Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wedding Hairstyle Tips and Ideas

Many think that choosing your wedding hairstyle is not that big of a deal... but it is. Lots of brides stress over this, and I think it's perfectly normal to do so. This is the one day when you want to look perfect, and your hairstyle will really pull together your overall look. The pictures from your wedding are pictures you are going to have up and around your house forever. It is your only wedding day and you want to look your absolute best.

Your wedding hairstyle is something you should begin to think about soon after you get engaged. Seems silly, but it is something you want to make sure you get right. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about and planning for your wedding hairstyle.

Wedding Hairstyle Tips

Plan Ahead

  • Search online and through magazines for wedding hairstyles that you like
  • Bring pictures of the styles you like to your stylist
  • Schedule a trial run appointment to test out a few of your select wedding hairstyles
  • Take a friend(s) with you to get multiple opinions
  • Choose your hairstyle before you get your wedding accessories - Do not choose too many accessories
  • Begin growing your hair out if the styles you like need long hair

Nowadays there are many women who get their hair colored, highlighted and lowlighted. When it comes to your wedding day, playing it safe with your hair color is the best way to go. This is definitely not the time to be toying around with the idea of getting a new color.

  • Choose a hairstyle/color that fits you

Counting Down
As you get closer to your wedding day there are a few things you will want to make sure you do:

  • Schedule at least 1 practice hairstyle run with the stylist that will be doing your hair the day of your wedding
  • Make sure you are keeping your hair healthy with regular trims and hair care products
  • Be sure to wear a button down shirt while getting your hair done the day of the wedding so you won't have to pull your top off over your head

Wedding Hairstyles

There are a lot of ways you can go about finding different wedding hairstyles, but I find that searching online can be the fastest and give you some of the greatest ideas. Now you can just search in Google for "wedding hairstyles" and look in the image results; however sometimes sites do not have their images set-up to show in these results. So I would also look at some websites that have great wedding hairstyle pictures and tips. Below I have listed 3 websites that I think have some good stuff, but there are a lot out there.

The Knot

The Knot has a great wedding hair gallery section where you can look through pages of wedding hairstyles.

Here are a few different styles from their gallery:

The Tiara Style

The Bun

The Traditional Updo

The Wedding Channel

Another great site that can help you decide what wedding hairstyle you are going to choose is the Wedding Channel. They have a few pages that can help a bride in need.

Here are some of their helpful guides:

Model Bride

The Model Bride website has a section devoted to many different wedding hairstyles. What's nice is that they separate the hairstyles into categories to help you.

Some of their categories are:

There are things that will go wrong on your wedding day, and on that day it seems like it's the worst thing that could happen, but over the years you will forget about it. However, if you choose to make drastic changes to your hair or color or hairstyle, those pictures will last forever.

Hope some of this information helped you. Happy styling!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Wedding Theme

The Christmas holiday is right around the corner, so today I thought I would talk about having a Christmas wedding.

What's great about having a Christmas wedding is the very little time and effort it takes to put together the wedding coordinates and decorations. In order to have a true Christmas themed wedding, there are a few pieces of traditional Christmas decor that you shouldn't go without.

Sticking with the traditional colors of Christmas is a must. You could either chose to have a red, green or red-green color for your wedding. And what's so nice about the Christmas colors is the variations that are seen today. No longer are you bound to bright red and green. Chose something more formal and go with hunter green and deep red, or if you are more modern, try a brighter green. What's also great is the accent colors that go so well with Christmas. Try gold or silver, it will add a bit of depth to your color palette.

Christmas Wedding Flowers
Don't think that just because it's Christmas you have to have Poinsettias integrated into your bouquet... if you really don't want to. Many brides today are instead using red berries and twigs. This may not sound pretty, but, like this picture shows, it could truly be a beautiful bouquet and one that is very unique.


Try something a bit less traditional and put a little Christmas fun into your wedding. Spread the spirit of gifting and try a Christmas gift themed cake. I think this cake is very pretty and it looks like a lot of work went into it.

Christmas Wedding Favors
Again, lots of options. Sticking with the Christmas theme couples could give Christmas ornaments or Christmas treats like the decorated Christmas fortune cookies to the right. Another great idea is giving the gift of a donation. It is the holiday season so giving the gift of a donation is a great way to give to the community during a time of year that is very hard on some. It's also a great way to promote giving during the holiday season.

