Tradition states that the bride’s parents are responsible for fronting the bill for the wedding reception; these days, the bride’s parents, groom’s parents, and the couple themselves all contribute to the wedding pool. That said, it helps to come to the budgeting table prepped with the traditional list of which side pays for what. These conventional “rules” can then be adjusted according to your financial situations:
Wedding Costs Paid by the Bride and/or Bride’s Parents:
Ceremony rental fee
Bride’s dress and accessories
Ceremony flowers and décor
Bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girl
Photography and videography
All vendor services for reception, including food, beverages, décor, and entertainment
Invitations and stationery
Transportation for bridal party to and from ceremony and reception
Wedding Costs Paid by the Groom and/or Groom’s Parents:
Marriage license and officiant’s fee
Bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for ushers, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers
Both of the bride’s rings
Costs Incurred by the Wedding Attendants:
Their own attire, including shoes and accessories
Bridal party hosts bridal shower and bachelorette party
I’ve realized after blogging for a little over a year now how much of a sucker I am for anything rustic. Yes, the theme has been used a lot recently in weddings, but I still love it and I don’t think anything says more “woodland rustic chic” than a cake stand made out of real wood pieces.
Are you throwing an indoor wedding and having difficulty bringing the outdoors in? How about surprising guests with 4-5 log stands on a dessert table with mini cakes and pies on top and flowers scattered everywhere?
What You’ll Need:
A Cross-Cut Wood Plaque (round or oval)
A Cross-Section of a Tree Limb (Make sure the top and bottom are parallel)
Titebond Ultimate Wood Glue (or a similar extra strong wood glue)
A Large Wood Clamp
Instructions: Cross-cut wood plaques can be found in your local craft store or online. They come in a variety of sizes ranging from 5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. They are usually found in the section with the wood-burning kits and other wood crafts. They are clean, sanded and ready to use.
1. Take your tree limb section and wipe the cut surface clean. Put a generous amount of extra strong wood glue on the surface.
2. Place the limb section in the center of the wood plaque’s back side and press down firmly. Wipe away any excess glue with a clean, damp cloth.
3. Place the two joined pieces in a wood clamp and let dry for at least one hour. If you don’t have a wood clamp, you can stack a few heavy books on top of your pedestal until it’s dry.
4. Use your pedestals to display cakes and desserts or use as a base for a centerpiece. If you want to place food directly on the wood surface, coat it first with a food-safe wood sealer. If you would like the wood to keep its natural color, place a piece of parchment paper beneath your cake or dessert.
I was recently at a bridal expo talking to a group of people and was surprised by how many brides were swooning over the bodice of this wedding dress.
Obviously the bride’s smoking hot and the shape is ultra-flattering, but the sheer panels made me cringe.
I get that on this dress they’re not actually sheer—there’s skin-colored fabric behind the cutouts to give the appearance of a see-through dress. But I don’t think a wedding dress should even pretend to show this much skin! Would you want to dance with your dad or meet your mom’s boss in a dress where you look half naked?
As some of you may know I love to decorate cakes. So I thought I would share with you how to make pure white buttercream frosting.
Some people have commented that their white frosting is just a tad off white…so here is the trick to achieve pure white icing, use white shortening, and clear vanilla extract, instead of the brown, pure vanilla.
Clear vanilla extract is available at most cake decorating stores.
Here is my favorite recipe for pure white Buttercream Icing (Feel free to double this recipe when needed.)
1 1/4 cups of vegetable shortening 1 tsp salt 2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup cool water 2 tbs corn syrup 2 tsp clear vanilla flavoring 2 tsp butter flavoring
Cream salt and shortening. Add sugar, water, corn syrup and flavorings. Beat on high speed for 15-20 minutes until smooth and creamy. Beat at low speed for two more minutes.
Just keep in mind, the slow beating time is crucial. (It’ll reduce the air bubbles created by the high speed beating and produce a smoother mix.)
To use the same icing for decorations or flowers, put some icing in a different bowl and add your food coloring, etc.
Add a small amount of sifted powdered sugar to firm the icing for decorating. This icing should come out snow white.
