What are the Most Popular Days to Get Engaged?

It’s officially engagement season! According to a recent poll by Wedding Wire, about 40% of all engagements take place between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. And about 17% occur on the same 10 days of the year. Curious? We did some investigating. Here are the most popular days to put a ring on it.

 

December 17: If you can’t wait until the holidays or you just want to carve out a separate time to propose, two Saturdays before Christmas Eve is a very popular day. It’s smack dab in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas and keeps the holiday momentum going!

 

December 23: Many modern couples opt for pre-Christmas proposals on December 23. It’s the perfect way to start the holiday on a happy note. You still get that holiday engagement and get to celebrate the holiday without taking all the shine. Plus you’ll make your mother’s day!

 

Christmas Eve (12/24): Often, families celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve by opening presents. We can’t think of a more beautiful gift than wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone. Can you?

 

Christmas Day (12/25): There’s no better time to pop the question than when your friends and family are already gathered for a celebration. Bring on the joy! The more, the merrier.

 

New Year’s Eve (12/31): If you want to plan an intimate engagement before the festivities get underway, consider a New Year’s Eve proposal. Afterward, you can celebrate the good news with family and friends. It’s a win-win for everyone and an awesome way to bring the year to a close!

 

New Year’s Day (1/1): Any proposal that occurs on or after midnight is considered a New Year’s engagement. A new ring for a new beginning? We like the sound of that!

 

The Saturday before Valentine’s Day: If Valentine’s Day is too obvious, catch your significant other off guard and pop the question on the Saturday before. They won’t know what’s coming!

 

Valentine’s Day (2/14): Are you surprised? Neither were we. It only makes sense that the number one day for love is also a very big day to get engaged. And that diamond ring sure beats a box of chocolate!

 

The Saturday during Memorial Day Weekend: We’re convinced this is what long weekends were really created for. Kick off the summer on a high note with a proposal that everyone will remember for years to come.

 

Fourth of July (7/4): Although it’s not technically during engagement season, it’s easy to see why Independence Day tops the list. And, let’s be honest, fireworks just make a happy ending that much better (and help that ring shine a little bit brighter!)

 

Wedding Roles: Who Does What?

Your wedding is the biggest, most spectacular party you’ll ever throw and there are quite a few moving parts—and people. Luckily, we’ve created a little cheat sheet to help you figure it all out. Keep in mind that most of these roles can be played by either gender or by multiple people, particularly for same-sex couples. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding and you get to make the rules!

 

Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride often serves as a wedding planner and helps to oversee the guest list. Typically, she attends the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner before the wedding and steps into a hostess role at the reception.

Mother of the Groom

The groom’s mother can step into any duty that’s slotted for the mother of the bride. She also attends the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner, but her shining moment is the mother-son dance.

Father of the Bride

Traditionally, the parents of bride pay for the bulk of the wedding, but these days many families go Dutch and split the budget as they see fit. Additional father of the bride chores includesu\ airport duty, coordinating directions to the wedding venue, and of course, a toast at the reception for the happy couple.

Father of the Groom

In years past, the most important role for the father of the groom has been fronting the cost of the rehearsal dinner. Nowadays, that can be divvied up among the parents of the wedding couple. The groom’s dad is also a great help when you need to escort guests at the wedding, move tables, or offer support to the father of the bride.

Maid/Matron of Honor

The matron/maid of honor is the bride’s second in command during the planning process. She organizes the bridal shower and the bachelorette party and helps the bride get ready for the big day. She’s often the last attendant to walk down the aisle and traditionally holds the groom’s wedding ring if there isn’t a ring bearer.

 

Best Man

The best man is the groom’s right-hand man. He acts as a personal aide, advisor, and bachelor party extraordinaire. His duties include everything from getting the groom to the ceremony on time to holding the bride’s wedding ring at the altar. He’s also on the hook for a reception toast.

Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids are the bride’s most trusted entourage. These women (or men!) can be called upon to help with prewedding tasks, like creating bridal shower favors, addressing invites, or dress shopping. They usually pay for their wedding day ensembles and split the cost of the bridal shower and bachelorette party.

Groomsmen

The groomsmen will also pay for their tuxes and split the bill of the bachelor party. Their chief responsibilities include decorating the getaway car, moonlighting as ushers, and keeping the dance floor going well into the night.

