Weddings are all about spending time with the people we love, which is why careful planning and a strategic timetable are crucial for a well-executed day. And a big part of that day is different traditions, one of which is the most adorable member of the squad – the flower girl. But like with most things that are wedding-related, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. So to make sure you are all prepared for those steps down the aisle, here’s what it takes to have a happy and successful flower girl.
Make sure it’s something she wants
Sure, you know your niece is going to look absolutely adorable walking down the aisle, throwing about petals and smiling into the camera – but does she want to do that? If this is a child you are close with, you should be able to estimate whether or not they are up to the task. If they don’t usually like being the center of attention and having all eyes on them, don’t put them on the spot. If you, however, aren’t that close to them, you should ask their parents and let them decide. Finally, you need to ask her. If she isn’t sure, or flat out says she doesn’t want to do it, there is no point in forcing it upon her – just let her enjoy the wedding as a guest.
Explain the duties
Once you have a willing flower girl, it’s time to explain to her exactly what her duties are. If you think carrying a basket and evenly spreading out petals is a bit too complex of a task, there are plenty of alternatives. She can simply walk down the aisle with a small bouquet or pomander, carry a sign that says “the bride is coming”, or blow bubbles. If you are going with the traditional basket, you can fill it with candies or confetti. Meet up with the flower girl a few times before the ceremony to practice walking, throwing and anything else you’ve planned, and try to set up one rehearsal at the actual venue. If you see that she is struggling with some part of her duties, alter them so that she is comfortable in her role.
Get the perfect look
You will definitely not be able to hold back your “awwwwws” while looking through beautiful flower girl dresses. They are all the most adorable things you will ever see and it will be hard to pick a favorite. But this is why you have these things to consider: The girl’s parents should be present when you are choosing the dress, or you should consult them before choosing to make sure that they agree that the dress is appropriate. Secondly, you have to make sure that it is the right size and perfectly comfortable for the flower girl. She will be wearing it the whole day, and any itchiness or tightness will not be tolerated. Next, you want to consider the theme of your wedding. If you have a beach wedding, you don’t want her in a puffy ballgown. Lastly, of course, the flower girl herself needs to like the dress, or she won’t want to wear it. When constructing the look, also consider things like shoes, tights, headpieces, as well as hair and makeup.
Include her family
Your biggest allies in this endeavor are the girl’s parents and close family. You want to make sure that they are sitting near the front row during the ceremony, so she knows that she should walk towards them. During the entire process of preparation, they should be present to make sure she feels comfortable. Ideally, one of the bridesmaids (or the bride herself) is the girl’s sister or mother, so that she can attend all of the activities – from hair and makeup to bridal brunch – together with the group. Kids are great, but they are also unpredictable, so having their parent close by will allow for swift problem-solving in case of an emergency.
Having a flower girl is an amazing addition to a ceremony, but you have to keep in mind that they are still young, and that you shouldn’t expect too much. They will do their best, but if you expect perfection on every step, nobody is going to have a good time. So just let her do her magic and congratulate her as soon as you get the chance.
There are some things that a wedding simply needs to have: a dress, flowers, speeches, gifts, cake… Or does it? More and more young people are answering that with a firm “no”, and simply doing things their own way – from venues your grandparents would never think of to entertainment, outfits and food choices beyond our dreams. One thing that’s seen plenty of changes is the universal wedding symbol: the cake. Some still have it, but today there are plenty of alternatives as well, so if you are thinking about switching it up a bit too, maybe some of these ideas will help:
Looks like cake, but isn’t
While many couples want to offer something different than a cake, there is still an amazing wow factor in seeing a big, tiered dessert. But it doesn’t have to be made out of cake. We’re getting creative and building towers out of donuts, cupcakes, pies, meringues and other sweets. Even an elegant croquembouche has seen a wedding ceremony or two. The desserts are either stacked directly on top of each other or placed on a tiered platter to achieve the wedding cake look. And if you still want something to cut into as a couple, you can place a single tier of cake on top and cut a piece for yourselves.
I scream, you scream, we all scream when we see something as creative and fun as this idea. Perfect for summer weddings (or perhaps a winter themed one too?), giving your guests a variety of ice cream to choose from and make their own combination will definitely be the star of the show, and very popular with your younger guests. You can easily find an ice cream store that will come to your wedding with an ice cream truck full of delicious flavors for your guests to choose from, including your favorites, whatever they may be. And instead of cutting the first slice, you can have the first scoop!
