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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What's Hot for 2010?

With 2009 coming to an end, Bridelines wants to share which trends we think will be left back in 2009 and which trends will be permanent fixtures in 2010.

2010 brides: are you trendsetters or are living in the past?

What's Out

Funny First Dances

(this is just my excuse to watch this video it!)

Over-Priced Wedding Planners

Long Veils
Expensive Destination Weddings

Couture Gowns

What's In

Hair Accessories

Do it Yourself

Ordering Invitations Online

Nearby Destination Weddings

Wearing Your Moms Gown

Mismatched Bridesmaids Dresses

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Say Yes to Which Dress?

Choosing your wedding dress might be the hardest decision of your entire wedding process.

Princess? Lace? Sheath? Basque waist?

If you go on any wedding website, the advice on how to choose your dress begins with “envisioning your wedding.” “Envisioning” is not for those girls whose mothers did their art projects, whose roommates decorated their first apartment or for those girls who cannot go shopping without asking every saleswoman in the store if the outfit looks good. Envisioning only works for fashionistas or artists.

So if you aren’t an “envisionary” and you haven’t been thinking about your wedding since age 6…how do you know what kind of bride you are?

What if you have never even opened a bridal magazine in your life?

Bridal gowns are not like any other dresses you’ve ever worn, so it is difficult to compare, but begin by thinking about what shapes are flattering for your body type.

Do you love you shoulders and collar bone area?
Maybe strapless is best for you.

Do you hate your hips and complain that your butt is fat?
Maybe sheath and form fitting isn’t the direction you should go.

Are you very petite?
Maybe a huge cupcake dress is a bit overpowering for your frame.

If you choose a style you have worn before, at least you know you will feel like yourself and not have a panic attack while getting dressed on your wedding day. (leave the panic attack for when your flowers aren't delivered on time or your band leader comes down with strep). Think about how you feel dancing. Some fabrics are heavy and if you are a sweat-er, you may want a lighter fabric. Or...if you like heavy fabric, but you do sweat, you can get those Botox shots that stop your sweat glands from producing sweat.

Some styles are more restrictive. Picture it…Donna Martin dressed as a mermaid for the 90210 Senior Year Halloween Party. She could not walk, but she did look hot. If looking hot is more important than comfort, think about the styles you feel most sexy in.

You will find the dress that is right for you, whether it takes 1 store or 15 stores. You can always turn on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” if you are feeling confused or stressed…every other bride is just as confused and stressed as you are!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Destination Weddings

Recently, I had to book a flight to Mexico. No, it’s not a romantic getaway or a fun girl’s weekend in Cabo.

It’s yet another destination wedding.

Destination weddings are becoming more popular. You can bet our parents and grandparents never went to destination weddings, unless the destination was a temple or church in the next town. Maybe they are more popular now because people think they are being original or maybe it’s because the divorce rate is so high that people decide to do destination weddings for their second, third, forth (you get the picture) weddings.

Regardless, one thing is for certain…destination weddings are pricey…for the guests. Usually when you plan a trip it’s because you have saved your money and have vacation days coming to you at work. But in this case, you are planning a vacation (whether you can afford it or not) because someone else told you to.

There are definite ‘pros’ of destination weddings. Usually they are beach locations. Pro number one…a tan! You also get to use it as an excuse to go on a vacation that you otherwise couldn’t afford. The most notable ‘cons’ are the money you have to spend and the extra time off from work that you may have to take.

As with every other kind of wedding, destination weddings have a broad range. Mostly this range is directly correlated to the money that people spend on their weddings. Some are like an all you can eat buffet that actually include an all you can eat buffet. Others are like a high school spring break gone wrong laden with kegs of Coors Lite. It all depends on who is planning the event. Once you ask your guests to pay for a flight and hotel, do you then make them pay for all of their own meals and entertainment as well? Some brides and grooms use the destination wedding as an excuse to not pay for anything. Most resorts will give the bride and groom a cheap rate for the party if they get people to book rooms in the hotel. (this should not be shocking to anyone). So in some cases, it is almost as if your guests are paying for your wedding.

Others will take steps to make their guests feel extra welcome and to thank them for traveling such a distance to attend. Gift bags, spa treatments and group activities are good ways to make such an effort.

So as I hit confirm on the Jet Blue screen I sat wondering, will this one be worth the $400 flight and $350 dollar hotel room (not to mention the dress, the car to and from the airport, the wedding gift, the babysitter and all of the other ancillary costs associated with another ‘vacation’ wedding)?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Themed Wedding Events

With Halloween right behind us and Christmas parties in the near future, some brides and grooms are throwing themed wedding events. In an earlier post, we discussed how wedding attire can be confusing. When is it ok to wear khakis and not suit pants? When should women wear a long dress verses a short dress?
These problems can all be solved by telling your guests exactly how to dress – 80’s style! Hollywood Glamour wedding! Fairytale theme!

What is more fun than forcing your guests to dress up in outfits they quite possibly won’t ever wear again?

’t that kind of tyranny meant only to be directed at bridesmaids?

Themed wedding events do have their advantages. Firstly, they have more personality than their traditional counterparts. Melissa Rycroft recently had a country-western bridal shower and I also recently went to a rodeo rehearsal dinner.

Having a theme for a shower or rehearsal dinner is a fun way to incorporate the your personality and interests into the event. It is also a cute way to get your guests more involved and they will be talking about your event beforehand, as people do with Halloween costumes.

The other noteworthy aspect is…costumes replace bridesmaid dresses. Your Shakespearean bridesmaid attire might be more flattering (those corsets really suck you in), less expensive and less hideous than a typical bridesmaid dress.

If you choose to have a themed wedding, just be weary! Your dream of the perfect Christmas wedding might be ruined if your uncle thinks it's funny to come dressed as Santa, only so he can have your bridesmaids sit on his lap and tell him if they’ve been naughty or nice OR your wedding day elves (wedding vendors) are acting more like the Grinch!

Some of your guests will hate dressing up – sorry, it's the truth, but it is your wedding and you get to decide whether all the women have to wear flapper outfits or all the men have to wear Phantom of the Opera masks.

