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4 Wedding Rehearsal Etiquette Tips

Mar29

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is the groom and groom’s parents project; therefore, they decide where it will be located, who will be invited, and they are expected to give toasts. Modern wedding rehearsal etiquette is much less defined, and usually determined by whoever is footing the bill. Here are a few things to remember about rehearsal dinner etiquette:

It does not have to be fancy. It is perfectly acceptable to host the rehearsal dinner at a bowling alley, in someone’s backyard for a barbeque, or even have a potluck.

If the cost of the wedding is shared between the bride and groom’s parents, then it is perfectly fair to suggest that the cost of the rehearsal dinner be shared as well.

If the bride and the groom are hosting, or if the groom’s parents are hosting, then the groom should definitely give a toast. He should remember that it does not necessarily need to be long and eloquent; it should be sincere, show his excitement for his wedding day, and should thank his parents and the wedding party for all they have done.

Wedding rehearsal etiquette also dictates that the father of the groom give a toast. Again, this may change depending on who is footing the bill. The father or mother of the bride can also give toasts if they’d like. The first toast usually begins after the drinks are served and before the first course of the meal.

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Ideas for Catholic Wedding Readings

Mar29

There are four Catholic wedding readings that typically comprise a Catholic wedding ceremony. The first reading (from the Old Testament), a Responsorial Psalm, the second reading (from the New Testament), and a fourth reading from the Gospel. Here is the typical order of the Catholic wedding readings within the ceremony, starting after the seating of the families, the wedding processional, and the entrance of the bride:

First, an Opening Prayer is usually given by the priest.

The First Reading typically comes from the Catholic book The Rite of Marriage. Here are a few options:

  1. Genesis 1:26-28, 31: “God created man and woman.”
  2. Genesis 2:18-24: “The two of them became one body.”
  3. Proverbs 31: 10-13: “A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
  4. Tobit 8:5-7: “Allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
  5. Genesis 24: “In his love for Rebekah, Isaac found solace after the death of his mother."
  6. Tobit 7: “May the Lord of heaven prosper you both. May he grant you mercy and peace.”
  7. Sirach 26: “Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.”
  8. Jeremiah 31: “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

 

In Catholic Wedding Traditions, the Responsorial Psalm is typically recited by a cantor, or song leader. The cantor sings the verses, then leads the assembly in the response (which is typically the title of the psalm). Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Psalm 33:12, 18, 20-21, 22: “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”
  2. Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9: “I will bless the Lord at all times.”
  3. Psalm 103: “The Lord is kind and merciful.”
  4. Psalm 128: “Happy are those who fear the Lord.”
  5. Psalm 145: “The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures.”
  6. Psalm 148: “Let us praise the name of the Lord.”

 

The Second Reading is then given from the New Testament. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Romans 8: “What will separate us from the love of Christ?"
  2. 1 Corinthians: “Your body is the temple of the “Holy Spirit;” If I do not have love, I am nothing.”
  3. Philippians 4:4-9: “The God of peace will be with you.”
  4. Colossians 3:12-17: “And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”
  5. 1 John 4:7-12: “Love in deed and in truth.”
  6. Revelation 19:5-9: “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

 

The Gospel Reading is usually given by the priest. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Matthew 5:1-12: “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
  2. Matthew 19:3-6: “What God has united, man must not separate.”
  3. Mark 10: 6-9: “They are no long two, but one flesh.”
  4. John 15: 12-16: “This is my commandment: love one another.”

 

Next comes the Homily, which is typically a short sermon or word given from the prist. The homily is followed by the exchange of Catholic Wedding Vows, followed by the Blessing and Exchange of Rings. After the rings are exchanged, there is a Lighting of the Unity Candle, usually accompanied by a song.

Finally, there is the Concluding Rite. Usually the Lord's Prayer, the Assembly joins together to recite this prayer, led by the priest. A final blessing is given, and the ressional begins.

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3 Tips on Choosing Ring Bearer Outfits

Mar25

Choosing ring bearer outfits and flower girl dresses is one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. There are so many adorable things to choose from, so here here are some guidelines for choosing ring bearer attire:

Consider the theme of your wedding. For example, if you are getting married in Cape Cod in the summer, a sailor outfit might be the perfect choice. If you are getting married indoors at a very formal venue, you should probably go with a mini tux or suit. If your wedding is vintage or Victorian, a miniature turn-of-the-century design might be absolutely adorable on your ring bearer. There is no one-size-fits-all for ring bearer outfits; use your judgment and try to keep in line with your theme, season, and venue.

Try to blend your ring bearer’s outfit with the rest of the wedding party. It doesn’t have to match perfectly, but it is a good idea to add an element of color to his outfit; for example, if the bridesmaids’ dresses are coral, give him a small coral bow tie.