Take advantage of the time of year and use Christmas cards as your invitations. There are always so many to choose from and now many can be personalized with custom text and pictures. If you are looking for more traditional invitations the only thing to keep in mind is to follow your color scheme and anything you pick should be perfect.

Christmas wedding theme phrase:

"Eat, Drink and be Merry-ied"

I love it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Top 10 Wedding Movies

I am a sucker for wedding movies. I can watch them over and over. So, in honor of the new wedding movie that is coming out in a few weeks, Bride Wars, I have decided to list my top 10 favorite wedding movies. If Bride Wars is even remotely as funny as the trailer I think it may get into my top 10.

Here are my Top 10 Wedding Movies

Wedding Date
"The Wedding Date" centers around Kat Ellis, who returns to her parents' London home for her sister's wedding. Afraid of confronting her ex-fiancé, who dumped her two years before, she hires a top-drawer male escort to pose as her new boyfriend.

This movie had some of my favorite things - British accents and a bunch of Michael Buble music.

27 Dresses
American-born Jane is career-oriented and secretly in love with her employer, George. She spends most of her time as a bridesmaid, and has appropriate dresses as evidence, including a traditional Hindu wedding dress, complete with Bindi. Then her structured and ordered life comes unhinged when her younger sister, Tess, re-enters her life, and a reporter, Kevin, who also has an alias, claims to be attracted to her. Kevin decides to publish Jane's secret and her overwhelming wardrobe. Things get even more complicated when Jane finds out she may end up losing George to none other than her very own sister.

27 Dresses is the autobiography of my best friend Kara. One year we pretty much decided that being a bridesmaid was her career.

Sweet Home Alabama
New York fashion designer Melanie Carmichael suddenly finds herself engaged to the city's most eligible bachelor. But Melanie's past holds many secrets, including Jake, the redneck husband she married in high school, who refuses to divorce her. Bound and determined to end their contentious relationship once and for all, Melanie sneaks back home to Alabama to confront her past, only to discover that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the girl.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Toula Portokalos is a single 30-year-old Greek woman, living with her parents and brother in a Chicago Greek community. After convincing her father to let her go to the university, she meets the non-Greek Ian Miller and they decide to get married. Her father does not accept the wedding of his daughter with a non-Greek man.

When this movie came out my husband said, "that is your family." It was rather funny watching the movie and seeing such resemblances to Greek family traditions and idiosyncrasies.

My Best Friend's Wedding
A woman who, by a promise made years earlier, is supposed to marry her best friend in three weeks, realizes she doesn't want to. When she finds out that he's marrying someone else, however, she becomes jealous and tries to break off the wedding.

American Wedding
Jim proposes to Michelle and she accepts. Now their families are looking forward to it as are Jim's friends, Kevin and Finch. They do their best to keep the other friend - the crude Stifler - from knowing, but he finds out and all he sees is the bachelor party that goes with it. However Jim is more concerned about whether or not Michelle's parents will like him and he is also worried about whether he can learn how to dance before the wedding.

The Wedding Planner
Mary Fiore is the wedding planner. She's ambitious, hard-working, extremely organized, and she knows exactly what to do and say to make any wedding a spectacular event. But when Mary falls (literally) for a handsome doctor, her busy yet uncomplicated life is turned upside down - he's the groom in the biggest wedding of her career! Will she help him walk down the aisle with his internet tycoon girlfriend, or will Mary finally get to be the bride herself? When it comes to love, you can never plan what's going to happen.

I think it is pretty obvious why I like this movie, a wedding planner watching a movie about a wedding planner.

Made of Honor
Made of Honor revolves around Tom and Hannah, who have been platonic friends for 10 years. He's a serial dater, while she wants marriage but hasn't found Mr. Right. Just as Tom is starting to think that he is relationship material after all, Hannah gets engaged. When she asks Tom to be her "maid" of honor, he reluctantly agrees just so he can attempt to stop the wedding and woo her.