You can use unsalted stick butter or margarine and you’ll have buttercream icing - but it’ll most likely be more of an off-white color. (If you’ve got it in your area, try “Land O Lakes” brand butter to keep your icing white.)
If you use one stick of butter, reduce the shortening by the same amount.
Also, to keep your pure white Buttercream Icing from wilting in warm weather, add 1 Tablespoon of “Meringue Powder” to stabilize the frosting.
1. Select a large fruit or vegetable that will hold your variety of flowers. Cut the very top off of fruit or vegetable with a knife.
3. Carve a 3 inch round/deep opening in fruit or vegetable. 4. Carve floral foam to fit inside of votive holder. 5. Put floral foam inside of votive holder and place into the fruit or vegetable opening. 6. Pour water into votive holder.
7. Snip the stems of flowers and arrange them however you like and stick them one by one into the foam.
Thank you Hilton Pittman Photography for being so creative and helping with this blog post.
Seasonal fruits make wonderful (and delicious) favors. Each of these sacks holds a handful of juicy red cherries, perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. Buy glassine bags; trim tops with scalloped scissors. Fill bags with enough cherries, or other small fruit such as red and green grapes, so they peek out over the top. To help the bags stand up, turn corners under at bottoms. Display favors in wooden crates or boxes. For a personal touch you can print or hand stamp a message onto the bags.
I think this couple is so cute. I don’t think I would ever do this but it is fun to watch people who are in love and happy. Sorry the first 1-1/2 minutes is sort of boring but keep going as it gets better.
Delicious Hors D'Oeuvres Ideas For Your Wedding Reception
At a Wedding Reception where a full meal is to be served, hors d’oeuvres may be offered to guests during the first hour of the reception. However, at a tea or cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres will be the “main course”.
There are may options for hors d’oeuvres, depending on the formality of your reception and the type of food to be served at the meal. Popular food that can easily be picked up and eaten with one hand are best.
Here are some delicious hors d’ouevre ideas you may want to consider
* Chinese Won Tons with a plum Sauce * Chicken and Shrimp Egg Rolls with a plum sauce * Pot Stickers with a Sesame Sauce * Glazed Chicken Drumettes * Swedish Meatballs * Italian Meatballs * Seafood Salad Mould with assorted crackers * Petite Cocktail Quiches * Stuffed Deviled Eggs with choice of: coconut and chutney, traditional or topped with caviar * Imported and Domestic Cheese Display with assorted crackers * Fresh Fruit Fantasy with Strawberry Chiffon Dip or Chocolate Fondue * Warmed Spree of Brie Cheese topped with brown sugar and nuts, served with French bread * Teriyaki Ribbon Chicken or Beef * Italian Sausage Marinara * Salmon Mousse on toast rounds * Cascading Vegetable Display with a fresh dill dip * London Tea Sandwiches * California Baja Rolls * Taquitos * Tomato, Cucumber and Green bean Salad * Tomato, Mozzarella and Bermuda Onion Salad * Rumaki * Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Sun Dried Apricots * Fresh Melon Wrapped in Honey Baked Ham * Mushrooms Stuffed with Spiced Cream Cheese * Sautéed Mushrooms in a pastry shells
Hors d’ oeuvres may be set out on tables “buffet style” for guests to help themselves, or they may be passed around on trays by waiters and waitresses.
When selecting hors d’ oeuvres for your reception, consider whether heating or refrigeration will be available and choose your food accordingly. When planning your menu, consider the time of day. You should select lighter hors d’ oeuvres for midday receptions and heavier ones for an evening reception.
Tips to Save Money:
Tray pass hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour and serve a lighter meal.
Avoid serving hors d ‘oeuvres that are labor intensive or that require expensive ingredients. Compare two or three caters; there is a wide price range between caterers for the same foods.
Consider serving hors d’oeuvres “buffet style”. Your guests will eat less this way than if waiters and waitresses are constantly serving them.
When choosing your Maid/Matron of honor you should make sure she is someone you can depend upon through thick and thin as she will play a major role in your wedding. She can be your best friend, or a family member. Some brides are even asking their mothers’ to stand up with them as their Matron of Honor.
