Seasonal Wedding Flowers

Tony Martin considers the best seasonal wedding flowers.

Consider the season and time of year as you plan to select your wedding flowers for bouquets and arrangements.The task of planning a wedding is known for being one of the most difficult to do. Not only must you find the perfect dress, the perfect cake and, of course, the perfect man, but there are the smaller details to contend with and often these are the most important. One such details are the flowers and floral centerpieces. The flowers chosen at the wedding will feature in every photo, must match with the wedding accessories and are the bride’s closest companion during the ceremony.

With the right flowers you can make your wedding even more beautiful and add a touch of personality and glamour to the occasion. Although in today`s world we can have flowers all year round in all different colours, the flowers are often in better condition and more affordable, if those in season are chosen for the ceremony.

Tulips are great seasonal wedding flowers for spring nuptials.If you are having a spring ceremony, it is common to use pastel shade or yellows and purples as these are the colours traditionally associated with the regeneration of spring. Flowers like hyacinths, freesias and narcissus are typical favourites for spring bouquets, as they are in a range of jolly colours and their long stalks make them ideal to hold during the walk up the aisle. Tulips are a modern favourite for spring weddings, as their greenery can be cut to have a sharp bottom for an edgy contemporary look. In spring the abundance of flowers means you can be really creative with both the bouquet and the table arrangements. In many cases the flowers speak for themselves and a simple arrangement of similarly-coloured but different spring flowers assembled in a piece of oasis can look elegant and fresh.

Gerber daisies are a colorful and fun wedding flower option for summer weddings.Early summer is a fantastic time for flowers, so the world is really your oyster in this season. A simple collection of sunflowers, or brightly coloured gerberas can look beautiful and radiant against the white dress. Roses and lilies are also obvious choices for this time of year and are delicate and romantic choices. A simple but effective table decoration is roses simply strewn along the centre of the table. Some wedding designers have also started taking large glass bowls and just filling them with candles and floating lilies for an elegant design that will light up the tables and the room come dusk.

Adding berries into bouquets and wedding flower arrangements is a nice seasonal touch.Autumnal bouquets can be carnations or dahlias in warm oranges that contrast against the dark greens and browns of autumn foliage. This is the season to be really inventive with centerpieces as you can use pumpkins as vases, or place cloved oranges, conkers, pine cones and cinnamon sticks amongst autumnal flower arrangements. If a seasonal wedding with warm wines and hearty food, these kinds of centerpieces really evoke all the senses, with tasty meals, strong smells of berries and cones and the visual delights of the oranges and browns.

Roses are a classic winter wedding seasonal flower choice for brides.Winter bouquets are traditionally red and white roses with dark green foliage, or sprays of holly and mistletoe for added festive cheer. Centerpieces look fantastic with festive pine cones and poinsettia arranged around thick red candles and sprayed gold pine cones and sticks can look stylish when placed in a vase. By adding berries and cinnamon you can give a real sense of festive cheer!

No matter what season your wedding is in, the most important thing is to consider your wedding colour scheme and ensure the flowers match. However, by incorporating seasonal flowers – either by getting them locally picked or getting flowers online – you can save your money, ensure you are getting top-quality stems and help you to fit in with the season around you.

About the Author:

Tony Martin writes regularly for a wide range of travel and fashion websites. Over the course of his career, Tony has contributed to a wide range of in house and national magazines on subjects as diverse as music, gadgets and home decor together with his main focus which is the travel sector.

Tips for Choosing Bridal Hair Ornaments and Wedding Day Accessories for 2009 Weddings

Bridal hair ornaments and unique wedding day accessories offer a great way to showcase your individual style on the day of your marriage. From your hairstyle to your hair ornaments – veil, tiara, or barrettes – to your jewelry and other wedding accessories, you can personalize your wedding day look with ease.

Choosing bridal hair ornaments and lovely wedding day accessories can also help your quest toward something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Whether you borrow an antique hair pin from your grandmother or whether you purchase a new bracelet or set of earrings as something new, you can complete your wedding day look while following all the traditions of the wedding day outfit.

“2009 will be all about bold accessories and expressing your personal style and individuality,” says Nancy Jaeger, founder/publisher of USABrideWeddings.com. “Flaunt your unique look by choosing a simpler, less expensive dress, and kicking it up with affordable and fabulous bridal accessories. Forget the cookie cutter, mass-produced jewelry sets and head pieces. Go for hand-crafted, artistic accessories – these types of luxury items are not only affordable, but will give you that one-of-a-kind look!”

According to some of her research at USABrideWeddings.com, Jaeger recommends the top six trends for 2009 weddings for any bride on any budget as being:

Vintage Inspired
“The vintage inspired look includes rhodium or antique-silver hair accessories and jewelry, bird cage or visor veils, as well as outrageous feather and flower combs — all of which are a throwback to the 1920s,” Jaeger says. “The vintage look is also the perfect opportunity to incorporate family heirlooms, such as Grandma’s silver brooch – timeless pieces that can be used with the visor veils or as an embellishment on gown sashes.”

