debt.

But brides drawn to the Zen-style ceremony sometimes want to avoid the pageant, and simplify the ceremony (ironically, this can result in greater elegance for the price tag). This type of bride might read "voluntary simplicity" books, ponder the environment, enjoy an uncluttered house or apartment with a handful of Japanese accents (Shoji lanterns and screens, for example), or find herself attracted to natural materials. She might feel freed by a simpler wedding gown, and carry an unfussy bouquet of calla lilies. Her centerpieces might be lanterns surrounded by black and white stones. For favors, she might give out fortune cookies placed in take-out boxes and topped off with chopsticks.

Other brides find aspects of the western tradition stifling, so they mix up their ceremony with Chinese zest. This bride might dress her bridesmaids in glowing red (or slinky black) Cheongsams, dresses with high collars and slit sides. She'll hand them parasols instead of nosegays, and pass out chopsticks for their hair. Her own gown might be of gorgeous brocade in red, orange or gold. Perhaps she'll wrap up the ceremony with a butterfly release and hand out lucky bamboo stalks as wedding favors. This bride doesn't mind charting her own course in social affairs, and she loves the Chinese devotion to parents and children.

In either case, the Asian-themed wedding may be a great way to tie your ceremony to some very personal values. Perhaps the thought of one crossed your mind, but you thought you had to be Asian! Don't worry: Asian traditions and trends have gone deep into parts of American culture since the 1960s. So maybe it's time to ask yourself: which type of Asian bride are you?

Kamis, 22 Januari 2009


Foto Pengantin dan dekorasi lengkap ke:

Paket Rias di Rumah

Harga Mulai
(Rp.7000.000-Rp.9.500.000) Terdiri dari:
Rias Pengantin akad&resepsi
Baju Pengantin & asesorisnya
Rias orang tua Bpk +kain (2)
Rias orang tua Ibu + kain (2)
Rias Terima Tamu + baju (4)
Pager ayu (6)
Pager Bagus (6)
Pelaminan +Bunga Hidup 3-6 m
Taman pelaminn
Stok jalan 4-6 buah
Standing Flower 4-6 buah
Pergola jalan + bunga
Tempat Uang (2)
Tempat Souvenir (2)

Harga Satuan
Make up+sanggul = Rp.100.000
Baju+kain =

Paket Rias di Gedung
Harga Mulai
rdiri dari:
Rias Pengantin akad&resepsi
Baju Pengantin & asesorisnya
Rias orang tua Bpk +kain (2)
Rias orang tua Ibu + kain (2)
Rias Terima Tamu + baju (4)
Pager ayu (6)
Pager Bagus (6)
Pelaminan +Bunga Hidup 6- 10 m
Taman pelaminn
Stok jalan 4-6 buah
Standing Flower 4-6 buah
Pergola jalan + bunga
Tempat Uang (2)
Tempat Souvenir (2)
MC Resepsi
Cucuk Lampah

Harga Satuan
Make up+sanggul = Rp.100.000
Baju+kain =

Harga :(6,5 Juta - 19,5juta)

Terdiri dari :
1 Pelaminan 6-10 m ,gebyok/modifikasi/serut/minimalis
2 Standing flower pelaminan
3 Taman pelaminan
4 Stock jalan 4-6 buah
5 Standing flower jalan 4-6 buah
6 Gasebo/pergola jalan(wedding gate)
7.Kotak Uang

HARGA (2,5 Juta - 8,5 juta)
Terdiri dari :
1 Pelaminan 3-6 m ,gebyok/modifikasi/serut/minimalis
2 Standing flower pelaminan
3 Taman pelaminan
4 Gasebo/pergola jalan(wedding gate)
5.Bunga meja tamu 2 buah

6.Kotak Uang

Sabtu, 17 Januari 2009

The History Of Weddings

Tying the knot through the ages...

Precisely where and when the first wedding was held will never be known, but it was an important turning point in human society. The tribes of prehistory were nomadic in nature, grouping together for protection against predators like saber-toothed cats, wolves and bears, and also to make it easier to secure water and their own hunting territories against rival groups.

So contact between tribes was often probably a very tense affair, with deaths amongst the males, and often kidnappings of females and children. Although we now know early peoples were not as barbaric as is often stated.

Wars were not that frequent, archeologists know this because when finding ancient human skeletons from the stone age, only a relatively low number show indications of damage from flint axes or arrowheads, as would be the case in those who died in battle. Also, near some of these graves, especially those of children, the remains of flowers have been found. This, along with artifacts like flutes made of wood, horn or bone; show that the early representatives of mankind lived in a more sensitive world than is often portrayed.

The idea of a caveman bashing a cavewoman over the head before getting hold of her by the hair, which has been popularized by early movies as a Stone Age wedding, seems to be far from the truth.

Although little is known about our social history at this time, many experts suspect that group weddings were the first form of union, with a loyalty to the tribe being more important than the individual in times of hardship. Although recently, some doubt has been cast upon this, with the finding of a set of three footprints in clay from the very distant past. The first was of a man, and he was walking with a woman and a child, who both were following very closely behind him.

Although of course it is possible that this man and woman might have been a brother and sister, there is also the prospect of this pointing to individual identities and therefore personal relationships that were developing at an earlier stage than previously suspected. This might have been as a guard against incest, which although not known for sure, would most probably have been avoided.

As society grew and changed, tribes settled and formed agricultural communities, and began to trade. This advancement allowed for a mixing of peoples without conflict, so the necessity to kidnap women and children away from other tribes diminished and eventually disappeared.


