Wedding Tips - Wedding Lush » Ceremonies and Traditions Wedding Ideas Thu, 09 Dec 2010 11:53:59 +0000 en hourly 1 What do I Write for my Wedding Vows? Wed, 08 Dec 2010 18:34:40 +0000 galleca Got a serious case of writers block' For a lot of bride and grooms-to-be, this is a terrifying experience most encounter when trying to write up their wedding vows. Some things to think about before starting are:

  • Are you permitted to have your own vows?
  • Will you both be writing your vows separately or together?
  • Decide what tone you want to use ' humorous, romantic, sentimental, etc.
  • Keep it under 1 minute in duration

It's also a good idea to flip through some photo albums and watch some videos of you both together to revive those great memories that may have become cluttered over the past couple of years since you have been dating. With that in mind, here's how you can start writing your vows:

1)'' Think about what came to mind when you first saw your fianc. An example of this could be, 'When I first saw you at ________ I knew _________.'

2)'' The first time you realized that you were in love with your fianc is another fond memory that your guests will love to hear. It's also a great opportunity to throw in a funny one liner! An example of this would be, 'I knew that I was in love with you when ___________.'

3)'' How has your view of the world changed' Undoubtedly, meeting this important person has changed your life. Think about new things you tried, new places you visited, or any new perceptions or wisdom you have gained. An example is, 'Before I met you I _________ but now I _________.'

4)'' What do you miss about your fianc when they are not there' Think about a time when you woke up in the morning and he or she wasn't there, or when he or she went on a trip out of town. Things that people often miss are a smile, a kiss, or even their dirty socks lying on the floor, reminding them that they are there.

5)'' If you're a music or movie buff, steal a line and use it in your vows. This is even better if you incorporate a song that you both enjoy. For instance, you can use Jack Johnson's 'You and Your Heart' in a line like, 'You and your heart are what make me happiest'.

6)'' Think about a funny experience that you two both shared and think about how it gave you a new perspective on them. For example, 'When I saw how happy you were laughing along with ________ I knew that you were crazy enough to spend the rest of your life with me.'

7)'' Are there common goals or values that you both share' Recognizing that common bond that holds you together is something that your partner and your guests will love to hear.

8)'' Is there something about your fianc that truly inspires you like no other' You can phrase this as, 'Your ________ has made me realize ________'.

9)'' A good way to conclude your vows is to think towards the future. Where do you see you both in 10 years time' 20 years' 50 years' State it in a way that it is something that you look forward to, such as 'I look forward to ________ as we ________.'

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Sibling Rivalry and your Wedding Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:13:17 +0000 galleca You know your sister almost as well as you know yourself. If you're reading this, chances are you suspect that you may have a bit of sister-trouble during the days leading up to your wedding, and maybe even on the day of. Your sister may be the 'whiner', or she may be the careless 'indifferent' one, but that doesn't mean that she's a lost cause. Here are some tips for you on how to get your sister more involved and more engaged in the wedding festivities.

The Whiner

All your life you have been dealing with this girl who wants everything that you have, even if she doesn't deserve it. Self entitlement may be high in this one, and she may always think that she should have exactly what you have (if not even better!). Though some sisters grow up and out of this when they reach adulthood, there are always those few who just never seem to get past it.

You may be rolling your eyes and feel completely fed up at this point, but don't give up hope yet. Start off by paying extra attention to your sister and talk about what she's doing. Make an effort to recognize and congratulate her on her own achievements. Make sure that your parents and any mutual friends are doing likewise too. This will often quell a mild to moderate whiner.

If you have a strong whiner at home who just will not be appeased with extra attention, then you need to sit down and have a real heart to heart with her. Tell her that she is important to you and that you do care for her, but remind her that this is your wedding day. You need her attention and her support since this isn't easy for you either. If your sister isn't married yet, let it be well known that you expect all eyes to be on her on her wedding day too.

The Indifferent One

You're happy, excited, stressed out, and anxious. So what does your sister do' Shrug her shoulders or maybe she doesn't even have any reaction at all. You ask for her opinion and she keeps her eyes trained on her laptop computer screen. You're in the middle of talking about reception venues, her phone rings, so she answers it and walks out of the room.