Just make sure when it comes time to kiss the groom, you have the right man under the mask!

Did you have a themed wedding event? We’d love to see pictures!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When You Wish Upon A Star...

It makes a difference who you are, for sure!

For all of you ladies who have always dreamed about your fairytale wedding the answer to your prayers has arrived! In the past few years Disney has launched For all of you Cinderellas out there you can now not only find your prince charming, but dress the part as well! As children we all had our favorite Disney princess or heroine. My personal favorite was Ariel from the little Mermaid....although it's safe to say I never thought about wearing a bra made of seashells for my wedding (although my 3 month old is going to be a mermaid for Halloween). I digress...

From Belle to Jasmine, brides everywhere are flying through the Internet on their virtual magic carpets to view this new line. If you think any of this comes cheap....wake up Sleeping Beauty! "Any thing your heart desires" will cost more than a simple wish of your fairy godmother (unless your godmother's wand is a platinum AMEX). The line not only includes bridal gowns, but bridesmaid dresses, engagement rings and various accessories, including several tiaras to make the fantasy complete. By the time you're finished ordering your fairytale wedding wardrobe it could cost more than a trip to Disney World.

While it seems that Disney and Weddings go hand and hand, is there really a market for a wedding based on the land of make believe? I'm sure there are women out there who see this as a dream come true, obviously, I'm not one of them. Although it should be said that the designs are relatively appealing and not all together outrageous. It is not as if they have recreated Belle's yellow gown and simply dyed it white. They are much more tasteful than that.

I'm not one to each bride her own fairytale...but I can't help but wonder if they come with talking animals who sing and sew?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wedding Season!

Jeremy Grey: John? I need to see you right away. It's important.
John Beckwith: [Walking into Jeremy's office] What's going on?
Jeremy Grey: [sighs] We got three big weeks ahead of us. It's wedding season, kid!

The 2005 blockbuster hit “Wedding Crashers” helped draw attention to the most popular time of year to get married. As wedding season is coming to an end, we look back on all the bad dresses, rainy June wedding days and endless Ofoto pictures and wonder….who says there is a wedding season anyway? In the past week I received three more wedding invitations and three of my close friends got engaged. Looks like this year wedding season means Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter!

Time of year is just one of the many factors that go into planning a wedding. Yes, ideally everyone wants to have a beautifully sunny day when the light is perfect for outdoor pictures and guests don’t need to check rain coats. But, as we know, no one can predict the weather, not even Al Roker. So weather aside, people plan their weddings based on when the location is available (a tricky one with some venues), what works for the bride and groom in regard to work and families, price and many other factors.

So according to research, June is indeed the most popular month to get married. But I think it’s safe to argue that in any given year wedding season can change depending on when your friends decide to get married. Who says that the summer yields the best weddings? Paul McCartney and Heather Mills got married in June and look how well that turned out. I got married in December….not sure what that says about me….but I think my wedding was a lot of fun (and two years later I’m still married)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Inside the Mind of an Almost Married Man

We all know brides can be as varied as a Crayola box, but many times, fiancé’s only come in two forms. Those that say “honey, whatever you want” and those that have an opinion on every aspect from the first dance song to the flower arrangements to the cake topper.

We ask our readers…which type of fiancé is “better?”

At first glance, it might seem like a fiancé who lets his bride-to-be take the reigns would be the better choice. He won’t notice when you spend 25% of your budget on hot pink lighting for the room or only request the band to play Britney Spears and Barbara Streisand. He will “yes” your every decision and the wedding will be how you envisioned it since before your Prince Charming even existed. No fights, no one questioning your decisions and no one forcing you to do anything you don't want to do (except maybe your mother or future mother-in-law, but that's another post).

Warning…this arrangement can become as ill-planned as the balloon boy hoax if at any time you do really want your fiancé’s opinion. When you ask and he keeps brushing you off because the Giants game is in overtime, your feelings may be hurt and you may become even more emotional than you already are (is that even possible?).

Fiance #2 wants to be in the know about everything and he is more than willing to be involved. This type of fiancé confuses most brides-to-be. Something’s fishy…he never wanted to be involved in planning your parents anniversary party or booking your weekend trips. He is choosing to skip golfing with the boys to go set up your registry?

What women sometimes forget, but he remembers is…this is his wedding too! Another thing we forget is…boys love excel sheets. They must have learned about Excel in 8th grade while we were learning about having babies or something. A wedding is a time where your fiancé can give his opinion, hopefully someone will listen, he can create excel sheets and pretend photographer options are another form of fantasy football.

Warning…what happens when you and your fiancé don’t have the same vision? Does his choice for a centerpiece look more like something in need of Extreme Home Makeover than the front page of Martha Stewart’s magazine?

The moral of the story is…neither is “better” and honestly, you can’t trade your fiancé in for the other model anyway. Learn to deal with him, after all, this is only the beginning of your highly opinionated or overly lax life together.

For some lucky brides-to-be, the fiancé cares about “just a few” things. If you ask him about flowers, he will certainly ignore you, but if you put “Jay Z” on your do not play list, he might be asking for an annulment. For the guy who just cares about a few things...let him be involved in those things and make him thinking he's getting his way (even though we all know who is ultimately in control.)

In a nutshell, a productive way to approach your fiancé about wedding decisions is to give him choices and specific directions Men react much better to 4 fleshed out options than to 10 email links with no explanations or 3 bridal magazines left on the bed with folded pages.

Although this is more work for you, this is the best way to include a fiancé who doesn't want to be included or to simmer down a fiancé who is exploding with ideas and opinions. Another idea (if you fiancé doesn't want to be involved in many decisions) is to give him one task – the honeymoon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Walking on Broken Glass

When you sit down to plan your wedding, first you think about the date, then the venue, then maybe the ask for referrals from friends, because these are the essential components of the evening.

You loved your friend Emily's flowers, so you use her florist, you danced your butt off at your friend Jen's wedding, so you use her band. After the necessities are finalized and you have picked the best of your friends' vendors, you begin to wonder "what will make my wedding A) different from everyone else's and B) better! Maybe you will have speciality cocktails passed around at cocktail hour, maybe you will have everything from the hand towels in the bathroom to the valet tickets monogrammed, perhaps you will hire cirque du soliei entertainers to perform!