Hollywood Glam
“Big hair, big jewelry, sparkling head pieces, and tons of glitz!” Jaeger exclaims. “That is Hollywood glam at its best. Use dazzling bouquet jewelry and long dramatic beaded gloves for extra glam! Long, layered, draping necklaces, oversized earrings and bold colored stones in red and black are perfect to draw attention.”

Don’t Settle for Subtle… Chunky is in!
“Brides are choosing to accent their gowns with big, bold jewelry sets – dramatic collars, clusters, or long strands of large pearls and beads, asymmetrical looks and multi-strand drops are all great ideas,” Jaeger suggests. “Another new trend is a bare neckline with large chandelier earrings, paired with a wide, bold cuff bracelet to really make a statement – layering several smaller bracelets creates the same effect.”

Go for the Gold!
“The past year has been dubbed the return of gold bridal accessories,” Jaeger notes. “Brides are choosing darker-colored gowns in tones like champagne and dark ivory, in natural fabrics such as raw silk. Victorian style gowns accented with gold tones are also popular this season. Nothing complements these colors and textures like timeless gold jewelry. There is just something about the richness of the color gold that gives the feeling of luxury and elegance!”

Organic or Natural Pearls and Stones
“Continuing to be very hot this season is the trend to incorporate natural or ‘organic’ elements and shapes into jewelry designs,” Jaeger shares. “The natural shape and beauty of Keshi and fresh water pearls, mixed with glazed stones and dazzling Swarovski crystals, inspire exquisite bridal designs. A perfect match for a romantic destination wedding!”

Greek Goddess Style
“Want a look that’s sexy and modern, yet utterly classic?” Jaeger poses. “Go for the enchanting look of a Greek goddess-inspired style. The dress should be a long, lean and fluid silhouette or a romantic series of overlapping layers. With this look, the accessories are key to bringing it all together. Look for chunky leaf or vine patterns in a head piece or hair pins (depending on your hairstyle), as well as the jewelry. You could go with any color, but make sure it is artistic and fanciful.”

About the Expert:
Nancy Jaeger is founder/publisher of USABrideWeddings.com, a site specializing in bridal fashion. USABrideWeddings.com offers a lovely collection of tiaras, hairpins, bridal combs, and more.

Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom Dresses for 2009 Weddings

If your son or daughter is getting married this year and you are looking for that perfect mother of the bride dress or mother of the groom gown, you might want to consider the trends in MOB and MOG dresses for 2009 weddings. You can surely find a lovely dress for your child’s wedding while complementing the style of the bride’s gown and bridal party’s attire.

From colors and fabrics to style of the mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses, the choices stretch on far and wide. A special mom in the wedding may find a large selection of gowns that provides ample opportunity to find a MOB or MOG dress to fit her own personal sense of style while also matching the theme and level of formality of the bridal party.

As far as trends for the mother of the groom and mother of the bride attire in 2009 weddings, you might be pleasantly surprised with some of the hottest fabrics, colors, and styles for moms.

“Lace is a huge trend for mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom,” Michelle Lynn Buckley, founder and principal of Mint Julep Social Events. “They are donning dresses with delicate lace detailing, mimicking the lacy gowns of designers such as Monique Lhuillier, which are always a bride’s favorite.”

As far as color, Buckley notes that champagne color is making a comeback while “icy colors like pale blue and pink” are also popular dress colors for the bride’s mom and groom’s mom.

“We have also seen mothers taking a turn towards sexy with hot pink dresses (which actually are very flattering!) and bracelet cuffs as accessories,” Buckley says.

If you are open to etiquette suggestions, you can always ask the bride for her preferences for the MOB and MOG dresses. In fact, if she can spare the time amidst her busy wedding planning schedule, asking the bride to accompany you on a dress shopping trip may be a nice way to gain her approval of your wedding day outfit. No matter what you decide, wear your mother of the bride or mother of the groom gown proudly, for your child is celebrating one of the happiest days in a lifetime.

About the Expert:
Michelle Lynn Buckley is founder and principal of Mint Julep Social Events, one of the largest bridal consulting and event planning businesses in the Los Angeles area.  For more information about Mint Julep Social Events, visit online at http://www.mjse.com.

2009 Trends for Wedding Day Hairstyles and Bridal Hairdos

Your wedding day hairstyle is most probably the most important hairstyle you’ll wear throughout your entire life. In order to find the most perfect, stunning bridal hairstyle for your wedding day, take great care in researching styles in magazines and online, and don’t forget to consult your favorite hairstylist to learn about the trends for 2009 or whatever year your wedding happens to take place.

Edmondo Blando, owner of Salon Vanity in Philadelphia and a “Best of Philly” hairstylist, notes that the wedding hair trends for 2009 involve “full hair with lots of soft waves, curls and volume.”

He also finds the 2009 wedding hairdo trends include a lot of hair ornaments and accessories such as diamond pins or pearl pins, tiaras, and even feathers. The style of your hair ornaments may depend on the formality of your wedding, and whether you have a traditional wedding theme or a destination wedding theme.

