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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!