Be forewarned...all of these "extras" that in your head will make your wedding worth talking about for years to come will also add on major dollars.

Once upon a time there was an ice bar....aka for my own wedding! I decided (I was convinced by my con artist florist), that an ice bar as well as a coffee table made from ice were essential components of my New Years Eve wedding.

What could be cooler (pun intended) than my guests stepping up to a crystal clear ice sculpture to order their martinis and mixed drinks?

It seemed to fit with my concept of the evening, which also included boas for the ladies and New Years Eve fedoras for the men. The ice bar was definitely the talk of the evening....not because it was the best thing anyone has ever seen, or because it made my wedding significantly more fun....but because in addition to the breaking of the glass which commenced the night....there was glass broken throughout the entire evening.

Picture take a sip of your newly shaken cosmo, place it down for a second to pull up your strapless dress...and one second the cosmo is on your new Jimmy Choos with glass confetti strewn at your feet. Yes, at my wedding there was more broken glass than at most Jewish weddings...maybe it will bring me good luck in the long run, but totally unnecessary. I don't even have to mention the cost associated with having two self sustaining pieces of ice can figure that out on your own.

No matter what your 'ice bar' may be....think long and hard before you commit to spending more money on these 'extras' that no one will remember ...other then if they find glass in their feet the next morning.

Bridelines Featured as WeddingChannel's Blog of the Week!!

A few months ago Bridelines won Editor's Pick for Best Wedding Planning Blog by WeddingChannel! We are delighted to announce that Bridelines is featured this week as Blog of the Week!

Here's what they had to say about us...

"BLOG OF THE WEEK: BRIDELINES - This blog runs by the motto "It's Exactly What Your Friends Are Thinking," and offer honest and quirky wedding advice to brides daily, taking on wedding etiquette, trends, and hot topics, and more. We adore this blog. Click Here for more!"

Check out for all wedding ideas, wedding dresses, registries, venting sessions and much more!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Tale of the No Gift-Givers

"You have a year to give a wedding gift".

We want to know who came up with that one. It has become common knowledge that a bride and groom can expect to wait up to a year to receive a gift from some guests. When you go to a wedding no one may have to wait a year to receive your meal (even though at some weddings by the time dinner is served it feels like a year has passed).

Honestly people...if you go to a wedding...give a gift, sooner rather than later.

If you are unable to attend you may have a little more wiggle room, but still does it really take a year to send a gift?!?! If you can't get it together to send a gift in a reasonable amount of time, you are lazier than the contestants on the first week of The Biggest Loser. Ok so we have established the fact that some people are lazy, but eventually do send a gift.

What about the people who attend the wedding and NEVER send a gift? Aren't these people technically wedding crashers that you happen to know?

We know you 'no gifters' are out there and we have a question for you feel guilty?
Do you think it's ok to not give a gift?

I honestly would love to have Maury do a show with some of you to hear your confessions (he really needs to move away from the who's my baby's daddy thing anyway). I know this sounds like a rant, but I bet that every bride out there can name at least one person who came to her wedding and failed to give a gift. Gifts do not have to be expensive or lavish, it could be as simple as sending the bride and groom a framed photo or invitation. When you do not give a gift, it is almost as if your friend is paying you to attend her wedding...actually, it's exactly that!! Someone is paying for you to have an enjoyable night of dinner and dancing, in celebration of their marriage....shouldn't you have the decency to at least thank them for the hospitality?

Give gifts. Enough said.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

To Be or Not To Be...Bridey

Did we miss the memo that the minute you get engaged, you are supposed to transform into Bride Barbie?

When I got engaged, I told myself I wasn't going to use Bridelines as a soapbox, but we think this is a necessary topic and hope it is well-received by other brides-to-be. Since I got engaged only 3 weeks ago, multiple people (not that I’m counting) have said to me “You are not being a good bride” or “You are not very enthusiastic” or “You are not bridey enough.”

Anyone whose ever planned a wedding, or any big event for that matter, knows it’s not all smiles and champagne toasts. Weddings require lots of planning, organization and usually come with a bit (or a ton) of stress.

While perusing through pictures of floral arrangements may be a delightful way to avoid concentrating on your job, it becomes less delightful when your fiancé who has never uttered an opinion since you’ve known him is now demanding peach roses.

Thinking about lying on a beach chair in your hut in Bora Bora while someone serves you pina coladas sounds wonderful, but creating an Excel sheet of your budget, while calling a travel agent six times a day as you simultaneously compare prices on Expedia doesn't sound quite as wonderful.

Think about those random run-ins you have with someone from high school - when they ask how you are and what you’ve been up to and you respond with overly fake, cheerful answers. We are all capable of acting cheery, enthusiastic and fake. After all, this is how we get jobs and have conversation on first dates, however, the difference is – those people don’t know anything about you and those conversations last 2-40 minutes.

Now try doing that for 365 days (give or take depending on the length of your engagement).

It is almost impossible for anyone to be excited all the time, so if we don’t put 15 exclamation points in our emails about our wedding planning, forgive us…

There are all kinds of brides and whichever type you choose to be, embrace it. We can’t all be Bride Barbie, and even if I had the choice, I wouldn't want to be. After all, Barbie and Ken divorced in 2004.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Vows

So, I’ve officially moved over from bridesmaid to bride (at least for the next year). We got engaged in Cinque Terre, Italy in our adorable villa which overlooked the town. "The fiance" proposed at 5am after a coughing fit - I guess he couldn't wait! What really happened was I ruined his master plan the night before because I got moody and was not feeling well.

At least it showed me that he knows this is for better OR FOR WORSE.

Then we went to the beach to see the sun rise and I skipped down the cobblestone streets and stared at my hand for an hour straight. Here are some pictures of the views. I will spare you the pictures of me doing the happy (ugly) cry and definitely not show the video he took of me 3 minutes after it happened where I was jumping on the bed.

Since I have ridiculed every bride and made fun of almost every aspect of the wedding process - I know, I'm under scrutiny. I really need to take a good look at what I ask of my friends and how I present myself.