Do you want cake, but not exactly cake? That’s perfectly fine. The deliciousness of cake is not in question here, but the traditional presentation can leave a lot to be desired. However, if you opt for any other version of a cake, like cupcakes, cake pops or deconstructed cakes in individual glasses, you can not only have a unique presentation, but also a variety of flavors. Unlike a traditional cake where you have to stick to one flavor combination per tier, if you deconstruct it and make it smaller, you can combine the cake, the buttercream and the filling in so many different ways that every guest will find something they love.
As we come to pies, we can see a clear trend appearing: people want more variety in their dessert selection. And since you can fill a pie with virtually anything, you are well on your way to achieving that. Consider either a selection of pies filled with everything from fruit to chocolate ganache cut into slices for your guests, or make a series of mini-pies, so every guest can enjoy the wonderful flaky crust all the way around. You can also mix up the pastry by making a crumble, a puff pastry pie or other alternatives.
A little bit of everything
The best part is, you don’t have to decide on just one option. Make a dessert table that will feature everything you love from candy bars and milkshakes to cookies and cake – everything goes. Try to give the table a theme or tell a story, so it doesn’t feel like a bunch of sweets just thrown together. Maybe you can tell the story of your relationship, from something sweet you had on your first date, and then all the things you had throughout the years. Or you can make it an “around the world” theme, featuring different desserts from all over the world, placing a little flag into each one to show which culture it represents.
And if you still want a traditional wedding cake – that is perfectly fine. Most of these ideas can also be used as additions to the cake. Just keep your options open, think about what goes with the theme of your wedding, and as long as you are happy with what’s on display and your guests leave full, that is all that matters.
From holding the bride’s bouquet and taking selfies, to being the head of her dress & make-up patrol, a maid of honor has a long list of duties, some of which might come as a surprise to you!
Having performed the role 5 times in my life, my friends seem to think I am a professional maid of honor. Almost like Jane from 27 Dresses! As you probably know, a wedding day has to be planned like a battle in a war and I discovered so many hidden maid of honor tasks nobody tells you beforehand. Plus, you are expected to be doing at least three things at the same time. But don’t be discouraged ladies, I’ll try to help you nail it!
The first step is to know your traditional duties in detail. We all know they include helping the bride to get ready, holding her bouquet during the ceremony, signing some official papers and smiling at the wedding reception. Well, yes but there is much more to it. The maid of honor is the bride’s first assistant and a shoulder to cry on, but she also has to be there for both of the mothers and keep an eye on the child attendants. You probably think it is impossible to manage so many people at the same time. Well, not really, because you have an entire battalion of bridesmaids under your control and you are allowed to delegate tasks.
Dressing up and down
Then there is a whole list of duties related to the bride’s dress and make-up. Remember that you are the leader of the wedding gown protection team and you simply must keep your eyes peeled for any accidents. In case the dress gets ripped, stained or burned, you will be expected to pull out some magical weapon from your pocket. This is why I recommend creating a secret emergency kit which includes everything from wet wipes and a stain remover to a mini sewing kit. I can tell you from my own experiences that a blow dryer is a must-have too, because it is handy for hair emergencies, quick nail polish fixes and drying stains on the dress. On top of all that, the bride will expect you to tell her if her lipstick or eyeliner gets smudged throughout the day and she will most certainly need your assistance whenever she wants to go the bathroom.
Modern wedding etiquette also requires you to be bride’s social media guardian angel. Take her phone and make some fabulous snaps along the way, but also protect her from the unwanted selfies and social media posts by other guests.
And because she will be preoccupied with other things, you should communicate with the wedding photographers and make sure every important picture is taken. I noticed that it is easy to miss great photo opportunities and omit must-have family portraits. My ultimate tip is to make a photography checklist with the bride, then hand it to the photographer and make sure to tick all the boxes on the day. Tell the photographer who is who at the wedding and help them rustle up the bridal party and family members during the cocktail hour. And remember to always smile in front of the camera, because nobody wants to see a grumpy maid of honor!
As for the dance floor action… I think you really need a pair of foldable flat shoes in your bag to be able to survive the day. You are expected to be the dancing queen and drag people to the podium. And while you can allow yourself to be a little tipsy towards the end of the reception, remember that alcohol is one of your worst enemies during the day, so try to stay sober and keep that smile on your face!
Each wedding is unique, and you will go to great lengths to make sure yours is simply perfect. And while you want your wedding to be memorable and have moments that are special only to you, you should also take into considerations the traditions and clichés of the event. Classics carry that title for a good reason, and there are some traditions that you simply shouldn’t skip over. It might be something to do with your religion or heritage or just something that’s been a running theme in your family, but whether it’s a special garment you wear or a small event that will take place during the ceremony, here are the classics that should definitely be a part of your event.
