Black Wedding Dresses for a Dramatic Change of Pace

Black wedding dresses - what do you think?Wedding trends have come a long way from days of white dresses, white shoes, and white bouquets. Black wedding dresses, while dramatic and bold, and red wedding dresses, also daring beyond words, are now more common among a bride’s choices of wedding day attire than ever before. Of course there are still options for cream, off-white, and pink wedding dresses, among others, but it is the black wedding dress that stops the show and causes all the guests to stare.

The color of your wedding dress no longer means the same as what wedding guests once traditionally believed. The color of your dress no more indicates your virginity status than blowing out all your birthday candles means your wish will come true. Of course, that’s not to say that people don’t still question it or believe in it, but women are truly no longer shackled to white and off-white wedding gowns.

Options for Black Wedding Dresses

Black wedding dresses - what do you think?While black wedding gowns will surely be a perfect fit for a gothic wedding, you can absolutely find a classy ball gown or sleek wedding dress for your own nuptials. It may be challenging to find black wedding dresses when you visit the various boutiques, but a few phone calls and some searching online should help you to find a few choices for your special day. In a worst case scenario, you can also look into hiring a professional dressmaker to craft an original black wedding gown for you.

If you would like to wear a classy black wedding dress for your special day, you consider everything from simple black wedding dresses to ball gown style black wedding dresses. No matter if you love lace, organza, satin, or taffeta, these wedding fashions will look great in the most slimming color ever – black.

Of course, if you aren’t ready to go full throttle into the world of black bridal gowns, you might consider two-tone wedding gowns. You can find black and ivory wedding dresses as well as black and white dresses for a truly classy and upscale occasion. These should be easier to find than pure black wedding dresses. Gowns of this style and color scheme allow you to keep part of the traditional aspect of wedding attire while also kicking things up a notch with a more contemporary fashion. If you want to keep your look very basic, you can even consider white or other colored wedding dresses with black accents.

For a more traditional look, you can stick with a white or off-white wedding dress that has some kind of neat black accents. You might find bridal gowns with beading or crystals, laced up sides or corseted back, ribbons or sash, or even embroidery. The level of embellishment is really up to you. Also, you will find that many brides are turning to colored wedding dresses, especially red wedding gowns, purple wedding gowns, and white or ivory gowns with colorful accents that match the bridesmaid dresses. Even if you aren’t ready to commit to such a dramatic change, you can also wear colored wedding shoes under your gown for a fun secret and memorable photo opp on your special day.

Choosing Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl DressesNieces, young cousins, and the daughters of your dearest friends traditionally make the best flower girls. Choosing flower girl dresses for these special young ladies is a task that goes hand in hand with choosing bridesmaid dresses. Flower girls are essentially mini bridesmaids, after all, decked out in lovely gowns with flowers and adorable hairstyles. Some flower girls may even wear a touch of nail polish and lipstick!

If you are trying to find flower girl dresses for the little cuties in your wedding, remember that the decision truly rests in your own preferences. Consider these different tips to help you choose a dress for your flower girl.

Tips for Selecting Flower Girl Dresses
Use these tips to help you find dresses for flower girls that would be suitable for your own wedding:

Flower Girl Dresses•    Decide whether you want your flower girl to wear white or to match the bridal party. Some brides choose to dress the flower girl up like a miniature bride, decked out in a white dress with white shoes and all. Other brides opt for flower girl dresses that match the color scheme of the bridesmaid dresses. You can even find flower girl dresses in the same color and fabric as your bridesmaid dresses – just be sure to choose a less sexy dress style for the little one.

•    Consider the weather during your wedding season. If the weather may be overly hot or terribly cold, keep the flower girl’s dress style in mind. Sleeve length, gown length, and fabric type all come into play in regards to temperature.

•    Look for flower girl gowns that can be worn again. While this isn’t necessary, it’s certainly appreciated by the mother of the flower girl. (The flower girls in my wedding are sisters and both got to wear their flower girl dresses for Christmas that year.)

•    If your wedding has a theme, consider your options. You might enjoy ballerina flower girl dresses or beach wedding flower girl dresses, depending on your unique wedding theme. Beach flower girl dresses can be especially fun if your niece or other special kiddo is coming to your beach or destination wedding.

Flower Girl Dresses•    Keep the cost of the flower girl dress in mind. Decide whether you will treat your flower girl to her dress or if you expect her mom to pick up the cost for dress, shoes, etc.

•    Browse through bridesmaid dress catalogs and discover what you like. Many dressmakers make flower girl dresses as well as bridesmaid gowns. (Alfred Angelo flower girl dresses are available in a breathtaking number of colors and styles, and the quality is phenomenal.) Call the shop to address any questions you may have.

