Thursday, October 31, 2013

Outdoor Weddings - 3 Great Backyard Wedding Themes

When the weather is warm and love is in the air, like in spring and summer, a lot of couples choose to tie the knot or just plain get married and settle on romantic outdoor weddings, and it is a great choice. It gives you a chance with a touch of flamboyance you can make you're outside wedding fit even a very modest budget, make a list of all the crazy ideas you have seen, heard about or just thought up. There are so many different styles and themes to choose from and if you use your own or a family back yard you can a wonderful day for just about dollars and change.

Decorate the yard with whatever floral things you can, set out some tables and chairs that you can beg, borrow or steal from your friends, garden torches can be set out round the yard as the garden torches are have oil in them make sure they are secure above all when the party is in full swing.

Borrow some coolers, get plenty of ice,- cold beer, wine and soda's are essential, if it is hot make sure you have a good supply of water or if you are having a Southern Wedding then it's plenty of iced tea. Your guests will be outside for practically the entire event so make sure they do not dehydrate.

Wedding cake you do not need an expensive wedding cake, have bake session and bake* some cup cakes, decorate them to match your theme and pile them high in tiers. Display on a small separate table adjacent to the buffet table.

If you have rarely baked before they are so simple to make take a trip to the store and purchase a few packets of cup cake mix and some paper cake cups and simply follow the instructions on the side of the box. You can always get your friends to come round and help and organise a baking party, a couple of glasses of wine and some packets of cup cake mix who could guess how they will come out, but at least it will be fun a great night}.

You might want to put some games out, if you have the space, just simple things like a bean bag throw, horse shoes or maybe shark fishing if you are doing the beach party thing, just a few games to make your guests relax and have enjoy themselves.

Here are my best three picks

Outdoor weddings Backyard BBQ

Practically everybody enjoys a BBQ and as we all know barbecuing is a man thing so that's one less responsibility for the bride to have to worry about. Barbecues are enormous fun and very casual, so there is no need, unless you want to of course and it is your day, what you say goes to have to spend loads on posh outfits for the ceremony, an elegant sundress for the bride and shorts and shirt for the groom. As your friends will have probably been in on the planning they will already know, but make sure everybody understand that it is casual dress ONLY.

Menu - have whatever BBQ favorites you wish on your menu, most likely hot dogs and burgers for the kids (big and small), as the guests will be serving themselves (well it is the maids day off after all) make the barbecue items light on the sauces, to help your guests keep relatively sauce free.

The BBQ needs to have a few salads, fresh fruit, chips and maybe salted snacks, don't forget Grandma's Potato Salad recipe - it could be your Mothers/Sisters/Auntie's what I am trying to say is that if any member of the family or any friend has ever passed on to you a recipe for any salad dish, then use it now or you may never hear the end of it.

Desserts are again an opportunity to use old family or friends dessert recipes, just remember that it may be hot out in the yard so take care with ice-cream, but whatever you like is good.

Try the same menu and buffet for all these three themes, possibly add some shrimp to the BBQ if you are having the surfin' theme.

Outdoor weddings Country style

This one is tremendous fun and if you have the right location so inexpensive to do, what you could do with is a few straw bales and some preferably red and white check cloths and a homemade "hitching post" same as in the old western movies in front of the saloon, where the bride and groom can get "hitched" (married). The menu and set up of the backyard can be identical to the barbeque theme, dress for the bride and groom can be very nearly the same with the possible exception of Jeans for the groom and a simple wide hat try linen for the authentic look for the bride. Some country music and you're good to go.

Outdoor weddings Surfin' Party

Make your backyard into a cool surfin' beach, its incredibly romantic and fairly inexpensive, the tables and chairs that have you begged or borrowed, simply set them haphazardly round your yard and cover them with blue table clothes (disposable paper cloths are fine).

To get little weight on top to hold the cloths in place, get some inexpensive glass vases, clear straight sided are best, part fill them with sand, put a plain white household candle (nothing fancy) into the sand, then put some pebbles or shells onto of the sand.

If you do not want to buy any} and you can't borrow a few vases, simply use} large pickle jars (lets face it who is going to have a use for 10 or so glass vases after the parties over). Take the pickle jars clean them out thoroughly, purchase a roll of clear blue plastic film from you local craft store, put on the inside of the jars then do the sand and candle thing, for an extra bit of style glue a few shells onto the outside of each jar.

The buffet and cake table can be given some flair with sand and pebbles, to stop the sand getting into the food, you might think about spraying it with some mounting glue, from the craft shop to stop it spreading everywhere. If you are unable to get the glue, try my mother's old trick and spray it with inexpensive "extra" hold hair spray.

The candles on the tables will give your evening party some real atmosphere, you will probably want a few garden torches as well, but almost certainly fewer than for the other two themes.

Music to match the theme and then it's surf up and its ready to party

Weddings should be taken seriously whether you have your actual ceremony in the yard or a more traditional ceremony at a different location, however once the ceremony is done, then relax enjoy your day with friends and family, they will have a ball and be talking about it for ages.

Second Wedding Anniversary Gift

Often it is just the married couple that buy gifts for one another on their anniversary, but if you really want to make them feel special then why not give them a second wedding anniversary gift that they will remember?

Sometimes choosing the right gift can be difficult, especially when you are trying to decide on whether to go the more traditional route or to go with a modern gift.

Traditional Second Wedding Anniversary Gifts

The traditional gift idea is cotton. When thinking of something cotton, the first things that may come to mind are sheets and clothes. If you don't want to buy these gifts for the couple yourself then you may consider giving them a gift certificate for a clothing store or bed and bath store and allowing them to choose something that means the most to them. If you specifically want them to go with the cotton them then let them know in a cute way on their anniversary card or even mention to them the traditional wedding anniversary gift ideas.

Think about the couple and use your imagination and you could also come up with many other great ideas related to cotton.

Modern Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Today though one may also want to think about a more modern theme for the lovely, young couple. For a second wedding anniversary gift this means going with something digital. Along these lines you will want to think of something that represents the time that this couple have spent together and what has led up to this special occasion. What is a good gift idea that will bring to mind all those wonderful memories?

One great modern second wedding anniversary gift ideas to create the couple a website that represents what they have been through together over the years and also what they mean to friends and family.

Today social networking is becoming very popular online and it has also provided all the necessary tools you need to make a really memorable second wedding anniversary gift and share this, not only with the couple but also with their friends and family.

Bring a tear to the couple's eye by creating a page that contains audio clips of "their" song, photos of happy memories, video clips, and a space for friends and family to comment on their page and say what the couple has meant to them. You don't even need any great web design skills to set up this page that will get everyone talking.

How do you want to present your perfect second wedding anniversary gift page? You can search through the internet to find a social networking site that has what you want or I would suggest using This website is specifically designed for creating events pages like your second wedding anniversary gift page as well as concerts, parties, and more.

Events Listed is free to join which means that you can not only present the best wedding anniversary gift but it also doesn't need to cost you a cent. You will be able to add photos, videos and all the usual stuff but you will also be given a way to promote this page to everyone you want to - contacts in your address book, people you have linked to on blogs, social networking websites and other online communities. Get hold of everyone who knows the couple and share this gift with them too.

This perfect second wedding anniversary gift for the modern couple is sure to get people talking for years and be treasured by the couple as a beautiful memory of their time together over the years.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Planning Your Perfect Summer Wedding - A Trail Ride Into Your Future Might Be Your Perfect Wedding

This is not for everyone. Not everyone rides, and even many who do will want a far more traditional wedding. It's difficult to maneuver a formal wedding with sit-down dinner for 250 if you've got horses involved!

But not everyone wants a sit-down dinner for 250. And some people really like the fun of the ride. So how do you carry this off, and what do you get from it aside from a nice day. (Which is not nothing!)

You may just want to have a very small wedding and invite only people who ride. If you've got the right families and the right friends, you're golden. Not everyone will have limited their nearest and dearest to people who ride.