Ironically, as incest became less likely due to circumstance, it was an integral part of the first civilization that recognized the idea of marriage in law; ancient Egypt. Many Pharaohs took sisters and daughters amongst their numerous wives, the idea being to keep their dynastic bloodline truer than it would otherwise had been. Although this practice was not that common among middle and lower classes. Here, the marriage also existed as a legally enforceable fact, and the wives actually had more rights in this ancient land than for a large segment of modern western history, including the right of divorce.

The engagement was also invented by the ancient Egyptians, for the couple to get to know each other better, and see that they were indeed compatible. The marriage contract stipulated all rights of both the bride and groom, and their duties as well, so they knew what to expect before the wedding itself.

The dowry was also in reverse here, where the prospective groom and his parents would go to the bride's home, and he would pay her parent's money to show he was capable of earning and keeping their daughter in good standing. He would also buy a personal gift for her, usually either made of gold or a gemstone.

The wedding itself would be a colorful affair, with a feast and much singing and dancing, before the newlyweds would retire for some private time together, with fresh wheat thrown into the air by the revelers to symbolize fertility.


Other civilizations of the time soon also had wedding laws in their cultures, and it was generally seen as a positive and stabilizing factor in society. With males generally thought to be calmer with a wife and children, women thought to be less troublesome with a husband, and children better off with a mother and father they knew and trusted. The kinship between families and clans brought together through the weddings also was seen as a necessity to prevent serious feuding and the breakdown of civil order.

Indeed, the family unit is often pointed to today as an example of how the world could be a better place, with peace organizations talking of how we are all brothers and sisters in a global family. Here they are doing no more than copy the ideas of most religions and cultures throughout the ages, both for internal or external peace and security. Of course, this theory is fine but practice often did and does follow a somewhat different path.


The Roman Empire was no different in considering marriage as a highly important institution. They have also handed down to us the modern word 'matrimony' meaning marriage, this comes from the Latin word 'matrimonialis' which is itself derived from 'mater', which means 'mother'.

All the emperors sought a stable empire (if only perhaps, because it was easier to rule), and harmony within would lead to a bolstering of the defenses against the world without. The Emperor Augustus particularly thought this, and duly set down laws for the monetary penalizing of all men who put off their wedding day.

Two weddings, and one divorce, were particularly on the emperor's mind as he prescribed this. Before becoming emperor, and changing his name to Augustus, he had been known as Octavian. One of the triumvirate, who with Marcus Lepidus and Marcus Antonius (Mark Anthony), he had avenged the assassination of his uncle Julius Caesar by their defeating of the chief conspirators Brutus and Cassius in the battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.

But Octavian found relations with Mark Anthony were strained, and so to pursue peace between them, his sister Octavia wed the man who also wanted to be Caesar's successor. This truce did not last, for as we all know, a greater love for Mark Anthony lay in Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. He was to marry her whilst still married to Octavia, and when he did divorce her later, Octavian immediately declared war on Anthony and Cleopatra. This led to one of the most famous and tragic episodes in the ancient world; Anthony and Cleopatra's joint suicide a year after their forces were vanquished by Octavian's ships in the sea battle of Actium in 31 B.C.

So a divorce had caused a war, most Roman weddings though, were far less dramatic than this, thankfully for the longer lives of those involved, let us now take a look at what the typical Roman wedding was like.

Of course, because it was long lasting and widely spread, the habits of the citizenry of the Empire varied a great deal, but nonetheless a lot is known about the city of Rome itself, and more so in its later years.


Here the upper classes were involved with a form of marriage called 'confarreatio,' which required a complicated series of priestly rites called 'diffareatio' to undo, unlike a normal marriage which could be annulled relatively simply be either of the couple.

The father of the family usually arranged the marriages of his children with his opposite numbers in other families with whom links would be useful. Though this is not as entirely political as it sounds, as without the consent of both of the couple, then the wedding would not go ahead. In reality, many weddings were for love as well as money, and daughters would often take it upon themselves to get engaged, and then leave it to her father and the groom's father to get to know each other and agree to the proceedings, rather than the reverse.


The first matter on the agenda was to check that a 'conudium' or right to marry between the couple existed. This would depend on the following: That they were not close blood relatives, that neither was already engaged or married, and that neither was a slave, although freed slaves could marry under certain circumstances. If the man was a soldier, then he could not be married until his service to his Legion had ended, though in this case he could see his betrothed as if they were married without eyebrows being raised. Weddings to foreigners were permitted, but with restrictions; and the final restriction to a wedding was the ages of the couple involved, the bride had to be at least twelve, the groom, thirteen.

If everything was okay, then things could be set in motion. The first tradition was a party to announce the engagement and for the groom to give his betrothed a present of jewelry. When the wedding came around, first the bride would make an offering of supposedly all of her childhood toys at her family's altar to the Roman Gods. But some, especially the younger brides, would probably leave a more cherished toy hidden away somewhere, maybe claiming it had been lost if questioned.


Then the bride would be helped with her appearance, and offered advice, by her female relatives. Her wedding dress was often made of white wool, and quite simple in appearance, she had perhaps made it herself in anticipation of the big day. Although the dress itself was traditionally simple, there was also to be a highly complicated knot tied in the sash holding it up, to tease the groom and test his patience on the wedding night.

Her hair was important, and gathered in six locks, three either side of her head, in mimicry of the style worn by Vestal Virgins, and she would wear a garland of flowers and a orange or saffron colored veil. This veil was especially important, as it signified she wanted to be married until her death, and not opt for a divorce if things did not run smoothly.

