I am so honored to be a part of the PW Hostess team.
If you have any questions or need help with ANYTHING please do not hesitate to ask. Send me a PM and I'll be there no matter what it is. Support is KEY when dealing with the ups and downs of planning this very special day and I am so happy to be in a position to provide whatever help may be needed.
Navigating my BIO…I have put symbols next to all the headings ….
♥ in the heading are all things relating to ME!!!!
♡ in the heading are PW related
★In the heading are all things that I found as inspiration
☆In the heading are advise or ideas
☼In the heading Plans for my SISTERS wedding!!!! YEAH!!!!
I don’t want any guests, family etc to know everything that’s going on, so put in a request to be friends to see my bio. I am loving meeting new people everyday and getting so many amazing ideas to help make my day the most magical it can be and I hope that I can help others the same way…♥
So... this is an all new experience. I have never been a “blogger”. I’m a big facebooker and communicator but I never really thought that I would have a reason or need for a blog. I’m actually excited to get this going. My little wedding countdown journal. I’m hoping to get used to it soon. I’ll hopefully start posting some pics and some of my ideas and get the opinions of my fellow bloggers and future brides.
Wish me luck
::::Edit:::: December 2nd 2011 ~
Well that’s me happily married for 4 months (and 2 days but who’s counting lol) and a very proud PW veteran. I LOVE it here and can honestly say that the friends I have made, the inspiration and community has helped me SO much. Not only with my wedding planning but with the day to day things as well. Whenever I need a virtual shoulder to cry on I know that I have a ton ready and available for me here.
Thank you to all of you for being there for me and I hope that I have been just as available to you all.
For the newbie’s….enjoy everything about planning your wedding. Use PW and all of us to your FULL advantage and treasure the connections you make here as you lead up to the day that you marry your soul mate.
From a non blogger who didn’t think I would stick around to someone that you are NEVER getting rid of….consider me a humbled convert lol
♥LOVE ♥ you all xoxox
As mentioned, I had so many ideas of what I wanted for my wedding gown and ended up going COMPLETELY against what I thought I wanted.
The 2 dresses I was 100% getting lol
What I got...
So ever since I sad YES the dress in December I have been crazy excited about what’s to come. It was an amazing experience that I will remember forever.
It was kind of an impromptu event simply to see what silhouette would look the best on me.
My requirements were
- I look amazing (lol)
- it not have a dropped waist
- it not be fitted
- it not be mermaid or trumpet
- it not be overly poofy or cake topperish (yes..those are real words hehe)
im not a size 2 bride and have come to realizes that unless I want to be miserable for the next 7 months by starving to death and possibly fainting as I walk down the aisle…I’m not going to be a size 2 bride. When I got to the shop I tried on 3 dress that were strapless, pretty and A-line and was happy with what I saw. Then I tried on THE dress. My friend gave it to me and said to try it even though it was trumpet style, almost dropped waist and definitely fitted. And tada surprise surprise I ♥ it!!!
I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt when I put it on myself. It was almost an out of body experience lol
I felt curvy and sexy and beautiful. Marilyn Monroe at her prime lol when I saw the tears in my friends’ eyes I knew they felt the same and decided that I didn’t need to try on anything else. Too many options make me confused as you will learn over the next few months.
I stayed composed until I called my fiancé to let him know I had found the dress and that’s when I burst into tears.
The owner of the store was so nice and so helpful. She made a comment about how confident I was with my curves (is that a nice way of saying I’m fat?? Lol) and how I embrace my body and want to show it off……lol… not me but for some reason the dress does for me.
So the dress is
La Sposa Fanal. She will be in Ivory and instead of the button up back that I custom for the dress. Will be putting in a corset back with fuschia lace up to match my fuschia shoes. I think it will look amazing and will 100% reflect me.
***EDIT I didn’t end up doing the lace up or buttons in Fuschia. Got scared that it wouldn’t turn out right and kept my beauty as she was inteneted to be. Still kinda wish I had gone for it but still happy with the end results***
I’ll add a couple of pics of the dress. I didn’t look great when I went to try it (as I said …really really didn’t think I was going to actually find and buy something). It will also look much nicer when it fits me rather than being about 3 sizes to small. But I don’t care cause I love it and cant stop looking at the photos. The train n the back is amazing. It comes from the side rather than the middle and its just classic. Can you feel my excitement through the net??
I’m hoping to lose some weight and tone before the wedding but definitely not down to the afore mentioned size 2….I wouldn’t be able to afford the alternations if I did hahaha
Feb 2011 - UPDATE ~ This is trivial info that excites me greatly. My dress was the one that Finns mom wore for the wedding on "GLEE"!!!!! I am "Glee" obsessed so this info made me very happy lol Im a total gleek haha
She wears a bolero type thing with it so thats how I missed it the first time I watched it.
I think I may have mentioned in my previous posts that I tend to jump into things quickly so I don’t get to many choices/opinions in my head.
I just ordered my “headpiece”...a gorgeous ivory flower and feather fascinator. I got it on Etsy from brendasbridalveils
I’m not sure what kind of veil to go with. I was thinking about going with a birdcage veil either netting or tulle but don’t really know. I think when I go for my first fitting of the dress I will get a better idea of what will look best.
It arrived today 04.04.11 woooooooooooohoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone who has bbeen flooloeing my wedding takle will know that I have pretty much changed my mind on EVERYTHING so far…. So why in the world would my veil be ANY different???? Not a fingertip OR birdcage...lol FULL ON LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG CATHEDRAL COVERED in Bling!!!! Welcome to Lorna’s Big fat OTT change every second wedding lol BUT I ♥LOVE♥ it!!!
As excited as I was to get the dress I am almost as excited about the shoes
I have decided to go with a pop of color and wear fuschia shoes. As mentioned before I will have a fuschia ribbon tying my dress so it should look nice together.
I have found a few pairs that I like but nothing that’s screaming at me …yet….I love the last pair (white) but don’t know if there dyable because of the knot feature...
Here are a few that I liked….
UPDATE**** 01/07 - Getting the first pair lol Thought about them all night. Ordering them from Zappos tomorrow...woohoooo 1 more thing down :) Yeah!!!!
UPDATE AGAIN!!!01/18 - Got my shoooooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss today. SO HAPPY. There perfection. Absolutely fabulous. Will post pics soon
So that’s me less than 7 months till the big day. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the century.
I’m in full planning and getting it done mode and fear that I have exhausted everyone I know talking about the wedding. I’m actually starting to annoy myself a little bit. I put myself on a 2 week, no wedding talk diet lol but now that its over I am full on bride to be..
I’m very excited to announce that I just got an email notifying me that my invitations were just delivered to my house wooohoooo cant wait to get in and see them. I say invitations but that’s an exaggerated version f a box full of different colored paper and envelopes that have to be printed, cut, stuck, embossed and embellished but WHO CARES there Heeeeeerrrrreeeeee anf I can finally get out of bride limbo and start something.
I have a room at the house (see page "why FI might kill me...) full of silk flowers to be made into centerpieces and bouquets with no vases, bouquet holders or ribbon. I have favor boxes and bags with nothing to put in them and a million other “in progress” projects. Since its DIY madness I cant wait to get started and know that I have more than enough time to get it going but its nice to finally have something to play with that will soon look like what its actually supposed to be.
I have been looking for my shoes. Fuschia heeled sandals and have found a few things I like but nothing I’m willing to commit to at this point in time.
I’m still undecided about my veil choices. Birdcage and fingertip are my final choices or nothing at all. I found a gorgeous flower father fascinator on Etsy that will be a part of the final look.
I’m kind of all over the place here I realize lol …getting excited as I type.
Anyway. I will be posting some pics soon and can’t wait to share.
A bit of history before the story of the bling.
My fiancé’s name is Michal. He and I have both been married before. I am on very good terms with my ex. It was a marriage that probably shouldn’t have happened but it did and we have no regrets. We had 2 beautiful little boys together (now aged 8 and 6 ½ ). We have moved on and are both in a better and happier place with people that 100% suit us better.
My first wedding was beautiful but it was planned fast and I didn’t really know what I was doing or really care about the details. Plus I found out I was pregnant so we moved the date up 6 months and I had to change all my plans….I didn’t have my dream dress, dream venue, dream anything so this time I’m doing it right. Damned be anyone that dares judge me lol and trust me there are a few…but I don’t care this is OUR day and no one elses!!!!