Below are my vows. No…not those vows.

These are my vows to my friends…

I vow...
to not make you wear a ridiculous colored dress that will sit and gather dust in your closet. I tend to wear black almost everyday, so why make my wedding day any different.

I vow...
to not force you to purchase special shoes or jewelry. However, this means you must wear black shoes…don’t try and be cute and wear hot pink trendy shoes.

I vow...
to not ask you to spend what would have been your bonus on me for my bachelorette party, bridal shower or any other events. (too bad most of us didn't get bonuses this year).

I vow...
to make my registry user-friendly – meaning the gifts will cost reasonable amounts and the registry hopefully won’t run out of options. HINT-gift certificates and creative activities are great gifts. Also...”the fiancé” wants a waffle maker.

I vow...
that I will not become one of those brides where every conversation I have until the day of my wedding must refer to my wedding – except maybe to my cousin who is also recently engaged!

I vow...
that I will not be a hypocrite, ruin my friendships or hurt my Bridelines reputation! After all, those "Skinny Bitch" women are famous because they are still skinny (and bitchy?).

I am so excited to share this journey with all of you!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Where and When...and for Whom?

When choosing a location and date for your wedding there are many factors to consider.

Will it be too hot or too cold?
Will there be a hurricane or a thunderstorm?
Will your friends travel out of town for your wedding?
Will your guests be forced to pay for a hotel?
Are you parents demanding it be in your childhood town?
Or maybe worst of all…will too many people say “yes” if your venue is close by?

This is how the situation usually plays out...

You choose a date and location and you are all giddy and excited. Then you decide to tell people. You sit in silence for 5 minutes as your (friend, family members, coworker) tells you all the reasons why that date or location doesn't work for them. Some common complaints are…they have another wedding that day, or its their child’s birthday or they have plans the night before or the flights are really expensive that time of year. After their 5 minute rant has ended, this phrase ultimately comes out of their mouth -
“You should do what is best for you.”

Does that phrase have any meaning?
Is any decision in this wedding process really what is best for you?

Here at Bridelines, we encourage being considerate of your friends, but that doesn't mean checking with your friends which Saturday nights are open for them for the next year. It also doesn’t mean not having your wedding a flight away if that is what you want.

However, it does mean that understanding what is best for you may not be best for everyone else and thus, people might not be able to attend - because of prior obligations or financial reasons.

And you know what? That is ok.

This wedding is about you and Mr. Husband to be. The people that mean the most to you will find their way there, in the rain, on the plane, on their birthday. What is best for you is not worrying about what is best for everyone and ultimately being confident that the wedding will be everything you dreamed it would be.

***A helpful reminder to friends and family…vocalize your opinions/complaints on Bridelines or to your other friends (although group gossiping sessions should be kept to a minimum). Don't complain to the bride. It is never a good idea and somehow no one ever seems to remember that!***

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wedding Moments: Do You Laugh or Cry?

Queen of Quirky Guest Blogs!

If you combine a religious/legal ceremony, people dressed up to the nines, a dress with miscellaneous hooks, frill and a train, a hodgepodge of spoken and unspoken traditions, children, booze, nerves and family, you get a wedding, right?

I have another word for it: awkward.

Let’s face it – aside from the last family reunion when Aunt Mildred got wasted and sang “Pussy Control” during karaoke, your wedding has the potential to be one of the most awkward days of your life.

Your maid of honor is taking tequila shots at the bar with two groomsmen (she’s already made out with each of them separately.) And your flower girl is rolling around on the floor having a temper tantrum because her parents want to take her to bed. Aunt Mildred is doing the electric slide (but the song isn’t playing.) And suddenly you have to use the restroom, an activity you realize requires the assistance of your tequila slinging maid of honor.

With the wrong attitude, these unplanned disturbances could become wedding-ruining nightmares. But if you go into the day with a sense of humor, you’re likely to have some great stories to tell your grandchildren about how much fun (Read: funny) your wedding was.

Just in case you aren’t yet convinced that weddings are awkward.

Some other possible scenarios…

The priest/rabbi may forget your new last names and introduce you as “um… Mr and Mrs. Sara and Steve.” Or worse, as once witnessed by Princess Sari, the Catholic priest cracks a joke about your “oopsie” child – the one who is currently standing there with a basket of flowers in her hand.

Later your dad could give a toast where he tells everyone how much you used to love rocking in your rocking chair as a child and wishes for you and your husband to enjoy rocking through life together. (This actually happened to me during my first wedding.)

But don’t think the awkward moments are limited to you. This is one part of your wedding day everyone can share in.

Remember, some of your guests may still be single. This is a great opportunity for them to flirt and possibly meet new people. I mean, anyone who would be in attendance at your wedding has to be a quality dating candidate, right? (Snort. I love my single guy friends, but wouldn’t set my girlfriends up with a lot of them in a million years. But sadly, I’ll be too busy to probably police that situation…I fear the worst.)

Single Gal in the City said she was once at a wedding, trying to get her flirt on, when she accidentally singed her hair on a candle in the process. I don’t think she got a date out of that wedding.

I hope by now you are convinced that your wedding day is bound to have a few awkward moments. But those moments give your day character and make for great stories to tell at happy hour with your co-workers
. Or, right here on Bridelines.

So, let’s hear your awkward wedding stories in the comments.

And if you are looking for more, be sure to stay tuned to or

I’ll be sharing all of mine with awkward wedding pride.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to Have a Great Bachelor or Bachelorette Party without Dooming the Marriage

Some great bachelorette party tips from bride blogger, Emily.

Why is it always the guys who go crazy before a wedding?

Sure, girls get crazy too. But bachelor parties are notorious, while bachelorette parties usually aren't. I'm not saying girls don't get scandalous. But by the time she's a few weeks from the wedding, a woman will usually have left the worst of her wild side behind.

If you are throwing a bachelor or bachelorette party, you are responsible for planning a fun time and keeping the bride and groom safe and out of trouble. Be sure to run your party plans past the couple before finalizing anything. You want them to have a good time and feel comfortable about the activities too.