This idea of the veil came from the women called Flaminica Dialis, who were the wives of priests called Flamen Dialis. This was a highly respected priesthood who could never divorce if they wanted to remain within their order. It was these priests who were officiating at a confarreatio wedding, along with a chief priest called a Pontifex Maximus.

The groom did not have any distinctive wedding clothes to wear, though must had to make sure his appearance was orderly and respectful for such an occasion. Neither did he have anyone in particular standing nearby to support him during the ceremony, unlike the bride, who had a female relative (usually her mother if possible) called a 'pronuba.' This relative or family friend had to be currently married, and not divorced in the past, for her to qualify for the position.

Attending the wedding were family members and friends of course, and amongst the number there had to be at least 10 male citizens to act as witnesses, for the wedding to be properly legal. The ceremony could vary, but central to it were the eating of a salted bread loaf by the couple, the holding of each other's right hand as they gave spoken consent of their desire to marry each other, and the signing of the contract, which was involved with such romantic things as the size of the dowry (a gift of money from the bride's family to the groom's) and what would become of it if the marriage failed.


Next, after the congratulations, the groom and his family would leave first so they could welcome the bride at her new home, and a short time later, the bride would follow as part of a procession, after a traditional mock show of distress at having to leave her parent's home.

Leading would be the pronuba and others, with lighted torches to pave the way, the bride herself would be led by three boys, one holding each of her hands and the third holding a torch. Musicians would also be a part of this march, and small food treats were often thrown to the crowds as the parade passed through.

Upon reaching her new home, the bride underwent a tradition of tying wool and spilling oil on the doorposts, before being carried across the threshold by either her groom or her friends. Where she would be welcomed with gifts of a small flaming torch and a vessel of water. A wedding feast would then begin around a symbolic wedding bed, and the happy couple would be given presents by all.

All roads might be said to lead to Rome, but all wedding traditions certainly do not stem from there. Around the world there developed many varied customs to celebrate that same union of man and woman. Let us now have a brief look at just some of the many ways a few different societies held their weddings.


In Japan, marriage arrangements were dealt with by a go-between called a 'Nakodo.' When a proposal had been accepted then an exchange of drinks, clothing and what were called 'gifts of happiness and fortune' were exchanged between the families through this intermediary, as well as a list of important family member's names.

Not only did this go-between deal with the preliminaries, but he also attended the wedding with the couple, and in front of the relatives, and sometimes even read the oath as well, after the groom had on behalf of both himself and his new bride.

Thankfully however, the go-between was released of his duties at this stage.

The bride was not released fully by her family though, and the groom had to visit her every night in order to see her. Only later, when either a child was born to them or the groom's parents had died (whichever came first) was she finally allowed by her family to live with him properly.


As might be expected from a culture not known for its shyness, Viking wedding festivities were a lengthy affair involving much rowdy feasting, music and drunkenness, which depending on the wealth of the families, could last up to a month! The guests here seemed to get a good deal, all this for free and they received a gift as well for their attendance, and did not have to reciprocate on this generosity.


In Scotland though, the guests had to more than pay their own way. Each invited family at a Highland wedding were expected to thank the couple for their invite by providing their own food for the marriage banquet, as well as often pay extra for festivities that might occur, and to give gifts as well on the day after. So most couples did very well indeed out of their weddings, and were comfortable for some time after.

These benefits were to ease the early times of marriage, and woe betides any who betrayed their vows in these staunchly religious Highland communities. Any found guilty of such an offense, male or female, was forced to stand in a barrel full of cold water at the local church doorway before the day's service. When the congregation had all arrived, the miscreant then went inside as well, sopping wet and wearing only a shirt (a loose one presumably in the case of a female, for obvious reasons, indeed, two obvious reasons) and stood before his or her local community. After the service had ended, the humiliation was completed by the minister explaining the particulars of the sinful act.


It wasn't a barrel of water beside a Mexican church's doors; it was often a couple getting married! This was the original way of doing things in this then all catholic land, with them only entering afterwards to attend mass.

During a Mexican wedding, the couple would also be tied together quite literally by the priest, who, after the exchange of vows, would wrap a very large rosary around them at their shoulders, waists, or wrists in a figure of eight looping. Alternates to a rosary for this purpose could be a string of flowers, ribbons, wooden rings, or gold bands for more wealthy families.

Then after the wedding, guns would be fired into the air in true Mexican style, before a wedding feast was held. The first dance at this celebratory banquet was often the romantic tradition of everybody linking hands and surrounding the newlyweds to form a heart shaped design. At the end of the party, another tradition sometimes observed, was the mock recapture of the bride by her family, who would only allow her back to the groom after he made promises about helping them in the future.


So weddings were and still are a varied selection of celebrations, the exchanging of rings seemed to be quite common, flowers of course, as did a parade, and the veil comparatively so as well. In Arabic history, although the prophet Mohammed advised that the couple should meet first, this recommendation was not always heeded, and sometimes the groom did not even see his wife at all until he lifted her veil after they were wed. A wide variety of emotions must have been experienced at that point through the years.

Wherever in the world it might have been, after the wedding, things tended to settle down in the community again until the next marriage came along. The honeymoon is a relatively recent addition to the wedding theme (although what happens on it is as old as the hills). This term comes from the time in the middle ages where a couple were given gifts of a mead wine, which was brewed from fermented honey and spices, to drink for a month. Honey from the mead and moon for the length of time.

So the history of weddings is almost as long as the history of humanity, and they're not going to go away either. The dream still lives, even if the marriage may not always be as starry eyed as its beginnings can be. But weddings are not only about romance, they are also about duty. As the prophet Mohammed said: "When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half."