This 'closed up shut down' behavior is usually the result of hurt, and is not a sign for a lack of love or care. The best thing to do is to approach the topic when you have calmed down and when you no longer feel hurt by her seeming lack of concern and attention. Make sure that when you speak to her, you are not placing blame; rather, you simply explain how you feel, such as 'When I was talking to you about wedding venues yesterday and you answered your cell phone, I was hurt. I really wanted and need your opinion.' You can even follow up with a complimentary note such as, 'You're better at this than I am!' If she still seems solid as stone, don't give up. Continue to ask her to be a part of things and let her know how you feel. You may have a situation where she will blow up and explain why she's been behaving the way she has, but you can then work on solving the issue together.

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How to Write your Wedding Vows: What you Need to Know Wed, 08 Dec 2010 14:39:41 +0000 galleca Writing the wedding vows can both be blissful and stressful at the same time. Writing vows brings about fond feelings that we have for the one we are about to wed, but the thought of sharing these feelings, or putting them into a coherent sentence, can be beyond trying for a lot of brides and grooms. Before you write your vows, here are some things that you should take into consideration:

Can you write your own Vows?

Though we have all heard about the bride and groom who stress over writing their own vows, there are quite a few officiants out there who will not allow you to do so. Religious wedding ceremonies, such as those held in an Episcopal or Catholic church, may require you to recite part of, if not all of, their own traditional vows. This may vary from officiant to officiant, so make sure you ask them prior to asking them to conduct your wedding.

Are you both Writing your Own?

Some brides and grooms simply do not want to write their own vows, while the other partner may. Make sure both you and your fianc are on the same page about whether or not you are going to write your own special vows.

Some partners may also want to write their vows together, or even show them to one another prior to the big day. Again, make sure you discuss this with your fianc so that you are both happy with the outcome.

Outline you Vows

Do you remember having to outline term papers in school' Vows are not a whole lot different. Setting out an outline with a beginning, middle and an end will help you keep your thoughts on track. You will also be making sure that you are creating one cohesive masterpiece that will be easy for your partner and the attendants to follow.

Pick your Tone

Your vows don't necessary have to be gushing with the 'lovey dovey' stuff. If you want to throw in some humor, go for it! Find your voice and a tone that you feel the most comfortable with. This will ensure that your vows ring true to you and your relationship.

Keep it Short

Vows are meant to be short, usually within one minute long. You don't want a long, streaming prose that will take you five minutes to recite. Keep your feelings and your promises straight and to the point. Otherwise, your guests ' as well as your partner ' may start to squirm and shift.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you keep your vows tailored to the relationship that both you and your partner have. Make promises that you know will make an impact on your relationship and that you both feel strongly about. There's no sense in copying someone else's vows that you may have heard at a different wedding or in a movie. Speak from the heart and you will be sure to get a few smiles and tears.

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How to include Junior Bridesmaids on your Big Day Wed, 08 Dec 2010 13:06:47 +0000 galleca You know of a special little girl who is just a bit too old to be a flower girl, and who is just a bit too young to be a full fledged bridesmaid. You want her to be a part of your wedding party, but you aren't sure how to incorporate her. For any girl between 9 and 14, becoming a junior bridesmaid is a dream come true! Don't underestimate just how seriously these youngsters will take their role; they often take it a lot more seriously than the adults.

Some of the duties that a junior bridesmaid can be in charge of include:

  • Junior bridesmaids should not be expected to throw any showers, but they should be able to help you put together any favors, snack, and to help with the cleaning up.
  • The junior bridesmaid is still expected to attend all rehearsals and what ever appropriate celebrations there may be (the stagette may not be the most appropriate place for her)
  • She can also help with seating guests along with the ushers
  • She is expected to give her opinion and to provide input on matters, such as venue, the bride's dress, and the food that is going to be served on the wedding day
  • The junior bridesmaid should walk down the aisle in the wedding procession, as well as stand at the front with the other members of the wedding party
  • If the bride is having a receiving line, the junior bridesmaid is expected to be there too
  • Many junior bridesmaids are also expected to write a little 'thank you' note to the bride for including her on the big day

What many brides have to remember is that though this junior bridesmaid may be younger in years than the others, they will not take their job role any less responsibly. You will be surprised just how creative a junior bridesmaid can be, and how invaluable their input will be on your big day.