  • Start the day: Saddle up and ride into your future. You probably don't want to make this an incredibly arduous ride. It can be fun, and for once it could be rather symbolic. You can do a Point A to Point A ride and return to where you started for the wedding. Or you can ride to Point B and get married there. Where you go from there needs to be carefully considered!
  • Venue: Choose a venue that is an easy ride away from a good starting point. Make sure that it's a venue that non-riders can get to by car. You want your grandparents and your college roommates to be there when you and your beloved make your wedding vows. Make sure it's a venue where you can have both your wedding ceremony and your reception. This can be a lodge or a meadow along a trail.
  • Clothing: this has to be thought about. The groom can make any number of small accommodations to his clothes and still be fairly formal. The bride is going to have to work harder at this, if she doesn't want to ride side-saddle! You may want a two-piece wedding dress so that you can trade your bridal jeans for a skirt that compliments your fabulous boots! Meadows are no place for floor length white dresses with a train. And tulle traps insects, so you might want to avoid that!
  • Direction: This is a wonderful place to have either a wedding planner or a good friend who will NOT be riding to your wedding venue. It's a great idea to have someone on site organizing the group for your arrival. Someone has to make sure the chairs are set up. And yes, most wedding ceremonies need at least some chairs or other seating options. The bride and groom want to ride up on their horses, hand their reins to people who will take care of settling the horses after the ride, have a glass of water, comb their hair, adjust their clothing and get married.
  • Timing: When you have your trail-side wedding will depend on a lot of things. Where are you spending the night? How are you going to get there? Are you going to want to ride somewhere after the wedding? Is it an easy place for your guests to get to and from? You don't want them on an awkward ride home down unfamiliar roads in the dark.
  • Horses: Whose going to handle the horses? You need someone to be in charge of this. How will the horses get back to where they need to be after the wedding? As the bride and groom, you are not always going to want be in charge of things like that. As much as you love your horses, today's focus is your wedding ceremony and the promises you are making to one another. Plan ahead.
  • Food: What food is right for a trail-ride? I would want a barbecue. You'll want what you want, but keep the food consistent with the theme. (I don't need to tell you this, but you'll want to keep the alcohol to a minimum. Any time there are large animals involved, their safety and yours are paramount.)
  • Lodging: This is a great wedding to have as a weekend wedding. If you can gather all your guests at one place it's a great way to build community. Obviously you're outside people, so you'll be able to find fun ways to spend time. If everyone's going to be there, do you want to finish the evening with a campfire as the full moon rises? (Something else to check!)
  • Back-up: What do you want to do if it rains? Obviously, there are places in the country where this would be less of a problem, but you do need to know what your options are! you might be willing to ride in the rain, but do your guests want to sit out and watch you get married in the rain? Will the grill work in the rain?
  • Honeymoon: Keep riding! Or kiss the horses goodbye and fly to Fiji. Do what's best for you!
  • Metaphor: The trail ride presents lots of material to work with for the wedding ceremony, your wedding vows and then throughout your marriage. Is marriage a trail ride for you? Are there challenges and beautiful vistas? Quiet companionship and conversation? Laughter and rainbows? Build the images during the ride and the wedding ceremony and they will work for your throughout your marriage.
Do something you want to do for your wedding! This wedding will be smaller than some, because not everyone is going to be the perfect guest for this wedding. It will probably be less expensive, if for no other reason than you're not going to want a couture gown (although your boots could be expensive.)! You're going to want good food, but this is unlikely be the most expensive caterer on your wedding planner's vendor list. But whatever else it is, it might just be perfect for you and your community. Your community wants you to have your perfect wedding just as they want to support your marriage.

Shop Online - Bargains For Lovers, Brides, Weddings and Summer

Hot days draw people outside. There is gardening to be done, lawns to be mowed, cars to be washed and then there are many other distractions to take you away from your computer. Its now much easier to visit the local malls, go shopping with the family, take a swim, sunb ake, go to the theater, take in a movie and so on.
Its also holiday time while school is out and kids are running around playing and being noisy. With all this going on its time to get away and that's what many people do. They abandon their home and take off to the seaside resorts, take a trip to the mountains or visit relatives, perhaps in another state.
With so little online activity those who market online are obviously nervous. Their income has dropped considerably. The money is going elsewhere but they still have bills to pay, wages to cover and other costs associated with their enterprises.
That's why summer is the best time to buy things you need. From computers to perfume, furniture to swimming pools, food to flowers, and virtually anything you can name its on sale. Some Companies have marked their prices down by up to 80% and doing a lot more to get people to shop online.
Summer is also the time for love. Weddings are in the air and organisation of such events is in hot swing. Babies are being born and have to be catered for as well. Children and adults alike are in party mode and whether its birthdays, christenings, marriage, a house warming or anything else you have to spend money.
So go online and check out the bargains. Get into the swing of shopping through the Internet rather than in busy malls. Let your mouse do the work as you relax and have more time to spend outdoors doing fun things with the family. If you are hosting a party or updating your furniture, improving your d├ęcor, changing your wardrobe, looking for a good health program or engaging in anything else for which you need to buy goods this is the best way to go about it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Indian Wedding Dresses

For most people a wedding is the celebration of a man and woman joining together in holy matrimony. That is, unless you happen to be a Delhiite or more specifically a good 'Dilli Ki Aunty', in which case a wedding is the event of a lifetime! The success of the wedding is measured, not by the long happy married life that the bride and groom share, but by the amount of money that their parents shell out to prove their worth - which is primarily done through decorations and clothing.

Wedding dresses are much regionalized and each state and a district within have its own specialty when it comes to the dressing style. From the Coorgi half-saris to the expensively embroidered clothing of the Lucknowis, India has its own flavour of clothing in each place. The Bride and the Bridegroom start their wedding shopping at least 2 months in advance so as to get the perfect choice and of course, fit. Tailors are still preferred to ready-made clothing even today. To capitalize on this market, special "Wedding Malls" have opened up in every major city which acts as a one-stop station for all kinds of dresses. In today's contemporary weddings, one finds regional attires only on the main marriage day; while rest of the days see designer fit attires. Special "Marriage Collections" are all out there to exploit the market - not only for the bride and the groom, but also for the attenders.

It is an affair so extravagant that guests are probably more conscious about their dressing and find marriages a platform to showboat their complex dressing sense. And hence, the entire wedding ground is transformed into a set straight out of the movies. One can see miles of fabric flowing across the entire area (all 3 acres of it), and the lights lending the whole place a fantastical air. But what really makes these weddings the shiniest, glitziest, sparkling affairs of the season is not the decor but the dresses donned by the guests. A good 'Dilli ki Aunty' never disappoints when it comes to the art of dressing up for a wedding.

Wedding season is very stressful for the tailors in Delhi, because every 'Aunty' worth her salt is out to get the trendiest wedding attire of the season. Size and age is never a barrier, what is in vogue must be worn by one and all. So what if the elegant Anarkali is meant for the thin and tall, our rotund 'Aunties' are never going to be left behind. While the slim look elegant in their yards of flowy fabric, the aunties do their best to look like miniature circus tents. They even like accentuating the air of festivity by choosing bright clashing colours. Their Kurtas are covered in Swarovski, and rhinestones. Their blouses are barely there pieces of fabric that stay on by sheer force of will. The sarees are made of the sheerest of fabrics, and mind you most weddings happen during peak winter! Imagine battling freezing temperatures draped in nothing more than 9 yards of the thinnest chiffon known to mankind.

As said, weddings are about food and clothing - neither can fall short for either to survive.

Wedding Favors? - Ideas For The Perfect Gift!

In spite of the fact that planning a wedding is a very stressful activity there are some aspects of the wedding planning which are a great deal of fun, especially selecting the wedding favors. Many a couple might spend a great deal of time, money and energy on planning things like location of the wedding, food, etc but they fail to pay enough attention to the favors given out which are actually as important as any other aspect. Actually the favors should be paid more attention to as they are the mementos from the wedding and they remind people of the wedding on seeing it whereas the food and the location are forgotten about soon after the wedding is over.

Books make a really good wedding favor. Many people don't even consider giving books as favors but actually they make great wedding favors. This is true if the book chosen to be given as a favor really matches with the theme of your wedding which would be good depiction of the undying love that you and your partner harbor for each other. A book on inspiring love poems would do.

Donations made in the name of your guest given as a return favor for the guests would be very unique. The conventional wedding favors include giving knick-knacks and ersatz which aren't very durable. These type of wedding favors after having been used for some time just lose their shine or luster and are just thrown around at home. Is this what you would want to happen to that article you gave to your guests as a memory forever of your special wedding. Donations are definitely better off.

Items such as t-shirts or clothing with the couple's name printed on them would make a very interesting favor. These kind of gifts are certainly not common however they serve as a gift which would always remind one of the joyous occasion of the wedding. Maybe your guests would not appreciate the gift once they are running errands at your wedding but when they get back home and sit back to take a look at the favor you gave them definitely would like the gift a lot. One can use permanent markers too to write a brief message on the t-shirt or cloth to make it even more special.

Gifting spices would also make a very unique favor to give your guests. You can make it even more personal by attaching a string of satin or cloth to each spice and include a line saying how that person has been responsible for spicing up your life.

Yet another idea of a different wedding favor would be to gift the guests of your marriage with a bottle of you and your spouse's favorite beer or you could even gift a bottle of a classic wine or very seasoned champagne as a favor. However the beer would be much more economical and you can actually get everyone one of the best quality wines however if you are really into quality and tradition it is always best to get the guests a bottle of fine French wine or champagne. If planning time is there you could have labels of your spouse's name and your's and the day and date of your marriage affixed to the bottle so that it would seem very sentimental and special.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Planning Your Perfect Wedding and Perfect Marriage - Leave Time For Lovemaking!

For all that it's the lovemaking and the sex that get us into the whole romance and marriage thing, for some reason lovemaking is often the first thing that disappears under stress. One of the other of you is tired or stressed and the only access we have to emotion as we're planning this fabulous wedding is often irritation. And so we pull away, starting what can easily become a pattern in our relationship. Sigh. It's not helpful: not for either of you or for your marriage. Because in addition to not having sex, you/we/'way too many of us are shutting ourselves off from intimacy. Marriage is about intimacy!

Now, don't misunderstand the Wedding Priestess, lovemaking is not just about sex. But too many of us close ourselves off from the other parts of lovemaking. We let the kissing, the glancing, the hand-holding, the back-rubbing go. Because it takes time. Because it takes seeing our partner. Because it takes opening ourselves up. Often we let the sex become a shorthand for lovemaking rather than the middle of it. Because we're busy, because we assume that knowing one another means the other stuff isn't necessary! Ha! Marriages thrive when partners think the other hung the moon and aren't shy about showing it.

Conversations that happen after sex are often the most intimate conversations we have. Oh sure, there's the "g'nite dear." Not all sex or lovemaking needs to be of the epic variety. But consider an afternoon of loving glances that leads into delightful physical intimacy. What kind of wedding vows would you create with no clothes and no barriers between your hearts? You'd create the vows you wanted to live into, that's what kind.

The sweet, soft openness of physically intimate people is the most amazing place to create your wedding ceremony and celebration. In that place you know what matters and it's not just wedding favors and bridal headgear. You want to look nice, you want people to have a wonderful time, but mostly you want them to know how much you love one another and then you want them to sign up to support you.