License to Wed

Sadie and Ben are in love, and although Ben suggests getting married in the Caribbean, Sadie has her heart set on a wedding at the family church, St. Augustine's. Ben says sure, and they meet with the pastor, Rev. Frank. The only date open for two years is three weeks away, and Frank insists the kids go through his marriage prep course. They're to write their own vows; he also demands chastity, bugs their apartment, initiates arguments, has them care for robot twins, creates friction between Ben and her family, and raises doubts in Sadie. Desperate, Ben looks for dirt on Frank. Can he undermine Frank's authority and keep Sadie's heart?

What Happens in Vegas
Set in Sin City, this story revolves around two people who discover they've gotten married following a night of debauchery, with one of them winning a huge jackpot after playing the other's quarter. The unhappy pair try to undermine each other and get their hands on the money -- falling in love along the way.

Once Bride Wars comes out I will do a review of the movie, but for now here is a sneek peek.

Two best friends become rivals when they schedule their respective weddings on the same day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Wedding Feature - Engagement Ecards & Cards

For today’s Wednesday Wedding Feature I started out looking at a wedding engagement ecard from American Greetings. I thought that this was pretty cute.

This is so true, you get engaged and it is so exciting.


you realize you have to start planning.

This card was brought to you by American Greetings, but as you can see in the corner it was sponsored by Paper Bride. Paper Bride offers wedding thank you cards, notecards and stationery for the hippest bride-to-be. Here is one of the wedding engagement cards that they offer on site, Bling Bling.

Check out the great selection of wedding engagement ecards at American Greetings and wedding engagement cards from Paper Bride.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday Wedding Feature - Personalized Wedding Planner

One of the first things I give my clients is a wedding planner. Many people don't really understand why these are so important until they haven't used it - and are in panic mode 6 months before the wedding. My advice is this: don't even try to plan without a wedding planner. There is a lot of information in these books that can help every bride - despite the type of wedding she is having - organize and prioritize the many tasks that accompany planning a wedding.

What's funny is that after I have given a bride a wedding planner, I find that as we meet, the wedding planner becomes more personalized. I had one client who bejeweled the entire outside of the planner, and another who placed pictures in the front cover. I actually did the same thing by adding pictures to the outside of my wedding planner when I was wedding planning. So, today I am featuring a wedding planner that you can have personalized with photos of you and your soon-to-be hubby or anything else you like.

PhotoWorks offers personalized wedding planners and you can design the front cover any way you'd like. So instead of printing out photos and either gluing them on the front or sliding them into the front part of your wedding planner, try creating a personalized wedding planner that looks professional.

Don't really want to place pictures of you and your fiancee? No problem: you can upload any photos you like. Know what flowers you are using for your wedding? Put random pictures of those flowers on the front cover instead.

I think that this wedding planner is a great idea. Like I said before, and brides have proven this to me, brides want to personalize everything for their big day. So why not start everything off with a personalized wedding planner?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Who Pays for the Wedding? - Wedding Etiquette

So you just got engaged, you have told everyone you know, and you want to start planning. But wait...who is going to pay for everything?

This is a very big question that a lot of wedding couples run into right after getting engaged, as they're beginning to plan the big day. Traditionally, it has been expected that the bride's family is supposed to take care of the majority of wedding costs. Some still follow this tradition and some have altered what is expected. Below is a very traditional list of wedding costs and the party who is responsible for payment.

Traditional Wedding Expense Breakdown
Wedding Gown & Accessories The Bride's Family

Wedding Ring for BrideThe Groom
Wedding Ring for Groom The Bride

Wedding Gift for GroomThe Bride
Wedding Gift for BrideThe Groom
Bridesmaid GiftsThe Bride
Groomsmen/Usher GiftsThe Groom

Bride's BouquetThe Groom
Bridesmaid BouquetsThe Bride's Family
Mothers' CorsagesThe Groom
Grandmother CorsagesThe Bride's Family
Groom's Boutonnière
The Groom
Groomsmen Boutonnières
The Groom
Usher's BoutonnièresThe Groom
Wedding Ceremony/Reception FlowersThe Bride's Family

Altar Baskets/ArchesThe Bride's Family
Canopy/CarpetThe Bride's Family
Kneeling Bench/CandleabrasThe Bride's Family
Rented Items for WeddingThe Bride's Family
Rented Items for ReceptionThe Bride's Family

