5 Things Every Bride Should Do On Her Wedding Day

No, this isn’t a list of the things you are already planning on doing, like getting your hair done, getting pictures taken, showing up … Most brides have their big days planned months in advance, being sure that all of the major must-dos are taken care of. And while each bride is planning to ensure that everything will go accordingly to plan (with only one “hitch!”), in hindsight, many look back, wishing that they would have done some things a little bit differently.

The main moral of the story: How YOU are feeling is the most important part of the entire day.

So many brides are so absorbed in their to-do lists, wanting to be a part of each and every detail, that they miss out on the big stuff.

These five things (yes, add them ALL to your list), will help you not only enjoy your big day, but will make sure that, when you look back on it, it was as special and magical as you had hoped for.

  1. Wake Up Early: Before you start lamenting and saying, “It’s my wedding day! Why in the world would I want to wake up early!”, let’s think about it for just a minute. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life – why would you want to take a minute from it? Waking up early allows you extra time to relax and to soak up each and every moment. Those quiet moments in the early morning, whether by yourself or with the people that mean the most to you, will be the most reflective, peaceful moments of your entire day. Have a cup of coffee (or a mimosa!) and take e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g in.

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  1. Don’t Worry: Let’s try that again. Don’ worry, too much. You will worry. You’ll worry about the big things and the little things, the things you can control and those that you can’t. But there are some things on your wedding day that you just have to let go of. There are so many moments where you should take advantage of just being present, rather than worrying about if the drinks are being served on time, if your aunt has arrived yet, and if anyone is signing the guest book. As much as you can, take a deep breath, remind yourself of how happy you are, and let other people do the worrying for you!

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  1. Do Something Extra Special: “I’m getting married! Isn’t that special enough?” Yes! Of course it is! But those little extra special things before you say “I do” can help make it even more memorable – and they can help you relax too! What is something you love? What is something you’ve always wanted to do? Things like getting a massage in the morning, having a private yoga class for you and your bridal party, finally trying that breakfast or brunch place everyone has been talking about can help you get in the mindset that, yes, this is an extraordinary day.

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  1. Find Ways to Say Thank You: No wedding can happen without people. From your parents to your family, your wedding planner to your best friend, your wedding is the culmination of amazing relationships. While no one is arguing that it isn’t your big day, saying “thank you” to those you love and appreciate is a great way to make everyone happy. Try writing thank you cards in advance, letters, or arranging for a small token of appreciation (like flowers) to show up on doorsteps and hotel rooms (hint: we also have wedding favors your guests will love).

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  1. Don’t Miss It: This isn’t referring to a Runaway Bride situation. In fact, this is far more common than that. So many brides, so caught up in the day’s schedule and the goal of attaining perfection, completely miss out on their day. They miss out on really seeing how beautiful the flowers ended up looking, how good the cake tasted, how spectacular they looked, how amazing their now-to-be husbands are. Remind yourself to take deep breaths. Remind yourself to pause and look around. Remind yourself that, yes, today really is just that fabulous.

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Photo credit: The above wedding photo and header image used in this post was provided by Smart

Bridal Bouquet Shapes

Hand-Tied BouquetIt’s time for you to choose your bridal bouquet but where do you begin?

Using a florist you trust is a good starting point and then having good communication with that florist increases the odds that you will be pleased with the final results.

Being able to clearly express your preferences will help your florist create your dream bouquet. Sharing photos of what you like and don’t like will go a long way in making it perfectly clear what you want your bouquet to look like.

Also, be sure to bring a picture of your wedding dress to the consultation with your florist so that your bouquet and dress are in harmony with each other. If you have a special hanky, brooch or other personal item you want included with your bouquet, be sure and bring it with you to your consultation.

In choosing your flowers, consider the time of the year that your wedding is taking place.  If you choose flowers that are in bloom during the season of your wedding, you will keep costs down.

In this blog post, I’ll focus on shape of the bouquet because the shape of the bouquet will influence flower choice and size. Other influences are the formality of the wedding, the style of  your wedding gown, and venue. It’s also important that your bouquet is in proportion to your size. If you are a petite bride, then a huge Cascade bouquet would not work just as a small Posy is not the best choice for a tall, full-figured bride.

I have found that there is not consistency among florists when it comes to the names of the bouquet shapes. So that you and your florist are on the same “page”, it’s best to show him/her a photo of the style you want to use.

There are quite a few bouquet shapes and I will focus on five of them here.

