Get on the Calendar ASAP: Save the Dates

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The distance between the day I became engaged and the day I married my husband was 8 months. It was my senior year of college and I magically was able to balance wedding planning and college thesis papers. I lie. It was not magical. My husband was super fiance and took the lead on a lot of the planning.

I was not the norm. Modern engagements can last two or three years; with wedding planning consuming upwards of 18 months or more. What does this mean? Save the Dates become a standard requirement for weddings. If you are unsure if you should send out a Save the Date, here are couple questions to ask yourself:

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  • Is your wedding a destination wedding? Will it require majority of your guests to reserve hotel rooms and/or airline tickets? You need to give your guests time to plan for this expense.
  • Is your wedding during a popular time of year for vacations? Is your wedding scheduled during the summer season? Your guests may pay for their summer vacation trip months before their vacation. If you can get on their calendar before they choose their vacation you can hope that they can plan around your wedding.
  • Is your wedding on a holiday weekend? Is your wedding on Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend or another national holiday weekend? Your guests may be planning on attending or hosting an event to celebrate the holiday. If they know ahead of time, maybe they can postpone until next year to host their annual 4th of July Cookout.
  • Is your wedding on a weekday? Is your wedding on a Friday night or on a special day that is not during a weekend? Maybe you want to get married on your grandparents’ anniversary but this year it is on a Thursday. If your guests are aware of the date with plenty of notice, maybe they can schedule to take the day off work or to leave work early.
  • Is your wedding formal or child-free? Does your wedding have special requirements? Have you set up your wedding to be black tie or no children “allowed?” Give your guests plenty of time to shop for a formal dress or arrange child care. Or perhaps you have another unique request that it could benefit your guests to have more time to plan and prepare.

Check out these articles for more Save the Date tips:

When to Send Out Save the Dates

Mistakes of Sending Out Save the Date Cards 

Beyond Strapless

When shopping for my wedding dress in 2005, I told myself I would not buy a strapless dress. What did I buy? A strapless dress. So…what happened to my pledge against strapless dresses? I could not find any good choices for fun necklines or sleeves. I have always felt my dress was missing something… and now I know it was more fabric above my cleavage. I am kidding of course, but there is some truth in the uncomfortable feeling I get wearing a strapless dress. I would like to point out that I include spaghetti straps in the same group as strapless because any straps that thin might as well be strapless!

Today, I see that there is an increase in alternatives to strapless wedding dresses and I find myself  acting a little green with envy! I find choices with sleeves beautiful and unique, while some necklines can be showstoppers!

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Sheer or Illusion Neckline

 

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V -Neck or Halter Neckline

 

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High Neckline

 

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Off the Shoulder or Portrait Neckline

 

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Queen Anne Neckline

 

Some styles have more than one name, so be sure to read several different glossaries to be sure you know exactly what you want:

Glossary of Wedding Dress Terms

Find the Perfect Neckline

Wedding Dress Neckline Glossary 

Neckline Style Guide

 

Mini-Me & Mini-You

How many times in your life can you be miniaturized into a smaller version of yourself chilling as a penguin, flying in balloon or dancing with your sweetheart?  Of course I am talking about Cake Toppers. Today’s creative economy has opened the door to a market where you can buy almost any type of Cake Topper you can imagine. At first glance there are a lot of toppers that are tiny signs, monograms or words  – BUT here at Keep the Cake, we believe in the “Mini-Me & Mini-You” Cake Toppers because they are more fun! And make for a great keepsake!

Here are some of our favorite crafty folks on Etsy who make unique cake toppers:

Tiny Geek specializes in Superheroes, Comic Book Stars and Sci-Fi Characters

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Tiny Geeks

Magical Gifties specializes in all animals real or imaginary

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Magical Gifties

June Makes specializes in knitted mice – a niche market “but oh so cute”

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June Makes

Ana Crafts specializes in personalized couples going on adventures & acting out hobbies

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Ana Crafts

Perfect Favours – Modern Spin on Traditional Cake Topper Design

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Perfect Favours

Visit Etsy for more handcrafted Cake Toppers…and if you choose a sign or monogram over a “Mini-me & Mini-you” we will not judge….remember its your day! Do what makes you happy!

Wedding Homework List – Week 2

Last week we suggested 3 books that we recommend to help you plan and prepare for your big day. Did you think that was ALL of your homework? No way! It is the beginning of the school year which means a constant stream of homework! But we promise it will be FUN homework! We think these books are winners!

Book #1: How to Feed your Artistic Side

THE DIY BRIDE: 40 FUN PROJECTS FOR YOUR ULTIMATE ONE-OF-A-KIND WEDDING

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Book #2: How to Impress your New Family

EMILY POST’S WEDDING ETIQUETTE

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Book #3: How to be the Modern Groom

THE GROOM’S INSTRUCTION MANUAL: HOW TO SURVIVE AND POSSIBLY EVEN ENJOY THE MOST BEWILDERING CEREMONY KNOWN TO MAN

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The Invisible Wedding Guest

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You have seen many wedding albums shared among Friends, Family and Facebook. Who is the one person who is invisible in all of these albums? The Wedding Photographer! 

One of the biggest decisions you have to make in planning your wedding, after finding your dress, is choosing your wedding photographer. The world of photography has changed a lot in the past 10 years since we got married – so we definitely do not claim to be experts – but we do believe in doing your homework, asking lots of questions and meeting with at least 3 possible candidates to review their portfolios.

Now the experts will give you a different set of guidelines to follow and we recommend you consider them all! Here are 5 articles to get you started on your research:

Finding Your Wedding Photographer

Ten Tips For Hiring The Best Wedding Photographer (beautiful photos!)