Practice your lovemaking. Physical and emotional intimacy takes work. Surprising your lover in the shower to wash his/her back only works when no one is stressing about the presentation they have to give in 45 minutes. Surprise, lovemaking works really well when you're paying attention to what's going on with your partner. When you do the work, you get the payoff and a sweetly loving partner is the most wonderful gift in the world. And you know what? You'll like yourself when you're a sweetly loving partner. Do the work!

P.S. If you're sleeping apart from your partner before the wedding, don't overestimate the power of some stolen moments driving each other crazy. Play with one another. Don't make the days before the wedding be just about the wedding, let them be about you! Enjoy your love. You've got a lifetime ahead of you. It might as well be wonderful!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wedding Dress Tips - What You Should Consider

Are you about to get married? For most women, this is the day that they've been planning for since they were young girls. If you feel the same, then it's understandable why you're out seeking advice, help and support to make your dream wedding a reality.

Let's face it. When it comes to wedding dress, most men just can't seem to understand the importance of picking the perfect wedding dress. True, you're only going to be wearing that gown once in your life, and your groom may still feel the inclination to tie the knot even if you showed up dressed in a potato sack, but you very well know that one of the most important days of your life merits an exceptionally special dress.

Top Tips to Choose the Perfect Wedding Dress

There are so many wedding details that you need to take care of, but it's equally important that you take the time to find the perfect wedding gown for you. To help you out, we've come up with a list of wedding dress tips for how you can look your best on your wedding day.

Tip 1: Is constantly going to your groom for tips getting you down? Find a female friend or relative who will gladly accompany you on your trips to the bridal shop.

Unless your groom is female fashion-savvy, he's not going to be much help when you ask him about the perfect wedding dress collar or neckline for you. Find a female companion or companions that you trust enough for second and third opinions.

Tip 2: Set a budget, and try to follow it.

Wedding dress budgets are hardly ever exact. You may need to spend more or you might end up spending less than you expected. The point is having a budget in mind can help you control the urge to splurge on your very special dress. Try your hardest to follow your dress budget, and pray that you find a great wedding dress bargain that will make your groom proud.

Tip 3: Consider the color of your gown.

You can stick with tradition and go for white, but if you want to add some color to your gown, then by all means, find the perfect color for you. Today, a number of modern brides are choosing colored wedding dresses instead of plain white ones. Stand out in the sea of white-clad brides by going for an eye-popping color.

You may want to take the season into consideration when picking out your wedding dress color, or you can simply go for what flatters your complexion best. Also be prepared for possible adverse reactions from your traditional guests. Console yourself with the thought that it's your wedding, and you can wear blue or even black if you want to.

Tip 4: Find the right wedding dress length.

Yes, wedding gowns can be short or long depending on the type of ceremony you're having and where you're planning on having it. There's a very basic rule when it comes to choosing the perfect wedding dress length, and it's to base your dress length on how formal the ceremony is.

If you're having a formal ceremony, then floor-length is the way to go. If it's an ultra-formal wedding, then you may want to add a cathedral train to your dress. For informal weddings, you can choose the hemline that flatters you best.

Short, or at least shorter wedding dresses are advised for casual and outdoor weddings for practical reasons. You don't want to get mud, twigs, leaves or sand on your floor-length designer wedding dress, right?

Tip 5: Pick the appropriate and the most flattering sleeve-length and style for your dress.

By appropriate, we're merely reminding you that a winter wedding may not be the best time to go for a halter, plunging and backless number unless you're planning on wearing over clothes.

If you're feeling conscious about your arms or your shoulders, then you might want to keep those problem areas covered. There are numerous sleeve styles and sleeve lengths to choose from; simply pick the one that fits the occasion best while making you feel pretty and comfortable in your dress.

Tip 6: Know the importance of finding the right skirt style and dress shape for your body.

Much like wedding dresses, brides come in different shapes and sizes. Take into consideration your physical assets, your overall body shape and your problem areas when making your choice of skirt style and dress shape.

For example, if you're shaped like an inverted triangle, with prominent shoulders and small hips, then a ball gown would balance your proportions creating the perfect silhouette and hourglass figure.

Tip 7: Determining the best neckline for you.

Your wedding gown's neckline can definitely affect your gown's overall appearance. You have numerous neckline options, but it's all a matter of finding the most suitable and flattering neckline for your frame.

Remember, in the same way that you need to take your assets, body shape and problem areas into consideration when picking out dress shapes and skirt styles, you also need to look at these factors when choosing your wedding dress neckline.

If you're planning on showing off your arms, your beautiful shoulders and pronounced collar bones, and you have an ample bosom to pull off the look, then the strapless gown is an excellent neckline choice. If you tend towards the flat side, then you can enhance your bust area with a bateau neckline.

Tip 8: Look for the right fabric.

A pure satin ball gown would not stand on its own without layers of tulle under it or hoops built into the dress. Your choice of fabric could directly affect your gown's overall look. If you tend to be uncomfortable or if you tend to feel itchy when you're wearing crisp and net-like fabrics, then go for the breezy and lightweight ones.

There are so many different fabrics to choose from. A way to familiarize yourself with these fabrics is to ask your wedding planner or the bridal boutique owner to help you distinguish between the different fabric types available.

Tip 9: Decide on whether or not you want or need a wedding train.

A wedding train means extra-fabric and detailing, which translates to paying more for your wedding dress. Unless your wedding is ultra-formal, you're not going to need a train.

If your heart is set on having a train that trails gracefully behind you, then pick your train length based on practicality. Your wedding train can decrease your mobility, making it difficult to maneuver between chairs and tables during the reception. A detachable wedding train is most advisable if you're planning on doing a lot of dancing and walking after the actual wedding ceremony.

Tip 10: Be Wary of wedding gown sizing and necessary alterations.

You'll find out more about this when you actually head to the bridal boutique to be measured.

You may already know your actual size, but don't be too surprised if they tell you that you're a size or two bigger than you thought.

This is not to say that they have faulty sizing charts; it only means that wedding dress boutiques and high street shops have a different way of determining your dress size. Your dress size is based on your body's largest dimension.

If you have prominent hips and a smaller bust area, then your wedding dress size will be based on your hip size.

Once you get your wedding gown, you need to check if alterations need to be made for a perfect fit. Most brides find that alterations are necessary to get the size right. Ask the boutique or shop owner for estimates on how much you're going to have to pay for dress alterations to determine if you're getting a great bargain or a rotten deal.

Tip 11: If you think your dress needs that extra sparkle and glam then go for some decorations and embellishments.

Wedding dress embellishments and decorations have one special purpose, and that's to bring something extra to your gown.

Additional decorations and embellishments are a great way of making your dress even more unique and fashionable.

A basic gown would look great with additional beading and perhaps some embroidery. If you want a more feminine gown, then adding a bow, some ribbons or three-dimensional flowers can give your dress the boost needed to make it an amazing and personalized wedding dress.

Find a great seamstress or wedding dress designer to help you pick out the right detailing for your gown.

Tip 12: Decide if you need over clothes for your wedding gown.

If you're having a winter wedding, and your heart is set on a strapless, A-Line, princess dress, then a great coat or bolero will help you keep warm during the wedding ceremony.Keep in mind that there are also some churches that require brides to wear modest attire for the ceremony. Rayon fringed shawls and floor-length feathered coats are excellent ways of keeping covered during the actual ceremony.On your way to your reception, simply slip out of these over clothes to show the full beauty of your wedding gown.Follow these helpful tips and keep these reminders in mind when dress-shopping, to make your hunt for the perfect wedding dress a more enjoyable and less stressful experience.

What to Wear to Your Daughter's Wedding: Formal Wear for Dads

Black tie events like weddings should be treated with formality and class. Formal events like your daughter's wedding usually require a tuxedo, which is probably the best and safest attire to wear. A classic tuxedo is perfect for the father of the bride. Also remember to wear patent leather shoes, and make sure that they are well-kept and shined. It is important to wear the most common and appropriate formal attire for men. Classic colors like black and grey are the usual options for most black tie weddings.

In most countries and cultures, the father of the bride usually walks with her down the aisle to symbolize the act of giving her away to her groom and husband-to-be. Be sure to make this walk memorable by wearing the most dashing tuxedo or three-piece suit. However there are also cultures with their own interpretation of formal wear for men (or in this case, the father of the bride). Make sure that you wear whatever is suited for you and the wedding theme.

Provided that you have chosen the best tuxedo ensemble and bought (or shined) your best pair of black leather shoes, also remember that the whole look won't be complete if you disregard the other essentials. Personal hygiene and physical appearance go hand in hand. If you want to be the proud dad, then look like a proud dad. Wearing the most expensive suit and shoes will not give you justice if you show up to the wedding with stubbles on your face. Make sure that you get a clean shave on the morning of the wedding. Also make sure that you wear a little manly perfume, and you're all set to send your daughter to her groom down the aisle.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Choosing the Wedding Veil That's Right For You

Weddings are a very auspicious and beautiful occasion and brides are very happy on this day. Some even say that these are the best days of their lives. There are many brides who love weddings and have been planning their weddings since the day they were born, literally. Thus, the wedding clothes really make a big part of the entire wedding and brides will go all the way in order to make sure that they have the best of clothes for the day.

All their accessories, flowers, shoes, and clothes and extra clothing materials have to be in place and have to be matching with each other. They try and arrange these from months before. Some can even get them custom made while many use the wedding clothes and veils of their mothers.

Wedding veils are used as a tradition in every wedding and they are placed in front of the bride's face as she walks up the altar towards her future husband. He has to take off the veil after the ceremony is over, and kiss her as finality right after they are pronounced as man and wife.