Round Bridal Bouquet: A Round bouquet typically uses one type of flower, although it can incorporate assorted blooms, as well. It can be hand-tied or created using a florist’s bouquet holder. When talking about the Round bridal bouquet, it is a natural progression to mention the Nosegay and Posy, since they are so much alike. The Nosegay and Posy have a similar appearance to the Round bouquet but are smaller in size and often more tightly arranged. A Posy’s small size means it can easily be held in one hand.Round Bouquets


Hand-Tied Bridal Bouquet:
A hand-tied bouquet has a casual appearance. It is made by simply gathering the flowers and tying with ribbon. It can be made using one type of flower or combining many.
Hand-Tied Bouquets


Cascade Bridal Bouquet:
Also, called Waterfall, the Cascade bouquet consists of flowers that drape downward in to a waterfall effect. This style is typically the most traditional and formal but as you can see from the bouquet in the last photo, it can also have a more modern appearance, as well.Cascade Bouquets


Composite Bridal Bouquet:
The Composite bouquet, also called a Glamelia, is made from hundreds of flower petals that are wired together to create one gigantic flower. Due to the labor involved to create the Composite, the price can be much higher than other styles.Composite Bouquets


Presentation Bridal Bouquet:
The Presentation bouquet, also called a Sheaf, Flat or Arm bouquet is made from long-stemmed flowers and is carried in the crook of the arm.
Presentation Bouquets

To see more bouquets, visit our Pinterest boards:
Colorful Wedding Bouquets
White Wedding Bouquets
Composite Wedding Bouquets

Photo Credits:
Collage 1: Petal and Bean, Bouquet Wedding Flower, Project Wedding, Project Wedding, Project Wedding, Ken Kato, My Inspired Wedding, Real Etsy Wedding – Collage 2: Southern Weddings, Floral Artistry, My Wedding Concierge, HiFi Weddings, 100 Layer Cake, Tim Duncan Events, Rachel Whiting – Collage 3: Floralisa.com (Project Wedding), Fiore Fresco, Project Wedding, Project Wedding, Rustic Wedding Chic, Heather’s Floral Designs, Vermont Country Flowers – Collage 4: Daniel Taylor Photography, Style Me Pretty, Nightingales, Wedding Planner, St. Jude’s CreationsCollage 5: Amina Michele, A Low Country Wed, Ruffled Blog

Including Your Dog in Your Wedding

Dogs in Weddings ThumbnailIf you consider your dog to be a beloved member of your family, it is only natural that you would want to include him or her in  your wedding day …  one of the most important … and family oriented … days of your life.

There are several ways that dogs can be included in wedding ceremonies. You may want your pooch to participate in the ceremony by having an official role as flower girl, ring bearer, bridesmaid or groomsman.  Or it may be more your style to have your pup be a “guest” at the ceremony and/or reception.  If they are going to participate in the ceremony, it may be best to have one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen escort your dog down the aisle. And be sure to check with your venue(s) beforehand to make sure they have no issues with Fido’s presence.

Get some help …. In order to do all that is possible to have things go smoothly, it is a good idea to have someone on hand to be the dog’s caretaker during the entire wedding festivities, so that you can relax and enjoy your day. This can be a professional dog walker or a trusted person, who is not a wedding guest. It can vary how this is done and how much care your pup will need, of course. Some dogs are generally well-behaved and well … some are not!

Well-dressed pooch …. Once you decide to include your pooch in your ceremony, you’ll want to decide on wedding attire for him or her. There are several ways to go when it comes to outfitting your pup for the big day. One way is using a garland of flowers or attaching flowers to their collar. Just make sure to choose flowers that are less likely to attract bees or even use silk flowers, if necessary. For walking down the aisle you could also attach flowers to the leash. A festive bandanna might do the trick, as well.

Clothing options include buying something “off the rack” or having a custom-made outfit that coordinates with your bridesmaids or groomsmen. It may sound over the top to have an outfit custom-made, but I know several people who have done this!

As wonderful as it is to have your dog included in your wedding, there could be a situation where you have a particularly unruly furry friend or one that perhaps is not comfortable around large crowds, music, etc. In that case, it really may be best to let your pooch sit this one out and relax at home during the festivities. If this is the case, perhaps you can have him or her included in some of your wedding photography, as shown in the last photo here.

Dogs in Weddings

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Dogs in Weddings 2

For more photos of dogs in weddings, see our Pinterest board.

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Photo Credits:
Collage 1: (1) Amy Deputy (2) LibbyLewis.com (3) Daniel Taylor Photography
(4) People.com – Collage 2: (1) Colleen Paige (2) “Always a Bridesmaid” Shirt – Exclusively Weddings (3) Flower Girl Dress – Exclusively Weddings (4) Martha Stewart Weddings (5) Martha Stewart Weddings (6) tumblr.com (7) Tuxedo – Exclusively Weddings (8) John Labbe – Collage 3: (1) Etsy (2) Holland Studios (4) iloveswmag.com (5) weddingchicks.com (6) Country Girl Wedding – tumblr

Wedding Signs

Here comes the brideA fun, new wedding trend is emerging …. wedding signs! It’s the perfect way to add a personal and creative touch to your wedding ceremony and reception. The style of the sign can range from rustic to shabby chic to elegant … from black and white to colorful. And is there anything cuter than a darling little boy or girl carrying a “Here Comes the Bride” sign. As shown in the collage below, signs can take a variety of styles and shapes to fit perfectly with your wedding vision. You can go with your level of formality or totally opposite. As shown in the first photo below, the bride and groom and their little attendants are dressed to the nines but their sign is rustic, which is a contrast that works.

There is no limit to the shapes and styles you can use as shown by the wide variety in the photos below.