“The big thing will be to have different textures in the hair, for example: hair may be crimped in sections and even braided in others,” Blando says. “Most brides will need to add extensions to get these looks.”

If you are preparing for your 2009 wedding, you can follow the wedding hairstyle trends for the year or you can enjoy your own personal style in a beautiful bridal hairstyle. If your wedding is beyond 2009, you can still follow the 2009 wedding hairstyle trends that you love, or you can check out the wedding hairdo trends for your wedding year. You can always ditch the trends and choose a bridal hairstyle that fits your own personality instead.

Once you find the perfect bridal hairstyle for your wedding day, make sure you take a picture of the hairdo to your stylist and schedule yourself for a test run to make sure your wedding hairdo sample meets your expectations and also looks right with your wedding gown and veil or tiara. Best wishes for a beautiful wedding!

About the Expert:
Edmondo Blando is owner of Salon Vanity in Philadelphia and a “Best of Philly” hairstylist. For more information, visit online at http://www.vanityphilly.com.

Budget Wedding Videography Ideas for Your Traditional Wedding or Destination Wedding

If you would like to capture your wedding day on video, but don’t know if you can spare the expense, you are not alone. Many brides and grooms debate the overall value of wedding video services and find that the wedding video is often an expense they are willing to forego. Many times the wedding video holds less significance than flowers, wedding attire, photography, food, alcohol, and the whole nine yards.

Rather than slash the wedding video from the budget completely, you have a few different options for capturing your wedding on video on the cheap. You can rely on a relative or a friend to capture the wedding footage on their own camcorder, you can hire an amateur or student videography service, or you can try a number of other options for cheap wedding videography. Consider the following options for finding a cheap wedding video idea to fit your budget.

Call in a Favor
Get your uncle, aunt, cousin, friend, or other loved one to help your cause by filming your special day. Having a friend or relative film your wedding day is a favorite wedding cost saver, but it still comes with its own costs – even if not monetary.

The pros – cheap or free, reliable, and easily accessible. The cons – your guest won’t be as focused on enjoying the wedding as you might like…. The added responsibility could detract from the experience for your loved one.

Automate Your Video
Flip MinoIf you are looking for a cheap and low maintenance way to videotape your wedding day festivities, passing around a digital camcorder could be a good way to go. If you buy a compact digital camcorder like a Flip Ultra or Flip Mino (both available in HD), you can get up to two hours of recorded wedding video footage for only the cost of the player (between $100 and $300 or so, available at low prices and often with free shipping on Amazon.com) – plus your own video editing after the fact. Each table of guests can take turns filming each other for your memorable wedding wishes video.

The pros – cheap to get the camera, one less vendor to deal with, easy to upload to YouTube and other sites, and you get to keep a cool device you can enjoy using again and again. (Also, the Flip Ultra and Flip Mino feature a very user-friendly interface involving little more than the Power button, Play button, Record button, and Delete button.) The cons – relatives and friends who are not tech savvy may flounder with this plan or avoid it altogether, also, the Flip video devices capture video in separate segments rather than a running video, so some editing would be necessary.

Hire a Student Video Crew
If you prefer to have a video cameraman or videography camera crew onsite to capture the wedding action, hiring a student video crew or budding video production company can save you some bucks while also giving the new crew some much-needed portfolio material. The cost may vary based on the student video crew you choose, but you must remember that you may be taking a chance by not hiring an established professional, so do your interviews carefully.

The pros – affordable service, potential talent, one good turn deserves another. The cons – you may accidentally hire an inexperienced crew and your wedding video may not turn out as you hope, you may still pay more than you want (depending on the crew you choose).

Take on a Post-Production Video Service
If you want a professional quality wedding video at a fraction of the price, you can combine a couple of ideas for a majorly creative cost savings. Some video production companies and even videographers offer an “edit-only” budget package for brides and grooms who want to document their wedding day on the cheap. Instead of hiring the videographer to come out to your wedding festivities and take the footage, send in your family members’ or friends’ video tapes and wedding day footage for the experts to edit into a lovely video for you to keep and enjoy.

Pixability.com and Wellspunweddings.com are two such video companies that offer an “edit-only” option for documenting your wedding day. Wellspunweddings.com creates a lovely vintage style wedding video from your own wedding footage (Inquire for pricing). Pixability.com offers the UShoot Package at $495 for editing up to three hours of raw wedding day home movie footage plus the inclusion of 20 digital photos. (You can add additional hours of wedding day footage at $85 per hour.) Your order with Pixability.com includes a 30-minute highlight video and three DVD copies.

An edit-only wedding video can be a great option for destination weddings and for brides and grooms who choose to elope instead of going through the big to-do of planning and budgeting for a wedding. You simply follow their guidelines and send in your own footage of the special day and let the pros do the rest. You’ll soon receive a beautiful film of your wedding day that you can cherish forever.

For more information, visit www.pixability.com or www.Wellspunweddings.com.