After you’ve officially been pronounced husband and wife, and everyone settles into their seats at the venue, it’s the moment for anyone willing to say a few words. If you give them the heads-up, some people will work long and hard preparing a speech, but if you know that they will be willing and able, you can also ask them in the moment and let them just speak from the heart. Usually, speeches will be given by the parents and siblings, best men and maids of honor, and, of course, the newlyweds. It’s a moment not only to address your new spouse and express your love but also a moment for you to thank everyone else present and tell them how much their support means to you.
The first dance
One of the most beautiful moments of any wedding, right after the big “I do”, is the newlyweds’ first dance as husband and wife. However, many couples shy away from this tradition, afraid that their dancing skills are not exactly up to par. But there are many places where you can get lessons and learn the perfect choreography for the first dance. And if you think a simple waltz or quickstep is too boring, you can wow all of your guests by doing a contemporary piece. Glide into the room in a comfortable pair of jazz dance shoes and start your marriage off in style to a song you love, moving to the beat.
The first look
There is a saying that we all know about how it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding. And while the superstition might not hold much water, it’s not completely dismissible either. This is the same reason why the bride and groom often don’t go shopping for the dress and suit together. Imagine not seeing your spouse-to-be for the entire wedding day, until that first look, seeing them completely dressed up and simply radiating. It is a moment you will never forget, and you will be forever thankful that you have them.
The wedding cake
More and more couples are opting for unique catering ideas for the big day. From ice trays piled high with the finest raw fish to wedding cakes being replaced by macaroon towers and cupcakes. And while variety in taste is greatly appreciated, there is something very special about seeing a three-tiered cake, with a topper representing the two of you – not to mention the fun tradition of cutting the first piece and feeding it to each other, as well as saving the top tier frozen for your first anniversary – if you have that kind of self-control! You can make it personal by incorporating different colors and shapes and, of course, a unique cake topper that is either a depiction of the two of you, or a funny scene.
Each of these traditions can be modified in a million different ways, and just because it’s a classic, doesn’t mean it has to be boring, or done in the same way it’s been done a million times before. Take it and make it your own, simply taking inspiration from those who have done it in the past. After all – it’s your wedding, and you get to choose how everything goes.
Marriage and weddings have ancient roots, and they have changed a lot with generational shifts. And while marriage itself changed the most (from making alliances to finding true love) some wedding traditions have remained the same regardless of the passing of the centuries. This turned weddings into yet another cliché, and we all know that the thing that millennials hate the most is, you guessed it right – clichés. But hey, there are some things they are very fond of. In the text below, we’ll be reviewing this love/hate relationship millennials have with weddings.
THEY LOVE: Personalization
Millennials don’t believe that all weddings are made for John and Jane Doe using the same principles, rules, decors and traditions. It is their special day, and they will try to make it as personal as possible. This can include telling their love story through props and décor, having signature cocktails, etc.
THEY HATE: Formalities
Traditionally, wedding ceremonies take place in registry offices and churches. Millennials would rather skip those formalities and say their vows in a unique (preferably outdoor) location. This is yet another way to infuse their personalities into the ceremony.
THEY LOVE: Pop culture references
If you would just browse through Pinterest, you could see that there are thousands of millennial weddings with pop culture themes. Nerdy themes, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are exceptionally popular, but there are also other more down-to-earth ideas, like How I Met Your Mother themed weddings.
THEY HATE: Long exhaustive wedding planning
This generation doesn’t like long monthly guides. Planning checklist calendar is something they always try to avoid. The modern brides and grooms are busy with their own careers and they want professionals to help them make one of the most important days of their lives. Millennials usually choose wedding day packages to have full-service wedding planning, so they can just relax and enjoy.
THEY LOVE: Making an entrance
Transport to the ceremony and wedding venue is very important for millennials, not only because they like to make a grand entrance, but because it makes a special part of wedding photo album (more on that later). Choosing the wedding car service depends on the theme of the wedding – so if the wedding is vintage, they’ll go for an old-timer; if it is rock’n’roll, they’ll take a motorcycle and if it is luxurious, they’ll drive in a limousine.
THEY HATE: Over-the-top décor
Flowers, centerpieces, candles, lamps, glitter… sugar, spice and everything nice – not very “millennial” things to have at your wedding. This generation prefers subtle and elegant décor that fits in well with the theme of the wedding, and bride and the groom’s attire.