Take precautions.
If the party will be out and about, avoid alcohol-related accidents by hiring a party bus or limousine to get everyone safely from one place to another. Hired transportation allows everyone to kick back and enjoy the party without having to worry about driving. Another strategy is to host the party in a location with overnight accommodations.

Avoid throwing bachelor or bachelorette parties on the night before the wedding.
Hangovers will make for terrible wedding photos and the last thing you need is for someone to forget the wedding rings. If you schedule the event at least 3-5 days before the big day, you can include out-of-town guests and still give everyone a chance to recover.

Plan activities and follow a schedule.
For guys, the party might start with dinner out, proceed to a sporting event, and wrap up with a few drinks. You can also host a cookout that includes a game of softball, football, soccer or basketball. Another option is to order pizza and wings, and then have a poker tournament. For girls, spa visits are always a treat, especially when followed by a special celebration dinner. You can also throw a party at your house, get carry-out, rent movies, and have a chick-flick film festival.

If the party plans include strip clubs or strippers, schedule it at the end of the evening.
That gives guests the option to attend the party but skip the strippers. Although you can hire strippers to come to you, it might be better to visit a club. That way, you keep things public and reduce the possibility of suspicion.

Bachelor and bachelorette parties are an important wedding ritual. They provide an opportunity for the couple to let loose one more time before settling down to the business of marriage. Bachelor and bachelorette parties can give everyone the freedom to have a great time and stay out of trouble too. With a bit of thought, you can minimize risks without limiting fun.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prevent Wedding Planning Burn-Out

Bridelines loves this post from a guest blogger Kara Hall - perfect for newly engaged couples...or anyone who wants to avoid needing a prescription of Xanax!

An anxious bride commented the other day that her hair was falling out…in clumps. She kept having nightmares of a wedding vendor not arriving on time, the wedding cake melting, and the growing amount of debt she was accumulating from wedding-related purchases. From all the stress, she was alienating her family, friends, and her soon-to-be groom.

Ultimately, she was suffering from “wedding planning burn-out.”

Thus, we sat down and mapped out an action plan for her moving forward, incorporating ways to relieve stress and pamper/treat herself during this important time in her life. After all, what are friends for?

So to all of the newly engaged out there, ask yourself: “When planning my wedding, what will I do to prevent burn-out?”

Below are a few tips (not all inclusive as there are many tips past brides could share) to help steer you down the path of “happily ever after”—or at least a happier planning experience.

· Delegate responsibility! That’s right! Ask your family, friends, wedding party, etc. to help support you as much as possible.

· When beginning wedding planning, utilize an organizer to help keep you on track.

· Before delving right into planning after a long day of work, pamper yourself first! There are many ways to soothe and calm your mind and body.

Here are a few examples:
o Take a hot bath
o Read a chapter out of a good novel
o Drink a glass of wine
o Go exercise
o Listen to your favorite song

· Read a romantic quote that makes you smile and jazzes you! Take for instance a quote from “The Notebook”:

Young Noah: “So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. And we're gonna have to work at this every day. But I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.”

· During the weekends filled with wedding planning, watch an “oldie but goodie!” That means to watch a movie that may excite and motivate you to complete the wedding tasks you need to get done that weekend. Below are just a couple of the wonderful movies you could watch :

o “Steel Magnolias”
o “Casablanca”
o “Runaway Bride”
o “Dirty Dancing”
o “Gone With the Wind”
o “Legends of the Fall”
o “The Notebook”
o “50 First Dates”
o “It’s a Wonderful Life”
o “Sweet Home Alabama”
o “West Side Story”
o “When Harry Met Sally”
o “Ghost”

Ultimately, the goal is to have an enjoyable and memorable engagement, as well as wedding planning experience. However, in order to have that you must take care of YOU. So here’s to a happy and healthy start to preventing wedding planning burn-out!

Kara Hall, Owner of With This Favor--a wedding favors and accessories boutique--contributed to this article. Visit and indulge yourself in a shopping excursion filled with exclusive offers and a team of bridal specialists that will take care of you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We're Engaged!!!

Dear Readers,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the recent engagement of my partner, our favorite Brideliner Jill!

On a recent trip to Italy, Jill became betrothed to her now fiancé Gary. She assures me that engagement details and pictures (if we are lucky) will follow shortly.

Now the fun begins!

With all of the criticism, ridicule and obnoxious remarks that we have so open and honestly divulged for the past few months, it will be interesting to watch Jill on her journey to Bride-ness.

Will she follow the Bridelines and heed our advice?

Or will she be a hypocrite and fall into the same pitfalls as every other Bridezilla?

Only time (and our blog) will tell. Stay tuned for updates!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DIY Planning

In the current economic climate it is not surprising that brides are cutting back on costs when it comes to their weddings. The latest trend has been “do it yourself” from designing your own invitations to channeling your inner Julia Child and baking your own wedding cake.

To start out on the right foot, a great way to save money is to plan the wedding yourself. By eliminating the option of a wedding planner you will automatically reduce the cost of your wedding. While wedding planners serve a great purpose, they are absolutely a luxury that many cannot afford.

The key to planning your own wedding is organization.
If the thought of a color coded Excel spreadsheet doesn’t get you excited, don’t worry, by the end of the process you will be a guru. The amount of planning you will have to do will directly correlate to the venue you choose. If you choose a catering hall/hotel/restaurant you will solve two pieces of the puzzle in one move (the venue and the caterer). If you are set on getting married at a private home or in an empty loft space you have to start from scratch. Either way, don’t be intimidated. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but once you start moving it will all come together. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish, from the band and caterer to getting your marriage license and rings. The list should be comprehensive and detailed.

You can always use your friend Google for some help.

Ask for referrals.
We all have friends and family who have gone through the process of wedding planning before and most people are very willing to offer their advice on the subject. Some people even offer a little too much advice...

Make mental notes at other events that you attend.
Did you love the band’s version of Madonna’s Like a Prayer?
Was the sushi bar at cocktail hour noteworthy?
Were the centerpieces so fantastic that you actually noticed them?