•    If you are close with your flower girl, consider shopping together. You and your little princess can go shopping together for flower girl dresses. She can try them on so you can see exactly how the dress will look in real life.

Flower Girl DressesIf you have other close relatives who should be included in the wedding but are too young to be a bridesmaid and too old to be a flower girl, you can always consider the role of junior bridesmaids. This is a lovely fit for preteens and ‘tweens with whom you’re close. You can surely find a nice selection of gowns for the whole bridal party!

One final option for your flower girl dresses – if you know a professional seamstress or someone who has an excellent knack for sewing, you might consider asking her to do handmade flower girl dresses for you. Whatever you decide, enjoy these fun planning phases of your wedding!

Mother of the Bride Dresses, Suits, and Pants Suits: Tips and Trends

Consider these lovely mother of the bride dresses for 2010.Today’s mother of the bride dresses are anything but matronly! They come in countless colors and styles, but you’ve also got other mother of the bride wear to consider, like pants suits, suits, slacks, and skirts. In most traditional weddings, mother of the bride gowns or dresses seem to be the preferred attire, but more and more modern moms are moving toward suits, pants suits, and other mom of the bride outfits.

Mother of the bride clothes have come a long way since our parents’ weddings. The wide array of apparel choices for the bride’s mom range from casual to dressy casual to formal and of course, black-tie worthy. Fashion designers know not everyone is comfortable in a dress, so modern moms can find countless styles of mother of the bride pants suits and other outfits without the super dressy look and feel.

Tips for Choosing Your Mother of the Bride Dress or Outfit
Consider these lovely mother of the bride fashions including pants suits for 2010.If you are looking for mother of the bride dresses, suits, or outfits, consider these tips and trends for the important weddings in your life.

•    Traditionally, the mother of the bride chooses her dress or at least the color of the dress before the mother of the groom. This may not be practiced as widely today, but it’s a general tip of wedding etiquette.

•    Visit more than one bridal boutique so you can scope out all the latest trends and styles of mother of the bride outfits.

•    Consider the colors of the wedding party, flowers, decorations, and the wedding theme. Find a color in the happy medium where you don’t blend in and you don’t stand out. Your gown should complement the wedding party and wedding colors.

•    If you need to find a plus size mother of the bride dress or outfit, don’t fret. Countless boutiques and even department stores offer a wide variety of fashions for curvy women.

Consider these lovely mother of the bride fashions including pants suits for 2010.•    Consider mother of the bride suits and pants suits if you are not comfortable with the dresses and gowns available for bride’s mom.

•    If you prefer the style of mother of the bride wedding dresses where the gown is strapless or has only thing spaghetti straps, consider getting a matching shawl or jacket to keep your shoulders covered as needed.

•    After your daughter has found her wedding dress, consider asking her if she would like to go shopping with you to check out mother of the bride dresses. You can ensure her stamp of approval on your dress or outfit if she’s there shopping with you.

Trends for Mother of the Bride Dresses
Since 50 is the new 30, today’s mother of the bride dresses and outfits are looking a lot younger and more stylish than the MOB (mother of the bride) dresses of old. You can expect to see more bright and bold colors, sexier lines and cuts, and fashionable jackets that look great on or off.

Consider these mother of the bride dress trends to help you decide what kind of gown to get for your daughter’s wedding.

New Appropriate Lengths for MOB Dresses
Depending on the formality of the wedding, you don’t have to settle for a floor-length gown. You can find countless stylish mom of the bride dresses in cocktail length, knee-length, and of course the ever popular tea length mother of the bride dresses.

Hot Colors for MOB Dresses
Today’s moms are often opting for brighter and bolder shades when it comes to choosing mother of the bride dresses. Designer mother of the bride dresses as well as even cheap mother of the bride dresses give moms an option of countless colors like eggplant, slate blue, pink, champagne, and silver, to name a few. Consider jewel tones, earth tones, pastels, metallics – it all depends on what the wedding theme and wedding party colors are going to be.

Consider these lovely mother of the bride fashions including pants suits for 2010.Popular Styles of MOB Dresses
As earlier stated, the popular styles of the mother of the bride dresses now include sexier cuts, romantic and feminine tiered skirts, and various fabrics that give a contemporary feel. More mature mothers of the bride and grandmothers of the bride may appreciate two-piece suits or some of the more conservative mother of the bride dresses.

Consider these lovely mother of the bride dresses for 2010.Designer Rina di Montella features many close-fitting gowns for mother of the bride, including a number of mermaid style gowns, strapless mother of the bride gowns, and even a few strappy or halter style gowns in a variety of blues, greens, and earth tones. Tiers and lace truly are popular themes for mothers of the bride this year.