I Hired a Cheap Wedding Photographer 

Look Before You Book!

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Cost? (reality check!)

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Goldilocks & the 6 Weddings

Weddings come in all shapes & sizes. What wedding fits you? What is too big, too small or just right?

Wedding #1: Elope…a wedding for two!

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Wedding #2: Destination Wedding: Guest List = whomever can make it to your Dream Location!

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Wedding #3: Close Family & Close Friends

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Wedding #4: Immediate Family & Your Close Friends

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Wedding #5: Immediate & Extended Family, Your Close Friends  & Extended Friends, Your Coworkers & Business Acquaintances

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Wedding #6: Immediate & Extended Family, Your Close Friends & Extended Friends, Your Coworkers & Business Acquaintances…and your Parents’ Close Friends, Coworkers & Business Acquaintances

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In summary, your Wedding Guest List can quickly snowball if you do not set up your Guest List Criteria from Day One. Try to not let others tell you what size fits you (and your budget). You don’t want to feel squeezed into the wrong size wedding, because it will soon become apparent that you are uncomfortable and unhappy. Do what feels right in your heart and fits in your budget! And who knows, maybe your wedding will be Wedding #7: A Mix & Match of whomever you want to share your special day with!

For more reading on Guest Lists, we recommend:

Your Wedding Guest List Etiquette Questions Answered 

What the Size of your Wedding Might Say About your Marriage 

How to Create your Wedding Guest List 

 

Make a Statement with Your Flowers

What does the main color of  your wedding say about you?

Yellow: I am an Adventurous Bride who loves to Travel

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Purple:  I am a Sophisticated Bride who loves to Lead

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Orange: I am an Enthusiastic Bride who loves to be Creative

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Pink: I am a Compassionate Bride who love to be Charitable

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For More on Color Meanings We Recommend:

Choosing Your Wedding Colors According to Their Meaning

Sensational Color

 

Bride’s Passage from Child to Woman

As the Bride walks down the aisle, her feet step over beautiful petals scattered about. Where did they come from? Oh yes, it was the flower girl who skipped down the aisle sprinkling petals in preparation for the Bride’s grand entrance. Of course that is how it looks in movies…but in practice it becomes one of the more humorous moments of weddings that I have attended!

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Flower girls typically range from age 3 years old to 10 years old. They do not have to be related to the Bride or Groom, so they could be a friend’s daughter or a bridesmaid’s sister. Brides typically want the image of the cute little girl welcoming them into the ceremony. Which also could mean choosing a bashful toddler…who has to be coaxed down the aisle as they hide behind their mother’s dress. It may not be the picture perfect moment you envisioned, but it definitely made for a more memorable moment.

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I was surprised to learn in writing this post that there is actually more to the role of a flower girl than “junior decoration coordinator.” Just like most big pieces of a wedding, the flower girl also has a symbolic purpose. She leads the bride forward, symbolizing the end of her innocence, and her transition into the role of a mother and wife. The flower girl’s youth contrasts with the bride’s passage from childhood to the duties and roles expected of a mature woman. Typically the flower girl wears a miniature version of the bride’s dress, making even more clear the difference between childhood and adulthood.

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Looking back in history, the flower girl has represented several different aspects of the union of marriage. There was a time when flower girls carried bouquets of wheat and herbs to symbolize the blessings of fertility and prosperity for the bridal couple, or strands of garlic to ward off bad luck. In the Victorian era, flower girls carried hoops or baskets reflecting the circular shape  of the wedding rings symbolizing love has no end.

Now you know that there is more to the adorable girl dressed as a Mini Bride than just the obligatory inclusion of family or friends in your bridal party. She is another important piece of the traditional wedding ceremony and reception – full of history and hidden meanings – passed down for centuries. And don’t forget…if she does not make it down the aisle because she got scared, it still made for a cute story for your guests!

References:

Flower Girl History

Flower Girl Customs & Traditions

Photos:

FreeImages.com

Why White Wedding Dresses?

For many people, weddings mean the classic white dress . We grew up imagining our dream white wedding dress. It was featured on our dolls, cartoons and fairy tales. But why? Is it because  we view the color white as a symbol of virginity and purity? However, history shows us that the color blue previously was the color of calm and tranquility, and purity. This is why the Virgin Mary is shown wearing blue.

Virgin Mary

Queen Victoria choose to wear a white wedding dress at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.[1][2]    At that time of Queen Victoria’s infamous wedding, European and American brides wore everything but white for weddings with popular colors ranging from black to yellow and blue to brown. However, Queen Victoria’s color choice set the standard for women wanting to imitate royalty.

Queen Victoria

White dresses have been the customary attire for other rituals and scared occasions beyond weddings. In 1559, it was surprising to learn that Mary, Queen of Scots, wore a White wedding gown  because White was then the color of mourning for French Queens. But for Mary, it was her favorite color – a must have! We also see White used for the baptism gown for babies and first communion dress for young girls.

Traditional Indian Wedding

In China, India, Pakistan and Vietnam you will see many brides choosing red for their dress or sari. Red symbolizes good luck and auspiciousness in many cultures. On top of that red tends to represent love and passion for many people – but alas, red wedding dresses have not become a trend in America. Perhaps it is because of the myth that if you are wearing a wedding dress of any color other than a shade of white…it must be your Second Marriage because a remarrying bride is no longer pure! We say wear what makes you feel happy. Just be you. It is your special day!

Red Wedding Dress

For more information about the History & Color of Wedding Dresses, we recommend you visit:

History of Wedding Dresses

Meaning of the Colored Wedding Dress

What Wedding Dress Colors Mean