 

Flower Girl

Flower girls, typically between the ages or 3 and 9, walk down the aisle before the bride, scattering flower petals. Afterward, they’ll sit with their parents during the ceremony.

Ring Bearer

Similar to flower girls, ring bearers are aged between 3 and 9 years old. They walk down the aisle just before the flower girls, carrying the bride and groom’s wedding bands. This is a great role for the wedding couple’s pets, too!

 

Need more assistance planning your nuptials? Find a Great Bridal Expo in a town near you!

 

6 Bridal Show Tips Every Exhibitor Should Know 👍

Think of a bridal expo as a series of first impressions. When a bride walks into your booth, you have exactly one opportunity to lay the foundation for a positive (and hopefully profitable) relationship. No pressure, right? To maximize your gain and build your business, you need to make every second count. To help you succeed at the show, here are the best tips and tricks of the business. Are you taking notes?

 

PLAN FAR IN ADVANCE

Our top exhibitors have one thing in common: planning. The more you plan, the better off you’ll be. Have you secured flights and hotels early? They sell out fast! Have you ordered giveaways and booth décor? It’s more important than you think. Have you trained your sales team? You get the idea. Create your checklist and get started as soon as possible.

MAKE YOUR BOOTH STAND OUT

Did you know that our first impression of someone forms in only one-tenth of a second? It’s that fast! In order to stand out from the crowd, and get the attention of brides, you’ll want to make your booth unique. We’ll leave the creativity up to you!

GET (INTER)ACTIVE

 If just one service or product in your booth is interactive, people are more likely to venture inside. You may want to install a selfie station or try touch screens to display your products. Remember, this is your chance to not just show off your product, but to create a memorable experience.

MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS

If you can, set up early and take some time to explore the grounds before the show begins. This is a great time to pass out business cards, network and find out how other exhibitors are marketing their services and products. Building key relationships can lead to referrals!

USE SOCIAL MEDIA

As soon as you know the dates you’ll be attending the show, begin your marketing plan and let your existing clients know when you’ll be there. Post photos of the show before, during, and after the event across social media platforms, and through a newsletter if you have one. Invite attendees to stop by and make sure to include both your booth number and event hashtag so attendees can easily find you.

BRING FREEBIES…

Promotional giveaways go a long way in extending your brand’s reach and breaking the ice with potential clients. Cute stickers, bookmarks, samples, water bottles, pens, or magnets are a few easy options. Just make sure that whatever you decide to give away has your business and contact information.

10 Secrets to Planning a Stylish Backyard Wedding

Backyard weddings take the cake on convenience and cost, but when it comes to planning and logistics, there’s way more than meets the eye. Did you know you need a generator? How about a party permit? Pull up a chair and gather ‘round. We’ve got the ultimate guide to backyard bashes that’s bride tested and groom approved. Let’s take it from the top, shall we?

PLAN B
First things first: Solidify a backup plan well in advance – just in case the weather decided to shift direction. You’ll want to know how you’re going to make changes, who you’re going to enlist to help, and by what time. If a tent is your plan B, lock down the rental earlier in the day so it’ll be ready when you need to pick it up in the afternoon. And don’t be afraid to practice take down and set up beforehand. It can make all the difference!

INSURANCE
There’s nothing sexy about home owner’s insurance, but this is one area of your wedding budget you won’t want to skimp on. Double check what your insurance covers inside and outside the home and compare notes with your vendors, who should also have insurance. You may need to add on supplemental insurance, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

PERMITS
Before you book vendors and send out invitations, check with your city officials about permits for large parties. Every town has fire codes, noise ordnances, and health department regulations that you won’t want to violate. In some cases, your vendors will need to file additional paperwork. This is when a wedding planner would really come in handy!

LANDSCAPING
If you can, meet with a gardener or landscaper one year in advance of your backyard wedding. This gives them plenty of time to design, plant, and maintain the look and feel you want on your big day. And, most importantly, you’ll need a professional to check if your yard is level enough for tables, chairs, and the dance floor. Your gardener can do this, or you can ask the professionals who are setting up your tent. If the ground is not level, they’ll need to lay down a foundation first, which will be factored into your overall cost.