Mike was also married; unfortunately his didn’t end quite so well. Lots of problems and drama and…and..and… so when we started dating and he told me that he had no intention of ever getting married again I totally understood.
When he sat me down last year and told me how he was happier than he had ever been and that he loved me more than anything and that he had changed his mind…..I couldn’t believe it. It meant so much more to me than a “normal” proposal. He had his get out of jail free card and chose not to use it. We have fought SO hard to be together on so may levels and sacrificed so much that I know we are meant to be. He is ½ of my heart.
We were out shopping and DH brought me into a really nice jewelry store to get his (very fancy) watch cleaned and I was looking around at the different jewelry. He brought me to the rings and asked me which ones I liked the most. I looked at a few and the sales girl came and asked me if I wanted to see them out of the case. DH said yes and I happily obliged. I narrowed it down to about 3 that I loved one was crazy big and very fancy but not really my style and WAY out of price range even in a fantasy lol but there was one that just kept grabbing my attention. I loved the unique shape and the style of it. It was nicer than anything I had every seen and I loved it. I told him that was the one and the sales rep said to him “oh my god, I can’t believe you picked the right one” then slapped her hand against her mouth. He had been in the day before and spent about 3 hours looking at all the rings and trying to decide which one to get for me and that was the one he loved the most and came really close to buying it. I guess technically I chose it but if he had gone with his gut then he would have lol. We 100% chose it together. Which is how we make all our decisions. So kinda perfect!!!
For Christmas we also got our bands. 7 months before we can actually wear them ♥
Mine matches the ring and Mike’s is made of Tungsten and platinum (weird) its gorgeous though. Will try to remember to post actual pics of the rings later. The ones I’m adding are from the website.
My Engagement Ring
18kt white gold s engagement ring is set with a round solitaire diamond and features a pave of small full cut diamonds (5 on either side of the main diamond) and 10 tiny diamonds making the “crown” – I don’t know what that parts called so I named it the crown lol
My wedding band
18kt white gold ring features 15 round cut diamonds, with a total carat weight of .15, color grade GH and clarity grade VS.
****UPDATE*** Here is a pic of my hubby to be's ring. I ♥ it
wearing our rings..... July 30th 2012
The prettiest shackles in the world lol but noone I would rather be shackled to for life ♥
Time to tell you a little bit about our venue.
I had originally wanted to have the wedding in front of my house. I live in a lovely cul-de-sac with a huge green space in the middle. My parents moved away a couple of years ago and my fiancé and I bought there house. So it’s the house I grew up in. I’ve known the neighbors since I was 9 years old and it seemed just perfect. That is until the city told me I had to invite ½ the town to the wedding as I couldn’t have a private event on public property and I had to create a “street party” environment. Not so much. So there went that idea.
I then decided to do it at a hotel. Pretty location, garden for the ceremony everything in one location lie I wanted. Perfect. I’m very happy with the place that we chose but I became even happier yesterday when I received a call from the event coordinator. She informed me that the hotel had just been bough out by the Sheraton and there are HUGE renovations being done on the hotel effective immediately but 100% completion by mid May (plenty of time before July 30th…), the gardens are being redone with ponds and waterfalls, an arch way filled with flowers for when I walk down the aisle, new ball rooms, a full spa, etc etc etc and since I already signed my contract…no new billing at pretty much double the cost!!!! SCORE!!!! I am ecstatic. I can’t wait to see the changes and fully benefit from it all. Woohoo!!!!
I’m still sad that I wasn’t able to have my initial venue choice but more than happy with the service I have received already and everything that is to come.
My amazing friend is making our wedding cake and it will be fit for a princess. Im so excited to see the finished product. She is going to make the cake in our fuschia so when we cut into it, it will be awesome. She has already told me that i have to help make thousands of royal icing flowers with her. oh well, will be a labour of love ♥
***UPDATE*** well that never happened lol.... we decided to go the cupcake route for transportation purposes as well as no cake cutting fees. I LOVED them and they were made by the same friend who was going to make the cake above. Added bonus was that she enjoyed making the cupcakes rather than stressing out over the cake.
Also the cake topper was a gift from my sister in Scotland who wasn’t able to attend, so it was GREAT having something to represent her so prominent on display AND I collect these bears so its added to my collection...YEAH!!!!
Some of the centerieces I have found that Inspired me....
I will be making my own centrepieces and am very excited about it. A little nervous but more excited lol
I have bought silk fuschia flowers from www.afloral.com (amazing by the way). I found these pics on weddingbee and fell in love with it.
I will be putting the vase on a mirror plate and will also have an LED light base under each one. Should look beautiful and create a nice ambiance. I will also have green glass beads at the bottom rather than black ones.
Im hoping to get started within the next 2 weeks. Just waiting for the vases. Im still seeking a deal ;)
Wish me luck ♥
****UPDATE**** I have actually decided to go a COMPLETELY different way with the centerpieces. As much as I truly love these ones they ended up not being the exact vision I had one i put it all together. Will put our actual ones up soon ♥ The ones i did are really similar but not exact....
Its January!!! my wedding is THIS year people!!!!!
Okay here we go...
Paper for invites arrived
Invites started...SO much stuff to put together. Pocket fold, mat, invite, RSVP, RSVP envelope, Address RSVP envelope, direction card, monogram background, monogram paper....it’s INSANE. But I have got it started now. Will take some pics when I have printed out the inserts. SO excited.
Shoes- ARRIVED today
Hair piece – ARRIVED today
Picking up vases and lights for centerpieces next week.
Going to look at dresses with my lovely girls on Saturday...
I’m still trying to figure out all the music for the day & night
And finalise the no play list....
Here is what I have so far (I have also included the links so you can hear them...)
Bridesmaid procession – "Nothign Else Matters"- Apocolyptica ::UPDATE::: I got MAD props from all the guys that attended for a"allowing" metallica music in the ceremony....It was my idea but I smiled and acted liek a sweet little wife lol
Bride Procession – “This I promise you” ~ Ronan Keating
Recessional – “Feels like home” ~ Chantal Kreviazuk
Bridal Party Intros – Not sure yet... "on the floor" - Jloe and PittBull
First Dance Bride & Groom – “Still the one” ~ Shania Twain
Father/ Daughter Dance – “I loved her first” ~ Heartland
Mother/Son Dance – “The Prayer” ~ Celine Dion/Andrea Bocceli
Bouquet Toss- What I really wnated was "Move bitch" by Ludacris...but got vetoes as it was inappropriate....kinda regret not doing it though....“Its raining Men” ~ Weather Girls "One way or another" - Blondie
Garter Toss – “Another one bites the dust” ~ Queen
Cake Cutting – “Pour some sugar on me” –Def Leppard
So my original wedding colors were fuchsia and green…this hasn’t changed at all but the green I had a originally wanted was a shamrock type green, unfortunately when we went bridesmaid dress shopping we couldn’t find a dress that the girls liked in any shade relatively close to what I wanted so we decided on an apple green. Which is gorgeous with the fuchsia. Unfortunately (again) I have already ordered all my stationary …good times…so my invites are a lovely dark grassy green which in no way ties in with the “now” wedding…I can change it up for favor cards etc and do the fuchsia/ apple thing then. I realize that its my OCD personality that this bothers me and chances are no one is going to notice this detail at all and I doubt anyone will be holding the invite and making any comparisons…they better not anyway haha
I’m happy that I can make it work and am exited to get some more things of the dreaded list…
Here are my monograms made for me by my AMAZING friend Gen.
Just ordered this GORGEOUS necklace from Etsy seller "Something Jeweled"
I ♥♥♥ it and cant wait for it to arrive. I'm sure it will look so nice with my dress and add a little elegant bling to the look. Always good to have something pretty for everyone to see when my backs to them during the ceremony ♥
So I’ve been back and forth with the table number thing. It was going to be table “names”, the just plain numbers (with the orchids from the invite etc…, then it was going to be photos of us (FI & I) at the age of the table number still think it’s a super cute idea but WA to much work trying to find the photos) so now we are going to get a friend to take pics of us holding up the numbers and put them into blinged out painted IKEA frames. I saw the kissing holding numbers pics somewhere and for the life of me cannot find them now or credit the idea (if it was even a PW bride…terrible eh? Sorry…)
I’ll put the pics when there taken and show the end result. In the meantime if I do find my original inspiration, I will post it….