These wedding veils hold a very special place in the brides' lives and they even go months looking for the perfect veil. These veils have to match the wedding dress and many a times are made together too, in order to avoid any kind of last minute confusion. You can choose from a wide range of wedding veils.

Some veils are made of pure net or lace. The advantage of these will probably be the fact that they are very beautiful to look at however, many a times they are too thick and hide the bride's face that is why many people do not prefer to wear them.

An ivory veil is also something that is quite common among brides and looks very pretty but sometimes becomes a little difficult to handle. Other than this, it looks beautiful and many brides love wearing this.

A cathedral veil is something that might be very traditional and have a very old school kind of a look. That is the only thing that keeps many brides away from this. They all want to wear modern and hep looking veils these days. But those who still believe in tradition or want to go for the traditional wedding gowns and themes stick to these kind of veils.

Veils and tiara are both a great pick for head accessories for weddings and brides spend a great amount of time looking for them either online or in stores here and there because they do not want any compromises with them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The History of Bride and Groom

In 1604, the word Bridegroom came into being for the need to call a man about to be married something other than, "the poor soul," or, "the doomed one." The word is derived from two words, The "Bride" which simply means the woman about to be married and in some dominantly male run countries, the bride means, a screaming, and slave-driving banshee from the pits of Hades itself, and the word "Guma" which is roughly translated from old English as "boy." The bridegroom, on the day of his wedding, usually wore clothing specific to the type of religion, the time of the day, or the uniform of whatever branch of service or position he held with a government status. We have since shortened the word to the simple "groom," which is what many bachelors believe any man would have to be to get married.

In those days, it was not uncommon for the groom to have the final say in matters of the ceremony, especially as to where and when it would be held and who would be the Celebrant. The Celebrant is someone other than clergy or government official who is licensed to perform ceremonies if the couple or party wishes not to involve church or state. This person is now more commonly referred to as the officiant and can perform many types of ceremonies, including weddings. The groom and the bride's father would usually hammer out the details of the wedding and then inform the rest of the family.

The word Teutonic, which translates as "cook" is believed to be the origin of the word "Bride," although that has been hotly debated by, you guessed it, women around the world as not being the origin of the word. Many women feel the word, Bride, actually came from the words, "Beauty," and, "Iconic." But that could be simple hearsay. Almost every culture has elaborate and beautiful wedding apparel that the bride is required to wear on her wedding day during the ceremony and in some cultures; there is specific clothing that she is required to wear for a set number of days after. In this country however, after the wedding, the bride is required to wear nothing at all.

Today, the bride and the shortened and more accepted form of the original, the groom, have the option of planning their own wedding or even hiring someone to do this planning for them under their close supervision. This person, known as an event planner or more specifically, a wedding planner is a special type of person who is genetically grown in a test tube for the sole purpose of saving young couples a ton of money, and to prevent them from making terribly time-consuming mistakes while planning for their nuptials.

These planners are grown with built in wedding planning technology and can actually produce wedding favors or unique wedding favors from some secret place in their bodies which also saves the couple a ton of money. The laboratories that make these super-planners are called Planners-R-Us and cannot be found anywhere due to the secrecy of their technology. The only thing that is really known about the company is that it has more than quadrupled its output of wedding planners and is also coming out with a new line of divorce negotiators. It is hoped by the stockholders that this super-negotiation technology will make divorce lawyers obsolete by the year 2020.

Wedding planners are easy to find by looking in your local phone book or typing wedding planners, followed by the name of your city and state, into any search engine. It has been rumored that the divorce negotiators can be found by hanging a white business shirt with lipstick on the collar from any open window.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Choosing What To Wear When Attending A Medieval Wedding

You've been invited to attend a medieval wedding and would like to dress up in a period costume, but you're at a loss of what to choose. Before you run out and purchase anything, you should first find out if the wedding is going to be a strictly peasant style medieval wedding or is the couple focusing on a wedding that is more suited to high nobles, lords and kings. Showing up in peasant garb when everyone else is in rich-looking outfits would certainly be awkward.

A lot of couples will put together a wedding combining the two social classes. They may have a simple wedding ceremony outside in nature (as the villagers and local farmers would do) and then move on to a medieval feast in a hall decorated to look like a banquet held in a castle. In this case, you could wear a costume that falls somewhat between the two classes, perhaps selecting the attire appropriate for well-to-do merchants, lesser nobles, royal knights, or a lady-in-waiting.

On the other hand, the couple may elect to have an elaborate church wedding and then have their reception at some outdoor venue, such as a park or local gardens. If such is the case, you need to keep in mind that royalty did not "party in the park" when it came to such an important celebration. Dressing down would be more appropriate choosing attire more fitting to the lower classes such as a serving wench, a lesser knight, a monk and a villager.

Just like today's modern world, clothing styles changed rapidly with each generation. Be that as it may, there are still some common elements through most of the styles. Men and women often had certain items of clothing that were worn by both genders.

The fabric used for medieval clothing was heavier than it is today. If you plan on sewing your own costumes, using upholstery fabrics would be best. Keep in mind that pastel colors were nonexistent at this time. The colors should be vibrant, rich and deep. Choose fabrics that contain deep blues, emerald or forest green, deep reds and burgundies, ocher, bright yellows and chocolate browns.

The kirtle (undergarment) can be of a lighter weight material if you wish (if it is going to be entirely covered), but your cotehardie (the main outer garment) should be "rich" looking. Choose a suitable fabric for this such as velvet, brocade or damask. These garments were worn by both men and woman, with the man's being shorter in length.

Take care in choosing the fabric pattern. Medieval clothing did not contain stripes, polka dots or small patterns. The occasional outfit may have had large diamond shapes, but this was rare.

By the fourteenth century buttons began to make an appearance and were created using small balls of cloth which were then stuffed with wool. Before buttons were invented, people used leather laces, ribbons and other such ties to secure clothing.

Peasants, villagers and other workers didn't have the money or access to the fine, rich materials that the nobles wore. Instead, their clothing consisted of rough wool and linen garments. If you elect to wear peasant garb, choose attire made from linen, cotton or other such materials so you will remain comfortable.

It is usually more feasible and affordable to rent a medieval costume. However, the downside is that unless you live in a large city that has a variety of local costume rental shops or a professional theatre from which you may be able to buy or rent your attire, your costume selection may be limited. Buying a medieval costume online or sewing your own would probably be a better choice.

Weddings - You Are Not Who I Married Yesterday

Holy matrimony the wedding, a special day in two peoples lives where they get to exchange vows pledging their undying love for one another.

Infinity together forever.

Love honour and obey through sickness and in health are just a few promises that you verbally sign a contract to with the words I will and I do.

But do you?

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so get it right. Divorce rates are quite high where grounds for parting of the ways are due to infidelity, and following strongly behind we have high up on the list for ending a marriage, is the day in question itself where you were prompted by a man of the cloth at the altar to take this man or woman to be your lawful wedded husband/wife. How could this be cited in a divorce court you may well ask?

The reason being is your partner does not see you today as the person he/she married yesterday.

At the time of courtship when all the wooing was done, everyone one of us would take care in our appearance. How we would dress to impress, hair styled to perfection, and you would never find a hole in the sock or stockings of your girlfriend/boyfriend. But then the inevitable happens when the gold band is placed on the finger, we incline to let our image and appearance go, it is now that the partner sees you as an intruder/impostor in his/her life.

He/she feels let down as this is not the person they pledged to stay with for the rest of their lives therefore a great excuse for divorce proceedings. There will be times when we can not be dressed up to the nines due to work commitments, like holding down a busy job or being a full time mum and dad. But you owe it to yourself and that of your partner to keep the marriage alive and if that means being flavour of the month, then so be it.

You need to dedicate a little spare time to yourself so you can make an effort to go back to the days of your courtship, try to do this at least once a month.

Watch the reaction from your husband/wife when you enter the room as your old self. You will find your partner will have no problem living with this stranger for another month as long as he/she can look forward to this regular rendezvous

Spice up the occasion with some flattering underwear like in the days gone by, not with your Wee Willie Winkie favourite nightgown. Add a little sparkle to the evening with a glass of champagne or sip it from a slipper, what ever takes your fancy. Remember this is your night where memories will come flooding back, and rest assured the memories will be all good. Should there have been any bad then there would have been no ceremony.

Find the time to start loving again, you will love yourself for it and so will your husband/wife.

Wishing all a true mega life and health on your wedding day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Power of Garden & Spring Wedding Favors

Nobody doubts that it's important that the decorations and clothing your bridesmaids be color coordinated at your wedding. But something that many people overlook, which is equally important, is that your wedding favors match your overall look and theme. In a certain sense, garden wedding favors and spring wedding favors are like, however, you must make sure that the specific color shades match the setting of your wedding as well as your wedding theme. Depending on your weather and where in the country you are, a spring wedding may or may not take place outside. A garden wedding almost certainly will. And even though both the garden and spring events will make heavy use of color and flowers, the colors will be slightly different. It's essential that your spring wedding favors or garden wedding favors match your decorations, flower arrangements, and the wedding party's attire, as well as all other aspects of the wedding.

Let's talk first about spring wedding favors. The colors you normally associate with Easter are the colors you will use for your favors. This means lots of pastels, which are light and eye-pleasing. The soft colors will not pull attention from the bride, where it should be. Some preferred color choices for your spring wedding favors will include pink, lavender or light turquoise. On the other hand, avoid yellows and oranges as well as darker hues. Blue and gray in particular are terrible choices.