Ask for help!
One of the most challenging parts of planning a wedding is simply finding the time to get it all done. This is a time when you are allowed to ask your family and friends for some assistance when it comes to running small errands and helping you get ready for the big day.

While it would be nice to have a wedding planner like Franck from Father of the Bride who will convince your father to alter his front lawn to accommodate swans….just think you could end up with JLo’s character in The Wedding Planner who runs away with the groom!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcoming Out of Town Guests

It is inevitable that you will probably have some out of town guests - your cousins fly in from Florida or your friends fly to your hometown from the city you all live in now. Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, these guests are spending a lot of money to fly, stay in a hotel and share your wedding with you. They do all this because they love you, but you need to show them some love and appreciation in return.

Although we think some Save the Dates and Wedding Websites are cheesy, they are helpful for out of town guests. Send out your Save the Date around the time your guests can book flights. DO NOT send Save the Dates before the calendar on Expedia can locate your wedding date. People will not only forget to book the flight, but they might lose your Save the Date. On your Save the Date, you can put your wedding website.
On your, next to your kissing photos and “how we met” story, you should post information that is relevant to out of towners, such as times of rehearsal dinner/ceremony, hotel options, maps of the location.

Present guests with a few (3) hotel options that vary in price. This is a non-negotiable option and is expected. Your guests should never have to research hotel options and they also shouldn't feel financially uncomfortable with the hotels you offer. Reserve a block in each hotel so when your guests call up, they can just reserve a room in the block with the block rate (hopefully you get a cheap rate).

Hotel Baskets
This is not required, but it is a generous gesture and will show your guests you appreciate their time and effort. In each room, leave a basket with items that will be useful for their stay. These items do not need to be expensive. Be thoughtful. Give guests maps of the area, a bottle of water, maybe a list of restaurants and other cute/thoughtful things that you would want if you were in their situation.

Although it is not required (and we’ve never attended a wedding where this was done), some very generous couples provide transportation from the airport to the hotel. However, what is more customary is providing transportation from the hotel to the wedding venue and rehearsal dinner venue. If your venue is not in walking distance or a very short cab ride away, you should provide a bus or some sort of transportation. Your guests shouldn’t have to pay for a 30 minute taxi ride and you certainly do not want to encourage drunk driving.

It is important to make your guests feel comfortable and spend as little money as possible. Your out of towns guests should not have any extra expenses on behalf of you. After all, they paid for a flight, hotel, getting to and from the hotel and a gift.

The stress of the weekend is on your shoulders so please think about this ahead of time.
Or else, people might throw tennis balls, or even worse, tomatoes at you when your walk down the aisle, instead of rice or candy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Size Does Matter...On the Dance Floor

Whether you are a “Dancing Machine” a “Dancing Queen” or like Phil Collins you “Can’t Dance” one thing is for certain; the dance floor is the place to be at a wedding. The dance floor is the center of the event’s universe. People holding hands dancing in circles around the bride and groom…..the classy older couple who makes the younger couples wish they could do something other than ‘punch it out’ and do the running man….the drunken cousin who does his best break dance, only to wind up tearing a muscle! These are all classic wedding moments.

Of course the music is important, but there is something even more imperative than having a great band. As we all know….size does matter! Especially when it comes to the dance floor. We have all been at events where you find yourself up against some sweaty old man who thinks he is John Travolta, bumping into you with his best "Saturday Night Fever" moves.

It’s not uncommon to see people dancing at their tables or on their way to the bathroom, just to find some space. When planning your wedding keep in mind the number of guests when you book the room. There is nothing worse than a conga line that looks like something out of “Dirty Dancing” because there’s nowhere to shimmy or finding your flower girl in the bathroom with a broken toe as a result of a Jimmy Choo massacre!

Take our advice and make sure there's room for everyone you invited to "Get Up and Boogie" or in the words of Lionel Richie your guests may end up “Dancing on the Ceiling”.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Advice to MOH!

Being asked to be a Maid of Honor is well…literally…an honor, but attached to that role comes scrutiny and responsibility. Many times the MOH is a sister so even though she isn't exactly hand-picked (also might not be the best person for the job), by virtue of shared genes, she is tapped as the leader. She is the General. Her main job is planning the bachelorette party, so this post is for every maid of honor or bachelorette-planner bridesmaid.

When the planning begins, as the planner, you should email all the bridesmaids asking what date works and what type of event should be planned. The brides likes/dislikes should be seriously considered (duh, it's for her) and the COSTS that all her friends will endure should also be seriously considered. If the bride is your sister, we know you have no problem dropping money on her, but if she is your friend and you already have 4 other bachelorette parties that year, the costs become excessive, unmanageable and plain depressing for your bank account. This part of the planning should be an open discussion, but do not let it marinate forever.

Get opinions and make a decision!

As the MOH, the bride’s friends are generally scared to put down your ideas and no one wants to sound too negative. If you didn't know this already, we are telling you. No girl wants to sound like debby downer, but these girls are also complaining behind your back…or to us!

THINK THINGS THROUGH…put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Bachelorette parties are not democracies. Not everyone’s opinion matters. As the planner, you should NOT be asking for everyone’s opinions. You should NOT be surveying the group on every small detail! And you should NOT be emailing everyone on minute by minute plans.
Why? Because honestly…no one cares. Asking opinions welcomes drama and disagreements. Just tell everyone the overall plan and do it in a concise and organized manner.

Don’t babble. Don’t be cute. Don’t be a maidzilla!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Will You Be My Bridesmaid" Dilemmas're Katherine Heigel in "27 Dresses." You are (or were) everyone's best friend. Throughout your life you kept in touch with your elementary school friends, high school friends, camp friends, sorority sisters, co-workers, kickball teammates, and you have a few sisters and some close cousins. When all your friends and family got married (going back as far as 10 years), you were the go-t0-girl. These friends NEEDED you try to hundred of dresses, walk down the aisle and hold their dress up while they peed. Before we get to the dilemma, we applaud you for your patience and dedication to your friends.