Roles for Dogs in Your Wedding – From Guest to Ring Bearer

Have today’s weddings gone to the dogs? Maybe to some extent…. If you and your four-legged, furry friend are as inseparable as can be, finding a role for your dog in your upcoming wedding may not be a crazy idea at all. After all, dogs are an integral part of our lives and a cherished member of the family. Dogs are there through thick and thin, by your side for most of life’s curveballs, ups and downs.

In modern weddings, couples are opting for more contemporary, sometimes even out-of-the-ordinary options, such as hosting destination weddings instead of traditional ceremonies, wearing more than one wedding gown, and even wearing contrasting, colored wedding shoes under the wedding dress. Alongside trashing a wedding dress for some really edgy wedding photography, does inviting your family pet to the wedding really seem that outlandish?

If you have a wild and crazy canine, you might find it difficult to fit your furry friend into your wedding day plans. You don’t want to get one of your friends or relatives tied up on doggy-sitting detail, so in this case, inviting your pooch pal to the wedding may not be the best move. However, if your dog is well behaved and good in a crowd, you should have much better luck getting your pet dog involved in your wedding day festivities.

Dogs as the Ring Bearer
Dogs very often fit the job description of the ring bearer in a wedding setting. As long as the dog is able to obey basic commands, like “Come,” you should be in business. If your pet responds to gestures and body language, your puppy dog is even better suited to participate in your wedding.

“My pup was the ring bearer,” says Marisa Perry of New York City. “He was fabulous and we could not get married without him there. My husband had his custom suit maker make him a special pouch for his rings, which he wore around his neck.”

“My fiancé and I have a dog named Scooby Doo; he is a shepherd collie mix and will be turning 10 years old in a couple of weeks,” says soon-to-be bride Colleen Wright. “He is a very important part or our lives, so we thought what better way to make our wedding a family affair than to have him as the ring bearer (but of course he will not be really brining the rings down… out of fear they would get lost). He is a very mild mannered, calm dog, but he does not like to be on a leash, so against [our instincts] we are going to have him run down the aisle when my fiancé, Jay, calls him (we are hoping this does not end up in disaster).”

Wright says Scooby Doo will be wearing a black bow tie for the occasion.

“We decided against a doggy tuxedo or harness covered in flowers because he will most likely just try to get it off and ruin it,” she adds. “We are very happy to be able to include him, but it was not easy to get the hotel to agree. We are getting married at an upscale golf resort in Rochester, NY. The venue does not allow pets on an everyday basis. So we were told, after much prodding, that we would be allowed to bring Scooby but he had to be snuck into the hotel (thus, we are going to wrap him in a towel and carry him upstairs – he is a medium sized dog, not real small, so this should be interesting). Then he is supposed to be in a crate the whole time he is in the room (which he will not do well in) and we have to pay a $100 fee for the hotel to clean the room upon departure.”

“I am not too worried about him being in the wedding,” Wright says. “He is a very good dog and listens very well to my fiancé. All and all I think it will be a nice addition, and very special. Plus, his short moment in our wedding will be documented in our wedding pictures for years to come.”

Despite the hassles and hoops to jump through, the ability to include their beloved pooch in the wedding is well worth the cost and potential drama. Having their dog as the ring bearer in the wedding will be a priceless memory for a lifetime to come!

Other Roles for Dogs at a Wedding
While it may be perfectly acceptable in some cases for the bride’s or groom’s (or the couple’s) dog to participate in the wedding, a guest’s dog should not be in attendance… unless of course it’s an extreme circumstance or medical reason, and the bride and groom are privy to the situation, and they are OK with it. One such example is the role of the Seeing Eye dog.

“When my late husband and I were married in 1986, our minister was not sighted, so she had her Seeing Eye dog with her,” says Mary Westheimer. “The ceremony was short and sweet, and its highlight was when the minister stepped on her dog’s tail and he yelped. Talk about unique!”

Finally, the couple’s dog may simply attend the wedding as a guest. Outdoor weddings may be great for doggie guests, but a concern could be the dog getting loose and running off during the wedding ceremony or the reception. Of course, there are typically always pros and cons to every situation, so if you’d like to invite or involve your dog in your wedding day, weigh the pros and cons to ensure you are fully comfortable with the decision and aware of any potential outcomes or consequences.

Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom Makeup Trends for At-Home or Professional Makeup Application

Getting your makeup done professionally or doing your makeup for a special wedding can be an enjoyable experience, but it definitely helps if you go into it knowing how you want your makeup to look. If you aren’t entirely sure how you want your makeup done for your son’s or daughter’s wedding, you might consider following the latest makeup trends for mother of the bride and mother of the groom.

Makeup trends change on a fairly regular basis, sometimes even with the seasons. Some makeup trends tend to stick around for a while, like the smoky eye look, although that may not be appropriate for your son’s or daughter’s wedding. If you want to find dashing and glamorous mother of the bride and mother of the groom makeup trends and styles, consider checking out magazines for photos of mature celebrities that you admire as a good place to start. You can also consult your hairstylist for additional ideas.

To learn about some of the makeup tips and trends for mother of the bride (MOB) and mother of the groom (MOG), read on. Makeup Artist Vanessa Elese shares the following answers to our burning questions about makeup trends and tips for the bride’s mother and groom’s mother.