Don’t forget the ring bearer’s pillow. Remember that you are picking out another wedding accessory, so try to find a pillow in similar tones and fabrics to the rest of your wedding. For fancier weddings, choose a satin pillow; for vintage weddings, consider a pillow with tulle fabrics, ruffles, or pearls.

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Your Maid of Honor's Speech: 3 Things to Remember

Mar22

Giving a speech at the wedding reception is one of the many maid of honor traditions that is still in full effect at modern day weddings. Writing a speech of any kind can be nerve wracking, but also a lot of fun. Use the following ideas and guidelines as your road map when fulfilling one of the most important maid of honor duties of all.

Brainstorm Early: Don’t wait until the last minute to write your speech, but rather jot down ideas early on. Start a journal and label it “Maid of honor toasts” and write down as many ideas as you can for the months leading up to the wedding day. Then as the date approaches, read through your ideas, toasts, stories etc. and decide which will make the final speech.

What to include: Make sure you express how honored you are to be a part of such a joyous and significant occasion. Also include a story about the happy couple, or about the bride. Famous quotes are always a nice touch either at the very beginning or at the end of the speech. Wrap up your speech by raising your glass high in the air with a salute to the bride and groom.

Common mistakes: Whatever you do, do not spend 15 minutes telling stories about you and the bride. Remember that this event is honoring the bride and groom, so if you include any stories make sure they relate to the couple, and if they don’t then keep them very short and very sweet.

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How to Negotiate Discounts on Groomsmen Attire

Mar15

Though most people remember the bridesmaids’ dresses more clearly, your groomsmen attire plays an important part in your wedding aesthetics. If you are doing your best to stay on a budget, and if you want to minimize the cost for your groomsmen, here are a few things to think about:

Rent from a business that gives discounts for group rentals. This is probably the single best way to save money on a groomsmen tux or suit. If you have a large wedding party, and are also planning to rent the attire for the ring bearer and the father of the bride and groom, you are even more likely to get a better deal. Do your research beforehand by calling tuxedo and suit rental shops to see what they offer. Remember, you are the one bringing them the business; point it out if another place offers you a better discount, and give them a reason to try to make you a customer.

Note: You may be limited if some of your groomsmen live out of state, because you will want to rent from a business that is nationwide. If all of your groomsmen are local, you can be more flexible in choosing your rental venue.

If your groomsmen are open to this and are confident of their size, you can consider renting your groomsmen attire online; many sites offer substantial discounts.

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Wedding Party Schedules

Mar14

In order to make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch, you’ll want to give your wedding party a detailed wedding day schedule that highlights their responsibilities. Your wedding day is, in many ways, like a production, so in order to ensure everyone plays their part; they’ll need a script with stage directions.

As far as the best man and maid of honor are concerned, they should be given information about their duties as soon as you announce your engagement. Since the maid of honor and best man responsibilities begin during the many months leading up to the wedding, it is respectful to make sure they’re informed with plenty of planning time. For example, since one of the best man duties is to plan the bachelor party, he’ll need to know what that entails so that he’s able to get hotel reservations and/or show tickets in advance.

Type up a wedding day schedule for each member of your wedding party, which includes a timeline of where they need to be when, and include any phone numbers (your maid of honor or parents) that they can call if they are going to be late or have any questions. This way you won’t have to worry about answering calls from lost or confused wedding party members on the day when you really should only have to focus on walking down that aisle!

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Made of Honor Traditions

Mar07

The term “maid of honour” originated in the United Kingdom, and referred to the woman who was in charge of attending the queen. This has translated into today’s wedding tradition as the bride’s closest friend or sister, who is deemed the bride’s maid of honor. Maid of honor responsibilities are as plenty or few as the bride and/or the maid of honor decide upon, however she is required to participate in the wedding ceremony.

If you have just been asked to be a maid of honor, and are unclear on your duties, then take notes from made of honor traditions. Traditionally, the maid of honor offers moral support to the bride-to-be throughout the wedding planning process, up until the end of the wedding reception. The maid of honor is typically called upon for opinions relating to wedding dresses, cakes, invitations, bridesmaids dresses etc.

Prior to the wedding ceremony, the maid of honor is required to help the bride by offering emotional support, as well as help with her dress, veil, or any beauty-related needs. It is up to the maid of honor to make sure the bride’s dress and veil remain in place throughout the wedding ceremony.

Being chosen as a maid of honor could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and is an indication that you have close friends who care about and trust you, so make the most of it and cherish every minute!

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Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette for Delicate Situations

Feb17

Your rehearsal dinner is a chance for you, your wedding party and close family to unwind and enjoy each other's company before the wedding day, and you'll want to make sure that you and all of your guests are comfortable. The following tips will guide you along if you find yourself facing any number of delicate situations on your big day.

Act gracefully, with the best manners possible, as a generous hostess would. “Etiquette” is a new point of study, as our more relaxed culture has allowed for much grey area surrounding the issue. However, if there is an opportunity to show off your grace and elegance, it’s a wedding! With rehearsal dinner etiquette, it is important to treat everyone kindly and respectfully, even if, for example, you do not respect a particular person.