Popular Wedding Traditions - Origins And Legends

Many of our modern wedding traditions have their origin in times past. Here's a sampling.

The Bridal Shower tradition has its roots in the 1800's. The story is told of poor a miller who fell in love with a wealthy maiden. But, the father of the maiden was against the marriage. He refused to provide a dowry for her, and a bride could not marry without a dowry. The story goes that the bride had generous friends who "showered" her with so many gifts, they could forego the missing dowry.

Why "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?" The "old" was usually a personal gift from mother to daughter, a symbolic piece of wisdom for married life. The "new" symbolized the new family being formed by the marriage. "Borrowing" is especially important since it is to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital bliss. "Blue" has two traditions, ancient Roman maidens wore blue on the borders of their robes to denote love, fidelity and modesty, while Christians associate it with the purity of the Virgin Mary.

In very early days, fathers would offer daughters as peace offerings to warring tribes. Because of the hostility, the families were placed on opposite sides of the church so the ceremony could proceed without bloodshed. The ceremony united the two warring factions into one family, and the danger was resolved. Today, family members still sit on opposite sides.

Because the early Anglo Saxon groom often had to defend his bride from would-be kidnappers, she stood to his left, leaving his sword-arm free just in case. The "best" warrior in the tribe stood by the groom and was responsible for helping defend the bride, should the need arise. Thus we have the placement for the best man.

Ever wonder where the phrase "tie the knot" comes from? Supposedly this also goes back to early Roman times. The bride would wear a girdle that was tied in many knots, which the groom had the "duty" to untie. As a side note, this can also refer to the tying of the knot in Handfasting Ceremonies, which were usually done without the benefit of clergy.

In early times the bride had to be carried over the threshold because she was (or was pretending to be) reluctant to enter the bridal chamber. In those days, it was considered ladylike to be hesitant at this point. Another legend has it that the bride was carried over the threshold to protect her from any evil spirits which might be lingering there.

The term "Honeymoon" also originated centuries ago. It was the custom for couples to get married beneath a full moon. Then they would drink honey wine for thirty days in a row, to foster good luck. This created the term honeymoon.

The wedding cake originated from the ancient custom where a loaf of wheat bread was broken over the bride's head to symbolize hope for a fertile and fulfilling life. The guests ate the crumbs which were believed to offer good luck. The custom found it's way to England in the Middle Ages where guests would bring small cakes to a wedding and put them in one large pile. The bride and groom were expected to stand over the cakes and kiss.

Loud noises were said to drive away evil spirits, and during the ceremony the guests would make noises to keep the evil away. Today, it's traditional that the bridal party honk their car horns and drag rattling tin cans while leaving the ceremony.

Low Cost Catering Ideas

Many people cannot afford a lavish four-course sit down dinner or a full buffet feast for their wedding or event. In most cases, the food and beverages are the largest expenses of a wedding or party. You need to consider the time of the day of your reception or party. The time of your event plays an important role in the type of menu that you are planning. Your guests will expect different types and amounts of food depending on the time of the day of your affair.

General Meal Times:

Breakfast 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Brunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lunch 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
High Tea/Snacks 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Dinner/Cocktails 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Passed or Stationary Hors d'oeuvres 8 p.m. and later
Dessert 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

If you cannot afford a fully catered event here are some low-cost party ideas. Do not forget to serve beverages and wedding cake if you are getting married. Even the simplest of foods can appear special when presented with flair. In addition, time of year and the corresponding temperatures should be a large factor in menu planning. Generally buffets are cheaper than sit-down meals because the caterer has to provide less waitstaff.

A Tea Reception

A tea reception is inexpensive and it should be held between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tea and coffee is served with a variety of "tea sandwiches" also known as "dainties". The crusts are cut off of these small sandwiches. Tarts, scones, and pastries may be served, as well. Make sure that you add "Tea Reception Following Ceremony" on your wedding invitations. For our take out menu:

A Salad Luncheon/Reception

A salad luncheon reception is wonderful if your wedding is late morning. In addition, this type of meal is cheaper than a sit-down meal or buffet. Offer a wide selection of salads such various pasta salads, potato, rice salads, Chinese salads, coleslaw, fruit salads, gelatins with fruit, and green salads. Provide a few salad dressings, fruits, and breads. Include "Salad Reception Following Ceremony" in your invitation. For our take out menu:

Hors d'oeuvres Reception or Deli/Party Trays Reception

This type of reception/event is appropriate between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or after an evening wedding. Provide light finger foods such as chips and dips, fruit and vegetable platters, cheeses, and crackers. Write "Light Hors d'oeuvres Reception Following Ceremony" on the invitations. If you would like to include more substantial foods that are more filling include meat and cheese trays, shrimp cocktails, oysters, egg rolls, sausages, chicken wings, and tea sandwiches. Include "Hors d'oeuvres Reception Following Ceremony" if you are serving appetizers with meats. For our hors d'oeuvres menu:

Hors d'oeuvres and Cocktail Reception

This type of reception or party is similar to the one above in regards to time and menus. However, you are serving hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. Include "Hors d'oeuvres and Cocktail Reception Following Ceremony" on your invitations. Request your caterer to include bartending staff. For our hors d'oeuvres menu:

Decadent Dessert Reception or Dessert Party

This type of reception is suitable between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. or after an evening wedding. Serve an extensive assortment of rich desserts such as cheese cakes, tarts, tortes, cookies, pies, cakes, pastries, cobblers, biscotti, ice cream, sundaes, and candies. Serve coffee, tea, and other beverages. Add "Dessert Reception Following Ceremony" to your invitations. For our desserts menu:

A Simple Cake and Punch Reception

You can "Let them eat cake" as long as your event is not during a normal mealtime. Have a simple but elegant cake and punch reception. It must be planned for the mid morning, for the mid afternoon, or for after an evening wedding. In addition, you may include some candies, cookies, and nuts to the menu. Be certain to include "Cake and Punch Reception Following Ceremony". This will inform the guests ahead of time not to expect a full meal. For our wedding cakes menu:

Other Cost Considerations Location/Rental Equipment

Does the site include tables or chairs or do you have to rent them? Do not forget that you many need to rent tents, linens, and kitchen facilities. You many cut costs by using paper and plastic goods instead of glassware, china plates, cloth napkins, and silverware.