Q. – Life Love Beauty:  What makeup color trends would be good for mother of the bride and mother of the groom? Should they match, complement, or accent their wedding attire, go with a look based on skin tone, etc.?

A. – Vanessa Elese: When you are looking at what colors to wear for the big day, focus not only on your skin tone, but also a look that will represent sophistication, your personality, as well as timeless beauty.  Essentially for mother’s of the bride / groom, focus on colors that complement your skin tone as well as enhance your eye color. A tried and true color trio can be seen with the bronzes, pinks, and earthy tones, which are certainly very popular and were all over the red carpets and runways this year. You can achieve a similar glamorous look with earthy tones then choose a plum or deep navy liner to complement your eyes and make them truly sparkle in the pictures.

Something to keep in mind… When looking for eye shadows, try Chanel’s Eye Shadow Quads in “Sequoia” or “Dune” – great complements of pinks, browns, and golds. Be sure when wearing eye shadow that you balance shimmer with flat colors. Too much shimmer can detract from your gorgeous eyes. Try a slight shimmer on the very inner part of the lid to awaken the eyes and use flat silky hues to add definition.

Skin tone: My true belief is to accent, rather than hide. For skin, start with a primer, to help hold your makeup for the long day ahead. Try: Smashbox’s “Photo Finish” Foundation primer with Dermaxyl Complex. This primer helps fill in fine lines and pores and allows makeup to apply flawlessly, ensuring continuous wear.  Also, you can try the Bodyography “Veil Foundation Primer,” which acts in the same way, but also contains antioxidants while helping to repair and prevent premature aging.

Next, make sure your concealer and foundations truly are your shade. There’s nothing worse than cakey makeup showing up in naturally lit photos. Your color should blend seamlessly without notice.

Q. – Life Love Beauty:  What kinds of makeup are important for the bride’s mother or groom’s mother if planning to do their makeup at home?

A. – Vanessa Elese:
Today is a very proud day, presenting either your daughter or son. Make sure your makeup complements rather than detracts. Your true beauty will shine through with these simple steps.

1.    First, apply a primer for lasting and restorative results.
2.    Spot cover any blemishes or marks, then assess whether a full foundation is necessary. Oftentimes a little foundation applied with a damp sponge will allow all flaws to be concealed and with seamless radiance showing through.
3.    Choose a lipstick that is along the peachy/rose tones. These tones will add the amount of color desired without looking garish.

Q. – Life Love Beauty:  What tips do you have for mothers who want to get their makeup professionally done on their child’s wedding day?

A. – Vanessa Elese: When looking for a makeup artist, make sure your concerns and ideas are thoughtfully addressed. Also, your artist will be present while your photographer is taking pre-ceremony pictures and can be hired throughout for touchups. Be mindful of appearance and professionalism.  With that in mind, consider price, but do not hesitate to spend for a true professional. Remember, these pictures and memories will be those you cherish for your lifetime. Cutting corners can often lead to more drama on your day than what you anticipate. A makeup artist’s job is to not only provide a flawless result and boost confidence, but also soothe their clients with reassurance that all the planning, time, and investment is well spent.

About the Expert:
Vanessa Elese is a makeup artist whose primary clientele includes members of the media, fashion, entertainment, and arts industries. For more information, visit online at www.vanessaelese.com.

Wearing Colored Shoes with Your Wedding Dress instead of Matching the Wedding Gown Fabric

If you’re looking to doJamie Haley wore hot pink wedding shoes on her wedding day. (Photography by Sara McDermott from SjMackyPhotography) something a little different for your wedding, have you considered wearing colored wedding shoes instead of matching your wedding shoes to your wedding dress? It’s a trend that’s catching on in more ways than one, and perhaps best of all, you can wear your shoes over and over again after your wedding day.

“Color is a great way to express yourself,” says Summer Bellessa, Editor-in-Chief of Eliza Magazine. “Back in the day, white dresses were thought to be an extravagance; a dress you could wear after the big day, was more practical. If a pink or yellow dress isn’t your thing, then spice up a traditional dress with colorful shoes, ribbon, or under slip. Give the flowers a little competition.”

“I don’t think color should be a faux pas,” Bellessa adds. “It’s your wedding; you get to pick what kind of bride you are.”

With this new take on color in mind, think about your own wedding and whether you’d like to pull off some colored wedding shoes to show off your personal sense of style and unforgettable wedding fashion. You can match the color of your wedding shoes to your wedding’s colors and theme, to your own favorite color, or as the “something blue” in your traditional getup. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to look back on your wedding photos and smile whenever you see that sudden burst of color peeking out from under your wedding dress!

Match the Color of Your Wedding Shoes to Your Bridesmaid Dresses and Wedding Color Scheme
An easy and classy way to weave colored shoes into your wedding palette is to match the color of your wedding shoes to your bridesmaids’ dresses, flowers, or the overall theme and color scheme of your wedding. The possibilities are virtually endless when you consider all the many hues and shades of beautiful, sexy shoes on the shelves and online.

