Bridal Buds WeddingWire Blog

The First Seven Days: To Do and Not To Do

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Your Engaged! Hurray!

Now What?

Day 1: If you got engaged during the day then your day starts the day of your engagement, but if you got engaged in the evening or night, then your day one of engagement starts the following morning. On day one, you should NOT start making your list of to-dos. It is way to early! Take a breath. Day dream. DO call your family and close friends and share your good news, but DO NOT forget to cuddle with and stare deep into the eyes of your soon-to-be husband. Day one is a day for excitement and romance.

Day 2-3: On day two and three, you still should be in la-la-land. Giddy, happy, excited, and not worrying about the money. On day two, feel free to start browsing wedding blogs, looking at pictures, and start putting together a wedding inspiration board. If you are on Pinterest, you may already have a wedding board with all the good ideas you have seen over the years, but it is a totally different thing when it is a real wedding you are looking to create. You might want to peruse through that secret wedding board first and pick out what you really like and get rid of the stuff you know you have no interest in realistically doing. Then by day three, start looking at nailing down a color scheme or wedding themes that really speak to you and your relationship. So, DO start looking around and picking out your favorite wedding styles, colors, and themes, but DO NOT think pinning it means it is set in stone and again DO NOT start pricing things out or building your enormous checklist. It is not time to stress out yet.

Day 4-5: Day four and five are questions day. By day four, you should write out a list of questions you have on wedding planning, budgeting concerns, and logistics (i.e. dates). DO NOT think you are going to have the answer to every question by the end of the day, but today is a day to start looking at what it is you are going to need to do over the coming months. After creating a list, circle or start the ones that your are most concerned about and then start asking those questions. This could mean Googling wedding traditions, venue prices, looking for a wedding planner, sitting down with your fiance and discussing a time frame, who you’re going to ask to pay for what, and how involved and who will be involved in the wedding planning and decision making process. Then by day five you may want to meet up with parents or whoever you want involved in the planning process to have an initial planning meeting. If you are meeting with parents, I would suggest keeping it simple. Work off your list and keep it on topic. Write down issues or tasks that get brought up, but DO NOT try to solve every single one. This can be more of a celebratory engagement pre-planning planning meeting. DO start figuring out what goes into planning a wedding , DO develop a working or tentative budget and who is paying for what (It is important to establish this early), but DO NOT try to plan everything in one evening.

Day 6: On this day feel free to look at planning tools, but concentrate on figuring out what your time table is going to be. Pull out your and your fiance’s calendars and start seriously talking dates. This can be tricky because it is tempting to try and accommodate everyone you love around you, but it is important to pick a date that is right for your. Sure, it wouldn’t be the best idea to pick a date that you know is the same as your cousin’s graduation, but don’t take into account Uncle Rod’s work schedule or around your parent’s vacation schedule. Pick a day that works for you and the important people will be there. If you can’t decide on an exact date, then try and narrow it down within a two week time frame. After you pick your date or date time frame, pull out the list of to do’s and questions you generated at your pre-planning planning meeting, and look at what tasks or decisions need to be done by when and create a tentative timeline. This is where your DO want to start working with online planning tools and organization. It may seem way fast to already be nailing down the date by day six of your engagement, but you really can’t do anything until you know when you are going to be getting married.

Day 7: This is appointments day. Taking a look at your time table, call and make appointments for the tasks you need to accomplish first. For example, if you have decided you want to hire a wedding planner, then you need to make an appointment with one. Or, if you have the exact date, then you will probably need to start looking at venues. So, you would need to make appointments for venue tours. After you have set up your initial appointments, gone over your timeline, and set a budget cap, then it is time to relax. DO go out on a date and DO NOT worry about any more planning today!

By day seven, you will not be even close to being done, but if you follow this timeline, then you will have proactively set yourself up to be organized, relaxed, and ready to tackle the challenge of wedding planning. Quite honestly, if you reach day seven with a date set and even the vaguest sense of what you need to do first, then you will be in pretty good shape!

A Scenic Legg Mason Building Wedding in Baltimore

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Baltimore waterfront wedding portrait

Laura and Ben’s had one of the first weddings at the Legg Mason building in Baltimore’s trendy Harbor East neighborhood. The beautiful glass high rise has sweeping views of the city’s Inner Harbor and wide promenades next to the water, which are great for portrait shoots.