Again totally changed the concept. Decided to go with simple elegant table #s that matched the rest of the stationary. Really happy with the way they turned out. They were displayed in a simple clear frame.
I ♥LOVE♥ Calla Lilies and Orchids. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted as far as flower went for the bouquets, centerpieces etc but knew that these where the flowers I wanted to center everything around….
147 days to go and seriously shortening hte list..............
I have actually managed to get quite a lot of stuff done. And will post pics soon. Promise!!!
PICS posted YEAH!!!!
Finally finished the basic assembly of the invites. Just waiting for the printed inserts and then they will be compete and ready to go. Went to the post office on Thursday and discovered they weigh more than expected and will be $1.25 (plus the RSVP stamp) to post,. FI not pleased…lol oh well. I bought my stamps and was very happy that they have orchids on them and are pink so they tie in perfectly and it wasn’t even planned. Yeah me!!!!
I have made a serious start on the centerpieces but am going on a road trip to “Michaels” on Sunday (we don’t have one in Quebec) to pick up all the final things for them, as well as the bouquet holders and bouquet stuff. I am also going to go get my favor boxes. Wee wanted to add a bit of “Scottish” to the wedding and I decided to do that using Scottish candy. I found a place that ordered some yummy Scottish bonbons (toffee goodness) and we will give those out.
:::EDIT::: Here is a pic of the finished favors. metal boxes from "Michaels" filled with strawberry and caramel bonbons. Everyone LOVEd them. So delicious mmmmmmmmm
Saturday I have an appointment at the hotel and I’m bringing our “decorator” so we can get an idea of lighting ETC and what we want done and the almighty “how much will it all cost” I’m afraid but excited lol…story of my life hahaha
FI and I finished stuffing the “tears of Joy” envelopes and once the stickers are printed they will be complete.
Noticing a “printing” trend? I’m waiting for all the finalized profs of the inserts, labels, stickers etc and also waiting to find out if I will have to get them printed for me at a UPS store etc or if my friend will be getting her new printer and doing it for me….patience…lol
I ordered an amazing floor decal from etsy (http://www.etsy.com/listing/56151446/wedding-monogram-initial-dance-floor)
That will have our monogram on it.
Here is the complete "personalised" version of our "Wedding Tree"
I also ordered my “Hair & Makeup” tank top. In a nice bright pink. I haven’t received it yet, but there’s no rush for that.
Etsy is such an amazing resource. Its unbelievable. Something are crazy expensive but on the most part I’ve had success.
and FINALLY our "I DO" cards to go on the back of our vows. Really happy with the way they turned out
Not a very pic heavy entry especially considering I actually have stuff finished, but I will update asap.
My first attempt at an inspiration board...Not great but ok lol
♥UPDATE♥ :::::JANUARY 2012:::::
♥TRUE Love Board
I found my hair inspiration. I have been trying to figure out exactly what I want to do. My FI loves my hair down and curly but a hot July wedding and my curls make a big frizzy mess. So I know it needs to be straighter in the front and pinned a bit. I came across Heidsmu33 via a friend and fell in love. Such a gorgeous bride with the perfect hair.
I showed the pics to my hairdresser and she said its 100% doable. Maybe add some extensions or a hair piece to oomph it up a bit and we are ready to go ♥
Isnt she gorgeous??
here is the reality based on my inspiration....
Here is the "Tears of Joy" label. i will post pics once its printed and atached to the actual tissue envelopes that my FI so lovingly helped me stuff. Thats when you know you have a keeper lol ♥
Our spare room is currently "wedding central". My OCD FI has been very patient with all the mess andd madness as long as its contained to one place ♥♥♥ Hopefully it will get better soon lol
My invites are STILL not entirly together but here is the base. Will add pics when I add the inserts and bling.
There will be our monogram on the front (in the green square)
****UPDATE**** I have added the pics of the finished FINAL product!!! ♥♥♥ them so much. Now to actually glue them all together and get them OUT!!!! I'm So proud of the way they turned out. I cant believe that i did them....
Here are the template for them as well....
Here are the dresses that my gorgeous MOH and Bridesmaid will be wearing.
The pics do them NO ZERO NADA justice. They look NOTHING like the real thing. Oh well. They're fittings are soon and I'll get the actual photos.
My girls will be in Apple Green
MOH - dress on the left
Bridesmaid - green with Ivory Sash - Dress on the right
My beautiful sister Gemma (MOH)
My gorgeous BEST FRIEND Abi in her dress...
We went yesterday and picked out the tuxedos for the wedding party. There all going to look so handsome.
FI and the boys will be in Calvin Klein with an ivory vest and tie (excelpt my youngest as he INSISTEd that he get to wear a BOWTIE instead of a tie....he is so cute...and I know it will look adorable on him), the BM, groomsman and my dad will be in the Calvin Klein with Black vest and tie.
There going to look so sharp. Hey have there fittings on the 16th of April, everything is really starting to come together. ♥
I know I want the girls to carry Calla Lilies...Just not sure how many and if I want a bouqet or a single flower with a ribbon....
For the corsages (My mum, Mother in law and the officiant) Im pretty sure i will go with green orchids to coordinate with the bridesmaids dresses (since the other flowers will all be either pionk or ivory/white) and the orchids in the centerpieces and stationary.....but the Calla's are so pretty as well.....
Makeup Inspiration. Not to natural but not to OTT either....
My Makeup trial pics
Day of the wedding makeup
Will update with pics soon. Party is tomorrow!!! This is the invite my friend sent out. I look a little freaky lol but I love it and appreciate it SOOOO much. I wish i looked as mysterious in real life lol
Since I’m having an outdoor ceremony, the LAST thing I want is a rainy day. This being said, I do realize that as OCD as I may be…even I can’t control the almighty mother nature and her whims. Here are some inspiration pics of rainy day weddings. Make the best of a wet situation!!!
I ♥♥♥ the lounge look. Im hoping to be able to set something up in one of the areas in our hall. Fingers crossed....
Im SO happy that I made a table set up chart for the hall...the ideas they had did not work AT all. They actually kept my template and sue it for functions now lol
Finally figured out where everyone is goign to sit and where the tables will go. Very Happy!!!!
I absolutely LOVE the way a TTD or RTD session looks. the pics are so much fun. Any excuse to wear the dreess again is a winner in my opinion lol I cANT wait to show off ours if and when we eventaully get around to doing them. I know exactly how I wnat them and i think they will be quite unique. Watch this space....lol
I’m a week early for my sign off but with so much going on and people starting to arrive from overseas, I figured I would take the time to get this out now….Be warned …VERY LONG
Like so many PW brides before me, I happened upon this site through a Google search. I was looking for card stock for my invitations and instead what I found was a community of people that inspire and motivate me on a daily basis. Whether it is wedding related or not. When I have a bad day, there will always be something on the boards to make me smile. Photos of that first time putting on THE dress, an inspiration board that blows my mind, a story about the first time you met your FI/DH or a simple “Hi how are you”. This goes the same for the toasts and the Bio love and everything else received from everyone. I have never been so excited to get badges and “carats” although I still haven’t made my 4…I WILL get there lol and the confidence booster that goes along with all the unbelievable comments made when posting pics, DIY attempts etc…OMG!!! Y’all know how to make a girl feel like a gorgeous princess!!! And for that I truly thank you ♥
On my bio introduction I said that I had never done a blog before and never been on any forums. I didn’t know if I would get into it, but I am SO happy that I gave PW the chance. I can’t imagine having gone through this process any other way. My life has been honestly changed by the women on this site, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I have laughed and cried, with happiness and heartbreak. I have been inspired, and I have learned so much (who knew a STD could be a good thing lol)
When I first signed up I got my very 1st friend request and 1st toast from not only another bride, but my date twin. aswan87 - Alysa THANK YOU for your continued support and warm wishes. I hope that your day is as special as you are. I know you will be a gorgeous bride and amazing wife. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I will have a drink for you while we celebrate together in different countries (just like our mutual bachelorettes lol).