Irma Koopersmith wore apple green wedding shoes under her wedding gown. “I actually wore apple green heels to my wedding four years ago and I thought they looked adorable,” says Irma Koopersmith, who is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she and her husband got married on February 26, 2005. “They matched my bridesmaids. I really liked the look.”

As the story goes, one bout of inspiration leads to another. Koopersmith was inspired by a friend’s red wedding shoes at a wedding a few months prior to her own wedding, and then with her green shoes, Koopersmith inspired her friend Emilie Valle to pull a similar fashion stunt on her wedding day.

“I was then inspired by her to add my own pop of color with blue,” says Emilie Valle, who wed her husband Pete on October 13, 2007. “I thought it was a great way to be expressive and different. Blue is my favorite color; it’s reflected in everything I wear on a day-to-day basis. My bridesmaids wore blue, my engagement ring includes sapphire – it just fit. While people can see your shoes, it’s a subtle way to add a pop of color and expression.”

Jamie Haley wore hot pink wedding shoes on her wedding day. (Photography by Sara McDermott from SjMackyPhotography)Enjoy a Splash of Your Favorite Color with Your Color Choice for Wedding Shoes
If for no other reason, add a splash of color into your wedding attire by donning wedding shoes in your favorite color. No matter what your favorite color happens to be, you are sure to find pretty, fashionable wedding shoes in your preferred color – red, pink, green, blue, purple, orange, black, yellow, brown, and on down the line.

“I wore red shoes in my wedding last year, basically because red is my favorite color and I went traditional on most of the other aspects of my wedding — by God I deserved a little flair!” says Delisa Reavis. “You could barely see them under my dress, but I kept having people coming up to me at the reception asking to see my feet (by then I’d already switched into pink glittery rainbows since the cute red shoes rubbed a blister on my heel–guess I should have broken them in!) I thought it was a fun way to express a little individuality without rocking the boat too much with my uber-traditional mom!”

Another bride, Laura N. Ward decided to wear red shoes under her ivory wedding gown. Her red shoes looked radiant, a perfect fit for a holiday wedding with red bridesmaids’ dresses and pretty poinsettias.

Laura Ward wore lovely red wedding shoes on her wedding day around Christmastime. “I had some great comments on them and mostly favorable,” she says. “I think I shocked my grandmother though. I had a Christmas wedding and I love red so I just went for it. I’ve known brides to wear tennis shoes and flip-flops so why not red shoes!”

Keep Reading: Let Your Colored Wedding Shoes Be Your “Something Blue”…


Great Gifts for Groomsmen

Tired of tie tacks and wallets? Here’s an array of unique gift ideas for the groomsmen in your wedding!

When it comes down to it, guys are the best kind of friends to have. Whether you are a guy or a girl, the males stick with you through it all. They are more of a brother to you than a friend. They never talk trash about you behind your back. They usually don’t go after your significant other. If they have a problem with you – they usually tell you, you both throw a few punches, and you’re friends again.

These reasons and many more make it easy to see how much a guy appreciates his compadres. When it all comes down to it, he knows they are there for him. As a man prepares to give up his freedom, so to speak, or to shackle on the ball and chain, as some might say, it is only appropriate that his brothers and best friends see him off.

To convey to his groomsmen just how much their loyalty and support means, the groom typically chooses a special gift to give his attendants on the big day. Below are a number of options to fit just about any personality type, and just about any budget.

Traditional Groomsmen Gifts

Cologne

Cufflinks

Keepsake box

Key chain (engraved)

Money clips

Wallets

Groomsmen Gifts for Business

Business card case or holder

Checkbook cover

Desk clock

Leather travel sets

Luggage tag

Passport case

Personalized pen set

Groomsmen Gifts for Pleasure

Beer mugs (filled with goodies, and/or engraved)

Corkscrew

Fancy lighter

Flask (engraved)

Gift cards

Golf accessory caddy

Monogrammed professional baseball bats

Personalized glassware

Personalized golf putter

Pocket watches

Poker set

Something Useful as a Groomsman Gift

If the groomsmen are fishermen, how about a new fishing pole or a tackle box? For hunters, consider a filet knife… for outdoorsmen, a compass, etc.

Stainless bar set

Swiss Army knife / pen knife

Watch

No matter what you select for your groomsmen gifts, remember that your heartfelt sentiments are also especially important. Be sure to thank each groomsman with a personal thank you, a handwritten thank-you note, or even a special toast to all of the groomsmen.

Selecting Tropical Wedding Invitations and Beach Theme Stationery

As you plan a beach wedding or tropical wedding, or even a destination wedding, chances are you’d like to keep your theme consistent throughout all phases of your planning and interactions with your guest. Cross - my - heart seashells Save the Date by FineStationery.com (photo courtesy of FineStationery.com)If you want to give your guests their first taste of the wedding’s beach or tropical theme, customized or themed wedding stationery is a great way to set the stage for your upcoming nuptials.