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Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue: How to Make Old Traditions New

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Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue: How to Make Old Traditions New

Weddings are chalk full of traditions. Really, a wedding ceremony itself — with the symbolic wedding rings, vows, aisles, white wedding gowns, and a following wedding reception — is all tradition. So, when bride’s start to question if they want to have a “traditional” wedding, by having a wedding it is traditional. But, the little traditional details can of course be picked over to cater to the bride’s beliefs and wants, and each of these traditions can be modified and otherwise modernized. One of the more fun and widely known traditions comes from the Victorian rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe,”  listing the popular traditions and superstitions of the time. These traditions pulled together as one is a popular tradition today that is easily tweaked and made unique for the bride-to-be.

What do they mean? The something old in this tradition is meant symbolically link the bride to her heritage and past, a past that then looks forward. The something new is this looking forward: It is a symbol of looking to the future with optimism. Then something borrowed is meant to represent borrowing happiness. The intention is that the bride would borrow something from a woman in a happy marriage and borrowing something from her would then bring happiness and longevity to the marriage of the new bride. Next, something blue is a symbol of good fortune and fidelity. And finally, the sixpence in your shoe is supposed to bring prosperity to the marriage.

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Thank You Favors for Wedding Gifts!

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There are many ways to say, “thank you” after a bridal shower. Some people like to send cards and some prefer emails, but you have more than just these 2 options! Here are some creative ways to show your thanks:

Personalized Photographs

Customize your thank you notes with photos of you and your significant other to personally say, “thank you” to your guests. And to make it even more personal, wear a shirt that says “thank you” in the photo or pose with a sign.

Frame it!

Create a DIY frame that says, “thank you” on it. With this personal touch, your guests would be sure to bring it home with them.

Favors

Place your favors, whether candy or other goodies, in a box and print the words “thank you” on top. It adds a nice touch to your favors and makes for a tasty treat.

3 Tips to Ensure You Enjoy Your Wedding

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Wedding planning is stressful. There are lists out the gazoo, money crunching, body crunching, and navigating the tension between family. So, when you get engaged and decide on that big wedding wahoo, you are signing up for a whole lot of stress, but do you want that stress to leak over to the actual wedding day? Heck no! What would be the point of spending hours persuading your favorite band to play at your wedding if you are not going to stop an dance? Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy your special day!

1. Set everything out to get ready the night before, including but not limited to the dress shirt you will wear while getting ready.

You are not going to want to wake up and then start searching for that eye shadow you planned on wearing. That would just be asking to start out on a stressed out foot. Get everything together ready before you go to bed the night before. Better yet, create a list of all the things you need and have your maid of honor get everything together. Then, there is the dress shirt. That may seem like an odd addition, but wearing a pull over t-shirt is easily the easiest mistake you can make for your wedding prep. How? Makeup done, hair done, and then whoops….the shirt got stuck on a pin. A dress shirt works wonderfully in that it is a button up. If you are more of a country girl, a flannel works too!

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Etiquette For Wedding Dress Shopping

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Etiquettes for Wedding Dress Shopping

So, now you are engaged, and you are oh-so happy and ready to start to create your dream wedding. One of the first things a lot of brides want to do is to find that perfect dress. Out of all the wedding planning tasks this is the one that is the most sentimental and actually requires so delicate handling. As you decide who to have with you, just remember that the more people you invite, the more opinions you will have to hear. There is a reason shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” are so entertaining!

Mom Gets Dibs

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Canada: Truly an Alluring Honeymoon Destination

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With historic cities, majestic mountains, spectacular coastline, and diverse national parks, Canada ranks as one of the ultimate honeymoon destinations on the planet. But as the world’s second largest country, it’s practically impossible for newlyweds to cover its vast terrain in just a few weeks. Instead of a whirlwind tour, immerse yourself in one of these three distinct regions when it comes to that once-in-a-lifetime getaway.

Romance in Quebec City

Expect old-world charm and European-style ambiance in Quebec City, one of the oldest cities in North America. Here you’ll have the chance to meander down lovely cobblestone streets in Old Quebec, a historic district packed with inviting cafes, boutiques, galleries, pubs, and cultural sites.

As an all-season destination, Quebec City is an ideal getaway spot no matter your travel itinerary. For instance, the city is absolutely enchanting in the warmer months when flowers are in bloom and cozy cafes spill out onto the sidewalks. Meanwhile during the colder months, the city is a winter wonderland, constantly dazzling visitors with festive lights and amazing outdoor displays.