Thank you to everyone that made my PW experience extra special. All the brides that have inspired me and been active ion the boards all the time to keep it going and helping out the newbies. The PW big sister crew…. Santosha (my fellow Canadian darling), fromcoldtofire, allaboutmartini, adamsapple, luckysbride, Kristin_tater, gatewood2be, msdl, ajbevents85, athena85, laurasweet, mrzLemUS, lynchpop, MrsAmandaKurtz, misshammy, thisiscooling, ms.griffin…..and so so SO many more….(I’m sorry if I miss anyone, you’re all amazing).
Chancesare – I don’t even know where to begin with you lol. You are the sweetest, most generous, most inspirational, kindest hearted person I have ever had the pleasure of “meeting”. I am a better person just for knowing you. You have done so much for me on a personal level, wedding idea level and emotional level. Keep that sparkle girl. You will always be the ultimate blinged out mega diva around.
My date twins and continued inspiration throughout the experience.
It great knowing that the countdown is the same for others and the stress, excitement, anxiety is equal. Thanks for the words of encouragement an, toasts and shared excitement.
Pinktulip: I’m sure you will have a stunning wedding (you are SO gonna rock the Vintage) and know that you and Michael with have a wonderful marriage full of love and happiness.
Altonece: I remember the first time I saw you NYC theme and watched as you built your perfect wedding. So unique and amazing. I’m sure your guests will be as impressed as I was.
MichellesMommy: It is amazing to see a mom so involved in her daughter’s day. Thank you for all your kind words and toasts. I’m sure your daughters day will be perfect and I hope she realizes how lucky she is to have a mom like you.
JandDW2011: DIY Queen in the gorgeous princess gown. Can’t wait to see it all together.
Schroerv: You guys are just WAY to cute and I know that you’ll have a gorgeous day and beautiful life together.
To you and those that I have not mentioned by name, I hope you all have a phenomenal day. I can’t wait to read the sign offs and recaps. I know you will all be beautiful brides and I’m honored to share my day with you all. 30.07.11 BRIDES ROCK IT!!!!! ♥♥♥
So to sum it up (sorry this is soooo long)
Here is my final “You know you’re a PW bride when”: Your ecstatic about your upcoming wedding, but getting emotional over a forum sign off because the people you want to thank cant possibly know HOW much they’ve done for you. You’ve met people that will (hopefully) follow from forum into real life, and whether it be by “real” name or screen name, you have friends that mean so much to you.
I am grateful, humbled and honored to have been a part of this forum and this site and can’t wait to come back as a MRS and share it with you all. I promise, you won’t be able to get rid of me….I think I’m a lifer…Thank you all for your messages of love, support, congratulations and more…
see you all on the other side!!!! ♥♥♥ Lorna (247)
My prince charming getting ready before the BIG moment!!!
With my daddy!!!
My 4 favorite guys in the WORLD!!!
With his mommy
Its all about me lol
Me and my Mummy
Me, my mummy, my tummy mummy and aunt
me again lol
My mum buttoning my dress
Tummy mummy putting on garter #1
MOH putting on throw away garter
Getting ready to go!!!! almost a MRS!!!
I LOVE my girls SOOOOO much!!!!
My BFF (BM), Junior Bridesmaid and Flower Girl
My beautiful MOH (and baby sister)
ME AND MY BOYS!!♥♥♥
THE WHOLE BRIDAL PARTYMY "TUMMY" MUMMY who flew in from Scotland for our big day.
DH and his BestMan
On the phone with work...YEAH I know right?? Terrible
My youngest had to put down his toy...against his will...
Disappeared to retrieve it...lol
Me and my prince charming♥♥♥
The gorgeously delicious kiddies
Mike and my boys before the ceremony
My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE picture!!!! I ♥♥♥ it sooooo much!!!!
he knows im there but cant quite see me yet....
trying to hold it together...
OUR AMAZING OFFICIANT!!!
I have more to add (first dance, father daughter dance etc...) but here are a few....
Dancing with my BIG boy!!!
To stop the clinking of glasses the DJ played a game. Top 5 reasons why we are together. It was HILARIOUS!!! WHen you take into consideration that we work for competing transportatin companies and that we have a 15 year age difference....you can imagine some of the responses. It was AMAZING!!!!
My son surprised us with a FANTASTIC toast. He is usually so shy, so stand in front of 100 people and toast us...amazing!!! I still cant get over it. I was so surprised. I CANT wait to see the video!!!
Let the DANCING begin!!!!
and the shots....
wedding got crashed by another bride...so we spent time together at each others weddings!!!!
How is that for a CRAZY face lol
woman are NUTS for the bouquet
check out the girl in the purple dress....thats after the bouquet smacked her on the face....owwww
Also note my darling sister push her way through...
an she GOT it!!!
the girl that got b!tch slapped by the bouquet...yeah her boyfriend caught the garter...she wasnt pleased lmao
We had an AMAZING Honeymoon. it was PERFECT!!!!
We went to the Magestic Colonial in Punta Cana DR
We stayed in gorgeous swim up suite and it was pure absolute heaven. I can't say enough great things about it.
Good bye paradise :( We WILL be back ♥
I bought a fuschia garter to match my shoes and was given a light blue one from the bridal salon that was going to be my something blue.
The night before the wedding my birth mom who had come in fromScotlandgave me an envelope to open at midnight on my wedding day.
Inside there was a card saying how much she loved me and couldn’t believe that we were finally in each others lives and that she never thought she would be a part of this day. She thanked DH and I for welcoming her and she thanked my mum and dad for letting her come and be a part of our family. Yeah….tear jerking much lol it was gorgeous.
There was a small box containing this garter and the words
Something blue – the color of the tartan
Something new the garter
Something old – the lace was from the blanket I was in before I got taken away (OMG!!!)
And something borrowed was the charm. One for her and one for me to keep after.(one says "mum" and the other "daughter"...she asked my mum permission before giving it to me...again MORE tears lol)
It’s the most meaningful, sentimental and amazing gift I have ever received. And I will cherish it for the rest of my life.
Needless to say..the light blue garter was gone and the pink one became the “throw away” one lol
As amazing as our cupcakes were (and they were AMAZING) a few people felt that since there was no cake “cutting” our wedding was incomplete. As DH and I did feed each other cupcake goodness we were fine but alas apparently it’s not all aboutUSlol
A weekend after the wedding a friend of ours showed up with a specially home made cake we could cut it and really be married hahaha
It was DELICIOUS!!! Strawberry shortcake cream cake with white chocolate icing….seriously??? AMAZING!!!!
Here is us appeasing and enjoying our week—iversary
Our beautiful champagne flutes brought over from Scotland.
Mine has a thistle and DH has a Canadian Maple leaf. I ♥ them.
The Final Photo Design
On the card stock (not great pic iphone & bad lighting)
The inside (for our handwritten notes)
As a Montréal bride (actually a Canadian bride) I had a lot of trouble finding vendors that would ship toCanada. Didn’t have the same options for dress shopping and had a hard time finding reviews for a lot of things.
I am also having a difficult time reviewing things as most of my vendors are not listed. So I decided to add a few to my bio
My AMAZING venue was the Sheraton Montreal http://www.sheratonmontrealairport.com/ I have mentioned them a few times but cant leave them out. I had a PHENOMEAL experience with them from start to finish.
The staff were so helpful and the hotel is a hidden gem in the middle of the city. A gorgeous garden with pond and waterfalls and a stunning ceremony space with a flowered aisle. Heaven. The food was exquisite.
MY DRESS!!!! What a great experience I had. As I mentioned on previous pages I went in to simply try on a few dresses and get some ideas but what I got was amazing service and MY DRESS!!! The owner and workers became like family during my time there. Lots of selection, good prices, lots of experience and help. They gave me ideas and inspiration and helped me with so many different things. Alteration charges where cheap and done perfectly. I also got my MOH, BM , Junior BM and Flower girl dresses there since they were so good to me. I would recommend them to ANY Montréal bride. A small quaint family owned store that’s much more personal and friendly than the madness of the infamous Montrealbridal run St Hubert Street. http://www.mariagepc.com/english/home.html
I got my amazing shoes on Zappos but since my wedding zappos has also stopped shipping toCanada(boooo) but I still recommend them (even though im MAD at them) since I ♥♥♥ my fuschia beauties.
