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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

So...you'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 fianc├ęs
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:
PIGS IN A BLANKET
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.
HAVE ENOUGH FOOD
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...

Announcements!


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.

Weddzilla.com Big Winners at the Wedding Channel Blog Awards
Weddzilla.com 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, Weddzilla.com's Director of Community Development for her Relentless Bride Blog, Jill & Lauren - two of Weddzilla.com's "Featured Bride Bloggers" won Editor's Pick for Best Wedding Planning Blog for Bridelines Blog, and Jessica Bishop, a Weddzilla.com 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 Weddzilla.com
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 Weddzilla.com.
The new
Weddzilla.com
is coming soon and is set to revolutionize wedding planning. Sign up now and be the first to experience Wedd 2.0. Weddzilla.com 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.