As for must-visit areas (in addition to the old town), don’t miss out on Rue Saint-Jean, a lovely shopping avenue just beyond the ramparts surrounding Old Quebec. Stop in at J.A. Moisan, the oldest grocery store on the continent. This one-of-a-kind spot is renowned for its massive selection of local food and products. Next, spend an afternoon in the Saint-Roch District, an emerging neighborhood now home to excellent coffee shops, restaurants, live music venues, and microbreweries.

Stay at Auberge Saint-Antoine, a wonderful boutique property that blends comfort, style, and history. The hotel is also home to Panache, one of the city’s finest restaurants and a perfect spot for a romantic meal.

Outdoor Pursuits in Alberta

Situated in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the Banff region is a perfect match for outdoorsy couples seeking high altitude experiences. Home to massive mountains, glaciers, and glacial lakes, incredible national parks like Banff and Jasper give way to first-rate hiking, mountain biking, camping, and much more.

During the winter months, the region’s three ski resorts (Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Ski Norquay, and Sunshine Village) provide plenty of downhill thrills. After long days hitting the trails, the charming downtown districts of Cranmore and Banff offer travelers a welcome respite thanks to an array of fine restaurants, cafes, shopping, and nightlife options.

Drop your bags at the iconic Banff Springs Fairmont, located in Banff National Park amidst majestic snow-capped peaks. The historic resort boasts fine dining options, spa and health club facilities, a golf course, and unparalleled views.

Explore the Pacific Coast in British Columbia

While Alberta puts couples right in the lap of glorious mountains, British Columbia’s Vancouver Island enables newlyweds to experience a different kind of outdoor-themed getaway.

The largest Pacific Ocean island west of New Zealand, Vancouver Island is home to old-growth rainforests, stunning beaches, small towns with cozy harbors, and incredible wilderness parks. If sea kayaking, fishing, wildlife and whale watching, ziplining, cycling, and hiking all sound intriguing, then this exceptional destination will be a terrific honeymoon choice.

On the heels of exploring mossy forests, fjords, and secluded coves, finish your west coast adventure in lovely Victoria, home to fabulous shopping, gardens, dining, and a picturesque harbor. It’s also a perfect home base for setting out on boat excursions around the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands.

As for accommodations, book a penthouse room at The Oswego Hotel, a new boutique property close to the inner harbor area. Highlights include floor-to-ceiling windows, designer kitchens, huge balconies, and fabulous views.

New Years Resolution: “Don’t Turn Into A Bridezilla While Planning My Wedding”

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New Years Resolution: “Don’t Turn Into A Bridezilla While Planning my Wedding”

Every year marks a new beginning, a new chance to set new goals and the great possibility of reaching them. When you get married, it is a new beginning to; it is the start of a new life, a new adventure. We want you to enter into this new adventure with a cool head, positive feelings, and minimal stressors. New year resolutions are often seen as a chance to shed off the bad parts of the previous year, but just like what happens before the new year doesn’t magically disappear, what happens before your marriage doesn’t magically disappear. Angry words, breakdowns, and frustrated fighting can leak into the relationships you have with your spouse, family members, in-laws, and friends after the wedding. Apologies can be made,and time can heal, but wouldn’t be better if bridges weren’t burnt in the first place? So, as you enter into this new year, and the stage of planning your wedding, make this resolution of not turning into a stressed out, easily angered, Bridezilla. Make it and then keep it by creating a plan and using resources designed to keep you stress-free and happy.

1. Start by reading up on the wedding planning process. 

Reading articles like this, and the many others found here on WeddingAces and our Wedding Collectibles Blog is a great place to start because it will help you familiarize yourself with all the little details that goes into planning a wedding and start you off with creative ideas on how to get it done; giving you not only the what, but also a how. Once you start getting ideas and a more tangible grounding on what it is that goes into planning a wedding, then you can start your crazed planning journey.

2. Make your life easier by getting organized.

Some brides will use checklists to keep track of all of the things they need to do before their big day. Resources like WeddingWire’s free planning tools are great for keeping yourself organized during the chaos of wedding planning.

Figure out your checklist based on the timeline you have to plan. Is your wedding date in a year? 6 months? 3 months? Don’t know? Stop. Figure that out and then start planning. If you don’t have an end point you can’t figure out what pace your planning needs to go.

3. Use a checklist and wedding binder

Something else that is useful alongside a wedding checklist is creating a wedding binder. This will help you keep all of your information together in one place that is easy to take with you as you visit vendors and venues. Some people will keep everything online with the intention of easy access online. This could work to, but often it is easier to keep a clear mind and focus, when you don’t have the temptation of any easy click to Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media time sucking websites. When creating a wedding binder create dividers to help organize the info in you binder.  It is easiest to do it in categories like photographer, cake, reception, caterer, wedding dress, etc. The Well-Organized Woman (wow) has some great recommendation on how to categorize your binder. Whatever you do, just do whatever it is that keeps your thoughts organized and your mind sane.