Now for garden wedding favors: Most wedding planners agree that color coordination for outdoor weddings can be a nightmare. It's true that a garden wedding is romantic and sophisticated and beautiful, but many things can go wrong in the color department. As an example, just a small thing like the sun hiding behind the clouds might change the entire look of things from what you had planned. To see how dramatic this difference can be, all you need to do is look at a person in a dimly-lit room, and then compare with how that same person on the same night wearing the same clothes looks in a brightly-lit room.

This even holds true if some people from the wedding party are seated in the shade. None of this is meant to scare you, just to warn you to be careful what colors you choose for your garden wedding favors. Make sure they fit the theme but are neutral enough that the whole look might change with a change in the weather. Keep in mind, too, that there's some variation from the use of colors from the spring wedding we've already discussed. Many times pastel colors don't look right outside. For the reasons above, their true colors might change too easily depending on the weather. Shade, sunlight, even other vegetation can too easily clash with pastel colors. Therefore, as you're selecting the favors, chose greens, reds, and light blues--solid colors. They simply work better for garden weddings.

Also, try to have a variety of colors for your favors, whether garden or spring wedding favors. Selecting only one color, and spreading these all around the wedding area, will tend to appear bland. On the other hand, spreading too many colors around the area might look tacky. Two colors is always a safe way to go, although three can look stunning when balanced correctly. Also, try not to dazzle people with too much color. Finally, don't select white by itself. While color can be used to accent white, white by itself appears boring and sometimes blinding.

No matter whether you're selecting garden or spring wedding favors, keep in mind that you must keep them simple. Also, it's important that they blend in well with all of your table decorations. Make sure that they're small enough that the guests can carry them easily. Too big and they're not only unwieldy to carry, but might block the guest' view as they're sitting at their tables. Finally, be sure that the gifts are enjoyed almost universally. We're talking about items that have proven themselves over and over such as champagne glasses, bottle openers, shot glasses, candles, key rings, picture frames, etc.

Wedding and Bridal Shower Favors from Wooden Spoons

Both wedding favors from wooden spoons and bridal shower favors from wooden spoons offer a variety of possibilities.

Wedding Favors from Wooden Spoons

Wedding favors from wooden spoons is a reversal on the very old Scottish and Welsh tradition of giving the bride a wooden spoon. This tradition was based on the idea that the wooden spoon was the most useful utensil in the kitchen. Giving wooden spoons to the bride would help her cook for her new husband, and later their family.

Wedding favors from wooden spoons give the spoons to guests rather than to the new bride, sometimes using them to hold place cards. We offer 7 cheap ideas below.

Bridal Shower Favors from Wooden Spoons

Bridal shower favors from wooden spoons are handled similarly - the wooden spoons are given to the guests instead of to the bride-to-be.

Bridal shower favors from wooden spoons can be made quickly and cheaply. Try the 7 ideas below.

Ideas for Favors from Wooden Spoons

The price of conventional wooden spoons may quickly break your budget for bridal shower favors or wedding favors. You can get cheap wooden spoons at an online site offering craft supplies. Look for kitchen miniatures. We found 12" long spoons at less than $0.60 each. For smaller bridal shower favors or wedding favors, we also found 4.75" wooden spoons at less than $0.50 each.

1. Place a few pieces of candy in the bowl of the wooden spoon. Wrap the bowl portion with tulle to fit your wedding color scheme. Tie a satin ribbon bow just above the spoon's bowl. This makes good bridal shower favors or wedding favors.

2. For bridal shower favors or wedding favors, print out the new bride's favorite recipe on small cards. On the reverse side, print a line for guests' names. Beneath it, explain briefly the wooden spoon tradition. Punch 2 holes at the top of each card. Run a ribbon through the holes and tie the card to the handle of the wooden spoon.

3. Combine small wooden spoons with packets of coffee, loose tea, soup mix, or bath salts for unique wedding or bridal shower favors. Tie ribbon around the two, add a tag, and you're done!

4. Purchase mini jars of jam or honey. Tie a small wooden spoon to the neck of the jar, with a place card, for quick wedding or bridal shower favors.

5. Whimsical bridal shower favors or wedding favors can be made with small wooden spoons dressed as brides and grooms. Paint "bride" spoons white and glue a skirt of white tulle to the handle just below the bowl. On the bowl, glue tiny wiggle eyes, pom-pom noses, and a small yarn mouth. Add a second bit of tulle to the bowl top for a veil. Tie a bow where the handle meets the bowl. Paint "groom" spoons black, and proceed in the same way, using black cloth in place of tulle to fashion a "tux" and hat.

6. Simple wedding and bridal shower favors from wooden spoons can be prepared quickly beginning with the small size wooden spoons from craft supply stores. Print out pretty cards that say "Love without Measure." Use the reverse side for placecards, if desired. Or print the bridal couple's names and the date on the reverse side. Tie the cards to the spoon necks with ribbon.

7. Bridal shower favors and wedding favors from wooden spoons can be patterned after Welsh lovespoons. Lovespoons can be purchased online, but only by those who have a large budget for favors. Create your own wedding of bridal shower favors from wooden spoons by purchasing a quantity of 4.75" wooden spoons. Purchase painted wooden cutouts, available in shapes of hearts, arrows, doves, etc. Glue the wooden cutouts securely to handle or bowl of wooden spoon. Tie with a ribbon and tag.

Bridal Party Ideas

Bridal shower favors and wedding favors are not the only uses for the wooden spoon. Present each member of the bridal party, as well as the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom with their own "lucky" wooden spoons. Use larger wooden spoons for these gifts than for bridal shower favors. Cover each spoon with satin in the color of the bride's gown. Glue braid with tiny pearls down the length of the handle. Glue lace around the edge of the spoon's bowl. Glue a loop of blue ribbon at the end of the handle so the spoon can be hung. For an even more memorable spoon, glue a tiny bride and groom or double wedding bells to the satin bowl of the spoon. Find them at craft supplies sites.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Two Weddings and a Funeral: Family Meltdowns

Weddings plus funerals equal family stress. Whether the event is happy or sad, planned for months or just days, you can bet someone will melt down.

July 23,1983, my first wedding took place on a hot, muggy evening in the garden of an elegant mansion. My father proudly escorted me down the steps. I wore my aunt's white wedding dress, which had an antebellum hoop skirt that took up a lot of space.

A full moon rose in the east as my groom Bob and I stood before the only rabbi we could find in Washington D.C. who would marry a Catholic and a Jew. The rabbi had Parkinson's disease, and over the course of the short ceremony, he shook and stuttered so badly I wasn't sure he'd finish.

The reception in the mansion featured a cool jazz trio and waiters passing trays holding pigs-in-a-blanket and mini-quiches. I tossed the bouquet while standing on the grand staircase. Bob and I made a memorable exit wearing electric blue jumpsuits and futuristic sunglasses. It was the Eighties, after all.

How we had planned! The creamy white invitations with a raised flower motif had been mailed out months before. We had silk flower arrangements and potted palms. We found the shaking rabbi to conduct the ceremony.

There was so much to decide: What caterer to use? What to serve? Photography! Transportation! Attendants! Flowers! Outfits!

Meltdown number one was the day before the wedding. I was having my nails done at the beauty parlor. The manicurist made some benign comment. Suddenly, I burst into tears. The pressure was just too much.

The marriage lasted five years.

Fast forward to December 27, 2000. A thin crescent moon hung over the last glow of sunset as family and friends gathered at Congregation Albert synagogue. On the seventh night of Hannukah, Dave and I had a Jewish Western wedding.

Dave proposed on the Fourth of July. We made all the arrangements in six months. Secured the date with the rabbi. Got an Old West portrait for the invitation. Bought stylin' Western outfits.

The wedding started late. We waited in the rabbi's office for Dave's father, Norm, who had run home to change his "itchy" shirt.

Dave and I walked down the aisle together. I wore a red dress with a black fringed and beaded jacket and red-and-black cowboy boots. We invited the guests to wear Western attire, and they responded with gusto. Even the rabbi wore boots and a bolo tie.

The reception was a barbeque buffet held in a converted barn with sawdust on the floor. A Western swing band provided the entertainment, with recorded Jewish dancing music during their breaks. Dave's artistic mother Myra hand-painted more than two-dozen ceramic cowboy boots for centerpieces. Everyone said it was the most fun they'd had at any wedding.

Dave had meltdown number two. We woke up the day before the wedding to see six inches of snow had fallen. Albuquerque was paralyzed. The synagogue called to say they were closed that day. No rehearsal - although we did have a rehearsal dinner. No setting up the wedding canopy. Everything had to be done the morning of the wedding.

Dave turned very red and complained, "How can they do this? We've got to get set up! There's no time!"

I pointed out the roads were treacherous and sent him out to shovel the walk. There's a good reason weddings are held in June.

Seven years later, Dave's father died. Norm was 82 when he fell and broke his hip. After seven weeks of hospitalizations, he succumbed to pneumonia.

I pulled out my wedding contact list to call Dave's relatives the day before Norm died. The end was near. Close family and friends flew in on short notice.

Dave and I had pre-planned his father's funeral three years before. Norm wanted a plain wooden casket. Jewish tradition calls for simplicity in funerals - no flowers. Charitable contributions were requested to the Jane Goodall Foundation. Myra provided a soft cotton tracksuit, so Norm could rest in something that wouldn't be "itchy."

We already knew what we wanted for a program, where the service would be held, and who would conduct it. We decided we didn't need a limo. In our exhaustion, we wrote just a short obituary to announce the funeral.

In the rabbi's office before the funeral, our family tore black mourning ribbons and pinned them to our clothes. The rabbi told us how the event would unfold. We lined up outside the sanctuary. There are no rehearsals for funerals.