I got my artificial flowers (girls bouquets, flower girls wands and centerpiece flowers) from www.afloral.com amazing product. Fast shipping and very affordable. The website is extremely user friendly and the product descriptions are perfect
Invitation paper was from www.cardsandpockets.com They were fast with the samples and even faster with my order. Good prices (although shipping toCanada was quite expensive plus customs etc) but would definitely recommend them to anyone.
Etsy was invaluable to me www.etsy.com I got my fascinator, wedding tree and much more from the great sellers on this site. It’s a bit overwhelming and can sometimes cost a lot but definitely worth taking a bit of time to explore. You can see specific sellers on some of my other pages.
I will add some more in time but those were a few of the services that really helped me along ♥
I got this amazing idea from the fabulous athena85 - http://www.projectwedding.com/post/list/our-wedding-card-album
I started with our HUGE pile of cards
I decided to add a couple of personal touches to really make it our own. I used the “invitation” part of our wedding invite and covered the details with our monogram (also from the outside of invitation)
I also decided to incorporate the ribbon that around the box my engagement ring came in.
I’m really happy with the way it all came together and can’t wait to show it off when people come to visit.
and all tied up with a pretty pink bow (the same ribbon used on my bouquet, the girls wands and the chairs)
We had 2 close friend reading before and during outr ceremony. these are what we chose (After reading ALOT of different things.....)
Reading before ceremony
To Love is Not to Possess
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one's self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one's self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another--and to one's inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon's own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child's scars
Or an adult's deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are--and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
Reading During ceremony
“Marriage is a commitment to life, to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other human relationship can equal; a joining that is promised for a lifetime. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger; even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life. When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.”
by Robert Fulghum
"You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife "
“Love Is Friendship Caught Fire”, by Laura Hendricks
"Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough."
Here is pour actual ceremony....word for word(and a timeline)
***Leigh alter for reading***
***Jamie alter for reading***
Walk down the aisle
before uniting you in the bonds of marriage, I am required to read to you
certain articles of the Civil Code which set out the rights and duties of
Article 392. The spouses have the same rights and obligations in marriage.
They owe each other respect, fidelity, succour and assistance.
They are bound to live together.
Article 393. In marriage, both spouses retain their respective names and
exercise their civil rights under those names.
Article 394. The spouses together take in hand the moral and material
direction of the family, exercise parental authority and assume the tasks
resulting there from.
Article 395. The spouses choose the family residence together.
In the absence of an express choice, the family residence is presumed
to be the residence where the members of the family live while carrying
on their principal activities.
Article 396. The spouses contribute towards the expenses of the marriage
in proportion to their respective means.
The spouses may make their respective contributions by their activities
within the home.
In Address to Lorna & Mike
Mish: What is your name?
Mish: and what is your desire?
Answer: To join with Lorna whom I love.
Mish: What is your name?
Mish And what is your desire?
Answer: To join with Michael whom I love.
Mish: Michael , will you have this woman to be your partner, to live together in marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health, for as long as love may last?
Mike: I will.
Mish: Lorna , will you have this man to be your partner, to live together in marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and keep him in sickness and in health, for as long as love may last?
Lorna: I will.
Mish: Michael and Lorna, you stand before me, your family and your friends, having desired the bond of marriage. Do you do this of your own free will, coming here today without coercion or pressure from other persons?
Lorna & Mike: I do.
Mish: Will you seek to do each other harm?
Lorna & Mike: We will not.
Mish: And if harm is done, will you seek to repair it?
Lorna & Mike: We will.
Mish: Will you seek to be honest with one another in all things?
Lorna & Mike: we will.
Mish: Will you support each other in times of distress?
Lorna & Mike: we will.
Mish: Will you temper your words and actions with love?
Lorna & Mike: We will.
Mish: These things you have promised to your partner, before your family and friends. May you ever be mindful and strive to keep the vows you have spoken.
Mish: I have spoken, “for as long as love shall last” rather than “until death do you part” in the face of the reality that situations and people change. However, this does not mean rending your partnership at the first sign of trouble or disagreement, for you know that in relationships come difficult times. It is your responsibility within this partnership to strive for acceptable solutions, to work toward healing the hurts that will occur, and only after having exhausted all other avenues of possibility and not reaching a solution should such a bond be broken.
In Address to the Guests
Mish: Please respond to the following questions with I will
Mish: Will all of you, present here and witnessing these vows, assist and support Lorna and Michael in their union?
GUESTS Answer: I will.
Mish: As these (two) people are joined, so are your families united through them. It has been their decision to bind themselves by marriage, and their lives will be blessed and enriched by the support you give. Will you encourage and bless Lorna and Michael in their union? Will you celebrate their marriage, standing beside them in rough times, yet not standing between them?
GUESTS Answer: I will.
Mish: You are friends and relatives of this couple, and thus you are an important part of their lives. Their interactions with you are coloured by your actions and words. You have a responsibility to one another and to this couple to be supportive, understanding, and honest,
and on this day of their marriage do I charge you to temper all of your dealings with love.
I, Lorna, do ask you, Michael, to be my partner in marriage
I, Michael, do ask you, Lorna to be my partner in marriage
Lorna: Here I promise you communication, laughter, imagination, and hope.
Mike : And all this I promise you.
Mike: Here I promise you love, passion, desire, and warmth.
Lorna : And all this I promise you.
Lorna: Here I promise you healing, compassion, honesty, and understanding.
Mike: And all this I promise you.
Mike Here I promise you stability, solidity, dependability, and strength.
Lorna: And all this I promise you.
Lorna: I speak these words of promise to you, Michael. I vow, before our families and friends, to build with you a life and relationship that is healthy and loving. I promise you my honesty, my compassion, my hand in sharing the work. I promise to encourage your dreams and to listen to your worries. I promise to care for you in every way that I can.
Mike: I speak these words of promise to you, Lorna. I vow, before our families and friends, to build with you a life and relationship that is healthy and loving. I promise you my honesty, my compassion, my hand in sharing the work. I promise to encourage your dreams and to listen to your worries. I promise to care for you in every way that I can.
***Carlem alter for reading***
By the exchange of these tokens of your love for one another, so are your lives interlaced. What one experiences, so shall the other; as honesty and love build, so will your bond strengthen and grow.
The Circle is a perfect figure, without beginning, without end, with no area of weakness. It is a symbol of the Cycle of Life, of birth, death, and rebirth. This shall serve as a physical reminder of your vow, and that all things begin and end and begin again. These rings shall serve to remind you that life goes on, that these moments pass. When you are engulfed in anger or in sadness, look to your hand, and remember that the Wheel turns forever onward, and it is love that turns the Wheel.
Lorna: This ring I give to you is a symbol of our love, and of the promises I have spoken to you on this day.
Mike: I shall wear this ring as a symbol of our love, being always mindful of the vows we have spoken on this day
Mike: This ring I give to you is a symbol of our love, and of the promises I have spoken to you on this day.
Lorna: I shall wear this ring as a symbol of our love, being always mindful of the vows we have spoken on this day
You have witnessed the promises made by Lorna and Michael one to another and the exchange of the symbols of their union. They are now connected to experience together whatever life may bring them.
You may kiss your bride
Aidan & Kieran step up to the alter
Mike: Aidan & Kieran, I just want to thank you for sharing your mom and your own lives with me. I can't wait for each day knowing that all three of you will be in it with me.
You have made your vows, one to the other, before your family and friends, and exchanged tokens of your love.
In the Promises you have made and with the exchanging of the rings you have you created life anew. Step, into that new life, and rejoice in your love.
Mish: As per the Justice Quebec
“Michael......, do you take Lorna......, here present, to be your wife?”
Michael: “I do”.”
Micheline: “Lorna ..... do you take Michael ....., here present, to be your husband?
Lorna: “I do”.
Micheline: “By virtue of the powers vested in me by law, I now declare you ,Michael James Legare and Lorna Parker united in the bonds of marriage.” And by the power of your love, I do pronounce you Husband and Wife.
Mike…YOU MAY KISS YOUR BRIDE!!!!!
One of the things I REALLY wanted to have was a videographer but unfortunatly it just wasnt in our budget. The day of our wedding we were surprised when a couple showed up as a GIFT from a few of our close friends. It was AMAZING!!!! I watch the video ALL the time. It was fantastic to be able to see all the thigns I missed and relive al the fabulous moments. I woud SERIOUSLY recommend everyone to try a figure out a way to budget one in. It doeesnt have tto be super fancy or Hollywood level movie...just someone to capture those once in a lifetime moments.