Waitstaff/Duration of the Event

How long is the event? If the event runs over you may have to pay overtime charges. How long do you have the reception site/facilities for? Does the time of the rental of the site and the waitstaff include the time of the set-up and clean up? Ask you caterer to start cleaning up while your guests are still there. If you cannot afford waitstaff consider ordering drop-off food or self-serve buffet food. Or you can have your friends pick up some deli trays or take out food and set up the food with their assistance.

A Wedding Shower Checklist Br

Bridal showers are one of many pre-wedding parties and are great fun. They are known as parties with a purpose. The purpose of a shower is to assist the couple in equipping their new home or for the bride to assemble a trousseau. Not only that, but they are a good excuse for the bride to get together with her friends and family to play hilarious games and to enjoy the food and wine.

Did you know that a trend has started for 'couples showers'? This is sometimes termed as the 'Jack' and 'Jill' shower where you shower both the bride and groom with gifts and good wishes. Either way, if you are having a traditional shower party for just the bride, or decide to have a couples shower, then the planning and the checklist will invariably be the same.

Here is an outline of a wedding shower checklist to get you on your way to organizing a great shower party.

Who should host the shower?

Traditionally the maid of honour tends to plan the shower party. But today, anything goes and it is perfectly acceptable for both family and friends to work together to organize, host and share the cost of the wedding shower. It doesn't really matter who actually hosts the party as long as it is planned well in advance and normally in consultation with the bride. If the shower is planned to be in someone's home, then it's always a good idea to choose the person with the largest home or garden.

When to have your party

Because of the busy schedule the bride and her family will have in the lead up to her wedding, it is best to hold the shower about four to six weeks before the wedding. A growing trend is that more wedding showers are no longer a surprise and statistics show that 4 out of 5 brides are employed, therefore it is necessary to include the bride in the planning when it comes to setting a date and time. A traditional 'girl-only' party could be a Sunday brunch, a midweek lunch or an afternoon tea garden party.

Couples showers are best held on a weekend day or evening. The majority of people tend to work between 9-5 Monday-Friday, therefore a weekend is a safe bet in that most of the couples' friends and relatives can attend. If you are having a shower party with work colleagues, then the ideal time would be in your lunch hour or straight after work.

Who to invite

Apart from your family members, the host should invite people you know well whether it be friends, relatives or work colleagues. You don't want to invite too many people, as a large group tends to split off in small separate groups. You want everyone to interact with each other and be a manageable size for everybody to play the hilarious shower games and not feel left out. Taking all this into consideration, a comfortable shower should involve about 10-20 people.

You don't necessarily need to buy expensive shower invitations. Another growing trend is that many brides are doing their wedding research on the Internet. The internet has opened up many 'cheaper' avenues and you can now get some great printable-wedding-shower-invitations. These invitations are customized with your own wording and design, and are printed directly from your own printer.

What's your Theme?

As with the actual wedding, it is wise to choose a theme before sending out the invitations. The theme can then be used throughout the shower and incorporated in with the invitations, decorations, favors and refreshments.

There are literally dozens of topics for a shower party theme. The most popular is the 'kitchen' theme as there are endless pieces of equipment and accessories you can buy for the kitchen. The host knows the bride well and will surely fit a theme around either what the bride and groom need, or their lifestyle. For example if the happy couple are both into health and fitness, then a fitness theme could be an option.

One good idea for a couples shower is a wine tasting theme. This is ideal for a Saturday night party and I am sure the men will enjoy this one and easily get into the swing of things!

Food, Favors and Games

Food: It depends on the theme and location for which type of food to prepare. For example, if you are holding a 'wine tasting theme', then a finger buffet with crackers, nuts and other nibbles goes down well with wine. If you are holding a garden shower party, consider light finger food - cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, mini-quiches, blueberry cream puffs, crab dip and a bacon, egg and cheese casserole and salads.

Favors: Some people choose not to give shower favors. It really depends on where you live and if it is a tradition in your area or not. If you do, you don't have to go overboard with favors if you want to keep the expense down. Give something small and useful like a scented candle. Most people like scented candles and they are practical. A potpourri satchel is another welcome and practical idea.

Games: Everyone should be included in the shower games. Shower party games are a great ice-breaker for people to get to know each other. Games can include bridal shower bingo as this is always a big hit as is what's in the bag (memory game). Trivia questions about the bride and groom or making a wedding dress with toilet paper are all fun games to be had.

Thank You Cards: Normally a simple 'thank-you' was enough, but today, with showers being larger and guests busier, a personal note is the only way to make sure that sincere appreciation is expressed.


Bridal showers are meant to be fun. They do need a lot of planning and organization in advance, but they are worth it. The bride and groom receive practical gifts for their home, and shower party's are a great excuse to get together with friends and family to have one whale of a time!