Meltdown number three came from Dave's brother Steven. At the last minute, Steven wanted his wife to walk in next to him. This threw off the symmetry of the line-up. There was a scramble of silent rearranging.

In the end, Steven's wife threw up her hands and walked back to where I was standing. The two sons escorted their mother. The two daughters-in-law walked in together behind them.

Can meltdowns be averted? It's impossible to control the reactions of others, but how you react can affect whether there's an emotional blip on the radar or a nuclear emergency.

1. Take a deep breath or two before reacting. In those few seconds, compose yourself to avoid launching into a counterproductive tirade.

2. Look away from the combative person for a second. Locked eye contact can escalate the tension.

3. Change the course of the discourse. For example, if someone else starts out your day by having a meltdown, look away, take a deep breath, look back and say, "Good morning, (name). It's a beautiful day." Then quietly look at them.

4. Don't take it personally. Most meltdowns by others are more about them than it is about you.

Weddings are stressful. Funerals are more stressful still. It helps to plan ahead. And in spite of the best-laid plans, you can bet - someone will melt down.

Needing Ideas for a Great Lace and Pearls-Themed Bridal Shower

Lace and pearls is a theme that many brides are choosing now so what more appropriate than a lace and pearls bridal shower to set the theme and mood. Your bride will love it I know.

Add a color which ideally would be a color that the bride is using on her wedding day.

Go to the internet and print off a bridal shower check list as one of the first things you need to do.

Look to the internet or a craft store in your area for faux pearls and lace in large quantities for your decorating needs.

There are many ways to use this theme in a bridal shower and let's start with the invitations.

The internet or your local store should start you out with many choices and ideas using lace and pearls and you can always design your own invitations for a really personal touch to the shower.

When it comes to decorating the venue you can buy lace doilies quite inexpensively and use them throughout the venue. Place a vase with flowers and a string of faux pearls falling out of the vase.

Another idea, wrap lace around a clear glass pillar candle cylinder and burn a candle with the bride's theme color in it.

Still another idea is to have an assortment of small attractive boxes with lids and have strings of the pearls pouring out of the box on to the doily.

Your table or tables is where you can have a lot of fun decorating with a lace and pearls bridal shower theme.

How about covering the table with a cloth in the bride's theme color. Cover it with a lace cloth so the color of the under cloth shows through?

Scatter loose pearls down the center of the cloth for a pretty look.

Fill a few votive candle holders with different sizes of pearls and place a votive candle on top of the pearls to finish the centerpiece.

Use ivory colored cloths and add a lace runner down the middle of the table. Or if you don't have a runner than buy a yard or so of lace and cut out lace hearts to scatter on top of the cloth.

Here are some ideas for food you can serve or you can do the bride's favorites or just what ever you choose based on time of day.

The food might be four different types of salads and as an idea how about fresh fruit, caesar, asian and an antipasto salad. with a choice of chicken or shrimp.

Skewers of fruit as well as veggies are always enjoyed by guests. Don't forget to have a couple of dips to go along with the skewers.

You may be planning a shower with just desserts and sweets which fits this theme very well.

Set up an inviting dessert table and as a backdrop behind the table hang lace streamers and strings of faux pearls as decoration.

Ask each guest to bring their favorite dessert and include them on the table you set up.

Desserts you can offer would be cupcakes decorated with edible pearls and they have paper lace holders available. This perhaps in place of a cake.

Mini eclairs, cream puffs and assorted pies, brownies, heart-shaped cookies, macaroons in pastel colors and a fresh fruit torte is always a guest pleaser.

Trim candy jars or bowls with lace and pearls and have a candy section on the dessert table with the bride's favorites.

These ideas will give you a start on planning the shower decor and foods and I am sure you will have great ideas of your own.

Here is an idea I really like and the bride will too.

Decorate a large open mouth jar with lace and pearls. Give each guest a piece of paper and have them write their suggestion for a date night the newly weds can have after the wedding and honeymoon is over.

Present the jar to the bride so that each week they can reach into the jar and use the date suggestion for a date that week.

Shower favors for your guests should continue the lace and pearls shower theme and there are any number of things that would do just that.

Some ideas for guest favors:

Small faux pearl picture frames

Lace trimmed votive candle holder and candle (buy plain votive holders and add a lovely lace trim to it)

Pearl key chains (saw some on the internet)

Buy lace trimmed favor bags and fill with candy kisses

Glass or felt lace-look coasters

There doesn't seem to be any shower games related to a lace and pearls theme so you are going to have to select from the standard games if planning to have any games at all.

Your bridal shower of lace and pearls will be a wonderful and sweet memory the bride will have forever and she will so appreciate you used her wedding theme to make it very personal.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How We Had A Simple Yet Fulfilling Wedding

It was a special day when the two of us decided to get married. And the first thing we did together as a couple was to plan our wedding without any help or support from our families and friends. Going through the whole process together cemented our relationship and gave us an insight into each others thinking. And our involvement from the beginning ensured our wedding turned out exactly like we imagined - a simple, intimate affair that we both enjoyed.

There was no rush to do 'n' number of things before and after the wedding and there were not a hoard of occasions we needed to spend our money on. We knew what we wanted and we planned our wedding accordingly. Making sure that all essentials were there, like a photographer and a stylist for the bride, we cut out all frills and non-essentials that load up traditional weddings. Our list of guests included our closest family, friends and colleagues, the people without whom the day would not have been such fun. We made sure that there were no far off relatives or on-off acquaintances loading our list.

We chose a hotel, which took care of all our plans for the day so we did not have to rush around or delegate work to a friend or relative. Next we tackled the menu-another area for excesses in a marriage. On our wedding day, we organized a traditional menu with all the delicacies. The plates were loaded but our pockets were spared. Going for local food, made the cost fall drastically and we were able to afford more for less. The place offered us option of serving food in a traditional manner where guests sat at designated places and were served there as per their requirements. This helped distinguish our wedding from other buffet affairs.

After this we tackled our ensemble for the day. Couples spend fortune on clothes which are cumbersome, difficult to carry and can rarely be used for any other wedding or occasion. We chose clothes which were not over the top and gave us freedom of movement. Going simple also ensured we did not spend a fortune on the clothes and we could use these clothes later for other occasions, unlike some couples.

Once everything was planned, we just dressed up and enjoyed the proceedings as everything was taken care of by the professionals we hired. What we have from that day are memories, both mental and pictorial, of a refreshing day spend in the company of our near and dear ones.

Your Medieval Themed Wedding Dress

What could be more romantic than a medieval themed wedding? There is little in our consciousness that is imbued with more romantic images. But in order to have this type of wedding you need to look for wedding dresses with a medieval theme. After all, would your favorite movie work for you if the actors wore in clothing that did not fit the theme of the movie? The same is true with planning a medieval themed wedding. You will end up undermining your own medieval themed wedding if you do not take the effort to find a wedding dress that will support your wedding theme.

Fortunately, finding this type of wedding gown is normally fairly simple since most bridal shops now carry medieval themed wedding gowns. But even if no shop in your area carries a gown that fits your theme you are not out of luck. From private dress designers to charity wedding dress sales your opportunities to find the wedding dress that fits your specific wedding are nearly as limitless as your imagination and perseverance.

These wedding dresses with a medieval theme usually have elaborate embroiderer and are even available with gold stitching. These are some of the most beautiful wedding gowns available.

Wedding dresses with a medieval theme have become so popular today, that there are designers who devote their efforts to creating masterpieces in this specific fashion. Dresses from popular designers are often available to view on the internet. Why not take some time and browse around for that perfect dress to set off your medieval theme.

The classic medieval style of wedding dress is slim fitting - flaring out to fullness at the hem. A girdle or corset is generally worn above the hips and laced in front. The sleeves are generally tight to the wrist with a shorter open sleeve cascading to hem level.

These wedding dresses with a medieval theme usually have elaborate embroidery and are even available with gold stitching. These are some of the most beautiful wedding gowns available.

Once you have made up your mind to have this type of wedding, and have found that perfect gown to compliment your theme, why not outfit your entire wedding party in a medieval theme style.

Medieval style bridesmaids dresses are readily available at specialty bridal shops as is the wedding gown. The male members of the wedding party might have a more difficult time finding appropriate dress, but it is usually no problem if you look for period dress at theatrical clothing outlets.

Shopping for wedding dresses with a medieval theme is fun and exciting, and one of these gowns will truly make you a memorable bride.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wedding Gifts - 4 Gift Ideas That Couples Love

Those unusual wedding gifts are always special to the newlyweds. They usually keep it for display reminding them about the person who gave it. The day of the wedding is the most memorable moment any couple could have in their life time. Getting married is a simple thing to do if you really love each other. It is about starting a new stage of life and a wedding needs to be celebrated with the people who are important to the bride's and groom's. Families, relatives and friends are the usual guests at a wedding. If in case you are invited to a wedding and you do not know yet what gift to give the couple, then let me help you. These wedding gifts should be useful and sentimental. So, below are wedding gift ideas that will help you with your dilemma.

Give the newly wed a cross-stitched clothing.

This is one of the most sentimental wedding gifts of all. It shows that you really put an effort about that gift. It is unique and each part of the gift is made by you, just only for the couple. It can be a pillow case or a small tea cloth made especially for the couple. You can also give them a cross-stitch towel, blankets, quilts and other things useful to the couple. Put their names and wedding date on it. This is one of the best wedding gift ideas out there.

Give the couple holiday tickets.

If you are a close friend of the couple, then you can offer them a honeymoon package. If you do not have the budget then you can ask the other friends of the couple to donate some money, so you can give the newlyweds a nice romantic getaway. In case, this seems impossible then you can just give them a holiday package to a place where you can afford. It is not necessary to give them the most expensive romantic package, but a nice one is acceptable. This is one also a good unusual wedding gift that a couple will love.