You can find dresses for the mother of the bride in so many different color and style combinations. Be sure to visit the boutiques and department stores where you can try on the dresses before you commit to buying them. Consider designer mother of the bride dresses if you can afford them – brands like Alfred Angelo offer a lot of options for everyone in the wedding party. Most of all, have fun choosing your dress for this very special occasion!


Mother of the Bride Speech Tips for the Wedding

Try these tips if you plan to give a mother of the bride speech at the wedding.A mother of the bride speech is probably the last thing on your mind if your daughter is getting married. There’s so much to plan and so much to do, so many decisions and payments to make. Finalizing every detail becomes challenging to say the least. While the mother of the bride wedding speech may not be on the top of your list of mother of the bride duties, don’t let it fall off your radar completely! If you want to say a few special words to your daughter’s wedding guests, by all means prepare a sentimental mother of the bride speech to share with those you love.

If you would like to give a speech as the mother of the bride, consider these tips to help you put together the perfect words to share at your daughter and son-in-law’s wedding.

•    Speak from the heart. Think of fond memories, heartfelt sentiments, and all the warm fuzzies you would like to share with the wedding guests.

•    Recognize those at the wedding who deserve special thanks – grandparents, your daughter’s new in-laws, the bridal party, etc.

•    Write down your mother of the bride wedding speech and practice it before the big day.

•    Don’t be nervous as you prepare to give your mom of the bride speech. You are with family and friends, and everyone is interested to hear what you have to say!

•    If you are shy, consider giving a mother of the bride toast instead of a full speech. Your toast can be as short and sweet as you like. Cheers!

•    If you are too nervous to speak, you can have your husband do a father of the bride speech instead! Simply stand by him to show all the wedding guests your support and let him do the talking. You can even write the wedding speech together as thoughts from the parents of the bride if you like.

As long as you take some time and put a little thought and heart into your mother of the bride speech you should have a great experience in sharing your sentiments. A mother of the bride wedding speech is not a fixed requirement for today’s weddings, but it is a nice touch if you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts.

If you don’t want to give a speech, no worries – the best man speech and maid of honor speech are always classic elements of the wedding reception. Perhaps you’d feel more comfortable (or have more time) at the rehearsal dinner. You can give a nice mother of the bride toast or speech the night before the wedding if you prefer. No matter what you decide, be sure to relax and enjoy the special day!


Surviving a Summer Wedding – Tips to Stay Cool

Try a fancy fan to keep you cool at a summer wedding.Summer is a lovely time to have a wedding, but the traditional heat of the season often has a big impact on the festivities. Depending on where you live and where the year’s summer weddings are located, the hottest season of the year can often be unbearable for wedding guests, the bridal party, and of course, the bride and groom. Finding creative ways to stay cool during summer weddings can save the day on so many levels!

No matter if you are  a guest to summer weddings or a bride or groom about to get married, consider these summer wedding survival tips to keep yourself (and your guests) cool, dry, and happy.

Tips to Help You Stay Cool at Summer Wedding Ceremonies
If you are planning to attend any weddings in the dead heat of the summer, consider a few tips to help you keep cool during the wedding ceremony, dinner, and dancing.

Dress appropriately for the weather during summer wedding season.•    Dress appropriately for the occasion and find other creative ways to keep cool.
•    Wear your hair in an up-do style to keep your neck cool and to preserve a nice look.
•    Apply baby powder to your most delicate areas to prevent perspiration.
•    Bring blotting papers or pressed powder to apply to your face to keep your skin from becoming too oily.
•    Wear a light colored dress and a lightweight fabric to avoid overheating at the summer wedding.
•    Try to choose a dress with a shorter to mid-length cut.
•    Bring sunscreen and always wear a moisturizer with sun block in the ingredients.

Tips for Brides and Grooms to Keep Guests and the Bridal Party Comfortable at Summer Weddings

Summer weddings can be marvelous, from gorgeous, amazing flowers to beautiful sunny skies and a perfect selection of wedding flowers. It’s no wonder summer wedding dates are so appealing! Consider these tips as bride or groom to help keep your guests cool and comfortable at your summer wedding.

•    Decorative Fans – Offer paper, silk, or sandalwood fans as wedding favors to allow your guests to fan themselves and stay cool. This can be especially beneficial at outdoor weddings or destination weddings where the heat index is very high.

•    Evian Spray – On a really hot day, have the wedding reception staff offer your guests a gentle mist of spring water with Evian Facial Spray. The mist should be light and airy, enough to refresh but not enough to dampen clothing or soak hair or ruin makeup.