Kamis, 15 Januari 2009

Planning That Perfect Honeymoon

With all the planning for the ceremony and reception, the honeymoon can sometimes get neglected. Don't let that happen to you and your hard-earned money. Here's some advice to make the honeymoon as special as the wedding.

Do your homework. Before seeking out a travel agent, decide what type of trip you're interested in and approximately how much you want to spend. The more specific your destination and activity wish list, the less time you'll waste on unrealistic dreams which are beyond your budget. Select your travel agent with care, as all agents are not created equal.

Don't forget to mention to your travel agent that it's a honeymoon. Have he/she ask for any available honeymoon perks. Resorts, hotels and tour packages will sometimes offer honeymoon perks such as room-upgrades, champagne, flowers, a free breakfast, etc.

Do know your budget and stick to it. Be up front and honest about your honeymoon budget. Don't budge if the agent tries to steer you toward a more expensive trip or larger resort. For example, if seeing the sights of a European city are more important to you than a deluxe hotel room, tell the agent. Knowing what you can and can't live without will help them build an itinerary that's meets your priorities and your budget.

Don't pick the wrong destination. Unless you're going to Walt Disney World, select a location geared for couples. Avoid places that have singles, families or seniors in mind.

Do stay flexible with your plans. You'll have greater access to discount fares and other promotions if your time frame is flexible. Can you leave two days after the wedding, instead of the very next day? Tell the travel agent. This flexibility could save you hundreds of dollars.

Don't book an early morning flight. With all the last minute details and perhaps a reception running late into the night, opt for a later flight or the following day, if possible.

Do keep your expectations realistic. No trip is ever one hundred percent perfect. Train conductors go on strike, it rains at the beach and flights gets cancelled. Be mentally prepared for quirks of travel.

Don't over plan. Allow for some down time in your honeymoon. Take some time to relax and unwind from the stress of the wedding. Make time to just do nothing.

Do consider an all-inclusive resort for convenience and luxury. One of the most widely known is Sandals, which operates in the Caribbean. Included would be airport transfers, three meals a day, plus snacks in your choice of restaurants, accommodations, beer and wine, activities and much more. You pay up front, but then you're free to eat, drink and be merry without counting your pennies each evening. To be on the safe side, however, be sure you find out exactly what is included and what is not.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask your travel agent about all the nitty gritty details of your trip, including any drawbacks. Ask for a phone number you can use for after-hours emergencies... preferably a toll-free or collect number.

Do prepare a master packing list well in advance of the wedding.

Don't be surprised if your travel agent charges a fee. Due to the changing nature of travel planning, and commission cuts from the airlines, some agencies have been forced to charge, whereas in the past, they did not.

Floral Traditions And Trends

Nothing quite captures the romance of a couple joining together in matrimony like the beauty and sensuous scents of nature's magnificent creations, flowers. But, more than just decoration, flowers set the tone and make a personal statement about the couple.

For centuries we have associated different flowers with the emotions which underscore the union of two souls - the rose has always symbolized the love between two individuals, for example. Blossoms and greenery have adorned churches, homes, gardens and parks, enhancing the backdrop where lovers wed.

But, the bridal bouquet remains the real focal point for the bride and the florist. Strict rules about bouquets have all but vanished, leaving brides free to design any sort of arrangement they prefer. Flowers are no longer limited to white or cream, although pale blossoms are often chosen because they fit the spirit of the occasion and don't draw attention from the bride. Fall weddings inspire even bolder palettes. For example, burgundy roses arranged with pale, peach-colored blooms make for a stunning and very romantic bouquet. Other color additions include a touch of blue or lavender. Lilacs and hydrangea are popular choices. Red roses and poinsettias remain popular for holiday weddings.

One recent trend has been to simply hand-tie a mass of like-colored roses with ribbon so they look graceful, yet unpretentious. This simple, elegant look has been extremely popular for the past several years and gives the bride more of a natural appearance, as if she just stepped from the garden.

Another new approach is a herb bouquet. An herb bouquet, which also contains flowers, might include a combination of sage, lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, orchids and twigs. It smells lovely and will make a wonderful keepsake.

Experts say the choice of your wedding bouquet depends a great deal on the style of your gown. For instance, a bride dressed in Victorian-inspired white lace might select an old-fashioned cluster of sweetheart roses and violets for the bouquet. On the other hand, a bride in a country-style gown might want a more casual profusion of wildflowers and daisies. The most traditional and formal bouquets, however, are usually all white. However, white bouquets can include a bit of fern or ivy for color. The bouquet size should also be in proportion to the bride. Too large an arrangement will overpower and clutter the look of the bride.

Florists advise against making a firm decision on flowers too early in the planning process. As the bride will probably attend weddings and get many ideas from wedding publications, it can be premature to select flowers a year in advance. Color schemes change and ideas change often over a year's time, which can lead to confusion. Four to six months prior to the wedding is usually a better time frame.

It's helpful to a florist if the brides bring in photos (or other visual aids) of the floral arrangements they like, as well as samples of dress fabrics of the bride and attendants.

Florists are now seeing a trend toward having flower decorations at all phases of a wedding, from the ceremony to the reception. Some florists will move flower arrangements from the ceremony sites to the reception sites, then rearrange existing displays into centerpieces or use them to embellish doors, tables, stages, or other areas.

Bridesmaids, mothers, the groom and groomsmen should all wear flower styles which match the theme of the wedding and the bridal bouquet. Bridesmaid flowers should not upstage the bride's ensemble, but it is recommended that the maid of honor have a larger bouquet with a distinct arrangement.