I cant seem to post it anywhere so I created a open facebook page so people can watch it lol
Here is OUR HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
Im very proud of all my PW accomplishments and excited to get the remaining badges. I ♥ adding to my collection
I LOVE it here!!!!
A Plus Bio Buff Group Guru X94Hot topicX50
FOUR 4 FOUR Carat Diva Photo Pro Socialite
SuperGroup Top Toaster Top Poster X22
Author BIO OF THE WEEK!!!!
MARRIED!!!! My favorite badge!!!!
MY PW GOALS
Author - 5 Articles to go
Star Reviewer - Hoping to get this one, but not many canadian vendors yet...one day
Bio of the Week - i'll keep on buffin and prettifying her.... I'M WORKING HARD FOR THIS ONE!!!!
and the coveted Hostess.....Hopefully one day i'll have a pink heart of my own
The Hostess badge is MINE!!!!!
Proof that wanting something bad enough wins in the end!!! SO HAPPY!!!♥
****UPDATE March 2013****
YEAH!!!!! So happy and honored to have been chosen. Again lots of hard work putting it together and hoping to be chosen. Im so excited and happy. Work on those bios ladies!!!!
NEW BADGE for the kick ass bio blitz January 2012. I ♥♥♥it lol
To my PW Family
Wishing everyone a very Happy Valentines day!!!!!!
Valentine’s Day reminds me
how meaningful my feelings are for you.
You have a special place in my world
that no one else could fill.
Out of your overflowing heart,
you add color and light to my life.
You continually cross my mind,
like a precious dose of sunshine,
lighting me up inside--
as I think of you
and the lasting memories
we have created together.
No Valentine gift
is as precious to me
as you are,
my Valentine friend
I hoep you all have a great day with you FI or DH (Our first MARRIED Valentines day eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!♥♥♥♥
Courtesy of Martha Stewart
For Your Portrait
Aim to Flatter
During formal pictures, "stand at a slight angle, not straight on," says Donna Newman, a photographer in Miami. And remember the basics: Take a deep breath, exhale, then tilt your chin down and look up. Also, people look slimmer when photographed from an elevated point, so ask your pro to hop up on a chair for some shots.
Bring a Friend
Have her stand off camera to carry on a conversation -- bonus if she's the funniest bridesmaid. "There's nothing more attractive than a sincere laugh," says Thayer Allyson Gowdy, a San Francisco-based photographer.
Hold the Bouquet with One Hand
Rather than clasping both hands around it, clutch it loosely with one and let the other hang naturally by your side. It'll look more relaxed.
Be Nervous -- It's Okay
Everyone's a bit jittery on the big day. Rather than forcing a smile the whole time, let yourself be real. "If I can catch the bride staring anxiously out the window or welling up with her mom, I know I've got a good one," says Gowdy. "Raw emotions make for gorgeous photos."
Just You Two
Ask for Some Alone Time
At the start of your session, have your photographer give you a few minutes while she discreetly shoots, paparazzi-style, from a distance. You're more likely to act natural without a third party right there, Gowdy explains.
Take a Walk
Hold hands and set off on a short stroll, even if it's just across the lawn. "The hair moves, the dress flows, and there's energy to the image," says Gowdy.
Kiss (Yes, Really)
It may feel cheesy at first, but it's your wedding -- go for it. "I joke and tell couples, 'Okay, you two, you can finally make out,' and they always laugh and have an awesome kiss," says Gowdy. "Let your guard down, and you'll get a beautiful image."
And no, we don't mean moustaches. (It's official: They've jumped the shark!) Seek out items that are part of the scenery. If there's a statue outside your city venue, climb on. Getting hitched by a lake? Pose in a rowboat.
Your Wedding Party
Find a Backdrop
The ocean is always nice, but a wedding party lined up in front of funky hotel wallpaper or peeking out from the windows of a B&B is interesting, too.
As with the bride and groom, it helps to walk. Newman likes to have giggling flower girls and ring bearers chase the bride and bridesmaids while she shoots.
Varying the height within a group can look much better than the standard lineup. If you have couches or vintage chairs set out for the reception, take a seat.
Make It Look Random
Max Wanger, a photographer in Los Angeles, often staggers people or asks everyone to look in a different direction. "Group shots are best when they're not so uniform," he says.
Catch the Guys Off Guard
Most men aren't exactly pro posers, so Wanger likes to capture them doing something -- like clinking glasses of Scotch or throwing a football.
Our AMAZING friends surprised us With TWO delicious Anniversary cakes
The 1st was from my friend that made our Wedding day cupcakes
Anniversary Cake (Red Velvet with cream cheese filling and butter cream icing)
Wedding Day cupcakes (Mix of vanilla, chocolate and red velvet with butter cream icing)
The 2nd was from our friend who made us our Week-iversary Cake….see post above explaining why lol
Anniversary cake (Chocolate and Vanilla sponge with a custard and cream filling and white chocolate icing)
Week-iversary cake (Vanilla sponge with custard/cream strawberry filling and white chocolate icing)
I love how they both stuck to a theme lol the wedding one was done in the same colors with the same flowers etc and the 2nd one was the same base design but with different embellishments.
I was so happy when I received these cakes. Such a sweet thing for them both to do and the fact that they were thinking of us on our day really does mean the world to me (and DH)
I will post pics of us cutting the new cakes ASAP and more anniversary photos to come as well.
One Year Later♥ Not a great photo but still shows out lovin :)
I am sooooo excited that my sister in Scotland is getting married!!!
The date is Friday October 4th 2013
I CANT WAIT
I get to
a) be MOH for my little sis
b) get a trip to Scotland
c) see all my family
Doesn’t get any better than that
So I’ve decided to add to my bio with all the stuff I’m helping her do from across the ocean. Wooohooooo so any long distance help you amazing ladies can give me will be GRWEATLY appreciated
Her colors (for now) are
Persian Plum, black and silver
She started off with purple and teal but changed her mind as she thought it was a bit to “peacocky”. I LOVE the colors together but not my day anymore lol
The purple and black will be stunning and if the right amount of accents silver and white are in there it won’t seem to gothic.
Wishing you ALL, the very best this holiday season!!!
Thank you for being YOU!!!
Planning your wedding is not easy. Everyone has advice. Everyone has an opinion. And that's just the people you know! If you were to read just half the books, pamphlets, web sites, etc. written in the last half-century about wedding etiquette and protocol, you'd be reading and planning until your retirement! So how do you choose whose advice to heed and what resources are most relevant?
Unfortunately, we can't help you with the first part of that question: You'll have to wage your own battles with Aunt Frances and Grandma Helen over the seating arrangements. We can, however, point you to the most helpful resources: books, magazines and web sites that tell you what you need to know, not what you need to do . We restrict our discussion to what we know best - information and tips on "managing" your bridesmaids. We refrain from telling you what to do, because your creativity and imagination are what will make your wedding celebration memorable. We'll just provide a little help along the way.
As a bride-to-be, wedding chief executive and senior creative officer, you'll be faced with a barrage of questions, comments and suggestions from your bridesmaids. Your "staff" will look to you for help, direction and sometimes even dispute resolution. We hope that after reading this book, like a seasoned CEO, you'll have the background, context and knowledge to manage your bridesmaids effectively and easily. So, without further ado, The Bride's Guide to Bridesmaids.
Although there is a tremendous amount of literature on how to be a "good" bride, there is a noticeable lack of information about bridesmaids. Even if you were a bridesmaid in another wedding, did the bride explain to you what your role was, what she expected from you, and where you could help? As a bride yourself, you will find that establishing your bridesmaids' responsibilities up front is the most effective way to be on top of everything. Perhaps your biggest questions surround the bridesmaid dress, fittings and finding the right fabric. Whatever your questions are about managing your bridesmaids, we can help you find the answers.
We open with a brief discussion of the bridesmaid tradition, and then move on to modern day rituals, expectations and tendencies. As we move from the past to the present, we'll lay out what you need to know to run the show in the days leading up to your wedding - including a detailed list of your bridesmaids' responsibilities. Finally, we step into the future, outlining the important information you'll need to organize your bridesmaids and enjoy the wonderful celebration on your wedding day.