•    Ensure Shelter – Be sure to provide at least some kind of shelter for your guests. Large outdoor tents do a nice job of providing shade while electric fans can circulate a bit of a breeze, even if the weather is much hotter than expected.

Drink lots of water on a hot wedding day!•   Cold Beverages – No matter what you decide to serve, ice cold beverages can be an excellent way of keeping your guests cool and relaxed.

Remember, your comfort level is vital to having a good time at a summer wedding or other special occasion. Do whatever you can to keep cool and make it through the day. Drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids and take your time. Avoid exhausting yourself while dancing as well. Enjoy!


You Don’t Have to be Southern to Enjoy a Little Southern Living: Wedding Planning and the Joy of Wedding Cakes

Always the Baker, Never the Bride, by Sandra D. BrickerI love the month of June. If April showers bring May flowers, it’s only for purposes of arranging those flowers in fabulous ways for the many weddings in June. At least that’s the way it plays out in my head.

I didn’t have any sisters to grow up with, but I had some awesome female cousins. I vividly remember the wedding of one of them, the fabulous Norma Jean. I’d always admired Norma for her bohemian style and strong sense of self. I spent years copying her hairstyles and trying to learn to crochet, just because she did.  I looked up to her in hopes that I’d one day be just like her, and hers was the first big wedding I ever attended.

One of the highlights of that event was dancing with my father at the reception, but on the beautiful summer day when Norma walked down the aisle toward her groom in her magical, slightly poofy, sparkling white dress, and she took the hand of the man waiting for her and they pledged their endless love and commitment … I honestly look back on it as the birth date of the hopeful romantic I eventually became. What could be more spectacular than the romance and fairy tale-ness of an enchanting bride and a full-on dream wedding?

And of course if that wasn’t monumental enough on its own … Afterward, there was cake!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride, by Sandra D. BrickerOh, how I’ve always adored wedding cakes! Yes, okay. I like eating cake. But almost as much as that, I’m fascinated by the construction and execution of this sweet expression of the story of the bride and groom. My favorite indulgence to this end?: Those wedding issues of Southern Living Magazine.

They covered everything from centerpieces to dance bands to creative honeymoon ideas. And of course there were cakes. Beautiful, other-worldly cakes with flowers and multiple tiers and whipped icing that took the shape of chiffon, lace, and taffeta. The summer pages of Southern Living Magazine were just mesmerizing to me.

By the time reality television emerged with such offerings as Platinum Weddings, Amazing Wedding Cakes and Cake Boss, I’d been long-since hooked. So when I pitched the idea of a novel based on a baker of wedding cakes, with the added complication snatched from my very own life of dealing with diabetes, the blaze of my enthusiasm sparked a fire within my editor as well. And so Always the Baker, Never the Bride was born, and the romantic comedy makes its debut on a simpatico cake-loving public in September.

Early reviews of my novel have confirmed what I’ve always believed: EVERYONE LOVES CAKE!

“Not for dieters,” writes author Debby Mayne. “Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker attacks the taste buds and heart and doesn’t let go. Close your eyes, and you just might be able to taste the award-winning creme brulee wedding cake that almost becomes one of the characters in the story.”

“Filigree swirls of the unexpected distinguish this novel as one of both culinary and storytelling artistry,” adds Cynthia Ruchti, author of They Almost Always Come Home, and president of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization. “Bricker fills the pages with charming characters, an imaginative plot, and a reason to keep reading. My compliments to the baker!”

Between the chapters of Always the Baker, Never the Bride, readers will find an ongoing homage to my love affair with Southern Living Magazine’s coverage of everything wedding. There are cake recipes, wedding planning tips, even suggestions on the best way to crumb coat a wedding cake.  If LLB readers would like to taste a sample, they can read the first three chapters and/or pre-order the book at Amazon.

Meanwhile, it’s June! The beginning of wedding season. Any day now, there will be frilly dresses, oceans of flowers, clean-lined tuxedos, and irresistible rhinestone shoes, all set to the soundtrack of couples’ meaningful signature songs. And yes. There will be cake. Lots and lots of gorgeous cake!

About the Author:
Sandra D. Bricker has been publishing in both the Christian and general market for years with novels for women and teens, magazine articles, Christian devotionals, and short stories. With eleven novels in print and four more slated for publication through 2012, Sandie has carved out a niche for herself as an award-winning author of laugh-out-loud comedy for the inspirational market. Keep up with Sandie via her Web site or her popular weekly blog.