Most popular flowers are associated with a desirable quality. The list below includes some flowers and their special meaning.

Apple blossoms - good fortune

Baby's breath - pure heart

Bluebell - constancy

Blue Violet - faithfulness

Daffodil - joy

Gardenia - joy

Gladiolus - generosity

Iris - wisdom

Lily of the Valley - happiness

Magnolia - nobility

Orange blossom - purity and fertility

Orchid - beauty

Rose - deep love

White daisy - innocence

Planning Your Wedding Ceremony

Planning Your Wedding Ceremony From Vows To Checklist

Your wedding ceremony is the very core of your special day. Making it just right, as with every other part of your wedding, requires careful planning and organization. Although there are price parameters to be considered here as well, the successful ceremony is more an issue of content than of budget. Once again, it is best to break down the larger issue into smaller components. If you do your research and planning carefully, arranging your ceremony can be a fulfilling, pleasant, and even a spiritual experience.

Begin by deciding the type of ceremony you wish to have. Whether you want the ceremony to be held by a Village or Town Justice of the Peace, clergy person, or other officiator, find and reserve that person early. If you have a civil ceremony, most justices are open to performing the ceremony in any number of different kinds of locations, as long as it is within their and your State. Different states require different licensure and have different legal requirements. Discuss the parameters and requirements of such a service with your officiator.

If you are going to have a Catholic ceremony, you have basically two choices: a ceremony contained within a mass, or a service held without a mass. Practicing Catholics tend to prefer the former. Once that decision is made, the parameters are fairly well laid out by tradition. Changes and additions may be made, but the priest is the final arbiter of what is and is not appropriate. This varies greatly from a Quaker or Friends ceremony in which anyone in the congregation may speak, at any length, on virtually any subject (preferably one that is spiritual rather than mundane). Jewish wedding ceremonies traditionally end with a "bang," the shattering of a glass underfoot. There are a variety of interpretations for this tradition, just one of which is the addition to every happy event, a bit of sadness that recalls the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Religious ceremonies each have their own particular guidelines, too numerous to mention here. So, If you wish to have a religious ceremony, your best resource for information is your clergy person. Interfaith, intercultural ceremonies, or same-sex commitment ceremonies all come with their own particular details and specifics. It is best for you to consult with your officiator or another expert to give you the guidelines and make suggestions for the preparation of a tasteful, moving ceremony. Your clergy person may also have special requirements for the bride and groom, such as premarital counseling for discussion of critical issues in your upcoming marriage.

You will need to pick a location for your ceremony. Especially if it is to be held in a church or synagogue, you should make reservations way in advance. Popular seasons and times of year, get taken early. Planning a year in advance is not too much ahead of time.

Next comes your decision regarding you wedding vows. Weddings today are stressing enduring values, with couples placing emphasis on their shared trust, faith, and monogamy. Your wedding vows are a public declaration of your marriage. You may choose traditional wedding vows, you may write your own vows, or you may use a combination of the old and the new.

You can make your vows more relevant to you by substituting words or phrases, by adding verses, and by mentioning family and friends. In this way, you personalize your vows so that they become more meaningful to you and your guests. Verses you select may come from the Scriptures or prayers from the Bible, in which there are many lovely words that emphasize the sanctity of marriage. You may choose to do a reading from a favorite book, poem, or play that has particular significance to the two of you. Some brides and grooms get even more "serious" by quoting from works of philosophy which illustrate their feelings and convictions to one another.

In a Jewish wedding, the vows, so to speak, are the ketubah, or wedding contract, signed by the couple before the ceremony. In some cases, the circumstance surrounding recitation of the vows is more important even than the content. Couples who have a strong belief in astrology may be concerned about waiting for a particular planetary alignment to start their marriage in an auspicious way. Whether your wedding is a large, formal one, or a small, intimate one, the ambiance of the ceremony can be enhanced by your choice and delivery of your wedding vows.

Should you choose to have music at your ceremony, it will add immeasurably to the magic of the moment. Music always has the ability to set the tone for an event. This is equally true for your ceremony. Music must be chosen carefully, with attention to good taste, as well as to personal preferences. Traditionally ceremony music is performed by an organist and/or string quartet (violin, flute, harp), or a brass ensemble (trumpet, trombone, French horn, baritone). You may compliment your instrumental music with one or more vocal soloists.

Like with other aspects of your ceremony, you may stay with traditional musical instruments and selections or you may be more experimental and "creative" by selecting more contemporary music. The use of guitar or harp, with or without an accompanying soloist, is just one suggestion. An ensemble of two to five string or wind instruments is another alternative.

Music can begin being played as your guests enter and are seated. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the number of guests and the size of the location. Music can accompany various parts of the ceremony. When the wedding party enters, musical accompaniment, from the tradition wedding march to a mixed variety of pieces can be played. If the clergy person sings any of the parts of ceremony, he or she may choose to have musical accompaniment. Music continues during the recessional, as the wedding party and then the guests exit. The clergy or officiator may be asked to make recommendations regarding both the kinds of music and the choice of musicians, and vocalists.

You will first need to decide the kind of music you like. Do so by listening to as many different choices as possible. Many musical groups will furnish you with tapes to listen to in order to make your choice. Be careful with your choice of pieces, because some religious groups may restrict the use of secular pieces, even though in most cases you will have complete freedom with regard to the kinds of musical instruments. Once you have selected your musicians, they become another valuable resource. They will be pleased to offer you with suggestions, of lists of suggestions of music they suggest for the different segments of your ceremony.