As you prepare to pick out your wedding stationery and invitations, give some thought to the number of correspondences you plan to send to your guests. You can often find a coordinated set of wedding stationery that keeps your tropical or beach theme consistent throughout the planning process. A few typical wedding stationery items include announcements, Save-the-Date cards, wedding invitations, wedding programs, and Thank You notes. Many times you can purchase a set of wedding stationery that coordinates and carries the theme throughout all of these items.

Brown Palm Tree Wedding Invitations by eInvite.com (Photo courtesy of eInvite.com)Wedding Invitations for Destination Weddings
If you are planning a destination wedding, you may find some perfect tropical or beach themed wedding invitations that are a great fit for your upcoming wedding day. Depending on the level of formality you want for your destination wedding, you might consider an array of tropical and beach themed symbols, such as a flip-flop theme, a palm tree theme, hibiscus theme, nautical theme, and more.

Planning the theme for your tropical destination wedding can be lots of fun, but it can also be a challenging task. You’ll most likely want to keep your destination wedding theme consistent throughout your planning, and especially in your wedding stationery and destination wedding invitations.

Where to Find Themed Wedding Invitations for Tropical and Beach Weddings
Brides can turn down a number of different paths when it comes to picking out the perfect wedding invitations to match their wedding theme. Crafty and creative brides may wish to make their own tropical or beach themed wedding invitations, or lean on a friend or bridesmaid to assist. Busy brides may opt for a full-service, one-stop-shop that handles all the details of the wedding invitations.

Party planning stores, office supply stores, craft stores, and wedding shops typically carry anywhere from a limited selection of wedding invitations to an extensive collection of styles and colors to consider. Some stores carry the wedding invitations in stock while others have catalogs on display, featuring volumes of different wedding invitations.

Shopping for tropical or beach theme wedding invitations online can be a breeze as well, with a wide selection of pretty wedding invitations available.

Offering a wide array of wedding invitation themes, eInvite.com reaches out to brides who want the traditional wedding near where they grew up as well as more daring brides who wish to say their vows in a remote, tropical location. The wedding invitations and wedding stationery items at eInvite.com are available in a variety of colors and styles, not to mention themes and levels of formality.

The following beach and tropical wedding invitations are eInvite.com’s suggestions for a destination wedding or beach wedding:

eInvite.com Beach Wedding, Tropical Wedding, and Destination Wedding Invitations

•  eInvite.com Nautilus Wedding Invitation Set - Reply Card (Photo courtesy of eInvite.com) FlipFlop
•  Brown Palm Tree
•  Hibiscus
•  Nautilus
•  Sylvan Green

Another online invitation company, FineStationery.com offers a tremendous assortment of wedding invitations and stationery. As far as beach and tropical themed invitations or wedding stationery that would be a perfect match for a destination wedding, FineStationery.com shows off lovely designs with seashells, starfish, flip-flops, palm trees, and more. The variety of colors available in the company’s 19,000-some product line is sure to please.

FineStationery.com offers the following suggestions for destination wedding, tropical wedding, and beach wedding stationery for brides:

Cross - my - heart seashells Save the Date by FineStationery.com (photo courtesy of FineStationery.com)FineStationery.com Save the Dates for Beach Weddings
•    Crane & Co. Golden Ecru Announcement
•    Starfish & Dreams Tropical Save the Date
•    Sarah Clere Palm Tree
•    Stevie Streck Designs’ Palm Tree & Vellum Overlay
•    Itty Bitty Blanco Flip Flop
•   Cross My Heart Seashells


Chloe B’s Palm Tree Invitation, by FineStationery.com (Photo courtesy of FineStationery.com)FineStationery.com Tropical Wedding or Destination Wedding Invitations
•    Inviting Company’s Palm Shores Wedding Invitation
•    Inviting Company’s beach Wedding Feet
•    Chloe B’s Palm Tree Invitation
•    Chloe B’s Aqua Invitation

Whether you are planning a casual beach wedding or a more formal tropical wedding, you can consider a nice selection of customized paper products to make your wedding day even more special.

Irish and Celtic Inspired Wedding Dresses and Bridal Attire

For anyone planning an Irish wedding or a Celtic wedding, the wedding gown is surely one of the key elements helping the bride to carry on the wedding’s theme.

Irish inspired bridal gown by Alfred Angelo.

Irish and Celtic wedding dresses and bridal attire truly lend themselves to the overall theme and ambiance of the special day, while also creating a lovely silhouette for each girl in a gown.

If you are planning a Celtic or Irish wedding, perhaps you will want to consider an Irish themed or Celtic themed wedding gown for your nuptials. Consider these pictures and styles of Irish and Celtic themed wedding dresses.

Celtic theme and Irish style wedding dresses by Alfred Angelo...Irish and Celtic Inspired Bridal Attire
“Celtic bridal wear has been modified to fit modern flavor since the medieval times,” says Gretchen Viles mywedding.com managing editor. “However, if you are a traditionalist and want to embrace the renaissance, then go for it. Common elements carried throughout old and new styles include a fitted bodice with plenty of floral embroidery. Head jewelry beneath a veil is also a common element in the bridal wear.”