This is not the time to bring up disagreements or other issues, or to “snub” anyone. Make sure that you invite everyone that wedding rehearsal etiquette dictates that you invite. If your parents are divorced, and your mother or father is dating (or married to) someone who is difficult or unlikable, you should still invite them. Some will argue that as the bride, you can do whatever you want. Many strongly disagree, as following this advice does not reflect well upon your character. Unless something absolutely terrible has happened, do not snub anyone. The same principle applies to wedding reception etiquette.

If you want to pay for the rehearsal dinner so that you can dictate where it will take place (specifically, the atmosphere), this is absolutely acceptable. Just make sure that you present this to your parents in a diplomatic and eloquent way. Tell them that you want to pay for the rehearsal dinner as a way to thank everyone involved in the wedding for their hard work.

Figure out who is giving toasts and let them know, so that they can prepare beforehand. With rehearsal dinner etiquette, usually the father or mother of the groom gives a toast if he or she is paying for the wedding. If not, it is up to your discretion. The rehearsal dinner presents a great opportunity for either the bride or groom to give a toast, and to present gifts to their bridal party. This can also be a great way to smooth over any tension that families may feel. (Check out: Tips for a Great Rehearsal Dinner Toast)

Have drinks available, but don’t encourage a night of drinking. Drinking inevitably escalates any issues that already exist. It is important to strike a balance with alcoholic beverages. Have them available for those who would like to relax, but don’t encourage a boozy night. Also, you need all of your wits about you to prepare for your wedding.

Do your best to enjoy the evening, and try to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable. As the bride, you set the tone for the rehearsal dinner, for the wedding ceremony, and for the wedding reception. The best weddings are not those where every last detail is perfect, where everything goes off without a single hitch. The most enjoyable weddings are those where the bride is having the time of her life and looking forward to her life with her new husband. As the bride, you have a role to execute. Even if you are nervous, do your best to treat everyone gracefully.

Remember that you cannot control the way people act. You can do your best to make everyone comfortable and happy, but you still cannot control what they do or say. Don’t focus on the negative things that can or may occur. Instead, focus on the wedding and the wonderful celebration ahead!

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4 Tips for Choosing Groomsmen Tuxedos

Feb11

Choosing groomsmen tuxedos is one of the simplest aspects of wedding planning. Here are a few things to do to achieve optimal groomsmen style:

  1. Before choosing groomsmen tuxedos, make sure you have already chosen your bridesmaids dresses. The shade of the dresses usually dictates the accent colors (for vests or ties) that the groomsmen will wear. In a recent wedding, the color of the girls’ dresses was a very distinctive shade of metallic gray; none of the men’s tuxedo stores carried a shade that was close enough. It took a trip to a few different tuxedo stores to find complementary colors that went with the wedding style and color schemes.
  2. When you go to the tuxedo shop, remember to bring the bride’s dress (as well as one of the bridesmaids’ dresses) to the store to hold it up as a color reference against potential contenders for tuxedo vests, ties, and shirts.
  3. Many stores give you the option between pleated and non-pleated pants. The non-pleated pants are typically a bit more expensive, but your groomsmen will thank you! Most groomsmen say they are more stylish and slimming.
  4. For the under shirt, many stores also give you the option between an ivory or a true white. You need to take into consideration the bride’s dress; if the bride is wearing a darker shade of white, such as cream, and she stands next to a groomsmen who is wearing a bright white shirt, her dress might look dirty.

 


Bridesmaids Hairstyles: Braided Updos

Feb01

Chances are you’re either a "plan everything to a tee," or a “wear your hair however you want” kind of bride. If you’re the former and you want your bridesmaids' hair to be unique and elegant, then consider the various braided updos that seem to be trampling the red carpets as of late. Your bridesmaids' hairstyles are an important ingredient in your wedding recipe, which is why you should consider exploring these insatiable updos donned by only the hottest celebrities.

There are so many different updos to choose from for bridesmaid’s updo hairstyles, but the classic milkmaid braid is a style that has found its way back into the spotlight, making it one of the hottest modern wedding hairstyles. Mary-Kate Olsen is often spotted with the Grecian goddess braid in a halo style that wraps perfectly around her entire head.

Anne Hathaway has been seen wearing two thick French braids around the crown of her head at various press events. This style looks stunning on Hathaway because it perfectly combines elements of tradition and elegance.

Jessica Alba rocked two thin braids at the Academy Awards. Alba’s braids played a supporting role in her hairstyle since they were thin which exuded a hippie vibe. The thin braids were pulled into a messy bun that was situated at the nape of her neck.

The braided updo is Nicole Richie’s staple hairstyle when she’s out and about. She’s worn up to four beatnik-style braids that wrap into a knotty bun.


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