How to Choose or Create a Signature Drink or Wedding Cocktail for Your Special Event

Consider a colorful wedding cocktail or destination wedding drink as a memorable treat for your guests.Signature cocktails and themed alcoholic beverages are becoming a common fixture at many special events these days, especially weddings. From the cleverly named bride and groom signature drink to the fancy and tropical signature cocktail or margarita at the destination wedding, you really can match your event’s bar offerings to your own and your guests’ tastes.

Choosing a wedding drink or special cocktail for your event can be easy if you follow a few tips from cocktail expert H Joseph Ehrmann, owner of Elixir in San Francisco. If you would like to leave your own special mark on your wedding or other special event, consider these suggestions to help you create your own signature drink or cocktail.

Wedding Drinks to Please Your Guests
Remember as you plan to create your signature drinks or wedding cocktails that you should try to appeal to the tastes of as many guests as possible. If you want your signature wedding cocktails to be a big hit and a memorable part of your special day, consider these tips from H Joseph Ehrmann.

IF your goal is to make a drink a lot of people will enjoy, don’t stray too far from basic formulas,” says Ehrmann of the perfect wedding cocktail. “To Come up with a special signature drink for your wedding or special event!serve something unique but widely enjoyed, take a classic formula and add a flavor modifier to make it a bit different. For example, take a sour and make it a fruited or floral sour by adding a fruity or floral liqueur. I did one for a friend’s wedding where I just added St. Germain to a Bourbon sour and the staff could not keep up with them. Or a Collins with Bols Genever as the base modified by a touch of Royal Combier. Or a Vodka Martini using Square One Cucumber, Bianco vermouth (not just dry), and a dash of celery bitters.”

“Use a spirit that everyone knows and is familiar with, like vodka or bourbon,” he adds. “Gin and tequila tend to scare the more ignorant spirit/cocktail drinkers and divide people due to their unique flavor profiles.”

Making the Signature Wedding Cocktail or Drink Your Own
Once you have an idea of the flavors for your signature drink, think about creative ways to make this cocktail a special part of your wedding day or other special event. From garnishes to the name of the drink, you can really customize your signature wedding cocktail or other signature drink to represent you.

“Name the drink in a way that will either honor the couple or make people laugh,” instructs Ehrmann. “Maybe tie it to an Alma mater or an event or place from the couple’s past. A funny story about one or both of them may reveal a key word or a date that means something.”

Choosing Glassware: Increase the Interest in Your Signature Drinks
Whether wedding drinks or fancy signature cocktails at classy events for business or pleasure, the glassware of the beverage can make a difference in how it is perceived by guests. Consider these tips on choosing glassware for your signature drinks.

“Put it in a glass that is comfortable in the hand, like a highball or a double old fashioned,” suggests Ehrmann. “Sometime people are scared off of cocktails because they don’t want to carry a precarious glass with them as they party.”

While it may look stunning, who wants to carry a martini glass around the room all night? Remember to keep your guests’ comfort and tastes in mind as you plan your special event or wedding signature cocktails.

About the Expert:
H Joseph Ehrmann owns Elixir, one of the oldest saloons in San Francisco, CA. Elixir features a completely organic cocktail menu and was the first bar to be certified as a green business by the city. For more information, please see

Celtic and Irish Wedding Centerpieces from Budget Friendly to Elegant and Extravagant

Irish and Celtic wedding centerpieces can be fun or formal. Consider a decorative horseshoe centerpiece.Irish and Celtic weddings are a timeless and beautiful way to celebrate your nuptials. Holding close to your heritage or to your spouse’s heritage is admirable and just cause for a lifetime of lovely memories from a special tradition celebrated in love. Finding the perfect decorations for your Irish or Celtic wedding may be a challenge, especially if you’re taking the Irish and Celtic customs and traditions into consideration for the entire wedding service and celebration.

Beautiful Irish and Celtic themed centerpieces can set off your wedding decorations with style and grace. From the flowers you choose (if you decide to use floral centerpieces) to the glassware or containers, accents, and more, centerpieces become a conversation piece as much as a visual symbol of your perfect unity.

Centerpieces for Irish and Celtic Weddings
As you plan your Irish or Celtic wedding and prepare down to the last detail of your ceremony and reception, decide which aspects are most important to you. If your decorations and centerpieces rate high on your list, you might look for classy and elegant crystal centerpieces. If budget is a concern in planning your wedding, you might consider Irish or Celtic themed wedding centerpieces that you can make yourself. Here are some suggestions for Irish wedding centerpieces and Celtic wedding centerpieces across the board:

Do-It-Yourself, Budget-Friendly Irish and Celtic Wedding Centerpieces
These Irish and Celtic centerpiece options may be a great way for you to work together with your bridesmaids or family to create lovely, memorable centerpieces that your guests will simply love. These Irish and Celtic centerpieces also should work well within your budget – just ensure you leave yourself enough time to handcraft them!