Here are some of the duties of the Maid/Matron of Honor
1. Provides the bride with advice and moral support when she is frustrated and ready to pull her hair.
2. Helps with pre-wedding activities such as addressing invitations, making phone calls, and running errands. Often accompanies the bride when meeting caters, florist, bakers etc.
3. Helps the bride pick her gown and the bridesmaid dresses.
4. Acts as the head-bridesmaid: organizes bridesmaid’s gown fittings, schedules all wedding day hair and makeup appointments, spreads the word about the bridal registry.
5. Pays for her own wedding attire (excluding flowers).
6. Attends all pre-wedding parties.
7. May host a bridal shower (with or without the help of the bridesmaids).
8. Helps the bride dress and stay calm on her wedding day.
9. Precedes the bride down the isle.
10. Holds the groom’s ring until ceremony exchange (only if there is no ring-bearer).
11. Arranges bride’s veil and train during ceremony.
12. Holds bride’s bouquet during part of the ceremony.
13. May stand in receiving line.
14. May sign the wedding certificate as a witness.
15. Helps the bride get ready for her honeymoon when leaving the reception.
16. After the reception she gathers up any gifts, and makes sure they are brought safely to the couple’s home.
17. In the days following the reception she will make sure any rental items are returned to the store. She may also take the bride’s wedding gown to the dry-cleaners so it can be preserved properly (Hint: The sooner the gown is dry-cleaned, the less chance there are of permanent stains!)
Transform a store-bought album into a guest book that has a handmade feel. Use double-sided tape to affix envelopes in assorted sizes and colors to the pages of a plain-paper photo album or scrapbook. Leave cards and a pen on a table for guests to write wishes. When they’re done, they can tuck their cards inside the envelopes for the bride and groom to enjoy later.
I found this video Showing how to make your own wedding favor seed envelopes very easily and affordably!
You only need a few items to craft these cute little envelopes. Your guests will love these little seed favors and can think of your wedding every time they see the little plant they grew from your special favor.
Once you fold your envelope you may choose to embellish the envelope with your names and wedding date, a themed rubber stamp, your monogram, or even a little wedding poem pertaining to seeds and growth. (Click here for an excellent group of wedding seed favor poems that would work great on your handmade favors!)
The seeds you use can also reflect your wedding colors and/or theme. For example, if you are using gerbera daisies as your main flower for the day then daisy seeds may be a cute favor! Another idea may be pumpkin seeds if you are having a fall wedding.
Here are some other ideas for seeds…
Daisy Seeds Pumpkin Seeds Wildflower Seeds Sunflower Seeds Forget-me-not Seeds Carnation Seeds Love-in-a-mist Seeds Evergeen tree Seeds Herb Seeds
These handmade paper seed envelopes are not only affordable and cute they can also be considered green favors, especially if you go the extra mile to get recycled paper for your envelopes!
Make sure you send in pics if you make these seed favors for your big day, we love seeing our visitors beautiful work!
In the world of fashion, “couture” clothing (in French, literally means sewing or seam) typically describes a designer’s most expensive line of personally designed garments. Unlike less expensive “ready to wear” and “bridge” lines, couture clothes are only sold in a handful of stores to a very moneyed crowd.
So, what does couture mean in the bridal industry…absolutely nothing!
Bridal apparel makers have so misused and abused the word “couture” that they slap it on any expensive dress (say, over $1000). To us, a couture bridal gown would be personally designed by a famous designer and then handcrafted by a seamstress in the US. In bridal, however, “couture” dresses have no special pedigree and are often made in assembly line fashion. To add insult to injury, some bridal retailers slap extra alterations fees on “couture” dresses (sometimes $400 for a simple nip and tuck). Are these dresses any more difficult to alter than a $500 gown? Nope, some shop owners just think if you can afford to spend $2,000 on a dress, you can be socked with overpriced alterations.
The typical American bride will spend around $1000 on her wedding gown and accessories. Imagine spending 12,000 times that on a single dress. That is the cost of this fabulous diamond laced beauty. At $12 million you get yourself 150 carats worth of stunning diamonds.
