Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The tale of a groom's mother....

Recently, a mother of the groom asked me about what to wear at her son's wedding. The bride's mom is wearing a floor-length dress and this mom was feeling that protocol dictated she must wear the same type of dress.

At 5'2, Groom's Mom feels too short to be comfortable in a long dress, so, after talking for a bit about the style of the wedding (not overly formal), I assured the her that as long as the bride agreed, a dressy suit or shorter dress would be appropriate and there was no need for her to suffer in a long gown that would make her uncomfortable.

After a discussion with the Bride, Groom's Mom selected a dress that compliments the style of the wedding and the Bride's mom's outfit, but is flattering to her. Now everyone will be happy on wedding day, knowing they look their best.

What lessons can we learn from this tale?

1. There are no hard and fast rules about what the mothers of the Bride & Groom should wear. their outfits should be age and figure appropriate.
2. Brides will make their future mother-in-laws very happy by allowing them to choose an outfit they feel comfortable in.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fun Finds - Starry Night Design

Are you looking for something extra-special for your wedding day?

take a look at these gorgeous handpainted aisle runners from Starry Night Design Studio!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Child's Play -- Kids at the wedding

If you are including children at your wedding and reception, just a little bit of advance planning can assure that everyone enjoys the day!

Kids love celebrations, but they are easily bored. Some of the most popular items in my wedding coordinator's emergency kit are sticker books. Providing just a small (quiet) distraction for the kids goes a long way to keeping them occupied during the ceremony.

A kid's table or activities for kids can make the reception as much a party for the younger set as it is for the adults, or consider hiring a clown or balloon artist to provide entertainment in a separate room. One bride hired several teenagers to be "counselors" at "Camp Wed", and provided a whole evening of activities for the kids.

Have you done something fun to entertain the younger crowd during your wedding and reception? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Fun Finds for your wedding

Today's fun find is courtesy of Michiana area jewelry artist and friend, Ali Oesch of One of a Kind Jewelry.

If you are looking for a unique and beautiful piece of jewelry as a gift for your bridesmaids, you cannot go wrong with Ali's jewelry. Swarovski crystals, silver, freshwater pearls and other stones are the hallmarks of One of a Kind jewelry. The drop earrings shown above come with stones in a variety of colors to match your wedding theme, or the silver circle necklaces can serve as a reminder of your wedding by symbolizing your wedding band; either way, these make excellent gifts for the special women in your wedding party.
You can order online or visit Ali's booths at the Elkhart & South Bend Farmers Market. Special boutique collections can be found at area stores like Verandah Shoe Shop (conveniently located just a few doors down from Brides a la mode).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who's on first? (where to seat everyone)

One of the questions I am asked most often is about seating at the wedding. Especially now, it is more common than not to have divorced families, blended families and non-traditional families at a wedding ceremony and sometimes the seating arrangements can be.

Divorced Families
The first thing to consider when planning ceremony seating is the relationship(s) of those involved. If all the parties are cordial, there is no reason in the world that the mother and father of the bride and groom along with their current spouses should not sit together in the front row. The mother of the bride & groom should still be the last people seated before the processional, and should have the seat(s) of honor nearest the aisle, but how nice for everyone if both sets of parents share the front row? This is especially true when the step mom or dad has been part of the bride or groom's life since childhood.

Recognizing that this isn't always possible, an alternative is to have mom and step dad sit in the front row with the dad and step mom in the row behind. Grandparents can be seated in the row with their family.

In truly acrimonious situations, I have had heart-to-heart conversations with all parties involved, stressing the importance of "playing nice" on the wedding day. In most instances, the parents are more interested in their child's happiness than their own issues an are able to put aside their differences for this special day. In situations where the parents refuse to get along (SHAME ON THEM) for one day, the bride needs to make some hard decisions about who to include on her wedding day.

Non-Traditional Families
It is becoming more common to have same-sex parents, or families where the bride or groom may have been raised by an aunt or grandparent. In these instances, seating is actually very simple. The persons who raised the bride or groom should always have the seat of honor at the wedding. There is no reason that the front row at the ceremony cannot contain a mix of individuals.

Your wedding coordinator can work with you and your family to help determine the seating arrangements and can run interference for you when issues arise -- how PERFECT is that?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wedding Coordinators & Timelines: Friend or Foe?

This Saturday, I had the pleasure of coordinating a wedding at The Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The Basilica is one of the most gorgeous church buildings I have ever seen and is a beautiful wedding venue for those lucky enough to be eligible to wed there (ND students, alum or parishioners of the congregation).

The Basilica is one of those churches with very strict and I mean VERY STRICT rules about lots of things, but one of the most important is timing. The Basilica's coordinator works with the bride and groom for months prior to the wedding and everyone is coached on the routine: you arrive 30 minutes prior to your wedding time (there are weddings at 9, 11, 1 and 3 on Saturdays), your wedding will start promptly at the allotted hour and you have exactly 30 minutes following the one-hour Mass to take pictures inside before the next ceremony is scheduled to arrive.

My job is to work with the Basilica's coordinator and the bridal party to make sure this schedule is kept. We have a detailed timeline that assures everyone is in the right place at the right time and the wedding goes off without a problem.

Unfortunately for Saturday's bride, her hairdresser (who had flown in from Miami to do the wedding party's hair and apparently had no regard for the rules of the Basilica) poo-pooed the timeline and kept insisting to the bride that she didn't need any timeline; she was the bride and they could not start the ceremony without her. Fifteen minutes before the entire wedding party was to be in place; three bridesmaids still had rollers in their hair at the hotel 10 minutes from the church. When I got firm with the hairdresser insisting that he needed to hurry, I got the same "poo-poo" and the same 'they can't start the ceremony without her'. At 10:30, when the bridal party should have been in place in the vestibule of the church the limo had not yet left the hotel. The Basilica's coordinator was firm. "We start at 11 with or without the Bride". (I don't think she was joking.)

Luckily, the bridal party arrived 10 minutes before the ceremony time and the wedding proceeded, but not before the bride was in tears, her mother was visibly upset and the church coordinator was angry.

The moral of this story? Brides, your wedding coordinator is your friend. Timelines aren't in place to make you miserable, they are there so that your wedding takes place the way you (and your venue) had planned. Tears would have been avoided, blood pressures would have been lower and this bride would have had a stress free day had it not been for one person who felt timelines were a waste of time.

Timelines are your friend. Please, please, please -- make sure that everyone involved in your wedding party understands that your coordinator is there at your request and the timeline is in place to make your day run smoothly.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Processionals: Fun or Traditional?

This video from YouTube of J&K's wedding processional has been all over the internet this week. If you haven't seen it, the entire wedding party dances down the aisle, each with their own unique style.

While I loved the surprise factor and the pure joy the entire wedding party showed, the traditional side of me had some issues with it. There is just something about the bride walking down the aisle with her father/brother/mother (whoever is giving her away) that melts my heart each and every time I see it.

I'd love to know what you prefer -- the traditional "wedding march" or something fun and funky like the JK Wedding video -- and why you prefer it that way.

Thanks for helping this old traditionalist look at weddings in a new light!