PARKING
When you check on permits, look into street parking regulations as well. Some neighborhoods need residential parking permits, others prohibit overnight parking. If street parking is not an option for you, consider hiring a valet service to park cars at a nearby lot. Or offer a shuttle service to take guests to and from the parking lot.

NEIGHBORS
Speaking of noise ordinances, you’ll want to notify your neighbors at least two to three months in advance so they can plan ahead and schedule a night out. An itinerary of the wedding and a small, thoughtful gift goes a long way here. Or better yet, invite them to your nuptials!

POWER
Nothing shuts down a party like a power outage. Between the extra lighting, the sound system, and the catering equipment, your home is going to need a little extra boost. Avoid blowing a fuse by renting a generator that can handle the heat.

VENDORS
Most vendors will want to survey your home before your wedding to get a lay of the land and to figure out what extra equipment they need to bring. Be sure to schedule walk-throughs before signing on the dotted line. It can save you hundreds of dollars!

RESTROOMS
If your guest list is over 20 people, we’d advise looking into an upscale portable toilet trailer, so you don’t overwhelm your plumbing. You can even add homey touches like custom toiletry bags and his-and-her hand soap.

WEATHER ESSENTIALS
Guests often forget to pack essentials or prepare for inclement weather. If you’re getting married on a chilly night, rent propane heaters or offer chic throws and pashminas that can double as wedding favors. If sun is a factor, keep a stock pile of sunscreen, parasols, sunglasses, and water on hand. Trust us, your guests will thank you!

10 Adorable Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Wedding

It comes as no surprise that more couples than ever are opting to include their pets in the wedding process. They’re just so darn cute! But, sometimes, logistics get in the way, especially if your venue won’t allow animals or you’re planning a destination wedding. Luckily, there are ways around it! Because your special day just wouldn’t be complete without your favorite family member.

 

PROPOSAL
If you’re about to pop the question and you haven’t quite ironed out your plan, consider including your furry friend. Tie the ring to its harness or hang a “will you marry my dad” balloon from its collar and you’ll have the cutest proposal story of all time.

PRE-WEDDING
Engagement photos and Save the Dates are prime for pet cameos. Talk to potential photographers about including your animals in the shots beforehand so everyone can plan ahead. You can hang a sign with a simple wedding date around its neck or brainstorm a message that fits your personality. Clever signs go a long way, from “our humans are getting married” to “he asked, she said yes!”

WEDDING CEREMONY
There are countless ways to bring your pet into the mix on your big day. If they’re well trained, think about dressing them up and making them a ring bearer. (What’s cuter than a dog in a tux?) Or have your flower girls walk them down the aisle on a leash. Another option is to carry your little one instead of a bouquet or ask your groom-to-be to do the honors. For animals that can’t attend, find places to add their likeness. For instance, keep a snapshot in a locket on your bouquet or order little bulldog cufflinks for your groom.

RECEPTION
One of our favorite ways to include animals in the reception is the photo booth or designated photo area. They make great props and they get plenty of love and affection while they do it! It’s a win-win for everyone. If you want to include your animal in the reception, but you’re not quite sure how they’ll handle all the commotion, add their silhouette to your cake topper or ask your baker to create a cat-shaped groom’s cake or dog-inspired wedding cookies.

POST-WEDDING
After the wedding, you’ll need to send out “thank you” cards for all the beautiful gifts you’ve received. What’s more adorable than a custom card with a photo of the whole family? These pictures can be negotiated as part of your wedding photo package, or you can use one of the official photographs to save on cost.

Want more ideas? Join us for one of our Great Bridal Expos where you can gain access to insider tips and tricks from bakers, photographers, wedding planners, and so much more. Click here for tickets to a show near you!

19 Clever Ways to Plan a Luxury Wedding on a Budget

According to a recent study conducted by Wedding Wire, a typical modern wedding costs approximately $36,000. On average, couples spend $5,000 on engagement rings, $27,000 on the reception and ceremony, and $4,000 on the honeymoon. Intimidating? We know. But here’s the good news. You can save thousands of dollars on your big day with a little bit of research and a whole lot of ingenuity. Luckily, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. Here are 19 clever ways to plan the luxury wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.

TAKE YOUR TIME
A long engagement gives couples ample time to research, seek out deals, and book early. Be strategic! You may be able to pick up discounted silver or gold decorations after the Christmas holiday, or purchase lower-priced ring bearer and flower girl outfits right after Easter.