Well girls I have some good news for you as this dress is for sale and currently on display at the Lladro Flagship Store, in Beverly Hills. I heard this dress has been for sale for a long time so I’ll bet that in these tough economic times you might be able to talk them down to a paltry $10,000,000.
A friend recently sent me this cute S’mores kit idea (Thanks Kim). I love it! These kits would make great gifts for any occasions…even weddings! I bet you knew I would suggest that. But seriously who wouldn’t smile when receiving a S’mores kit. You can easily make them and surprise your bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearers. Give them out to the hostess(es) of your bridal party as a way to say thanks. Maybe give some to your guests at the rehearsal dinner to take home. You can even make up a bunch of them as wedding favors for your guests. One thing for sure is S’more’s kits will be a hit with people of all ages!
Bags of marshmallows
Big chocolate bars of your choice
BBQ wooden skewers (optional)
To make the kit in the picture above you will need:
Cellophane bags,(bought mine at Michael’s)
Glassine Bags or parchment or wax paper
glue stick or double-sided tape
large round punch or any object that you can trace to make a 2” circle
This kit includes 9 marshmallow pieces, 1/2 bar of hazelnut chocolate and 1/2 bar of milk chocolate, 9 large pieces of graham crackers and 9 wooden skewers.
We used a mixture of cellophane and glassine bags to repackage all of the items. If you can’t get your hands on glassine bags, you may also use parchment paper or wax paper to create a protective sleeve/band for the chocolates. The crackers I purchased came with two ready-packed bundles!
The labels are simply punched out of kraft paper using a 2-inch circular punch, embellished with a red dotted border (super fine red sharpie) then attached to the packaged goods using a glue-stick.
Below are some ideas on how you can package your S’mores kits. Make your kits as large or as small as you wish. Use boxes, bags, ribbons, and homemade tags to personalize your gift
Q. I want a flower girl and a ring bearer, but don’t want the children at my reception. My mom says i have to let them come to the reception…I say no way…no children means NO children. Who is right mom or me?
A. Yes definitely your mom is right as the children are members of your wedding party and must be invited. You must also invite the children’s parents. If you think the children will be bored at an adults only reception, you can always provide a babysitter and a special kids room with games, toys, and a place to nap.
Q. My Bridesmaid just told me she is pregnant. Should I replace her?
A. No problem as long as she is in good health she will be fine. Besides you already asked her to be in your bridal party and you can’t change your mind without hurting her feelings. Do keep a chair and a cool drink nearby in case she needs a break during the ceremony, and be sure to choose a dress she will be comfortable in.
Q.My future mother in law is insisting I make her daughter (my fiance’s sister) a bridesmaid. But I have already chosen my bridesmaids. Right now I am so mad I want to tell my future mother in law off. What should I do?
A. If I were you I would calm down and simply add another bridesmaid to keep family harmony. Don’t replace any girls you already asked; simply add another girl. And by the way, you don’t need to have an equal number of bridesmaids to groomsmen. So I suggest you call your future mother in law today and sweetly tell her you will ask her daughter to be part of your wedding. Remember your wedding is only one day. These people are your husband’s family and will be part of your life for many years. So I suggest you nurture your relationship with your inlaws now or in the future they will add STRESS to your life.
26 Essential Beauty Tips, Secrets, and Home Remedies
Besides the obvious tools to looking your best (fitness, nutrition, style…) here are some lesser-known health and beauty tips for silky hair, glowing skin, sparkling teeth and healthy nails.
Conditioners, special shampoos and other hair treatments can increase the shine of your hair, help protect it and even repair some damage. But if you’re afraid of the high price tag that often accompanies salon quality products, here are some simple at-home hair remedies that do the trick.
Dull Hair Remedies
Four household products ensure lustrous hair:
1. Lemon juice - mix it with water and rinse for added shine and bounce 2. Baking soda - mix it into your shampoo to eliminate dirt and grease. 3. Beer - after shampooing, rinse hair with flat beer to add body and shine 4. Tea - boil tea leaves and let cool; apply liquid to dry hair and let sit for 20 minutes; rinse with warm water.