Choosing Your Bridesmaids
A Brief History
The history of the bridesmaid varies across cultures, religions and time periods. In early Roman times, bridesmaids formed a kind of bridal infantry as they accompanied the bride to the groom's village. This "protective shield" of similarly outfitted bridesmaids was supposed to intervene if any wayward thugs or vengeful suitors tried to hurt the bride or steal her dowry.
However, the Western bridesmaid tradition seems to have originated from later Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits believed to attend marriage ceremonies. The bridesmaids and ushers dressed in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits wouldn't know who was getting married. Even as late as 19th century England, the belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint the wedding still existed. In Victorian wedding photographs, for example, it can take quite a bit of inspection to pick out the bride and groom from among the other members of the bridal party!
The Modern Day Bridesmaid
These early customs continue to have an influence today. The expression "thrice a bridesmaid, never a bride" arose from the bridesmaid's interception of, and gradual infection by (over the course of three weddings), the evil spirits trying to disrupt the ceremony! And, although the bridal party no longer functions as a troop of foot soldiers, bridesmaid dresses are still commonly chosen in harmony with the look and feel of the wedding. The bridal party continues to serve a vital role in the wedding process, not by fending off hexes and robbers, but by providing key support staff and an advisory board. Besides being an honored member of the wedding party and special guest at the reception, today's bridesmaid is also designated as the bride's special assistant. From shopping for dresses to scouting hotels for out-of-town guests to writing place cards to hosting a bridal shower, her first duty is to be helpful. The payoff is that walk down the aisle, looking absolutely beautiful in a gown that is stylish, sophisticated, colorful and absolutely wearable. In 21st century America, bridesmaids are chosen to be caring helpers, thoughtful organizers and skillful liaisons.
How Many Is Too Many?
There is one obvious answer. If the altar only fits a handful of people, you'll have to limit your number of bridesmaids! But, seriously, the first rule in determining how many bridesmaids is right for you is to coordinate the size of your wedding party with the size of the venue where your wedding is to take place. Although it may be difficult to choose five bridesmaids from among fifty of your best friends, you must if you're having an intimate wedding. And there are plenty of other great honors that you can hand out to close friends who want to participate in the wedding (e.g., they can help coordinate any other wedding-related activities, or they could write a special song or toast for the reception, etc.).
A good second rule is to consider the formality of the wedding. In general, formal weddings have a half dozen or more bridesmaids in addition to the maid of honor (it could be as many as a dozen, but that is very rare). Semiformal and casual weddings can have just one bridesmaid - the maid of honor - but typically have about three to five. And don't worry if the groom has more ushers than you have bridesmaids: Ushers can always double up in the recessional. Of course, the final decision rests with you, the bride, but remember that the larger the number, the more difficult it may be for you to manage. And remember that the bridesmaids will all have to work together on many aspects of planning, so addressing any conflicts up front will avoid problems down the line. So the more the merrier?or too many cooks spoil the broth?you'll have to decide!
"Popping The Question"
In all likelihood, your bridesmaids will be among the first people to know that you're planning to get married. That's because most brides ask their closest friends and family members in a flurry of excited phone calls! However, there are no rules prescribing the right people to choose and there is no particularly right way to ask. It's entirely up to you. In general, your bridesmaids should be your sociable and engaging friends and family members, since many of their duties (in addition to organizational ones) will involve hosting, greeting and introducing. You can also have Junior Bridesmaids, generally between eight and fourteen years of age, who wear "junior" bridesmaid dresses. Or you can have Senior Bridesmaids - like a great aunt or grandmother - who may be your closest confidant or best ally. However, in the great majority of weddings, brides select friends and family around their own age, whom they know will be supportive and helpful in the planning process. Bridesmaids in your age group can also relate well to the groomsmen, who are generally around the same age as the groom. But before you get ready to announce your bridesmaid nominees, you should be well aware of the bridesmaids' responsibilities, so you can be sure your bridal party can handle their duties. Once you have made your decision, an easy way to "pop the question" is a bridesmaid card.
Breakdown Of Bridesmaid Responsibilities
Your bridesmaids are the perfect people to turn to when you are stressed or frazzled from the details of planning. Emotional support may also mean clearing some space for you - brides often ask their bridesmaids to host a relative or friend from out of town. Most importantly, as people who care about you, your bridesmaids want to help. Some say they feel left out when they aren't consulted for support or guidance!
The Bridal Shower
The bridal shower gained popularity in America early in the 20th century. Customarily a surprise party for society women, the bride was "showered" with presents to help her establish her new home. While most showers today don't have the same pomp and circumstance, the purpose remains the same: gifts! The bridesmaids may consult you on the theme of the party and they will look to you for the guest list, so be prepared! A little tip: The guest list should also be marked after the shower with "gift received" next to the names so that you'll know to whom and for what to send thank you notes. NOTE: If you're worried about your planners' competence, there are a host of instructional resources available at major bookstores and online for theme inspirations and how-to advice on getting organized and running a posh soiree.
The Bachelorette Party
Once a quiet evening of word puzzles and hushed tales between demure ladies, some bachelorette parties now compete with the bar-hopping, raucous excitement of the notorious bachelor party. However, some brides simply want a tame evening of martinis with their closest friends (this is not to imply that bachelors wouldn't want this too!). Another growing trend is a joint party for the couple to celebrate the end of their bachelor/ette status together. Whatever the style, location and gender of the stripper (shh!), the bridesmaids have the opportunity (read: financial responsibility) to make a memorable celebration! NOTE: Make sure you weigh in with your own ideas, though, or you may end up with strippers when you wanted martinis!
These can range from the drawn-out and complex (e.g., making origami favors, helping choose the bridesmaid dress) to the simple and rote (e.g., addressing envelopes, fluffing the bride's train). You should be able to rely on your bridesmaids to reduce your stress by aiding in a wide range of detail work. This should be a consideration before you "pop the question" - especially for your maid of honor, with whom you may spend a significant amount of time. Friends or family members who like to help and are easy to work with are great for these types of tasks. It may also behoove you to rely on recently married bridesmaids, who may be able to help by going through the nitty-gritty details that are still fresh in their minds.
The Bridesmaid Outfit
Since bridesmaids foot the bill for their own dresses, shoes and other wedding apparel, many brides take one or all of them shopping. This may serve political ends for your bridesmaids - they get to send an ambassador of style - or it may be a matter of convenience for you - having someone to keep you company in what can be a long and complicated process. Since the dress can be a touchy issue for some bridesmaids, many brides prefer to involve them in the process as much as possible. We return to the dress, its politics and other bridesmaid accoutrements in later.
The Rehearsal Dinner
Your bridesmaids will be a central part of the wedding rehearsal as you go through the steps to ensure smooth sailing on your wedding day. Although they do not have any special responsibilities at the rehearsal dinner, it will be a good chance for them to mingle with the groomsmen so they will feel comfortable socializing with them at the wedding. It is also customary at the rehearsal dinner to present your bridesmaids with a token of your appreciation for all their help. As Lord Tennyson noted, "A happy bridesmaid makes a happy bride." (hint, hint)
One of the main functions of the bridesmaids throughout the whole wedding process is to serve as your representatives and cheerleaders. As members of the receiving line, the bridesmaids have the difficult role of moving guests, friends and relatives along smoothly and making sure that everyone has a chance to speak briefly with the bride and groom. At the reception, hostessing may require introducing people (and introducing themselves) to make relatives and friends feel comfortable.
Part of the financial responsibility of being a bridesmaid, in addition to the dress and accessories, is paying for incidentals such as hair styling, makeup, pedicures and manicures. You can offer to help, but your bridesmaids should know up front that they will share some of these expenses. Also in this category are accommodations and transportation. To avoid any misunderstandings, many brides outline the costs early in the planning process and try to help wherever possible to alleviate financial strain.
Dancing Up A Storm
Many wedding customs date back to times of greater pageantry and pomp, like a formal opening dance number for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Even if there is no such thing planned, bridesmaids should serve as "starters" at the reception to get everyone on their feet and having fun when the band gets swinging. It may be the electric slide rather than a lovely waltz, but the bridesmaids should try to inspire guests to shake it up.