Junior bridesmaids are also often incorporated into weddings these days as the junior bridesmaid is the daughter of either the bride or the groom. To really make her feel like she's part of the wedding day festivities, try to include her in important events, such as:

  • Escorting the bride down the aisle and standing next to her at the front of the ceremony hall or church
  • Allow her to perform a special song or dance, or to play an instrument either during the ceremony or the reception
  • Provide her with the opportunity to read you a poem that she feels is special to the family or that is definitive of the bride and groom's relationship
  • Be in charge of a 'family vows' exchange. This is a new trend where after the couple exchanges vows, the other family members come up and share their own vows. With so many mixed families joining together, this is a fantastic way to make sure that not only the junior bridesmaid, but all children, feel included in the big day.
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Top Tips to make your Wedding Ceremony a Success Wed, 08 Dec 2010 07:00:14 +0000 galleca Every bride and grooms wants their wedding ceremony to reveal to both themselves and to their guests who they are as a couple, and who they plan to be in the future. Given how 'cookie cutter' a lot of wedding ceremonies are, it can be hard to try and make it extra special. Here's how you can really make your wedding ceremony a great success:

Don't Shy Away from your Feelings

Speaking from the heart is the best way to really draw people into the relationship that both you and your partner share. Your vows should be warm and even humorous at times, but they should not be cruel or condescending. You want to get across the point that you are fully aware of the commitment you are about to make and that you are in it for the long haul.

TIP: This doesn't mean that you have to blather on and on about how much you love each other. Keep it short, sweet, and well thought out. Your partner will love you for it.

Write those Vows in Advance

Do not leave the writing of your vows to the night before your wedding. Brides and grooms seem to not realize just how busy they will be in the few weeks before the wedding, which leaves almost no time for the most important part of the ceremony: the vows! If you want time to properly think them out and write them, as well as memorize them, then you definitely need to start writing them several months prior to your big day.

Know your Officiant

Unless your officiant is a priest or someone who has known you for years, then they really have no idea who they are and they have no idea who you and your husband are as a couple. Make sure that you fill the officiant in on how you want the wedding to appear, and tell him or her a good joke or two about you and your partner so that they can get an idea about who you are as a couple.

Get Cultural

Wedding ceremonies are a great venue to celebrate not only the joining of two families, but the joining of two cultures! Make sure that you do incorporate different aspects of one another's culture, if applicable, to give the day that extra special edge. Both sides of the family will love it.

TIP: Some families strongly warn couples that they should not marry outside of their culture or faith. Try to kindly tell them that you don't care about any difference in culture or religion and that you truly over this person you are marrying. After all, why else would you be making such a commitment?

Include Everybody

The reception is the big party at the end of the night, but the ceremony is the part that holds the most meaning. Your family on both sides will be more than thrilled to be part of the wedding ceremony. You can choose to have mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, or any other family members light the unity candle, or you can assign special readings to different family members. There are many ways that you can incorporate your wedding party into the ceremony.

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Help! How do I Write my Wedding Vows? Tue, 07 Dec 2010 19:32:40 +0000 galleca We all know how we feel about our partner, about the one we are about to marry. It's in our smile, it's in our eyes, but is it ever hard to put things we feel are good enough and even worthy of being read on our wedding day into words! If you are stressing over your vows, pause for a moment and check out these tips below to help you get the right words out in the right way.

Step 1: Check with the Officiant

Believe it or not, but some officiants have a strict policy against allowing a bride and groom to recite their own vows. This may be due to religion (Catholicism and Episcopal churches often require that you recite the traditional vows) or it may be due to their own personal preference, so make sure you check with the officiant and see if there are any exceptions to the vow-writing rules.

Step 2: Write them Together or Apart?

More and more couples are choosing to write their vows together rather than scurry off to some corner of the house and write them secretly and separately. Writing your vows together will allow you both to coordinate and compliment one another's vows, and you can also make the same promises to one another on our big day.

Writing you vows separately will definitely cause a lot of anticipation for your partner, which can add a lot of excitement to your ceremony. It really is just a personal choice.

Step 3: Outline your Vows

In order to stay on track with your vows that you want to write, it's important to scribble a rough outline of how you want you vows to come out. For example, you may want to start by talking about our first date, what made you fall in love with your fianc (or spouse), a special memory that you have both shared, and the reason why you want to marry him or her. Then you can follow up with the promises that you have chosen to make to your love and that you promise to keep.

Step 4: Keep it Short

As much as people do love listening to vows, if you have a long 10 minute speech there's a good chance that your guests will be taking a cat nap. A good plan is to keep your vows between 2-3 minutes in length so as to hold both your partner and your guest's attention.

Step 5: Recite it

A good way to see if you like the vows that you have written is to read them out loud, and to practice in front of a mirror. That way, you can also practice just how exactly you want to appear as you recite them to your partner, and you won't feel as embarrassed about how you may look in front of all of your many guests. Try to memorize as much of your vows as possible to make it extra special for your partner.