•    Painted Flowerpots with Live Shamrocks
– You can purchase very inexpensive clay flowerpots at just about any superstore like Wal-Mart, garden shop, hardware store, or craft store. You might even find a good deal for small flowerpots online. Pick up some paint in your wedding colors, a few different sizes of paintbrushes, and a shiny clear gloss to coat the pots. Paint each flowerpot to be unique from the others for a creative display or paint them all the same for uniformity. Add a bit of potting soil and some shamrocks from a local nursery, or grow them from seed prior to your wedding. For a complementing wedding favor, you can even give your guests personalized packs of shamrock seeds with your wedding date and names on them.

Horseshoes make nice accents for Irish and Celtic weddings.•    Glass or Crystal Bowls with Real Ivy and Pillar Candles or Tea Lights
– The truth is, many wedding reception halls offer this type of wedding centerpiece as part of the wedding package. The bowls are likely just plain glass and your guests will not get to take home the centerpieces, but this is definitely a pretty and budget friendly way to dress up your wedding tables.

•    Horseshoes – For a simple, unobtrusive wedding centerpiece, display the luck of the Irish at every table with a real horseshoe as the centerpiece. Remember to find a way to stand the horseshoe up on its curve so the luck doesn’t run out! One cute way to achieve this would be to tie a ribbon of your wedding colors to each end of the horseshoe and bring it up into a bow at the top so the horseshoe can hang. Then, place an ornament holder or another kind of hanging stand in the center of the table, and loop the ribbon and its bow over the hook so the horseshoe hangs in the correct way. You could also place several horseshoes with bows in the center of the table without suspending them.

Classy and Elegant Irish and Celtic Wedding Centerpieces
As a unique spin on the centerpiece idea, the bride and groom could opt for classy and elegant Irish and Celtic wedding centerpieces that all tell their own story. The couple could borrow authentic crystal and porcelain pieces from family members or they could pick out their own unique centerpieces for each table and then add them as beautiful additions to the couple’s home following the wedding.

Pitchers, bowls, vases, candle holders, votives, and other decorative pieces in Irish crystal or porcelain could be the perfect kind of Irish and Celtic wedding centerpieces. QVC offers a number of beautiful pieces that could be a nice collection of Celtic and Irish wedding centerpieces, including Tipperary Crystal Set of Two “Star Range” Candleholders (QVC Item #H09445, approximately $51), Galway Crystal James Callaghan Ltd. Ed. 10-inch Footed Bowl (QVC Item #H09446, approximately $97), or the Galway Crystal Kylemore 4-inch Rose Bowl (QVC Item #H06720, approximately $28).

Couples could also find more extravagant pieces to add to their homes, but first displaying the items at the wedding reception. No matter what the wedding budget, couples should be able to find beautiful, breath-taking Celtic and Irish wedding centerpieces to complement their wedding theme.

Pros and Cons of Planning a Destination Wedding instead of a Traditional Wedding

Destination weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years and continue to be on the rise while the economy remains bottomed out. A destination wedding offers an unforgettable experience for the bride and groom as well as their guests. To help you decide whether a destination wedding is right for you and your significant other, consider the pros and cons of planning and having a destination wedding.

The following pros and cons of destination weddings should help you to envision both the challenges and the stress relief involved with planning a wedding in a remote location. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a bride or groom planning a destination wedding to ensure you are comfortable with all that goes into this type of event. Check out these pros and cons for destination weddings to help you make up your mind for your own special day.

Pros of Planning a Destination Wedding
Destination weddings offer many benefits and advantages, from lower costs to beautiful beachfront nuptials and more. Below, Sharla Ault, hotel inspector for Condè Nast Johansens Guides, shares her favorite pros and benefits to the planning of a destination wedding as opposed to a traditional wedding.

–    You’ll enjoy a more intimate atmosphere. The maximum number is typically 50 guests, and this returns a lower overall cost for a higher level of venue, Ault explains.

–    Planning your wedding at a remote destination often allows you to extend your festivities for more time celebrating with your guests. “The wedding is a three-day affair, usually rehearsal night and party, wedding night, then brunch all together,” Ault adds.

–    Destination weddings typically offer lower stress. Due to assistance from the hotel’s wedding planner, who typically handles most of the details for your wedding planning, from flowers to services, etc., bride and groom can usually rest easier knowing most if not all of their wedding is squared away.

–    Destination weddings often equal vacation for your guests as well. Guests often appreciate the chance to remain in an exotic location for a bit longer to enjoy a bit of vacation. Even if they can’t extend their trip beyond the wedding weekend, most guests still like to get a break and get away from the daily grind.