Turning Heads And Avoiding Headaches
The Dress And Accessories: A Worthwhile Expense
In all likelihood, the largest expense for your bridesmaids will be the dress, and accessory items like shoes, jewelry and a headpiece. Contrary to popular opinion, choosing and ordering a bridesmaid dress should not be a chore.
Dresses have come a long way in recent years, as manufacturers and designers have started to create fashionable, modern pieces that can be worn again to a variety of affairs. In general, the bridesmaid dress will cost between $75 and $375, averaging somewhere around $200, with an extra $30-$40 for alterations. If you have more lavish tastes, though, the dress could be quite a bit pricier, so it's always helpful to make sure your bridesmaids can afford the additional expense. If you're uncomfortable about preparing your bridesmaids for the expense (especially if they've never been in a wedding and aren't aware that they have to pay for the dress), you can gently explain the tradition. If money is a major issue, then you can look for more affordable dresses or find other ways to help. "Conflicts over the cost of a bridesmaid's dress should never come between friends," says Nina Lawrence. "The bride-to-be should show sensitivity toward the possibility that one or more of her attendants might have an issue with costs, and choose gowns and accessories accordingly. In special cases, the bride and her family may gracefully offer financial help, but as a general rule, the bride's selections for her bridal party should be as acceptable to them as they are to her, at prices well within their means."
Outfitting The Bridal Party
In an overwhelming majority of weddings, bridesmaid dresses are chosen to complement the wedding's unique colors, style and feel. This may mean that bridesmaids wear identical dresses, but this isn't always the case anymore. Some brides maintain a coordinated look by buying dresses that vary slightly in design or color but still match the formality of the affair and the overall look of the bridal gown.
Coordinating Among Bridesmaids
Most important, though, is that all the bridesmaids' dresses are normally ordered from the same manufacturer at the same shop. Ordering all the dresses from the same shop means that all the dress orders will be submitted at the same time. It also ensures that all the dresses for the bridal party will be drawn from the same dye lot, to guarantee that they coordinate. In addition, any accessories should be matched to the bridesmaid dress. Brides generally ask bridesmaids to buy shoes in the same color as the dress and at a similar, if not identical, heel height. It may be easiest to find dyeable shoes, so that the exact color of the dress can be replicated. If you're planning on asking your bridesmaids to wear gloves, specific jewelry items, special undergarments or headpieces, the further in advance you ask, the better. (NOTE: Jewelry items are a popular bridesmaid gift for this reason - your bridesmaids will have matching accessories and they won't have to pay for them!) The more specific and detailed you make your accessory request (e.g., let them know where the items can be purchased, or show them an advertisement or a picture), the more helpful it will be to your bridesmaids.
Dress Shopping Prep
Before flipping through catalogs and visiting the local bridal shops, warehouses, department stores or special occasion stores, you can speak to each bridesmaid or set up an online chat to discuss what kinds of dresses they have in mind and what kinds of dresses are out of the question. To get the ball rolling, you can send pictures of dresses you like, or point to web sites where they can check out your selections online. Also, in advance of shopping, gather all of your bridesmaids' measurements (this can be confidential if your bridesmaids are uncomfortable sharing their sizes with the group). The chart at the end of this guide is a useful way to keep track of them all.
You should encourage your bridesmaids to have their measurements taken by an experienced tailor or seamstress, in undergarments only. If they cannot go to a professional, having a friend or relative help out is always more accurate than trying to measure themselves. When you're ready to place the final order for the dresses, you will need the following measurements:
- bust (fullest point of bust)
- waist (natural waist - across the belly button)
- hips (fullest part - right across the derrière).
Although measurements can be tedious, they are imperative for a good fit. Remember: It is possible for everyone to be happy with her dress as long as you keep in mind that everyone wants to look good and feel comfortable. Flexibility and communication are key.
In general, brides start shopping for bridesmaid dresses shortly after they order their own gown - about six to seven months before the wedding. The reason for the early preparation is that complex orders can take awhile to be delivered: You want to leave plenty of time to deal with fittings, alterations and, of course, Murphy's Law (whatever can go wrong will go wrong). When you do start shopping, try to be organized - especially if you have six bridesmaids with you! - so that you don't have to labor over each dress. Shopping should be fun and everyone should be included. There is no reason for anyone to be surprised by the final choice.
Hitting The Stores: What To Look For
There are a number of different places to shop for bridesmaid dresses, and you'll probably try them all! Department stores may have several of the same dress off the rack ready to buy, which can certainly save you a lot of time (and perhaps money). But they may not be from the same dye lot, which can be visible upon inspection. In addition, department stores generally don't carry special order dresses, so you'll miss out on a large variety of beautiful dresses. Department stores also lack the level of service that most brides want: In most cases, the store will not offer helpful extras (e.g., alterations, swatches, accessories) like a specialty shop.
Large discount bridal chains can also be very inexpensive, which is their major advantage, and they usually have a short turnaround time for delivery. However, the quality of the merchandise can be shoddy, and, like department stores, they do not carry special order brands or provide helpful services.
Online retailers are usually of the "you order it, it's yours" mentality, which means that you will find discounted prices, but a lack of customer service. Like discount chains, they can offer quick turnaround, but you'll miss out on an even larger selection of dresses, since many manufacturers do not supply online retailers with merchandise.
A full service bridal shop is the most comprehensive choice, providing information and advice on measurements, sizing, undergarments, shoes and order time. They provide fabric swatches and usually have seamstresses on staff to perform all necessary alterations. They are professionals, and usually charge slightly higher prices than discount retailers. However, it is their business to make sure the wedding day goes perfectly. Brides often find it convenient to choose one shop they like and purchase everything there, including the bridesmaid dresses, shoes and accessories, which can work out to an overall discount for the bridesmaids.
It is important to scrutinize the differences in quality among the dresses you look at and try on. It will become apparent to you very early on in your search that there are stark disparities between manufacturers, shops and styles. You should ask yourself if the manufacturer you are looking at carries a full range of colors, dress linings for comfort, attractive styles that work with your wedding gown and any other questions that are of importance to you and your bridesmaids. As an educated shopper, it will be much easier to find the perfect dress and accessory items.
Wrap - Up
So the big day has finally arrived! Your bridesmaids look beautiful in their luxurious dresses, the cake is perfect, the band is wonderful and everything is organized. This sounds about right! In all seriousness, though, hopefully you have a better idea of the details of successfully managing your bridesmaids. Like a good scout, you are prepared for your Big Day and can be confident that everything will go smoothly. It is your day to celebrate, so enjoy yourself!
- The number one conflict is over money. Be clear, and help whenever possible.
- The number two conflict is over the dress. Discomfort (both physical and emotional) can lead to disharmony.
- Make sure that your bridesmaids try on their dresses and accessories several times!
- Make sure your bridesmaids are getting enough attention and have a clear idea of what to do, i.e., what you expect.
- Don't be too demanding. Remember that your bridesmaids have a life beyond planning for your wedding.
- Extend thanks often and do little things to make your bridesmaids happy. The little things make a huge difference - especially if they're gifts!
- Organize a bridesmaid survival kit for the wedding, but leave someone else in charge of bringing it (you'll have enough to worry about). Contents should include aspirin, band-aids, nasal spray, tissues, white medical tape, needle, thread and scissors, safety pins, nail file, clear nail polish, smelling salts, eye drops, hair spray, breath spray/mints, bobby pins (hair pins), tampons and liners and mirrors.
- Don't forget that you may have to be a bridesmaid in one of your bridesmaid's weddings in the near future - the Golden Rule should be in full effect!
- Which designers do you carry? Can you carry other designers or catalogs upon request?
- How much do dress orders typically cost?
- Are appointments necessary?
- Can you look through the dresses on your own, or must they be presented to you?
- How long does it usually take for dresses to come in? Can they be rushed?
- Are there discounts available for multiple orders? For alterations?
_ Make sure you have every bridesmaid's full set of measurements.
_ Upon payment, make sure the receipt (or your records) has the following:
_ The wedding date
_ All special requests and accessory descriptions, including shoes
_ Delivery dates
_ Refund and/or cancellation policy
_ Amount due upon checkout
_ Full dress description
_ Designer name
_ Style number or detail
_ Quantity of dresses ordered
_ Call the store a couple of weeks before delivery to make sure everything is taken care of.
Bridesmaid List And Measurements