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The Questions You Need to Ask about the Ceremony Site Tue, 07 Dec 2010 18:54:40 +0000 galleca If you're new to this wedding business, like most of us are, then you may very well not know what exactly you should be looking for or what questions you should ask before you sign on the dotted line and agree to any sort of contract. Below are some of the most important questions that you should ask any ceremony site so that you can be sure that you will have the wedding of your dreams.

  • Is the wedding site available on the day (or around the time) you would like to be married?
  • Will there be any other ceremonies that are taking place on the day of the wedding' This can cause parking issues and added chaos to an already chaotic day, though you can also perhaps flit any floral arrangement costs or dcor costs with the other couple
  • How much do you charge' Can you fit within my budget, and are there any packages available to us?
  • What is the initial deposit?
  • What are the cancellation fees and what are your cancellation policies?
  • How long can we be on site and do you provide 'clean up' services?
  • How many guests can the ceremony site accommodate?
  • Where is parking available?
  • What sort of restrictions are there involving the dcor, photography, floral arrangements, and any other facets that pertain to weddings?
  • Can we throw rice or confetti' How about rose petals?
  • Can we hire on our own band or DJ to play music, or do you provide the musician?
  • Is it possible for you to provide the musical instruments, or will the band and/or DJ have to bring his or her own equipment?
  • Do you have any connections with vendors who may be able to provide us with a discounted price on food, music, alcohol/bartending, etc.?
  • Can we have candles' If so, is there a restriction on the type of candles we can have?
  • Does the provider provide any of the following: Seating, an arch, an aisle runner, candelabras or a canopy?
  • Is there a spot outdoors near the ceremony site where we can take nice outdoor photos of us and the wedding party?
  • Will the limo fit at the front of the ceremony site?
  • Do we need to use a particular wedding officiate, or can we bring our own?
  • Are here any restrictions regarding how the wedding party should be arranged as well as where they should sit or stand?

For religious couples:

  • Do we need to take any couples counseling courses prior to being married' If so, for how long and with who?
  • Do I, my fianc, or both of us need to belong to this particular church, congregation or synagogue in order to be married? If we do, for how long do we need to be a member?
  • Can we use the same dcor and floral arrangements that already exist in the church, congregational hall or synagogue for our wedding, free of charge?
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The Maid of Honor: What am I Supposed to Do? Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:28:21 +0000 galleca If you have been named the maid or matron of honor, congratulations! The bride as chosen you because she loves and trusts you with helping her plan her entire wedding. Feel like a lot of pressure' It is. The title 'maid of honor' carries with it numerous responsibilities and tasks that a bride may ask you to do, or just expect you to do. So just what is a maid of honor to do?

Before the Wedding Day

Think of yourself as the first line of support for your bride. As soon as you are named the maid of honor, you know that you will have a whole lot of tasks and responsibilities delegated to you so that the bride's wedding can go off without a hitch. Some of the many tasks that a maid of honor will have to undertake include:

  • Helping with the addressing of wedding invitations
  • Hosting a wedding shower. Wedding showers aren't nearly as popular as they used to be, so your bride may not want this. You can ask the bride first or try to pick up on clues and hints if you want to make your wedding shower a surprise.
  • Hosting the stagette or bachelorette party. Yes, it's all on you to plan this fun filled day or night prior to your bride's big day!
  • Attend all pre-wedding parties. This means the wedding shower as well as any other parties that the bride may have which includes other friends and family members, such as rehearsal dinners.
  • While at these parties and rehearsals it's important that you keep record of all of the gifts that have been given and who gave them to the bride. The bride will greatly appreciate this list when she has to write up her 'thank you' cards.
  • Choose out all outfits that the bridal party will be wearing. The bride will need a second opinion when she's choosing bridesmaids dresses, and the bridesmaids may need someone to help them choose the dresses too. This is where you, as the maid of honor, step in and offer your expert opinion! You will also be able to help out with accessories and finding a seamstress who will be able to adjust the dresses so each of the bridesmaids, and yourself, look absolutely stunning.
  • Ensure that the bride has made adequate transportation plans

On the Day of the Wedding

The wedding day is just as busy for the maid of honor as it is for the bride! Some of the things that you are expected to do on the day of the wedding include:

-'''''' Arriving early to the bride's house before anyone else. You will be the one who is going to help the most with her gown and also make sure that she has packed everything she needs to for the honeymoon. If your bride has a make up artist there, a hair dresser, and a photographer, you will be the one to help them out too so that the bride looks her best on her special day.