As you prepare for your Irish wedding or Celtic wedding, remember to consider your heritage and your family. Perhaps your sister, cousin, and mom would like to accompany you on your shopping trips as you search for the perfect Irish wedding gown or Celtic wedding dress. Either way, enjoy your hunt for the perfect wedding gown!

Trends in Irish and Celtic Wedding Gowns and Bridal Attire
“Adding color to your wedding is one of the hottest trends in bridal,” says Amanda Sheronas, director of public relations and special events for bridal attire design company Alfred Angelo. “For brides wanting to celebrate their heritage through Celtic or Irish theme weddings, Alfred Angelo offers many beautiful options in its Alfred Angelo, Alfred Angelo Sapphire, and Alfred Angelo Bridesmaids and Flower Girl collections.

Celtic theme and Irish style wedding dresses by Alfred Angelo...“In the Dream In Color collection, brides have several silhouettes to choose from, where they can select one of eight different shades of green or ten shades of blue (the Irish believe blue is a lucky color) for the trim and/or back panel of the Dream In Color dress. This allows them to personalize their gown to their own taste or with the family’s colors, as well as coordinate the wedding party.

“The Alfred Angelo collections additionally offer beautiful gowns, with intricate lace and beading, similar to Celtic patterns, if they choose an all white or all ivory gown. These gowns’ subtle details are in keeping with the craftsmanship of the Irish lace workers, and create drama through the beautiful hand-workmanship on each dress.”

Now that you know what you’re looking for in regards to style and intricacies of the Irish or Celtic wedding gown, enjoy exploring the photos in this article and elsewhere on the Web. Good luck on your hunt for the perfect Irish or Celtic style wedding dress!

Irish inspired bridal gown by Alfred Angelo.Irish and Celtic style wedding gowns by Alfred Angelo...
Celtic theme and Irish style wedding dresses by Alfred Angelo...Celtic theme and Irish style wedding dresses by Alfred Angelo...

About the Experts:
MyWedding.com: Gretchen Viles is Managing Editor of mywedding.com, an online wedding planning company that offers assistance for brides in many different regions. Visit online at www.mywedding.com.

Alfred Angelo: Amanda Sheronas is director of public relations and special events for bridal attire design company Alfred Angelo, which designs countless wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and other bridal attire for all kinds of weddings. Alfred Angelo online at www.alfredangelo.com.

Best Bridesmaid Gifts – Creative Bridesmaid Thank You Gifts

Choosing the gifts for your maid of honor and bridesmaids should neither be as stressful nor as hectic as Christmas shopping. Put a lot of time and thought into finding your creative bridesmaid gifts, and get started in your search as early as possible. You will be sure to find the perfect tokens of your appreciation.

As your wedding day nears, you will probably find yourself leaning on your bridesmaids more than ever. Every little detail must be perfect, and your girls are there for you to make sure it is. To show your best friends and sisters just how much you appreciate them, choose a thoughtful gift. Countless options are available to help you select the best bridesmaid gift within your budget. Shop in the factory outlet stores, clean out the clearance rack at your favorite department stores, and don’t forget to shop online.

As you scour the racks and various Web pages for the perfect bridesmaid gifts, take your time to find the perfect trinkets and tokens of your appreciation – but don’t wait until the last minute to begin your search. Give yourself at least a couple of months to get everything squared away.

Remember – it isn’t the cost of the bridesmaid gift that matters. You can get an expensive piece that may just collect dust on a shelf, or you can select an item that your friend or sister will cherish for years to come.

Here are some diverse and creative bridesmaid gift ideas for a wide variety of budgets:

Traditional Bridesmaid Gifts

Embroidered hanky

Jewelry

Jewelry boxes

Keepsake box

Key chain (engraved)

Picture frames / photo albums

Votive candles

Business Bridesmaid Gifts

Business card case or holder

Designer pen set

Engraved stainless luggage tag

Glass or crystal paperweights

Personalized stationery

Bridesmaid Gifts for Pleasure

Aromatherapy kits

Chocolates or candy

Embroidered (personalized) tote bags, stuffed with spa goodies

Embroidered terry robe and slippers

Evening bag or a special purse

Flasks

Gift cards

Jewelry trays

Kimonos

Mirror compact (engraved)

Pajamas

Perfume

Personalized glassware

Personalized pillows

Piece of custom artwork

Printed bud vases

Teapot

Wine and wine charms or a special bottle stopper

Tips for choosing and preparing your bridesmaid gifts:

Shop and select everything way ahead of time. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day, or as it approaches, is whether or not you will have your bridesmaid gifts in time.

Simplify. Choose the same gift for each bridesmaid. It keeps things easy and avoids hurting feelings. For a special touch, get things embroidered or engraved with each bridesmaid’s name or a special message from you to her.

Get a special gift for your maid of honor, if you wish. You can also get her the same thing as the other bridesmaids but add a special trinket or token of your affection and appreciation. After all, she is your right-hand gal!

Personalize with engravings or embroidery. Gifts for your bridesmaids don’t need to cost a fortune, but going the extra mile to put your special gals’ names on the items will make the gift so much more meaningful.