4. Take a day off

Just like with work, school, cleaning the house, gardening, and doing pretty much anything, you will need to take a break. This is a great time to go with your fiance out on a romantic date, have a relaxing mother daughter day, or a girls day with your best friend, all with one rule: No wedding talk (Unless it is girlish giggles of being oh so excited).

How to Pick the Perfect Wedding Band

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Congratulations! Your partner said yes-now on to the next biggest step before actually tying the knot: finding the perfect wedding band. Like choosing an engagement ring, this too is a gift from the heart. You will be exchanging this band with the love of your life. This band will spend an eternity on your finger, marking your undying commitment to each other.

Matching your engagement ring isn’t as difficult as you would think.  Many designers make intentional paired pieces that coordinate in design and diamond shape to make the matching process easier.  If your ring did NOT come with a matching wedding band, or if you do not care for the exact match, picking the perfect band is easy at Mervis Diamonds.  Our vast selection of diamonds and designers will surely wow you – but if we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we will create it especially for you.

The most important things to decide when choosing a wedding band are what is most important to you in your band?

Do you want a band to:

  • Match your engagement ring
  • Match your partner’s band
  • Fit flush against your engagement ring

Key elements to consider:

  • Match your band for design elements (stone size, engraving and carving details, etc)
  • Diamond details – if you have an engagement ring with diamonds halfway down the band, three quarters down the band or all the way, you will want your wedding band to mirror this
  • Match metals – different metals have different hardnesses and putting varying metals next to each other might damage one (or both) of your rings
  • Will you wear your ring by itself or only as a matched set
Want to know more about picking the perfect wedding band?  Check out our FREE downloadable wedding band guide!

Rock the Walk: Creative Ceremony Music

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Guest Post by: Marc Sense, Integral DJs

Photo: RMN Photography

Brides have been walking down the aisle to Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” for over 164 years in the Western world.

What began in the 19th century primarily in church settings has quickly fallen in favor for new flavors and an old-fashioned twist on contemporary music.

A majority of couples now choose songs that more accurately reflect their personalities than the time-honored tradition of “Here Comes The Bride.”

Recessional music (after the couple is officially married) also has taken an equal importance to processional music (what the officiant, parents, wedding party, and couple walk down the aisle to).

With so many options, it can be a challenge to pick the perfect song. Having played everything from Hall & Oates to Passion Pit to the Jaws soundtrack, here are a few useful tips for selecting ceremony music:

  1. Pick something that you like – the wedding is your celebration, so why not let the music reflect that? An incredible song will set the tone for the ceremony and dictate the emotions you and your guests feel. With the exception of maybe death metal and techno, any genre is perfectly acceptable as long as it has a happy vibe.
  2. Cover versions – they’re rapidly gaining momentum as groups like Vitamin String Quartet and The Piano Guys offer classic renditions of modern music. VSQ has done full album tributes to the likes of Coldplay to Lady Gaga. Everyone from your grandparents to nieces and nephews will be able to relate to that. In the digital age, many songs also have instrumental versions, which contain all of the original elements except the vocals.
  3. Song edits – as more music editing tools are readily available, it’s easier to customize songs. If the intro to a track is too long and drawn out, have the DJ trim that part or start the song from a certain time point. It’s also possible to loop and restart a short song to accommodate a bigger wedding party.
  4. Don’t try and time your steps to the music – just don’t; it’s impossible. Couples literally have stumbled down the aisle trying to time things just right. Let the DJ start and fade out the music at the appropriate time while you enjoy the moment worry-free.
  5. Make the recessional fun – the more upbeat the better. Even though you’ll probably have a grand entrance later, think of this as your very first introduction as a married couple. What do you want to people to remember? It could be anthemic and/or beautiful just like Bruno Mars’s “Marry You.”

Gone are the old days of playing the same standard songs. Use your wedding ceremony as an opportunity to create an incredible experience that is personal to you and your significant other.

Marc Sense | Founder, Integral DJs

Marc Sense is the founder of Integral DJs based in Seattle, WA and Washington, DC. He has over 10+ years of experience performing at clubs across the country and concerts featuring the likes of Snoop Dogg, The Roots, and Macklemore. His team recently won WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice Award 2014.
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