This is also an unusual wedding gift that you can give to the bride and groom. You can give the couple a matching bracelet or a watch. If you want to give them a bracelet, you can give them a birthstone bracelet but make sure that they have the same design. They will love to wear a jewelry of the same design.

Some customized gifts.

You can give the couple a scrapbook. Inside the scrapbook represents their happy memories together. Compile the funny and sweet moments they have together. You can also put some heartwarming comments on each photo. You can also give the couple a painting. They will surely love this.

10 Tips For a Budget Wedding

A wedding is a time when people want to have a lot of fun, enjoy rich delicacies, wear new clothes and meet up with relatives and friends. However, a wedding can often mean a whole lot of expenditure. Some of the biggest expenses in every Hindu Shaadi today are jewellery, food, cost incurred for booking the venue and clothes.

But at times unexpected expenditures or certain personal reasons can force people to cut down on their expenses heavily. However, should it mean any cut down on the fun? Hell no. So what do you do? Here are 10 tips that will go a long way in helping you save money when you can't really afford to spend a whole lot of it on your wedding.

1. Absolute Budget - Absolute budget marriage would be one which is conducted in a court with a couple of witnesses from the bride and the groom's side. The only charges that you would incur are the court expenses. However, don't forget to buy some sweets for the person who registers your marriage.

2. Mandir Wedding - The Hindu Samaj considers a wedding conducted in a 'mandir' in front of the gods as legitimate. Vows taken in front of the gods can't be broken and doing so would be a sin. The only cost you would incur here is that on the 'samagri' (set of items required by the priest who conducts marriage) for the rituals. Also, you'll have to buy a couple of garlands or 'varmaalaas' which will be exchanged once all the sacred 'mantras' have been recited. Also, do not forget to buy some sweets for the priest and some to be offered to the gods.

3. Arya Samaaj Wedding - Arya Samaaj conducts mass marriages every year to help couples from lower income groups to tie the knot as per proper Hindu wedding rituals and traditions. The charges are extremely nominal and at times marriages are even conducted free of cost.

Okay, these 3 were budget category. But if you want to have all the pomp and show for less, make sure you don't miss any of the next 7 tips.

4. Wedding Venue - This is something on which you can tremendously save on if you are willing to settle for a decent venue. Most of the localities have community centres and parks or gardens which they are willing to lease out to residents for a very nominal fee. Try finding out one in your area or ask your friends and relatives if they have something of this sort in their area and how much it would cost. Compare and choose the least expensive one.

5. Ceremonies - For a budget wedding cut down on the ceremonies. In case you don't want to, make sure functions like 'mehendi', 'sangeet', ring ceremony etc. should be held at home or at a friend or relative's place to avoid unnecessary expenditure of booking a hall and a caterer. For wedding songs, catch hold of your grandmother and others of her age.

6. Wedding Dress - As of date a 'lehenga' can cost the bride anywhere between a few thousand rupees to a few lakhs. Similarly, a groom's dress too can cost upwards of a few thousand rupees. Both the bride and the groom should either choose wedding dresses that their pockets permit or ask around to find which of the stores give out wedding dresses on rent. You'll be easily able to rent a groom's dress worth around Rs 40,000 for a few thousand rupees.

7. Wedding Jewellery - Jewellery stores across several cities provide bridal jewellery on rent. You'll however, have to deposit some kind of a security which will be released as soon you return the rented jewellery and pay the fee. Also, these days artificial jewellery is quite popular. They cost less and look just like original ones. You might want to check them out too. Artificial jewellery is available at several malls and standalone stores in almost every city.

8. Wedding Food - if you don't think you can spend a lot of money on wedding food, try and see if cutting down on the number of dishes helps your case. Instead of putting up a wide range of dishes restrict yourself to say 5-6 items. Hire a local 'halwai' or catering service which specializes in certain dishes which everyone in your family enjoys. Most Hindu families love 'Poori' (fried Indian bread) served with 'aloo' (potato curry).

9. Wedding Decoration - Well, no one really like to cut down on it but you'll have to be content with modest decoration if you want a budget wedding. Try and see what the best that a party decorator can offer within your budget. Also, you may want to ask around and see if someone within the family or friend circle would want to do the decoration for your wedding if the flowers and the rest of the required logistics can be arranged from your end.

10. Putting up the guests - Well, in some cases it can mean a big bill. However, if you are planning a budget wedding, you may put up your guests in a nearby mandir. Many Hindu temples have some rooms which can be used for putting up guests. The rooms are usually decent and have proper bathrooms attached or available for common usage.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Well Planned Wedding is One to Remember

Your wedding is by far, the most important event of your entire life. You want to be sure that every detail is very well attended to before the big day so that the wedding itself will run without a hitch and will make for some wonderful memories that last a lifetime.

Planning a wedding takes a lot of thought and often involves asking several family members and friends to get involved to take on certain portions of the planning. Once you have set the date of your wedding you will have to make arrangements with a minister or priest, find a rental hall where your reception will be held and shop for wedding dresses and clothing for the groom and members of the wedding party. You must also carefully plan a menu for the reception, hire a catering company as well as a bartender if you plan to serve alcoholic drinks.

The wedding cake is the highlight of the reception so it is very important that you find a suitable bakery that is known for making beautiful wedding cakes. A wedding cake can be rather simple or it can be multi-tiered and elaborate. It is important when choosing the cake to be sure to order a cake that will feed the number of guests you have invited to the wedding. Most bakeries who specialize in wedding cakes have photo albums of cakes they have baked and decorated in the past so that you can browse through the photographs to see the finished products. You will have to choose the flavor of the cake and frosting as well as choose the colors of the sugared flowers and other decorations so that they match the theme of your wedding. Once you have made your selection the baker takes over from there. Your cake will be prepared a day or two prior to your wedding and you can expect that the cake will be delivered to the reception hall during the wedding ceremony so that it is in place when the wedding party and their guests arrive to celebrate.

Every great wedding reception includes live music. You can easily find a great wedding band to perform at your party by looking through your local yellow pages or in online directories. Most wedding bands offer demos of their recorded music so you will have a good idea of the types of wedding songs that they are capable of playing.

Be sure that you allow yourself plenty of time before your wedding to attend to the small details. A well planned wedding is a wedding that you and your guests will look back upon with nothing but pleasant memories.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Move Budget-Setting From Make-Believe to Magic For Your Perfect Wedding and Marriage

People talk and talk about what they need their wedding to be. All too often it involves clothing and music and food. What you really need your wedding to be is a good transition from engaged to married and a wonderful foundation for your great marriage. You want to concentrate on the wedding ceremony. You need to focus on the wedding vows. The ceremony will set the tone for the following celebration and the wedding vows will establish your plans for creating the marriage of a lifetime.

One of the best ways to keep your wedding and your marriage grounded in the real world is through your budgets.

  1. Wedding Budget: That budget needs to realistically reflect what money you have to spend and how you want to spend it. You might consider whether or not you want to spend all the money you have budgeted, or marry more modestly and find another way to use that money.
  2. Honeymoon Budget. This is a separate savings account. Determine to find a way to start your marriage out without a debt for your honeymoon. You'll enjoy your time together so much more if you're not having to grimace every time you way, "oh well, we're never going to do this again." Actually, you're going to want to do it again, your marriage is going to need it, so get this one paid for so you can start saving for the next one!
  3. Marriage Budget. How do you manage your monthly costs? How are you paying off your debt, if you have it, from your life before marriage? Do you have a contingency fund and a save-for-a-new-house fund?
If you're working hard at establishing realistic budgets in all these places, then the choices you make about the wedding are going to accurately reflect who you are. The make-believe is gone, but the magic of living thoughtfully and well together is just beginning. You want to be creating layers of careful planning to encourage the magic. You need to do the hard work. But not everyone needs to see it! (That's why they call it magic!)

Wedding Bouquet - Tips and Ideas

Wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important days of your life, so your dress and jewelry, as well as the wedding bouquet should be amazing!

Color choice

Choose only those colors and materials that you like. White is a traditional wedding color, which symbolizes pure love. White lilies or roses are commonly used for the wedding bouquets. Less traditional materials, such as gypsophila, also look very original.

But it goes without saying, that white is not the only color, possible for a bouquet. You may also choose bluish or pinkish flowers. Moreover, the latest trends show that bright colors of the wedding bouquets grow in popularity. Many girls prefer bright wedding dresses and consequently more colorful bouquets. Red tulips, for example, look gorgeous.

Catch your idea

There's a great variety of items that can be used for a composition, besides flowers themselves. Wonderful pearls, bright ribbons, a piece of the wedding dress cloth - no limits for imagination. So, all you need is to select the best idea. There are so many sources for inspiration: the Internet, TV, books, magazines. Make your imagination work and you'll definitely create the bouquet of your dream!

Perfect harmony

Flowers can be found not only in your bouquet. A motorcade or a wedding hall, decorated with flowers, also look nice and romantic.

Remember, that all the decorations should follow the concept, used in the bouquet. For example, you may take one basic flower and create different variants of decor. You may also combine different kinds of flowers of the same color.

Wedding florist

It's a good idea to consult a professional wedding florist, who can give you some useful advice and provide with everything necessary.You should explain to the florist what style you'd like to have and how much money you are ready to spend. You may also show your wedding dress photo and a piece of cloth it is made of (this information will help to choose the appropriate materials).


A simple tight-fitting dress looks romantic in combination with a puffy bouquet, and with a tiny one it seems stylish and glamorous. But be sure not to overdo: a very small bouquet will be lost on the background of a bouffant multilayer dress; and on the contrary, too puffy one may shade a petite bride.