  • You can take the brides flowers to the wedding site for her, and also make sure that each of the bridesmaids has a bouquet
  • During the ring exchange part of the ceremony, you are to hold the bride's bouquet
  • At the reception, you are right to the left of the groom in the receiving line to greet all of the guests in attendance.
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What Is the Unity Candle Ceremony? Sun, 05 Dec 2010 15:10:59 +0000 galleca One thing that has become increasingly popular in the past ten to fifteen years is the unity candle ceremony. The purpose of the unity candle ceremony is to celebrate and symbolize the union of a husband and wife. Marriage, through this visual display, is being shown as a way to bring two people's lives together into one.

If you're thinking about having a unity candle ceremony, you can always request to have one at your wedding ceremony. First it's important to understand the set up for the unity candle ceremony.

The Set Up

The unity candle ceremony usually involves a set of three candles. One larger, singular candle is placed between two slimmer, smaller candles that are placed on either side. The candles are usually placed in holders (there are specialized unity candle holders if you are interested). The unity candle is usually set aside during the ceremony, and is only brought out during the specific unity candle ceremony.

The great thing about the unity candle ceremony is that there is no 'set' way to perform this ceremony; you can really set it up to look how ever you please. There is also no specific time in which the unity candle ceremony must be performed. Think about your own particular wedding ceremony and plot out a time line, and think of when the unity candle ceremony would be most fitting.

Before the Ceremony

Before the unity candle ceremony, you may have to find and purchase both the candles and the holders for your ceremony. Before the ceremony on the day of your wedding, you will have to have the unity candle ceremony area set up. You will probably want to try lighting the wicks of the candles before the ceremony and blow them out. This will ensure that the wicks of your candles will light easily during your ceremony.

During the Ceremony

As mentioned above, the unity candle ceremony is not a ritual that is set in stone. Some couples like to light the two smaller, separate candles prior to the ceremony to help represent themselves as individuals prior to their marriage. Others will light up these candles after the wedding is underway, or just before they light the one larger unity candle.

Another option is to have the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom light up the unity candles before the bride and groom enter the ceremony, or during. The mother of the groom and the mother of the bride may be escorted by an usher to light the candles prior to the bride and groom entering the ceremony, or if it is during the ceremony, the mother of the groom is escorted by an usher and the groom himself will often escort the mother of the bride.

If you have children in your current relationship, a great way to have them become a bit more involved in the wedding is to have them light the tapers or even the unity candles themselves.

However you choose to light the two smaller candles, once that is done, the bride and groom can choose when ever they like during the ceremony to light the one large marriage unity candle.

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Getting Married by the Justice of the Peace Mon, 29 Nov 2010 17:50:20 +0000 galleca Not everyone wants a religious ceremony. Actually, there are a growing number of marriages that do not even take place in a church or any other sacred or religious building. If you are thinking about having a justice of the peace marriage and leaving that religious component behind, it's a good idea to do a bit of investigating to see if you will be able to have that marriage (for example, some countries will allow for homosexual justice of the peace marriages, while others will not. Do your research beforehand).

In the United States

One of the key elements to becoming married by a justice of the peace in the United States is that you need to have a marriage license. Chances are you can obtain a marriage license from the very same building that your justice of the peace may be in. Take note that though the justice of the peace in the United States does perform the marriage ceremony, you will need to apply for this document on your own from your county or town's registry. Once you apply for this separate documentation, you will then need to mail this document into the town hall. It may take a couple of weeks from that point to actually obtain a marriage certificate, so start planning to get your marriage license at least a month prior to your actual wedding date.

You generally do not need to take any sort of blood tests if you are being married by a justice of the peace in the United States, but check in with your separate town or county to see what the rules may be, especially if you are marrying someone who is out of state or who is not from the United States.

In Canada

In Canada, one exciting change is that same-sex couples can become legally married and are recognized as having the same rights as any other married couple in the country. There are no residency requirements either, meaning that anyone from any where can come to Canada and get married. Some other countries that allow for same sex marriages are:

  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • South Africa

The only difference is that there are residency requirements in these countries which will complicate matters for anyone who is seeking a same-sex marriage.

To become married in Canada, the process is very similar to that of the United States. You need to apply for a marriage license, obtain the license, and then find a justice of the peace to perform the ceremony. You will also need a witness for your ceremony, and no medical tests are required.

In Australia

In Australia, the Justice of the peace can witness the signatures that are signed on the statutory declarations, certify that all copies of the documents are true, and they can witness a bride and groom's signatures on the Notice of Intended Marriage in Australia. A key difference in Australia, however, is that they cannot actually perform the wedding ceremony itself.

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