Here Comes the Bride

In addition to the “Here Comes the Bride” sign, there are a lot of additional ways to incorporate signs in to your wedding as shown below. Wedding Signs

For more inspiration and ideas on wedding signs follow our two Pinterest Boards:
Wedding Signs and Bride/Groom Chair Signs

Photo Credits: The Etsy links will take you to the pages where the items are sold.
1st Collage: (2) Etsy, (3) Southern Weddings, (5) A Paper Proposal (7) Etsy – 2nd Collage: (1) Etsy, (2) Southern Weddings, (3)Etsy, (4) Etsy, (5) Etsy,
(6) Etsy, (7) Etsy, (8) Etsy

Aisle Markers for Your Wedding Ceremony

Aisle MarkerAs your guests arrive at your ceremony and before they take their seats, they will likely survey the space and get their first glimpse of all your efforts to make the scene memorable and reflective of all the wedding festivities to come.

One way to make the scene a “wow” is to use aisle markers. Back in the day, pews/aisles were only marked with a big satin bow with perhaps some tulle accents. Today, creative brides are using Mason jar vases, fabulous flowers, sprigs of rosemary, lanterns, pom-poms, and even pinwheels.

For outdoor ceremonies, floral pompadours hanging from shepherd hooks look great and you can even use complementary fabric to “tie” the aisles together for a really fabulous look, as shown in several of the photos below. If you enjoy DIY projects, you can make floral pompadours by simply attaching flowers to round styrofoam balls.

Another easy DIY project can produce festive tissue-paper pom-poms. And you can decorate colorful paper lanterns with satin ribbon, seen in the last collage, to make them extra special.

Just about anything goes when it comes to aisle markers. They just need to coordinate with your wedding theme and level of formality.

From one extreme to the other!

Aisle Markers 1

Aisle Markers 2

Aisle Markers 3

If you want to DIY pom-pom aisle markers, an earlier post in our blog has instructions:
How to Make Tissue Paper Pom-Poms. Packs of tissue paper in a choice of over 20 colors can be purchased at Exclusively Weddings: Tissue Paper

We also have paper lanterns in 8″ or 12″ diameter sizes and in 9 colors:
Paper Lanterns

For even more ideas, see our Pinterest Aisle Markers board.

Photo Credits:
First Collage: karentran.com, projectwedding.com, bellethemagazine.com, theknot.com, onewed.com, Waynes Chok Site – Second Collage: Project Wedding, Bristol Wedding News, Etsy, Project Wedding, Bridal Hood, The Blushing Bride, Save on Crafts – Third Collage:  pinkfrosting.com, Wedding Wire, Hello Lucky, Project Wedding, A Timeless Celebration, Kelly Rae Stewart, Wedding Bee

Pom-Poms for Festive Wedding Décor

If you want to add an instant festive air and lots of pizzazz to your wedding ceremony and reception, do it with pom-poms! Pom-Poms are a simple DIY project made from tissue paper and they are very easy and inexpensive to make.

There are many ways that pom-poms can be added to a wedding décor. The photos below will give you some inspiration, as well as our Wedding Lanterns and Pom-Poms Pinterest Board.

Pom-Poms make inexpensive and colorful aisle markers.Poms on the Aisle

Pom-Poms and lanterns add a riot of color to the ceiling.Poms and lanterns decorate ceiling

Poms decorate tent ceiling

Pom-Poms easily showcase your signature color. There is no question that green is the color of the day!
Colorful poms

Any space can become more festive with the addition of pom-poms.
Poms can decorate any space

A lovely outdoor setting is enhanced with cascading pom-poms.
Cascading pom-poms

Pom-pom garlands with twinkling lights add lots of ambience.
Pom-Pom garland 2

A small pom-pom adds style and color to a table setting.
Pom-pom decorates table setting

The “getaway car” can be decorated with pom-poms, too!
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How to Make Pom-Poms:
Instructions for making pom-poms can be found on our blog post.
Tissue paper for making poms is available at Exclusively Weddings.

Credits:
Jenny Cookies, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Southern Weddings,
Nola West, Craftgossip.com, idocrafts.com

Wedding Tip – Ceremony Music

Over the years, I have discovered a myriad of valuable wedding tips that help take the stress out of planning for the big day. I share these wedding tips regularly on our Facebook page; and, from time to time, I will share them here on our blog.

Today I have a “hot tip” for you:

If marrying in a house of worship, inquire about the music policy well before you begin choosing your favorite pieces for the processional, ceremony and recessional. Many don’t allow secular music to be played during wedding ceremonies.

One of our Facebook fans had this comment to share, “This is a GREAT tip! I was blind-sighted a few short months before my wedding after discovering this! We got married in a Catholic church (my husband is Catholic). Our vocalist and pianist had been practicing 6+ months prior to the wedding, only to discover 2 months before the wedding that our song wasn’t “appropriate . (and trust me, it wasn’t inappropriate…it was Matthew West’s “When I Say I Do”). . . “  (See more)

The music you choose will set the mood for your entire celebration, be it religious, classical or contemporary. So, to avoid unnecessary stress, if you are getting married in a house of worship, be sure to get your songs approved well in advance of the big day!