BE FLEXIBLE ON DATES
Choose your date wisely. A Saturday in June is going to cost you! Consider alternative days, like Thursday, Friday, or Sunday. This can save you 20-30%, especially if you plan on a wedding in November or between January and March. And, don’t forget, off-peak pricing extends to florists, photographers, and catering services.

CHOOSE A UNIQUE VENUE
It all starts with the venue. Choose a venue with character so you spend less on decorations. Think art museums, botanical gardens, and heritage homes.

THINK EXOTIC
Consider a destination wedding. This will trim your guest list, so you can allocate more money to activities, meals, and your venue.

SKIP THE SIT-DOWN DINNER
Sit-down dinners can add up quickly. Instead, consider an upscale cocktail reception with a small team of butlers offering hors d’oeuvres on serving trays. You’ll save on a full catering staff and total cost per person.

OPT FOR A BRUNCH MENU
If you know you want a sit-down meal, try a brunch menu. It can run hundreds of dollars cheaper than dinner fare! And sometimes you can negotiate the venue price in the early hours since the space would have been empty otherwise.

ADD GREENERY
One of the easiest ways to trim your floral budget is by adding more greenery. In lieu of large scale floral arrangements, think about sophisticated garlands and table runners. Silver dollar eucalyptus, myrtle, leatherleaf fern, and grevillea are just a few popular options.

KNOW YOUR FLOWERS
Almost every flower you’re eyeing for your nuptials has a doppelganger. For instance, if you love peonies, look into “vintage roses” or “cabbage roses.” They look similar, but they’re less expensive.

FOLLOW A COLOR SCHEME
Just about every beautiful luxury wedding has one common theme – a color palette. Select two or three shades, like white, champagne, and blush, and stick with them. It’s one of the simplest ways to bring a lot of moving parts together. Plus, it photographs well!

DIY, DIY, DIY
There are endless tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube for how to DIY just about everything on your big day, from wedding invitations to formal centerpieces. Hold little gatherings in your home and enlist your craftiest friends and family to help. After all, planning a wedding is supposed to be fun, right?

BOOK A MUSICIAN
Instead of hiring a band or a DJ for the full night, book a musician for the early hours of the reception and the first dance. Then, switch to a curated playlist that a trusted friend or family member can manage. This little trick can cut your entertainment budget in half!

KNOW THE DRESS MARKET
If you want to buy your wedding dress, bridal expos and sample sales can offer exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else. Sign up early for newsletters to receive updates on events and special deals. On the other hand, if you want to rent your dress, look into money-saving sites, like OneNightAffair.com for gowns or Adorn.com for jewelry.

NIX THE FULL BAR
A fully-stocked open bar comes with a hefty price tag. Skip the full bar and serve beer and wine instead. Or offer a signature drink that’s in line with the theme and color palette of the wedding.

USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
If you want to be eco-friendly and budget-conscious, email your Save The Dates. At the end of the day, it’s easier for you and your guests.

CAKE SWAP
When you want a fairytale wedding cake, but you just don’t have the funds, fake it. Ask your baker to create one real lower tier for you and your fiancé. The rest of the tiers can be made from Styrofoam and covered in fondant. After the cake cutting ceremony, have your catering team serve up sheet cake from the kitchen with similar colors and flavors. Your guests won’t notice a thing!

REPURPOSE EVERYTHING
This is where thinking outside the box really pays off. Lanterns, candles, or floral arrangements that decorate your ceremony aisle can be used as centerpieces at the reception, while ceremony arches can be repurposed for the sweetheart table. And bridesmaid bouquets can easily become tabletop flowers. The possibilities are endless.

USE CREDIT CARDS WISELY
If you’re sure you can charge a few things on your list and pay them off quickly, sign up for a credit card with cash back and 0% APR for one year.

NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR BAKER
Intricately designed fondant details on your wedding cake can be expensive and labor intensive. Ask your baker for more affordable options, like satin ribbon trims or real flowers.

BUY, SELL, TRADE
After your wedding, take stock of your inventory and see what you can sell on sites, like Tradesy or eBay, to make some of your money back. This goes for wedding dresses, table linens, reception décor, you name it. A little bit of work before and after your wedding goes a long way!