Oily Hair Remedies
Two solutions to fight greasy hair:
1. Carrots - boil and mash them and apply to hair; let sit for 15 minutes; wash and rinse 2. Aloe and Lemon - mix ½ teaspoon of aloe and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with regular shampoo; wash and rinse.
Dry Hair Remedies
Apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Work any of the following ingredients through hair; put on a shower cap or wrap with saran wrap; let sit for 20 minutes; wash and rinse.
Forget expensive designer products. Glowing skin is as easy as opening the fridge:
Oily Skin /Acne Remedies
Create a mask or spot treat with any of the following ingredients:
1. Garlic - natural antibacterial properties make garlic a great acne treatment. Press into a paste and apply on acne 2. Honey and apple - mash together, and apply to individual pimples 3. Tomato paste - apply a layer to face and let dry, rinse 4. Cooked oatmeal - apply a layer to face and let dry, rinse 5. Egg yolk - apply a layer to face and let dry, rinse
Dry Skin Remedies
Soft, supple skin is a cinch with any of the following:
1. Almond oil - use as a primer before foundation or as a night moisturizer. 2. Banana - mash and apply to face; let sit for 20 minutes 3. Mayonnaise - apply to face; let sit for 20 minutes
Slough off dead skin cells with these simple solutions:
1. Coffee - mix a quarter cup of ground coffee with a tablespoon of salt; rub on face then rinse off. 2. Pineapple - a natural acid exfoliant; puree pineapple and apply to skin; let sit for 20 minutes.
Most nail damage is the result of environmental influences (washing dishes, housework, yard work, etc.), so try to protect your nails from these culprits. But when all else fails, one at-home remedy can rescue dry, brittle nails:
1. Olive oil - olive oil moisturizes nails and softens cuticles without weakening them, preventing hang nails caused by dry skin. Soak nails in olive oil for a few minutes every week.
Tips for Teeth
Teeth discoloration can point the finger at many offenders - aging, smoking, consuming staining foods and beverages like coffee, red wine, cola, and blueberries. So it’s inevitable that many turn to teeth whitening to restore those that were once pearly.
You have your pick of expensive teeth whitening procedures and over-the-counter chemical treatments, but for a more natural solution, try making a paste of the following ingredients:
1. Strawberries - they contain malic acid, which acts as a mild astringent when mixed with baking soda or powder 2. Lemon juice and salt - lemon juice also contains acid 3. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda 4. Orange peel and bay leaves
New wedding etiquette states that the receiving line is optional.
Here are some tips on how to have a receiving line.
The traditional standing order is: Mother of the Bride Father of the Bride (optional) Mother of the Groom Father of the Groom (optional) Bride Groom Maid of Honor (optional) Bridesmaids (optional)
The fathers are not required to stand in the line, so that would make the line shorter. If one father decided to take part in the line, the other should follow suit.
Please know that receiving lines are very long and if you are on a limited time frame, you will waste valuable minutes/hours in the line. Keep the line to a minimum.
Divorced parents should not stand in line together. Only the parent who is hosting the reception or who you have spent the majority of your time with would stand in the line. If the divorce was friendly, the divorced couple can stand in the line with their new spouses with the groom’s parents standing between them — or to keep from confusing all of your guests, each set of parents can take turns standing in the receiving line. If you decide to have all sets of parents in the line, let the bridesmaids utilize the time to mingle with the guests and prepare toasts, etc. The line is long enough without them in there. Also, children do not stand in the line. The minister does not stand in the line with the bridal party.
1. Using a craft knife and a metal straight edge, cut the cardstock into rectangles, using the guide marks on the edge of the paper (do not cut all the way to the edge of the paper; this will keep the guide marks from being lost as you make subsequent cuts).
) to cut 2 holes in the blank area above the number. Place each the same distance in from the edge, and duplicate the placement on each subsequent card. (Make-it-easy tip: Print 1 extra number on normal printer paper, and cut out. Fold it in half vertically, and draw a line 1-1/8” in from the outside edge. Position the punch along this line, about 1” from the top edge. Punch through both layers. Unfold the number, smooth out its crease, and use as a master template for punching card stock.)
3. Thread a ribbon through the slots to connect the cards, and attach ribbon to the car or wall.