Keep in mind that there may be religious restrictions regarding photography, videos, and music during the ceremony, Be certain to check with your clergy person for those parameters.

One of your best resources for planning your wedding ceremony is your clergy person or wedding officiator. These are professionals who have participated in many ceremonies, know what to expect, can guide you, and keep you clear of pitfalls. They are aware of the legal requirements, as well as other details of your ceremony and will be pleased to assist you.

Other bits of nontraditional, or novel additions to your ceremony are the lighting of a unity candle to symbolize the unity of the newly created family. Especially when the wedding is between couples of different religious or ethnic backgrounds, the blending of cultures and traditions is an option that brides and grooms are taking more and more often. One way of differentiating a ceremony is by embracing a variety of histories. One such example is the inclusion of the African tradition in which the bride and groom jump a broom, and the Latin custom in which the bridal couple are encircled by a braided silver necklace to signify the formation of a new family unit.

One lovely sentimental touch that can be added to your ceremony, is the presentation of bouquets by the bride and groom to each other's mothers.

Your wedding rings serve as a reminder, always, of your commitment to one another. Jewish tradition calls for the groom to convey something of value to his bride (and more recently, she to him, as well). This conveyance seals the wedding contract, so it is in a sense part of a legal ceremony. Although couples have also exchanged other items, rings still win out.

It is extraordinarily important for you to share the details of your ceremony with all the professionals who will take part in your wedding. If they each know the details, they can make certain that they perform their allotted functions in a timely, organized way, including and covering everything you deem to be important. Discussion and communication are the keywords here!

Where possible and permissible, a thorough rehearsal of the wedding ceremony is suggested. For some reason the rehearsal dinner has flourished while the actual rehearsal often falls away. Take your time at the rehearsal, and have everyone participating run through the routine at least twice. The goal here is to get everyone familiar with the schedule and comfortable.

Remember to keep in mind that planning your ceremony should be a bonding element between bride and groom. Try not to allow disagreements about details to adversely impact on this delightful aspect of your wedding.

Ceremony Hot Tips

An environmentally correct alternative to having your guests toss rice at you as you leave the church, adds a nice touch. Have your florist or a friend, make paper cones (you might even have your name printed on these) which are then filled with rose petals. Have guests throw the petals instead of rice.

Wedding Day Hair

"How will I wear my hair?" Every bride faces that predicament. Your wedding day hairstyle is a significant aspect of the total bridal look, worth some thought. If you have a bad hair day, the photos to prove it will be around for years to come. On the plus side, it's a great opportunity to do something really special with your hair.

The Test Run

Do a "test run" with hair and make-up, just the way you plan to wear it on your wedding day. Have someone take several pictures from different angles and with different facial expressions. Then, look closely at the pictures. Do you like what you see? Is there too much make-up or not enough? How do you feel about the hair style--too much height or not enough?

If something doesn't seem right, start again and do another test run until everything comes together. It's important to actually take photos of yourself because it can give you a different perspective rather than just looking in the mirror.

During the "test run," walk around with the hairstyle you plan to wear to determine its comfort level. A good rule is: the simpler, the better, since pins can hurt, and intricate styles are often delicate and apt to fall. The photos, wedding and reception could last as long as ten hours, will the hairstyle stand the test of time?

So Many Styles

Consider the time of day and type of wedding when choosing a style. Loose styles are appropriate for informal or daytime weddings, while up-do's portray a formal, evening look. Strive for balance. The hairstyle and headpiece needs to look balanced to the dress and body type. Like a puzzle, all the pieces fit together to make a lovely picture.

Remember some hairstyles can add inches to your height, and shorter brides may want to use this to their advantage.

One option is to let the texture of the hair determine the style. Thicker and coarser hair stays up the best, while slicker or finer hair is better with the front up and the back down.

Will you be wearing a veil? If so, your hair style and your veil must work well together. It might be a good idea to get your veil first, or at least have some idea of the type veil you want.

Tiara headpieces continue to be popular. They look their most elegant atop a romantic style updo. That way, you can choose to wear a veil for the ceremony, but remove it for the reception if you wish, and show off the artwork of your updo!

The Salon

Schedule your wedding day hair appointment at least eight weeks ahead. But, don't expect to get your regular stylist to do your wedding hair if you desire an intricate updo. This is a specialty service and best left for the resident expert, so request the right person for the job.

Stylists and makeup artists do their best work in their own environments with their own tools, so have your wedding party meet at the salon a couple of hours before they need to be at the ceremony for pictures. This increases efficiency, and usually costs less!

If you do arrange for them to work in your home, provide adequate space with good lighting.

General Wedding Hair Suggestions

It's best not to go overboard with hair spray. "Helmet head" is not an appealing look for any woman.

If your stylist tells you to show up with dirty hair for your wedding day, don't be too surprised. Some styles work best when the hair isn't too clean, depending on your hair type. Just washed hair can be fly-away and less manageable.

Remember to wear a button down shirt when you're getting your make-up and hair done. Otherwise it's either mess up your finished look or cut off your shirt! When you're ready, step into your gown, rather than pulling it over your head.

To ensure your hair looks healthy on your wedding day, take good care of it in the months prior. There are plenty of affordable deep-conditioning treatments available for at home use. But don't use one the day of your wedding or your hair could end up looking flat and greasy. The same holds true with chemical treatments. This is not the time for surprises!

One of the newer trends is ornamenting your hairstyle. Check the bridal section of your local craft store for creative options. There are also many decorative hair sticks, barrettes and bobby pins to add to your hairstyle.