Wedding Invitations/AnnouncementsThe Bride's Family
Wedding ProgramsThe Bride's Family
Napkins/Matches/Printed ItemsThe Bride's Family

Marriage LicenseThe Groom
Medical Visit for BrideThe Bride
Medical Visit for GroomThe Groom

Church FeeThe Bride's Family
Clergyman/Officiant FeeThe Groom
Musician/SoloistThe Bride's Family
Church JanitorThe Bride's Family
Reception Hall FeeThe Bride's Family
Catered Reception/Professional ServicesThe Bride's Family

Wedding PhotographyThe Bride's Family
Video PhotographyThe Bride's Family
Orchestra/Band/DJThe Bride's Family

Wedding CakeThe Bride's Family
Wedding FavorsThe Bride's Family
Groom's CakeThe Groom's Family
Rice BagsThe Bride's Family

Rehearsal DinnerThe Groom's Family
Bridesmaid LuncheonThe Bride
Bachelor PartyBest Man/Groom's Attendants
Bachelorette Party
Wedding Breakfast
Maid of Honor
The Bride's Family
Bridal BrunchThe Bride's Family

Bridesmaids' GownsBridesmaids
Maid of Honor GownMaid of Honor
Matron of Honor GownMatron of Honor
Best Man Formal WearBest Man
Ushers' Formal WearUshers
Groomsmen Formal WearGroomsmen
Gloves/Ties/Ascots for AttendantsThe Groom

Father of Bride Formal WearBride's Family
Father of Groom Formal WearGroom's Family
Children's Formal WearThe Children's Parents

Limousine ServiceThe Groom
Honeymoon ArrangementsThe Groom
Travel Expenses to the WeddingThe Out-of-town Attendant or Family Member
Accommodations for out-of town GuestsThe Bride

Now as the generations evolve, (I feel) so should the monetary responsibilities of a wedding. Personally, my family did not pay for the majority of our wedding costs. My parents gave us a third of the money, my (soon-to-be) in-laws paid for the rehearsal dinner and we paid for two-thirds of the wedding costs. It may just be me and my way of thinking, but I don't think that the bride's parents should be held almost solely responsible for the wedding costs. There were two reasons why I didn't want my parents to pay for the entire wedding.

Wedding Costs
When this tradition of wedding "buying" began, I am sure no one took into account the rising costs of weddings. In the U.S. today, the average wedding cost is between 28K and 30K. These numbers are up about 60% over a 10-year period. To me, it was just crazy for me to expect my parents to give me all that money. My parents are way too financially responsible to put it on credit cards, and unfortunately, I did not have some secret Jessica Wedding Fund out there. Plus, who am I to take that money from my parents when they worked hard for it and they should be able to enjoy it with splurges on themselves like vacations and what not? They gave me what they wanted, and I was truly grateful for what they did. And me, I don't' even want to think where they will be when my currently non-existent children are getting married. I think that to assume or place responsibility of funding weddings of this size solely on the bride's family is unfair.

Your Wedding

For me, it was our wedding. We were the ones who chose the style, the venues, the accompaniments and the splurges - it seemed only fair to me and my soon-to-be hubby that we pay for the majority of costs. In doing this, both sets of parents are still able to help out with wedding costs. They can (or are able to) give gifts to the couple that can be used towards the wedding or even a down-payment on a home. Either way, the parents feel they are giving you a gift, and they're not obligated to tap into their life's savings or take out a home equity line to pay for the cost of the entire wedding.

Now I will probably save up for my children's weddings, but they will know from an early age that what we give them is a gift, and that they should decide what type of wedding. I will let them know that we will help out in any way we can.

Your thoughts? Anyone agree or disagree? Have you seen something else done?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Funny Wedding Cake Toppers

I was searching around Webshots for some fun wedding pictures. I came across a whole section of custom-made wedding cake toppers. Personally, I like more formal wedding cake toppers, but these are really funny and you could probably get one custom-made to fit your wedding theme. Actually, it would be kind of fun to use one of these funny cake toppers for your rehearsal dinner cake. You could personalize it so that it really suits you and your new hubby.

There were a lot in the Webshots photo album, but I thought I would make this extra fun and found one wedding cake topper for each of my female co-workers.