THEY LOVE: DIY décor
Twenty years ago, brides had their wedding books where they collected magazine pictures of wedding dresses, flowers, etc. Today’s brides have Pinterest which is full of DIY ideas for interesting décor projects or wedding favors.
THEY HATE: Registry gifts
Registry gifts were a great idea for their time, because they saved the happy couple from getting three microwaves. However, millennial couples prefer getting contributions for their honeymoon. If they do decide to register, then they opt for some cutting-edge tech, like iPad or Nest Thermostat.
THEY LOVE: Putting together their own playlist
Millennials know what they like when it comes to music, and leaving that decision to a DJ or a band could disrupt their perfect wedding. Instead, they either consult with them about their playlists or use Spotify to put together a list of their favorite songs.
THEY HATE: Traditional wedding photography
Traditional wedding photography includes minimal involvement from the photographer who is merely directing people how to pose and when. Millennials want to create great memories and even better Facebook and Instagram photos, so they lean more towards wedding photojournalism, fine-art and editorial style of photography.
THEY LOVE: Keeping it casual
Cinderella-style dresses and five-inch heels are rarely a choice of a millennial bride. She prefers to keep it comfy and casual, while still being stylish. Boho-style wedding dresses are having their big momentum in the last few years and Converse sneakers are a great photo prop.
THEY HATE: Traditional wedding vows
Religious vows may still have some of their initial romance, but they are too broad for millennials who value personalization. That’s why writing their own vows is imperative. Not only that, but millennials’ vows are usually creative, funny and not too cheesy. Just take as an example one the vows from Parks and Recreation: “I guess I kind of hate most things, but I never really seem to hate you. So I wanna spend the rest of my life with you. Is that cool?”
Bottom line: millennials love weddings, and they even spend a lot more money on them than the previous generations, but they have to add their own stamp to the event.
Your wedding will probably be one of the most important days of your life, and as such, will also be filled with moments you’ll want to remember forever. However, as our memory fades with time, the only way to truly preserve as much of those special moments as you can is to capture them on video. This way, you will have not only the image but also the sound, which can help you see the whole atmosphere and relive the emotions of that day. With that in mind, here are some of the moments you will definitely want to have on video.
The first look
The first look at your loved one is the moment that is hard to describe with words. It is filled with anticipation, excitement, joy, and love. Maybe you won’t even be aware of all your emotions at that moment, but capturing it on video will allow you to see them later on from a different perspective. It is truly something unique that you will love to replay over and over again.
The exchange of your vows is one of the most important moments of your wedding. Not just the words, but the emotions, the looks on your loved ones’ faces, the whole atmosphere… it’s not something you experience every day. Therefore, make sure to capture it so you can watch the video later and really take it in.
The wedding toasts are unique expressions of how much you mean to your closest family members and friends. They can share why they love you and how your love inspires them, which can be very wise and emotional, but they can also tell a good joke or share a funny moment of your relationships. Either way, you’ll want to be able to relive the words and laughs.
The funny details
With so many friends and family members at the wedding, you can’t possibly catch all the little details and funny moments. Some friends may sing, and some might want to leave you a loving message or share a few words of wisdom that you will cherish forever. However, as you can’t be everywhere at once, it’s important for your videographer to catch those precious moments so you can watch them later. If you’re not sure which details your videographer should pay attention to, there are many great examples of wedding videography from Sydney that will surely inspire you.
The first dance
By capturing your first dance on video, you’ll be able to not just see the dance and emotions but also hear the music and feel the atmosphere. A photo would not be able to show how nicely your dress is flowing, or how elegantly you’re moving with the music, so by recording that magical moment on video, you’ll be able to see every detail.
You and your partner will be the stars of the show, but don’t forget about all the others that will make your special day even more memorable ‒ the bridesmaids, the best men, the flower girls, etc. It’s quite understandable if the only person you notice that day is your future spouse, but you’ll surely want to look back at the roles of the supporting characters in your wedding as well, and recording them on video is the perfect way to do that.
The best way to end the video is with a shot of your grand exit, whether you’re planning to leave in a chariot with beautiful white horses, or a luxurious limo. You’ll get to hear all the wishes of your guests and see their excitement, which you can only see a part of on photos.
Photographs are amazing for shooting beautiful scenes, and of course, they are also convenient because you can frame them and look at them whenever you want. However, they can’t capture sounds and motions, so you can only get a glimpse of all the excitement. Therefore, make sure to hire a good videographer who will capture all the details that will make your big day truly unforgettable.