However, it’s finally your wedding (yay) and as you sit down to think about who you will ask to be your bridesmaids, you realize that:

1. you have way too many and it will be very uneven with your fiancés
2. you have way too many and 14 girls doing the matchy-matchy thing is tacky
3. you have way to many and a lot of these girls are no longer your close friends (or maybe you were never that close)

What do you do when you don't want to ask someone to be a bridesmaid, but you have already stood up in their wedding?

This is not an easy situation because ultimately someone’s feelings may get hurt. However, you know the personalities of each girl and you know who will be offended and who will understand. We think that if one of the girls who made you a bridesmaid still thinks you are best friends (even if you never were) and she will be very hurt if you do not ask her, its best for your own sanity to ask her to be your bridesmaid. She will be honored and probably be really helpful and appreciative. As you learn at a young age, sometimes it’s easier to do what is best for other people even though this wedding is about you and the choice of bridesmaids should be yours and only yours.

But...really...are there decisions that are ever really only yours?

On the other hand, there are those friends who would agree that you've grown apart and when you stood up for them your lives were in different places. Maybe she was a work friend and now you don't work in that office or maybe she was a sorority sister who got married right after college and now that she's moved away, you only speak once every few months. These are the types of girls who will likely understand that you are not as close anymore and they will appreciate just being invited to the wedding and watching you walk down the aisle.

Bridelines Overall Thoughts...
Be sensitive to your friend's feelings and not because it is the "nice friend" thing to do, but because sometimes when you do what you want (even when you are allowed to be selfish), it causes drama, tears and you'll end up having to deal with more stress than you would otherwise. If you really feel strongly about not asking someone, stick to your guns and although the friend might not be so happy on the offset, in the long run...if she’s a caring and mature friend…she should understand.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Everyone Loves Pigs in a Blanket

Cocktail hour is the most anticipated culinary component of the wedding. From the sushi bar to the meat carving station, your guests will be canvassing the room in search of those infamous baby lamb chops. For most guests, cocktail hour is the only time in the evening where the focus is on the food. By the time the party gets started everyone is happily distracted by the band, the toasts and inevitably the alcohol. Usually, the sit down meal is forgettable and what leaves a lasting impression are the creative pass around hors d'oeuvres that began the evening.

Kobe Beef Sliders, Ahi Tuna crisps and Scallops Wrapped in Bacon are some recent favorites.

As you plan your extravagant and tasty cocktail hour remember these four words:
No matter how elegant an affair, no matter how ritzy the venue, pigs in a blanket are an all time winner. You can even dress them up in a black tie outfit and call it Sausage Wrapped in Phyllo.

There is one key and one key alone to a successful cocktail hour.
A cocktail hour with too little food is like Thanksgiving dinner without enough turkey. There is nothing worse than watching your friends and family fight over the last shrimp on the platter or seeing the disappointed look in your guests’ eyes as they get to the sushi bar to find a lone cucumber roll sitting on the otherwise empty bamboo boat.

In closing we cannot to forget to mention the aspect that gives this hour its moniker. Cocktails are the stars of the night…so start off strong (pun intended). It’s always a good idea to have glasses of champagne and popular martini combinations served by waiters as guests arrive. That way they don’t have to rush right over to the bar. However, many people will make a beeline for the bar, so make sure there are enough bartenders and bar locations in the room. No one wants to wait for a drink at a wedding like they do at their local dive bar.

Unfortunately as the bride you probably won’t get to taste any of the food, especially at cocktail hour when you are busy introducing yourself as Mrs. for the first time. Your guests on the other hand will be hungry and great food and drinks will set the tone for a wonderful evening. Take the time to plan a great kickoff to the wedding, besides if it’s really a party, it will be the only hour of the night that some people will remember...


I want to publicly congratulate Lauren (my Bridelines co-blogger and best friend) for giving birth to her beautiful daughter Ava. I love you both and cannot wait to watch her grow up and spoil her like crazy...and of course...teach her how not to be a bridezilla!

Secondly, we wanted to share this press release that mentions Bridelines blog as "Editor's Pick" as Best Wedding Planning Blog from Wedding Channel and highlights our involvement as featured guest bloggers for Weddzilla. Big Winners at the Wedding Channel Blog Awards is thrilled to announce the most recent Wedding Channel Blog Awards contest has acknowledged the achievements of three of Weddzilla ladies.
August 11, 2009 -- Winners of this year’s Wedding Channel Blog Awards contest include 3 Weddzilla ladies. The award for Best Real Wedding Blog was given to Amy Chung,'s Director of Community Development for her Relentless Bride Blog, Jill & Lauren - two of's "Featured Bride Bloggers" won Editor's Pick for Best Wedding Planning Blog for Bridelines Blog, and Jessica Bishop, a graphic designer won for Editor's Pick for Best Budget Wedding Blog.
Weddzilla ladies win 3 Wedding Channel Blog Awards
Amy has been wedding planning since April 2008 and began blogging in August the same year. After finding that her passions for her own wedding was stoked by the inspiration she found online, she focused her blogging on weddings in general. At the end of May 2009, Amy joined the Weddzilla Team as the Director of Community Development. Her expertise in Weddings and developing a rabid community of brides on her own site is now spreading to the the Weddzilla Blog. Since taking her post as head Bride, the Weddzilla Blog team has grown to include more than 15 featured bride bloggers as well as expanding its readership internationally.
“We are thrilled that Wedding Channel has acknowledged Amy's blogging skills and more importantly, her ability to connect with her readers in ways that led her to be voted into an elite group of wedding bloggers. The Relentless Bride blog as well as her work on the Weddzilla Blog proves that her passion for planning weddings extends way beyond her own wedding, and that she truly enjoys and loves anything wedding related!” said Aaron Hall, CEO of
Jill and Lauren, Weddzilla featured bride bloggers and the voices behind Bridelines, are witty, honest, and candid in their advice to brides to be. Their catch-phrase "its exactly what your friends are thinking" highlights their theme of telling brides what their friends are saying behind their back. Jill and Lauren won "Editors Pick" by Wedding Channel for Best Wedding Planning blog. Jill and Lauren's mission is to help brides through the wedding process without alienating their friends.
“The addition of Bridelines to the Weddzilla featured blogger team is really exciting for us. They bring a different point of view that is sometimes necessary to help brides keep things in perspective. We have loved reading their blog and seeing the reactions of their readers to their insightful posts. They are fantastic and we congratulate Bridelines for this achievement!” said Kristen Hall, C0-Founder of Weddzilla.
Jessica Bishop is a recently married graphic designer who took her love for DIY and saving her pennies to the next level when planning her wedding. Jessica began her blog, The Budget Savvy Bride in April of 2008 and has since been sharing her tips and tricks for creating a wedding worthy of a magazine on a tight budget. The Budget Savvy Bride was recently chosen as “Editor’s Pick” by the Wedding Channel for Best Budget Wedding Blog. Jessica’s experience as a graphic designer in the wedding industry led her to Weddzilla, where she has joined our design team and currently working on the redesign work for next version of
The new
is coming soon and is set to revolutionize wedding planning. Sign up now and be the first to experience Wedd 2.0. makes it easy for brides to find wedding vendor reviews, browse wedding dresses, find bargains, get decorating tips, DIY ideas, and great wedding planning tools. The Weddzilla Blog is a growing community of brides to be and wedding lovers alike. Please stay tuned to the Weddzilla blog for more posts from our creative and talented team.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bridelines Hearts JCPenney Registry