–    Many resorts offer cheaper rates to the bride and groom who plan to stay at the same resort for part or the entire honeymoon. Bride and groom could also travel around the country or check out different venues for more privacy.

–    Your host hotel or resort may clue you in to some hot happenings and destinations. The resort or hotel staff will likely offer the bride and groom some special insider tips on little-known attractions, best restaurants, and hotspots they can visit while in the area.

–    The different foods, landscape, and customs make a destination wedding especially memorable and special for the bride and groom as well as their guests. Don’t be afraid to incorporate local customs and décor into your destination wedding ceremony and reception for an unforgettable experience.

–    Destination weddings often cost less than traditional weddings. “Because you are coming from abroad, you are not restricted to the weekend and you will have lower rates and better service for everything, from the restaurant, to rooms, to church availability, photographer, etc.,” says Ault.

Cons of Planning a Destination Wedding…

Pros and Cons of Friday Weddings, Saturday Weddings, and Sunday Weddings

After you get engaged, chances are it won’t take long for your friends and relatives to start asking the same common question – when is the wedding date? Choosing your wedding date can be an easy task for some couples and quite the difficult feat for others. The wedding date becomes your anniversary, so it should be a date that you and your sweetheart both like. You should also consider the pros and cons of Friday weddings, Saturday weddings, and Sunday weddings to help you put your special day on the calendar.

When planning your wedding date, you should consider the seasons and which time of year you want to get married. Consider the weather and consider the setting, especially if you plan to hold an outdoor wedding. Remember, you’ll be vying with other brides and grooms for wedding dates as well, based on the wedding hall or venue, your preferred photographer, priest or minister, and so on and so forth. This is why considering the pros and cons of holding a wedding on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday can come in handy in your planning.


As you prepare to select your wedding date, consider these helpful pros and cons for Friday weddings, Saturday weddings, and Sunday weddings to help you make an informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Friday Weddings
Friday weddings can make your planning cheaper and possibly easier in getting what you want, but sometimes may cause complications for your guests and special members of your family and bridal party. Consider these pros and cons of Friday weddings to help you decide whether you would like to plan your wedding on a Friday.

Pros of Friday Weddings
Here are some pros for holding your wedding on a Friday:

+ Friday weddings often cost less than Saturday weddings.

+ Wedding venues and banquet halls are often more willing to offer a bigger discount for Friday weddings and Sunday weddings.

+ Friday weddings give you the option of extending your wedding celebration through the entire weekend, with opportunity to host additional parties and celebrations throughout Saturday and Sunday.

+ Friday weddings give you an easy day out of work.

+ Friday weddings allow you and your new spouse to relax for the rest of the weekend and then fly out for your honeymoon on Monday, when flights most likely cost less than they do over the weekend.

+ It’s more likely that your photographer and preferred pastor or priest, wedding venue, DJ or band, etc. will be available on a Friday than a Saturday.

+ The guest minimums should typically be lower on a Friday for those venues that require you to book your event with a certain number of guests or more.

Cons of Friday Weddings
Here are some cons for holding your wedding on a Friday:

– All of your guests who typically work during the week will have to take either a day off or a half-day on Friday to attend your wedding. The out-of-town guests may have to take off Thursday as well for travel arrangements. You may get fewer guests if they cannot afford to take time off from work.

– Your entire bridal party and immediate family will most likely have to take a half-day or an entire day off on Thursday as well as Friday for the rehearsal dinner.

– Some of your bridal party may not be able to attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner if they are flying in from out of town or if they cannot get out of work.

– Some churches or other wedding ceremony venues may give you a hard time about planning your wedding rehearsal. They may not have the venue available on Thursday evenings.

– Fewer guests may attend the actual wedding ceremony at the church or marriage venue.

Pros and Cons of Saturday Weddings…

Fail Proof Tips for Flawless Beach Weddings

Beach weddings can be a dream come true, but they can also be a risk when it comes to hoping for the right kind of wedding weather to enjoy your outdoor shoreline wedding. Despite the chance that it might rain on your wedding day, thus altering some of your plans for your beach wedding, you may still enjoy an exciting beach wedding with these great fail proof beach wedding planning tips.

As you plan your beach wedding, you’ll doubtless be focused on many of the same wedding elements as other brides who are not having beach weddings, but you will also have other planning tasks on your mind. Minoo Hersini, creative director at Au Ciel Design Studio, shares the following fail proof tips to ensure a flawless beach wedding.


•    Research locations.

•    Inquire about the rules and regulations of the particular area where you will tie the knot.

•    Based on those regulations and your budget, make your guest list.

•    Send a “Save The Date” at least nine months in advance and request a response two months prior to your wedding.