 

 

10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips You Never Knew You Needed

Finding the perfect wedding dress is a little bit like falling in love. It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of trial and error. But the journey can be just as rewarding as the destination. It’s all in the preparation. Here are ten insider tips you need to know before you say “yes” to the dress.

 

PLAN AHEAD
Ideally, brides-to-be should start dress shopping 10 to 12 months in advance. Most salons require six to eight months of lead time for all made-to-order gowns. If you purchase your custom dress four month ahead of your wedding or later, it’s considered a rush order, which is often exponentially more expensive. Plus, planning ahead will give you plenty of time to schedule fittings. It’s custom for brides to have an average of two to five fittings.

BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET
Nowadays you’re hard pressed to find a bride who’s not on a budget. Typically, the wedding gown is 10% to 15% of the overall wedding budget, but that will vary for each bride. Be sure to factor in “hidden” costs, like your undergarments, shoes, veil, accessories, and, of course, alteration fees. An inexpensive gown with professional tailoring can look like a million bucks!

DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Research is imperative in the early stages of dress shopping. Before you step into a bridal salon, it’s best to know what type of wedding you’re planning. Is it a casual beach ceremony or a black-tie formal? Get familiar with the silhouettes you like, what color palette you’re working with, and the latest trends you’re drawn to. All of this information will help you and your bridal stylist select the gown of your dreams.

 

BOOK APPOINTMENTS
Most bridal salons are by appointment only, and some schedule six weeks in advance. Before you call, peruse their selection online. Do they have dress designs you like? Are there plenty of choices in your budget? If so, try to book an appointment for a weekday or weekend morning. The earlier, the better. That’s the time of day when the stores are the quietest. And try not to book more than two or three appointments in one day. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

LIMIT YOUR FRIEND COUNT
Be selective about who you bring dress shopping with you. You don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen! One to three people is the standard. Any more and you’ll likely overwhelm yourself and the salon.

BE OPEN
Be open about trying on different styles of dresses. Often, the silhouette you never thought you’d walk down the aisle in will be the one that steals your heart. This is where a bridal consultant or stylist can really come in handy. Share all your research and let her choose a few things outside your wheel house.

KEEP IT MOVING
If you like a dress in the fitting room, practice sitting, walking, and dancing. Take note of places where the gown feels restrictive or doesn’t stay in place. You want a gown that can keep up with you all day long!

 

DON’T WORRY ABOUT SIZING
A typical size 6 or 8 in ready-to-wear clothing translates to a size 10 or 12 in bridalwear. DON’T get hung up on numbers, but DO make sure that the salon carries your size before you make an appointment. Focus on fit, and the rest will take care of itself.

CHOOSE YOUR UNDERGARMENTS WISELY
If you plan on wearing specific undergarments on the big day, like a corset or Spanx, bring them dress shopping. Undergarments can alter the fit drastically, so wearing them in the early stages will give you a better idea of how your dress will look when you tie the knot.

SHOP OUTSIDE THE BOX
Retailers and designers often host sample sales twice per year – usually in early winter and the beginning of summer. These sales are a great way for brides to shop designer dresses for less. The downside is that they’re often stocked with sample sizes, and every sale is final. But if you arrive early and keep an open mind, you might find exactly what you’re looking for.

Trunk shows are another option to explore. Call your local bridal salons and inquire about their upcoming shows. Events like this usually take place once or twice per month. They give brides the opportunity to meet the designer and talk about how they can customize your gown. Or, better yet, keep an eye out for a Great Bridal Expo in your area. Here you’ll find the latest styles hot off the runway and receive special discounts you won’t see anywhere else.

 

 

8 Wedding Trends You’ll See All Summer Long

It’s no secret that summer is the most popular time to tie the knot. But this season brides are turning up the heat with unexpected details and show-stopping surprises that could rival any royal wedding. Ahead are eight wedding trends you’re bound to see all summer long.

Pops of Color

Color is back in a big way, but don’t expect anything too matchy-matchy. Couples are foregoing tradition and planning their nuptials around a mood, rather than a color scheme, to determine the look and feel of their big day.