Soccer Wedding Cake Topper
This one is for my co-worker Tessa who loves soccer. I think that this one would be perfect for her. Even though she might wish the groom was Cesc Fabregas, I am sure both her and her boyfriend would love this wedding cake topper.

Travel Wedding Cake Topper
This is for my co-worker Stephanie who is really into traveling. The characters are more funny-looking than the others, but I think it is kind of cute.

Pet Wedding Cake Topper

I tried to find a cake topper that showed more pets than this one. My co-worker Jaime is really into pets. She has some really cute pet pictures and writes Thoughtsfurpaws a great pet blog. Also this kind of killed me, putting a picture up with any Yankee's paraphernalia.

Football Wedding Cake Topper
GO BROWNS!! I think that my co-worker Patty would love this cake topper. I am sure she would wish it was a Browns themed topper and a glimpse into her future being married to one of the football players :-)

Beach-Guitar Wedding Cake Topper
This one is for me and my husband. We love the beach, he LOVES his guitar and we have 2 cats.

So whether you think these are cute or goofy looking, it would be kind of fun to get one that really reflected you and your spouse's personalities and interests.

What do you think? Did you find any that matched you?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Wedding Feature - Wedding Candy Bar Wrappers

So I am a huge fan of giving away favors that are useful at a wedding. Nothing that will go into my junk drawer, or sit on my night stand and smell pretty for a week, then I just forget to throw it away 5 years later. My favorite things to give away are edible favors. I think that you are giving your guests something useful. Well, at least they enjoy it for the brief period they are eating it, but still they are enjoying it.

There are many ideas for edible favors, and I am sure I will cover many of them on this blog, but one of the easiest edible favors to give away is candy bars. I mean really, they are already made for you. However, though they are easy, giving out a candy bars as-is isn't the prettiest favor. So to show guests that you put a little more thought and effort into it, try creating your own wedding candy bar wrappers. This is another easy thing to do. With candy bar wrappers you can customize them to say whatever you want and can even add your photo to them.

The wedding candy bar wrapper featured to the right has the "Sweet Couple" design, but all of the candy bar wrappers can be personalized to your liking.

3 Reasons to Send Out Wedding Save the Dates!

Some brides don’t like sending wedding save the date cards. Now if sending out save the dates is going to break your budget then, and only then, would I recommend not sending them out. Personally, I love them. And I say, if it is within your budget -- do it. However, if it is within your budget and you are still on the fence about whether or not to send out wedding save the date cards, here are 3 reasons why you should:

1. Planning ahead.

One of the worst things to see is this: you begin receiving your wedding replies back in the mail and you seem to be getting a decent amount of “not attending” responses. Not only is it sad to think that the special people in your lives aren’t able to make it to your wedding day, but you have also planned on a certain amount of people attending (this is when you break out the B-List).

This seems to happen a lot during the summer months because many families take vacations, and if you happen to plan your wedding on a holiday weekend, you can for sure plan on receiving many “not attending” responses. So if you really want to get the turnout you expected, be sure to send out save the date cards so people can do just that, save the date.

2. Setting the tone.

Most of the time wedding save the date cards match the wedding invitations and other wedding stationery. This is a great time to set the theme and tone of your wedding. I am one of those matchy-matchy kind of people so you know the save the dates match the wedding invitations, which match the menus, which match the theme and so on and so forth. So if there are those out there like me, a bit obsessive-compulsive of matching one more thing, sending save the date cards are a perfect way to feed the addiction.

If this isn't such a big deal to you, it still gives you a chance to let everyone know what to expect from your wedding. Having a formal, black-tie event? Send wedding save the dates in wrapped white boxes with black ribbon. Going for more of an informal, party event? Save the date coasters could be a great way to both informally make everyone aware of the type of event you are having, but they could also be functional.

3. Shouting it from the roof-tops.

Come one, can a bride get enough attention??? I don’t think so! Send out save the date cards so that everyone knows, “Hey I am getting married!” Plus if you send photo save the date cards, it is just one more place to slap that “oh so in love” grin! Let everyone know you are getting married. I mean come on, as a bride you can't tell enough people.

What are your thoughts on sending wedding save the dates?