•    Make several copies of all your documents, passport and photo IDs (at least two).

•    Ensure all requirements are indicated in your contract such as the permit for the location, limitations in regards to the number of guests, décor, sound, alcohol, food, chairs, canopies, etc. Also, try to have witnesses present if possible. Public beaches require permits and are usually limited to a certain number of guests. Private beaches also require permits, yet, the owners usually give you more leeway.

•    Watch out for the weather!
Always plan for rain and thunder even though that type of weather is not always expected during that time of year.

•    Plan for transportation to and from your wedding location.

•    Be on site at least three to five days before.
You will have enough time to verify all details and if needed, you will be able to rearrange certain aspects of your wedding.

•    Buy fancy flip-flops for your guests if your wedding is directly on the beach.

•    You are not expected to provide travel and accommodation for your guests. If they accept your invitation, the expense is usually considered as your wedding present; however, the bride usually provides accommodation for the bridal party.

•    Lastly, the ideal situation is to rent a house by the beach. Therefore, you will be able to utilize the beach for the ceremony and the house for the reception.

– Tips courtesy of Minoo Hersini.

About the Expert:
Event planner, interior designer, and fashion designer Minoo Hersini is the founder of Au Ciel Design Studio – an event and design studio that offers customized event planning on any scale. Hersini has created some of the most high profile events for corporations, celebrities, and dignitaries. For more information, please visit

Top 10 Most Important Wedding Expenses

Just getting ready to plan your wedding? Congratulations! But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we’d like to offer you some sage advice. During your wedding planning process, you may hit some bumps in the road, and everything that you always dreamed about your wedding day may not come together as smoothly as you’d like. With that being said, we encourage you to be strong about your heart-set choices and try to be flexible about the options that matter less to you.

Here 10 of the most important wedding expenses you may encounter. Of course, if you are planning an extremely lavish wedding, you may begin to add other items to the list. No matter what, though, these 10 wedding expenses are the foundation of a great wedding event. Consider these expenses individually to help you plan your wedding without a hitch.

1.    The Venue – For many brides and grooms, the venue is one of the most important elements of the wedding. If you’ve found one you like, you may even end up planning your wedding date around it. Whatever the case, remember that some wedding venues are more expensive than others. If the venue is your top priority and the fees are astronomical, you may simply have to make some budget cuts in other areas.

2.    The Food – One important element that you should pay great care is the food at your wedding. If the food is bad, guests will talk. If the food is great, guests will remember. If the food is mediocre, it will probably just blow over with the rest of the mediocre weddings. Attending a food tasting prior to your wedding is the best way to select your menu.

3.    The Alcohol – Unless you are having a dry wedding, or having your wedding in a dry town, alcohol is often a consideration in the planning of your wedding. You may have to select the types of beer, wine, and liquor you’ll be serving. You’ll also need to decide if you are going to have an open bar.

4.    The Dress – For many brides, the wedding dress is the top priority. Even though it is a gown to be worn on one day only, the symbolic nature of the wedding gown makes it worthy of being on the list of top 10 most important wedding expenses.

5.    The Flowers – From bouquets to church arrangements to centerpieces, the flowers at the wedding are another major consideration. If you plan your wedding around Christmas, you may benefit from the poinsettias that may already dress up the church. Depending on what’s in season and what type of flowers you’ve dream of having at your wedding, you’ll find the prices vary considerably.

6.    The Photography (video too) – Many brides and grooms will agree – documenting your wedding properly can be priceless. Wedding photos and even a wedding video can cement your wedding memories for a lifetime.

7.    The Invitations (and other stationery)
– Your invitations and wedding stationery are essentially the calling card to your wedding. You initially create the theme and feel of your wedding with the invitations and style of stationery items that you choose.

8.    The Music – Whether you opt for a DJ or a band, music is an important element of your wedding as far as the atmosphere and the social theme. You may even wish for a string quartet during your wedding ceremony for an especially elegant touch.

9.    The Decorations – Decorations at your wedding further flesh out the theme of the event. You can go easy on the decorations for a natural look and feel, or kick things up a notch with ice sculptures and other fancy wedding decorations.

10.    The Transportation – From a charismatic trolley to a timeless limo or a horse-drawn carriage, the transportation for your wedding is both functional and memorable. You might also consider arranging a shuttle for your guests to get to and from their hotel.

Remember, these are just 10 of the top wedding expenses you’ll want to consider when planning your wedding. Countless other expenses could come up depending on the scope of the wedding of your dreams and the wedding budget you’ve set. Take your time in planning and establish a budget to help you plan for all the expenses that mean the most to you. Your wedding is sure to be unforgettable.