So, let’s talk palette. Pastels will always be considered classic, but high-contrast hues and moody jewel tones are going to take centerstage, from the floral arrangements to the bridesmaid dresses. After all, ultra violet is the Pantone Color of the Year! But brides are taking it a step further this summer. Pops of color are showing up on table linens, glassware, and even candles.

Dramatic Backdrops

Floral walls primed for photo ops dominated the wedding circuit in 2017. This season, dramatic backdrops are still on-trend, they’re just taking different form—namely, commissioned murals, neon signs, and Instagram-worthy escort card displays.

Transparent Décor

Heads up! See-through décor is making a major comeback, particularly in Lucite chairs and transparent cocktail tables. This nod to mod adds a touch of glamour without being too distracting. It’s a perfect choice for modern weddings or couples who gravitate toward a clean, Scandinavian aesthetic.

Interactive Food Stations

Food trucks are here to stay, but couples are upping the ante with self-service food and beverage stations at the reception. Think dessert tables, help yourself cocktails, and custom coffee bars. No bartender necessary.

 

Small Wedding Parties

Can’t decide who will be your maid of honor? You don’t have to! Some brides are taking a page out of Meghan Markle’s playbook and skipping the bridal party altogether, while others are enlisting one or two close family members and friends. If you’re on a tight budget, this is one way to save money on bridal party gifts and bouquets.

Nontraditional Venues

Summer is prime time for outdoor weddings, but ceremonies are moving indoors to nontraditional venues, like art galleries, industrial warehouses, and boxing gyms. (Yes, you heard that right!)

Crystals

If you’re going to a bohemian wedding, chances are you’ll run across healing gemstones in one way or another. New Age brides are creating crystal centerpieces, gifting gemstone jewelry to bridesmaids, and even donning crystal crowns. They’re sure to add a bespoke touch to ceremonies—and a little magic too!

Custom Guest Entertainment

Weddings are as much about the guests as the couple now. Traditional wedding favors are taking a backseat to experiential gifts, like cabaret singers, tarot readers, astrologers, and aerial acts. We’ve even seen theatrical performances. It’s the dawn of a new era.

Want to stay on top of wedding trends and be in the know about the next big thing for your nuptials? Book a ticket to the Great Bridal Expo in a city near you.

 

5 British Royal Wedding Traditions You’ll Want to Borrow

5 British Royal Wedding Traditions You’ll Want to Borrow

The countdown to the most anticipated wedding of the year is underway. Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are just hours from tying the knot at St. George Chapel on Saturday, May 19, in what is guaranteed to be a lavish ceremony with a refreshingly modern spin. No matter how Americanized the royal wedding may be, there are still some time-honored customs that will likely be by the book, if only at the behest of the Queen. Luckily, you don’t have to be royalty to incorporate them into your own fairytale nuptials. Consider these British royal wedding traditions your “something borrowed.”

Tiaras

Tiaras are an emblem of the British royal family, and Queen Elizabeth II has on   e of the most impressive collections in the world. Typically, it’s under lock and key, but royal weddings offer us a rare glimpse of the crown jewels. Remember when Kate Middleton married Prince William in April 2011 wearing the Cartier Halo tiara, on loan from Her Majesty the Queen? It featured a whopping 1,311 diamonds! Rumors are circulating that Markle may don the Strathmore Rose tiara, the Lover’s Knot tiara, or Princess Diana’s Spencer tiara, which she wore during her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

 

If you’re going to invest in a bridal tiara for your own wedding, plan well in advance. The key is finding one that complements your dress and doesn’t compete with it. You’ll also want to consider the venue, the theme of the wedding, your face shape, bridal hairstyle, and even your height. (Yes, there’s a lot that goes into one little tiara!) Often, bridal shops or expo vendors will have a selection on-hand for you to try. If you’re worried about wearing the tiara again, there are variations that collapse and turn into brooches. In short, there’s something for everyone!

Morning Suits

In the States, “black tie” usually implies a tuxedo for men no matter what time the wedding festivities begin. But across the pond, men often wear morning suits for daytime formalwear. Expect to see many of the notable male attendees at the royal wedding in a cutaway tailcoat, a waistcoat (vest), trousers, and a 4-in-hand tie. Gloves, canes, and top hats are optional, of course.

A morning suit is a great alternative for formals when the groom and groomsmen are planning on renting. Because, let’s face it, a wedding is one of the few times a man can really get away with this.