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

That is all a wedding is really about and we know, it becomes stressful! One of the first decisions is where to register and what to register for. We have blogged about this before and the most important part of registering is organization.

Brides…you must be organized not only for yourself, but for those buying you gifts. Make sure your registry is varied in cost and content. This means do not go to a store that only has very expensive things. You won't get the gifts you wanted and you will sit home crying to yourself because you didn't get that (name something fancy). But…no one feels bad for you.

Guests…we know you want your gift buying experience to be effortless and fast. You want a one-stop shop with only a few clicks required.
So…here’s how we found out about JCPenney...
Our friend told us she was registered there so we went to the websites and snooped around. Our friend loves making smoothies – she is one of those natural foodies. We saw that she registered for a food blender/processor and we knew the one she was using was old. We purchased the blender for her at 9:12pm and it arrived exactly 36 hours later. JCPenney offers free gift wrapping for some gifts over $49. The process was simple and smooth (pun intended) for a guest and the gift arrived in a very timely manner for the couple.

Go to the website and in the center of the screen is “Gifts + Registry.” Click that! You can create, update or shop. Continue on with your shopping as it applies to you – the bride or the guest. JCPenney has a easy-to-read layout and is simple enough for your grandma to use. After all, she is going to buy you the nice bedding you want.

And now for the fun part…one lucky reader will win a $100 gift to JCPenney. All we ask is that you sign up for your own registry on JCPenney, and then you are eligible to win. After you sign up, please send us your confirmation email and this will enter you into the contest.
Contest ends on August 15th 2009.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Cost of Being Your Best Friend

Whoever said that watching your best friend marry the man of her dreams is “priceless” was definitely not a bridesmaid.

A bridesmaid’s role is to be the emotional rock for the bride and along with that, bridesmaids are expected to attend every wedding event, irrespective of cost.

Brides...we know your big day has been planned since age 6 when the only important bank was your piggy bank, but times have changed and your friends are not recession proof. In case you haven’t thought about bridesmaid's costs (of course you haven’t, you are too busy worrying about squeezing that money out of your father’s wallet for the dress/flowers/tablecloths of your dreams), we are here to share the financial burdens your best friends will endure.

Engagement Gift: $50
Brideliners say: In a recession, if you don’t have party, don’t expect tons of gifts. As your best friends, we will get you a thoughtful gift. Wine tasting? Scuba lessons? Dance lessons?

Dress: $300
Brideliners say: Please choose a color and cut we can wear again. No, not the color that has been your favorite since you were playing with Barbies. That color is for your flowers. The color of the bridesmaid dress is a color we can wear again…of course unless you pay!

Alterations: $80
Brideliners say: Choose a dress that comes in “typical store” sizes. Less alterations the better.

Shoes: $70
Brideliners say: Pick a solid color and a simple style/fabric we might already have in our closet. If the dress is long and you won’t see the shoe…who cares, let us wear flip flops!

Strapless bra/Spanx or Other Contraptions: $40
Brideliners say: Making us buy a contraption created to hide side fat, fix lopsided boobs or show cleavage is an added cost that we may never wear again. It might make us feel self-conscious or maybe we our proud of our not-so-perfect curves! Find a dress where these aren’t necessary!

Bridal Shower Gift: $50
Brideliners say: This is part of the wedding rules – we know, we know.

Destination Bachelorette Party:
Flight to Mexico, Miami, etc: $300
Dinner 2 nights: $160
Drinks at a club 2 nights: $100
Decorations and Bridal Games: $20
Brideliners say: We love you and we love dancing on bars, but ouch…our poor bank accounts!

Home Town Bach Party: $150
Brideliners say: Reasonable for a dinner and a fun night out with the girls.

Hair: $80
Brideliners say: Brides, make sure your bridesmaids don’t feel pressured to get their hair done. We all want to have pretty curls when we are walking down the aisle, but sometimes we just can't afford it.

Make-up/Eye Lashes: $70
Brideliners say: Same as above. We don’t want to be the only bridesmaid without the eye-lashes or pretty lip gloss. An idea is to treat us by paying for makeup (or a wedding day hair style) for our bridesmaid gift! We will greatly appreciate it.

Spray Tanning: $40
Brideliners say: Some of us are pale. Get over it!

Wedding Gift: $250
Brideliners say: Without a plus 1, maybe $100, but since you’re our best friend, we upped the amount. Also, because when its our turn, you will give us the same back!

**These costs don’t include travel money for out-of-town weddings, costs for contributing to bridal showers as well as other extras.**

Now, there are no strict obligations to pay all these costs, but as your bridesmaids, it is expected that we participate in all events. Many bridezillas get angry at their bridesmaids for not attending every single thing and the last thing we want to do is get on your bad side during this process. Ultimately of course, it is not about the cost, but sharing these special times with your best friend.

However brides…just stop and think about it next time you are debating asking your bridesmaids to buy special shoes/jewelry or get a spray tan, it costs over $1,000 to be your best friend.