A bouquet shouldn't be heavy, that's why many florists replace natural stalks with artificial ones. It helps to lighten the bouquet, preserve freshness of flowers and create any shape of the composition. Moreover, there may be sap in the stalks, which may cause allergic reaction.


Buttonholes can be either identical or individual for each guest. The groom's buttonhole should be more impressive. Choose only bud-flowers - they will open during the ceremony and preserve their freshness longer. But still it would be nice, if you have an additional set of buttonholes, because not all the flowers can stand hours of hugs, dances and wedding activities.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to Decorate a Red Wagon For a Wedding and Not Break Your Budget

Weddings are expensive. Any ideas on keeping costs down while keeping creativity up are always welcome tools in the wedding planner's arsenal.

For example, wedding wagons are popular these days for nuptials. Of course, a wagon isn't something one MUST have at a wedding, but it certainly is a cute thing!

If you've been considering this idea, have you thought about how to decorate a red wagon for a wedding and still keep costs down?

Actually this can be very straightforward.

-- Keep it simply stunning.

If you've chosen to use a RED wagon for your wedding, you must like the way its eye-popping color looks.

In this case, less is definitely more.

There's no need to cover this wagon. Instead, accessorize the wheels and the handle. You can add a fancy liner (just a flat, hemmed piece of beautiful cloth will do) and let it peek up over the sides of the wedding wagon.

Edge the liner with a bit of lace you find on sale. Any lace will look lovely so stay away from the designer rack!

Attach flowers or ribbons around the wagon slats and wheels. Or use greenery for a naturally beautiful look. (Make sure nothing interferes with the action of the wheels or handle, however, for safety's sake.)

-- Create your own look.

Making your own wedding wagon skirt is a fairly simple process. If you are not a sewer, consider purchasing a basinet skirt and customizing it to fit your wagon. You can opt for a peek-a-boo fabric to let your red wagon shine through, or a more opaque fabric which will cover your colored wagon completely.

Add bits of ribbon, lace and faux flowers, as little or as much as you and your budget like.

-- Use what you have.

Make use of extra fabric from the wedding party's dresses and accessories.

If you've already got an old wagon, but want something newer, use paint to completely update your wedding wagon for a very small cost. (Again, make sure the wagon is sturdy and safe to use.)

Attached to the back of the wagon with a large satin bow, your engagement picture or an "Almost Married" sign is a beautiful low-cost touch.

Add white teddy bears with ribbons coordinated with your wedding colors into the wagon along with its intended contents. Borrow these bears from friends and your friends will be "participating" in your wedding!

Decorating a red wagon for your wedding need not disrupt your wedding budget. Use creativity instead of cash and think of making it personal by adding items you already have on hand.

After all, years down the road these are the things that will make your wedding photos memorable much more than the dollar amount you spent.

Wedding Dresses - 5 Hot New Wedding Dress Designers You Need to Know

In the world of wedding fashion, your name is your trademark. From couture one-of-a-kind dresses to breezy ready-to-wear styles, these five up-and-coming designers represent the next class of high-style designer names to remember. Move over Ms. Wang...

The Island Fashionista - Tamara Catz

Peering from the panoramic window of her ocean-side studio on the island of Maui, it's easy for Tamara Catz to understand that a sweaty, satin-and-tulle-encased bride isn't a great look for a beach wedding. Instead, she envisions the kind of dress that can "make a girl want to walk barefoot in the sand with the man of her dreams - flowy, feminine, simple." Catz, 36, modeled her line of romantic, bohemian-style wedding dresses after her breezy sensibility. 

The Buenos Aires native spent seven years creating contemporary resort wear before she felt the artistic urge to foray into the world of bridal wear in 2007.  "A wedding dress is probably the most special garment a woman will ever put on, so I knew that my bridal designs could be a little more dreamy and unique than those for my every day clothes," says the 36-year-old. The Hawaiian-inspired designs feature relaxed feminine shapes, simple cuts, and organic accents like shells.  Rather than overpowering the bride, Catz's simple silhouettes and light, flowing fabrics "make a women feel like herself," something she believes, "the traditional Cinderella-like wedding dress doesn't always do." Naturally, they're most at home as alternative-style gowns for beach weddings, and many are even versatile enough to wear after the wedding.  The best part for that special day, though, is that a Catz design can feel just as refreshing as sand between their toes.

The Custom Duo - Miosa Bride

"Miosa" combines two names: Michael and Sanea Sommerfield. Miosa Bride combines two visions: that of a husband and a wife to craft couture of the highest quality in a surprising location. Based in Sacramento, California, Sanea, 42, brings her business expertise and insight into the female psyche, while Michael, 46, draws from experience gained sewing outdoor wear at his father's store and running a Sacramento tailor shop. "Sewing is like breathing to him," Sanea gushes. "I am still amazed most of the time at his understanding and knowledge."

The decision to stay in Sacramento despite a zip code that lacks an obvious couture culture was in part an effort to bring high style to the capital city, but it was also a personal one. "We had four children and did not want to move the family," Sanea explains. "Family comes first, so we had to build a business that could function here." Their exquisite fabrics and design techniques have earned them a local following, and now that the kids are grown, the duo plans to begin branding nationally this year. 

The consultation phase is an integral component in the process of creating their gowns. The team takes detailed measurements to draft an initial pattern that accurately mimics the bride's body with respect to her level of comfort.  They then gather information about her and her wedding so they can weave her personality into the dress, whether soft fabrics for a romantic or a daring silhouette for a sophisticate. Pieces of the gown are then individually cut and sewn in-house, often using 100 percent silk fabrics imported from Europe. The result is a couture gown inspired by the natural aesthetic of the woman wearing it.

The Green Pioneer -  Deborah Lindquist

Deborah Lindquist raised a few eyebrows when she launched a daywear line made exclusively from recycled fabrics in 1983, long before the terms "eco" and "green" had been coined.  Raised on a farm in Willmar Minnesota, surrounded by gardens, orchards and corn fields, Lindquist was 5 years old when her grandmother taught her to sew.  "Life on the farm sparked my respect for the earth, and I knew that if I was to make an impact in the fashion world, I would have to do so in a manner that remained true to my love for the environment," says the 52-year-old.

Lindquist highlighted a 2005 fashion show with a wedding dress made of hemp that drew national interest - from brides who read about it in blogs to a USA Today article on help farming that featured it.  So in 2007, Deborah launched a green wedding collection made entirely of recycled materials, hemp blends, and soy silks.

If the idea of wearing hemp conjures up thoughts of scratchy ill-fitted clothing, brides can rest assured that these luxurious, highly-stylized gowns are more suitable for a walk down the red carpet than a stroll up Haight-Ashbury. Lindquist's dresses have a romantic, feminine feel with a bit of an edge.  Detailed lace, beadwork, and ribbons embellish her creations with an air of elegance, while flirtatious bustiers and corsets lend a cutting-edge aesthetic.  In an era in which greening your wedding is oh-so-stylish, her designs allow you to wear that environmental commitment - and look good every step of the way.

The Southern Belle - Suzanne Perron

A fashion designer rooted in a culture of debutantes, oversized weddings, and Mardi Gras queens seems somehow destined to create magnificent white ball gowns steeped in timeless elegance.  For New Orleans-native Suzanne Perron, that ambition took root when she received her first sewing machine from the Easter Bunny when she was 5 years old. "I dreamed of making beautiful romantic wedding gowns that mirrored the traditional aesthetic of this beautiful historic city," she remembers.

First though, she had to learn her craft by studying under Carolina Herrera, Ana Sui, and Vera Wang in New York City.  Thirteen years later, a homesick Perron returned to New Orleans to set up her bridal boutique.

Suzanne's designs are clearly inspired by the city's distinct culture and celebrated architecture.  On her gowns, you will find pintucking that mimics a fluted column on a St. Charles mansion or beadwork inspired by the intricate filigree and plaster work that finishes door frames and ceilings throughout the city. 

She admits that she's "not looking to be fashion-forward" and instead describes her designs as "once in a lifetime gowns in white and ivory," despite the many stylists and editors who insist color is en vogue.  It's a natural union for a designer who continues to make a name for herself in a city where traditions are preserved and celebrated.

The Embellishment Artiste - Mariana Leung

For Mariana Leung, it's a wedding dress's smallest detail that affords the greatest self expression. "I love that my imagination can run wild with embroidery, since I can adapt an embellishment for a woman of any shape, size, taste and budget," she explains, "no other aspect of a wedding gown grants such freedom." Leung has channeled that creative streak since childhood when her father convinced her she was talented enough to make her own clothes. "Every time I asked for an outfit in a store window, he responded that I could make a better version of it myself," she remembers.

Leung honed those skills designing couture embroidery for the bridal industry's top houses - Monique Lhullier, Vera Wang, and Giorgio Armani. "Bridal was the perfect fit because it's the one outfit that is purchased on emotion instead of practicality, granting more room for creativity," says the 34-year-old. Now, she's parlaying that experience into her own gowns, conceptualized and built around an intricate embroidery pattern. Most of her brides bring a motif to incorporate, such as the detailing of an heirloom piece of jewelry or a pattern from a grandmother's wedding dress.  Others peruse Leung's "look book" of embroidery designs for inspiration.

For such a personal, hands-on experience, Leung has a surprising number of out-of-town clients.  For one project, a bride e-mailed a picture of flowers from her family's backyard, and Mariana designed a bolero jacket with fabric appliques inspired by the flowers for the bride to wear over the very basic gown she had already purchased. "The project proved that customization and luxury can be affordable," she says, "you just need to get a little creative."