Fruitcake

A fanciful fruitcake always takes center stage at British royal weddings. In fact, they’ve been a staple since the medieval period. Prince William and Kate opted for two cakes when they said “I do.” The pièce de résistance was an eight-tier fruitcake created by Fiona Cairns that was made with cherries, raisins, orange marmalade, currants, and brandy. A second dessert came in the form of a simple chocolate biscuit cake that was said to be a favorite of both Queen Elizabeth II and William.

Earlier this year, Kensington Palace released a statement that Prince Harry and Meghan were bucking tradition in favor of a more “Americanized” cake made with organic Amalfi lemons and English elderberry. This delicious confection was commissioned by Claire Ptak, of hip East London shop Violet Bakery, who will top it with buttercream icing and decorate it with fresh flowers. That being said, it’s still an English wedding. We’ll be shocked if there’s not a fruitcake of some sort hiding in the corner.

For your special day, we have two words for you: groom’s cake. And that takes care of that.

Elaborate Hats

British wedding etiquette dictates that women who attend the ceremony should wear hats or fascinators. The cardinal rule? Bigger is better. Back in the day, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie made waves for their over-the-top headwear at Prince William’s nuptials, and we’ll likely see more where that came from on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.

If you’re planning a formal wedding, a garden soiree, or even a themed event, you may want to consider adding headwear to the dress code specifications. However, if you’re getting married in a church, be sure to check their guidelines before mailing out the invites.

A Sprig of Myrtle

According to Kensington Palace, royal wedding florist Philippa Craddock will be using locally-sourced foliage from native trees for the decor, along with seasonal plants, like white garden roses, peonies, and foxglove. No doubt a sprig of myrtle will also be on the docket. This tradition dates back to Queen Victoria, who received myrtle from Prince Albert’s grandmother and planted it on the grounds of the Osbourne House on the Isle of Wright. This same myrtle plant has provided clippings for the bouquets of royal brides, including Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton. Myrtle symbolizes love, luck, and prosperity.

Since royal decorum isn’t a factor you’ll need to consider, you can sprinkle in myrtle wherever you please. Perhaps you’ll want to use it in the groom’s boutonniere or your mother-in-law’s corsage. It’s also a sophisticated filler for garlands and tabletop centerpieces. The options are endless.

 

 

 

Want to Give Your Bridesmaids the best gift? Check out our list!

On your journey to plan the perfect wedding, did you remember to plan the perfect gift for your favorite women?

Although not “REQUIRED”, it is a super good idea to give your bridesmaid some extra love and pampering. After all, they are helping you make your wedding perfect, right? (hint: bridal shower, bachelorette party)

You can give your bridesmaid a gift during any phase of your wedding- bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc. In my opinion, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time. Everyone is more relaxed and looking to have a good time.

If you are having trouble coming up with the perfect bridesmaid gift, check out our list. You might exactly what you want!

We have split the list into different categories for easier browsing.

 

Gifts to Pamper

 

 

  1. Silk pajamas, a comfy robe

  2. A gift certificate to a local spa, hair salon, or boutique

  3. Monogrammed set of bath towels

  4. A designer clutch, handbag or makeup ba

  5. A perfume gift set

Gifts that are Handmade

 

  1. Soaps or scented candles

  2. A photo album of the event

  3. Homemade desserts

  4. A framed picture, poem or something personal to you

  5. Something they can wear- knitted scarves, hats, gloves etc.

Gifts to Entertain

 

  1. A subscription to something they love

  2. Tickets to a show, event or sporting event

  3. Headphones in their favorite color

  4. A popular book

  5. An awesome bottle of wine

 

Hobby Gifts

 

  1.  A gift certificate for an introductory class like dancing, gardening or cooking

  2. Workout clothes/gear

  3. A new cookbook

  4. Tools or supplies for their favorite hobbies

  5. Subscription to a magazine dedicated to their hobby with a matching gift

 

Remember, they are your bridesmaids. You know them better than we do! Be creative with the gift, have fun with it.

If you still need help planning your wedding, or want more ideas, check out one of our Bridal Expos! They are located across the country.

For ticket information go here: /get-tickets/

 

Leave us a comment and tell us what you gave your bridesmaids as a gift. We would love to hear your stories!

Until next time!

~Sarah A.